HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – March 2021
News from your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca
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
Residents in Fernhead Road have been concerned that a number of buses are exceeding the 20mph speed limit and we have raised this with Transport for London who say:
“The safety team visited Fernhead Road in December to look at speeding issues. They will now be visiting the road again to carry out speed checks to make sure drivers are observing the limits. The drivers on these routes will also be spoken to individually at the garage and communications will be circulated internally to notify drivers the problem has been observed and we are taking action to ensure that they adhere to the speed limit. The current situation is not acceptable.”
We have asked the Tree Officers when the trees in Edbrooke Gardens are going to be pruned.
Tamplin Mews Gardens
We have been asked if some more benches could be provided in Tamplin Mews Gardens. Please let us know what you think of this idea (email addresses at the end of this Report).
We have asked the Street Cleaning and Refuse Teams to clear regular rubbish dumping ‘hotspots’ on the Harrow Road and elsewhere and take action against those found to be responsible. We are still waiting for the Council’s new Waste Strategy.’
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“I am writing to ask about whether something could be done to improve cycling conditions on Shirland Road? The road is terrible – there are cracks, divots with loose grit, and poor joins between sections all along the South side of the road – particularly on the stretches to the east and west of the intersection with Elgin Road. As a cyclist, this means swerving out into the main road to avoid these obstacles, which feels very unsafe, particularly given the number of large vehicles and buses that use the road.
In addition, the intersection with Chippenham Road is really dangerous – more often than not there are cars parked on the double yellow lines outside the shisha café at the junction, as well as buses pulling out and turning, with no safe cycle area.”
We are also asking for dangerous potholes in Chippenham Road at the junction with Shirland Road to be filled in as a matter of urgency.
Maida Hill Marketplace
Councillor Guthrie McKie is quoted in this article about the action being taken to deal with anti-social behaviour at Maida Hill Marketplace
Working with Queen’s Park Councillor colleagues, we arranged for the Council and the Canals and Rivers Trust to do a magnet drag of the canal to get fridges and bikes and trolleys and other metal items out of the canal. Much of the graffiti has also been removed, and brickwork repaired.
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 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.
Census Day is Sunday 21 March. The information collected every 10 years forms a vital basis for pressing central and local government for services. Everyone is required by law to fill in the form – online if possible, but it can be done by phone or on paper and help will be available. The personal information you provide is kept secure for 100 years by the Office for National Statistics. Only anonymous information is used for policy decisions and analysis. For more information see https://www.westminster.gov.uk/census2021
Remembering Philip Wolmuth
We were very sad to hear of the death from cancer of the photographer Philip Wolmuth who set up the North Paddington Community Darkroom and documented life in 1970s and 1980s North Paddington. His photographs documented the rich cultural diversity and economic deprivation in communities that existed alongside the very rich. His family said:
“Philip had a strong sense of social justice. He sought to document the reality of people’s lives in an unjust society, including community struggles, low paid work, struggling and privatised public services. He hoped through photography to help change people’s lives for the better and his photos were used to support many campaigns.”
You can see some of Philip’s photographs here https://www.philipwolmuth.com/
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
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 visiting https://www.nhsbt.nhs.ukto 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
If you’re between 18-24 and looking at building a new skill that is in high demand, Westminster Wheels offers a paid six-month programme in cycle mechanics. By joining the project, you will be able to (1) learn how to refurbish unwanted bikes and provide affordable high-quality bikes for Westminster residents and (2) get a training and employment experience to help prepare you for a career in the growing cycle industry. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-wheels-programme
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).
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/
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 online
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
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 Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Please keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca.
Your Harrow Road Labour Councillors