News from Maida Vale Councillors Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis & the Little Venice Labour Action Team – Iman Less, Murad Qureshi and Sue Wolff
Lauderdale Mansions West
Controversial plan to build flats on top of Lauderdale Mansions West have block have returned. After plans to build nine flats on top of the historic Lauderdale Mansions West building drew the ire of the community last summer, the developer has returned with a revised planning application. But members of the community remain furious at the scheme, which a local councillor said would “mutilate the building”.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough called on the Planning Committee to reject the scheme. He said:
“Parkcity’s proposals to plonk these pokey flats on top of Lauderdale Mansions will mutilate an historic building, increase the risk of subsidence and lead to years of worry for the leaseholders. Westminster should reject these plans.”
In June, more than 100 people opposed the plans, including the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale society who said it “would cause significant harm to both the host building and wider conservation area”.
Widley Road/Elgin Avenue
We have reported this issue to the local Inspector:
“I am writing to report an issue of constantly overflowing bin on the corner of Widley Road and Elgin Avenue, on the side of Westside Court as my complaints in the Westminster waste collection website have not borne fruit. There is a constant overflow of bins in this area, which obviously attracts foxes and is potentially a H&S issue as well as a very unpleasant sight on a daily basis. When I complain to Westminster about overflowing bins, they usually send a collection truck. Whilst I appreciate the reaction, this does not solve the recurring issue.
I would think that a third bin would be required, as has been done on Biddulph & Elgin. I think an extra bin could be required at the corner of Widley and Essendine too. Is there anything you could do to help sort this situation that has been occurring for years now?”
The Council responded:
“GPS tracking confirms that the waste bin is emptied three times every day (Mon – Sun) and the recycling is collected once every day. The recycling bins at this site does suffer from being filled with general waste on a regular basis which means the efforts of residents trying to recycle is ruined and the recycling bin has to be left unemptied until the next scheduled waste collection. I have tasked local Veolia cleansing managers and the City Inspectors to monitor the site for next few weeks but unfortunately many of our bin sites can be overwhelmed very quickly between collections by flat clearances etc.”
Paddington Recreation Ground
Following protests from local residents and Labour councillors, Westminster officers have told us that the price increases had been “badly communicated.” They have instructed Everyone Active will roll back to 2019 prices until a new pricing structure can be agreed. We think that Everyone Active is looking to increase PAYG pricing to “encourage” the sales of subscriptions and will continue to call for prices that strike a fair balance between casual and regular users.
Paddington Rec Cricket pitch
We’ve been working with two local cricket clubs – Maida Vale Cricket Club and the Paddington Rabbits – to fight proposed very sharp increased in the price charged for renting the cricket pitch at Paddington Recreation Ground. The controversy was reported by the Ham & High. https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/environment/paddington-rec-cricket-teams-baffled-by-planned-price-rises-1-6481564 Council staff have now agreed to rethink how clubs are charged to rent the Village Green.
New Council Houses – Carlton Vale
We visited the construction site of the new council homes being built behind Melrose and Helmsdale Houses on Carlton Vale. The site is very constrained, so the houses are largely prefabricated and are being assembled on site. The houses should be ready for families to move in around August time. Locals on the housing waiting list will have priority. We’re delighted to have secured this investment to turn underused brownfield land into genuinely affordable homes
The first set of bike hangars have been a huge success and we’ve managed to secure 7 additional ones. These will be placed on Sutherland Avenue near Delaware Road, Delaware Road outside the BBC Studios, Biddulph Road outside the GP surgery, Grantully Road outside the entrance to Paddington Rec, Lauderdale Road near the junction of Sutherland Avenue and Randolph Avenue just north of Canton Vale. The exact locations are out for consultation with local residents right now. If you’d like a bike hangar in your street, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oak Tree House – Telecoms Masts
A telecoms operator has applied for planning permission to put a set of 4G masts on top of Oak Tree House on Delaware Road. This is being opposed by the Oak Tree House residents’ association. We are also objecting to the proposal on the grounds of the damage this rather ugly set of equipment will do to the Maida Vale conservation area. You can see the application and give your view to Westminster here. https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=Q43HYYRPGAW00
Maida Vale Station – Guerilla marketing
You may have noticed an enterprising “man with a van” has been advertising on a series of bicycles parked at Maida Vale station. Unfortunately, he’s taking up space that locals need to park their bikes at a very busy location. The City Inspector has already removed two bikes with unauthorised advertising and will continue to remove additional ones.
Lanark Road – new Community Centre
After our intervention in support of residents on Randolph Avenue, Westminster has rejected the operational management plan for the new community centre on Lanark Road. We’re delighted to welcome back the North Paddington Youth Club but the management needs to work together with council officers and local residents to ensure minimum disruption. For example, we need a commitment that windows will be kept closed when loud music plays.
We continue to press Westminster Council to take action on the rebuilding of Carlton Tavern. The enforcement officer told us: “I visited unannounced before Christmas and found specialist plaster and tile moulders on site. Although these works are not visible from the outside due to the security hoarding, detailed works have been progressing to a good standard (albeit slowly) internally on the ground floor.”
Ward budget – Lego Discos
Following the successful Lego disco for children in Harrow Road over the Christmas Holidays, we have approved of £760 to be spent on 5 Lego discos to be held over February half term for local children aged 0-12. The project has similar funding from Westbourne and Harrow Road wards and the activities will take place in the Grand Junction play area.
Beechcroft care home, Shirland Road
Following a campaign by Labour Councillors, Westminster City Council is seeking a new operator for the new Beechcroft care home in Sghirland Road after its preferred partner, Sanctuary Care became the subject of a police investigation. The move came after five staff were suspended at Sanctuary Care’s Garside House in Pimlico following abuse allegations in November. Garside House was subsequently rated Inadequate by the CQC following an inspection in the same month.
You can read the story of J Welford & Sons Limited, the former headquarters of the largest milk business in London’s history in Maida Vale:
We are continuing to chase this issue with the Housing Department:
“The street lights in the garden on the pavement in front of Parsons House are still not working”
We are making enquiries with the Council about these issues:
“I am really disappointed that a pile of rubbish has just been left several times over the past few months at the corner of Paddington Green and Harrow Road. It is opposite to Newcastle Place and by the entrance of Paddington Green Gardens. I am also disappointed that the state of Paddington Green Police Station and the homeless people who have set up camps are left to their own devices. Again the rubbish is opposite this corner.”
Westminster Council tenants – Thames Water charges
We have received the following update from the Council:
“Thames Water have terminated their agreement with us for the collection of water charges with effect from 31 March 2020. From 1 April 2020 Thames Water will charge council tenants directly for their water services. This means we will stop adding fixed costs for water to our tenants weekly rent and service charge bills from this date. Tenants will then pay Thames Water directly for their water use.
We are writing to tenants this week to let them know about the changes. Thames Water plan to write to tenants later this month to set up their accounts in advance of their first bills which we expect they will receive in late Feb to early March for the period April 1 2020 to 31 March 2021. Thames Water will offer payments in instalments and offer social tariffs which could see some eligible tenants’ bills reduced by 50 per cent.
More information including advice for tenants can be found online here https://www.westminster.gov.uk/yourhousing/news/changes-tenants-thames-water-bills-and-how-save-50”
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.
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:
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
“Many thanks again for all the information”
“Another excellent report thank you.”
“Good to see Karen Buck our MP is back in place”
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
You can read our news here