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, along with Karen Buck MP, we are doing all we can to help the local community and individual residents and their families.
Below are some of the local issues we have been taking up recently, many as a result of residents’ responses to our regular newsletters. Let us know if we can take up a local issue in the area. You can read our latest news on http://labourwestminster.org.uk
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Please feel free to pass this report on to any of your neighbours who may be interested.
We are supporting local residents who are objecting to a proposal for a new basement flat at Wymering Mansions.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough said: “The proposal would prevent Wymering Mansions residents using their own communal garden and is totally out of keeping with the conservation area. And the new flat itself is not an acceptable standard. It has little natural light and difficult escape routes in the event of fire.”
You can view the planning application here: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=Q95GF1RPIGB00&activeTab=summary
We have made the following comments to the Council on the proposed temporary changes to parking outside the shops on Elgin Parade which will suspend the nine well-used pay and display bays for people who want to shop locally:
“Elgin Parade currently has four convenience stores and Gail’s Bakery. The pavements are generally not crowded except outside Gail’s but these proposals will not address the queue outside Gail’s.
- There needs to be provision for loading and servicing. This should be agreed in consultation with the traders themselves.
- The pay and display should be re-provided locally. A good spot would be the unused taxi rank in the middle of Elgin Avenue outside Barclays Bank.
- The freed-up bays should be available to:
- the cafes/pub to use for outdoor seating
- shared bike and scooter hire companies as a virtual docking station”
We are making enquiries about this issue:
“During 2019 three trees were cut down from the bottom end of Grantully Road. Could you please find out if there are any plans to replace these or redesign the spaces left?”
We are working with local residents and the City Inspector to follow up reports of continued blockage of the pavement outside Milad Supermarket. People on foot often find it hard to navigate between boxes and crates left unattended by the supermarket staff. If you see any evidence of this, please report it to Westminster directly using the ReportIT service in the “advertising and trading” section under “other.”
We reported a faulty lift at Glasgow House which was making life difficult for people with limited mobility. After escalating the problem, Westminster Housing sent an engineer to fix the lifts.
We reported unlawful street signs in Warrington Crescent advertising a security company. The City Inspector will have these removed.
We reported a damaged tree on Castellain Road. The Council said: “The cherry tree outside 49-79 was inspected earlier this week and indeed does need to be removed. I have issued a works order to our contractors to remove this one along with a dead tree at the southern end of Castellain Road on the junction of Warrington Gardens. We should be able to get replacement trees planted at these sites along with the ones you highlighted on Grantully Road over the autumn/winter.”
Tollgate House residents were left without water for several hours as Westminster Housing contractors and Thames Water debated which organisation was responsible for fixing the problem. Residents were not supplied with bottled water which is the normal procedure. We followed up with Westminster Housing who told us
“This issue was … not escalated to the senior duty manager to manage the situation. We have reminded all parties of the need to contact the senior duty manager in all cases of ‘no water’ where a number of properties are reporting this, so that they can advise on how best to support residents.”
Carlton Vale – Hyperoptic
We are supporting residents in the Carlton Vale blocks who are asking for an installation plan to be agreed with the Residents Management Organisation before any work takes place.
Tesco – Clifton Gardens
We asked the Council to take action after complaints of Tesco delivery trucks idling while parked on Clifton Gardens. Here’s their response:
“Tesco’s has now been visited by both the Senior City Inspector and a member of the Highways team involved in enforcing rules around engine idling. Both officers have spoken with the Duty Manager at Tesco’s and they are aware of the complaint from a local resident. As regards the rules around idling, parked vehicles must switch off their engines except in the instances where ancillary equipment is on board such as chillers. The Duty Manager advised that the Tesco lorries that deliver need their engines to remain on as they have chilling equipment on board. If this were not the case, there would obviously be a lot of food spoilage as a result. However, they do seek to minimise the idling where they can.”
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.
West End Recovery
Councillor Geoff Barraclough gave his ideas for West End Recovery at the Council meeting on 24th June:
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. We have started a petition to call for the reinstatement of free travel for under 18s https://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/keep-free-travel
For an independent view of the Government’s action read https://www.onlondon.co.uk/dave-hill-governments-tfl-power-grab-is-the-wrong-direction-of-travel/
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. 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).
To mark the 75th anniversary of Labour’s 1945 General Election victory, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg has written a new book, ‘Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour’ – The story of the 1945 General Election.Starting with the creation of the wartime Coalition Government and the harnessing of the entire machinery of the state to serve the war effort, the book charts the political currents and events which led to Labour’s sensational General Election victory on 26th July 1945.
‘Cheer Churchill. Vote Labour’is available in e-book and paperback format at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08975HFS7/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1590583600&sr=1-3
All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Foodbanks in Westminster
What you say
“I have written to you in the past to thank you for your newsletter action reports. They continue to be extremely informative and useful, thank you again.”
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.
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