Finchley Road/Acacia Road
We have asked the Highways team to investigate this issue:
“I recall reading in a previous communique that the drain on this busy corner outside SJW tube station was to be overhauled and cleared of years of accumulated “stuff”. As you can see, it hasn’t. Passers by are in danger of being drenched. Please escalate this age old problem. “
The Highways team say:
“Our service provider has been instructed to remove the excess water, however this gully is maintained by Transport for London and will require further investigation by TFL. I have logged the issue with TFL on their road issues website: https://tfl.gov.uk/help-and-contact/contact-us-about-streets-and-other-road-issues.I am also trying to establish a contact within TFL regarding gullies.”
Grove End Road
We have asked the Road Safety Team to look in to this issue:
“Residents of Scott Ellis Gardens have expressed the need for a pelican crossing across Grove End Road to help residents of Scott Ellis and Bronwen Court, many of them not so nimble as they used to be, and also schoolchildren, wishing to cross this busy road to reach the bus stop towards Baker Street station.”
We have again asked the Council to offer assistance to the rough sleeper who is sleeping in one of the sheds on the Townshend Estate. The Council say:
“The shed is now empty and we have made the shed door secure. The person in the shed took most of his belongings with him (mainly clothing). I explained that I will keep any items left for a period of one month after which I will dispose of any items left. I advised him to contact St. Mungo’s who will try and help.”
We have continued to ask the Council to remind residents of the correct days to leave out recycling material on the pavement.
More police on the street
We have welcomed news from the Metropolitan Police that there will be around 50 more police on the streets of Westminster to deal with crime across the city.
- Up to 26 more police will be on the streets following the decision to use police from right across London to handle security for the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Police. Currently only police from Westminster are used for this.
- The Territorial Support Group have been posted to Westminster for 8 weeks to provide high visibility patrols in the West End, and will supplement the local policing teams
- Westminster will gain two extra inspectors. This will include a dedicated West End Detective Inspector who will oversee pro-active crime operations as well as one other inspector who will oversee the Integrated Street Engagement Unit (ISEU) and West End night time economy activity
- Integrated Street Engagement Unit police officers will combine with a neighbourhood team to provide 20 police officers dedicated to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Westminster.
We have called for a change in the law to introduce strict controls on who is able to let out flats on Airbnb and other short-let platforms after an undercover BBC investigation found that property management companies are encouraging landlords to break strict short-term letting laws in London. Landlords cannot legally rent out their homes in the capital for more than 90 nights a year under current regulations. However, some firms were secretly recorded by the BBC undercover team explaining methods to get around Airbnb’s system which stops properties exceeding the 90 nights’ limit, such as using new photos to make listings appear as new.
Karen Buck MP, who has campaigned for greater regulation on short-term lets, described the undercover footage as “absolutely shocking”. “It undermines everything we were told about how short-let accommodation would work and it’s really deeply dispiriting”, she told Inside Out London on BBC One on Monday 25 February.
We have put forward the following change in the law, based on suggestion from a local resident, to curb unauthorised short-term lets. We suggest that only those living in a property as a primary residence should be allowed to rent their property out for short-term lets. This would make the short terms less of a full-time business and more of an opportunity for bona fide residents to rent out their flat or rooms in their flat for extra income while they are away on holiday or if they have an empty room. The responsibility would fall on the owner to log their dates of rented activity with the council. It could operate in the same way that car owners are responsible for logging congestion charges.
We have welcomed the High Court ruling which has given the Council new powers to block new phone boxes from being built without planning permission. The Council has had more than 300 applications to install digital kiosks, despite finding many existing ones had been neglected, left out of service or disused. These phone boxes serve little purpose other than for companies to advertise in high profile locations around the West End and tourist hotspots. Many are used for advertising, escorts and drugs.
The third round of the #MyWestminster Fund is now open. Local groups can apply for up to £10,000 for community projects promoting the environment, neighbourhoods, young people and community cohesion in Westminster. The fund is open to all voluntary organisations, resident, faith and community groups in Westminster. Schools and other places that care for Westminster residents (such as residential care homes) are also eligible. Groups can submit an application of up to £10,000 for a project. The deadline for bidding is Thursday 21 March 2019. More information and details of how to apply can be found at www.westminster.gov.uk/mywestminster-fund.
What you say
“Thank you so much for all your help. We greatly appreciate it.”
Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,
Your St John’s Wood Labour Action Team