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, 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.
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
We have asked the Council’s District Surveyor to inspect a Notting Hill Genesis house in Hereford Road where residents reported “a large piece of brickwork/masonry fell off the pillar and landed in the basement flat entrance area narrowly missing a friend of the tenant that was visiting her”
Council sells more flats
The Council is continuing its policy of selling empty Council flats auction latest ones up for sale are
- 223b Gloucester Terrace, London W2 6HX 1 bed
- 17d Porchester Square, London W2 6AN 1 bed
- 44b Gloucester Gardens, London W2 6BN 1 bed
We oppose this policy as these homes could be renovated and let to local couples or single people in need of a decent home.
We have asked the Council to locate a cycle hangar in Westbourne Terrace at the request of local residents. The Cycle Team say:
“We are currently consulting on new secure cycle parking units to be installed across Westminster, which will include proposals near Westbourne Terrace at Sussex Gardens. The details of the proposed locations can be found at https://www.westminster.gov.uk/secure-cycle-storage”
We are continuing to help a vulnerable Council tenant in a property in Westbourne Gardens who is being taken advantage of by a leaseholder.
We have asked the Council to improve the street lighting in Sunderland Terrace after receiving this message from residents:
“I would like to request that Sunderland Terrace receive more street lamps as currently there are large stretches of darkness on the street which makes muggings and breaking into cars significantly easier. The surrounding streets all have new lamp posts which provide excellent lighting, but we do not.”
Councillor Maggie Carman contacted the Housing Department about the repair to a stopcock in a flat owned by a leaseholder in Porchester Square who says:
“I have had major issues trying to get the maintenance department of Westminster Council to action a simple request which is of benefit not only to my flat but the flats below as well.What I find unacceptable is that I pay a significant amount of money in service charges and on top of that fact they are not helping when it comes to trying to resolve the issue regarding my newly installed boiler. The maintenance department are not prepared to foot the bill if the warranty is compromised but they seem to think it is acceptable to do nothing in relation to my request to turn off the water supply so that a stopcock can be installed in my flat. “
Later that day, the Housing Department told Councillor Carman that a plumber will be getting in touch to confirm a suitable date for the block shutdown. The following day the leaseholder wrote to Councillor Carman:
“Thank you so much for your help. II really appreciate this because as you can see I’ve been banging my head trying to get a response, especially as it would be a major and unnecessary problem should there be a water leak, not to mention the other issue more pertinent to the flat.Thank you once again”
Bridgefield House, Queensway
We are concerned to hear that a telecom company is planning to install electronic communications apparatus on Bridgefield House, 219 Queensway. We have alerted the Housing Department to this and hope that it will be rejected.
We have received representations from SEBRA, BRA and individual residents who have raised concerns over the establishment of semi-permanent play streets in Chepstow Place and Northumberland Place. We are all in favour of school streets and play streets but Councillor Maggie Carman was not consulted on this and we believe there should be wider consultation among residents before decisions are taken.
New gates were recently installed to a house a 51 Palace Court (we believe without planning permission). Some people think they are too ornate and out of keeping with the area. What do you think?
Chapel Side – access to high-speed broadband
We have contacted the Council and G.Network to ask that the broadband situation be investigated so that residents can get access to high-speed broadband connections:
“Openreach does not offer high speed connectivity at the local cabinet serving Chapel Side and have no known plans to upgrade. All other cabinets in the immediate area have been upgraded.G.Network have no plans to cable our road, cabling has been installed along Moscow Road, St. Petersburgh Place and Palace Court. Virgin Media do not serve the area.”
Parties at Airbnb premises
There have been a number of parties in flats let out as short lets. These are in part the result of the declining use of Airbnbs by tourists which have in turn been rented out by people hosting parties. A number of residents have experienced massive disruption as a result and it’s unacceptable. We’ve been working with residents, the police and the Council to try to stop them from happening.As soon as parties begin it’s crucial to both contact the Council’s Noise Team and the police so they can turn up to break up the party. Both need to be there to intervene effectively and preferably they should be called out as soon as possible (if they are called out late in the night it’s more difficult to deploy resources).
- Contact the Council’s noise team: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it or 0207 641 2000
- Contact the police on 101 or tag them on twitter on @MetCC
Karen Buck MP has set up an All Party Parliamentary Group on Short Lets and has called for a national registration system so tha`t this menace can be controlled https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/karen-buck-mp-homes-are-being-turned-into-hotels-we-need-a-national-registration-scheme-for-shortterm-let
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 have also asked the Highways Team to respond to these issues:
“I approve of the 20mph speed limit and have two questions, one general and one about a particular road.
- How is the speed limit going to be enforced? I have noticed, on the few roads in Westminster that have had the 20mph limit for some time, that it is widely ignored. The worst culprits are scooter drivers and taxi drivers
- Ledbury Road is not going to have a 20mph limit on it. Why is this? It is a shopping street and very busy with pedestrians – as well as being a through route, so should definitely have the lower limit on it. Many pedestrians cross Ledbury Road on east-west journeys and it is dangerous to have traffic going at 30mph. I know it is on the boundary with RBK&C – I thought they were also in favour of the 20mph limit being generally introduced.”
“The new 20 mph limit is of no value unless it is enforced. I watched scooter after scooter exceed the limit in Artesian Road yesterday evening including up and down a closed designated play road.”
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/
Friend-Ship Screenshot Competition
The charity Youmanity is encouraging the local community to connect with family and friends to fight social isolation. Friend-Ship 2020 is asking participants to send screenshots of video calls A £500 cash prize with be awarded to the winner. More information here
Emergency vehicle sirens
We have asked the Noise Team if they have any information on this issue:
“I noticed that – seemingly in the last few months – London Ambulances use the sirens even in the middle of the night – on clear roads and green traffic lights. Whilst the urgency of an ambulance is obvious – I wonder why a siren is triggered when (1) There is no traffic(2) It is past midnight(3) The ambulance is going through a green traffic light.Surely the siren is only triggered if the ambulance is going through a red signal, to bypass traffic or if passing through a junction where it does not have right of way.Has there been a policy change of siren use?”
Transport for London Travel App
Transport for London has launched a new travel app, TfL Go, to help everyone get around London. The app is now available to download for Apple devices and can help you to plan your journeys and follow the safer travel guidance. An Android version will be released in Autumn 2020 and TfL continue sharing data with other travel apps.
For every station TfL is sharing real-time train times, plus peak travel times for the busiest stations, to help you travel during quieter times. As well as the fastest public transport routes, the app offers alternative routes to give you more travel options and provides walking and cycling routes to consider for all or part of your journey.
TfL Go features the latest service status for all Tube, Tram, London Overground and TfL Rail lines. Real time bus arrivals will also be added later. With step free mode you can customise the map to show step free access to train and platform, and plan journeys accordingly. New information on toilet availability, platform access and lift status will also be added in the coming months.
If you have an Apple device, you can download the app from the Apple App store. If you need larger type, use your phone in landscape mode, or make use of iOS’s VoiceOver capability. You can send your feedback about the app to email@example.com
Bus and Tube fares
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
What is the future for Westminster?
We believe the current economic situation has placed the West End in a very precarious position which, if decisive action is not taken urgently, could threaten its survival as an economic engine for London and the rest of the UK, as well as create serious problems for the local economy.
We have set out a series of Emergency Actions that we believe need to be taken by the City Council in order to attract more families to the West End to replace the missing office workers and overseas tourists. We have also set out a series of Actions for the City Council, the Mayor and Government to take.
Finally, our document also looks at issues which the City Council should consider if office workers, tourists and shoppers do not return to the West End in the numbers necessary to sustain the area’s economy in its current form.
There is a need for wide debate and we plan to organise a ‘virtual conference’ in late September to discuss these issues. If you would like to attend please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read our paper here https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2020/08/21/what-is-the-future-for-westminster/
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 email@example.com 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/
You can tell the Council about dumped rubbish, broken streets, graffiti and more by using Report It 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).
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
Volunteer to help find the vaccine for COVID-19
You can be part of the fightback against the virus by volunteering to be contacted by researchers to take part in COVID-19 vaccine research. There are a number of vaccines being identified and safety-tested at the moment, but only large-scale studies can give researchers the information needed about how effective they are.
The NIHR is working with the NHS and aims to recruit half a million people onto the registry by October, which will allow people to be put in touch with the vaccine studies in the coming months. Researchers are looking for people from all backgrounds, ages and parts of the UK – including both people with or without existing health conditions – to take part in vaccine studies, to make sure that any vaccines developed will work for everyone.
The service is available to anyone aged 18 or over, living in the UK. There is no obligation to join in any study, if you are contacted. But by taking part, you could help researchers find vaccines to protect us all more quickly – which in turn could help the NHS and save lives. You can sign up herehttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/research/coronavirus-vaccine-research/
Westminster Council’s advice and response website:
Volunteers at the he Bayswater Mutual Aid & Community-based Response Groupare offering to shop or run errands. You can contact them on 020 8123 7839and firstname.lastname@example.org
Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
What you say
“Very many thanks to the team for sorting so many and varied problems”
“During such difficult times for many in this community, it’s really refreshing to read your reports and we can take comfort from knowing that you do care for the people in this community.”
“Thank you for always helping residents to get things done”
“On another point arising from the usual excellence of your newsletter, I’m glad to see the 20mph speed limit introduced, but wonder whether the issue of wanton and excessive engine noise Is on anybody’s agenda at the moment. It should be because the noise pollution thus created is toxic and getting worse.”
“Thank you so much for your time and support”
“Thank you for this and please keep up the valuable work”
“I want to thank you for your constant support. Everything you do for the community is noted. Your newsletters your updates. Your outstanding hard work in keeping the community to a high standard leaving no stone unturned, you go above and beyond and this does not go unnoticed, I appreciate all what you do and thank you very much”
“Thank you very much. Plenty of information supplied. Thank you for your trouble”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Councillor Maggie Carman, Dafydd Ellis and Max Sullivan
Bayswater Labour Action Team
Angela Piddock, Elizabeth Whitmore and Simon Wyatt
Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team