News from Councillor Maggie Carman and the Labour Action Teams in Bayswater & Lancaster Gate
We hope you are well. We are all living in very difficult times and our usual monthly report includes the latest information about the Coronavirus pandemic.
Along with Karen Buck MP, we are doing all we can to help the local community and individual residents and their families.
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
In these unprecedented times, we all need to care of ourselves and help our neighbours. For the latest information, visit the following:
How to get help as an extremely vulnerable person
Westminster Council’s advice and response website:
The Council operates a ‘Local Support Payment’ scheme:
If you are willing and able to volunteer to help in the community support operations please register at https://airtable.com/shrAXhe5ABMIlJCfQ
There is a Bayswater Mutual Aid & Community-based Response Group where resident volunteers are offering to shop or run errands. You can contact them on 020 8123 7839and firstname.lastname@example.org
The press has an article about Nicola Spurr who is helping to organise an army of 400 volunteers who make up the Bayswater Mutual Aid group. She said local food banks have suffered as people haven’t been able to get out and about to donate goods due to the outbreak of the pandemic. It has now had a grant from the Paddington Development Trust to pay for food parcels. “In two-and-a-half weeks we have done a remarkable thing, we have links with councillors and the One Westminster charity and St Mary’s hospital through their charitable arm and links with Waitrose who have provided some food,”said Ms Spurr.
Westminster Mutual Aid Group
Westminster Mutual Aid is a group of local volunteers (Westminster Covid-19 Mutual Aid group) trying to help the local community, including in the Lancaster Gate area. You can contact them at https://www.westminstermutualaid.co.uk
If you are concerned about anyone who you think requires care and support please phone 020 7641 1444 or 020 7641 1175
Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
We have had to cancel our regular advice surgeriesbut are available by email and phone. Also, here are some contact details for other advice agencies
We have issued the following statement on the coronavirus epidemic, with details of the additional actions we believe need to be taken to protect the most vulnerable
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
Parking for Key workers
NHS workers and care workers can park for free and without time limit in pay-to-park bays in Westminster until further notice.
- If this applies to you, to enable Marshals to identify who should be granted this concession we ask that supporting evidence be placed in your windscreen, such as photocopies of your work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence on headed paper from your employer.
- Should you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) whilst carrying out your critical work, please tell us using the information on the PCN and with your supporting evidence and it will be considered sympathetically.
We have also received the following information from Westminster Council’s Head of Parking:
“The Chief Executive has agreed that parking disregards can be issued for GP’s, nurses, Pharmacists and other hospital workers, those WCC staff in Children’s and Adults Services supporting vulnerable people and those teachers supporting vulnerable children and those of key workers. Parking dispensation permits parking in Paid for Bays and on Single Yellow Lines where sensible to do so.”
For details of how to apply see https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2020/03/23/parking-for-key-workers-in-westminster/
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
We have called on the Council to halt building works on its regeneration projects during the current situation
We have also taken up this issue with the Council:
“I am concerned about is the problem of domestic building works continuing during this very difficult and stressful period. My partner and I are now working from home but are finding it extremely difficult because of a neighbour’s extensive and ongoing home renovations which are continuing next door. The builders begin work at 8am and continue until 5.30 pm every day during the week and on Saturday morning until 1pm. We live in a modest Victorian terrace with very thin party walls and we can hear everything, particularly the very noisy drilling and hammering that sometimes go on all day long. I spoke to the Westminster Noise Team who say they can do nothing about this under the current rules. “
Unfortunately, the Noise Team cannot order building work to stop. We hope the Government issues guidance on this soon, as ultimately, this will be needed to stop this kind of non-essential building work.
Residents have started a petition calling for all noisy building refurbishment works to be postponed during the Covid-19 lockdown
North Paddington Foodbank
Westminster Labour Councillors have agreed that any underspend in our 2019/20 ward budgets (the Council’s funding pot for small projects in each ward) should be used to support the foodbank. Three wards had underspend and were able to assist, led by Maida Vale Councillors who were able to provide £14,953.53; Harrow Road supported with £5,171.96 and Westbourne gave its remaining £309.58 for a total grant of £20,405.07.
If you can help the foodbank or are in need of emergency support please see the information here: https://www.npfoodbank.org.uk/
We have made enquiries with Royal Mail about the current difficulties with postal services that some residents are experiencing. Royal Mail say:
“St Johns Wood Delivery Office and Maida Hill Delivery Office are both experiencing approximately 30% absence at the current time. I would like to reassure you that we are rotating deliveries in the areas so mail is delivered regularly. The team is working hard to improve the service levels in these areas. I know that postmen and women are working flat out to ensure residents stay connected.”
Finally, you can read Councillor Maggie Carman’s ‘Lock Down’ diary here
We have again written to the Director of Housing about security issues at 1-8 Porchester Square. Residents say, “This situation is deteriorating by the day. The residents feel terrified and lives in constant fear of being at home, or leaving it, especially for the female residents living alone.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has been assisting elderly residents in Queensway who are being plagued by the anti-social behavior from the residents below. Maggie contacted the police after receiving this message:
“we have been subjected to loud, thumping music at any time of the day and night, shouting and door slamming and very aggressive behavior from the tenants if they are asked politely to turn the volume down.At the moment, while we are on lockdown, these tenants are ignoring the instructions of social distancing and people are coming in and out. Last night they had a party with a crowd in the flat who were standing in the hallway and on a room space talking and drinking.”
St Stephen’s Gardens
We have asked the Cycling Team if there are any plans to locate a cycle hangar in St Stephen’s Gardens, following request from a resident who says:
“I would love to continue using a bike as a mode of transport in London, but feel deterred to do so because of the insecure and unprotected place where its left. I live in a flat and so it is impossible for me to store my bike inside.”
St Stephen’s School
We have alerted St Stephen’s School about an overflowing water pipe after a nearby resident contacted us. The school tell us:
“One of our maintenance staff, has just been in to investigate. The water is, indeed, coming from the overflow of the tank on the roof at school. There is a small amount of water which is trickling down. We will ask the company we use for building and maintenance to fix the problem.”
Cleveland Square – anti-social behavior
We have asked the Council if anything can be done about this unpleasant anti-social behavior:
“I live on Cleveland Square — which is why I’m writing with regards to something that is annoyingly omnipresent and hideously inappropriate in our beautiful square: the business of cabbies, and other minicab and car-share drivers, p***ing on our streets.
Can we please address and tackle this somehow? I’ve seen signs on other garden squares which are part of the Hyde Park Estate which warn against this outdated, outmoded, antediluvian practice. It would be great to have these signs installed on Cleveland Square.”
Cleveland Square recycling – what you say
“Having lived in the neighbourhood for 20 years, the underlying issue would appear to be not the location of the bins, but rather that there is more refuse produced than can be removed by Westminster. I do note that the bins are regularly emptied, but it is more than obvious that the current schedule is not frequent enough, and/or the number of bins are inadequate.
Removing the Cleveland Square bins will only result in more refuse dumped outside the bins at Chilworth and Westbourne Terrace and Cleveland Terrace and Gloucester Road (both about 100 yards away). We already have issues with the many AirBnB guests dumping rubbish willy-nilly on any day of the week. Simply put, we either need more bins, more frequent collections, or both.”
You can now read the ‘Westminster Extra’ online https://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=af671999-24ed-40dd-902d-acc4d2c26308
Refuse collection and Recycling collection times
Recycling bags can be ordered from https://webforms.westminster.gov.uk/order-recycling-bags/
Bags will be delivered within approximately 48 hours of order.
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:
Also, here are details of 9 companies that reward you for donating unwanted things, from H&M to M&S https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/worklife/g15049323/brands-reward-throwing-things-away/
The new Report It service has been unveiled. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
You can register here https://www.fixmystreet.com/alert for alerts of everything reported in your area (just use your post code and it will offer you the option).
What you say
“Is there anything you brilliant people do not know about! I have been struggling to find appropriate information re Covid-19, and lo and behold there it was in your latest Mailing! You make such a difference to our lives and I for one fully appreciate how fortunate we are to have you working for us. “
“Thank you so much for all the work you do.”
“Keep up the good work!”
“We can confirm that at last the property seems to have been made secure. I am sorry we have had to rely on your assistance so much. We were clearly not getting anywhere with the builders on our own. So many, many thanks”.
“Thank you for intervening in this business. A terrific result and a credit to your skill and influence.”
“Hello Maggie, You are a star I can’t thank you enough!”
“We would like you to know that we very much appreciate your work”
“I’d like to express my appreciation and frankly, admiration, to you all for rallying around this poor lady and her husband. You are a compassionate, caring crew and I thank you.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
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Keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Councillor Maggie Carman, Dafydd Ellis and Max Sullivan
Bayswater and Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team
Angela Piddock, Elizabeth Whitmore and Simon Wyatt
Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team