BAYSWATER & LANCASTER GATE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – Mid-April 2022
News from Councillor Maggie Carman, James Small-Edwards and Max Sullivan, your Labour Candidates in Bayswater, and
Dario Goodwin, Ryan Jude and Ellie Ormsby, your Lancaster Gate Labour Candidates
YOUR LABOUR CANDIDATES
Your three Bayswater Labour candidates are:
- Maggie Carman was first elected in 2018 and has worked tirelessly for residents ever since, from getting families out of bad housing to stopping the Royal Oak coach station. She’s working for safer neighbourhoods.
- James Small-Edwards was born and bred here and has supported the community by working at a local food bank and being a vaccine marshall. He’s championing better housing, cleaner streets and a green future for Bayswater. You can read more about James in this recent interview he did with the Guardian: https://bit.ly/3O7y5LI
- Max Sullivan has lived in the area since 2013. He is appalled at Tory waste in Westminster including £6m on the Mound and is campaigning for cleaner air and to rebuild services for young people in Westminster.
Your three Lancaster Gate Labour candidates are:
- Dario Goodwin has campaigned to save local pubs, reduce food waste, and stop cuts. He’s written on cities and inequality and wants to stop our future being outsourced to developers.
- Ryan Jude is a green finance expert and spent the pandemic delivering essentials to residents. He’s got dozens of ideas for improving Lancaster Gate and making us a carbon-free Council.
- Ellie Ormsby is already working for you, helping neighbours sort problems on their streets and campaigning for a cleaner, greener and safer ward. She’s fighting for housing for all and protection for renters. You can read an interview with Ellie here https://www.youngfabians.org.uk/meet_the_candidate_ellie_ormsby
Read our Manifesto – Labour’s Plan for a Fairer Westminster
We have launched our manifesto for the May 5th local election, setting out our plan to deliver a council that puts residents first. Our key pledges are below, and you can read the full manifesto here. A Labour Council will be on your side:
- Freezing Westminster’s Council Tax until 2024 to help with the cost of living crisis.
- Putting the needs of residents before developers in the planning system,
- Keeping our area safe with more police to tackle knife crime and Council action on Anti-social behaviour and rubbish dumping.
- Standing up for better NHS services against cuts and sell-offs.
Local Climate Hustings
The first Westminster Local Climate Hustings took place in Porchester Hall this week. Labour Leader Adam Hug set out Labour’s ambitious plan to make Westminster safer to cycle in, improve our air quality and help residents with the energy bills crisis.
Bayswater Labour candidate Max Sullivan’s tweet was mentioned, showing it is currently cheaper and easier to park a 4L petrol Porsche in Bayswater than a bike.
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Fighting to save Queensway Post Office
We are working closely with Karen Buck MP to campaign for Queensway Post Office to remain open. Karen has written to both the responsible government minister and the leadership at the Post Office to urge that Queensway Post Office remains open. Karen recently received the following update from the Post Office:
“The postmaster currently runs the Post Office on a temporary basis and is considering submitting an application to operate the branch on a permanent basis. As you know the branch will also need to move to new premises. A proposal for new premises isn’t yet agreed, although there is a location under consideration at the moment. Discussions are at an early stage but when we confirmed proposals for the branch, we will update you and the local community.”
We will continue to push the Post Office on securing a new location for the post office.
Whiteley’s – trees
Following our enquiries about replacement trees in front of Whiteley’s, the Tree Officer says:
“The original trees, Italian alders, were not the best choice for the location to their, potential size and propensity for their roots to uplift and damage the pavements. However, as part of the planning permission the public realm is to be upgraded with new pavements, lighting, and of course trees which will be of significant size to create an immediate impact on the street scene. The trees are due to be planted during the autumn of 2023 which is the idea time of year for trees planting.”
We are supporting Hereford Road Residents’ Association in their efforts to persuade Notting Hill Genesis to deal with the long-term, unresolved structural problems with several properties at 72-76 Hereford Road. The HRRA say. “these scaffolded properties have been in a perilous state for several years and yet NHG never seems to come up with any permanent solutions… or to keep the NHG tenants advised as to why this is the case and how the problems are to be resolved.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has written to NHG saying, “I was at the site meeting, shortly after the chunk of masonry fell off. From my recollection a plan of action with timelines was promised but there has been no progress since. Could you please arrange another site visit which would include the local RA?”
We are supporting residents who have started a petition for a xebra crossing in Porchester Square. The requested location for a zebra crossing is by the gate where families with children using the children’s playground enter and exit. The parked cars and non-observance of the 20mph limit make this a hazardous undertaking for families with young children. You can sign the petition here https://chng.it/hTqVR9jy
Westbourne Park Villas, Hampden footbridge
We have reported this issue to the Council for action after receiving this message from a resident:
“The Hampden footbridge is covered in graffiti still, despite about 5 reports on the Westminster ‘Report it’ tool. It is the bridge between Westbourne Park Villas and Alfred Road. Usually, the graffiti gets cleared as soon as it’s reported, but not this time.”
Westbourne Grove zebra crossing
Following our campaign to secure a zebra crossing in Westbourne Grove, the Highways Team say:
“Good news, – we have been able to secure a location for the crossing and consultants are finalising the design. Installation has moved back to May/June to account for the additional designs required. The position of the zebra has moved west but we have ensured that the zig-sags do not impede detrimentally on the funeral directors’ frontage.”
“That’s great news, thanks so much for the follow up, this will make a huge difference to many people!”
Westbourne Grove – water ‘ponding’
We have reported a road surfacing issue in Westbourne Grove after residents told us, “a pothole has been created due to another poor repair, creating a big puddle etc.”
Palace Court/Moscow Road
We have asked the Council to take strong action against those responsible for the regular illegal rubbish dumping by the black bins on Palace Court/Moscow Road which has become a daily fly tipping site.
St Stephen’s Gardens/Westbourne Park Road
A resident has raised the issue that the area where the big black bins used to be on St Stephens Gardens/Westbourne Park Road still attracts a lot of fly-tipping because it’s a large open space and the bars that kept the BBBs in place are still there. It is a welcoming spot for fly-tippers.
We have asked the Cleansing Team if they could place some planters there like on Shirland Road/Ashmore Road which had such a good effect in stopping the rubbish dumping. In addition, we have asked for the removal of the barriers that kept the BBBs in place which would also improve the situation.
Talbot Road/Chepstow Road
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate the noisy late night resurfacing work recently which was undertaken at 10pm on a Monday night without prior warning to residents.
Residents are concerned about the lack of activity at the building site in Bott’s Mews, so we asked the Planning Department for an explanation. We received this response:
“Planning permission was granted on 21 May 2019 for the demolition behind the retained façade at 2a Bridstow Place in connection with the erection of 2 houses, and there was an earlier 2015 permission for redevelopment which was implemented.
My colleague in Planning Enforcement did investigate a complaint last year regarding possible breach of planning conditions. He was advised by the developer that all works have ceased on site and that these works were undertaken were in connection with an earlier planning permission granted by the City Council on in March 2015 for the redevelopment of the site. Furthermore, the developer has assured the City Council that it is not their intention to commence any works pursuant to the 2019 permission unless and until details pursuant to Condition No.3 of the permission have been submitted to and approved by the City Council.”
At the request of residents of a Council property in Durham Terrace, we have again asked the Housing Department to investigate the sale of the freehold to one of the leaseholders.
We have asked the Cycle Team if bike hangars can be installed to serve residents living in St Petersburgh Place, Dawson Place, Palace Court, St Stephen’s Gardens and Kensington Gardens Square.
We have also chased the Cycle Team on the long-awaited bike hangar on Ilchester Gardens which was promised for the end of March but has still not been installed.
Council Tax Rebate
Residents have contacted us about the £150 Council Tax fuel rebate which is available to residents living in properties in Council Tax bands A-D. Some residents believe they have been wrongly placed in Band E which means they do not qualify for the £150 fuel rebate. Council Tax bands are set by the Valuation Office (central government agency) and residents have the right to appeal to the Valuation Office – contact www.gov.uk/contact-voa
We have received an enquiry from a pensioner living in social housing, a flat in Gloucester Terrace, which is band E for Council Tax. We understand that there is a discretionary fund to cover the £150 rebate that applies to bands A-D and have asked the Council how to make an application.
Notting Hill Genesis – ‘Love Where You Live Fund”
We have received some welcome good news from NHG! This is what they say:
“NHG has launched a new fund to help build communities, and I have had a few tenants of Hereford Road interested in it, wanting to improve the area via community gardening. One of the criteria to apply for the fund is to be part of charities or other not-for-profit organisations such as a constituted voluntary groups or Tenants and Residents associations (TRAs).”
You can read more here https://www.nhg.org.uk/news/news/press-releases/new-fund-will-help-unite-our-communities/
Residents whose homes are not habitable due to flooding may not be obliged to pay Council Tax. This would apply for the period you are not living in the property.
If you are affected please email Rehana Hannan firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your property, reasons it is not habitable and some indication of how long it will be vacant.
Regulating Airbnb premises
To help residents in Bayswater, Lancaster Gate and elsewhere who are plagued with problems associated with unauthorised short-term lets, Labour MP Karen Buck introduced a Bill in Parliament calling for a national register of short and holiday-let accommodation. This is another move in her long campaign to regulate AirBnB and similar companies to control the impact on neighbours and neighbourhoods.
Unfortunately, Karen’s Bill was blocked by a Conservative MP.
There have been a number of parties in flats let out as short lets. A number of residents have experienced massive disruption as a result and it’s unacceptable. As soon as parties begin it’s crucial to both contact the Council’s Noise Team and the police so they can turn up to break up the party. Both need to be there to intervene effectively and preferably they should be called out as soon as possible.
- Contact the Council’s noise team: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it or 0207 641 2000
- Contact the police on 101 or tag them on twitter on @MetCC
We are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine in their hour of need. You can support them in their struggle against Putin’s invasion here
We are chasing up the Home Office regarding delays to their ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. A number of residents have got in touch saying that they signed up for the scheme weeks ago but still have not received any further information. The situation facing so many in Ukraine is unimaginably dreadful and we believe the Government needs to be moving much faster to get people here safely. If you have volunteered to host a Ukrainian family and are not in direct contact with a family or individual from the Ukraine who is seeking a match in the UK, please contact Steve Bywater at email@example.com
We voted for No Increase in Council Tax at last month’s Council meeting. We are against any increase in Council Tax until at least 2024 to try to help residents through these difficult times. We think that at the very least Council Tax should be frozen at its current rate, while further efforts are made to protect those on low incomes.
We called on the Council to freeze Council rents. The Council budget included a Consumer Price Index inflation plus 1% rise in rents for council flats, shops, and other commercial properties owned by Westminster’s Housing Department. That’s the maximum rise local authorities are allowed to impose and works out an average increase of £5 a week.
We have called for local action to help with energy bills.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
If you are thinking of organising a street party to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, these links might of interest
Westminster residents aged over 60, or in receipt of disability benefit, can request free help from a handyperson. The service covers minor works to a home such as replacing light bulbs and other small DIY jobs. It does not cover gardening, plumbing or decorating, and it is not an emergency service. Please see the following link for details https://www.westminster.gov.uk/handyperson
Local leaseholders have given us details of two organisations which are able to help leaseholders in battles against freeholders:
The Leasehold Partnership (run by leaseholders and solicitors)
The National Leasehold Campaign (set up leaseholders)
£6 million Marble Arch Mound
You can read the latest news on the £6m Marble Arch Mound disaster
For the latest local police statistics see https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/westminster/bayswater/ and https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/westminster/lancaster-gate/
Green New Deal for Westminster
We have launched a Green New Deal for Westminster which sets out a clear, ambitious agenda to achieve the change we desperately need. Key measures include:
- Appointing a Cabinet Member with responsibility for climate action. This will be pivotal to driving change from day one of a Labour Council.
- Implementing a Net Zero Test for all decisions to assess the climate impact of decisions made, and a sustainable approach to procurement.
- Seeking to refurbish first, rather than demolish, putting real emissions standards on all developments, and retrofitting our existing housing.
- Driving a green recovery and a just transition, with a Local Climate Bond for investments in our neighbourhoods, a focus on green jobs, and training available to all.
- Starting recovery in the streets, with a commitment to 15-minute neighbourhoods, new tree planting, and high streets that attract customers with active travel infrastructure.
In the spirit of working collaboratively with others we are keen to hear from residents, experts, and other stakeholders about how to develop and build on this plan. So please do get in touch with us to share your thoughts.
Please let us know if you would like to suggest locations for additional bike hangars where bikes can be stored safely and securely.
You can read the ‘Westminster Extra’ onlinehttps://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=09649383-4dbb-4a3d-b164-9d26398578f3
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 10 days of order.
You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/env/streetsearch.aspx
Recycling small electrical appliances
Any household electrical and electronic item that operates on a battery or has a plug and is smaller than 60cm in length and under 30cm in width and height, can be put in an on-street small electrical appliances recycling bin. For details of locations see https://www.westminster.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish/reusing-and-other-recycling-services/how-recycle-electrical-appliances/small-electrical-appliances
You can tell the Council about dumped rubbish, broken street lights, graffiti and more by using Report It https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
You can see the latest Covid data for your area here
What you say
“My husband and I have voted Tory for over 20 years, but this year we will be supporting Labour. Thank you for all you do to help residents and make Westminster a nice place to live and work. Keep up the good work.”
“Very concerned to read that Queensway Post Office might be closed. It is the busiest Post Office I have ever known. Thank you for fighting to get it retained.”
“Thank you team for all the many problems you solve.”
“Thank you for all you are doing for the neighbourhood.”
“You have been very helpful to the Hereford Road Residents’ Association in trying to help NHG residents, and their neighbours, get the proper attention that they so urgently need.”
“I wanted to thank you for the great job you are doing as the Westminster Councillor for the Bayswater Ward and to wish you well in the forthcoming election.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
If you know of anyone else who might like to receive this report, please send them this sign-up link https://bit.ly/labour-news
Keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Councillor Maggie Carman, James Small-Edwards and Max Sullivan
Your Bayswater Labour Candidates – Here to Help, All Year Round
Dario Goodwin, Ryan Jude and Ellie Ormsby
Your Lancaster Gate Labour Candidates – Here to Help, All Year Round
Promoted by Andy Whitley on behalf of the Bayswater Ward Labour Candidates and Connor Jones on behalf of the Lancaster Gate Ward Labour candidates, all at 4G Shirland Mews, W9 3DY.