News from Maida Vale Councillors Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis and the Little Venice Labour Action Team, Iman Less, Murad Qureshi and Sue Wolff
We are supporting residents in Ashworth Mansions who are opposing plans to build phone masts on the roof. If approved by Westminster City Council, the plans would involve six new masts, as well as four dishes erected on the roof. The block is in the Maida Vale Conservation Area. Residents say: “People are always complaining about mobile phone coverage but people don’t want to look at these masts. You can’t have one without the other and we all accept that. The wider issue is that it is a challenge to the protection of a conservation area. But if they get this, it will give them a free hand to put it wherever they want.”
Shirland Road care home
Following the problems and police investigation at Garside House nursing home in Pimlico, we have urged the Council not to let Sanctuary run the new care home on Shirland Road and to take the services in-house.
An application has been submitted for new shop fronts for the proposed Coop shop at 207 Shirland Rd (formerly The Chippenham pub) including plant enclosures in Malvern Road. You can see the plans and make comments here
We will be getting some more bike hangars in the New Year and the initial plans would be to locate them on Lanark Road (near Scottish Towers), Elgin Avenue (near Biddulph Road), Lauderdale Road (near Sutherland Avenue), Randolph Avenue (near Carlton Vale) and Grantully Road.
If you’ve not already registered your interest, please send an email to
121 Shirland Road
We are objecting to a planning application to covert the old Petit Cafe into a flat. The success of the Bread Boutique and WEZA has show that quality commerce can thrive on Shirland Road if we allow it to flourish.
You can give your views on Westminster’s Planning Portal. https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=PYFNAURPJ1J00
Kilburn Park Road
Residents have told us about the difficulty finding a parking space on Kilburn Park Road at evenings and weekends. The council told us:
“Kilburn Park Road constitutes part of the border between Westminster and LB Brent. It is a boundary road but does not operate a reciprocal agreement whereby permit holder of Brent/Westminster can park on either side of the road. In recent years a number of car-free residential developments have occurred on the Brent side which has increased the demand for parking space in the area in general, especially in the evenings and at weekends. This increased demand has been exacerbated on our side (sub-zone C1, but also running into C2) by the fact that our controls are slightly less strict than Brent’s (although not in the evenings): whilst Our CPZ and resident bay controls generally match (08.00-18.30 Mon-Fri), there is a section on the Brent side from Shirland Rd to Carlton Vale that is controlled 08:00-18:30, Mon to Sat.
We have considered carrying out a ‘common complaint’ zonal review for these sort of issues as they occur in a number of locations across the City. The intention is to tie this in with the wider review of parking policy that has been commissioned over the next 6-9months.
The solution is unlikely to be simple. Sub-zones C1 and C2 are both large so there would be little justification (or perhaps demand) to increase the resbay hours in both/either into the evenings/weekends, just to address this issue. The alternative would be to create a new sub-zone, with resbay hours running into the evening (to 20.30? 22.00?) and on Saturdays, but that may only prove popular with permit holding residents. There is also the question of where the boundaries of any new zone would fall and whether this would just push the issue to other C1 or C2 areas.”
We asked the council what had happened to the Simon Milton Garden in Paddington Recreation Ground. They replied:
“Following discussions between Council Officers and the late Sir Simon Milton’s partner it was agreed that the memorial fountain was not in the best place for its intended usage and that when the fountain was running it was something of a dog bath particularly on hot days.
The original idea of the fountain was to have a place for ”quiet conservations” and so to better reflect it’s intended use it was decided to relocate it to the Environmental Class room area where it would be best suited to conservations between pupils and teachers thus providing a teaching aide in a more reflective environment. The area where the fountain was located will be landscaped and turned into a small picnic area with views across the village green and surrounds. We are currently working on final design that will blend into the existing planting schemes.”
Please join us for the Christmas celebration on Friday 6th December 4pm by the cafe at Paddington Rec. Children from Essendine and St Augustine primary schools will be singing Christmas carols and we will be switching on the lights of the Christmas tree.
Maida Vale Ward Budget
We are re-introducing hanging baskets in Maida Vale ward for the summer 2020. The cost of the hanging baskets for the summer months is £11,350 and it comes out of the ward budget of £46,000. We are committed to using the ward budget to support local schools and charities for projects that improve the lives of residents (for example a recent project by Essendine school to provide extra speech and language support for the pupils) but when it is possible to also fund the hanging baskets, we are very pleased to do so.
We would also encourage all local schools, charities and constituted residents’ associations who would like to put on projects to support local residents to apply for funds. More information can be found here: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/ward-budgets
Maida Vale ward panel
Every 3-4 months, the local police hold a meeting with local residents to report on local crime statistics, hear concerns and report on what is being done to address these. In our recent meeting, crime statistics were good, with reduced burglaries although a slight increase in robberies. Overall, crime in Maida Vale is relatively low compared to other wards in Westminster. Residents reported concerns with drink driving, drug dealing and compliance with the 20 miles an hour signs.
After a long campaign by the Labour Action Team, we are delighted security is being increased at Fleming Court by installing CCTV.
Warwick Avenue/Sutherland Avenue
We have urged the Council to take firm action against those responsible for dumping rubbish by the black bins at the corner of Warwick Avenue and Sutherland Avenue. Residents say:
“This is a disgrace – piles of rubbish, unsorted recycling, and unwanted items are always being dumped here. The Council clears it up fairly regularly, but it needs to come to grips with modern life and recycling norms – what they are currently doing obviously does not work – people don’t seem to want to sort, and the amount of cardboard produced in this internet age is obviously more than the system can cope with. And what is a perfectly good doorstop recycling collection system round here is grossly under-used.
I’ve commented on this many times before, but the problem gets worse rather than better, and the Council are not getting a grip on it. This is disgraceful – an eyesore, a health risk, and it attracts vermin.”
We have asked the Council and TfL to fix these lights along Edgware Road:
“The three faulty street lights on Edgware Road near Parsons House are still not fixed. With the clocks going back this weekend it would be good to have this very dark area lit again. The lights are in Edgware Road and begin by the parade of shops in the small garden area outside Parsons House and the last one is by the recycling centre. The pavement area is very wide and light from the road edge lampposts does not cover the area. Hence the darkness.”
John Aird Court
We have asked the Housing Department to investigate when the poorly fitting window frames in John Aird Court will be replaced with new window frames that will keep in the heat and save energy. The Housimng Department say:
“Major works are currently scheduled to be delivered for John Aird Court programmed to commence in 2023. The works include window replacement.”
In addition, the Housing Department tells us the old door entry system stopped working so they have installed a new one in blocks 18-40. To maximise security, encrypted fob keys that cannot be cloned will be shared with residents.
Able Me Boxing Club
Able Me Boxing is a club for children with disabilities ran by Little Venice ward Officer PC Reading with help from his colleagues. PC Reading has run a boxing club for years focusing on providing kids the opportunity to learn new skills, make friends and get fit. Able Me Boxing has been set up to give the same opportunities to children with disabilities.
You watch the video https://youtu.be/vPjFDPK20Uc
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
Royal Parks are set to ban “rat-running” drivers after a massive majority of respondents to a consultation supported traffic restrictions. Parks such as Regent’s Park and Hyde Park are blighted by motorists using them as shortcuts, particularly during morning and evening rush hours. A Royal Parks survey on whether to discourage commuters from driving through the eight parks found 78 per cent support and 17 per cent opposition. Almost 7,000 people responded.
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
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.
Westminster Planning Department
We are concerned to read that Westminster Council has continued to allow senior officers to accept gifts from property developers and other private companies. A freedom of information request has shown that, between 2017 and 2019, council staff logged 240 records of individual gifts they received. The council’s Employees’ Code of Conduct says officers “must comply” with rules on the “declaration of hospitality or gifts offered to or received by them, from any person or organisation doing or seeking to do business, or otherwise benefiting or seeking to benefit from a relationship with the City Council”.
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Councillors Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis
Your Maida Vale Labour Action Team
You can read our news here
Iman Less, Murad Qureshi and Sue Wolff
Your Little Venice Labour Action Team