WESTBOURNE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – June 2021
News from Councillors David Boothroyd, Adam Hug and Papya Qureshi and Angela Piddock
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Introducing Angela Piddock
Councillor Papya Qureshi, who has represented our community in Westbourne since 2006, has decided to stand down at the next local council elections in May 2020. We would like to thank her for her service and wish her all the best in the future. In her place Labour has selected Angela Piddock as its new candidate, alongside Councillors Adam Hug and David Boothroyd. Angela spent her working life as a teacher, including many years as head of Wilberforce Primary School in Queen’s Park, before becoming involved in many local organisations in recent years.
Angela says, “I have lived and worked in north Westminster for many years. Since retiring I have remained active within the Westbourne community, among other things, as a school governor at Westminster Academy and trustee of two local charities which works with the people, both young and old, living in Westbourne and beyond.”
Labour calls on Westminster to transform walking and cycling on the Delamere Terrace canalside
We have long-seen the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals as a great feature of living in the north of Westminster but one that a creative council could do so much more with. The 2018 Labour manifesto called on the council to improve conditions on the canalside to make it a better place to spend time and travel, to create a ‘green and blue spine’. The Conservative-run council has sadly taken too long to take action but they are finally at least talking about what they might do in the wider area as part of the Harrow Road Place plan, co-funded by the Mayor of London.
It is not yet clear if they have a cohesive vision that would transform the canalside for those walking and cycling. In particular, the Council’s initial plans seem to ignore Delamere Terrace, a crucial section of canalside that is desperately in need of improvement. At present cyclists leaving the cycle path at St Mary Magdalene’s Church need to double back down Senior Street and then go up Bourne Terrace to continue eastwards. In practice they end up either cycling the wrong way up a narrow one-way street (Delamere Terrace doesn’t currently allow this) or pushing their way onto the narrow and uneven raised footpath next to the canal to continue their journey more towards Paddington.
We believe the council needs to work with the Canal and River Trust to open up and upgrade the canalside and path, removing the railings between them and smoothing the pavement to create more and better space which can accommodate more room for pedestrians and a demarcated cycleway. The council’s CIL funding pot could be used for this purpose. This would help improve the local environment for residents on the Warwick Estate, while making life better for walkers, cyclists and drivers (by resolving the one way-street issue).
We have been chasing up the long-overdue security gate works at Lapworth Court and the council say they are chasing their contractors to make progress.
Vaccination at Stowe
There is a pop-up COVID 19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stowe Centre on Sundays and Mondays for the rest of June. You don’t need an appointment, but you can make one by phoning 020 3058 3377 between 10 AM and 4 PM on Monday-Friday. It’s currently targeting those over 40.
300 Harrow Road
We have raised issues around the noise impact of the housing development and worked with local schools to address pedestrian safety concerns that arose around some of the site access for deliveries and about the temporary path on the street.
Grand Union Health Centre
We have flagged up issues around rubbish dumping in the area next to the Grand Union Health Centre that is attracting vermin.
217 Harrow Road
Tell the developers of 217 Harrow Road your views about their proposed development here at: https://217harrowroad.commonplace.is/proposals/what-do-you-think-about-the-initial-design-of-the-buildings
Harrow Road Place Plan
If you’ve been around the Prince of Wales junction recently, you’ll have seen the new paving which is nearly finished. There are much wider plans to improve the local area which are being worked up in a project known as Harrow Road Place Plan (https://harrowroad.org). One of the areas they are specifically looking at is the canalside (from Westbourne Park to St Mary Magdalene’s Church), to improve its connection to the high street.
The team have been awarded £900,000 from the Mayor of London’s ‘Good Growth Fund’ and have appointed consultants to agree detailed plans. If you’re in a local group who would like to talk to the team or attend an outreach event, please tell us and we’ll put you in touch.
We have been talking to Paddington Arts who want to build a small extension to their building on Woodfield Road.
Traffic Light on Harrow Road
We have reported and had fixed the pedestrian crossing and traffic light outside old police station on Harrow Road.
Ascot and Windsor Gardens
We have raised concerns about the scaffolding that was put up long before it was used with unnecessary impact on available light and security.
We successfully pressured the council to reverse their initial decision not to grant pavement dining licenses to Tsiakkos & Charcoal and Flora Fine wines. Thankfully these wonderful local businesses have been successfully been able to use space on the road and keep open.
We reported and eventually got the Council to unblock drains that were overflowing due to heavy rain and have pressed the council to fix a broken wall. We remain in discussions with the Canal and River Trust about trying to fix the broken, uneven and unsafe paving slabs on the canalside in front of the estate. We have also been working with residents to resolve leaking roofs on Downfield Close.
Floodlight at the old Bayswater Children’s Centre
We worked to get the council to fix a floodlight at the former Bayswater Children’s Centre fixed after it had been fused into staying on 24 hours a day.
We got the council to temporarily pause the roll-out of the Hyperopic broadband on the estate so that Council officers can have meaningful discussion with local residents about how to find the best routes for cabling to avoid unnecessarily adding to the clutter on the estate. We have also been picking up issues around fly-tipping on the estate.
We continue to work with local residents on the Wessex Gardens estate to assist them in tackling two major, currently intractable anti-social behaviour cases.
The Notting Hill East Neighbourhood Forum has been leading a project to improve this small park on the corner of Talbot Road and Shrewsbury Road. Since our last update, Groundwork have completed a masterplan report. The very good news is that the ‘Shrewsbury Green Oasis’ has been awarded £50,000 from the ‘Open Spaces Greener Places Funding Programme’.
Despite well-referenced and detailed objections from neighbours and from us, a planning committee of Westminster City Council decided that redeveloping Westmead on Tavistock Road as a six storey block was acceptable as proposed by the Council’s developers – without providing parking, and though it causes material light loss to surrounding flats.
The formal permission has not yet been issued, and details of the legal agreements are not yet resolved. We will continue to keep a close eye on the project and intervene to defend residents where we can. We believe this site should have been a car-free development and will search for opportunities in future to apply such a restriction.
What’s a micro-BID?
A group of retailers in the area are discussing the possibility of a ‘micro-BID’ on Harrow Road. This is a very local version of a Business Improvement District, where business owners work together to help improve the area – and local prosperity. It is still “highly speculative” but if you’re running a business and you’re interested, contact us and we’ll put in touch.
Environment Supplementary Policy Document
Dull name, important subject. Westminster City Council is consulting on a draft policy document which gives the environmental policies which developers must follow. The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 but we are disappointed with some of the proposals – given Westminster’s buildings make up 80% of the City’s Carbon dioxide emissions.
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
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Councillors David Boothroyd, Adam Hug and Papya Qureshi
Your three Westbourne Ward Labour Councillors – Here to Help, All Year Round
You contact Adam, Papya and David by email or telephone.