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.
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
We have been delighted to help the leaseholders of Lauderdale Mansions fight off an attempt by their absentee freeholder to build an extra storey on top of this block which has a long history of subsidence. The Planning Committee unanimously rejected the application on several grounds including the lack of windows in the bedrooms of the new flats!
Councillor Geoff Barraclough spoke against the scheme and said: “Parkcity’s proposals to plonk these pokey flats on top of Lauderdale Mansions will mutilate an historic building, increase the risk of subsidence and lead to years of worry for the leaseholders. Westminster should reject these plans.”
Maida Vale Studios
The BBC is appealing against the grade II listed status awarded to its Maida Vale studios because it wants to sell the building off as apartments. In 2018, it was announced the studios would be closed, with the corporation’s music recording facilities moving to new premises on the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. However, the BBC’s hopes of making a windfall by selling Maida Vale Studios to property developers stalled in May, when the building was awarded grade II listed status by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough said: “It’s disappointing that the BBC is looking to appeal against Historic England’s decision. Instead, it should be working with the local community to find alternative uses for the site that respect the heritage of the building. One idea would be to create a museum of recorded music in the studios themselves.”
“It would be a great shame to lose a building that makes Maida Vale so special. What can we do to fight this venue turning into another block of flats?”
Essendine Road – School Streets
We continue to work with local residents and council officers to find a way to improve the current arrangements. A temporary barrier is placed in the road during morning and afternoon drop-off and pick-up times. This is resulting in parents double parking along Wymering Road and Essendine Road leading to traffic jams, worsening air quality and a risk of accidents.
We have met Westminster Council’s road safety officer on-site and she agrees changes need to be made. We then subsequently met the Essendine School head and the Cabinet Member for children’s services who agreed that urgent action was needed.
We are pushing for the scheme to be modified so that parents have the space to socially distance but also keeps the traffic flowing. We have been promised revised proposals imminently and will communicate this to local residents as soon as we have them.
123 Dry Cleaners
The owners of 123 Dry Cleaners are proposing to build a large block on this site. This would include eight flats and a new dry-cleaning premises on the ground floor. You can view the plans and make a comment here: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/comment-planning-application
You can also email us to let us know what you think.
A resident asked whether Westminster had plans to start collecting food waste for recycling. The council told us:
“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.”
Westminster Council has published the final locations of the new model bike hangars. There will be an annual fee of £72 plus a one-off payment of £25 for key deposit but we don’t yet know the process for registering your interest.
In Maida Vale, these new hangars will be at
- Elgin Avenue (Lauderdale Road)
- Grantully Road,
- Wymering Road/Elgin Avenue
- Wymering Road
- Lauderdale Road/Ashworth Road
- Biddulph Road/Lauderdale Road.
In Little Venice, they will be at
- Sutherland Avenue/Warrington Crescent
- Sutherland Avenue (west of roundabout)
- Sutherland Avenue/Castellain Road
- Sutherland Avenue/Delaware Road.
Residents have been in touch with some good objections to at least two of these locations. We are in touch with Council officers to discover why they have decided to proceed regardless.
New housing developments
We asked the Council for updates on the infill programme of new social and affordable housing in Maida Vale.
- Torridon House car park – work progressing to appoint a lead contractor
- Thurso House car park – work progressing to appoint a new architect (the first-round designs were rejected by Westminster)
- Carlton Dene – second round consultation ends 25 October and is likely to be submitted for planning approval in November
- Lanark Road garages – construction starting imminently
- Carlton Vale – work delayed due to the failure of the contractor during Covid. A new contractor is being appointed
Junction of Maida Vale and Elgin Avenue
We’re pleased that work has finally begun to implement a full 4-way “green man” crossing. This will make the junction much safer for people on foot. The works will also include additional cycle infrastructure and (later) a non-slip road surface.
Paddington Recreation Ground
We have persuaded the council to re-issue its consultation for new works at the Rec. Many residents felt that the initial consultation didn’t reach enough people and hadn’t explained the proposals fully.
The plans include a cyclo-play area where children and older people can learn to ride bicycles in safety. This would be in place of the Morshead Road dog exercise area and a considerable area around this zone. Please view the consultation https://bit.ly/36iC7xh and let Westminster Council know what you think.
Kilburn Park Road
We have been pressing for action on parking along Kilburn Park Road where Brent residents take advantage of the difference in controlled hours between the two boroughs. Latest news from Westminster’s Parking Policy Review is a
“Review of common complaint areas which has a prime focus on issues relating to the impact of recent unilateral changes within LB Brent on our parking within parts of Zone C; particularly where it is close to Kilburn Park Road. This problem has been raised with us on a number of occasions by Cllr Barraclough and has received Cabinet Member support to proceed. We are in the process of commissioning a full review of what changes need to be made to support our residents and businesses in that area. “
Barclays Bank branch, Elgin Avenue
Barclays say that closing the Maida Vale branch on Elgin Avenue is OK because there is another Barclays branch just over a mile away at 127 Edgware Road. So, we went to look for ourselves on Monday 5th October at 1.00pm and took a photograph of what looked like a 20-person queue.We will be meeting Barclays to put this to them and urge that they keep open the Elgin Avenue branch.
You can sign our petition here: https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/saveourbank/?fbclid=IwAR0IVPfcjqqf6Gkb-cjV33_zVA52ZRCwtDGWNFvcjjzn3_dmDoXCoAzWzig
Maida Vale Station
We have asked TfL to open their old exit from Maida Vale tube on to street level while we observe social distancing on public transport.
414 Bus Route
TfL are proposing to change route 414 so that it terminates at Marble Arch instead of Maida Hill. TfL say:
“We are proposing this change as there is significant extra bus capacity between Marble Arch and Maida Hill. Route 6 duplicates the section of route 414 between Marble Arch and Maida Hill. The frequency of routes 414 and 6 is a bus every 7-8 minutes. At the busiest point of the routes, Edgware Road, eight buses per hour are required to meet the current passenger demand. We are providing 15 currently. The number of passengers does not warrant this number of buses. For the number of people traveling through the area only buses every 7-8 minutes are required. Route 6 already runs with buses every 7-8 minutes. All current journeys taken by passengers on route 414 can be completed by changing buses to route 6.”
TfL would like to know what impact the proposed changes may have on your journey. Please complete the online survey below by Friday 20 November 2020.
You can also email TfL at: firstname.lastname@example.org write to TfL at FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS (Ref: Route 414 changes)
We have asked the Street Lighting Team to investigate this issue:
“I’m also concerned that street lamps aren’t working at night. I’ve noticed this on Castellain Road (the even numbered side between Sutherland Avenue and Formosa Street), and Clifton Gardens, the side with Pond Field House”
Princess Louise Close
We have been contacted by residents of Princess Louise Close, next to the massive West End Gate development, with a list of concerns which include:
- Detrimental noise pollution due to close proximity of heavy-duty work, and increased vehicular presence that pertains to large cranes, large construction vehicles causing traffic and congestion
- Severe environmental pollution due to increase of traffic and development construction
- Constant road works, temporary stopping up orders and permanent closure of local roads to convenience developer’s new builds, subsequently re-routing traffic towards and passed current residents at Princess Louise Close
- 300+ new exclusive underground car parking built at a critical junction nearby current residential parking with already limited road capacity
We have asked the Environmental Health Department to investigate the issues raised by residents to see what action can be taken to assist them.
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/
The NHS Blood and Transplant service is appealing for donations from people who have recovered from coronavirus to help save lives as London moves from “medium” to “high” alert. Donating blood plasma is a simple procedure and very similar to giving a normal blood donation but the red blood cells are returned to the patient and the process takes a little longer.
The nearest donor centre is at 26 Margaret Street, Fitzrovia, W1. Anyone who has had coronavirus, either a test result or the symptoms, can offer to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visitinghttps://www.nhsbt.nhs.ukto arrange an appointment to donate.
Warm Homes Discount Scheme
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2020 to 2021 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2020 to 2021 will open on 12 October 2020. The money is a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March. See here for more details https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
Jobs and Skills
Microsoft and LinkedIn have produced a free programme to help those looking for a job and learn new skills
If you’re between 18-24 and looking at building a new skill that is in high demand, Westminster Wheels offers a paid six-month programme in cycle mechanics. By joining the project, you will be able to (1) learn how to refurbish unwanted bikes and provide affordable high-quality bikes for Westminster residentsand (2) get a training and employment experience to help prepare you for a career in the growing cycle industry.
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
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 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 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
Test and Trace Support Payments
You may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if you are self-isolating because of COVID-19 and you are either employed or self-employed. The payment is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and lose income as a result.Get full details on how to claim a Test and Trace Support Payment
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
New bike hangars – what you say
“These new very badly built and badly designed structures have appeared from nowhere and in very poor positions and are an eyesore. The first round of black hangers do leave something to be desired on the design front, and not in keeping with a conservation area, but the new structures make these old hangers look like a luxury solution. My bigger question is how are these going to be rolled back so that there is consistency throughout Westminster – or at least in W9? “
“There is a notice on the old bike racks saying they will be removed. Why? They are not an obstruction (less so than the hangars). We should have the option to use bike racks (free) or pay for secure storage in the hangars. The hangars are no good for people who want to park their bikes for a short while. Also, the new bike hangars on Lauderdale are an ugly eysore.”
“Why were these hangers installed before the consultation period ended? Why are these hangers a different shape, size and colour to the hangers already installed on Lauderdale Road, Elgin and Biddulph roads?Who approved these designs? These hangers are in a conservation area and, by anyone’s design standards, are totally inappropriate for the area.Why are the free bike parking stands being removed at the end of Biddulph Road? Even with the hanger there is plenty of room to allow anyone not able to secure a hanger spot to park their bike.”
“I was shocked and dismayed that Westminster council should be involved in approving such an inappropriate design and allowing these hangers to be installed without proper consultation.”
Barclays Bank closure – what you say
“There will be no bank-enabled cash points in the neighbourhood and very difficult within walking distance (closest would be SJW, which for the elderly, infirm or with small children is pretty much an expedition for a morning).”
“I think UK high street banks should have a moral or legal obligation to provide a cash service, within the LINK ATM group, within walking distance of high streets. We don’t need more than one, but each bank can share this responsibility across the country.”
“Shame that the Barclays branch is closing. I did recently have to discuss a matter with Barclays in person – the Maida Vale branch was closed, so I had to go to St John’s Wood, which is a bit less convenient for me. The elderly in the area without internet access are those who will be most affected by the decision though. If it closes, I hope it doesn’t become another estate agent – really depressing that the old NatWest has been turned into one too.”
“With the closure of so many bank branches, NatWest in particular, and the fact that more often than not the cash dispensers at Barclay’s Wellington Rd are out of order, the proposed closure of the branch at Elgin Avenue is a major inconvenience. I use it frequently. That leaves the independent dispenser inside St Johns Wood tube station which also frequently does not work.”
See what the local press says https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/barclays-bank-to-close-maida-vale-branch-1-6859920?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it
What you say
“Thank you once again for compiling this newsletter and for taking up our local causes.”
“Thank you for this latest newsletter. Serendipitous timing, as I was just about to follow-up on the previous newsletter about the Lauderdale Parade matter after I spoke to one of the street cleaners this morning.And thank you for the item about the ongoing Lauderdale Mansions West planning disputes.”
“Not sure how you continue to deal with those of us who contact you (harass may be apt at time!) in such a polite and wonderful manner. We really are incredibly lucky to have you and your team and I can’t thank you enough for all you continue to do for our community.”
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/