NEWS FROM YOUR HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR COUNCILLORS GUTHRIE McKIE AND TIM ROCA
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 supportoperations please 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. We have been supporting local volunteers and 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
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.
Maida Hill Piazza
We have asked the Council and the police to stop the regular evening gatherings of people drinking, playing music and other activities at Maida Hill Piazza as they are clearly contrary to the emergency Covid-19 regulations and are a danger to public health. The Council say:
“We are aware of the gatherings and our officers observed the people in the Piazza this afternoon also. We are encouraging the police to make the necessary visits and take the appropriate action to disseminate the build-up of personnel. We are providing the Police with the necessary information to take action.”
Building in works during the lockdown
We have been approached by a resident of Shirland Mews telling us about their experience with nearby building works:
“The owner has workers using a jackhammer for a cosmetic refit, with absolutely no regard to the havoc, it’s causing whilst we all try to work from home. I have spoken to the designer in charge, as the owner is out of the country, and she has said she will continue with the work, even though we’ve asked them to stop during lock down. I feel that works such as this, are non-essential, so should be shut down immediately.”
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.
Residents have started a petition calling for all noisy building refurbishment works to be postponed noisy building works during the Covid-19 lockdown
North Paddington Foodbank
Westminster Labour Councillors have agreed that 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 called on the Council to tell shopkeepers on the Harrow Road to move their food displays off the pavement so that pedestrians can walk safely and adhere to the 2 metres social distancing guidelines. A few shops have private forecourts which allow them to display their wares outside, but the vast majority do not and their displays are on the public highway and should be removed, including Zagros on the corner of Harrow Road and Fernhead Road. Residents say:
“We are having some issues with high numbers of shoppers/queuers and also Harrow Road pinch points – caused by shops (the usual suspects) over filling and stacking stock way too far out in to the street. During these COVID times – we need them to toe the line and put safety first. The shop keepers need to push back as pedestrians can’t pass safely. Second, queues are not being managed well. The 2m space is not really happening and people are zig zag queuing – making it impossible to pass – or they are sometimes queuing on the kerb roadside – which is pretty gnarly for cyclists trying to get past and again giving 2m issues. Today was like an August bank holiday – totally packed. “
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.”
Karen Buck MP writes, “We must act now to help young Londoners struggling under the lockdown”
Councillor Ruth Bush
Councillor Ruth Bush has been elected the first Labour Lord Mayor of Westminster. Ruth will not take part in party politics during her Mayoral year and local casework will be undertaken by Councillors Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca.
This is her latest report about her activities as Lord Mayor.
“Since the Covid-19 lockdown, Ruth has turned into a virtual Lord Mayor, sending supportive emails to organisations and groups with which she’s had contact during her nearly-year. These include young Care Leavers and Looked After Children, the Westminster Business Council and the New West End Company and the multi-faith members of the Westminster Faith Exchange. If you know of a group which might welcome such a letter from their Lord Mayor, do please let her know.
Ruth attended the Yom Hashoah commemoration online and will speak at the online commemoration of the Admiral Duncan pub bombing in Soho and carry out other online engagements. Important engagements that were cancelled included the Olivier Awards, the Christian Holy Week services at Westminster Abbey, a drama performance by Shirland Mews’s PIP project for young people with disabilities and Primary School visits to the Lord Mayor’s Rooms.
The cancellation of the London Marathon means that the Lord Mayor’s Charities will not receive funds to be raised by 18 amazing volunteer runners – so if you are able to make a donation, this would be very welcome. Ruth’s charities are All Sing! Harrow Road Community Choir, Paddington Law Centre, Young Westminster Foundation and Westminster Tree Trust.
The link for donations is www.giveasyoulive.com/join/LM_Cllr_Ruth_Bush
Ruth will continue to be Lord Mayor until 20 May, when the Council will hold a virtual AGM and Mayor Making. This will be a very sparse affair, with the minimum necessary formalities to make the change from one Lord Mayor to the next and to carry out necessary Council business. The meeting will be streamed live and the Council will put further information and links on the website shortly. There will be a celebration of the Lord Mayoralty when it is safe for people to meet in person.”
The Squirrel Pub
A new application to include the Elgin Avenue pharmacy and flats in a revised scheme was rejected by the Council. It is understood the developer is considering a new application to again include the pharmacy. We will look at whatever new details emerge, but the feeling is that while the pharmacy is valued, the community would want to see the building return to being the thriving local pub it used to be.
20mph speed limit
We have welcomed Westminster Council’s decision to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all roads, following recent consultation when two thirds of the respondents supported the proposal. The 20mph speed limit comes after there were 3 deaths and 269 seriously injured casualties on Westminster’s roads in 2018 – the highest of any London Borough.
You can now read the ‘Westminster Extra’ online
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 options).
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/
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Please keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Councillors Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca.
Your Harrow Road Labour Councillors