News from Maida Vale Councillors Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis and the Little Venice Labour Action Team
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.
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Another Maida Vale bank branch to close – please let us know what you think
We have been contacted by Barclays Bank about their plans to close their Maida Vale branch at 320 Elgin Avenue on 11th December 2020.
Barclays say there has been a 19% reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020 and that 93% of their customers at the branch are using alternative ways in which to undertake their banking, including via the telephone, online and mobile app.
As part of the closure process, Barclays have asked for our views on:
- What do you believe will be the biggest impact of the closure of the Maida Vale branch on the local community?
- What do you believe will be the biggest impact of the closure of the Maida Vale branch on customers of the branch?
- What alternative ways to bank do you believe need to be provided to help customers and the community adapt to this change?
Please let us know what you think about this proposal so we can make as strong a case as possible to Barclays for the branch to stay open
Barclays say they have three branches within 1.3 miles (40 Wellington Road, St Johns Wood, 0.8 miles, 131 Finchley Road, 1.2 miles, and 127 Edgware Road, 1.3 miles) as well as other ATMS and Post Offices branches in the vicinity.
Barclays will be making personal contact with all regular branch users to discuss their options and guide them through alternative ways to bank. This could include, for those vulnerable customers who are unable to travel to a nearby branch, the option to use our free cash delivery service.
Lauderdale Mansions West
We are working with Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society to prepare the tree pits between Elgin Avenue and Kilburn Park Road for use by local guerrilla gardeners.
Essendine School Streets project
We are working with local residents to force Westminster to rethink its school street project at Essendine Road. In closing part of the street for the morning and afternoon school rush, the Council has created plenty of space for parents to socially distance. However, parents are now double parking in the streets that remain open and this is leading to traffic chaos.
Shirland Road/Sutherland Avenue junction
We asked Council officers for progress on plans to introduce pedestrian phasing at this junction. They told us: “We are progressing with the designs however TfL have resourcing issues that are delaying the programme. We are pressing TfL for dates at this location and a number of others. I’m hoping we will have some news early next week.”
Tollgate House incident
We are very concerned about a possible arson attack on Tollgate House on 21 September where a man was found “pouring flammable liquids around the location from the ground floor to the third floor.” No-one was injured and the police have made an arrest.
Dolphin Living, Lanark Road
We are helping residents at the new Dolphin Living block on Lanark Road who tell us that broadband is not yet available in their building.
Paddington Recreation Ground
We are pleased the Council Officers have agreed to run a new consultation on plans to close the Morshead Road dog exercise area and replace it with a much larger Cycloplay zone. The dog exercise area at the Carlton Vale Gate would be upgraded. We didn’t feel that the original consultation documents fairly reflected the impact of the proposals and are glad that residents will now have another opportunity to comment before the scheme is submitted for planning permission.
We have also highlighted some repairs that are needed in some of the instruments in the sensory playground. We have been told that the parts have been ordered and will be replaced soon.
Oak Tree House
We continue to work with the Oak Tree House Residents Association to push Westminster Council to honour the promises made when the new Beachcroft development was proposed. We met with residents and Housing Officers on site.
We met with residents and Paddington Waterways & Maida Vale Society to discuss ideas for better management of traffic on Elgin Parade.
We have been working with local police to tackle persistent night-time anti-social behaviour around Lauderdale Parade. Police have issued warning letters to vehicles identified as being present.
New Bike Hangars
We have long supported the introduction of additional on-street storage for bicycles. Disappointingly, the latest hangars have been introduced before the consultation was even finished, resulting in some inappropriate locations. Also, the design chosen by Westminster (without consultation) has attracted widespread criticism. If you’d like to comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach parking, Morshead Road
A resident contacted us about coaches parking on Morshead Road to drop/pick up from Paddington Recreation Ground. Park management has confirmed to us that coaches are encouraged to use the car park but can’t be forced to do so.
We would like to thank the residents of Sandringham Mansions who have been making regular collections for North Paddington Foodbank. If you would like to make a regular food or cash donation see here for details: https://www.npfoodbank.org.uk
The local police would like your views on priorities for fighting crime locally. Please fill out this survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/E4AX6L/
Kilburn Park Road – parking
We have been pushing for action to ease the shortage of parking space on Kilburn Park Road for some time now. We raised this issue at a regular meeting with Westminster’s CEO and now have the following reply from the Head of Parking:
“I share your concerns here and agree that the current situation needs attention. I can confirm that the City Council does not grant permits to Brent residents to park in your area but the situation is caused by the hours of control on the Brent and Westminster sides of the boundary not being aligned. Brent has brought in longer hours of control which has displaced those who don’t hold permits into Westminster streets.
I am pleased to say that our Cabinet Member has signed off the project which will investigate the matter and propose suitable solutions. Unfortunately, this is not a quick piece of work as it requires thorough planning to avoid proposing solutions that cause more problems, and any change would require alterations to legal Orders and the associated statutory consultation periods. Your local Councilors, such as Councillor Barraclough, will be involved in the consultation process to ensure the views of the wider community are considered. I would hope to have a solution in place within 6-8 months.”
A resident asked us about changes to Westminster’s recycling schedule. Council officers replied: “The Environment Bill currently passing through Parliament will require substantial changes to how council’s manages waste including a legal requirement to offer all households a food waste collection service. Members of the council are currently considering the implications of the Bill and reviewing potential changes to household waste and recycling collection services but an implementation timetable has not yet been agreed.”
We have asked the Tree Officer to investigate this issue:
“We live in Leith Mansions on Grantully Road. Although the council do good work in pollarding the trees that are on the road itself-the trees that are in the park abutting the boundary fence appear not to have been pollarded and cut back for years. They are now tall and the branches – and trees themselves – appear to be in danger of breaking off and falling into the street. This is a danger – and the height and mass of the trees cut out the light. Can something be done about this?”
5 Kingdom Street
We are pleased that Westminster Planning Committee has rejected (for a second time) British Land’s plans to build a 20 storey building in Paddington that will overshadow much of Little Venice. The final decision rests with the Mayor of London and we have called on him to turn down the plans. https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/ward-news/2020/09/02/westminster-labour-urge-the-mayor-of-london-to-reject-british-lands-proposals-for-a-20-storey-office-block-at-paddington/
Residents living on the houseboats on the canal have contacted us about graffiti, litter, anti-social behaviour around Little Venice pool/Blomfield Road/Delamere Terrace/Westbourne Green. We have written to the Canal and River Trust about these matters as well as about mooring maintenance and bylaw enforcement.
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/
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
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
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.
You can read our paper here https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2020/08/21/what-is-the-future-for-westminster/
Please let us know if you would like to attend our ‘virtual conference’ on 30th September at 6.00pm – 7.30pm to discuss these issues and we will send you the Zoom link
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.
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 report dumped rubbish, broken street lights, graffiti and more using the Report It service 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).
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:
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
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
What you say
“Thank you for your reports. I appreciate receiving them”
“You are doing a great job in these hard times – keep up the good work!”
“Thank you – really interesting and helpful information!”
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
You can read our news here https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/your-ward/little-venice/