BAYSWATER & LANCASTER GATE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – May 2021
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.
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
Porchester Square – speeding – Update
Following Councillor Maggie Carman’s enquiries about speeding along Porchester Square, the Road Safety Team say:
“The Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) at this location is scheduled to be repaired as well as additional 20mph road markings are being installed and should be complete by the end of the week. Westminster City Council is currently working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service to investigate local concerns with speeding vehicles, called Community Roadwatch.
The scheme gives residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles. Information captured through the scheme will help identify whether further investigations are required in the future. If you wish to be involved in this program, additional information can be obtained by contacting: WestminsterCommunityRoadwatch@met.police.uk”
Porchester Leisure Centre
Councillor Maggie Carman is taking up this issue with the Leisure Team:
“We are all delighted to see the large pool is now back in operation at the Porchester Centre. Presently we only have the large pool open and now the small pool remains closed. The large pool will be for adult swimmers on a daily basis and the small pool, I was informed, will be used for schools and teaching. That is fair enough but the small pool is required in the morning prior to schools for more nervous swimmers and particularly for women swimmers. When I was at the counter the other day, a lady arrived to say that she was extremely disappointed about the lack of the small pool as her abilities made her anxious in the large pool as she felt out of her depth.
It would be great if you were able to talk to council officers and see what can be done about the small pool being open on weekdays between 6:30am and 9:30am.”
Following Maggie’s intervention, Everyone Active has now laid on two sessions at the small pool for swimming which are proving popular.
Swanleys, Westbourne Park Road – update
Following Councillor Maggie Carman’s enquiries about window security issues, the Director of Housing has now confirmed, “the windows have been designed and the residents have been emailed and given details of the windows with photos. Subject to comments they will be ordered early next week”. The windows will be replaced at no cost to leaseholders.
Westbourne Park Road – speeding
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“Vehicles in Westbourne Park Road never stick to the 20mph limit and as there no speed cameras in the area this problem will continue. I have been told before by Westminster that any such cameras can only be organised and monitored by the police. The 20 mph signs are small and few and far between on this road. The second points relates to so called speed humps. We have complained to Westminster and to the Highways Department for many years about the hump directly outside our house. When any vehicle larger than the average car passes the whole house shakes/vibrates and furniture in the upper part of the house actually moves. There is also the obvious deceleration and acceleration as vehicles cross this hump with increased noise and pollution.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has written to Notting Hill Genesis to ask that the faulty door entry system and cleaning of the communal areas of a block of flats in Hereford Road is investigated.
Hereford Road – Electric Charging Points
Maggie has also called on the Council to repair the defective lamp post charging points in Hereford Road, by numbers 54, 69 and 90 which are still not working. Residents say, “it’s been nearly 6 weeks now that they have been out of action. Ubitricity has been informed on numerous occasions”.
We are continuing to support residents of Artesian Road, Moorhouse Road and Needham Road who would like the big black bins removed. Residents say
“These bins and the shocking, disrespectful, and illegal behaviour that they trigger must, surely, be removed – permanently”.
We have reported this issue raised by a resident to our City Inspector:
“I have to report that many dogs are not kept on their leads in Shrewsbury Gardens. There is a notice at the entrance of the park which is not adhered to. Is there anything that can be done about this?”
Cock and Bottle, Needham Road
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Council if customers of the Cock and Bottle are allowed to drink on the pavement opposite? The pavement area opposite has also been used by non-patrons of the pub who have brought their own drinks with them. Maggie has asked the Council if is this the responsibility of the premises manager to control or is a Council or police matter.
We are taking up this issue with the Highways Team:
“In the last week, the contractor laying ducts in the road outside my flat has been generating so much noise that I have had difficulty hearing the phone ring, and hearing conversations in my flat. So, I would suggest that future contracts which involve road works, include a term limiting the volume of noise generated by those works”
We have again asked the Council to investigate the situation at 22 and 23 Sutherland Place where residents are concerned about the safety of the building structures.
Councillor Maggie Carman has persuaded the Council to designate Westbourne Grove as a ‘go slow’ zone for the rental e-scooter parking trial.
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Environmental Health Team to investigate reports of a business on Westbourne Grove discharging noxious fumes into the garden of a flat in Newton Road.
Councillor Maggie Carman has contacted the Highways Team about the state of the pavements along Talbot Road. She says:
“I had a walk down Talbot Road this afternoon as residents had mentioned the bad state of the south side pavement. I found it to be a bit patchy as different sections had likely been laid at different times. Some sections had cracked paving and uneven paving, and I noticed a few trip hazards. This was in contrast to Courtnell Street which had spanking new paving and most of the north side paving which was in a much better condition. I would like to put this location forward for consideration as a Minor Works Scheme.”
Talbot Road/St Stephen’s Crescent Junction
We have again asked the Highways Team to relocate the bollards and width restriction at the junction of Talbot Road and St Stephen’s Crescent following further damage on both sides of the street.
We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:
“There is a van that every morning idles in front of the construction site from about 7am until his colleagues arrive at the top of Inverness Terrace (by Hyde Park). He has been aware of the ‘No Idling’ sign but seems willing to ignore it.”
Prince’s Square Gardens
A number of Prince’s Square residents who are keyholders to the Gardens have contacted Councillor Maggie Carman to ask for help after they were informed that the Gardens are up for sale. Residents say, “This park is currently used by 80 families with strong ties to the local areas, kids in local schools etc”
Maggie has advised residents that the Square is protected by the London Squares Preservation Act 1931. Protected squares can only be used for “authorized purposes”, including, “ornamental garden, pleasure grounds or grounds for play, rest or recreation.” “No structures can be erected or placed on or over any protected square unless it is necessary or convenient, or in connection with the use and maintenance of the square for authorized purposes.”
Queensway parking – update
Residents continue to report to us many complaints about the parking situation on Queensway. Here is the latest:
“This project has created randomly parked cars, covering the pavements, without consequence. After millions of pounds spent, the street has now “gone to hell”. The team that created this project posted ineffective signs in the loading bays and then abandoned us”.
Yesterday I saw a gentleman pull his car up onto the pavement in front of Burger King, right in front of a marshal. As the man entered the Burger King, the marshal told him that he couldn’t park in the loading bay. The driver said, “I’m just here for a minute”. And the marshal did nothing. So there you have it. The loading bays are free parking for shoppers who are “only there for a minute”. I invite you to spend a day and an evening outside Taza kebab shop, where the loading bays serve as free, round-the-clock temporary parking for patrons. At night, the loading bays are a free-for-all of flashing lights and socializing revellers. I want my old street back.”
Praed Street – taxis outside the Hilton Paddington Station – what you say
“How many more years are we going to put up with TfL and the Highways department saying they are going to look into it? This has been going on for at least five years and only stopped during the pandemic because there were no train passengers. The local residents’ association tried to raise awareness, I have personally sent emails to TfL and followed up to no avail. Once in a while they’ll put a warden there to tell them to move on but that’s usually just for one day and the next day the taxis are back again.”
Local leaseholders have given us details of two organisations which are able to help leaseholders in battles against freeholders:
The Leasehold Partnership (run by leaseholders and solicitors)
The National Leasehold Campaign (set up leaseholders)
We have received this information from the Housing Department which will be of interest to Council leaseholders:
“Any leaseholder can join the key lessee scheme, if a leaseholder agrees to become a key lessee, they will receive detailed information in the months prior to billing relating to costs to be billed in their Statement of Actual Expenditure the following October. This information can be as detailed as they wish, but would normally include items such as:
- Repairs lists – a detailed list of all responsive repairs coded as communal, and as such will be included in your forthcoming bills, the date of repair, description, and cost carried out to your block and estate, that have been.
- Details of communal electricity costs (where applicable)
- Details of Planned Preventative Maintenance costs
- Details of a breakdown of any lift maintenance (where applicable)
We send this information to a selection of leaseholders, (Key Lessees), and they as a resident’s representative let us know if there are any queries regarding the prospective charges. Queries can then be investigated and dealt with prior to the bills being issued, thus avoiding a costly and time-consuming re-issuing of bills, as well as building confidence in the accuracy of the billing process. We work with nearly 200 leaseholders and continue to encourage leaseholders to join the key lessee scheme.
We were very pleased to see this Tweet from the Lancaster Gate Police Team
You Said, “Can our local officers tackle issues around E-Scooters & Cyclists riding on pavements?”
We Did, “Four E-Scooters seized & riders reported for no insurance. Ten cyclists given words of advice, with many more dismounting upon seeing police”
For the latest local police statistics see https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/westminster/bayswater/ and https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/westminster/lancaster-gate/
We are making enquiries with the Council about this very good suggestion:
“I’m writing to enquire about the status of composting in Westminster. It seems that Kensington and Chelsea have long run a composting scheme and I’m wondering why this is taking so long to catch on in Westminster. Would it be possible for Westminster to supply composting bins to each household and run a collection scheme? This would be so wonderful. Seems like it would cut down heavily on waste removal and help people be more aware of food waste.”
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.”
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
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
“I wanted to thank you as your persistence and dedication to your constituents and our residents has borne fruit and your ward is in considerably better shape our end than it was a just a few years ago.”
“Very many thanks, you do a great job. I sometimes wonder whether I shall still be alive when Whiteley’s is finished, it has been a real blot and struggle for us locals.”
“Thanks so much for your recent newsletter, all of which are really informative.”
“Thanks so much, Councillor Carman. That’s great to hear. You’re always so responsive – truly impressive.”
“Thanks again Maggie you’ve been a real gem”
“I would like to express my thanks for all your involvement in local issues and providing support to those residents that have hit a brick wall in dealing with Westminster Housing in particular.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
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Keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Councillor Maggie Carman, James Small-Edwards and Max Sullivan
Bayswater Labour Action Team – Here to Help, All Year Round
Angela Piddock, Elizabeth Whitmore and Simon Wyatt
Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team