We have reported this issue to the Council:
“I have been meaning to send you photos which I took a few weeks ago at the intersection of Fermoy and Hormead Roads. Many individuals sit in their cars in these streets, sucking the gas from these canisters. We have had several interactions with these individuals as they sit in their cars and throw the canisters out of the window. This is further evidence that a camera at this junction would be a useful deterrent / prosecuting tool for anti-social behaviour (including drug taking and rubbish dumping) at this intersection.”
Tarmac cement batching plant
We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:
“I do not know who is ‘policing’ the the transport of cement from the Great Western Road Batching Plant, but I understood that they would only operate after 0700 during the week, and only up to 1200 on Saturdays. On weekdays they are also evident up to 2000. I go to work at 0630 on weekdays and frequently see heavy bulk cement carriers turning into Chippenham Road from Harrow Road. Also, today (Saturday) at 1500 Cement trucks are still using Chippenham Road.
Does this company contribute to the upkeep of the roads? There is frequent cement spillage at Elgin Avenue to Chippenham Road, and from Chippenham Road to Harrow Road junctions, and wheel rim gouges in the surface from the vehicles turning. The surface of Chippenham Road is also rapidly deteriorating, mainly due to these possibly overweight vehicles. When the railway eventually arranged train deliveries to this plant this traffic could increase. It is important that the agreed limits of Heavy Traffic through Residential areas are maintained and enforced. They may also need reminding of the 20mph speed restriction, and the prohibition of the use of Mobile Phones when driving.”
We are taking up this issue with the Council:
“I am particularly concerned that a number of buildings, particularly former pubs, have been left empty and are becoming increasingly dilapidated.One such example is the former Neeld Arms, where works to convert the pub for residential purposes seem to have stalled and the hoardings on the front are becoming increasingly unsightly. In my view, Westminster Council should consider taking enforcement action against the developers under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.Another example is the former Windsor Castle, which I understand is now subject to another planning application to bring the building back into use.”
Windsor Castle, Harrow Road – update
A new application has been submitted (18/07841/FULL) for the dual use of the lower ground and grounds as either shop or café/restaurant use and extensions in connection with the upper floors as student accommodation. This latest application seeks to address the earlier reasons for refusal which is currently at appeal.
We have written to Stadium Housing Association about this issue:
“We are literally driven mad by Stadium’s contractors ‘maintaining’ a tiny patch of destroyed grass that almost doesn’t exist. Total space is 2-3 sqm. Yes, every single week, two contractors’ workers appear to ‘mow’ that destroyed patch for 4 hours. That is more time than it takes to mow football pitch. It happens every single Wednesday at midday until 5 pm.Ear piercing sound is simply intolerable and literally everyone is on their balconies complaining. This is simply unbearable and completely unnecessary abuse of our service charge payments.”
Faulty Street Lights – Update
We have received the following update from the Street Lighting Team:
“I would like to confirm that there is currently an issue with the lighting management system which controls the lighting on various streets and that our service provider FM Conway are in the process of changing the columns to photocells so that they react to the changing light rather than a centralised signal.I would also like to confirm a number of streets where there have been issues noted will also be converted by the end of November and they are as follows:
- Elgin Avenue
- Chippenham Road
- Walterton Road”
Tackling illegal short term lets
Labour Councillor Geoff Barraclough calls for Westminster Council to join Labour in calling for more powers for local authorities to deal with the menace that is turning so many of our homes into hotels.
Food waste collections
We have asked the Council about food waste collections after receiving this enquiry from a resident:
“I am wondering if there is a plan in place to begin offering collectingof food waste. I am concerned about food waste going intoregular trash. A composting system reduces the amount of waste goinginto landfill and also promotes healthy soil for farms and gardens! Iknow that some boroughs do this already and would like to know abouthow and when this can be implemented”
The Council say:
“The council currently provides a food waste collection service for hotels, restaurants and similar businesses that produce large quantities of food waste on a daily/weekly basis. There isn’t currently a food waste collection service for residents and no confirmed plans for one to be introduced. Further information on how food waste can be composted at home can be found at www.westminster.gov.uk/composting-your-food-waste”
We have received strong support from Westminster residents for the idea of introducing a small ‘Tourist Tax’ on hotel and Airbnb room occupancy. In particular, residents support the idea of a ‘Tourist Tax’;
- To help pay for the cost of providing facilities which tourists enjoy – keeping the environment clean and tidy, maintaining parks, street lights and open spaces, public toilets, policing and emergency services
- To help to pay for specialist inspectors to crack down on illegal short-lets.
- To put Westminster in line with other capital cities across the globe which residents visit and pay a small ‘Tourist Tax’. For example, Athens, Paris, Rome and Florence charge a “progressive visitor levy” which charges a higher tax for a higher class of room. Rome charges €7 for a five-star room and €4 for a three-star room.
Introducing a small Tourist Tax on hotel bedroom occupancy could raise about £25 million a year, based on a flat rate of £1.60p per room
Royal Oak Coach Station plan
We have opposed plans to locate a coach station at the former railway sidings at Royal Oak which Transport for London is said to be considering as one part of the relocation of Victoria Coach Station to a number of sites around London.
Labour Leader Councillor Adam Hug has written to Deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander to raise concerns that the Royal Oak site is totally unsuitable as a Coach Station, posing a significant threat to the residential areas of Bayswater and Westbourne that surround it. There would be major traffic implications of locating a major Coach Station at Royal Oak, and the impact on local roads, bus and underground services. There would also be significant challenges for Westminster’s rough sleeping services that are currently set up to assist new arrivals entering via Victoria.
We are calling on the Council to arrange a Scrutiny Committee hearing at which TfL are called to explain their plans in public and be questioned by Councillors and local groups.
What you say
“Many thanks for your continued support of local residents”