News from Councillor Maggie Carman and the Labour Action Teams in Bayswater & Lancaster Gate
Happy New Year!
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.
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
Delivering Christmas hampers
Before Christmas, Councillor Maggie Carman spent a day delivering Christmas hampers to local elderly residents.
Swanleys, Westbourne Park Road
We asked the Housing Office to investigate damp problems in a flat in Swanleys. As a result, a damp specialist surveyor has been arranged to visit the property.
St Stephen’s Gardens
We are working with residents and the Council to try to resolve noise issues affecting residents in a house in St Stephen’s Gardens.
Westbourne Park Villas
We are helping residents in Elsie Lane Court and have contacted Notting Hill Genesis to urge them to undertake long-delayed repairs to their kitchen.
Westbourne Park Road
Thanks to Councillor Maggie Carman, a loose and potentially dangerous drainpipe at 76 Westbourne Park Road has been fixed.
Maggie immediately asked the Council to take action on this issue after she was contacted by residents:
“In the past weeks, a drainpipe at 76 Westbourne Park Road has been looking increasingly dangerous. It has obviously broken away from the bracket on the wall but is increasing in its tilt and as it is an original cast iron pipe I am really concerned that it will crash over during a winter storm and hurt someone walking through the passage. The house seems to be virtually always shuttered although occasionally a car parks in the carport for a short period. Whether someone tried to scale the pipe to gain access to the top floor, which dragged it from its bracket, or whether it is just old age and rusting, I don’t know but either way it needs attention.”
Following our enquiries, residents told us:
“When I walked through the Westbourne Park passage this morning there was no drooping drainpipe precariously hanging over the passage wall from the garden of 76 Westbourne Park Road – thank you SO much for your support in dealing with this. I would have had no idea who or which department I could have gone to in order to report it, and you took it on immediately. I am so grateful and especially thank you once more for being so quick. I do not know whether it was the owner (doubtful I suspect) or WCC who have dealt with it, but it is now firmly back in its place and fulfilling its job.”
We have asked the Council’s Housing Team and Social Services to assist a disabled resident in Kildare Gardens.
We have reported complaints of anti-social behavior at a property in Chepstow Place to the Housing Association which owns the property. As a result, the person responsible for the anti-social behavior has been sent a warning letter by the Housing Association “that future breaches of the tenancy agreement may lead to further action being taken”
We are supporting a Hereford Road resident who has been trying to get Notting Hill Genesis to pay for the damage caused to his property from a water leak from the NHG property next door.
We are in contact with Notting Hill Genesis on behalf of a resident of Shrewsbury Road who was flooded over Christmas and her kitchen is unusable. This was the second time there was a leak from the flat above and we have asked this to be investigated.
We have asked the Parking Team to investigate reports of illegal parking in Moscow Road causing problems for residents. Councillor Maggie Carman has asked if some of the Parking Marshals could cover this area. Residents say:
“Over the past couple of months, the situation seems to be getting worst with no signs of improvements or solution. Despite clear markings on the road and kerbs, drivers and riders continues to ignore and illegally park and block the road. There seems to be an increased presence of Parking Marshals on Queensway to enforce the new regulations however, this only exacerbates the problem for residents of Moscow Road when the traffic is cleared from Queensway.”
The Parking Team told us:
“The Marshals attended the area today and it was clear at the time of the visit. They will continue to monitor the area and additional patrols will also be undertaken on a regular basis. The reports of noise pollution, littering and hygiene have also been highlighted to the appropriate departments for further investigation.”
Following a request from residents in Inverness Terrace, we have asked the Environmental Health team to investigate a restaurant in Queensway. Residents say:
“The living environment at the back of my flat, which is shared by a number of multi-family houses in this street, is inundated by loud continuous noise generated by extractor fans positioned at the back of one restaurant. The pollution is generated by a single business, with no breaches observed by other restaurants with extractor fans visibly in place. In intensity, the extractor fan noise resembles the noise generated by aircraft engines on airport tarmacs. This has affected the quality of life of local residents whose homes are in the immediate hearing range of extractor fan pollution.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has written to the Planning Department after being notified that there is a proposal to split the double-height cinema Screen 1 to create a single-story games room for residents. Maggie has asked:
“Could you please let me know how many screens are proposed and their dimensions. Screen 1 is usually the “big screen” and it would be a shame to lose an asset that would be used by local residents, visitors and workers for it to be replaced by a facility for residents-only.”
Residents have contacted us about the possibility of installing CCTV cameras around Westbourne Park Road and the surrounding area. We are in discussions with the Police and the Council about this. The Council’s initial thoughts are, “whilst WCC do not have any CCTV assets, there may be other crime prevention strategies we can explore.”
Kensington Gardens Square
We have asked Notting Hill Genesis to investigate a problem with flooding in the basement area of a flat in Kensington Gardens Square. There is a manhole in the rear yard and the drainage pipe is damaged which is causing sewage to enter the flat above. NHG has sent contractors in the past but the problem has not been resolved.
Following our enquiries, NHG told us:
“We have made arrangements for a contractor to attend today to address the blockage issues that have occurred with the drainage to this flat and will be following this through to ensure that the works are completed.”
Councillor Maggie Carman visited the Porchester Centre, where she inspected the renovation programme. The large pool should be finished in January. Spa facilities much improved with more efficient steam regulator. Small pool, gym etc open 12 – 8pm. We are awaiting update on the Spa reopening and pushing hard for an early date.
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“Blu-3 is doing a lot of work in Craven Road/Craven Terrace/Craven Hill. Not sure what they are doing but once the complete the works – they partially retarmac the holes. Unfortunately, they do a poor job, some of the special high grip tarmac is not replaced and the road is now very bumpy and not great for cycling. This is meant to be Q2 – a quietway cycle way. Between Blu-3 and G-Network the whole set of streets is now a patchwork. Will Westminster actually fully retarmac some of the streets that have been affected by all of these road works?
The Highways Team say:
“Blu-3 are carrying out works along Praed Street and Craven Road to install their ducts for the construction site on Eastbourne Terrace. Once all the works are complete, Conway are going to reinstate the areas impacted on Blu-3’s behalf. The current signals in place at Gloucester Terrace junction are due to complete Saturday 12th December 2020.”
We made enquiries with the Council after receiving this enquiry:
“My mother who lives in Hallfield Estate received a strange telephone call today. The caller (with number withheld) said he was ringing from Westminster Council and wanted to deliver a Tea Box to her. My mother said she didn’t need one and hung up! Would you have any idea if this call was genuine or not, as it has left her feeling a little disturbed.”
The Council said
“The call was genuine – we are delivering hampers to 1,060 residents in sheltered accommodation, identified by our housing and adult social care teams, and housing have sent around a text and are making calls to check that residents want to receive them.”
We have previously requested the Council not to withhold numbers from calls such as these so as to reassure residents that the calls are genuine.
Healthy lifestyles and becoming carbon neutral
A resident has made the following suggestion:
“I recently read with interest that Enfield Council is banning meat from events it hosts as a way to help the environment and reach its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. There are many more councils and universities around the world who are doing the same, and I was hoping you could suggest this for Westminster Council. The best way to encourage constituents to adopt a more environmentally-sustainable lifestyle is to lead by example. Could you please suggest that Westminster Council does the same?”
What do you think?
We are unhappy about the design of the new ‘big box’ bicycle hangars which are bulky and unattractive. We have called on the Council to replace the new hangars with the original Cyclehoop hangar which is smaller and much better designed.
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 that 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
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 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.
Community Contribution Fund
The fourth round of the Community Contribution Fund is open now! The Fund is made possible thanks to donations from Westminster residents and helps to support some of the most vulnerable groups in the City. Community organisations and charities can apply for up to £20,000 for projects in Westminster that:
- Provide youth support
- Help rough sleepers off the streets at night
- Help lonely and isolated people
Applications are open from now until Sunday 7 February. To find out more or to apply, visit our website.
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
Want to help with Vaccinations?
The Westminster Employment Service is working with the NHS to recruit for temporary mass vaccination roles across two sites opening in Westminster. There are both part-time and full-time roles available.
There are approximately 200 vacancies across the following opportunities:
- Front of House – £12.18 per hour
- Administrator – £13.10 per hour
- Immuniser (full training will be provided) – £14.83 per hour
Please register your interest by completing this short form and selecting ‘NHS mass vaccination jobs’ under the section ‘What type of work are you looking for?’
You can see the latest Covid data for your area here
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Porchester Centre – what you say
“I hope you can put some pressure on WCC to provide the correct funding to allow the Centre to open normal hours, after all that is what we pay for. The current hours are useless and WCC should be encouraging exercise and good health”
What you say
“Thank you for your update, always useful”
“Well done! Keep up the good work!”
“Thankyou Maggie and your team for the hard work and practical results you have achieved on behalf of all residents throughout this difficult year.”
“Thank you for your email – very interesting and much appreciated”
“Thank you for your help. It is amazing how much ground has been covered in less than a week”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
If you know of anyone else who might like to receive this report, please send them this sign-up link http://bit.ly/signuplabnews
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