News from Councillor Maggie Carman and the Labour Action Teams in Bayswater & Lancaster Gate
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“I’ve been living on Westbourne Grove for over 8 years now and almost the entire road has been fully refurbished except the part between Chepstow Road and Hereford Road. Every single time a bus passes there my entire building shakes and vibrates causing major cracks in my walls and ceilings. This has really become unbearable and yet every time I complain I am being told the road is fine and nothing will be done. There are at least 4 different buses lines passing through Westbourne Grove so you can imagine how much disturbance this is creating.”
We have again urged the Housing Department to end the unfair practice of charging residents to park without taking action against those who park for free. Residents say:
“The problem exists at 67-77 Westbourne Terrace. This has been the case for some years. I pay £22 per month and out of the 12 spaces available, only four of the vehicle regularly parked there display a valid parking permit. (This excludes tradesmen’s vehicles). Apart from the injustice of this, the lost revenue could be used to maintain the access road, which is in a poor state.”
We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate a further report of unauthoriserd short term letting at a property in Westbourne Gardens.
The Whiteley’s noise disturbance goes on. It now starts at 9am now rather than 8am after representations from residents. Councillor Maggie Carman says:
“I am getting more reports of local businesses losing income. I helped to form the Whiteleys Noise Action Group who were very disappointed to find that this week’s planned meeting at Porchester Hall was cancelled by the developers at a day’s notice.”
Maggie has also asked Environmental Health to investigate increased dust in the area. Residents say:
“There is a new type of dust in my flat which I believe is from the site. It is different from the usual slightly grimey London dust. This dust is fluffy and looks fibrous to me. I have kept samples. I am extremely concerned about what I am inhaling from the site and long term health implications for my lungs.I recently spoke to the man who runs the fruit stand at the corner of Westbourne Grove. He told me he had to pack up early twice the week before because the dust was so bad. And that on one day he watched a cloud of dust slowly make its way down Queensway to Westbourne Grove. He did speak to someone on the site to complain.”
You can contact WANG at email@example.com
Elsie Lane Court, Westbourne Park Villas
We asked Notting Hill Genesis to take action to complete the work on fitting new fire doors in Elsie Lane Court.
Residents Voice Group
Councillor Maggie Carman has been helping residents set up a Resident Voice Group for West Street Properties. That’s Gloucester Terrace, Porchester Square and around also Blomfield Road, Warwick Avenue.
1-8 Porchester Square
We are continuing to assist residents living at 1-8 Porchester Square about their security concerns. We are hopeful of a permanent solution to this serious issue.
Porchester Square/Gloucester Terrace
We have written to the Council about the serious issue in Porchester Square/Gloucester Terrace where there are many Airbnb establishments who employ cleaners who regularly dump rubbish by lamp posts and trees despite being told regularly not to do this. We have called for the Council to take strong action against the owners of Airbnb flats by liaising with the planning enforcement team to identify those addresses where there is reason to believe unauthorised Airbnb activity is taking place. Blanket ‘educational letter drops’ do not work and only serve to infuriate law abiding residents who are usually the ones calling on the Council to take action.
Following enquiries by Councillor Maggie Carman, a letter has been delivered to all residents of Orsett Terrace to inform them of the installation of a temporary CCTV camera on the street.
Ma Dames Nightclub, 58 Porchester Road
We have asked the Council to investigate this report from residents:
“We were awoken, yet again, around 3 am as large numbers of clubbers began to disperse out of Ma Dames into Porchester Road. Many were lingering outside the venue, others on the corners of Westbourne Park Road, Westbourne Gardens and Westbourne Park Villas. Most showed no signs of doing anything other than continuing to party outside. There was much of the same…screams and shouts, cars parking, engines revving, music blaring etc.”
The Council say:
“I will arrange to visit the premises and discuss matters with the operator, and try to find out what their plans are for events/late night activities with a view to arranging some visits by our City Inspectors Team.”
Vere Court – update
Following our enquiries about waste problems at Vere Court, the City Inspector has told us:
“I have managed to gain access to the building and ascertain the building managing agents, I have contacted them asking to make all residents aware of waste compliance regulations and will return to affix a letter inside the lobby confirming this, this should make a difference, hopefully.”
We have asked that signs be put in the following locations to remind drivers to switch off their engines:
- Queensway (all along the street)
- Inverness Terrace (especially at the stretch between Porchester Gardens and Bayswater Road, but ideally along the entire street)
Bayswater Children’s Centre
We have asked the Council to take action onthe disrepair and disorder at Bayswater Children’s Centre. Residents say:
“Councillor Adam Hug was very helpful and prompt in his response to get the previous heap of rubbish cleared. However, without the gate being repaired it is clear this will continue to be a hot spot for illegal fly-tipping.”
Lord Hills Bridge
We have asked the Council to investigate the safety of Lord Hills Bridge following reports from residents that “parts are dropping off the bridge”. The Council says:
“This is a long running issue as the bridge is not ours, they are the responsibility of Network Rail we merely maintain the road surface.I will raise again with Network Rail but they have a 5-year investment programme and unless the bridge is structurally unsafe they will not bring any works forward.”
We have asked the Housing Department to investigate this familiar issue:
“The family of beggars are also sleeping in the Hallfield Estate again in various block stairwells. They are also sleeping behind Tesco in a garage area making a huge mess”
The Housing Department say:
“The issue of rough sleepers on the Hallfield estate is certainly a very serious one, but the solution is unfortunately not as simple. There are a number of options that have already been explored to date, and each has its drawbacks and obstacles.
- Security– The most effective solution to date has been the engagement of security guards, for a two-week period in December 2018 and again in May 2019. This was very effective on a temporary basis, but involves considerable and ongoing cost, and is therefore not sustainable in the longer term, as the problem simply reappears as soon as the service is ceased.
- Design and landscaping-We have considered landscaping and design changes to areas of the estate that the rough sleepers are using, such as installing planting features, cycle parks or heightened railings. There is a very large number of these locations however (25+), and so any works would need to be replicated throughout.
- Outreach services-We have previously engaged the assistance of rough sleeping outreach services. They have reported that the rough sleepers have so far refused to engage with their services, but we will revisit this.
- Legal action-We have considered the possibility of applying for a criminal behaviour order (CBO), but as the rough sleepers are not always necessarily engaged in specifically anti-social activity (however concerning we appreciate their presence is for residents), this could be a difficult case to prove.
- Police action-We have escalated this issue with the Neighbourhood tasking team at the Metropolitan Police. They did have success in moving on this group of individuals from outside Waitrose in the past year, by issuing Community Protection Notices and we will also pick this up with them.”
A row of Victorian and Neo-Renaissance buildings on Bayswater Road imminently faces the wrecking ball. The Black Lion pub is among buildings that were purchased in 2014, and subsequently earmarked for demolition, making way for luxury flats overlooking Hyde Park. Campaigners ‘Stop the Wrecker’ have launched a petition, calling for the demolition to be halted. The petition claims that the development flies in the face of advice from Westminster Council’s planning officer.
The Council’s Anti-Fraud Team has recovered four properties which have since been allocated to people in genuine need of support and assistance.
If you have any concerns regarding fraud, please contact the fraud hotline 020 7361 2777, or send details by email to the shared service mailbox address firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be assured, all information is held in strictest confidence.
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 crime and anti-social behaviour in and around Inverness Terrace and in Bayswater.
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.
Recently, 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. “
London Living Wage
We are delighted that after years of Labour campaigning, Westminster City Council is finally adopting the London Living Wage (£10.55 per hour) for all its contractors and apprentices. The Council adopted a policy that would see it work to achieve accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation and see future contracts adopt the London Living Wage for those based in London (and the Living Wage Foundation’s nationwide rate of £9 per hour for contractors based outside London). At present only the council’s directly employed staff are paid at or over the London Living Wage.
Requiring the Council to adopt the Living Wage for all its staff and contractors has been something Westminster Labour Group has supported for many years, being a pledge in our 2014 and 2018 manifestos. After campaigning from Labour in 2014 the Council adopted the London Living Wage for its Home Care Workers but as recently as May this year the council was claiming it would be illegal to set a policy that contractors would receive the Living Wage.
We are calling on the Council to declare a Climate Emergency and has 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
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
What you say
“Thank you for highlighting the falling debris problems caused by NHG’s contractors.”
“Thank you for your good work and particularly the update on the Whiteley’s disruption and Councillor Carmen’s comments.”
“Thank you all for the huge amount you do for our communities”
“Thank you once again for your help”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.