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
Councillor Maggie Carman voted against the Council Tax rise proposed by Westminster Conservatives because now is not the time for tax rises. We believe the Council should be sending a message to the Government that they should be the ones to fund vital local services at this unprecedented time.
For the last decade, we have identified examples of local waste and suggested efficiency savings to help protect local services to those most in need. We will continue to suggest new ways to protect council services and, as in previous years, we will accept the proposed increase in the Adult Social Care precept to limit the cuts in care for the elderly and vulnerable, services that have proved so vital during the pandemic.
There was a fire at 5 Porchester Square recently. Thankfully, the fire was contained within a single flat. Following this incident, Councillor Maggie Carman received a phone call from a neighbour of the fire victim to thank her on behalf of herself and the other neighbours. Before Maggie was elected, residents had contacted her about the fire door which didn’t close and which they had been asking the Council to repair it for a year.Maggie got the fire door in the top corridor fixed and this stopped fire and smoke spreading into the neighbouring flats.
Also, we have asked the Highways Team to investigate and take action to reduce traffic speeds along Porchester Square. Residents say:
“Porchester Square is very noisy with traffic. I have written numerous times about car speeding on this street. Now most of us are working from home, this issue has become even more pertinent. I strongly think there should be road bumps built to prevent speeding. At the moment, there is only one speedometer which is currently not working.”
Talbot Road/Chepstow Road junction – update
Following our enquiries about installing all-around pedestrian ‘green-man’ crossing facilities at the Talbot Road/Chepstow Road junction, the Highways Team tell us:
“The scheme is in progress and we are waiting for TfL to review and feedback on the proposed design. Subject to TfL’s comments, we plan to commence work on site in June/July.”
Councillor Maggie Carman is helping Peabody tenants in Porchester Road who have been asked to move home temporarily to enable repair works to be carried out.
We have asked Notting Hill Genesis to investigate reports of residents regularly smoking cannabis at a flat in Westbourne Grove.
Swanleys, Westbourne Park Road
We have again written to the Director of Housing on behalf of ground floor residents of Swanleys about the poor condition of their street facing windows.
We are taking up this issue with the Environmental Health Team:
“For years I have been shocked by the excessive light pollution which emanates from a mansion block in Hatherley Grove, off Westbourne Grove. How do residents living in the terrace opposite, or even within the mansion block itself, manage to sleep at night with such extreme light levels? It must blight their lives.”
We have repeated our call to the Council to install CCTV in Sunderland Terrace after another attempted car break-in recently.
Councillor Maggie Carman also helped persuade the Housing Department to let a Council garage to a Sunderland Terrace resident – after waiting since 2005 for a garage to become vacant. A delighted resident told Maggie:
“Well, I am lost for words! How amazing. Many, many thanks for this. Forever grateful”
We are supporting Council leaseholders in Durham Terrace who are objecting to very high service charges being demanded by the Housing Department.
We have asked the Housing Department to investigate residents’ concern about constant noise coming from two long-vacant council flats in a house on Gloucester Terrace. Residents say “There are now two empty flats and both are emitting a dreadful high-pitched beeping noise on an increasingly frequent basis. The noise from the, I assume, smoke and heat detectors is constant both night and day and is preventing us from sleeping or properly resting in a locked-down situation.”
This problem has now been resolved and the alarms have been turned off.
We are supporting restaurants in Hereford Road who have asked us whether the tables and chairs arrangements for restaurants will be in place again this year.
The Westbourne Park Pantry
We are very pleased to support the Westbourne Park Pantry which is held every Thursday 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm at Westbourne Park Baptist Church.
For a small weekly subscription of £5, members of the pantry will have access to food, including fresh fruit and vegetables and store cupboard favourites that will often value £15-20 or more.
To apply for membership, click/copy the link below and then scroll down to the membership button at the bottom of the page. Use the sign-up menu to find London Westbourne Park and complete the form.
The Cow, Westbourne Park Road
Councillor Maggie Carman is supporting The Cow public house, following the Council decision to review its license after alleged breaches of the covid regulations.
We have asked the Housing Office to look into reports of sheds on Hallfield Estate being broken in to. Residents say:
“I have rented a shed for over 20 years without any problems. Last year I noticed that the padlock I put on the door was gone. I replaced the padlock and as the shed had not been broken into I did not report it but yesterday, the new padlock has gone, and I saw the shed opposite to mine door opened and items are falling out. Also I noticed that the other two shed doors next to mine have new locks on them.”
The Housing Team say:
“The shed area has been checked and found all sheds to be secure, apart from one which is not currently let to a resident. We have arranged for this shed to be secured.”
Residents have commented:
“The sheds are all secure because we have all bought new locks recently. Really appreciate your help and support.”
Bishops Bridge Road
Following concerns raised by residents about lorries parking along Bishops Bridge Road, the Highways Team tells us that the area along Bishops Bridge Road is currently allocated as a ‘holding area’ for site deliveries to the Whitely development. This temporary loading area is permitted between 8am to 6pm.
We are very concerned at the continued engine idling and have urged the Council to take action. Residents say:
“I have complained both to the traffic marshal and the drivers and reactions have been either abusive or just patronising. Sometimes there are as many as 10 lorries and all are diesel and all seem to think it’s OK to do this. There are families living on both sides of the road and schools and nurseries nearby.”
Arthur Court, Queensway
We are helping a resident in Arthur Court who is having problems getting their landlord to undertake long-standing repairs. They say the flat suffers from “extreme damp, condensation, a flooded ceiling, no ventilation in the bathroom, and single glazed and rusted windows that let freezing air into the flat”.
Drugs and gun ammunition were recovered during a raid on the Olympic Food Centre, Moscow Road on 13th January. The shop’s premises licence were reviewed by Westminster Council on 19th February, following an application by the Police to the council, and remains suspended. Following the raid, two people were arrested and released under investigation but have not yet to be charged.
Councillor Maggie Carman addressed the Planning Committee to object to the Whiteley’s Hoarding, She told the Committee:
“I object to this planning application as it is likely to add to the current depressing experience of living and working alongside the Whiteley’s development. The black hoardings will be dark and dismal and white or a light colour would preferable. I’d like the local children’s artwork to be retained as it humanises an otherwise dreary stretch of road. Having the name illuminated will be good advertising, but people living in the flats opposite would suffer light pollution so I would like to see this turned off at a reasonable hour, say 9pm.”
“Finally. I’d like to object to the name, “The Whiteley” as it is meaningless and ungrammatical and doesn’t preserve the historic association with Whiteley’s famous department store. The name has, however, already been used in a different context; William Whiteley left a bequest of a million pounds to found a settlement for the aged poor in Surrey which is still thriving and known as Whiteley village, administered by The Whiteley Homes Trust – a far more fitting use of the name.”
You can see a short video of the new Crossrail Station at Paddington Station here
Notting Hill Genesis – what you say
“I wanted to send such a huge public message of thanks to Councillor Adam Hug and (his assistant) Sarah Joslin for the help they have been giving to a tenant of Notting Hill Genesis. He has had a leak in his ground floor flat, coming from two floors up in the crumbling house owned by NHG, the leak having brought down the ceiling of the cupboard in his bedroom. The leak was reported at the beginning of December, with absolutely no result as far as repair was concerned.
At the end of December, I informed Adam Hug and Sarah Joslin and asked for advice. They stepped in immediately, and Sarah has taken over the case and has really got things going. The leak in fact turned out to be 4 leaks, 3 of which now appear to have been repaired – thanks to Sarah’s efforts – and the 4th is still being investigated but it is now dripping rather than gushing when the bathroom or kitchen upstairs are being used. Without their help, the tenant would have been in a state of utter despair.
How such a large organisation providing social housing can be so slow about responding to a situation like this, I cannot imagine, but it seems that the complaints about NHG are far and wide and numerous. Although we know the difficulties of the pandemic, but judging from reports from Karen Buck and from others, the constant complaints prove that this is not a pandemic problem but an ongoing and apparently endless one.”
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
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 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’ 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
Free Travel to Vaccination Centres
We have welcomed the news that Age UK is now offering a free taxi transport service to local vaccination centres for anyone over 50 in Westminster. This service will run to the end of March 2021, and will focus on supporting people in the 50 plus age group from BAME communities.
For further details please get in touch with Amy Shallon at AShallon@aukc.org.uk or telephone 07497 188 221
Dispelling the vaccination myths
Here is the link to a video featuring Black and Minority Ethnic celebrities dispelling myths about the vaccine and encouraging people to have the vaccination
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
What you say
“Many thanks Maggie for all you do for us”
“Thank you for sending the, as usual. very informative newsletter.”
“It’s always good to read of all the issues you’re involved with to support local residents.”
“Congratulations once again to your team who are still carrying on doing and looking after the residents during these challenging times.”
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