News from the St John’s Wood Labour Action Team
We are 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 operationsplease register at https://airtable.com/shrAXhe5ABMIlJCfQ
Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
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. You can contact them at https://www.westminstermutualaid.co.uk
We have had to cancel our regular advice surgeries but we 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 takento 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
Household waste collection
We have welcomed the Council’s decision to change the focus of waste collection services to concentrate on residential areas and away from commercial and tourist areas, to deal with the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
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 underspends 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 called on the Council to halt building works on its regeneration projects during the current situation
Residents have started a petition calling for all noisy building refurbishment works to be postponed noisy building works during the Covid-19 lockdown
Lord’s Cricket Ground is supporting the local community deal with the outbreak of Covid-19. The MCC has provided 75 parking spaces for staff at Wellington Hospital, University College Hospital, and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth. It has also provided food to City Harvest London, who help put fresh surplus food to good use in a sustainable way, redistributing to organisations that feed the hungry.
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.”
We have asked the local Inspector to remove a huge pile of food waste which had been dumped on the pavement outside 71/73 Hamilton Terrace. This has been a regular dumping spot for food waste for some time and we have asked the City Inspector to do all he can to find out who is responsible and to take the appropriate action.
Elgood House, Wellington Road Estate
We have asked the Housing Department to take action to help residents in Elgood House whose flat has been flooded by the flat above.
We have asked the Local City Inspector to investigate this issue:
“The recycling bins of 40-42 Abbey Road are always over flowing and it is really bad.There are not enough bins for such a big building and I don’t see the number of collections enough”
The Abbey Road zebra crossing made famous by the 1969 Beatles album of the same name has been repainted while the streets are empty because of the coronavirus pandemic. A highways maintenance crew repainted the normally busy zebra crossing on 24 March.
Dockless hire bikes
We have received this enquiry from a resident:
“I wonder if anything can be done about the hired bikes which are abandoned any old how on the pavements. Often, they fall over and cause an obstruction. They are heavy to pick up. The old Boris bikes had to be docked appropriately but the green electric bikes and some red bikes do not. All this on top of cycling on pavements which is illegal.”
There are real issues with bikes and scooters left on the pavement and blocking the way for the blind and partially sighted and people in wheelchairs/pushchairs too. We receive a great many complaints about this from residents. For that reason, London Councils (the body representing all the London boroughs) is pushing through a bylaw that will allow them to regulate shared bikes/scooters. This cannot really be done on a borough by borough basis as riders, understandably, don’t recognise London’s borough boundaries. The bye-law should be completed this year.
Once the bye-law has been agreed, we will then be calling on Westminster Council to run a proper consultation to find a way forward that meets the needs of both riders and pedestrians.
You can now read the ‘Westminster Extra’ online
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. Let us know what you think 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
“Thank you as ever for your hard work.”
“Thank you as always for your topical update. Pleased to see you are alert to the needs of the elderly.”
“Thanks again. Highly informative as usual. I’m really concerned about electric scooters. It’s only a matter of time before someone is badly injured or killed and it will most probably be a pensioner. The owners should be licensed and more importantly insured. The scooter should have a registration plate.”
“This is a very helpful report.”
“Many thanks for your prompt and informative reply.”
“I was forwarded this email. I find the content very useful.”
“Thanks for your prompt response, it feelsreassuring in these uncertain times”
“Thanking you for all your efforts and your support in these very difficult times, it means more than you can ever imagine”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Keep well, take care and look after yourselves and your neighbours.
Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,
Your St John’s Wood Labour Action Team