HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – April 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
Maida Hill Market Injunction and Anti-social behaviour
We and Karen Buck MP met with police officers and Westminster Council following community concerns about recent events in the marketplace. It was made clear that anti-social behaviour needed to be tackled, not genuine community activity such as domino playing. There have been several hundred complaints from residents in recent years about behaviour in the marketplace, and we are determined this be tackled whilst allowing our diverse community to enjoy the square as a place to socialise. The courts have now granted an injunction requested by Westminster City Council which prohibits the following in the area:
- Engaging in disorderly behaviour, such as shouting, using foul language or verbal abuse
- Engaging in aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour
- Playing loud music through the use of speakers
- Urinating and/or defecating otherwise than by the use of facilities provided for that purpose
- The consumption of alcohol,
The Police have committed to regularly patrolling the marketplace in support of the injunction. We and Karen Buck MP have stressed that the injunction should be implemented sensitively, so that everyone who uses this public space considerately can continue to do so. There were some mistakes in a previous injunction, which undermined local confidence, and we have told the Council that they must be much clearer in communicating about the injunction and its purpose.
All this shines a light on the need for a permanent social facility for local residents, which many people have been pushing for some time. We councillors will continue to pursue this and, in the meantime, support local projects and events on the Marketplace from the Ward Budget
Public Toilets at Maida Hill Market Place
We are concerned about the closure of the public convenience on the Maida Hill Marketplace, which was done without notice and without the provision of alternative temporary facilities. We have made urgent enquiries about this.
New housing on the Lydford Estate
The works on the Lydford estate to build new social housing and a new community hall has been delayed due to the search for a new designer for the works. This is obviously frustrating and we expect further updates on this project.
The rebuilt Carlton Tavern reopened on 12th April, six years after it was razed to the ground. You can read the story of how the community and local Councillors campaigned to bet it rebuilt here https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/mar/21/rising-from-the-rubble-london-pub-rebuilt-brick-by-brick-after-bulldozing
Harrow Road – Planning deregulation threatens local shops
We have drawn attention to the threat to our local shops from Government decisions to allow landlords to convert shops, cafes, restaurants and offices into flats without planning permission. This deregulation of “permitted development rights” for Class E premises threatens all shopping parades outside conservation areas.
Retail units were not designed to be lived in and conversions are often low quality with little natural light or outside space. Worryingly, there is also no obligation on landlords using these new permitted development rights to provide any affordable housing.
Councillor Tim Roca said:
“Harrow Road’s shops are the life blood of our many local communities providing jobs as well as good and services. And have been thriving during the pandemic. We welcome new uses for redundant retail premises but once lost to residential, they will never return. Westminster needs to use all its powers, including designating new conservation areas, to preserve an active street frontage along Harrow Road.”
Our Westbourne Ward colleagues are taking up this issue raised by a local resident:
“I wanted to ask whether there are any plans to repave the area between the Waterway and Atwood Primary along the canal. This is a lovely stretch of the canal but some of the paving stones are loose or cracked plus the path is wide enough to consider a “greening”/planting of this area in the middle of the path. This might also encourage social distancing. This side does feel a little neglected and given all of the efforts going on in W9 to widen pathways, introduce pedestrian crossings etc.”
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/
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.
You can report dumped rubbish, broken street lights, graffiti and more using the Report It service https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
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:
Voting by post
It is 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
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 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