News from your three Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
We are living in very difficult times and our usual monthly report includes the latest information about the Coronavirus pandemic. Along with Karen Buck MP, we are doing all we can to help the local community and individual residents and their families.
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
In these unprecedented times, we all need to care of ourselves and help our neighbours. For the latest information, visit the following:
How to get help as an extremely vulnerable person
Westminster Council’s advice and response website:
Queen’s Park Covid-19 Task Force
Queen’s Park Community Council has set up a Covid-19 Task Force with Paddington Development Trust, One Westminster, Westminster Connects, Queen’s Park Gardens Community Hub, The Avenues, North Paddington Foodbank, local schools and others. The Task Force will be coordinating help and support for local people.
For help or further information, you can phone 0208 960 5644 and leave a message, or text 07511 590 997 or visithttps://queensparkcommunitycouncil.gov.uk/covid-19-response/.
The Queen’s Park Community Council is running the QPCC Helpline, 7 days a week 8am -8pm, and
- We are supporting QPG Community and Sports Hub, and Ida’s restaurant, and Magic Breakfast to provide hot meals for elderly vulnerable people
- We are funding Hot Lunches for children in need via The Avenues Youth Project.
- We are working with North Paddington Foodbank to refer people in urgent need of food
- We have joined the Paddington Emergency Response Group to share feedback and information across the area
- We provide emergency basic essentials for vulnerable residents
- We are a friendly voice or a visit for anxious and lonely residents.
“If you would like to volunteer please contact us! We need more daytime volunteers for shopping and prescription pickups”
Westminster Council operates a ‘Local Support Payment’ scheme:
If you are willing and able to volunteer to help in the community support operations please register at https://airtable.com/shrAXhe5ABMIlJCfQ
North Paddington Foodbank
The North Paddington Foodbank has opened a branch in Queens Park, at the Avenues Youth Project in Droop Street. This branch is open 9am-3pm Monday to Friday. The best way to help them is to donate money, however food donations, dog and cat food, sanitary supplies and toiletries are also very welcome. They are also looking for drivers – and can speed track DBS checks for volunteers.
If you need the foodbank, or know someone in need please call 07511 590997
The Foodbank is on the frontline helping more people than ever before in a very difficult situation. Please donate here
If you can help the foodbank or are in need of emergency support, please see the information here: https://www.npfoodbank.org.uk/
We and Karen Buck MP are calling on Westminster Council to step up its support for foodbanks and other local organisations that are providing vital support for communities at risk and that will need to do so for many months to come. We are demanding that the council develops a coherent strategy to address food poverty and hunger in Westminster and ensures the resources are provided to deliver it.
We are delighted that QPG Hub has received a £14,500 grant from Westminster Charities to assist the most vulnerable and shielded residents in Queen’s Park during Covid-19.https://www.qpghub.com
Westminster Connects phone line – 020 7641 1222
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
We have been helping a number of local businesses get the Government grants they are entitled to. If you think you are entitled to a grant because you run a qualifying small business but haven’t receive a payment yet, please get in touch.
For details of how small businesses can get access to Government financial assistance.
Parking for Key workers
NHS workers and care workers can park for free and without time limit in pay-to-park bays in Westminster until further notice.
- If this applies to you, to enable Marshals to identify who should be granted this concession we ask that supporting evidence be placed in your windscreen, such as photocopies of your work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence on headed paper from your employer.
- Should you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) whilst carrying out your critical work, please tell us using the information on the PCN and with your supporting evidence and it will be considered sympathetically.
We have also received the following information from Westminster Council’s Head of Parking:
“At this time, the Chief Executive has agreed that parking disregards can be issued for GP’s, nurses, Pharmacists and other hospital workers, those WCC staff in Children’s and Adults Services supporting vulnerable people and those teachers supporting vulnerable children and those of key workers. Parking dispensation permits parking in Paid for Bays and on Single Yellow Lines where sensible to do so.”
For details of how to apply see https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2020/03/23/parking-for-key-workers-in-westminster/
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
Household waste collection
We have welcomed the Council’s decision to change the focus of waste collection services to concentrate on residential areas and away from commercial and tourist areas, to deal with the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
Noisy Building Works
We have called on the Government to allow Councils to restrict or prevent noisy building sites during the lockdown
Residents have started a petition calling for all noisy building refurbishment works to be postponed during the Covid-19 lockdown
We have had to cancel our regular advice surgeries but we are available by email and phone. Also, here are some contact details for other advice agencies
We have called on the Council to take further action to help rough sleepers off the street
More space for walking
We have asked the Council to consider a number of actions to keep everybody safe.Social distancing means we must walk at least two metres apart from other people. The need for wider pavements, slower vehicle speeds and better crossings for pedestrians is stronger than ever before.
Garden Waste collection
We have asked if the Garden Waste collection service can be reinstated as there are now more people at home looking after their gardens. The Council has given us this response:
“Despite potentially more gardening taking place, it is not anticipated that the amount of garden waste being produced would be enough to justify reinstating a separate collection for this waste. The reason for the initial service withdrawal, pre-pandemic, was that these collections were not an efficient use of collections resource, and the environmental benefits of large-scale composting are marginal compared to incineration. These reasons still apply now.
Residents could use home composters, which are available at wholesale prices. However, bagged garden waste can be collected on rubbish collection days.”
Queen’s Park Court garden
We have asked the Housing Department to review the situation at the garden in Queen’s Park Court. Residents ask:
“The communal garden in Queen’s Park court is locked and there are messages on the gates that it’s due to COVID. Not sure why as is large enough for people to safely social distance. I have seen plenty of people in there so it’s clear they are jumping over the fence – wouldn’t it just be easier to unlock the entrances and just give guidance on what’s allowed/not allowed?”
The Housing Department say:
“The communal garden in Queen’s Park Court contains play and gym equipment, so we have kept it closed in line with government guidelines. We will arrange for this to be reviewed to see if the equipment can be safely secured and isolated to enable the public space to be re-opened.”
Karen Buck MP reports:
“Whilst the number of complaints about delays in postal deliveries has fallen significantly, it is obvious that some areas continue to have problems. Royal Mail continue to say that they are doing their best to ensure a consistent service, whilst also ensuring staff safety and managing the impact of sickness and self-isolation. I will be having further talks with local operational managers in the next week to discuss outstanding issues, and of course, continue to raise individual complaints.”
What you say
“Why has Zagros on the Harrow Road not taken down their stall outside? The queue can be very long and there is no social distancing”
We have asked Nuno, our local Inspector, to take action to try to stop the continued anti-social behaviour by dog owners who allow their dogs to poo by the tree outside 51/53 Fifth Avenue. Residents say:
“On any given day there is either dog dirt either deposited directly onto the ground or in a bag. It’s relentless. I don’t know what can be done about it but it’s disgusting and I’m sure this isn’t the only tree where it happens. For certain offenders, it won’t make any difference as they just let their dog go there, but I wonder if the problem may be improved if there were a number of bins positioned around the Avenues where people could dispose of their dog waste. “
We have also asked the Council and the Police to investigate a property in Fifth Avenue from when residents suspect regular drug dealing is taking place.
Finally, we have repeated our call for the Council to take action against the skip hire companies who continue to allow their drivers to use Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue as ‘rat-runs’.
Following our intervention, an area filled with rubbish outside the All Stars club on First Avenue has been cleared by the Council’s refuse collection contractors.
It seems to us that the rubbish is being dumped by passers-by, rather than the All Stars Club itself or its members, and there is an obvious difficulty in trying to protect this exposed part of a listed building from daily dumping.
We suspect that the only sure way of keeping the area clean is for someone at the All Stars to remove dumped material every day – and for passers-by to stop dumping rubbish!
Marne Street – speeding cars
We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate the problem of speeding cars down Marne Street. Residents say:
“The speeding of cars and motorbikes up and down Marne Street is an accident waiting to happen”
The Road Safety Team say:
“Usually we would undertake speed analysis to understand the issue however due to the current covid-19 situation, these would not be accurate. The records of incidents on the street are not significant in comparison to other streets within the city so is not eligible for investigation throughout Local Safety Scheme programme. However, there may be an opportunity for the Resident Group or Amenity Society to make an application for Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levey (NCIL) fund to investigate potential calming measures.
In the meantime, we will be looking to introduce a borough wide 20mph speed limit and as part of that would also be installing Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS). We can prioritise Marne Street for a VAS sign which detects approaching speeds and flashes the prescribed speed limit.All being well the 20mph should start in summer to coincide with children returning to school for the 2020/21 academic year. In terms of possible VAS sign location officers are available to discuss in more detail. “
Marne Street – street light
We have asked the Street Lighting Team to investigate this issue:
“The paving stone underneath the streetlight outside 88 Marne Street is becoming increasingly loose. It is unstable when stepped on and significantly raised from the level of the payment.This was first reported by telephone several weeks ago and it’s got worse since then. It looks like the streetlight is going to fall over!”
The Street Lighting Team say:
“I sent our contractors for lighting to have a look, they found no issue with the lamp column however the slab does need reinstatement, and a job is being raised to fix this issue.”
Marne Street – chickens
We have also asked the Housing Department to investigate reports of chickens being reared at a house on Marne Street.
We asked the Council to remove a freezer that had been dumped on the pavement by the Ilbert Street recycling bins.
We have asked Nuno to investigate this report we have received:
“Lady with British Bull Terrier, keeps leaving dog waste by tree at 36 Nutbourne Street every morning around 9am.”
We asked the Council to remove a ‘quad bike’ locked to a lamp post blocking the pavement outside 39 Sixth Avenue.
We have asked Nuno to investigate the regular rubbish dumping outside 140 Ashmore Road which neighbours say regularly blocks the pavement.
We have also asked Nuno to contact the owner of 170 Ashmore Road where residents say:
“There is one bin being used by four households and that one bin has a large hole at the bottom which attracts vermin and foxes. Foxes are able to access the food left in the bin bags from the hole in the bin, this often leaves a mess which the bin men are reluctant to clean.”
We have also asked that the tree stump outside 215 Ashmore Road is removed a new tree planted in the autumn.
In addition, the Council’s contractors will be relaying the pavements along Ashmore Road between Marban Road and Kilburn Lane, starting on 1st June 2020. Hours of work will be between 08:00am – 16:00pm. We urged the Council to postpone the works until the lockdown has been lifted, however, the Council say:
“In terms of the noisy operations this will mainly be the cutting of paving and breaking out of existing footway with an excavator. These operations will be protected by acoustic barriers to limit the noise disruption to local residents. As well as this there will be lorry visits to drop off materials which will usually be every other day. Our operatives will follow strict health and safety guidance, wearing full PPE whilst maintaining Government recommended social distancing to stay safe”
We have asked that a large ‘No Dumping’ sign be placed on the tree outside 216 Portnall Road which is a regular location for rubbish dumping.
We have asked the Council to investigate a property in Portnall Road from when residents suspect regular drug dealing is taking place.
We have also asked the Council and the Police to investigate reports from residents about the welfare of a dog kept at a property in Portnall Road. Residents say:
“This dog is routinely kept outside in the back garden all day and night and barks constantly. We don’t know the breed, but it looks and sounds like it is a very large dog. We have reported this to the RSPCA and the police, but wanted to make you aware as well. We would be very grateful if you would be able to look into this, as we are very worried.”
Queen’s Park Gardens
We have asked the Parks Team to fix the broken gate to the children’s playground after receiving this message:
“The gate entrance to the children’s playground area within the gardens appears to have been broken down, possibly to gain admittance”
Jubilee Sports Centre site
We asked the Council to fix the broken lock on the hoardings at the corner of Caird Street and Third Avenue after it was broken by illegal fly-tippers who dumped builders’ rubble on the vacant site. Residents have since told us “they came within an hour and replaced the broken padlock with an industrial sized lock:
Caird Street/Barfett Street
We have asked the Tree Officer to investigate the following concerns raised by resident:
“Just to let you know that trees on these streets are really overgrown and a bit of a hazard when cycling/driving for visibility issues. Could you ask the council to address when safe to do so?”
The Council is proposing to locate an electric vehicle parking space on Beethoven Street on the opposite site of the road to number 13.
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate a defective manhole cover on Harrow Road which residents describe as follows:
“The manhole in the middle of the westbound lane which is frequently driven over by vehicles, many trucks and double decker buses which go down Harrow Road. When a large vehicle drives over the manhole the house shakes, and can be felt and heard throughout the house – pipes rattling, floorboards shake etc. Recently a section ceiling in the front room collapsed, the closest in proximity to the manhole and so most vulnerable, as well as other cracks in the ceiling around the house which could also be related.”
We have asked Nuno to liaise with his colleagues in Brent to tackle this issue in Kilburn Lane:
“There has been a recent spate of residents from the Quadrant flats (across from the betting office) dumping household items and bags of rubbish that include food waste onto the pavement. The result is that the contents are blown about and the bags are torn apart by the local foxes and probably cats too. It may help to prevent this from recurring if Westminster Council leaflet the addresses warning of the risk of prosecution if they persist (addressed items are visible amongst the litter). “
Victoria Wharf, St John’s Terrace
A planning application has been submitted for Victoria Wharf at the end of St John’s Terrace for “demolition of existing buildings, construction of five storey building and extension of existing block to create twenty, 1-bed flats with private balconies, bicycle storage, refuse storage and communal roof terrace”
The application documents can be viewed online at www.westminster.gov.uk/planning. You can make comments by using the reference number 20/02497/COFUL.
VE Day Events
Rev. David Ackerman reports:
“The new WCC funded sundial was unveiled and is beautiful. I also visited the garden of Queen’s Park Court and laid flowers in memory of those killed in the bombing of Peach Street. Also, a service was held in church during which Maurice Merrell (who lived as a boy in Paddington in the war) lit a candle “for the future”.”
Bus and Tube fares
The Government has told the Mayor that, in return for additional funds to keep London’s public transport system operating, bus and tube fares must go up next January. The Government has also insisted that free travel is temporarily suspended for Freedom Pass and 60-plus cardholders at peak times and all the time for those under 18. We have started a petition to call for the reinstatement of free travel for under 18s https://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/keep-free-travel
Voting by post
Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting. You can use this form to apply to vote
You can email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Electoral Services, Westminster City Council, 14th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.
You can now read the ‘Westminster Extra’ online
A resident recommends the Nextdoor website:
“Hi, I joined this website yesterday – we’re trying to resolve a dog-barking issue as neighbours. I didn’t know about the website before. It’s a little like Facebook but local, and friendly. Is it worth messaging about? It’s like everything from finding a gardener or decorator to things we might try resolve together.
We are calling on the Council to speed up the expansion of cycle hangars in residential areas and to increase the number of Santander Cycle docking stations in North Westminster.
Refuse collection and Recycling collection times
Recycling bags can be ordered from https://webforms.westminster.gov.uk/order-recycling-bags/
Bags will be delivered within approximately 48 hours of order.
You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/env/streetsearch.aspx
The doorstep recycling service concentrates on the recyclable materials most commonly produced by houses so that these can be easily separated into the different material types. The link below summarises what can be put in recycling bags
Lots of other materials can be recycled but not through the doorstep collection service. The A-Z list below gives details of what and where items can be recycled or re-used:
Also, here are details of9 companies that reward you for donating unwanted things, from H&M to M&S https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/worklife/g15049323/brands-reward-throwing-things-away/
The new Report It service has been unveiled https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
You can register here https://www.fixmystreet.com/alert for alerts of everything reported in your area (just use your post code and it will offer you options).
You can keep an eye on the latest local crime information through the Met Police website:https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/westminster/queens-park/
To mark the 75th anniversary of Labour’s 1945 General Election victory, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg has written a new book, ‘Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour’ – The story of the 1945 General Election.Starting with the creation of the wartime Coalition Government and the harnessing of the entire machinery of the state to serve the war effort, the book charts the political currents and events which led to Labour’s sensational General Election victory on 26th July 1945.
‘Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour’is available in e-book and paperback format at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08975HFS7/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1590583600&sr=1-3
All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Foodbanks in Westminster.
The Flora – what you say
“It would be lovely to have one of those canal side places turned into a nice relaxed inclusive cafe/restaurant taking advantage of the water views. One with a gallery/performance/arts studio space would be even nicer, especially since we lost the wonderful Kindred Studios!”
Queen’s Park Gardens – what you say
“Please can you pass on to all the volunteers who look after and maintain Queens Park Gardens our grateful thanks. What a blessing it has been to have the gardens to walk around so close to our homes, in this difficult period of lock down. It has been such lovely weather, and to have the gardens, looking especially lovely with all the bulbs in bloom giving lots of colour to look at has kept us all going, and has been used by so many people. I have seen lots of dads playing with their children during this time, which was lovely to see and over all people have used the green space sensibly and tried to give each other space. Thank You.”
What you say
“Thank you very much for your efforts. Thanks again.”
“Thank you for this month’s very useful and informative newsletter”
“Thank You for all the valuable information and support you keep providing to the community.”
“Thanks! And well done for the great work!”
Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.
Keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Your Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors – Here to Help