Pages tagged "Regent's Park"

St John's Wood Labour Action Report - April 2018












News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your local Labour candidates for the Council elections on May 3rd.


Circus Road

We have asked the Council to fix the footpath on Circus Road adjacent to the John and Elizabeth Hospital. Residents say:

“In parts this is now at 45 degrees owing to tree roots. It makes walking highly hazardous especially for the elderly and the disabled both walking en route to the hospital.  Could somebody look into this please?”

Cochrane Street

We have contacted Octavia Housing on behalf of residents in Cicely and O’Neil Houses about various repairs and maintenance issues.

Lorne Close NW8

Some residents on Lorne Close were concerned about drug dealing continuing in the car parking area despite recent action taken by the police. There was also concern about young people entering the estate and damaging things. The local police team said:

‘We patrol the area whenever we are on shift, as it is a high priority area. Where possible/if grounds exist we will always carry out a stop and search as we have done so in the past. If residents are still concerned about drug dealing, please ask them not to ignore but to call 999/101 and a unit can be sent round. 

‘Residents should understand that there are only 2 police officers covering the entire Regents Park ward. Also it would be great if A2 dominion could put cameras up and/or a gate leading to the underground car park. That way, less people can cause damage to property.’

We are pressing A2 Dominion to fix the broken entry gate and CCTV.

There is also a very dangerous situation outside Durham House where there is severe damage to one of the paving slabs directly in the path up to the door and the hand railings are completely unstable.  We have also raised the issue of fly-tipping on the estate that needs to be addressed

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“The end of Elm Tree Road at the corner with Grove End Road suffers from illegal parking of vehicles overnight, on double yellow lines or so far from the kerb even on single yellow lines so as to make passing through very difficult. For a reasonable length of the road from the corner coming into the road, for example until the door to number 1A, please could you make the parking lines double red to discourage people to block the road overnight. It is a single lane road and bad parking on both sides makes it impossible to pass through. “

The Parking Team say:

“The location is not on and nor it is adjacent to a red route so the painting of red lines specifically for this junction would not be an option.  The junction is already protected by double yellow lines and Marshals are able to enforce on single yellow lines when vehicles are parked more than 50cm from the edge of the carriageway on a single yellow line.  As part of their normal course of duties we will ensure Marshals who regularly patrol this area are aware of the feedback below, and take appropriate enforcement action in line with policy should they come across vehicles parked in contravention.”

Elgood House, Wellington Road

We have asked City West Homes and the Refuse Department to review the location of a number of refuse bins following requests from residents. City West Homes say:

“The bins belong to WCC and we have raised this issue with the Environmental Action Line. We have requested that Veolia go on site today to remove any loose waste. We have also requested that they move the bins to another location based on the feedback from the resident. “

Townshend Estate

We have asked the Council to investigate reports of a homeless person sleeping in a shed on the Townshend Estate and to offer the necessary assistance.

St John’s Wood High Street

We have asked the police for a report on recent incidents in the High Street area.

We have renewed our call for the Government to reverse the cuts to the police budget. The government have cut the Metropolitan Police/ Greater London Authority budget by £650 million so far, with another £350 of cuts now under way, and Westminster has lost almost a third of their police strength since 2011. Most of the cuts in our police numbers happened before the last Mayoral election. On top of this, the Council grant from Central Government has been halved, which helps explain why they decided to close down their City CCTV programme.

You can sign the petition here

Circus Road/St. Ann’s Terrace

We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“In the morning “rush”, pedestrian access is blocked by cars waiting or parked, while the owners frequent Pret or other nearby shops.  This includes blocking the dropped kerb. This area (which has double yellow lines) should not be used for waiting/parking.  It might be helpful if the double yellow lines were reinforced with double yellow kerb markings to discourage waiting and further aid enforcement by making violations even less ambiguous.  

Perhaps you could also encourage Pret/Starbucks to have educational signage in their shops and on outside tables to highlight the impact of blocking the corners/dropped kerbs for less able pedestrians?”

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are continuing to help residents in Scott Ellis Gardens with repair issues and take up their concerns with City West Homes.


We have welcomed the increased on-the-spot fines of up to £150 for dropping litter, including from vehicles.

Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

After decades of the Conservatives taking Westminster for granted, residents have a real chance to change the future of this city. Years of cuts have taken their toll on local services, particularly for the most vulnerable.

The Conservatives have put the needs of developers above the needs of the vast majority of local residents. For generations they have failed to build the Council (social rent) and lower (intermediate) rent homes that Westminster needs to give the City a viable future.

Labour has a credible alternative plan that can be delivered today despite the damage being done by the current government. Our communities are calling out for change, and in this manifesto Labour sets out a vision for how things could be run differently, how we will deliver a Westminster for the many not the few if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd 2018.

What you say

“Well done! Very much appreciate receiving the updates.”

“Thank you for this report. It does seem as though you are trying to make a tangible difference in real time.”

“Could you please ask the Council if they could put in speed restrictions (flashing light signs) on Hall Road.   This has become a very busy road with loads of lorries now using it.  A rat run.  With all the building that continues apace in this area I seriously think that we need traffic calming before a major accident. “

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Regent's Park Labour Action Report - Late March 2018

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your local Labour candidates for the Council elections on May 3rd.


Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

After decades of the Conservatives taking Westminster for granted, residents have a real chance to change the future of this city. Years of cuts have taken their toll on local services, particularly for the most vulnerable.

The Conservatives have put the needs of developers above the needs of the vast majority of local residents. For generations they have failed to build the Council (social rent) and lower (intermediate) rent homes that Westminster needs to give the City a viable future.

Labour has a credible alternative plan that can be delivered today despite the damage being done by the current government. Our communities are calling out for change, and in this manifesto Labour sets out a vision for how things could be run differently, how we will deliver a Westminster for the many not the few if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd 2018.

Wellington Road public toilets

We have asked the Council why the public toilets on Wellington Road, nest to the St John’s Wood Church playground, have been closed for so long.

Allitsen Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this recurring issue:

“On Sunday morning there were 30-40 nitreous oxide canisters in the layby by the New Inn.  This situation with such clearly blatant drug dealing going on in NW8 is appalling.  This is a main route for children walking to school at St Christina’s and Robinsfield.  Please can we try and do something more to tackle this.  There needs to be more of a police presence in the evening to catch these people.  It is horrible that our children keep having to see this sort of detritus.”

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are continuing to take up individual problems on behalf of residents. We have also asked City West Homes to check the lifts and improve rubbish collection services. City West Homes say:

“We think there has been problems with the cold weather, as these are Hydraulic lifts and the oil gets too cold and thickens up, which tries to resolve itself, with the lift repeatedly trying to start, which heats the oil. We asked the contractor to attend site last week to ensure the heaters in the tank were sufficient, before the cold spell returned. 

We have been finding a number of rubbish bags next to the recycling bins located next to block 1 and 12. At present the cleaners are moving the bags into the bins on a daily basis meaning that there is often insufficient space to store the refuse in the bins. The bins are currently emptied on a weekly basis and we will certainly look into increasing that to twice a week as that may also help resolve the issue.”

Hamilton Close

Following our enquiries about the state of the cobbles, Gustavo the local Inspector, tells us:

“I have just spoken to the local highways inspector who has raised a job in relation to the broken cobbles outside number 8 Hamilton Close.”

St John’s Wood Post Office

We started this petition to Save the St John’s Wood Post Office petition a year ago and you can still sign up to add your voice

Labour’s pledge on Cleaner Streets

Mattresses and other household objects dumped on our street corners have become an all too common a sight. A Labour council will rigorously focus on fly-tipping and bulky waste dumping and we have made a number of commitments that will help tackle the problem. If elected in May 2018:

  • Labour will urgently reform the fees and charges for bulky waste collection, restoring a ‘first time free’collection and reducing costs for standard collections.
  • We will develop a new ‘express collection’bulky waste removal service.
  • We will look further at the use of mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping hotspots and at ways to increase fines for dumping.
  • As part of our support for a new Private Renters Charter we will improve the information provided to landlords, letting agents and tenants.
  • We will provide a smartphone App to make it easier for residents to make use of the Council’s ‘report it’ service, helping further target the worst affected areas.

Building genuinely affordable homes

If Labour win the Council, we will create a new type of affordable housing –  Westminster Key Worker Homes. We will commit that, in addition to social housing, all new affordable housing built on council land will be at rents that are affordable to residents on average and below average incomes. We will ensure that these homes are focused on providing opportunities for long-standing residents of Westminster and key workers such as nurses, teachers, firefighters and the police.

25 more ‘Nightmare Stories’ from City West Homes

In January 2018, we unveiled a dossier of ’20 Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’. The reaction to this from tenants and leaseholders was overwhelming, with many more ‘nightmare stories’ coming to light from all over Westminster. Residents are angry with the very poor performance of City West Homes, particularly following the recent debacles over the new call centre and the repairs contract.

We have followed this up with ‘25 More Nightmare stories from City West Homes’ with details of:

  • Continued long waits on the telephone to report problems to the CWH call centre
  • Failure to deal with emergencies quickly
  • Lack of communication between CWH and its tenants and leaseholders
  • Poor communications between CWH and its contractors
  • Failure of CWH to return calls from tenants and leaseholders
  • Broken appointments by CWH contractors

Welcome for extra police on the beat

We have welcomed welcomed the Mayor’s decision to invest an additional £59m annually to support an extra 1,000 police officers by using income raised from business rates. This will help avoid falling police numbers due to Government cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

We have also welcomed the Mayor’s announcement that he is creating a brand new £45million fund to help young Londoners who are at risk of getting caught up in crime. The Mayor’s new Young Londoners Fund will see £15m invested in each of the next three years, beginning from April. Of the total new funding, £10million a year will make up a new fund into which local communities, charities and schools will be able to bid for funds, and £5million a year will be invested to scale up existing projects funded from City Hall that are already supporting young Londoners.

In addition, over 1,800 people have signed Westminster Labour’s petition to halt the Government’s further £400 million cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

The petition to Parliament,, runs until 27th April.

Cleaning up the planning system – what you say

“As you rightly say, it is inequitable of Westminster Council to forbid residents from speaking out at planning meetings and to have to rely on Councillors who may not share the views of objectors.”

Hamilton Close – what you say

“I was glad to see the comment about the state of the cobbles in Hamilton Close. The bad state of the cobbles is largely due to damage caused by heavy vehicles delivering building materials or to skips taking away spoil from excavations. The rot began with the basement excavations for 14 Hamilton Close and 22 Hamilton Terrace. Since then work on 20 Hamilton Terrace has involved much disruption and further damage to the cobbles because 13 Hamilton Terrace has been used for deliveries and removal of rubbish in connection with the major refurbishment of of 20 Hamilton Terrace.”

What you say

“I admire what you are all doing for the ward and thank you”

“I read with much interest the News from Regent’s Park Ward Labour action team”

“Thank you so much for this quick response. My goodness, don’t you even take Sunday off?”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Westminster Labour call for public inquiry into BT's failure to provide super fast broadband in the West End, St John's Wood and across Westminster

Westminster Labour Councillors have called for a Public Inquiry into BT's failure to provide super fast broadband to residents in the West End, St John's Wood and elsewhere in Westminster.

Read more

Regent's Park Labour Action Report – March 2018

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Labour Action Team. 


St John’s Wood Post Office

We started this petition to Save the St John’s Wood Post Office petition a year ago and you can still sign up to add your voice

Lodge Road

We have contacted Soho Housing Association about repairs to flats at 50 Lodge Road.

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are helping a number of residents with repairs and maintenances issues that need to be fixed by City West Homes.

Eamont Street

We have asked Gustavo, our local Inspector, to investigate this issue:

“Eamont Street has a corner shop opened twenty four seven. The side of this shop is on Eamont Street, and there is a low wall, behind this wall there is always unsightly rubbish. I have often spoken to the shop keeper who tells me that people use the space as a rubbish dump. It makes the area look so awfully grubby. “

Gustavo tells us:

“I have spoken to the staff of the shop about keeping the space behind that low wall clean from litter and rubbish. Although it is their private area they still have the duty of care to maintain it clear. The staff agreed to cooperate and I have been monitoring the site during my inspections. That space has been kept clear from litter since I first visited the shop on Monday.”

Hamilton Gardens

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“We have also been at the receiving end of obvious drug dealing in the cul de sac of Hamilton Gardens. It has subsided a bit thankfully but I can concur it is extremely brazen, unpleasant to observe (lights, car running, etc) and the rubbish and mess left behind after they finally leave is downright disgusting and disrespectful! “ 

Hamilton Close

We have asked Gustavo, City Inspector to investigate this problem:

“The cobbled roadway in Hamilton Close was repaired a few years ago but only for a short distance extending from the entry to the Close from St John’s Wood Road. Can you persuade Westminster Council to repair these cobbles?  There is a clear danger of tripping or falling, particularly at night.”

Northwick Close

We have asked the Council’s Tree Officer to investigate this issue:

“Our magnificent old fig tree that sits behind 16 Northwick Close was cut down to stumps a few weeks ago. Can someone at the Council give assurance that it will grow back to its previous glory?”

Fettes House

We are continuing to help residents in Fettes House who have had problems with water leaks and City West Homes’ delays in fixing the problems.

Cochrane Street recycling bins

We have asked Gustavo, local Inspector, to ensure that the dumped rubbish by the recycling bins is removed regularly. Gustavo says:

“I have been talking to my recycling team for assistance to have a consultation with residents of the blocks nearby this Micro Recycling Centre. This consultation would aim to get a response about the possibility of removing these bins as Veolia and I have been doing an extensive monitoring on this location for quite sometime. I have also taken lots of both educational and enforcement measures against alleged offenders. “ 

Cochrane Street 

We are continuing with our efforts to persuade the Council to allow new modern windows to be fitted in properties in Cochrane Street in order to keep residents warm. 

“We would like to provide our tenants with better insulation but have been refused.  We had to go to great expense installing purpose made single glazed windows where the elderly tenant would have benefited from a more modern approach. I would point out that our building dates from 1963 and is of no architectural merit.   It is next door to a 1930’s building where Westminster did nothing when the owners replaced architecturally significant Crittal windows with double glazing.  Retrospective permission was granted.”

Ordnance Hill 

We have raised these two issues with the Police again:

“I too have seen nitrous oxide bottles in the morning on Ordnance Hill close to Robinsfield School.  Given what your report had recently said about activity in Ordnance Hill, Aquila Street and Henstridge Place, what are the police doing about it?”

“I was astonished 2 weeks ago to witness a ‘moped’ robbery attempt at the corner of Ordnance Hill and Acacia Road. A young man in a suit, calling an Uber cab took evasive action when he realised the bike was mounting the pavement to snatch his phone. But the bike went around twice and made more attempts – the man retreated into the front of the Ordnance Pub. But neither the young man, nor the security man who kindly came to help, called the police. The security man said it was a waste of time. He said it was becoming common in St Johns Wood and they had called the police several times before, but the Police would do nothing… even though the bike was circling St Johns Wood looking for the next victim. We heard a yell – and saw the robber had found success outside St Johns Wood underground station. The landlord of the Ordnance and 2 customers came out to help – but it was too late by then, the bike had vanished.”

We have also raised the issue of dog fouling and Gustavo, the local Inspector says: 

“The animal warden and I have done an extensive work on Queen’s Grove in regards of signage and educational letters and warnings to residents re bagged dog fouling by the tree bases. We will meet again tomorrow to start the same type of work on Ordnance Hill.”

St John’s Wood Road area – residents’ parking

We have asked the Parking Department to see if any additional residents’ parking could be found in the area around St John’s Wood Road? Our recent discussions with residents have identified the following issues

  • Aberdeen Place – residents mentioned the problem that the residential spaces are for cars registered in zones B and C, which means that people who don’t live nearby are taking up spaces there and preventing residents from parking.
  • Cunningham Place – residents raised the issue of parking on weekends when there is a cricket match on, as the parking restrictions only apply during the week
  • Scott Ellis Gardens – many people raised the difficulty of finding a space on the street. Some mentioned that there are people with multiple cars filling up the street and often taking up two spaces in order to save it for their other car.

The Parking Department say:

“There is also a new parking scheme being implemented at the moment that will provide up to an additional 8 parking spaces on Cunningham Place and Aberdeen Place. We are aware that much of the C Zone residential area is heavily subscribed and that some locations like Scott Ellis Gardens are particularly over-subscribed due to the fact that this small cul-de-sac is entirely comprised of flats rather than individual houses so parking will always be difficult and there is no kerbside available to provide any additional parking.”

Regent’s Canal tow path

Plans from the Canal & River Trust and The Royal Parks have been announced to create a new ramp and steps down to the Regent’s Canal from Avenue Road. There are existing steps at this location (beside Macclesfield Bridge) which do not fully connect to the towpath. It is proposed to replace the steps with a new ramp and a full flight of steps to the towpath. The design has been developed to limit the impact on the trees and vegetation and to take account of the access needs of visitors. You can comment on the proposals via and the closing date for comments is Friday March 23, 2018.

Giving residents a powerful voice in the planning process 

For too long Westminster Conservatives have treated residents as an afterthought in a planning process geared towards the needs of major developers. If elected to run the Council in May, Labour will radically reform how the planning system operates to put residents first.

Labour’s reforms include:

  • Giving residents the right to speak at Planning committee meetings to present their case. Westminster is virtually alone amongst local authorities in preventing residents from doing so.
  • Providing more information explaining how the planning system works, including jargon busting, to help residents find the relevant information that explain what is being proposed for their area and have their say. The Council would also use social media to encourage resident engagement on key decisions.
  • Establishing a ‘Design Panel for Westminster’ to allow professional architects, other experts and interested residents to give external advice to planning committees on design aspects of major planning proposals.
  • Creating a new Strategic Projects Planning committee with a larger than normal membership to prevent major applications being dominated by the whims of over-powerful individual Councillors such as Tory Deputy Leader Cllr Robert Davis.

 Keeping the Council Tax low

If elected in May Westminster, Labour will keep Council Tax low. Labour will support the current proposals by the Council for a freeze in the Council Tax rate and a 2% rise in the adult social care precept in 2018/19. If elected, we will not raise the council tax and adult social care precept by any more than the Conservatives have over recent years.

Council Tax is always an emotive issue. Westminster Council receives the highest levels of parking revenue (£73.2m) in the country as well as substantial commercial income from its large Central London property portfolio (£42.8m) that help prop up its finances far more than in other boroughs. Westminster also has a long-track record of under-investing in its public services and its upcoming budget plans to cut over £3 million from services for children and young people and £2 million from rough sleeping and supported housing.

Due the impact of crippling Conservative Government cuts to local council funding, Westminster Conservatives have raised the Council Tax (including the adult social care precept) every year since 2016.

Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes

Residents are angry with the very poor performance of CityWest Homes. Service standards have clearly deteriorated after Conservative council cuts to the housing management budget, the closure of local estate offices and the bungled introduction of a new call centre and repairs contract.

A Labour Council will immediately put CityWest on notice so that if its performance does not rapidly improve it will be stopped from managing the council’s properties.

  • From day one, Labour will take action to end the repairs crisis and improve the way CityWest treats residents.
  • We will re-establish local estate offices.
  • We will urgently look at further ways to improve the failing call centre system.
  • We will give residents a greater say over how their homes are managed.
  • We will introduce a new leaseholders’ charter to improve support to resident leaseholders and look to limit huge major works bills.

Register to vote

The local Westminster City Council elections are on Thursday 3 May.

If you aren’t already registered to vote, you need to do so to vote in this local election.  The deadline to register at is Wednesday 17 April. It only takes a few minutes. Anyone who is already registered to vote does not need to re-register. If you have moved home in the last few months and have not registered to vote at your new address you still have time to register at this new location.

The other key dates are the postal vote application deadline which is 5pm, on Wednesday 18 April and the proxy vote application deadline is 5pm, Wednesday 25 April.

EU citizens are able to vote in these local elections.

You can get more information by visiting

Marlborough Road

Here are some interesting facts, figures and pictures about the former Marlborough Road underground station

St John’s Wood High Street – what you say

“There is one more shop closing to add to the list – Carphone Warehouse. It’s not that this one is a particular loss but the reason for all these departures is the ridiculously high rents that apparently keep being raised even further once a tenant is established. Such a waste! If only we could have some more independent shops and cafes like Primrose Hill, and like we had before!”

Voluntary additional Council Tax payments – what you say

“Instead of the funds being merged into the Council coffers, and lost, a separate Trust fund should be set up and run by an all party set of Trustees to ensure the use and direction of the money.” 

“What concerns me is that it is the decent honest residents who are most likely to accede to Westminster’s demands for a voluntary contribution; surely the absentee/millionaire/overseas-based owners, who can most afford to contribute, will just ignore the request.” 

Basement extensions – what you say 

“In Marlborough Place, we have constant basement extensions being built. We are due another one and have objected, no one takes any notice. Money talks and there are a lot of underhand deals going on, we are sure. Our house has been severely damaged and internal deep cracks have had to be repaired twice due to basement works in our road. This was confirmed by our decorator.”

What you say 

“This is a fantastic email so thank you very much.  I appreciate the regular updates so thank you again.” 

“I am happy to be able to report that the drive-in and surrounding pavement to the Wellington Hospital administrative offices in Circus Road is due to be renewed within the next twenty days weather permitting.”

“Thank you for your most helpful and informative email circular.” 

“As a resident of St Johns Wood for 50 years I find your bulletins very interesting” 

“Thank you for all your work on the St John’s Wood Action Report.”

“Thank you for the ever interesting and comprehensive news update.: 

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.




Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart

Your Regent’s Park Labour Action Team


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council


Regent's Park Labour Action Report - Late Feb 2018

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team.


Acacia Road

We have asked the Council to take action on this issue:

“Outside the SJW tube station the pavement on Acacia Road needs urgent looking into. The pavement blocks are uneven and many are loose and very dangerous. The other day an old lady fell over close to the post box and I had to pick her up. Luckily she wasn’t hurt badly but was very shaken – it could have been a lot worse Please have this URGENTLY looked into and the pavement re-laid?” 

Cicely House, Cochrane Street 

We have written to the Council about the problems with replacing the 70-year-old rotting wooden windows in Cicely House. We are told that Octavia want to renew the windows with modern double glazed windows but the Council is insisting on replica wooden windows which are very expensive. Meanwhile residents, including the elderly and vulnerable, continue to suffer from the cold.

Elm Tree Road 

We have asked the Council to remove a car that appears to have been dumped. Residents say: “it has been parked in the paid parking bay top of Elm Tree Road on the corner of Circus Road for weeks maybe months accumulating endless parking tickets. Looks to be abandoned. “ 

Wellington Road estate 

We are taking up a number of long-standing heating and repairs issues raised by residents of Reynolds and Fettes Houses. 

Hamilton Terrace and St John’s Wood Road junction

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this location:

“I have tried many times to argue for a pedestrian crossing to be installed across Hamilton Terrace so that pedestrians walking up and down St John’s Wood road can cross in safety.  At the moment there is an island and on each pavement studs to indicate to vision impaired people that they are approaching a roadway. All that are needed are two beacons and white lines.  Crossing the road from the direction of Lords to the centre island is not dangerous as vehicles slow down on approaching the T junction with St John’s Wood Road.  The dangerous part is from the island to the pavement going down to Edgware Road. Vehicles which use Hamilton Terrace as a rat run frequently approach this turn at a fast speed coming from the Lords direction or from the Edgware Road and turn into Hamilton Terrace without always indicating that they are turning, It is not easy for any one on the centre island or on the pavement towards Edgware Road to spot turning vehicles even if the pedestrian keeps an eagle eye. I am ultra cautious at this spot but even so have had to step back quickly to avoid being mown down.”

Hamilton Close

We are supporting residents who are opposing yet another basement extension in Hamilton Close. Residents say:

“A basement is not needed for a mews cottage and is entirely out of character and place in a cobbled backwater like Hamilton Close. The Close is a narrow cobbled street whose surface was seriously damaged by the excavations next door. There is no space for skips and trucks delivering building materials. These would lead to the highway being closed for periods. This is unacceptable to other residents including two old ladies in poor health. The excavation of a basement here is environmentally damaging. Apart from the many truck loads of waste polluting the atmosphere residents would be plagued by dust, noise and vermin and there could be damage to underground water and increased dangers of subsidence.”

Maida Vale

We have asked the Council to investigate residents’ concerns that rubbish is being dumped on Northwick Terrace and also near the Maida Vale Health Centre in the alley by the entrance to the block, attracting mice and leading to problems when it rains.

Clifton Court

Residents have requested a bench on the east side of the road so that people can sit outside in the sun in Summer. We are chasing the Council about this.

St John’s Wood High Street 

We are making enquiries with the new owners of a large number of shops on the High Street. Residents have told us of their concerns about the 6 or so empty shops on St John’s Wood High Street and when they will be re-let for shops that serve the local community. The owners, Trophaeum Asset Management, say:

Empty shops are certainly the hot topic at the moment and we are of course well aware of this.  At the moment all of our vacant shops are either already rented (number 41 to Facegym and number 51 to Core Collective) or under development. Unfortunately, with FaceGym, we have reached a difference of opinion with Westminster regarding the use of the unit and they have asked us to make a planning application. This is frustrating as the retailer has been ready and waiting to open for 6 months and it looks like this will be delayed further.  Core Collective are due to open in August. Number 11 is undergoing an extension to create a bigger shop. 

The Kooples and Maison Blanc have both closed down their stores but they still have leases in place and so we cannot re-let them yet, but we are in discussions with them to allow us to find replacement tenants. Lastly, we are working hard to find a high quality neighbourhood restaurant to replace Carluccio’s. We hope to have more news on this very soon.

 With our vacant shops, we paint the shopfronts and regularly clean them, as well as installing smart, branded, brightly coloured vinyls in the windows. Obviously it is in our interest to rent the shops out but we must balance this with ensuring we let the properties to the right retailers rather than national chains and estate agents and so some patience is required! There are a lot of other vacant properties on the high street which are not under our ownership and unfortunately, we do not have much control of these, but we have written to other Landlords to encourage them to improve the appearance of their empty shops. 

 Lastly, we are liaising with the Post Office in response to local feedback to establish if we can find a suitable location for a Post Office franchise on the High Street. “

Ordnance Hill 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“We live in Ordnance Hill, next to the former Kings Troop Barracks and The Ordnance Arms pub.  Recently I have noticed, whilst walking my dog late at night, a number of drugs deals being done from cars parked in Ordnance Hill. Last night was typical. A car with a number of men inside, sitting with the engine running and headlights on, music playing quite loud, waiting for people to come to them to collect and I presume pay for their drugs. I am sure the headlights are left on so the buyers know which car to but the brazenness of it is quite startling. They even apologised to me for the noise as I walked past.

I called the Police with the registration number and details but they came too late and the car had driven off. I have seen kids from the houses in Queens Grove and Norfolk Road running to the car for their drugs and running home again. Last night there were around 20 nitrous oxide canisters on the pavement, presumably from users buying them from the people in the car. And we are sure they use Ordnance Hill rather than surrounding streets which are equally quiet as the other streets have the private watch guards patrolling most of the night. I have seen similar things in Acacia Place.

I have seen several different cars and whilst last night’s events were more brazen and left more detritus around, including the canisters and broken glass bottles thrown from the car, it’s clearly a new place for them to stop and do their business unchallenged. It’s not nice, to say the least, for any of the residents or people walking from the underground, and will become unsafe in a very short time. There are lots of young children around in the morning and the drug waste and canisters shouldn’t be seen by them at all.”

And the St John’s Wood Society say:

“Drug dealing is also taking place regularly on Aquila Street which is a side street off St John’s Wood Terrace. Residents from Aquila Street Estate have raised this problem with the SJW Society recently as it has escalated”.

Grove End Road

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“I visit my doctor’s surgery regularly; it is located adjacent to the John and Elizabeth Hospital.  Unfortunately, the pavement there is very uneven and slopes a lot making walking hazardous. Could this be looked into please? The pavement is very uneven because of tree roots I think.”

Outer Circle 

We are making enquiries with the Royal Parks about this issue: 

“We cross the Outer Circle -from the running track to the Regents Park playing fields every Saturday, with hundreds of other young children and would feel so much safer if we had a proper crossing.” 

Royal Parks say: 

“The Royal Parks have reviewed pedestrian access, cycling and vehicle use of the Outer Circle with the Crown Estate Paving Commission and Transport for London over the last 3½ years and they have no plans to introduce infrastructure currently at this location. We are sorry to hear that you feel unsafe at this crossing The sight lines are good and the pedestrian refuge is sufficiently substantial to slow approaching vehicles.”

Marlborough Road bus stop

We are making enquiries with TfL about this issue:

“TfL repeatedly just closes the bus stop and you are left to walk a considerable distance back from the next stop. What is more there is no prior warning until the bus has left the previous stop. The stop at Marlborough Place has repeatedly been closed leaving nothing between Grove End Rd/Abbey Road Studios and Boundary Road. “

Maida Vale replacement bus stop

Following our enquiries with the Council and TfL over many months, we have been told: “The new stop is being proposed immediately south of the junction with Vale Close for the southbound bus service.”

St John’s Wood Park 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue: 

“At the top of St John’s Wood Park, there is a brick tower with a railing around it and it is full of empty alcohol bottles and cans and other rubbish and old food. Very unsightly, unhygienic and festering. Please could it be cleared away and would be a good idea to have some kind of wiring across railings so people cannot use it as a fly tip? “

Cleaning up Westminster’s Planning system

We have pledged to clean up Westminster’s Planning system if we are elected at the Council elections on 3rd May.

There is a clear perception that senior Conservative Councillors have very close relationships with developers. For example, the Conservative Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Robert Davis, has disclosed that since the start of 2015 he has received hospitality related to his role as a City Councillor from developers, big business and other interests a record 514 times. This equates to a staggering 14 cases of declarable hospitality a month, peaking at 47 cases in December 2016. We believe that such an approach does not help build public trust that the Council will put the needs of residents before those of property developers and business interests.

If elected to run the Council in May, Labour will engage with industry representatives in open settings to share views and push for residents’ priorities, but we will do so whilst working to achieve the highest standards. Labour commits that:

  • Labour Cabinet Members and Councillors will not accept hospitality from individual developers and their agents.
  • Labour will require the Council to formally record all meetings between Cabinet Members and developers when discussing individual schemes. There will always be an officer present.
  • A record of these meetings will be posted on the Council website within two weeks.


There is a new Chief Superintendent in charge of Westminster Police and we hope to meet with him soon to discuss his plans. We will keep arguing for more police to keep our streets safe and for the Government to halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget. In particular:

  1. There have been huge real-terms cuts to policing budgets across the country. In London alone, £700 million has been cut from the Met Police’s budget.
  2. These cuts mean that in London, we’ve lost 2,495 Police officers and 3,261 Police Community Support Officers.
  3. The Met Police still needs to find a further £370 million of savings by 2022 – meaning police numbers could fall below 27,500 by 2021 – the lowest level since 2002.

We have started a petition to stop the police cuts

Collection of Domestic Bulky Waste

We are making enquiries following this comment from a resident:

“I don’t mind paying charges are reasonable. But at least make the system easier. At present one fills in a form on line and waits for a response to book an appointment and pay within 48 hours. If you don’t get a response you need to start the process all over again. I am now on my third attempt.”

The Blitz in Westminster

This website shows where bombs were dropped during the Blitz. You can find out how close they got to your home

Abercorn Place Estate sale – what you say

“The sale of the Cricketers Estate is a scandal.  I have read the press coverage. Shame on Westminster for permitting this which they say is perfectly legal.  Is there nothing that can be done to redress this situation? “

What you say

“An excellent report and well done to your team.

“You are stars!”

“Thank you for all you are doing” 

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Regent's Park Labour Action Report - February 2018

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Labour Action Team. 

Along with Karen Buck MP, Labour Councillors take up individual cases, as well as issues of concern in St John’s Wood and across Westminster North generally. Below are some of the issues we have been taking up recently, many as a result of residents’ responses to our regular newsletters. Let us know if we can take up a local issue in your area.

Abercorn Place Estate
More national press coverage of the sale of the Abercorn Place estate
Charlbert Street
We have asked the Council to deal with this long-standing issue:
“There is an abandoned bike chained to a tree in Charlbert Street. I have lived here 9 years and it has been there all that time! It is chained to a small tree on the pavement and as the pavement is narrow and it is not a good idea. I noticed a Westminster notice attached to the bike at the beginning of December 2017 saying that bike was presumed abandoned and would be removed in 48 hours. The bike is still there.”
A few days later, the resident wrote:
“Thank you so much for taking this up for me. It was a pleasure to walk up the street last Friday and see that the old bicycle had been removed at last and it was far easier to walk on the narrow pavement.”
Elm Tree Road
We have asked the Council to remove the road signs and barriers left on the pavement following completion of work in Elm Tree Road. They have been there for a month despite residents reporting this problem. The Council say:
“I am now informed that the equipment has been removed. It had been left behind by our own contractors following completion of a job. They have been spoken to about their failure to properly complete this as they should.”
Also, residents have suggested a number of potential locations for extra residents’ parking, to which the Council has said: “At least one of the three locations in Elm Tree Road has potential for additional residents parking and I will arrange a site visit/meeting over the coming weeks to take measurements and draft up a new scheme.”
St John’s Wood Terrace
We are making enquiries about a number of long-term vacant houses in St John’s Wood Terrace.
St John’s Wood Station area
We have asked the Council to again investigate the drains around the station. Residents say:
“I was at St John’s Wood station yesterday in the pouring rain and there was only a puddle on the opposite side of Finchley Road outside what used to be the branch of HSBC. I see there is a drain which must have been cleared since I wrote to you. But the drain must block easily as the lake accumulates whenever there is heavy rain. I don’t know whether anything can be done to keep it clear. And if there appears to be a blockage, is there someone one can contact to get it cleared promptly?”
The Council say:
“I have received feedback from TfL as to why the ponding outside (and near) St John’s Wood Station on Wellington Road (TfL’s network to maintain) has not been fixed. “There is an issue at that location in that we cannot excavate due to an underground Thames Water Leak preventing us back-filling any repair as it will get washed away under the surface.” TfL report that due to the above they are working with TW to get the leak scheduled in for repair so they can then undertake their works.”
Circus Road/Acacia Road
We have asked the Council to repair this stretch of road way/pavement:
“I would draw your attention again to the enormous puddles that form outside the uneven driveway St Johns/Elizabeth hospital by the bus stop. Everyone gets drenched as traffic goes past. Also there are broken and uneven small square paving stones outside St Johns Wood Station, Last week an elderly and disabled person tripped & nearly had a bad fall!”
Grove End Road
We have asked the Council to ensure Thames Water fixes this leak:
“Just checking if you’re aware of the ‘leak’ in Grove End, opposite the synagogue? It’s a significant leak that has been pouring out water for about a week now - I have yet to see anyone trying to repair it. With all the news about Thames Water’s problems with water leakage, this feels particularly outrageous. It’s an appalling waste of water. “
The Council say:
“The reason for the delay is that the leak is to a 6” main in the carriageway but unfortunately Thames Water had difficulty locating the correct valve to enable the repair. To facilitate this now they are going to have to interrupt water supplies to around 1,000-1,500 properties- and this requires 5 days’ notice. The interruption of supply is scheduled for 5th Feb and affected properties have been notified. Assuming all goes to plan the entire scheme will then be completed (with the highway reinstated) by the end of the 7th February. Whilst it may look like there is no one out there, we along with Thames are monitoring the site very closely to ensure that everything is kept safe, tidy and clean.”
Blenheim Terrace
Karen Buck MP has criticized the sale of a former Blenheim Terrace NHS building which has now been developed for luxury housing.
Queen’s Terrace
We have asked the local City Inspector to look in to this issue:
“I have also noticed the amount of food and drink refuse accumulating here and have frequently seen groups of men waiting around at the far corner of the road during the day.  I have no idea if this is the reason for the refuse, but a bin in the corner might help. “
Abercorn Place parking bays – update
Following our enquiries about the future of the former doctor’s parking bays on Abercorn Place, the Parking Department has told us:
“We still plan to convert these bays to Electric Vehicle bays and a planning application has been submitted and is currently working its way through the planning process. In the interim we will suspend these bays for Residents’ use.  A suspension sign will be put up on street confirming this and residents will be able to use these 2 spaces until we have a confirmed installation date for the EV charging points.”
The MCC has announced that the next phase of development at Lord’s will be led by architects, WilkinsonEyre.  The rebuilding of the Compton and Edrich Stands is the next phase of the MCC Updated Masterplan. Detailed work on the design will begin immediately. MCC hope that, subject to the appropriate consent being obtained from Westminster City Council, construction work will commence after Lord’s hosts the final of the men’s ICC Cricket World Cup in the summer of 2019.
City West Homes ‘Nightmare Stories’

We have published a dossier of ’20 nightmare stories’ from City West Homes’, based on the experiences of CWH tenants and leaseholders over the past few months across Westminster. All have been reported to CWH for action and some problems have now been resolved – but only after a Labour Councillor had intervened. 

This is not the way to run an organisation responsible for 12,500 tenants and 10,000 leaseholders. How many more similar stories of incompetence and neglect go unreported because the tenant or leaseholder has not been able escalate the problem by reporting it to a Labour Councillor? City West Homes is in need of a radical overhaul and Labour is pledged to do this following the May Council elections.

To see the report go to
Please let us know if you are having problems with City West Homes.
St John’s Wood Memories
We came across this interesting local website recently.
Rubbish Dumping
In response to the regular concerns expressed by residents, we have put forward the following ideas:

  • Reinstate a free service for standard household bulky refuse collections and introduce a paid-for service for express bulky refuse collections
  • Use mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping ‘hotspots’.
  •  Increase fines for dumping.
  • Consult residents to decide where extra bins might be of assistance and improve signage and communication with residents
  • Offer residents the chance to report dumping via Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
  • Target Council inspections and waste collection to the worst-affected areas to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping.

What do you think?
Dealing with Airbnb

Research by the Residential Landlords Association published in December 2017 found the number of Airbnb rentals in London has increased by 187% since 2015. Karen Buck MP (Labour) said the number of properties advertised in Westminster North on Airbnb has more than doubled - from 1,603 in 2015 to 3,621 in 2017.

"In blocks of flats, long-term residents find themselves living in a hotel but without the services to support it, like staff and security. They have to deal with constant comings and goings, security concerns, noise, rubbish. These properties turn over every few days so you feel you aren't living in a residential community."

Karen Buck said short-term lets were also contributing to housing shortages. 

"The original concept of Airbnb was you rent your flat out when you're away or your spare room. That still happens and that's absolutely fine. But what's also happened is professional landlords have moved in, who in many cases own multiple properties."

Research by Westminster City Council found that renting a one-bedroom flat in the area will make £495 a week for an ordinary tenancy, but £1,561 a week on a nightly basis. 

Two years ago, the law changed to allow London properties to be let for up to 90 days a year without permission from the council. In January 2017, Airbnb introduced a block on London hosts renting out homes for more than 90 days a year, to ensure users complied with the law. 

But some landlords are finding ways around the rules, including re-listing a property under a slightly different address or advertising a whole flat as a single room, which is not covered by the 90-day limit. People also advertise on alternative platforms to get around the cap. 

Karen Buck said it was difficult for councils to enforce the 90-day limit and has put forward a bill to Parliament calling for all short-term lets to be registered

"It's difficult to monitor. Local authorities have to spend a lot of time and money trying to catch the people breaking the rules. My suggestion is very light touch. People who are staying within the law are fine and just need to spend 30 seconds registering their property online. There's no question of denying permission. But for people that are breaking the rules, we have a means of bringing them to justice.”.
Tesco Bags of Help - Community Grant Scheme
Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the 10p Bag for Life charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund community projects that benefit the local community. Following a public vote, three projects in each Tesco region will receive an award every two months, with first place receiving up to £4,000, second place up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000. 

  • Who can apply? Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organisations, schools, Parish Councils, local authorities and social housing providers. 
  • What kind of projects will Bags of Help fund? Projects that benefit the local community are eligible for funding – from improving community buildings and developing outdoor spaces to buying new kit or equipment, training coaches or volunteers, and hosting community events or activities. 
  • How to Apply - For more information and to apply visit the website:

If you need any further advice or support - including talking through some project ideas or finding out how to make a project eligible - contact Paige Matthews, Community Project Officer, Groundwork London Phone: 020 8762 0321 E-mail:
What you say
“Many thanks as always for your informative and helpful letter which is a real benefit and asset to the community”
“Thank you for this comprehensive email”
“Thanks for welcome reports!”
“Thanks for update”
“Thanks as always for your dedication and support”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.

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Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart
Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Regent's Park Labour Action Report - January 2018

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team


Abercorn Place Estate

We are continuing to press the Council to explain how the freehold of this Council estate is now in the hands of a company controlled by one family. One person commented:

“I would like to know by what magic the ownership changed from public to private ownership. As I understand the law, more than a half of the original council tenants must have gained a lease via right-to-buy and collectively enfranchised the whole estate.  A requirement within this procedure is that the qualifying tenants must have a long lease and must not own three or more flats. This would suggest that the qualifying tenants had acted collectively to form a company and all been shareholders of this company.  Somewhere the history of this must be stored and recoverable. I would like to analyse the route from, say, eighteen council tenants getting leases, to qualifying tenants collectively buying the estate, to one company owning the estate. “

See the latest here

Cunningham Place

We have asked Council for an update on the long=standing road works. Residents in Wharncliffe Gardens say:

“The works are taking a ridiculous amount of time to complete with people present on site only every few days. This is also causing a major problem with the recycling bins on the corner of Cunningham Place and Aberdeen Place. As the bins are still in use but are hard for the dustbin lorries to access due to all the fences around the works, these are becoming unsightly and a major dumping ground for every type of rubbish going large and small and a worsening rat problem. While it was possible to walk along the pavement earlier in the year this is now impossible for buggies wheelchairs etc. as more of the pavement has been taken over and people need to navigate the tiny spaces between parked cars, causing people to cross over on a very blind corner of the road.

This corner has always been unsightly compared to the rest of the road with 2 trees now missing that were originally opposite Crocker’s Folly on Cunningham Place.  When the works are finally complete can we have an assurance these trees will be replaced?” 

The Council says:

“The works here relate to the major UKPN cabling works that have been ongoing for some time both here and on Lisson Grove. The works will complete tomorrow. I am not aware of the issues with the trees but we are investigating.”

Queen’s Terrace

We have again asked the Council to take action on this issue:

“It is just astonishing how many tree trunks are decorated with plastic dog poo bags- along Queen’s Grove there are little black plastic bags. There is one sign, but more might help please, particularly along the terrace between 1-28. There is definitely a shortage of litter bins in the vicinity, there seems to be more litter than usual, particularly at weekends- mainly food and drink wrappings. The gentlemen sweeping the streets say that there aren’t any staff out at the weekends.”

St John’s Wood Station 

We reported a blocked gully on Circus Road outside St John’s Wood Station which has now been cleared. 

Hill Road

We have asked the Council to clear the road and pavement of building materials.

Abercorn Place

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this location:

“I would urge you to consider pushing forward getting speed tables in Abercorn Place. This road is a total danger to all pedestrians and cyclists and the very many children who go to school there. Cars and bikes roar along here too and despite the welcome, newly installed 20mph signs the vehicles ignore them and continue at the same ridiculously fast speeds. “

Aquila Street

We have contacted BT about access to super-fast broadband for Aquila Street residents.

The Salt House, Abbey Road

With the support of the St John’s Wood Society, the Salt House in St John’s Wood is campaigning to safeguard its future.

Karen Buck MP says:

“The Salt House has been a public house since 1872 and has now been sold to property developers who wish to turn it into luxury flats and offices. This is such a sadly familiar story in London. We have to stop developers tearing apart what gives London it’s pulse and character. The Salt House is one of the few remaining local pubs in the area and has many long-term regulars who love it dearly. It is also home for the key staff members and their family who live above it and a secure job for many more. It would be a travesty if this beautiful Victorian pub was granted change of use and disappeared after over a century and a half.”

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate the following concerns raised by residents:

  • Excessive speeding by motorists and cyclists – At present there are many, many motorists and cyclists who storm down the street and present clear and present dangers to pedestrians and infant children. A 20 MPH zone sign would certainly help.
  • No wide vehicles – Wide lorries and heavy goods vehicles all too often use the road, turning on hazard lights and creating massive disruption. Often, they are doing works at Lord’s nearby or on residences in Hamilton Terrace. The road is effectively single lane traffic. A sign restricting the presence of wide vehicles and HGVs would be very helpful.
  • Street lighting – The number of street lampposts is inadequate and so is the power of the lights. Can we please look into properly lighting what is currently a very dark street at night, quite unsafe for lone travellers and children?

Council housing

Inside Housing magazine has published details of the number of former council homes now being let by private landlords, after analysing statistics from two-thirds of councils in England. The research reveals that on average more than 40 percent of property bought under Right to Buy is now in the hands of private landlords. The figures for Westminster show that out of the 8,988 leaseholds sold to council tenants, 3,363 — 37.42 percent — are now owned as buy-to-let.  Inside Housing says that the average weekly council rent in London is £108 while for private flats it is £359.

City Council elections, May 2018

An interesting article looking forward to the May Council elections by Dave Hill which quotes Andrew Murray’s State of Soho blog

City West Homes – what you say

I am a tenant with CWH and it has been a total nightmare since they closed the SJW estate office has been closed. My own personal experience of the new call centre has been very disappointing.  I have had to contact them twice:

1) The first query I called the number twice and both times I was on hold for over 40 mins without any success, I even called the emergency number and once again no one picked up my call. I then had to take half a days holiday to attend a drop in session to have my query resolved. At the drop in session, the lady told me the wait for a call to be picked up was over an hour and in the future I should email the call centre. 

2) The second time I needed to contact the call centre was to report a repair, which I did via email as advised, they are suppose to reply with a full response in seven working days, my initial email was replied to on the seventh day and an initial appointment was made for a contractor to attend my flat, however subsequent enquires and access to my neighbour flat above were required. When I emailed them for an update on whether this had been completed I have had no response to my email, I chased them up with another email two weeks later and once again no response, I called the number for the call centre but once again no one picks up the phone. I am now at a complete lose on what I need to do to expedite this repair as CWH simply do not respond via any of their communication options open to us tenants. Very frustrating.”

Abercorn Place Estate – what you say

“I horrified to read in the local paper about the Cricketer flats and do hope that something can be done to reverse what has happened.  Much work has been done to put up railings and gates for security and I now realise that a private company must have done this.”

What you say

“Many thanks for your efforts to keep an eye on our neighbourhood and the wellbeing of our residents.”

“Excellent as ever and I note we now have 20 mph zone notices painted on the roads with schools including mine!”

“Many thanks for these letters/updates – they are very much appreciated!”

“Thank you for your newsletter I always follow it with interest.”

“Many, many thanks for getting a response which gives greater peace of mind.” 


Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.




Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team