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
We 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 such as £30,000 on plans for a Cycloplay area in Paddington Recreation Ground that never happened 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.
We have been very concerned that the Randolph Surgery and 36 other London GP’s surgeries has been sold to a giant American insurance company with no consultation at all with patients.
Click here to read more about the sale and sign our petition to object to the changes https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2021/03/15/anger-over-sale-of-randolph-surgery-gp-practice-to-us-corporation-centene/
Following enquiries from residents, we have asked the Highways Team to repair the pavement outside 103 Sutherland Avenue as part of the current pavements works at the junction of Sutherland Avenue and Shirland Road.
We have been working with Father Amos at St Augustine’s Church to ensure that Westminster’s Planning Committee is provided with hard data about the impact of the proposed Carlton Dene extra-care facility on sunlight entering the Grade 1 listed building.
We are also supporting St Augustine’s in its bid for community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding to help repair its historic organ.
We have written to Westminster’s planning officers to restate our objections to the proposal to build a basement flat at Wymering Mansions. The plans show a flat with very little natural light and access to a doorbell or letter box. We need more residential accommodation in Maida Vale but it needs to be of a good standard.
New affordable housing
We remain concerned by the slow progress in building new affordable housing in Maida Vale. While it’s good news that construction work has finally begun on the two garage sites on Lanark Road, it is very disappointing that work on the new blocks behind the Carlton Vale flats is taking so long. The original building contractor went bust during the first lockdown which resulted in the part-built woodened frame buildings spending six months exposed to the elements and becoming unsafe. The replacement contractor has been obliged to demolish and rebuild two of the new homes. We have asked for an explanation of how much this has cost.
Lower Kilburn High Road & Maida Vale
We have been working with residents and council officers to scope improvements to the highways between Dibdin House and the Brent border at the top of Kilburn High Road.
The works will be carried out this summer and include additional traffic islands, extra street trees, curb buildouts at the junction of Kilburn Park Road and Maida Vale to make it easier to cross the road, conversion of double yellow line parking spaces to Pay & Display which will also give more residents parking outside controlled hours as well as a small relocation of the bus shelter to give pedestrians more space outside Milad Supermarket.
We lobbied Council officers and the Cabinet member on behalf of Torridon House residents who were given just two weeks to vacate their storage lockers. With the help of Karen Buck MP, the council agreed both a short extension and to assist residents with moving their belongings. We have also secured the right people with Torridon parking permits to use the car park the Scottish Towers.
Junction of Shirland Road and Sutherland Avenue
You may have noticed contractors working at this junction. After many years of complaints from residents, Westminster Council is finally installing a four-way green man crossing. Contractors are also extending the pavements so that it is a shorter distance to cross the road.
Paddington Recreation Ground – running track
We asked Westminster’s parks and leisure team why they were closing the running track at a time when running is the only legally permitted outdoor sport. They told us:
“The closure is part of the ‘Phase 2’ capital works which started last Spring. The closure is to complete the Parkour park, new tarmacking around the track – but mainly to fully replace the athletics track (this involves complete removal of the current track in its entirety, various sub surface works, new kerbing, new top surface, painting and line marking). Track replacement works can only be carried out in Spring/Summer months, as it needs to be mild and mainly dry. Therefore, the closure is unfortunately unavoidably necessary in order to carry out the works safely and quickly as possible in early Spring. This will enable us to complete the works by mid-Spring”
We have responed to a Westminster consultation on geo-fencing for shared use cars. These would be rental cars (like Zipcar) but which need to be returned to a particular street or streets rather than a special bay.
We fully support this initiative but asked that these extra vehicles should not be parked on roads with high levels of resident parking stress today – Kilburn Park Road, Randolph Gardens and Shirland Road.
Treepits – Shirland Road
The council has told us that it is planning to seal the treepits on Shirland Road with the rubber-resin that has been used on Sutherland Avenue. Our view is that this initiative is a waste of money as the materials quickly deteriorate. Also, it prevents local residents “guerrilla gardening” around the trees outside their homes. We have written to council officers asking them to reverse their decision.
The Warrington Pub
A resident asked us this question:
“I would very much like to know what building work is going on at the Warrington Pub/Hotel. Having strongly protested the planning applications for further development, I worry that we have not been kept informed of developments – or what was approved. Hopefully the work is general maintenance.”
Councillor Geoff Barraclough replied:
“The Warrington has permission for a roof terrace at first floor level facing the roundabout and also to extend upwards for an additional five hotel rooms. The latter was refused by Westminster but won on appeal to the Planning Inspector.”
We have asked the Environmental Health Team if they can investigate the bright security lights at Clive Court which is disrupting the sleep of Lanark Road residents.
Maida Vale Ward Budget
The Maida Vale ward budget will be funding two more defibrillators, one in Tollgate Gardens Community Centre and one at Le Cochonnet restaurant.
The Carlton Tavern is set to reopen on 12 April following the campaign led by Councillors and the community to rebuild the pub ‘brick by brick’. You can read an interview with the new landlords Tom Rees and Ben Martin
Harrow Road – underpass
We have asked the Council to investigate the reports from residents of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour at the Harrow Road underpass:
“I write to you in regards to the underpass at Harrow Road by the police station at Newcastle Place that leads to Hilton Hotel towards Merchant Square. It is not only filthy but drug users are using it in broad daylight to take heroin or crack cocaine openly. Even meeting their dealers there to exchange the drugs and take them there and then.”
You might like Jago Hazzard’s YouTube video called “Too Many Edgware Roads’
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
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
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, Asian and Minority Ethnic celebrities dispelling myths about the vaccine and encouraging people to have the vaccination
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 all for your hard work and this update. There was good communication here about a number of big issues – such as the Rec redevelopment and the flats on Lauderdale etc.”
“Thank you for the usual interesting and useful information – as a Maida Vale resident it’s always great to get these updates.”
“Thank you as always for your informative newsletter which shows your excellent work in the neighbourhood.”
“Thanks for these very useful updates.”
“Thanks for your continued efforts in the area – they’re always appreciated”
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/