News from your three Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Queen’s Park Court
Following consultation with residents, the Council Housing Department has submitted a planning application for 23 new homes (19 flats and 4 houses) on the western car park site at Queen’s Park Court. The homes will be for social rent and will be let to local residents who are currently overcrowded or want to move to a smaller flat.
The plans also include amenity space, refuse storage, cycle parking, and estate works including the realignment of Droop Street; reconfiguration of the existing central car park, and a new boundary wall to the existing nursery.
The application documents can be viewed online at www.westminster.gov.uk/planning. Please use the reference number 19/07659/COFUL to see the documents and make comments.
Jubilee Sports Centre – update
We have received the following update from the Council about the demolition plans:
“To date, the asbestos strip-out works and utility disconnection works have been completed, a build over agreement with Thames Water to allow the construction works to start is being negotiated, alongside investigations to stop up a small piece of public highway that abuts one of the edges of the site. The actual demolition period will start once the legal terms are concluded and a Thames Water Agreement is in place. It is envisaged these works will commence by January and last 4-5 months. If this timescale changes, we will be in touch.
Please be assured that 24hr security guard presence and CCTV remains on the site to ensure it does not attract any ASB.”
Moberly Sports Centre
We have asked the Leisure Team to remind the Moberly management to put up hygiene notices. Sports Centre users say:
“Nothing about showering before entering the pool, in particular in the children’s changing area. How are people to learn about hygiene, when they are set such a poor example?”
Ashmore Road/Kilburn Lane
We asked the Council to respond to this enquiry:
“There are recycling bins at the junction of Kilburn Lane and Ashmore Road. Formerly the ‘plastics’ bin took cans/tins but I noticed that the sign on the bin only mentions ‘plastics, pots’ and 2 other names I can’t remember! Is it ok to add my tins/cans to the bin or should I locate another bin which does mention tins/cans? I tend to take my recycling to the Ashmore Road bins as the other people in the house tend to fill our recycling bin quite quickly!”
The Council say:
“I haven’t been to the site but I suspect someone has just peeled part of the sign off. The bin is still for Plastic Bottles/Pots/Tubs/Trays and Food and Drinks Tins and Cans. I’ll get the sign checked/fixed.”
We have again asked the Tree Officer to remove the dead tree outside 86 Ashmore Road and plant a new tree.
Kilburn Lane – anti-social behavior
Following recent court action, the eviction of a Kilburn Lane Council tenant responsible for serious anti-social behavior went ahead as planned and the property is to be secured with Sitex.
Kilburn Lane – rubbish
We have asked Nuno, our City Inspector, to investigate this issue and take the necessary action:
“I live on Kilburn Lane opposite the Quandrant building. Two things relating to rubbish on our street. First, people have suddenly started leaving dog poo bags dumped under the new trees and also the recycling and rubbish isn’t being picked up as often as it used to be and not at all when the signs say it should be picked up. Can we get new signs telling us when the Westminster side’s rubbish will be collected and can you put up dog littering signs on the new trees as they are horrible and that is coming from a dog owner.”
We have asked Nuno to take action on this issue:
“Once again rubbish has been dumped down our end of Fifth Avenue from yesterday, a considerable amount of household rubbish, including dangerous broken glass (on the road), a cushion, polystyrene beading and general household waste. Earlier last week a plastic crate containing mixed rubbish was dumped on the pavement. This is a persistent problem, as you know, and we would like action to be taken, not just to clear up the rubbish but to identify the perpetrators.”
In addition, we have asked the Highways Team to get GNetworks to reinstate the pavements properly following their recent roadworks. Residents say:
“Following all the rain we’ve had recently, the filling in between the paving stones appears to have washed away.I would like this to be replaced please – so the paving slabs do not become loose and unsafe.”
We have asked the police and the Council to take action to stop drug dealing and other anti-social behavior at a house on Sixth Avenue.
Following reports from residents, we have given the police details of cars parked in the street where the occupants are acting suspiciously.
We have asked the Parking Team to investigate the situation in Huxley Street:
“Huxley Street has now become absolutely rammed with cars – to the extent of being unable to park in my own street. Rather makes a mockery of paying for a permit – particularly as they are increasing next year. These cars seem to appear and stay for days on end – probably without permits – and possibly parked by people going to work during the daytime as Huxley is easily accessed from Harrow Road. Together with these vehicles and numerous enormous builders’ vans etc. it’s all becoming a joke – albeit a bad one.”
Skip lorries in Fifth and Sixth Avenues
We have again urged the Council to takeaction against the skip lorry operators for their constant anti social behaviour. They are clearly not paying the slightest notice of the Council or residents’ concerns. Residents say:
“We are getting just as many lorries as before and now we have brown skips marked DONAGUE just as frequent as Powerday and a new company marked J.SIMPSON has started to use our roads, so there has been no improvement.”
The Highways Team say:
“Given that the skip companies seem to continue to defy requests not to use Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the only viable option left would seem to be to impose a 7.5T weight restriction in the area. However, we would not be able to treat single roads in isolation but would need to review a wider residential area. Aside from the cost, there may be wider implications that may need to be addressed. Additionally, we are currently developing a Westminster street-types report, which will seek to inform how different types of streets function and would offer guidance on kerbside controls and potential restriction changes, such as in residential areas where HGV bans may be implemented. Once this is in place, we can review the situation again.”
Oliphant Street/Sixth Avenue – Rubbish dumping
We have asked Nuno to take action here:
“Despite concerted efforts by the council to signpost a tree and on both sides, someone has still dumped their rubbish illegally on the corner of Oliphant Street and Sixth Avenue. Sadly, it seems to me the only thing that will stop them is CCTV. No amount of warnings have had any use. It really is very depressing.”
Queen’s Park Gardens
We have asked the police to make regular patrols in and around Queen’s Park Gardens following reports of drug dealing in the park.
We have asked Nuno if the guards around the trees in Ilbert Street (and elsewhere) can be cleared of empty cans, bottles and other debris. As residents say, “it will just get worse and worse if left”.
We have asked the Street Lighting team to fix a broken street light in Bravington Road.
We have also asked the Council and the police to take the necessary action to stop the noise and ASB at a property in Bravington Road. Resiodents say:
“I have lived on Bravington Road for almost four years very happily, but for the last five or six months, my neighbour has been causing a significant noise nuisance. In this time, the neighbour in question has been regularly playing loud, continuous music and radio overnight which regularly wakes me up and keeps me awake. The noise often begins in the early to late evening and continues solidly for 12 hours or more – in fact, over this last weekend I could hear music from his flat for over 24 consecutive hours. In addition, he is often outside his property talking, shouting and singing loudly, which is interspersedwith him slamming his front door and banging loudly around inside his flat.”
We have asked Nuno to arrange for graffiti on Coomassie Road to be removed.
We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:
“A group of us local residents have expressed concern that there is still no pedestrian crossing outside St. Luke’s School. We are particularly concerned about the safety of children, even though there is a lollipop lady present certain days. We think that a push-button pedestrian crossing should be installed just north of Saltram Crescent. This would also be the mid-way point between the two bus stops. Many folk using the buses have difficulty in crossing the road to get to or from the buses.
Given the ongoing crimes of speeding sometimes to be witnessed in Fernhead Road, we think that such a crossing is long overdue. It would force drivers and riders to slow down. This would also be beneficial in other ways, for we now know that speeding increases noise and pollution hazards. We don’t think the proposed crossing would cause any problems for the emergency vehicles. “
The Road Safety Team say:
“A feasibility study was commissioned to review the potential installation of a zebra crossing outside the school, in response to a similar prior request. We have been in contact with the school directly to provide updates during the study. Our Road Safety Officer will be able to consult with the school, local residents, businesses and other stakeholders once complete funding has been confirmed for the scheme.”
Queen’s Park Station area
Brent Council have been discussing finding a way forward for the Queen’s Park station car park site, which includes Cullen House, the Falcon, Premier House, part of the gyratory and the demolished Keniston Press building. Brent have been discussing purchasing the Falcon pub, if necessary, in order to finally make progress on the overall development of the site. You can read the Brent report here
G Networks road works
We received this enquiry from a resident:
“I was intrigued to see G Network digging up streets in the Queen’s Park area for fibre to home network, namely part of Ilbert Street, Fifth and Third Avenues. I asked G Network why they have dug up part of these streets and not the whole street to be able to offer all people their fibre to home service. I was told that they operate on a supply and demand basis and had not had interest from the rest of Ilbert etc, hence not installing! I’ve never seen any request for interest and I really can’t believe they would dig up roads based on interest from just a couple of houses! Has the Council had any info from them at all?”
We received the following response from G.Networks.
“Unlike most new full fibre providers we do not determine where or when we dig a street based on the demand on that street. We proactively dig the street with no idea of demand at that time and once the street is live (fibre installed) we then start selling on the street. We have a number of criteria that determine if and when we will invest in digging a particular street, most important of which is the number of premises on that street. Clearly we also have to take into account the practical realities of digging the street working with your Streetworks team, eg Road Closures, Section 58 etc.”
Harrow Road crossing by Third Avenue and the canal bridge
We have asked the Road Safety Team to look again at this issue to improve pedestrian safety:
“We have previously discussed the urgency of this with you due to the lack of a countdown and also a very quick green man. It does not leave enough time to cross, particularly with children. By the time you have waited for traffic to stop the light changes and you are often caught in the middle of this very busy road. This is a much busier crossing than the one further up Harrow Road by Sixth Avenue and yet that one has a countdown. This crossing by the bridge is used a lot by parents and children as there are schools close by on either side of the canal.
A friend of ours was very nearly knocked over on this crossing this week with her pram and two year old in it. My husband happened to be passing on his bicycle at the time it happened and she was very shaken up. It is a horrendous accident waiting to happen. “
The Road Safety Team say:
“Our signal contractors say that the location is currently unable to have a countdown timer as this is a ‘puffin’ type, and would need far-sided signals to be implemented, which would come at considerable cost.
However, we may be able to adjust the timings. The pedestrian green time at this location is currently 6 seconds, and there is a possibility this can be increased up to 9 seconds. Authorisation will need to be granted by TfL who have control over the signals, and do not readily adjust timings because of the knock on effect on traffic flows. To get there, we will need to do a short study of the crossing’s usage (amount of users, establishment on crossing point, distance), and put a case to TfL in order for them to increase the crossing time. I will update you once we have a response from TfL.”
We have urged the Council and TfL to take action here as at peak times many families use the crossing for schools over the Ha’penny steps bridge. Also, the crossing is used for access to the bus stop at the bridge which serves 3 busy routes.
The Avenues Youth Club
We are delighted to hear that The Avenues has won desperately needed funding from Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund to recruit junior support workers to work with at risk teenagers. Sadly, Westminster Council turned down an application for funding from the Community Contribution fund.
The two bike hangars in Ilbert Street are both full. There is a waiting list of 26 additional bike owners and we are pressing the Council to install additional hangars in the area. We will keep you updated.
We have again asked the Environmental Health Team to to take action to deal with the rat infestation around the Ha’Penny Steps bridge. The Council say:
“There is ongoing bait treatments at this location by the Pest control team, we will again contact the team for an update.”
North Paddington Foodbank
The North Paddington Foodbank (NPFB) was started in 2014 by a group of local professionals and residents who had directly experienced or provided support to those experiencing hardship in North Westminster and saw the need for an organisation to provide short-term support. Using financial and food donations from across the community, the food bank aims to provide at least 3 days worth of food to a household.
NPFB was started as a voluntary endeavour, which is still reliant upon volunteers from any and all backgrounds to help carry out its service, with 40-60 volunteers currently active. By 2015, the need was rising enough to warrant the employment of a manager for 3-days a week. An admin assistant was added in February 2017, whilst the manager’s position became full-time in August 2018. Over this period, the number of people needing the food bank rose at an average of 100% year-on-year, to now, where NPFB gave food and essentials to 6-7,000 people in the last 12 months (January 2019).
You can make a regular donation to North Paddington Foodbank here https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1015159&stop_mobi=yes
Bulky Waste collection
We have called on the Council to radically improve its bulky waste collection service as one way to stop the epidemic of dumped mattresses, freezers and furniture on many Westminster streets. Currently, the Council charges £30 to collect up to 6 items from residents. But it can take up to 10 days for the Council to collect the items leading to some residents dumping unwanted items in the street.
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
The doorstep recycling service concentrates on the recyclable materials most commonly produced by houses so that these can be easily separated into the different material types. The link below summarises what can be put in recycling bags
Lots of other materials can be recycled but not through the doorstep collection service. The A-Z list below gives details of what and where items can be recycled or re-used:
The new Report It service has been unveiled. Let us know what you think https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
Ultra Low Emission Zone
We have welcomed the sharp fall in toxic gas since the Mayor introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone. The level of a toxic gas produced by diesel engines has fallen by a third in central London since charges for the most polluting vehicles were introduced.
NO2 has fallen from 85 to 57 micrograms per cubic metre at the roadside in central London since October 2017, when Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, introduced a £10 daily toxicity charge. The charge increased to £12.50 in April 2019 as part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
There were 13,500 fewer polluting cars driven into central London in Sptember 2019 compared with March 2019, a reduction of 38 per cent, according to a report by the Greater London Authority.
The amount of traffic in central London has fallen by up to 9 per cent since 2018, suggesting that the introduction of the charge has prompted some people to give up driving into the centre. The ULEZ levy has also caused carbon dioxide emissions from road transport to fall by 4 per cent.
Car scrappage scheme
Low-income Londoners have been offered £2,000 by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to trade in older cars in a £25 million initiative to clean up the capital’s toxic air. The scrappage scheme aims to help poorer residents avoid having to pay the £12.50-a-day ultra low emission zone (Ulez) levy. The Mayor has also promised to expand the Ulez zone beyond central London to the boundaries of the North and South Circular roads in October 2021 if he is re-elected next May.
Leading the way in Westminster
You can read how we have succeeded in getting the Council to implement many of our local election manifesto commitments.
Conservation Area – what you say
“I do think the points about alarm boxes and meter boxes are unnecessary. And painting alarm boxes seems pointless as it’s important to show that they are not fake. Also where these are placed will be dictated to a degree by internal lay out. More useful than those two points would be monitoring of state of front gardens and houses where the bricks have been painted. working out how those properties that have not adhered to planning will be sorted.”
What you say
“Excellent newsletter as ever. It is good to see that the graffiti has been removed from the Ha-penny Steps wall and the area will look even better when the end terrace wall is cleaned too. I wholly concur with remarks about the problem of rubbish and dumping – household items are again being dumped outside properties on Canal Terrace along the Harrow Road. The notices, I’m afraid, are no deterrent.”
“Thanks you for your update. Useful as ever.”
“Thank you for your update which is comprehensive as always.”
“Thank you for the update – I am keen to see the area progress and improve – together we can make a difference.”
“Thanks so much again for your quick responses. Also regarding the telephone box at top of Ashmore the other week.”
“Thank you as always for your help with everything and all you do.”
“Thank you so much for all the work you are doing for the community and local area. Times are tough, but you are all clearly putting in a lot of effort to making Queen’s Park a great place to live, which I very much appreciate.”
Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.
Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Your Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors – Here to Help