St John
St John's Wood Labour Action Team

News from the St John’s Wood Labour Action Team

Cochrane Street

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue: 

“Cochrane Street and St Anne’s Terrace are being used as a ‘rat run’ by cars avoiding Finchley Road traffic lights. They speed down a quiet street, with elderly residents and a nursery in Cochrane Street/mothers with prams and toddlers. The street corners are blocked by vans.” 

Northwick Terrace

We have asked the Council to replace the street sign for Northwick Terrace, at the Aberdeen Place end, which residents say has been gone for awhile.  

Reynolds House, Wellington Road estate 

We have urged the Housing Department to stop the continued long-standing unauthorised parking outside Reynolds House. Residents say: 

“Our car park is becoming a public car park and residents living here are taking advantage of not applying for a car park permit or pay for a Street permit. If a resident can afford to run a BMW etc they can afford to pay the council to park in the street!”

Townsend Estate

We have again asked the Housing Team to offer assistance to the rough sleeper who has returned to occupy one of the sheds on the Townsend Estate.

Henstridge Place

We have asked the Police to investigate this issue:

“Almost every night after 10 pm cars arrive at the end of the Henstridge Place and stay parked by the school back entrance. Sometimes other cars join them. Loud music can often be heard. The following morning the street is littered with dozens of small metal canisters. “

St John’s Wood Burial Ground

We are making enquiries about the use of part of St John’s Wood Burial Ground as a base for the drones filming the cricket at Lord’s. Residents say:

About a third of the grounds were fenced off to operate a flying drone, with telescopic camera. The equipment was supported by an onsite generator dumped in the wild flower section in the north east of the grounds. The noise from these drones is loud and irritating.  It’s somewhere between a petrol engine on a model plane and being a foot away from a beehive.  That open space in midsummer is normally thronging with locals and all the noise is from children laughing in the playground – not an Orwellian drone buzzing overhead.”

Policing report from Karen Buck MP

“There has been a marked increase in levels of community concern about crime recently, ranging from burglary and robbery to serious youth violence and anti social behaviour, and it is deeply worrying.I naturally liaise with the local police and the Council’s enforcement teams about individual issues, which have recently included concerns about burglary and robbery in St John’s Wood.

I pushed for a meeting with Westminster Council and senior police in June and was disturbed to hear that we are down by another 200 police over the last two years, coming on top of a reduction of one third in police strength after 2011 when the cuts to the Met budget began. As I have reported before we are also now dealing with the consequences of the complete withdrawal of funding for youth, after-school and holiday services by Westminster Council in 2016.

On the positive side, Westminster Council has now recognised the consequences of that awful decision and will now be restoring some of that money for youth work. This may not be enough but it is nonetheless welcome.

This week I was very pleased to have Mayor Sadiq Khan come down to meet with me and to hear first hand about these issues. He confirmed that he has raised his Council Tax precept to the maximum possible and raised Business rates to put some additional police back, and I was also able to introduce him to some of our inspiration youth workers as we lobby for support from the Young Londoners Fund.

As I know that many people are not quite sure about how police funding works, and what the balance is between the responsibility of the Mayor and the Home Office, this is helpful from the independent fact-checking charity, Full Fact linkhere. “

Hill Road parking suspensions – Update

Following our enquiries about the increase in parking suspension in Hill Road, the Parking Team says:

“Thank you for forwarding residents’ concerns regarding the unused recent suspensions in the vicinity of, and including, Hill Road. There had been an unfortunate combination of unforeseen circumstances, equipment malfunction coupled with staff absences, which prevented the works from be undertaken as planned.  However, the necessary repairs have been completed and the drain cleaning should have since resumed.The contractors have been reminded of notifying the Council of any changes to planned works at short notice, to ensure the bays ban be returned to service as soon as possible.” 

Grove End Road – update 

In response to a resident’s enquiry about enforcement action to stop parking outside his entrance, the Parking Team say: 

“The controlled hours for single yellow lines in Grove End Road apply Mon to Fri, 08:30 to 18:30.  During this timeframe the Marshals can take enforcement action against vehicles parked inappropriately and they can also ask motorists to move on to an alternative location, to prevent an obstruction from occurring.  

Relocation of vehicles is contravention dependant and does not extend to yellow line restrictions or vehicles obstructing access to off street premises. Outside of the hours of control, no enforcement action can be taken by the Council and if access is obstructed then the resident would need to contact the Police for assistance. I am sorry for the difficulties encountered and I have asked the marshals to keep an eye on the area and to assist as much as possible.”

Matlock Court – junction of Abbey Road and Marlborough Place – update

Following our enquiries, the Council’s Tree Officer tells us:

“I have received confirmation that the replacement tree is on order.  The new tree is a semi-mature oriental London plane, variety ‘Minaret’, and the proposed planting date is 30th October 2019.”

Schools

A survey conducted by Labour Councillors has revealed the widespread impact that cuts are having on schools in the Westminster area. Councillor Tim Roca, Labour’s Education spokesperson, invited schools to take part in the survey, with 22 head teachers responding from primary, secondary and specialist schools across the borough. Most reported cuts to staffing, books and equipment with further cuts anticipated.

You can read the details herehttps://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2019/06/21/schools-survey-highlights-the-real-impact-of-government-cuts-in-westminster/

Refuse collection and Recycling collection times

You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/env/streetsearch.aspx

Recycling

Many people have askedwhere Westminster’s recycling is sent for processing. Virtually all of what is collected is reprocessed within the UK.  Further details can be found at:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/where-does-all-my-household-recycling-go

Street begging 

We received this enquiry from a resident: 

“Have the Council investigated the circumstances of the many beggars around the same area, holding out near identical pieces of cardboard on which are written the same message “I am very hungry. God bless you”? They seem to be coordinated by someone and raise worries that they could even be victims of modern slavery.”

The Council say:

“The issue of coercion has long been debated amongst partners. The Police have investigated through a modern slavery lens and the issue they come up against each time is that the groups in question are more often than not family units. As a result, they are not willing to speak out against each other and insist that they are choosing to be there. We continue to monitor and offer alternatives to street begging and working with partners for a more meaningful solution to the challenge.” 

Climate Emergency  

We are calling on the Council to declare a Climate Emergency and have launched a petition to present to the Council at its next meeting on 18thSeptember. The petition reads:

“We the undersigned support the call by Westminster Labour for Westminster City Council to declare a Climate Emergency at the Council Meeting on 18 September 2019. The Council must set out a Plan of Action which is both ambitious and deliverable to show how our City can make a real difference in the urgent fight against climate change.

Cutting carbon emissions must be at the heart of the decisions the Council makes including on planning, house building, energy supply, procurement, freight consolidation, investments, transport and green spaces.” 

You can sign the petition here:

http://bit.ly/climate-emerg 

What you say

You are doing an excellent job”

“Thank you- I’m very pleased to see focus on rubbish spillage. Foxes, cats, gulls and rooks are all responsible for tearing bags left out. The position outside the shops in Blenheim Terrace is a disgrace” 

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