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://www.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. If you know of anyone else who might like to receive this report, please send them this sign-up link http://bit.ly/signuplabnews
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Biddulph Road/Elgin Avenue
We have raised this issue with our City Inspector:
“The bins are so bad there that I actively do not walk on that side of the street unless I need to use them, as the ground is covered in food waste, broken glass and other refuse. These bins are even more unsightly than ever and a continued nuisance and eyesore. Let’s not even mention the smell. I also believe they are a magnet for dumping, as one quite often sees cars that come and unload, as they are in such a prominent position on a busy street. Is there a way we can improve the situation and also have the bins sit in a holding mechanism so that they are also immobile as they move across the pavement when you try and open them?”
The Christmas tree lights at Paddington Recreation Ground have been turned on – as a new play area was opened. Residents celebrated the switch-on with some festive cheer on Friday December 4th shortly after Paddington Small World was unveiled. The facility, for children up to eight years old, is an extension to the playground and it includes climbing apparatus, a hammock, a tunnel and a slide. A mini bandstand featuring solar powered Bluetooth speakers and USB charging points has replaced the youth shelter.
We have also asked the Park team to fix the lighting after receiving this message:
“There are about 6 lamp posts out of service, from the entrance at Biddulph through to nearly the turn to the Randolph exit) which is exacerbated by the lack of lighting on the pitches as outside games are currently banned under lock down rules. This is making nearly half of the park fully dark from 5pm and very difficult to see human beings, dogs and bikes – or a concern from a safety perspective.”
BBC Maida Vale Studios
Campaigners who successfully petitioned for Maida Vale Studios to become a listed building have hit out at the BBC’s lack of transparency as it continues to challenge the listing. Maida Vale Councillor Geoff Barraclough said a public broadcaster should be acting in a more transparent manner.
“This shouldn’t be happening behind closed doors as the whole process undermines trust in our public institutions,” he said.
As part of Brent’s South Kilburn Regeneration Programme, the first in an series of online public consultation events for Carlton Vale Boulevard (CVB) is being held on 17th December 2020 at 3-5pm and 6-8pm. Carlton Vale is set to be transformed into an ecologically diverse, tree-lined avenue with re-imagined public spaces and better transport links. You can register via www.carltonvaleboulevard.co.uk. If you have any questions or queries please contact James Cooper, Project Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strome House, Carlton Vale
We reported a dangerous pot hole in the entrance to Strome House and Renfrew House on Carlton Vale. We are pleased to say that the pot hole has now been filled and the area re-surfaced.
We have heard from residents in Elgin Mews South, Clive Court, the junction of Elgin Avenue & Shirland Road, Maida Avenue and Kilburn Park Road about slow internet speeds.
Many residents have expressed unhappiness with the bulky design of the new bike hangars. We don’t think anyone likes the appearance of the new hangars, although where the end panels have been replaced with see-through sheets, they do look a little less massive. The Council decided to use a cheaper supplier for the second round of hangars which explains why they are less stylish than the first.
123 Dry Cleaners
The owner of the dry cleaners has submitted a planning application to demolish the current single storey building and replace with one of five storeys. 123 Dry Cleaners would return in the new building with flats for private sale upstairs. More details along with the chance to leave your comments on the Westminster Planning Portal: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage
Cycloplay Area in Paddington Rec
Westminster Council has put in a planning application to replace the area in and around the dog exercise zone near Morshead Road with a new cycoplay area to help children learn to cycle safely. There will also be a short BMX track. The scheme will include extra trees and landscaping but these proposals do raise important issues about how best to use our scarce recreational space.
You can see the scheme consultation here https://active.westminster.gov.uk/digital-consultation-proposed-cycloplay-outdoor-facility-at-paddington-recreation-ground/ and give your comments on the Westminster Planning Portal here: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=QK9EI1RPG7K00&activeTab=summary
Recent works to the pavements on Shirland Road have led to temporary footways too narrow for two people to pass and with sudden twists and turn that caused local residents in mobility scooters to get stuck. We raised concerns with the Highways team and had the footways widened to the 1.2m required by council regulations.
We arranged with Westminster Council for a Christmas Tree at Dibdin House funded by our ward budget.
Night-time roadworks outside Torridon House
FM Conway caused two night’s sleep disturbance for residents of Torridon House when resurfacing Kilburn Park Road outside St Augustine’s School. We asked the council why they had done the work at night. They told us:
“Unfortunately, due to the location (outside of St Augustine’s School) it was agreed and signed off for these works to take place during the night, this was primarily due to safety concerns for students attending the school. Additionally, we will be looking into the reasons as to why this may not have been communicated in the resident letter drop.”
We don’t think this is good enough and have secured agreement that future works take place during the daytime during school holidays.
Princess Louise Close, Paddington Green
Residents in Princess Louise Close have continued their campaign about the impact of the adjacent West End Gate development on their health and well-being.
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
Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society
If you’re interested in the local area, please join PWMV. It publishes a regular newsletter and it’s free to join. https://w9w2.co.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.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.
‘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 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
NHS Responders and Westminster Connects
Residents have raised with us that there is a shortage locally of NHS responders (volunteers) to support residents who are self-isolating with tasks such as picking up prescriptions from chemists. We were also told that Westminster Connects (the Westminster council service that supports residents during lockdown) was also not supporting residents with such tasks as they were thought to be the responsibility of NHS responders. However, after we raised this issue with them, Westminster Connects officers confirmed that their volunteer team would now pick up prescriptions for residents so there should not be any more difficulties in the future.
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.
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
“Thanks as always for your hard work on our neighbourhood’s behalf”
“Thanks for the comprehensive report this month.”
“Keep up the good work!”
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 Councillors
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/