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
Councillor Maggie Carman has contacted Notting Hill Genesis after being contacted by elderly residents of a flat in Gloucester Terrace who reported a leak from the roof on 3rd October. An electrician attended the same day. A week later someone else attended with a camera. Since then nothing has been done and they have been unable to speak to anyone at NHG who can tell them what is going on. We have asked for urgent action to fix this problem.
Porchester Leisure Centre
Residents have contacted us about the Council decision to reduce the opening hours of the Porchester Leisure Centre. Residents say:
“The yoga and Pilates classes are extremely well attended and are hugely important to a substantial number of local residents… we would be devastated to lose them and believe there will be severe impact on our mental and physical wellbeing in these difficult times.”
We are doing all we can to urge the Council to reverse its decision to reduce the opening hours of this and other local leisure centres.
We have asked the Council’s Refuse Team to investigate this issue:
“In the last year or two there has been a marked increase in people in the properties on the opposite side of street dumping their waste on the pavement any day of the week. My wife and I report it on a regular basis, but we have seen no improvements. This problem has got worse and worse, can we not use CCTV on the street to catch and fine people or something. We are so fed up with this that we are seriously considering moving out of this borough because it feels like it is in decline and don’t feel it is a great place any longer to bring up our daughter and we are sad to be thinking like this but we can’t see any improvement.”
St Stephen’s Gardens
We have asked the Environmental Health team to inspect a flat in St Stephen’s Gardens where the resident has been experiencing ongoing problems with noise and smells in his flat.
We have asked the Environmental Health team to inspect building works at a property in Dawson Place where residents say there was an unbearable level of building noise on a Saturday afternoon.
We have asked the Council to look in to this issue:
“Durham Terrace was dug up during the lockdown to install the new G Network cables. We assumed the internet would improve as a result but it hasn’t. When I phoned G Network recently, I was told the only way to improve the speed of our network was for G Network to become our provider. That surprised us as that means they have a monopoly on high fibre. Is that your understanding? We thought high fibre was being installed to improve the Internet irrespective of who your provider was”
The Council say:
“G Network and other broadband providers are a statutory undertaker and as a result have the right to request access to carry out works in the highway. This is administered through the permitting process. Other broadband providers, as statutory undertakers, have the right to request access to carry out works in a similar way to G Network, water, gas and electricity companies.
G Network do not have a monopoly as if your provider wished to install/upgrade infrastructure to your property they could but they would need to make that investment in improving their underlying infrastructure that serves your property.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked Notting Hill Genesis to repair the ceiling of a flat in Hereford Road where there is a water leak. Maggie has told NHG:
“The water is coming from the flat roof on the first floor where there is a visible gap around the edge of the roof. He has now temporarily plugged the gap with plastic bags which he should not have had to do as he is no longer young and shouldn’t be clambering about on the roof – which has no guardrail. He has twice sent emails to his housing officer and has also made a report through the website but has had no response from NHG. He has had a call from a contractor saying that someone would come to have a look on Friday but would not be doing anything further at that time, not even a temporary repair. He feels that communication has been sadly lacking and the situation not being taken seriously. Could you kindly give me an update on the progress of this job and prioritise it as there is likely to be more rain and another leak.”
We are supporting proposals to prune a tree in Artesian Road. According to Notting Hill Genesis, “its enormous, blocking light but most of all is full of birds doing their business all over the newly refurbished front. What’s even worse is the resident in the basement flat is now having to hose down the front on an almost daily basis so she can get in and out without it being too slippery. She can’t even use the handrail due to it being covered in poo.”
We have asked the Council to investigate this disturbing report:
“Walking home on Hatherley Grove, I saw what looked like the same begging gang on Queensway. All the men (2-3 including the driver) were clearly shepherding about 10 women into a white transit van with a Romania car number plate. Having a small group of men controlling a group of women looked pretty serious to me. I am disappointed that this is still going on after having been living at my address for almost 2 years.”
We have asked the Parking Team to investigate reports from residents of “the mews regularly being used as a free car park to private individuals and tradesman”.
We have again urged the Lighting Team to improve the street lighting in Sunderland Terrace where there have been a number of incidents recently.
We have asked the City Inspectors Team to investigate reports of regular noisy parties at an address in Newton Road.
Gates at 82 Westbourne Grove
We have the following response from residents about the gates at 82 Westbourne Grove
“The gates at 82 Westbourne Grove are a wonderful addition to the facade on Westbourne Grove. They are elegant, contemporary and practical. On Hereford Road there are similar designs to the gates and balconies on the apartment block constructed between Chepstow Road and Hereford. Both metal work designs are a refreshing addition to the area and, in my opinion, we should have more inspirational designs to commercial and residential property.”
“The gates at 82 Westbourne Grove look lovely!”
18 Leinster Gardens
Apologies to residents of 18 Leinster Gardens who have pointed out to us that “It’s not a hostel, it’s temporary accommodation flats. 18 Leinster Gardens is a block of flats, housing single people and families. We pay private sector rents.”
We have received this announcement from the Council:
“We are inviting you to share your views to influence the future vision for North Paddington – from Royal Oak to Edgware Road and everywhere between. ‘Paddington Places’ aims to improve walking and cycling connections, wayfinding, lighting, landscape, placemaking and public realm in North Paddington. The first round of public engagement has started and will run until 30 November. Click here for information and to have your say.”
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-lets
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.uk to 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 residents and (2) get a training and employment experience to help prepare you for a career in the growing cycle industry. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-wheels-programme
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/
You can read a report of a recent North Paddington Foodbank customer survey here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J6jKmGhJB_0vDiG2jZLdZahLm7jqCSCK/view
‘Early Voting’ – Voting by post
Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting. Millions of people in the USA voted early by using a postal vote. You can, too!
You can use this form to apply for a postal vote
You can email a photo or pdf of your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Freepost RTJY-BJSY-HULU, Electoral Registration Officer, Westminster City Council, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP – no stamp needed.
You can now read the ‘Westminster Extra’ onlinehttps://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=09649383-4dbb-4a3d-b164-9d26398578f3
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
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:
Volunteers at the he Bayswater Mutual Aid & Community-based Response Group are offering to shop or run errands. You can contact them on 020 8123 7839 and email@example.com
Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
For the latest business advice and help, go to https://www.westminster.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-businesses
What you say
“Thank you all for tireless vigilance”
“Thank you for the wonderful job you are doing as our councilor”
“Thank you again, the responses of RBKC and Westminster would not have happened without your assistance”
“Thank you for coming to our events, and letting us know about opportunities for public realm improvements and for your help in getting some of them, and for all the other ways you’ve supported 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 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