Westminster North Action Report - March 2018

News from Westminster's Labour Councilors.


Broadley Street/Harewood Avenue

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“I would like to comment about regular illegal dumping in the small fenced off space in front of the property on the corner of Broadley Terrace and Harewood Avenue. There have been mattresses and other household waste, as well as bits of wood and broken furniture. “

Kimble House, Lisson Green

On behalf of residents, we have asked City West Homes for an explanation as to why the recently installed new boiler has broken down three times in the first three months since it was installed.

Lisson Grove/Marylebone Road

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this issue:

“Can anything be done about the large private coach which every day parks on the double yellow lines at the Marylebone Road end of Lisson Grove just before the junction traffic lights on some sort of school run around mid day onwards which seriouly reduces the flow of traffic flow down Lisson Grove which tails back way past a Catholic Junior school with the resulting delays from two lanes to one lane and all the added pollution in the whole area.”

The Council say:

“We have briefed all Marshals who regularly patrol this area regarding the complaint.  If found parking/waiting in contravention of the parking restrictions, the service will manage in line with our published enforcement code of practice.  Should the vehicle be involved with the school, we will engage with the school as part our overall engagement plan to ensure compliance.”

Penfold Street/Church Street

We have again asked the Parking Department to take the necessary action here:

“Vans are still parking on the corner of Penfold Street and Church Street on a daily basis. The Marshalls just let these traders get away with it. There is going to be a bad accident on this corner”

The Council say:

“We have briefed all Marshals who patrol this area of your concern and asked them to take appropriate action should vehicles be found in contravention.” 

Fisherton Street Estate

Following our intervention, City West Homes will not be removing satellite dishes from flats on the Fisherton Street estate.

Chippenham Road/Shirland Road

We have asked Nuno, the local Inspector to investigate this iossue:

“Can anything be done to clean up the grocery store on corner Chippenham Road/Shirland Road opposite the barbers/carpet shop who leave the fruit and vegetables out all night uncovered with only a green iron grid to prevent stealing. The fruit/veg then sold in pound bowls every morning after goodness knows what infestation has accessed it throughout the night. Really is disgusting. Before they used to cover it with a filthy blanket but it’s worse now.  Where’s the health and safety issue here.”

Kilburn Park Road/Shirland Road

We have repeated our call to Brent and Westminster Council to repaint the white lines at the zebra crossing at this junction. Residents say:

“Please could the zebra crossing on Shirland Road next to Brown’s chemist and Kilburn Park Lane be repainted. It is in constant use and is barely visible. It could cause an accident if a driver failed to see it was a crossing.”

We are told that Brent will be repainting the white lines and repairing the belisha beacons. 

245 Carlton Vale

We have asked Genesis to take urgent action to sort out the problems at this property:

“Recently, Genesis merged with another housing association and unfortunately the service they provide to us is consistently poor. In particular, the cleaning of the building, pest infestations and how the building looks from the outside. Regarding pests, there were occasions where we would see dead mice in the communal areas but they did send someone to put traps. The cleaning is a major on-going issue and although they changed contractors, the building remains dirty and poor.”

Genesis say:

“We can definitely have a look at this one and remind the cleaners that the outside beds are their responsibility. We don’t have any live reports of pests, and they along with any queries around cleaning can be called in directly. It’s a good time to plant in the spring, so we will get some new plants put in, and these will be recovered from the service charge. We will review the current state of cleaning at the estate, and we’ll add the congregating youths to the register at the fortnightly problem solving meeting with the Police.”

Residents say – “Thank you so much. Amazed at the fast response!!” 

Metropolitan Public House, 60 Great Western Road

Following our enquiries, we have been contacted by the agents for the new owners of the building who say:

“The new owner will be applying to Westminster City Council for planning permission to replace the poor quality side addition and erect a rear and mansard roof extension. The existing landlord’s accommodation on the first and second floors is no longer required and this space would be converted to residential accommodation, comprising five, 1 and 2 bedrooms apartments. The proposal will repair the existing original features of the building including cleaning and repointing the brickwork and rendering where necessary.”

Great Western Road

We have asked the Highways Department to investigate this issue:

“The new Cement Batching Plant in Great Western Road Depot is back in operation again. Please could you get confirmation of:

  • The times that Cement Traffic incoming and outgoing are permitted. I have observed heavy bulk trucks incoming (Chippenham Road) from 0640 every weekday morning (on my way to work) , and empty returning Cementmixers at 1600 on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Is there a Maximum weight size limit for these vehicles?
  • Are there any checks on the loading of these vehicles?
  • The Road surface in the upper part of Chippenham Road is breaking up (again)
  • There is often cement spillage at the junctions of Harrow Road, and Elgin Avenue”

Torquay Street

We have asked the Parking Department to look at this issue:

“I often find that cars are parked on the pavement itself without any regard to the damage they are causing to paving stones and causing difficulty for pedestrians to negotiate save passage to the Academy.

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 would 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.

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, https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543, runs until 27th April.

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.

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.

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 gov.uk/register-to-vote 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 www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-city-council-election-2018

What you say

“Thank you for the updates. I am a resident of Plympton Street and can confirm that it has been subject to both human and dog waste. The human waste, whilst thankfully not that frequent, is often in front of the recessed garage doorways of numbers 6 & 7.”

“Very informative report. I’m glad that note has been taken regarding the zebra crossing issue at the junction of Shirland Road and Kilburn Park Road. I use this crossing regularly and the disappearing demarcation lines on the road are a potential hazard to both pedestrians and drivers particularly if a driver is unfamiliar with the area.”

“I wholeheartedly echo the concerns of fog fouling in Edbrooke Road Gardens. As a resident overlooking the Gardens, there is sheer arrogance on display: the dog owner doesn’t even spend time exercising the dog (and never on a leash even though there is a playground); they crap and leave. Just from my observation, male dog owners are the worst offenders. Female dog owners tend to be more responsible. This is just an observation”

“I would echo the comment about the poor state of the pedestrian crossing at the junction of Shirland Rd and Kilburn Park Rd.  I note that this comes under the auspices of Brent Council.”

“I’m not sure if you waved a magic wand, but not only are the beds no longer blocking the chute area, but the lights are all working as well.” 

“Your Action Reports are very much appreciated” 

“Thank you so much for helping Barnwood Close with getting our security doors finally functioning after more than 2 months.  CityWest Homes have a lot to answer for and I know we would not have succeeded without your dogged help and support.” 

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