Councillors Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca
Councillors Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca


Councillor Ruth Bush

Councillor Ruth Bush has been elected the first Labour Lord Mayor of Westminster. Ruth will not take part in party politics during her Mayoral year and local casework will be undertaken by Councillors Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca. This is Ruth’s latest report on some of her Lord Mayoral activities:

“I was at the opening of a Play Street in Church Street Ward, off the Edgware Road – part of a Council initiative to close off streets to traffic from time to time so that children can play safely.   

I was with boys from Westminster School rowing their Lord Mayor on the Thames in the Riparian Borough Mayors Cup as part of the Great River Race.  You can’t imagine what a feat this was – 22 miles from Millwall to Ham in an ancient wooden Pangbourne Gig with phenomenally heavy oars. They didn’t win, but they really did do astonishingly well.

I have attended a number of church events, ranging from a Notting Hill Carnival mass, a celebration of Malta’s national day in Westminster Cathedral to the 175th Anniversary of a local Anglican church, via a memorial service to Lord Ashdown (Paddy Ashdown) and the installation of a new Headmaster for the Choir School, both at Westminster Abbey.

I was struck by the age range from event to event: at Westminster Cathedral, the celebrant was the 94-year old Maltese Cardinal Prospero Grech, who flew in from the Vatican for this service; at the installation of Westminster Choir School’s Head, there was a ceremony where six of the 9-year olds became officially Choristers; and the youngest child I met playing in the Play Street was probably 4-years old.  

My proposal for a Rusty Players Orchestra is taking off, thanks to Ruth Walters, the Senior Librarian at Westminster Music Library

Lastly, I was at the Antiques Fair in Church Street – a brilliant event, buzzing with potential purchasers from overseas as well as the UK, benefiting from the expertise of the great variety of antique dealers in Church Street – the aim is to raise the profile of this part of the market it in parallel with the importance of the regular traders.”

The Squirrel pub update

The Council has refused planning permission to turn The Squirrel into flats. Councillor Tim Roca said:

“We’re relieved the council has backed the community campaign to reject this application and save a much-loved local pub. The area has lost so many to developers in recent years despite proof that, if well-run, they are viable, popular places where people come together. We want to work constructively with the owners to see it restored to the thriving local pub it used to be.”

New Santander bike hire stations

We are supporting proposals to expand the Santander cycle scheme to north Paddington. Westminster City Council’s Transport Officer has just applied for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding for 3 new Santander Cycle Hire stations which will be part of the North West Westminster Cycle Hire expansion. The following three sites have been identified for the location of the docking stations:

  • Harrow Road/Bravington Road
  • Maida Hill Market
  • Harrow Road/Sutherland Avenue

The results for the CIL bids will be announced around November this year. Once these stations are in, phase two of the North West expansion will begin.

Lydford Estate Garages

Three garage sites on the Lydford estate have been the target of anti-social behaviour for some time – at Lapford, Drayford and Riverton Close.  A project is now planned to raise the standard of these sites and the following work will be included

  • An overhaul of the main entrance gates- new locks fitted to each gate. In addition, each gate will receive an overhaul of the sliding mechanism, allowing for easier opening and closing. All metal work will be repaired where necessary and painted.
  • A full clearance programme- all open garages where fly-tipping occurs will be fully cleared and items disposed of. The housing team has recently posted notices on each of the vacant garages advising that if there is any unauthorised use then any items found will be disposed of.
  • New garage doors- Not all garage doors require renewal. Riverton and Lapford Close sites will receive 28 new garage doors, with Drayford Close receiving thirteen new doors. All new doors will be an ‘up and over’ steel powder coated garage door.
  • Additional security- Every garage across all sites, including those that do not require renewing, will be fitted with additional security measures to complement the standard locking mechanism on the doors. The additional security will include a ground fitted garage defender and two Hasp and Staples locks, with padlocks and keys provided.
  • Lighting- The lighting on all three sites will upgraded. The external lights as you enter each site will also be improved with an additional light head fitted to each entrance.
  • Fire safety- fire safety measures on all sites will be increased with additional lagging.

Lydford Estate – update

We have asked the Housing Department why the Lydford Estate Tenants and Residents Association were not invited to go on a recent estate walk about. The Residents Association say:

“LETRA members have attended estate walkabouts with the Housing Dep. every few months for many years (last one in June 2019) and after each inspection walk about we produce a detailed report for the housing office to remind them what has been agreed. We have taken up again and again many issues which need attention on the estate including security

LETRA recently organised a meeting on the estate for residents to come and find out about the new parking arrangements. We leafleted to whole estate and the turn out was good. Next week LETRA committee members will be meeting to discuss infill proposals for the Community Hall”

Warlock Road

We have agreement from the Council that trees in Tamplin Mews Gardens which overhang Warlock Road should be lightly trimmed to clear the street lights. We are also investigating whether the lighting here can be improved. 

Shirland Mews

We have asked the Parking Tream to take action against drivers who park on the pavement and double yellow lines in Shirland Mews. 

Harrow Road

We have asked the Cleansing Team to give the Harrow Road pavements outside the shops a deep clean.

Ashmore Road 

We have asked the Tree Officer to investigate this issue:

“At the top of Ashmore Road there are a number of trees where the bark has been badly damage (I suggest possibly by dogs being trained to fight?). I am aware that this may destroy these trees and we currently need to preserve as many trees as we can to off set the global environment emergency”

20 mph speed limit consultation

Do you support 20mph speed limits across Westminster? The Council is finally proposing 20mph speed limits to make Westminster a safer, healthier and cleaner environment for everyone. Reducing speeds reduces the severity of accidents and makes it safer to walk and cycle around Westminster.

The Council has already introduced 20mph speed limits around 39 schools in Westminster following a successful trial. Lower speed limits were supported by an overwhelming majority of residents, who felt it would be safer to walk and cycle in their community. Map of affected areas (PDF, 1.5MB)

You can have your say by completinga short survey.


Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London has banned adverts promoting short-term lettings within the TfL network as part of a crack down on firms that encourage landlords to flout the 90-day annual limit for short-term lettings in London.

Report It

The new Report It service has been unveiled. Let us know what you think

Refuse collection and Recycling collection times

You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here 

Paddington Printshop 

The Guardian runs a story on John Phillips and the Paddington Printshop on Harrow Road, which revolutionised the promotion of squatters’ rights and housing campaigns throughout the 1970s and 80s. One major campaign saw Phillips create the Iron Man – a businessman with the face of a digger. It began in 1986 when Westminster City Council tried to sell the Walterton and Elgin estates to a private developer. John Phillips worked alongside residents to fight back, creating a range of images to support the campaign.

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.


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