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.
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WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Councillor Maggie Carman has called on the Council to take action on the rubbish dumping at the black bins on Artesian Road. Residents say:
“The daily abuse of our streets and immediate neighbourhood continues. Most recently, I have reported the same – and growing – accumulation of rubbish around the overflowing WCC ‘big, black bins’ on Artesian Road, outside the Church of St Mary of the Angels three times. Once yesterday evening, and twice this morning. Nothing has been done. The sooner the public health hazard that these bins are, in truth, are removed, and house-to-house waste collections are reinstated, the better for everyone.”
We are delighted that the proposal to install a pedestrian crossing in Westbourne Grove near the junction with Garway Road has been approved and has the support of the Bayswater Residents Association who say, “It is a fairly busy shopping street with bus and unloading commercial traffic. Also, near the junction with Garway Road is College Park School. “
St Stephen’s Church area – CCTV
Councillor Maggie Carman is working with residents to secure the funding to install CCTV in the wider area around St Stephen’s Church to keep an eye on Westbourne Passage, locally known as Muggers Alley and a common escape route. The Council has money which has been collected from developers called the ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ and residents are now working with Council officers to make an application for funds.
We have asked the Council to take action to improve the very poor rubbish collection situation in Porchester Square. Residents say:
“I moved to Porchester Square five years ago and found the square a little paradise. It was clean and always smelled good, thanks to the trees in the park opposite my window. A little more than a year ago the Council decided to take the big rubbish bins away and collect the waste from the street, which changed everything. They are collecting it three times a week in the morning but most of the tenants have no idea when, or they don’t care. The street is dirty and it smells bad all the time, especially when the weather is warm. My window faces the park on the ground floor, and I cannot leave it open in hot summers because of the smell. As the rubbish bags are on the street, people don’t care about the cleanse of the street anymore. Birds, fox, rats all over on this once beautiful street.”
Councillor Maggie Carman is also helping a Council tenant in Porchester Square who has a long-standing disrepair problem, along with other issues that need urgent attention.
Porchester Square traffic speeds – what you say
“There has to be other deterrents to speeding, than speed bumps. They are proven to generate more pollution, and for any residents that live directly opposite a speed bump, the noise level is actually substantially greater, from cars slowing down, going over the bump (very noisy) then speeding up again. I know, because I used to be one of those residents that lived right opposite a speed bump, and I really don’t want to be that resident again.”
We have continued to liaise with Council leaseholders in Durham Terrace who are having a struggle with Westminster Housing over service charges.
Councillor Maggie Carman has been working with residents in Newton Road to ensure that a rear extension proposal was acceptable to neighbouring residents. Following discussions, one resident wrote:
“I can confirm that we have no more objections to the depth of the extension and that this compromise has been agreed with all three neighbours. Can I please express my gratitude again for your assistance. We all very much appreciate your concern for and involvement in our community!”
St Stephen’s Gardens
We are helping residents in St Stephen’s Gardens take up a long-standing complaint with Westminster Housing.
Councillor Maggie Carman is helping leaseholders in Westbourne Gardens with the recurring issue of increasing service charges. They say:
“We bought our apartment in Westbourne Gardens a year ago. Our dream first home. At least we thought it would be. However, from day one we are having way too many issues with the managing agents and landlord regarding hefty fees for bad services provided and astronomical overcharges. Recently the managing agents increased their costs by 50% even though we have been complaining about their services. Most of their staff were on furlough for the past year, which means no services were provided. How can they still increase their fees?”
Maggie advised that they first seek some free advice from the Leasehold Advisory Service https://clients.lease-advice.org/
Maggie is also continuing to help Network Housing leaseholders in Westbourne Gardens who say:
“Network informed us that they planned to start the major works in 2012: obviously, an inauspicious beginning to a project that actually began some four years later. Furthermore, cyclical works that were originally scheduled to be completed in three months actually took more than a year (and indeed some of the snagging repairs at their property still haven’t been completed to this day). It remains a mystery to us why, despite numerous requests, Network has yet to supply us with copies of their complaints procedure. Likewise, we simply cannot fathom why Network has ignored our repeated appeals for copies of the bills issued by the contractors that undertook the works.”
Westbourne Gardens – Hedge removal
Councillor Maggie Carman alerted the Council to this issue raised by a resident:
“I have woken up to a crew at 36 Westbourne Gardens removing that big hedge around the outside of their property – it’s bad enough removing greenery/trees but it’s right in the midst of bird nesting season.”
Later that morning residents updated us: “Two police officers arrived almost straight away and spoke to the contractors who admitted there were nests in the hedge but apparently it’s only an office to remove a hedge if there are birds in the nests. So, the officers ordered the work to stop and have escalated it to their wildlife team who will investigate to determine if a crime has or hasn’t been committed.”
“Thanks again for your help – at least half the hedge is still standing!”
“Thank you very much for standing up for our local wildlife.”
Westbourne Park Road
We are helping a resident in Westbourne Park Road with a long-standing Council Tax issue.
Kensington Gardens Square
Councillor Maggie Carman is taking up these issues with the Highways Team
“We experience significant increase in engine idling surrounding the gardens specific to the pay/display bays and the single yellow line areas. Would it be possible for some signage to discourage and allow the parking attendants to enforce? We have learned that talking to these drivers results in abusive responses so perhaps signs will allow us some help.”
“We welcome the recent 20mph speed limit and wonder if painting this on the road surface at intervals might further reinforce this message. We assume the 3 entrance points to Kensington Gardens Square would also be marked appropriately. The western road (connecting to Westbourne Grove) is particularly affected given the increased traffic impact that the Whiteley’s development caused to the square. The speed some cars and scooters are driving puts the residents and children in danger trying to access the gardens or simply cross the road. We have also noticed a significant increase in traffic driving up the wrong way in the two narrow one-way sections of the square.”
We have also asked the Refuse Collection team to take action to stop persistent rubbish dumping outside a property in Kensington Square Gardens.
We have asked the Highways Team to find an answer to this issue involving the bollards on Talbot Road at the junction with St Stephen’s Crescent:
“Every few weeks without fail one or more of the bollards are knocked over. I have also seen many cars struggle to get through, lose wing mirrors because the bollards are a little too close together. I’m bringing it to your attention in the hope that you can notify to pertinent department at Westminster to investigate and save future expense by finding a solution.”
We have again asked the Parking Team to take the necessary action against illegal parking on Queensway. Residents say:
“The pavement areas that are intended for loading only in the hours before noon, are used as free, round-the-clock parking. From my vantage point, there is never a time that I happen to look out the window and the loading bays are not filled with parked cars. It makes no sense to invest so much public money to create an environment that never comes to exist.”
Bishops Bridge Road – Phone boxes
Councillor Maggie Carman has called on BT to take immediate action to stop the regular misuse of phone boxes by prostitutes on Bishops Bridge Road. The prostitutes are fixing advertising postcards on the phone boxes. Maggie has called on BT to take the following action:
- blocking the phone numbers advertised on the postcards
- regularly removing the advertising cards
- cleaning the phone boxes more regularly
Bishop’s Bridge Road – Parked lorries
We are continuing to support residents whose lives are being affected by the line of lorries parked along Bishop’s Bridge Road delivering material to the Whiteley’s building site. Residents say:
“Every day there are many trucks idling on Bishops Bridge Road and today I was very annoyed to see, from our kitchen window, four of the drivers gathered together, fist-bumping and chatting very close together, without masks, from around 7:45-8:00.”
Gloucester Terrace – Council flats being auctioned
We continue to oppose the Council’s policy of selling off Council flats to the highest bidder. The latest list of flats being auctioned by Savills on behalf of the Council are:
- 228C Gloucester Terrace – I bed flat
- 262a Gloucester Terrace – Studio flat
Both these flats could provide a home for someone in housing need.
We have asked the Council to take action to stop the unauthorized taxi rank outside the Hilton Hotel on Praed Street. Residents say:
“I have noticed that with the removal of the ‘pavement widening’ scheme in Praed Street outside the Hilton Hotel, the black cabs are back waiting for customers on the double yellow line. As usual, blocking a lane in Praed Street, increasing local congestion, making it more difficult to cycle and polluting with their idling engines – de-facto turning the street in a taxi rank – when there is a perfectly adequate taxi rank for Paddington station.”
The Head of Highways told us: “I’ve tasked parking to attend and action as appropriate. I’ve also asked TfL to look at enforcing as they license the black cabs.”
We are continuing to support residents’ demand for the Council to finalise their agreement with G.Network on broadband installation. Residents say:
“Another three months has passed and we’re still in limbo, waiting for agreement between the Council and G.Network regarding broadband installations to Westminster freehold properties. I’m wondering whether I will have to give up on getting full fibre broadband and just settle for the basic service I already have. It would be a pity for Westminster to settle for a two-tier service, with fully private property getting the fast service and Westminster leaseholders and tenants having to make do with only basic provision.”
“G.Netwok are still saying that Westminster have not given permission to install in certain blocks. We had a letter put through our door, by G.Network, last week to say they are ready to install. When I went on the website and put my postcode in it says ready to install, I got all the way through the process, which included setting up a direct debit and then got a message to say there was a problem and to call the sales team, only to be told they can install as long as I am not a council tenant as they are still negotiating the permission. I am getting conflicting and confusing information from both sides as the council recently sent out information saying that the wayleave was in place and there were 4 companies available for broadband. “
Small electrical appliances
We received this enquiry from a resident:
“I have a couple of sets of electricity powered Christmas tree decoration lights, which for various reasons no longer work. They are string lights with small bulbs. I would appreciate your advice as to how I can dispose of them?”
They can be recycled at the small electrical appliances bins
The nearest electrical appliances recycling bins are at:
- Lancaster Gate, in front/South of Spire House, W2 3NP
- Cleveland Terrace, junction with Gloucester Terrace, W2 6DU
- Westbourne Park Road, outside St. Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Primary School, W2 5PW
Mayoral Election on 6th May – Voting by post
The London Mayoral and GLA elections are 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/
Parties at Airbnb premises
There have been a number of parties in flats let out as short lets. A number of residents have experienced massive disruption as a result and it’s unacceptable. 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.
- 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.
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 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:
You can tell the Council about dumped rubbish, broken streets, graffiti and more by using Report It https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
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
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
“Thank you so much team for all you do”
“That was a great comment on the name ‘Whiteley’ and the charitable activity of the real Whiteley. The history matters!”
“Thanks for doing so much for our area, Bayswater!”
“Thank you very much for taking the trouble to call me recently, and for the newsletter, which I’ve read with great interest now for many years. It’s very reassuring that there are people such as yourself and your colleagues who are actually working hard for the local residents, and your efforts are much appreciated.”
“Thank you for your work and being so visible in the local community.”
“Thanks again for all the great work you do!”
“I really appreciate all you help and support it has made a world of difference to me.”
“I am grateful for all the work you are doing for all residents in the area. I enjoy receiving your regular newsletters.”
“Thank you for your support during difficult times”
“Many thanks for all your work”
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, James Small-Edwards and Max Sullivan
Bayswater Labour Action Team
Angela Piddock, Elizabeth Whitmore and Simon Wyatt
Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team