News from Maida Vale Councillors Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis
And the Little Venice Labour Action Team – Iman Less, Murad Qureshi and Sue Wolff
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 operations please register at https://airtable.com/shrAXhe5ABMIlJCfQ
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
Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
We have had to cancel our regular advice surgeriesbut we are available by email and phone. Also, here are some contact details for other advice agencies
We have been helping a number of local businesses get the Government grants they are entitled to. If you think you are entitled to a grant because you run a qualifying small business but haven’t receive a payment yet, please get in touch.
For details of how small businesses can get access to Government financial assistance.
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
North Paddington Foodbank
If you can help the foodbank or are in need of emergency support please see the information here: https://www.npfoodbank.org.uk/
We and Karen Buck MP are calling on Westminster Council to step up its support for foodbanks and other local organisations that are providing vital support for communities at risk and that will need to do so for many months to come. We are demanding that the council develops a coherent strategy to address food poverty and hunger in Westminster and ensures the resources are provided to deliver it.
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
Noisy Building Works
Residents have started a petition calling for all noisy building refurbishment works to be postponed during the Covid-19 lockdown
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.
We have called on the Council to take further action to help rough sleepers off the street
Karen Buck MP writes, “We must act now to help young Londoners struggling under the lockdown”
For those residents who cannot get out or who are concerned about social distancing, here are some links to on-line shopping:
Karen Buck MP reports:
“Whilst the number of complaints about delays in postal deliveries has fallen significantly, it is obvious that some areas continue to have problems. Royal Mail continue to say that they are doing their best to ensure a consistent service, whilst also ensuring staff safety and managing the impact of sickness and self-isolation. I will be having further talks with local operational managers in the next week to discuss outstanding issues, and of course, continue to raise individual complaints.”
What you say
“I know that the bin-men and street-cleaners are not allowed to accept gratuities, but is there some way that we can acknowledge their continued work through this crisis? I know their jobs are secure, so that’s good, but they are at increased risk.”
Maida Vale Studios
We have welcomed the decision by Historic England to give a Grade 2 listing to the iconic BBC Maida Vale Studios. The listing highlights both the exterior, originally built as one of Britain’s largest roller skating rinks, and the interior with its five recording studios.
The council has cut down four pear trees on Delaware Road that were causing subsidence to Delaware Mansions. On behalf of local residents, we asked what plans were to replace the trees. Westminster’s arboricultural officer replied:
“I shall survey the opposite footway later in the summer to identify any potential locations for inclusion onto autumn planting programme. Planting on the far footway will provide the opportunity to select from a wide range of species as they will be further from the mansion blocks and therefore beyond the extent of their roots. Replacing the trees on the footway outside the blocks with smaller growing species is something that can be considered but it would not be possible to guarantee that it would be free from risk.”
We have been active in pushing for council support for the floating businesses at Paddington Basin and Little Venice. These have been forced to close but don’t qualify for the national corona business grant scheme. We have asked Westminster Council to prioritise these traders for grants under the new discretionary business grant programme. Karen Buck MP has also written to the Government Minister on their behalf.
Paddington Rec Tennis Courts
We asked Everyone Active about the poor state of the tennis courts in Paddington Rec. They said:
“As I am sure you can appreciate these are difficult times, and as such between 23rd March and Monday 18th May we only had two landscaping colleagues working full time and the rest were furloughed. In addition, in March we had a theft of our landscaping equipment, of which leaf blowers and the jet washer were amongst the many tools taken.
We are awaiting the delivery of new machinery, however again, due to the current situation we cannot say how long it’ll be until they arrive.We now have a full brigade of landscaping colleagues therefore we will continue to have them manually clean the leaves and debris off the courts.To note, the synthetic courts are receiving a full rejuvenation (cleaning and sand distribution) in June.”
The Council has approved plans for 21 affordable homes on the Torridon House surface car park. The application, submitted on behalf of Westminster City Council, proposed the erection of a five-storey block of flats and a terrace of four, three storey houses to provide 21 affordable housing units. The scheme provides 100% affordable housing with a spilt of 60% socially rented and 40% intermediate rented.
A total of 85 letters of objection were received which related to overdevelopment of the area, design, daylight/sunlight and loss of parking. Councillor Geoff Barraclough, Maida Vale Ward Councillor, welcomed the extra affordable housing but expressed concerns and asked that disturbance from the development could be minimised through a construction management plan; additional parking for residents be provided during construction; and the proposed development at Thurso House would not commence until Torridon is finished.
In approving the proposals, the Planning Committee also agreed that there would be a detailed management plan for the development and that green roofs and increased bio-diversity on the site would be introduced.
We have asked the Cycling Team if a bike hangar can be located in the Warrington Crescent area after receiving this enquiry:
“I live in a basement flat at the Formosa Street end of Warrington Crescent. I can’t lift bikes up and down my steep stairs and have had my last expensive one stolen from the railings at the top of the stairs. Now that more roads are going to be given over to cycling, I would like to buy another bike but would need somewhere to lock it up safely. It seems to me that along with making roads more pedestrian and cycle friendly there should be much more bike storage facilities.”
Low traffic neighbourhoods
We have unveiled our ideas for changes to how our roads and public realm is designed
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.
We are calling on the Council to speed up the expansion of cycle hangars in residential areas and to increase the number of Santander Cycle docking stations in North Westminster.
Bus and Tube fares
The Government has told the Mayor that, in return for additional funds to keep London’s public transport system operating, bus and tube fares must go up next January. The Government has also insisted that free travel is temporarily suspended for Freedom Pass and 60-plus cardholders at peak times and all the time for those under 18.
Voting by post
Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting. You can use this form to apply to vote
You can email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Electoral Services, Westminster City Council, 14th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.
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 options).
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
If you do not wish to continue to receive this newsletter you can unsubscribe below.
Keep well, take care and look after yourselves and your neighbours.
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 https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/your-ward/little-venice/