Councillors Tim Roca, Ruth Bush and Guthrie McKie
Councillors Tim Roca, Ruth Bush and Guthrie McKie

Lydford Estate

We have called for immediate action by Westminster Council and City West Homes to end the parking chaos on the Lydford Estate and across council estates in Westminster caused by City West Homes’ repeated failure to stop non-permit holders from parking illegally on the estates.

Half-hearted action has been taken on Churchill Gardens estate where residents have recently been offered a ‘payment-holiday’ while the Council sorts out the parking chaos. But no such offer has been made to residents on other estates where residents have been paying parking charges for two years without the necessary enforcement action back up from City West Homes. A resident on the Lydford Estate writes:

“We have long-standing problems with illegal parking on the Lydford Estate, including people coming here to do drug deals, which we have raised on many occasions with CWH. If Churchill Gardens residents are getting a holiday from parking fees then this should apply across the City given that CWH has failed to enforce its own rules across the board. Like Churchill Gardens there are no bollards or gates so the estate is open to anyone who wishes to drive in and there is nothing to prevent someone parking in a designated parking space. I did a quick survey at 11.30am today. This is a snapshot – it is usually worse in the evenings and at weekends.

Drayford Close – 18 cars, 5 with permits

Portgate Close – 13 cars, 4 with permits

Lapford Close – 9 cars, 1 with a permit

Riverton Close – 16 cars, 8 with permits 

It is not fair that some estate residents pay for parking while others don’t, or that people living in the neighbouring streets park on the estate to avoid paying for a street parking permit. Illegally parked cars often block or partially block access to designated parking spaces making it difficult for those with permits to get in and out. Cars are also parked on the ramps leading into each Close narrowing the entrance which could impede access for the emergency services etc.”

Harrow Road/Sutherland Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I am really concerned about the issue with the state of the Harrow Road.   The junction with Sutherland Avenue and the Harrow Road is appalling.  Recent improvements have helped but there is still unfinished work with barriers up and holes collecting rubbish.   On the Harrow Road side of the junction there are 2 telephone booths which only collect rubbish.  Are two necessary?  They end up being toilets, literally. “ 

The Council say: 

“In relation to the phone kiosks I must say I agree with the comments made. Unfortunately, we have two kiosks here with one from BT and another from another company. Both companies have statutory rights to provide a kiosk there and as this is outside of a conservation area they don’t need any form of Planning permission or approval to place them on our highway. 

The Council is working hard to reduce the impact of kiosks on the highway. Currently the balance of power is very much with the phone providers and it is hard for us to unilaterally remove them. However, the best approach is to report mess or breakages on a regular basis. BT in particular do respond to reports so I would suggest that residents are encouraged to report any issues direct to them. This can be done via 0800 023 2023 (option 1). By increasing the cost on BT we help tip the business case against them keeping it on street. The non-BT kiosk (the black “accessible” kiosk) is another matter as that company is more difficult to deal with. I understand Planning colleagues are working on lobbying for new powers to better control the placing of these items.” 

The Chippenham,Shirland Road

A planning application will be submitted soon for a Co-op mini market.The Co-op team has been helpful and receptive to local requests to do whatever possible to display and preserve the historic interior tiles and say:

“The good news is that we have identified an area of tiles close to the store entrance that we believe we can leave on display. The remaining tiles will be preserved behind boarding.”

Shirland Road/Ashmore Road black bins – update

The Council Refuse Team say:

“Feedback from the City Inspectors and Veolia collection crews is that there has been a very substantial decline in fly-tipping since the reconfiguration but problems are still cropping up. I understand that the CCTV proposal is still being investigated but there is no fixed timetable in place yet. I’m also arranging for street cleansing vehicles to begin regular proactive visits to bin sites in between the three scheduled bin collections each day with a remit to remove bulky items, put dumped bags/small items in the bins and do a general site clean-up.”

We have also reported this incident to the Refuse Team:

“The contractors working on a house refurbishment along Shirland Road had wheeled the entire black bin down to their site to load up with rubbish before presumably returning it to the corner for collection by the council. The audacity of this is quite astonishing!”

Councillor Ruth Bush

In May 2019, Westminster City Council is to elect its first ever Labour Lord Mayor since the role was created more than 50 years ago. The ruling Conservative group has agreed it will not put forward a candidate to stand against Labour’s Ruth Bush at the annual meeting in May 2019. Councillor Bush, who represents Harrow Road Ward, was first elected on to Westminster City Council in 2005. 

Royal Oak Coach Station proposal

We are opposed to plans to locate a coach station at the former railway sidings at Royal Oak. Victoria Coach Station is due to close to make way for Crossrail 2 and Transport for London is considering moving services to a number of sites around London, including Royal Oak.

Sign our petition to say no to a coach station at Royal Oak

For more information see https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2018/12/16/westminster-labour-opposes-royal-oak-coach-station-option/

https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/london-victoria-coach-station-could-15639152

Westminster Almshouses Foundation

Westminster Almshouses Foundation is a charity which owns and maintains 41 almshouse flats in Rochester Row, SW1 designed for independent living. The flats are self-contained and a weekly maintenance charge is payable. Vacancies arise from time to time for applicants who are single, over the age of 60, have been living in Westminster for at least 3 years at the time of their application, have an acute housing need, and are on of modest incomes with less than £100,000 in savings or capital. For more details call the Clerk, Cristina O’Halloran on 0207 828 3131 or email clerk@westminsteralmshouses.com

Local notable

Maida Vale resident, Graham Parker has a new album which includes the song – Maida Hill https://youtu.be/-xvhVG-UvJQ  via @YouTube

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