MAIDA VALE & LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – April 2021
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
Five years after its illegal demolition, the Carlton Tavern reopened on 12 April. This is the culmination of a lengthy campaign by local residents supported by the Maida Vale Councillors. The world’s press converged for a pint on the Carlton Tavern’s first day trading including a reporter from the New York Times! We prefer the story in the Kilburn Times. https://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/carlton-tavern-reopens-to-local-joy-7893034
Councillor Geoff Barraclough said the reborn Carlton Tavern would “make a big difference to people who use Paddington Recreation Ground and those who live in the locality. It just shows what can be achieved with strong community action backed by a local authority prepared to use all the power at its disposal.”
We are pleased to announce that the Maida Vale Councillors have agreed to fund flower baskets to hang from the lampposts across the whole Maida Vale ward from May 2021. It is a decision that was made last year but had to be postponed after the Coronavirus pandemic started as we wanted to ensure we had the funds to support the North Paddington foodbank and our local schools. As we are coming out of lock-down we hope that these will be an enjoyable sight for everyone.
Randolph GP Practice
Many residents have been concerned about the ownership of the Randolph GP Practice changing hands from AT Medics to Operose (owned by American Healthcare company Centene). We have been asking questions of the local NHS management about why this was allowed to happen without open procurement or any involvement of the patients. It seems that the answer is that as AT Medics initially merged with Operose, the NHS didn’t have grounds for which to refuse the transfer. However, since then the directors of AT Medics resigned as directors (although they continued as staff members), and AT medics is now owned by Operose which in turn is owned by Centene.
Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis said: “The way this has happened has been really unsatisfactory, particularly for patients of the practice who were not even informed of the change in ownership of their GP. The most important thing we can do in Maida Vale, is keep a close eye on the quality of care provided by the practice, including the use of the DrIQ app, the availability of appointments, and the quality of long-term care for patients with greater needs. We can’t let local NHS management allow standards to drop”
129 Shirland Road – Arty Club
The owners of 129 Shirland Road have applied for planning permission to convert the shop into a flat. The premises have been vacant since Arty Club was forced to close by the pandemic. You can see the application and make comments on the Westminster Planning Portal. https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QQIYKSRPKR400
We are objecting to the proposal. There are legitimate questions about how much retail space we now need but this unit can be used for most commercial purposes. We believe there is no way of assessing the viability of the premises until the commercial property market returns to normal. In the meantime, the landlord should let the rent fall to a level at which they attract a tenant rather than creating another sub-standard flat with little natural light.
We continue to work with the new Tollgate Gardens residents’ association to address a number of teething problems on the new estate. These include an unusual number of leaks as well as resident concerns about security. We have engaged with the Maida Vale neighbourhood police to increase the number of patrols visiting Tollgate Gardens.
Oak Tree House
We continue to support the Oak Tree House residents’ association in its ongoing battle to get Westminster to honour its commitments made during the consultations around the Beachcroft development next door. These commitments have been restated in a number of subsequent meetings but organisational issues within the Council mean little progress on the ground. A delegation of senior council officials visited the block recently and we are hopeful that the promised actions will be forthcoming.
We are pleased that Council officers are recommending refusal of a particularly awful planning application for a flat to be constructed in vacant storage space at Wymering Mansions. The new flat would be largely underground, have low ceilings and have little natural light. The Fire Brigade also raised serious concerns about access in the event of an emergency. The Maida Vale councillors have been helping local residents oppose the plans and Councillor Geoff Barraclough will be speaking against the plans at Planning Committee on 27 April.
St Augustine’s Church
It is disappointing that Westminster has refused an application to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund for a grant to support the restoration of the magnificent Victorian organ at the Grade 1 listed church.
Paddington Recreation Ground
The Environment Agency is concerned about the risk of a “one in a hundred year” flood that would lead to water cascading from Paddington Recreation Ground into the back gardens of the houses on Kilburn Park Road. It is proposing a 30cm “wall” which would loop around the back of the running track and keep water in the Rec and away from people’s homes. You can view the planning application here: https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=QQHBICRPL2K00&activeTab=summary
Also at Paddington Recreation Ground, council officers have confirmed to us that personal trainers are allowed in the Rose Garden provided they are undertaking low-impact and quiet activities.
Lower Kilburn High Road
We are working with council officers to relocate the “Thank You For Visiting Westminster” sign which is causing a pedestrian ‘pinch point’ with the new outdoor seating at Kish Café.
We are working with Council officers to resolve a problem with the floodlights at Wheatfield House on Kilburn Park Road which are shining directly into the rear of one block of Essendine Mansions. The Council believes this is anti-social behaviour rather than a fault with the lighting.
We met with the committee of the Carlton Vale Residents’ Management Organisation which is concerned about the continued slipping of Westminster Housing’s timetable for major works. There is a particular problem with the decaying surface of the carparks.
Residents are also concerned about the slow progress in construction of the new council homes to the rear of the Carlton Vale blocks and especially that two half-built properties have been demolished. The original building contractor failed during the first lockdown and officers have told us that much of the construction was not carried out properly. We understand that Westminster Council will be lodging an insurance claim to recoup its losses but that is no compensation to the local families who should already be enjoying their new homes.
Essendine School Street
After the chaos of the temporary barrier installed across Essendine Road in September, we continue to work closely with Westminster’s Road Safety Officer. All parties want to find a way of encouraging parents to walk their children to school but the layout of the streets around Essendine School mean that a solution based on prohibiting non-resident traffic at certain times is very hard to implement. For the time being, we have agreed to installation of traffic monitoring equipment which will ensure discussion on the way forward is based on hard data.
Warrington Crescent/Sutherland Avenue
We are making enquiries with the Council to find out why the benches at the corner of Warrington Crescent and Sutherland Avenue have been removed.
We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:
“Many surrounding streets have fibre but we are still fibre to the cabinet only. Do you have any news on connectivity in Warwick Avenue in particular please?”
We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:
“Could someone follow up a really frustrating situation for me at the new Aldi store on the Edgware Road? Finally went to see it yesterday but the three dedicated Blue Badge bays within the curtilage were all occupied by ‘company cars’. None displayed a Blue Badge. I asked the Aldi store manager to enforce the bays but he became very confused. He claimed they were bays for electric vehicles (even though there are no charging points) and each bay had a full size Blue Badge only floor symbol. Could someone give Aldi a very firm nudge to enforce what is an essential and worthy need.”
We have asked the Council when drinking water will be restored to the public toilets at Rembrandt Gardens and when the toilet drains waste failure will be fixed.
Former Paddington Green Police Station
You can read the latest on the plans for the former Paddington Green Police Station site here https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/new-skyscraper-could-replace-mets-former-counter-terrorism-hq/
Food Waste collections – update
Following our enquiries about food waste collections, we have received the following update:
“Our food waste collection pilot schemes were unfortunately curtailed due to covid but we are currently finalising plans to recommence the roll-out of food waste collections to all residents. We expect to start introducing food waste collections from September this year but the timetable for services to individual wards hasn’t yet been agreed.”
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.
Voting by post
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 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
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
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 for the update, these are always most informative and helpful”
“Love getting these clear to the point updates. Thank you.”
“Many thanks for this update (I always read them thoroughly when they come through) and for all your hard work in the area. I feel so grateful to live in Maida Vale!”
“So pleased to keep receiving newsletters from our local team and mindful of the amazing work they are doing.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
If you do not wish to continue to receive this newsletter you can unsubscribe below.
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/