News from your three Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Junction Improvements at Harrow Road, Kilburn Lane, Ladbroke Grove
At last! Construction is planned to start in late March 2020 on highway and junction improvements at the intersection of Harrow Road, Kilburn Lane and Ladbroke Grove. The work includes:
- A single ‘green man’ pedestrian (‘all red’ traffic) phase on all four arms of the junction, improving crossing facilities for pedestrians.
- Resurfacing of the junction and all approaches, including anti-skid surfacing on all signal approaches.
- Renewal of footway materials and new dropped kerbs at signalised crossings.
- improved bus accessibility on the western footway of Kilburn Lane by the removal of the existing triple height kerb.
- New and improved street lighting.
- Widening of the carriageway on the east side of Kilburn Lane and cutting back the wide footway to improve traffic flows through the junction.
- Amendments to waiting and loading restrictions
To limit disruption using the junction, temporary lights will be in operation throughout the scheme. A full road closure of Kilburn Lane will be required towards the latter part of the project for approximately ten weeks, more detail will be provided prior to commencement. Construction is planned to start in late March 2020 until early August 2020.
Queen’s Park Primary School
We were delighted to hear of Queen’s Park School’s recent success in reading, writing and mathematics Key Stage 2 results. As the letter from the Government minister below says, the school is in the top 3% of primary schools in terms of its improvement between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
We have asked Nuno, our local Inspector, to investigate the persistent rubbish dumping outside 15/17 Fifth Avenue Residents say “it is getting more frequent despite the proximity to the big black bins.”
We have also asked Nuno to remove a number of bikes parked on the pavement outside 59 Fifth Avenue.
We have asked Nuno to take the necessary action to stop rubbish dumping along Sixth Avenue.
Kilburn Lane/Bravington Road
Following a car accident, we asked the Council to repair a broken lamp post and pavement at the corner of Kilburn Lane and Bravington Road. The Highways Team say:
“The area was made safe and barriers where installed around the damaged area and the works to rectify this issue will be commencing on the 3rd of February. When the column and signage will be replaced and the paving reinstated.”
266-268 Kilburn Lane
We have reported this to owners of the flats at 266-268 Kilburn Lane:
“There has been an outdoor toilet outside 266-268 KIlburn Lane for many months now.I emailed the company listed on the toilet but they did not respond.Can the toilet me removed as the roofing work finished many many months ago.”
Kilburn Lane – weekend traffic congestion
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“I am writing about the weekly chaos each weekend on Kilburn Lane which is getting worse. Each Saturday and Sunday morning due to lack of parking restrictions, both sides of the road are full of cars. This doubled sided parking is causing huge jams essentially making it a single track lane, with buses and cars stuck, unable to pass.
Today was particularly bad as one driver was verbally abused by a number of other drivers as they were struggling to pass. This caused a 15 min hold up and was a particularly ugly scene. This also means people u turn right near our property and speed down Sixth Avenue, which is essentially being used a rat run. I fear this will only get worse: may I suggest that yourself and your Brent counterparts monitor this as it won’t be long before there is damage to people or property.”
234 Portnall Road
Following our repeated calls to the Council to take legal action against the owners of the derelict house at 234 Portnall Road to require them to repair this house which is in a shocking condition, we have now heard from the Council:
“The Notice relating to 234 Portnall Road was served on 20th December 2019 and took effect on the 29th January 2020. There is a compliance period of 3 months from the date on which the Notice took effect. The requirements of the Notice must therefore be met by the 29th April 2019. Failure to comply with the Notice within the specified compliance period is a criminal offence. Should the Notice not be complied with, we can seek to take prosecution action for failure to comply with all or any of the requirements of the Notice.”
We have asked the Council to investigate the nuisance caused by the regular late night parties at 147 Herries Street. Neighbours say:
“I knocked on their door this evening asking them to keep it down and if they could not I would be calling the police and/or the Westminster Noise team.She actually said “you’re welcome to”. There are a lot of problems on this end of Kilburn Lane and Herries Street with noise as many of the landlords have built roof terraces on any flat roof space and 147 Herries Street has a back garden where their parties often spill out into.”
Kilburn Lane/Fifth Avenue bus stop
We have urged TfL to restore the ‘Countdown’ bus information to the bus shelter at the Kilburn Lane Fifth Avenue bus stop. Residents say:
“This is a disaster and inconvenience for a good deal of people. We depend on the notice to inform us of the time of arrival of the next bus, for various reasons, going to work/school, meeting appointments and the like. Waiting at the bus stop I’ve heard and discussed with people the disappointment and inconvenience this is causing.”
“We recently lost the ‘next bus/timing’ indicator on our bus shelter when they replaced the whole unit. It was so helpful to know if a bus was coming, can we ask for it back please?”
In addition, we have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“Also, the road by that bus stop has a massive dip next to the stop, so after an amount of rain, everyone at the shelter gets soaked from the splash of vehicles. Can the council fill the hole in maybe?”
We asked the Parking Team to investigate this recurring issue:
“There’s a huge motor home parked in our street. Its been there for at least a couple of months, it disappeared over Christmas. Its now back but further down the street outside the back of the school in Enbrook. It takes up the space of two cars and hangs over the white line. I’ve seen one parking ticket on it so they’re obviously not paying for resident parking. Sadly, as the meter people don’t come round that often despite what they say, people park with impunity. “
The Parking Team say:
“Our marshals have been asked to attend this location on a regular basis following previous reports from the resident about the vehicle parking there. There is no valid resident permit in place and I can confirm that PCNs have been issued by the marshals following their enforcement visits. A notice was placed on the motor home advising the motorist / owner to remove it from the location. Recent reports suggested that the vehicle had moved on; however, I can confirm that another PCN was issued to it yesterday, in Enbrook Street. The latest incident has been highlighted to the enforcement team and we will continue to monitor the area.”
Farnaby House, Bruckner Street
We have asked the Environmental Health team to investigate a pest control issue in Farnaby House.
Mozart Street/Bravington Road
We have raised issues raised by residents about changes to the refuse collection arrangements affecting homes on the corner of Mozart Street and Bravington Road.
We have asked the Street Lighting Team to fix the lights opposite 11/13 Beethoven Street which have been out of action for several weeks. Residents have told us:
“Lighting has been fixed. Many thanks to you and the team.”
Third Avenue/Ilbert Street
We have asked the Highways Team to drain the gullies at the corner of Third Avenue and Ilbert Street where there are two large ponds of water. They say:
“There are two gullies situated on either corner so these will be cleaned and unblocked if necessary. If further works are required after this, I will action accordingly.”
St John’s Terrace
We have raised a number of concerns from residents about the proposed Westminster Community Homes development at St John’s Terrace, regarding the impact on sunlight and daylight.
We have also asked the Council to:
- Increase patrols by Parking Marshals to stop non-residents parking on residents’ bays
- Improve the street lighting
- Fix a blocked gully and dangerous pothole at the end of St John’s Terrace
We have again asked the Highways Team to take action against skip lorry operators who are using the Avenues as a ‘rat run’. Residents say:
“rather a surge in our skip lorries last two weeks. All seem to be contractors, can’t see all names, but Simpsons and Donoghue noted. Earliest was 8am yesterday. They tend to cluster. And, as we know, oh the boom explosion over bumps.”
Portnall Road – update
Following our enquiries about traffic along Portnall Road, we have received the following update from the Highways Team:
“Whilst I appreciate the confusion that residents may have experienced, this location has historically been a two-way street.The no-entry signage at Kilburn Lane is unrelated to the direction of allowed traffic, and the road markings are consistent with two-way traffic. There is no signage indicating two-way traffic, as signs of this nature are used in prescribed situations that differ from the normal highway.
The City Council has no control over the information supplied by third party mapping corporations. Having said that, in light of the confusion the incorrect road classification is having, on services such as Google Maps, notification has been sent to the appropriate parties to request the maps be updated to reflect the correct conditions on-street.”
St John’s Church, Kilburn Lane
We are delighted that the MyWestminster fund has awarded St John’s Church £10,000 for the new Windrush Garden, in addition to the £12,000 Greener and Open spaces grant.
St John’s will be the focus for local celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, including a chime of “bells for peace”. On 9th May, in collaboration with local schools, “A day of shared memory” will enable people to bring photos and items to display, of those who served in the war or war time photos. During the Second World War, the church saw considerable bomb damage. In addition, a bomb fell on the area where Queen’s Park Court now stands on land once belonging to the church.
Moberley Sports Centre
We asked the Leisure Team to investigate this issue:
“Do I get 25% off my membership since 25% of your screens haven’t worked for a month now?”
The Leisure Team say:
“There are no screens not currently working in the Gym and Studio 2 has four screens and sadly one of these was smashed deliberately. However, there are still 3 fully working and it doesn’t affect the classes which are running as normal. The site team are awaiting quotations to have the broken screen fixed”
Jubilee Sports Centre – update
Initial works have started on the former Jubilee Sports Centre. The work began on Thursday 16th January and were completed on 21st January. The works involved drilling and excavation of a number of holes in the ground to enable the contractors to take core samples. The majority of the works were undertaken within the existing sports centre building, with some works carried out on the land at the corner of Caird Street and Third Avenue.
We also asked the Council to explain the recent noise coming from the Jubilee Sports Centre:
“The noise you heard was related to the road works being completed by UK Power Networks(UKPN). UKPN were completing the disconnection of the current building’s electrical supply and laying some ductwork within the road for the temporary electrical supply that will be used by the contractor during the construction works. I am assured that the extent of the noisy works was completed yesterday. “
Also, a planning application has been submitted to make a number of design changes to the proposed new housing on the site. The application documents can be viewed online at www.westminster.gov.uk/planningwhere you can also make comments. Please use the reference number 20/00100/COFUL as the primary search criteria.
We have asked the Council to take concerted action to catch those responsible for this anti-social behaviour and apply the maximum fines. Residents say:
“Thank you for arranging a sign on the tree outside my house regarding dogs fouling. Sad to say its not working. I’m disgusted with dog owners whom seem to think its ok for their dogs to use it as a toilet and not clean up after them. Sometimes the smell is horrific. Yet when you ask them to use the designated dog park they just walk away.
Today the road sweeper was so stressed with dog owners he said he cleaned 50, yes 50 piles of dog mess. You can’t walk down the Avenues with out having to hop, or skip pass dog mess. I got out of a car outside my house the other night as it’s dark could not see the dog mess walked into it and brought it through the house.
Even neighbours on the street use it for their dogs. I have explained about the heath issues and the smell they just shrug their shoulders and walk away. Another man when asked to clean up behind his dog said its a dog what do you want me to do?”
The Council say:
“We have increased patrols in the area with the Dog Warden and increased surveillance to catch any perpetrators. The Inspector who covers the Harrow Road Area, has been generous with his time and has assisted in the additional surveillance for the area in addition to supplying bags to the owners and offering to chip unmarked dogs. Rest assured that this programme will remain in place for the foreseeable future. I hope this increased and highly visible action will improve things in the area.”
Harrow Road shops
We have asked the Council to remind traderson Harrow Road, between Great Western Road and Bravington Road, of times to place rubbish on the public highway. There is definitely a need for more collections. This is an extremely busy area and should have priority. The City Inspector for the area said:
“We have been finding evidence of traders dumping illegally and follow up enforcement is in progress.We are seeing more compliance where businesses are using the correct Veolia commercial bags and tags especially Monday to Friday when I’m around during the day.However, I will revisit the traders and remind them of the collection times and the fixed penalties they could face. I will also speak to my management regarding some more weekend and evening patrols by the out if hours team.”
Collections by both the council and private waste companies take place at 9–10am and 6.30–7.30pm so waste should be put out on the pavement no earlier than 30 minutes before these times.
Queen’s Park Book Festival
The next Queen’s Park Book Festival will be on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June 2020.
Climate Change Tips for the month
Reduce, reuse and recycle: Every year an estimated 350,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill. Instead of buying new clothes, buy secondhand clothes from charity shops. It’s possible to find good quality clothes that often last longer than their new, often more cheaply made counterparts. If you’re looking for something in particular, check out Oxfam’s online shop: www.oxfam.org.uk/shop
If you like the idea of a clothes swap, where you bring something you don’t want any longer in exchange for something someone else is getting rid of, there are a few swap shops around London www.timeout.com/london/shopping/best-swap-shops-in-london and a few Swap events that take place at different locations www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–london/clothes-swap/
If it’s difficult for you to get to a charity shop, or if you have items that are too heavy or bulky to carry, list them on Freecycle which is a great place to get rid of things, as people will come to you to collect https://freecycle.org/
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”
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
You can keep an eye on the latest local crime information through the Met Police website:
PDT are looking for a friendly, highly organised person with a passion for health and wellbeing to support their Community and Maternity Champions project.
Community and Maternity Champions are local people who volunteer their time to connect local communities and residents with local services and support them to improve their health and wellbeing. Through supporting the recruitment and coordination of a dedicated team of local volunteers, the Project Worker will respond to local needs though public health campaigns, events, activities and training.
For more information on the Community and Maternity Champions programme, please visit: http://www.communitychampionsuk.org/
If you have any questions about the role please contact Lizzie Fletcher on 07593690705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engine Idling – what you say
“Last year I requested that signs be placed outside St Jude’s Hall re no idling. There is a constant issue with cars waiting for people as well as all the learner drivers reversing around that corner, with cars often at a stand still with engines on while instructors talking. I frequently request that engines are turned off but I don’t always feel comfortable doing this.”
What you say
“Thank you to your fellow Councillors for all their help and support”
“Many thanks as always for the update. Such an insight into the issues affecting our area. We are so lucky to have you to ensure that action is taken. Congratulations.”
“Just wanted to say thank you. A new Plain tree was planted before Xmas. It’s great to know that this wasn’t going to be left as a permanent patch of asphalt (as has happened to previous tree plots on Third Avenue and Nutbourne Street).”
“I don’t think ever thanked you for sorting the over hanging tree branches in my garden which I am doing now. It took a while but the overgrown garden next door has finally been reduced to nothing! I think it was done this week. I’m sure I would have spent hours trying to find the right department/person to sort this.”
“New tree planted on Fifth Avenue after the saga of the one killed off by zealous surgery a few years ago, the stump, destroyed bird habitat etc.This is very cheering! Thanks for your help on this matter. “
“Thank you for all your hard work in 2019.”
“I would like to say how impressed I have been with J & S Maintenance and Construction. Their management and staff have been extremely polite and efficient while working in Huxley Street and the surrounding area. And although I am not a tenant of Westminster, I live next to a house that has been renovated, I’ve found the teams have taken care in cleaning and removing any debris from my property.”
Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to your neighbours.
Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Your Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors – Here to Help