News from the St John’s Wood Labour Action Team
General Election result
Karen Buck was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Westminster North on 12th December. The full result was:
- Karen Buck, Labour, 23,240
- Jamie Macfarlane, Conservative, 12,481
- George Lee, Liberal Democrat, 5,593
- Holly Robinson, Green, 1,064
- Cyrus Parvin, Brexit Party, 418
- Gabriela Fajardo Palacios, Christian Peoples Alliance, 115
She said afterwards: “It’s an absolute honour” to be re-elected to represent Westminster North.
“Whilst I am delighted tonight it is clearly a very bad night indeed for the party I represent and love and while some of that is due to the challenges of Brexit which have divided us in Labour, divided the country it is clearly not the only reason we performed so badly and starting tomorrow we have to learn the lessons of this defeat and face up to it.”
We have asked the Tree Officer to consider the following suggestion:
“There are at least 3 or 4 pavement plots along Norfolk Road between Woronzow Road and Ordnance Hill where trees have been removed, presumably because they were in poor health or had died. (One of the trees is still in place but has been cut down to a stump). They should be replaced.”
The Tree Officer tells us, “These trees will be replaced shortly.”
We have asked the Council to take action on this issue:
“Going into Circus Road outside the coffee shop Pret a Manger there are 8 railings specially for bicycles to be left when the rider is perhaps shopping or having a cup of coffee etc. There has been a pink bike parked on the end one overlooking Pret for at least six months. It has a large advertising board attached to it, very unsightly and is preventing anyone using that last bike railing. Could it be moved. Its certainly free advertising for someone”
Northwick Close/Northwick Terrace
We have written to the Royal Mail following residents’ poor experience with the post over recent months. Residents say:
“Last night, my doorbell rang and it was a young woman who lives in Northwick Terrace. She was delivering to me a parcel which I had been waiting a fortnight for and, which was clearly addressed to me at Northwick Close! Yesterday and today I have been -re-delivering post that arrived in my letterbox, for people in Northwick Terrace and other addresses in Northwick Close.”
St. John’s Wood Road and Grove End Road
We have asked the Highways Team to action here:
“Every time it rains heavily the drain at the junction of St. John’s Wood Road and Grove End Road floods all over the road. It is dangerous for pedestrians to cross as it floods both roads.”
The Highways Team say:
“The problematic gully here is on the TfL network and is maintained by them. It has been raised many times over the previous years and has been escalated with TfL now to a high level due to their failures to action it properly. We are now led to believe that work is being planned by TfL, at long last, to fix the fault here.”
St John’s Wood Terrace
We have again asked the Council’s Tree Officer to take action in respect of the tree outside 95 St John’s Wood Terrace. Residents say:
“In the high winds last night, the tree has dropped another major branch on the pavement–which I foreshadowed with my previous comment. I have used “report it” to get the branch taken away (needs saws and vehicle). Fortunately no injuries (late at night) or apparent property damage (to parked cars or gardens/houses) but I think the Tree Officer needs to do an urgent inspection to check the remaining tree (which is substantial) and could cause major damage or injury) is safe.”
Locations for new trees
We have asked the Tree Officer to investigate the following locations:
- On Ordnance Hill, just opposite Robinsfield School entrance, which is vacant
- There are two mature stumps close to 80 St. John’s Wood Terrace where trees were recently cut down.
Westminster Council wants people to help it improve air quality by reporting drivers running their engines when parked but does not know where the worst offenders are located, according to a Freedom of Information request made by a resident. You can read more here:
Climate Change Tips for the month
Save any Christmas wrapping paper to reuse next year. Smaller pieces can be cut up to make decorations for homemade Christmas cards or gift tags. Remember, metallic and sparkly wrapping paper can’t be recycled. Save your Christmas wreath and spray it with gold or silver spray paint to have a wreath that can be used for longer. Red ribbons or ornaments can be added to give it some more colour.
Consider reducing your meat and dairy intake. Commercial farming is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, biodiversity loss, water usage, eutrificaion and soil acidification. Try Veganuary, a month-long commitment to going vegan for the month of January, with help and recipes at uk.veganuary.com. Already half a million people from 178 countries have taken part. If that’s too daunting, go for Meat-Free Monday, www.meatfreemondays.com an idea set up by Paul McCartney in the UK, but is already popular in many other cities around the world, with some cities such as Ghent, Cape Town and Los Angeles declaring a meat-free day once a week.
We are calling on the Government to increase the Council’s powers to take strong action against those responsible for dumping rubbish on our streets. In 2016, the Government gave Local Authorities the power to issue fines of up to £400 for those responsible for fly tipping. But the current £400 fines barely cover the costs of clean up; do not cover the cost of Enforcement Teams; are less than the cost of a skip and do not provide sufficient disincentive to offenders. Fly-tipping has risen by almost 40% since 2012 – according to LGA figures. We believe that the Government should:
- Increase the fines the Council can levy to £2,000
- Make it compulsory that the Council is reimbursed for the costs of clearing fly-tipping in addition to legal costs from fines issued in court.
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
What you say
“Thank you very much as ever.”
“I do greatly appreciate all that you and Karen Buck do for the local community.”
“Appreciate the detail on the crossings with Abercorn and Hamilton Terrace, also Hall Road and Hamilton.
“Regarding rubbish left on the street overnight the large council black bins at Maida Vale are often overflowing and people are putting the wrong items into them or just stacking rubbish next to the bins. I must compliment our hard working bin men who are constantly trying to clear this mess up. People just don’t seem to care these days.”
“You achieved more with one email than I managed in eight weeks of emails!”
“Thanks as always for your engagement and campaigning.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,
Your St John’s Wood Labour Action Team