NEWS FROM YOUR HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR 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:
“The first two weeks of November were dominated by Remembrance events, beginning with a visit to the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, then a Remembrance service at GLA City Hall, the British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and the ceremonial Remembrance service at the Abbey on Remembrance Sunday. After that service, I also read a lesson and laid a wreath at the outdoor Remembrance service at the Paddington Memorial in Lancaster Gate.
Then, the following weekend, I attended the Remembrance service for the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen & Women (AJEX) at St John’s Wood Orthodox Synagogue, at which Rabbi Jonathan Sacks preached. I was invited to speak after the service and, in view of the political contention around the issue of antisemitism, jettisoned my prepared words and simply stated that I personally and as the first Lord Mayor of Westminster from the Minority Labour Group, and the whole Council, across the parties, stood alongside the Jewish community and would continue to do so. The following day, I was at the AJEX Cenotaph memorial and was asked if I would march with them – which I was happy to do.
And then: I went to Norway! To take part in the ceremony to fell the tree for Trafalgar Square – the gift from Oslo to London for providing a haven for King Haakon’s government in exile during World War II. The weather was largely wet but it stopped raining as the children of two primary schools were singing beautifully in both Norwegian and English. So now, the magnificent tree is on its way here and its lights will be switched on at 4.00pm next Thursday, 5th December”
We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this suggestion from a resident:
“May I suggest a traffic island for Elgin Avenue? This would enable vulnerable people to safely cross Elgin Avenue. Many use Elgin Surgery, the Food Bank, etc. There is also an occasional problem of speeding in this road. A traffic island would benefit everybody!”
Elgin Avenue/Chippenham Road
We have asked the Highways Team to repair the green light which is hanging off the Traffic Light at the Junction of Elgin Avenue and Chippenham Road.
Warlock Road/Walterton Road
The fly tipping at the Warlock and Walterton Road corner is now causing a great deal of grief to residents. We have agreed to try an experimental period when the bins are removed. We have suggested that this starts in early January 2020 for a period of three months.
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
Fernhead Road – update
Following our enquiries about locating a pedestrian crossing outside St Luke’s School on Fernhead Road, the Road Safety Team says:
“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 consult with local ward Councillors, the school, local residents, businesses and other stakeholders once complete funding has been confirmed for the scheme.”
Improvement works to the garages on the Lydford Estate started on 14 October 2019. This includes, replacing garage doors to prevent anti-social behavior. Residents have been contacted by both the housing team and Morgan Sindall, with information about the project and arrangements for the temporary relocation of parked vehicles while the works are taking place.
A new parking management scheme has been introduced to residents on the Lydford Estate, so that to prevent unauthorised parking. This will involve:
- removing bollards
- nstalling new signage around the parking area
- painting new road markings
- notifying residents
- issuing new agreements to existing parking bay holders
Further works are needed at Lydford Hall. The roof needs repairing and restricted bookings to the hall. The council is also making changes to Portgate Hall. We and LETRA representatives and are meeting with the council to discuss these issues.
We are supporting the campaign to persuade Notting Hill Genesis to preserve Gerry Dalton’s “magical kingdom” made up of miniature concrete models of well-known buildings and historical figures following his death last month.
Orpheus House, Harrow Road
Residents are very concerned about the lack of security due to the broken garage door in their block. Cars have been broken in to and furniture etc is dumped by the bins. They say the CCTV used to work but despite a number of requests from residents the CCTV is still not working. We have asked Notting Hill Genesis to arrange for these issues to be investigated.
A reminder that there is a big Christmas event on November 30th at Maida Hill Place when the tree will be lit up. A number of events have been arranged around that activity.
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.
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
The new Report It service has been unveiled. Let us know what you think https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
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:
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 Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca.
Your Harrow Road Labour Councillors