News from Councillor Maggie Carman and the Labour Action Teams in Bayswater & Lancaster Gate
We hope you are well.
With the number of people getting vaccinated increasing every day and the number of people testing positive for coronavirus decreasing, we hope that we will soon be through the pandemic. Along with Karen Buck MP, we are doing all we can to help the local community and individual residents and their families.
You can read our latest news on http://www.westminsterlabour.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
Westbourne Park Road
Councillor Maggie Carman asked the Highways Team about this issue:
“The awning of Cepages has been very unstable for a long time and it has been closed since one of the extending supporting arms gave way a few months back. The beam has now rotted and broken and today the weight of the snow on it looks as if it is tearing the beam from the rotten material. I am worried that the beam might fall off altogether and if so, could hurt someone walking under it. Do you or anyone else have a suggestion?”
The Highways Team contacted the restaurant who say:
“Although the awnings at our restaurant Cépages is unfortunately not working properly at the moment, we are looking at replacing it, which in the current lockdown environment is not easy to arrange for several reasons. In the meantime, we are monitoring regularly this, we made sure this is not dangerous and it is secured.
In any event, the spring mechanism which holds the fabric rolled inside the box is intact and will prevent any risk of the awning falling. We are definitely looking to replace it by the time we are able to safely reopen – the restaurant has been closed since mid-December”
We are helping residents in Moorhouse Road with information about how to increase broadband speeds.
Elsie Lane Court
We are helping residents of Elsie Lane Court to get Notting Hill Genesis to undertake long-delayed kitchen repairs. Following Councillor Maggie Carman’s enquiries, residents say, “the survey took place this morning and the NHG surveyor confirmed that the kitchen is ‘beyond economic repair’. Thank you so much for your help. It’s a big relief it now seems to be moving.”
We are very pleased that, after many years of campaigning, the Council is revising its policy on allowing double glazing in conservation areas. In recent years, the Council has refused planning permission for the installation of double glazing in Hereford Road and elsewhere, to the detriment of many residents who wished to insulate their homes against heat loss and replace older, draughty windows. Now, the Planning Department tells us, “we will allow double glazing in conservation areas. This flexible approach is not yet in policy but will be reflected in emerging supplementary planning documents which will explain policy and encourage residents to consider implementing appropriate retrofit measures, including double glazing.”
As a result of this change, we have urged Notting Hill Genesis to re-apply for planning permission to install double glazing in their properties in Hereford Road.
Also, Councillor Maggie Carman contacted Notting Hill Genesis to request that a contractors’ ladder be removed from a property in Hereford Road. Residents in Hereford Road have been targeted by burglars in the past and are justifiably concerned about the ladder being left for so long.
We are making investigations with the Council about this issue:
“I have been delighted to see that several new hangers have been installed in my area, including the one in Alexander Street, on the corner with Westbourne Park Road. I have been visiting the website: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/find-cycle-parking I visit that page every day, and refresh it several times a day, desperate as I am not to miss out on one of the rare spaces as they become available.
The message never changes: “The latest installation of cycle hangars are not yet live for rental. Rental spaces will issued on a first-come, first-serve basis…”. I am becoming concerned that I may not be looking in the right place. I would be very grateful if you would confirm that this web page is in fact where I should still be looking. And are you able to give me any indication as to when you expect the hanger spaces to be made available for rental?”
The Council say:
“There have been some slight delays with the signing of the contract for the supplier to manage the allocation of space to these units, but this will be formalised very shortly and details for how to apply can be made directly through the suppliers website: https://rentals.falco.co.uk/”
Bishops Bridge Road
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“Some time ago most of the street furniture was removed at the crossroads where Bishops Bridge Road, Inverness Terrace and Porchester Road which is mostly much improved although for some reason the railings at the top of Inverness Terrace still remain and these are an eyesore not only because there are already railings around the Hallfield estate but also because it detracts from the open feel at the rest of the junction. I wonder whether with so much work on the roads happening at the moment whether these could also be removed? “
The Highways Team say:
“The guardrail is the to encourage people exiting Hallfield Estate to use the pelican crossing on Inverness Terrace just before the junction. The guardrail also prevents the recycling bins from rolling backwards or being pushed into the carriageway if not secured appropriately with the bin brakes. So unfortunately, the guardrails cannot be removed for these safety reasons.”
We are supporting proposals to locate a zebra crossing on Westbourne Grove. Residents say:
“The area where we suggest to install the zebra crossing (opposite 56-58 Westbourne Grove) does not have loading space anyway as it is on a double yellow line (and the stores that are there are a reflexology parlour, a nail parlour etc which do not require loading). It would also be right after the number 70 bus has turned into Garway Road, so the zebra would not interfere at all with the traffic, which anyway has to be stopped for the bus to take the turn anyway.”
We are supporting a local resident who has come up with great ideas for ‘greening’ the local area. She says:
“I’ve come up with some wildlife-friendly projects to help green our local area. My first project involves making eco-friendly bird nesting boxes from local waste materials. The wood is from a skip in Kildare Terrace (with full encouragement of the builders who now help me load my car), the rubber hinge is made from a discarded bicycle inner tube from Evans Cycles, and the tin lid is from our bin. The design is based on RSPB guidelines and modified with help from someone who has first-hand experience with what works and what doesn’t.
I noticed that there is an existing box attached to a tree in Westbourne Gardens but it’s looking a little worse for wear, so I’m keen to find out if a couple of my new boxes could be attached to other trees in the garden? I’m working up to additional projects and aim to be able to provide bat boxes, bee hotels and hedgehog houses to communal gardens in the area.”
We also reported a water main burst in Westbourne Gardens to the Council and Thames Water.
Councillor Maggie Carman is also supporting leaseholders who are in dispute with Network Homes about the management of the cyclical improvement works that were undertaken during the autumn and winter months of 2016-17.
Talbot Road/Chepstow Road
We are making enquiries with the Highways Team about this issue:
“Today, we were woken up at 6.25am by Traffic Management lorries (no company branding) outside of our flat (corner of Talbot Road and Chepstow Road) they took around 40 minutes of being incredibly noisy to offload temporary traffic lights and put them in place. Could you find out why this has to be done at 6.30am given that the roads are pretty quiet at the moment all day. The guys seem to have no grasp that residents might be sleeping and are constantly slamming their lorries doors, dropping equipment kit from height etc, etc.”
The Highways Team say:
“The works at this location are part of the G Networks campaign to bring superfast fibre broadband to Westminster. It does appear that the contractors were on site at 0630 to set up temporary traffic signals ahead of the 0800 permitted start time.
The contractors have been reminded that any works needing to be done outside of the permitted hours require Out of Hours approval. As well as advised that they should not be attending the site before approved start time. The City Council will continue to monitor this location and action will follow if any performance issues are identified.”
We have asked the Council to install more cycle hangars in the Chepstow Road area after receiving this request from residents:
“All of the hangers in my area are fully booked and the waiting lists are very long. I think this shows there is a huge demand for them that isn’t being met.
Cycling isn’t just a recreation for many cyclists – I use my bicycle to take my children to school, to shop, to commute to work as well as exercise.”
The Cycling Officer says:
“I have logged the request for a hangar and will investigate possible locations ahead of a consultation in spring 2021 and (subject to consultation and funding) an installation in summer 2021.”
Councillor Maggie Carman is helping a private rented tenant in Arthur Court, Queensway, who says that since they moved in to the flat a few months ago there has been “a constant and extensive volume of serious/minor problems in the flat including no working oven, no smoke alarms, broken windows, no heating, no smoke alarms, black mould and leaking roof. Most have not been resolved by the agent, even after 3 months, none resolved in a reasonable time frame or without extreme pressure from myself or Environmental Health.”
We are continuing to help a Queensway resident with a long-standing parking issue which resulted in a parking ticket being cancelled. A happy resident said: “Hope the nightmare ends here. I thank you for your time”.
Bishops Bridge Road
We have made enquiries with the Highways Team about this issue and urged better road management and timing for deliveries:
“Today, coming from Paddington along Bishops Bridge Road at noon, traffic was being held up because there were 4 lorries on the north side of road and eight on the Hallfield side. Traffic was having to take turns going east/west. There were cement ones, ones to collect and ones with equipment.”
We have asked the Director of Housing to help a resident in Westbourne Gardens who has been in temporary accommodation which needs upgrading works. The resident says:
“The bathroom and kitchen are in need of refurbishment as they’re broken, old and outdated. The rest of the flat needs decorating. The land lady feels it’s fine, but it quite disgusting. It’s been 12 years and no real work has been done. She changed the window in the bedrooms as they were completely rotted. The widows in the front room are old and rotten, too, and the heat escapes the flat is cold and difficult to keep warm. Can you assist as it’s affecting my mental health?”
The Director of Housing says, “We will make contact with the resident, check the condition of the property and works required and how best to complete these”.
We have passed this message to the Council from St Paul’s United Reform Church:
“Should you hear that Westminster Council is needing more venues to deliver Covid vaccinations, St Paul’s URC is a fully accessible building and is currently available most of the time.”
We have contacted the Canal & River Trust about the mounds of dumped rubbish along the canal towpath between Westbourne Park and Royal Oak and urged regular clean-ups.
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 with the 2021 Census
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is hiring people for a range of temporary roles to make this year’s census a success. On Sunday 21 March 2021, the census survey will take place throughout the UK and prior to that, ONS is looking to employ people to help encourage everyone in England to participate. You can apply at http://www.censusjobs.co.uk/
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/
Mayoral Election on 6th May – Voting by post
The Government has announced that the London Mayoral and GLA elections will be going ahead on 6th May 2021.
Some people may be concerned about going to the polling stations in person, having to wear a mask and waiting in a socially-distanced queue.
It will be much easier, quicker and safer to vote by post.
You can use this form to apply for a postal 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.
Rita Begum is Labour’s candidate for West Central in the GLA Elections
You can visit Rita’s website at https://www.ritabegum.com/
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
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 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
“Good to read that Covid restrictions aren’t slowing you down.”
“Thank you so much for all the hard work you put in”
“Thank you very much for you continued efforts.”
“Impressive and helpful progress! Thank you”
“Again, thank you so much for all your help. It makes a world of difference to know someone like yourself is helping.”
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