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 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.
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.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
Paddington Rec – Cycloplay & BMX Track
The council has withdrawn its plans to build a cycle training facility and BMX track in Paddington Recreation Ground. This would have been situated between the running track and Morshead Road and would have involved closing one of the dog parks. The plans attracted a lot of opposition from dog owners and local residents.
Residents of Torridon House were stunned when council officers gave them just two weeks to clear their possessions from the storage sheds in the car park. Contractors need vacant possession to start the process of building a new block of affordable housing but the notice given was simply unacceptable.
Working with Karen Buck MP, we lobbied Westminster Housing on behalf of residents and managed to extra time, an agreement that Westminster would dispose of any unwanted items and also assist in moving belongings to a new location. In addition, we are pleased that we’ve been able to secure parking spaces at the Scottish Towers for the Torridon residents with a parking permit. The Scottish Towers spaces are unused ones allocated to Dolphin Living and won’t reduce the spaces for existing residents.
The Squirrel Pub
Simon Cowell’s brother has lost his appeal against Westminster Council’s decision to refuse him permission to turn the Squirrel pub into flats. This is a great result and testimony to the hard work of local campaigners supported by Councillor Tim Roca, Labour Councillor for Harrow Road. However, the most recent planning committee decision to authorise a pharmacy to move into the vacant pub does still stand.
Lauderdale Mansions West
Park City has appealed against Westminster Council’s refusal of its plans to build an extra storey of pokey flats on top of Lauderdale Mansions West.
Kilburn Park Road
Westminster Council has finally completed the works to widen the footway outside St Augustine’s School. Working with Paddington Waterways, we had the design modified to introduce a new refuge island and to include an additional six single yellow parking spaces. These will help ease evening and weekend stress on residents parking on Kilburn Park Road.
Elgin Food & Wine
We worked with Harrow Road Councillors to get Westminster Council remove some parking restrictions mistakenly painted by its contractors outside Elgin Food & Wine on the junction of Shirland Road and Elgin Avenue. These were stopping the shop receiving deliveries.
Kilburn High Road
Camden Council is consulting on upgrades to Kilburn High Road which include a short stretch in Westminster. You can see the plans here: https://consultations.wearecamden.org/supporting-communities/lower-kilburn-high-road/
We continue to work with City Inspectors to keep the footway clear outside Milad Supermarket on Maida Vale. The shop owner knows he is only allowed to take 1 metre width of the food displays. We have also suggested to Westminster Highways that the bus shelter (not the bus stop) be moved a few feet to reduce the pinchpoint outside the shop’s front door. We think this could be achieved as part of the Kilburn High Road upgrade project.
Paddington Recreation Ground
A number of residents got in touch about the closure of the bandstand for exercise. The council said:
“The bandstand is closed as an activity area. This is in line with government guidance. Operationally it is difficult to maintain social distancing with a number of users using that space (we often find up to 10 users there). The bandstand was closed March lockdown also. The area under the pavilion balcony will be available to use once again for exercise. This was closed this week while contractor restored and repainted it. “
Junction of Shirland Road and Sutherland Avenue
We’re pleased that work is finally underway for a new four-way greenman crossing at this junction. It’s something that we have been calling for since we were first elected.
Brent Council is consulting on plans for upgrading Carlton Vale between Kilburn Park Road and Queen’s Park. You can see their ideas here: https://www.carltonvaleboulevard.co.uk
Westminster Council has lodged its application for planning permission for the new Carlton Dene development. This will include 65 extra care” homes for older residents and a new 22 flat affordable housing block. You can see details here https://www.westminster.gov.uk/carlton-dene-and-peebles-house and give your comments on the planning portal here. https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=QLH4SKRP02T00
Maida Vale Ward Budget
Following our donation to Essendine School for 30 laptops, we have now funded St George’s school, £9,999, to buy 20 laptops, 30 dongles and 40 tablets to support children and staff with home schooling. We asked Westminster Council to ensure that every child who needs a laptop had one by the 1st February 2021, and although they agreed, they didn’t do enough to make sure it happened. It’s unfortunate that such essential items are having to be provided by the ward budgets. You can see our motion here: Westminster Labour calls on the Council to provide more pupils with laptops to enable them to access online lessons – Westminster Labour Councillors – Westminster Labour
John Aird Court
We are continuing to support residents in John Aird Court who are calling on the Council to replace the old, defective windows which let in the cold and increase energy bills. Residents say:
“I’m writing to you about the windows in John Aird Court which Westminster Council had said were going to be replaced at various dates over the last 9 years and most recently in the year 2020/21, which was reconfirmed by the council in February 2020. I now learn that this is not going to happen and may be pushed back a further three years to 2023/2024.”
“The metal frames conduct heat, which we believe is the reason that each winter our bill goes well over the estimates that we get. The poor ventilation it creates means that we regularly get build-up of black mold and condensation builds up no matter how much we open them to try to air the rooms out. The windows are in a poor state of repair, contributing to these issues.”
Speaking at the Westminster Council meeting on 20th January, Labour’s GLA candidate, Maida Vale Councillor Rita Begum set out Labour’s plans for the ‘Green Revolution’. You can read her speech here:
Cycle hangars – what you say
“I strongly submit that these should not be placed within a “safe distance” of all zebra crossings. They certainly decrease the sight lines for oncoming cars.”
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/
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
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 email@example.com 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 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:
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
Here is the latest Covid update for Maida Vale
You can see the latest 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:
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
“Thank you so much, always good to read emails from this team.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
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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/