Councillor Maggie Carman and the Bayswater & Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team
Councillor Maggie Carman and the Bayswater & Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team

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.

Labour Bayswater Councillor Maggie Carman said:

“TfL must look elsewhere if it wants to build an alternative to Victoria coach station. It would cause massive traffic problems in our area, put greater pressure on local bus routes and disrupt local communities in Bayswater and around Westbourne Green.”

https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2018/11/26/westminster-labour-opposes-royal-oak-coach-station-option/ 

Bayswater Street Waste Action Team

In response to our regular calls for action, a new Street Waste Action Team (SWAT) has been formed whose objectives objectives are:

  • To substantially reduce rubbish dumping on local streets
  • To ensure all residents are aware of how and when to dispose of their rubbish and recycling
  • To ensure residents understand the best ways to report problems so they can be tackled quickly and effectively.

The Councilintends to have a highly visible presence on the streets with a particular focus on the early morning and evening periods when much of the dumping seems to happen.  This will start from Monday 2ndJanuary 2019 for about 4 weeks.

To help gather information on the biggest issues and hotspot locations it would be much appreciated if you could fill out the on-line survey (link below). 

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/2R2IJ/

As part of the educational drive there will also be local ‘drop in’ events on:

  • Tuesday 8thJanuary from 9am at St Stephens Garden junction with Westbourne Park Road
  • Tuesday 15thJanuary from 9am in Porchester Square Gardens. WCC’s Animal Warden will also be in attendance to discuss any welfare issues residents have
  • Saturday 19thJanuary from 9am in Queensway junction with Westbourne Grove, next to the public toilets

Westbourne Gardens 

We are pressing the Council to take action against illegal short-term letting in Westbourne Gardens. Residents say:

“I can’t explain to you how angry we are about this whole process. The 90-day limit was exceeded in June this year, it’s now November – 5 MONTHS LATER!! So far, the owner has benefitted from another 36 days of STL income and still no Notice to stop this illegal letting! 

As residents, we have done everything to help this case move quickly and efficiently. As requested we have logged every stay, even given the Council the names of people and the purpose of their stay. I don’t believe there is anything more we could have done to help the enforcement team take action on this case. Yet, still no Notice.” 

Westbourne Park Road 

We have asked City West Homes to sort out this problem: 

“I’ve just had a visit from someone from Morgan Sindell. However, instead of a plumber to sort out the blocked pipe, they sent me an electrician who had been told that my bathroom lights were broken. There’s nothing wrong with my bathroom lights, at least on this occasion.

All he could do was take a photo of the lights to prove that there was nothing wrong with them, then leave saying that he would contact Morgan Sindell to tell them that I need a plumber. I have a feeling that I will hear nothing more from anyone in CityWest or Morgan Sindell on this matter.

This is not the first time that I’ve been sent the wrong people for non-existent jobs. I suspect that this sort of incompetence and waste of time and resources is widespread. I’m sorry that I’ve had to bother you again with this continuing catalogue of mismanagement.” 

Westbourne Terrace 

We have asked City West Homes to remove a blue car parked illegally in the forecourt of 108-132 Westbourne Terrace.We have asked that it be removed ASAP as it is in a dangerous location.

Hereford Road – parking 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“This disabled parking space at 71 Hereford Road seems to have been unused for over a year. Please can it be returned to normal residents parking as parking is already difficult on the street and this disabled space is clearly not needed any more?”

Hereford Road

We are supporting Genesis who have applied for planning permission to fit double glazing to their properties in Hereford Road. This is supported by the Hereford Road Residents’ Association but opposed by the Notting Hill East Neighbourhood Forum. Meanwhile elderly vulnerable residents are at risk.  As far as we understand, the difference cannot be noticed from the street.

Hatherly Grove

We have asked the Council to action on this issue:

Around 5 years ago, despite my protestations, two bollards were removed by Westminster City Council because they were being damaged too frequently by vehicles mounting the pavement in order to turn around in this cul-de-sac.   In August 2018, a saloon car mounted the pavement and smashed all 21 railings in front of my flat.  Some of the railings pierced the bay window in the front of my flat.  Had someone been in the basement well at the time they would likely have been killed.   

I have requested WCC to reinstate the two bollards but they have refused and have also been inordinately slow in responding to my request.  I would be grateful if you would urge WCC to change its mind and reinstate the bollards.  The cost associated with reinstatement of the bollards would be relatively modest in the context of the potential loss of life in an incident of this type.”

Hereford Road/Leinster Square

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

“There is regular fly tipping/abandoned commercial waste at the northwest corner of Hereford Road and Leinster Square (opposite Long Hair salon, Sinuhe restaurant etc). This area is, on a daily basis, in a disgusting state, with excess waste carelessly dumped in heaps around the residential bins. A lot of it is commercial waste. This dumping by the surrounding businesses then encourages others to leave items that the Council should be paid to dispose of properly. I’ve spoken to the men who clear the rubbish away, and who work hard to keep our streets clean, and they’re disheartened because they report this location regularly and have had no reply or action.”

Kensington Gardens Square

We have asked Genesis Housingto fixthe door entry system at a property in Kensington Gardens Square which has been broken for weeks. 

Bridstow Place

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“There have been incidents of crime (theft from automobiles and homes; drug dealing; drug taking) and anti-social behavior (loitering; littering etc) on Bridstow Place.  The street’s inconspicuous nature lends itself to this activity, and I believe the only way to combat it is installation of CCTV. “

Pickering House 

We have asked City West Homes to fix a problem caused by water leaking from pipes above the rubbish shute at Pickering House.

Praed Street taxis 

We have asked the Council to consider this suggestion from a resident: 

The easy option would be to widen the pavement so there is physically no space for the taxis to stop there idling. The problem is ongoing and they are clearly defiant of any enforcement attempt. Frankly the pavement is too narrow given the volume of people. Why not widen it? It would resolve the issue once and for all. “ 

Cleveland Terrace 

We have again asked the Council to tackle the continued problem of rubbish dumping. 

Tackling illegal short term lets 

Councillors Maggie Carman and Geoff Barraclough call for action to deal with the menace that is turning so many of our homes into hotels.

https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2018/11/10/bayswater-labour-councillor-maggie-carman-calls-for-action-against-the-misery-of-short-term-lets/

https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/ward-news/maida-vale/2018/11/09/labour-calls-for-action-to-deal-with-the-menace-that-is-turning-so-many-of-our-homes-into-hotels/ 

Tourist Tax

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

https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/westminster-labour-makes-the-case-for-a-tourist-tax-to-improve-local-services-for-visitors-residents-and-business/ 

Coach Station proposal – what you say 

“I have heard that there are plans to potentially move the Victoria coach station to Royal Oak by the tracks. Please could you let the community know if this is true? Needless to say that our are is NOT equipped to handle the 14+ MILLION people per year who pass through the station. Such a proposal is not feasible and would do significant damage to the residential community.” 

What you say

“Thank you very much for keeping us informed about the area we live in and many thanks for caring.”

“Thanks for all your work and updates”

“I do, as always, thank you for your dedicated service to the Council and its residents!” 

“Many thanks for all your work”

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