MAIDA VALE & LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – July 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
Survey of Residents’ Views
We want to know what you think the Council’s priorities should be over the coming years. Please let us know by completing this short survey so we can take action on your priorities. Thank you
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
The recent heavy rainfall caused serious flooding on Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road, leaving over one hundred basement flats uninhabitable. Flood water rising from the sewers reached as high as three feet in some homes. Residents’ furniture and bedding was ruined and many treasured possessions destroyed. This comes despite a £17m flood prevention scheme by Thames Water which built two giant reservoirs – at Westbourne Green and Tamplin Mews Gardens – specifically to contain the risk of sewer flooding.
Following pressure from Karen Buck MP and local councilors, Thames Water has agree to commission an independent inquiry of its role in the flooding.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough, said:
“It was heart-breaking to see residents piling their water-logged possessions in the street. In the short-term we have been in touch with Westminster Housing and Notting Hill Genesis demanding action to help their tenants cope with the damage and disruption. Longer term, we need answers about how this was allowed to happen. It’s clear that the expensive new flood defences failed and we need to know why. This can’t be allowed to happen again.”
The Maida Vale councilors have worked with the charity One Westminter to set up a fundraising campaign to help local families affected.
Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis said: “We are delighted that One Westminster is leading this initiative. In the space of a few hours, we saw at least a month’s rain fall over the northern part of Westminster in just a few hours. Not everyone has insurance, not everyone can afford an excess, not everyone has the capacity to deal with this level of devastation. Please give generously.”
Here is the link to the fundraising page. Please share with your friends and neighbours.
Karen Buck MP’s letter to Thames Water demanding action and compensation for residents https://bit.ly/2W9nidL
For advice on how residents can get support
For details of support for businesses impacted by the flash-flooding
We have asked the Council to take action on the continuing issue of rubbish being dumped on the pavement in Lauderdale Parade/Lauderdale Road and at the end of Castellan Road. Residents say:
“It seems a lot of domestic rubbish is being dumped in both recycling bags and ordinary bin liners. What is making the position worse is that several of the businesses are also leaving a lot of rubbish on the street. This is compounded by two of the restaurants leaving their wheelie bins permanently on the pavement rather than taking them in after being emptied”.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough said, “There’s been ongoing problems with this area for some time and it’s clear that two or three traders simply aren’t following the rules. I’ve asked the City Inspector to organise some focused enforcement action”.
Tollgate Gardens – update
Despite assurances from Westminster that the new entrance would be finished by early July, the work hasn’t even been started. We continue to press Westminster to finish the refurbishment of Tollgate Gardens, a project begun over four years ago.
Pets with Prizes
A number of residents wrote to us asking about Westminter’s polices about this issue. The council replied:
“It has been a very long time since we have had any such events to the extent that we would actively dissuade event organisers from having any animals a prizes, not just goldfish, if it was to. We work closely with the RSPCA on animal welfare and our Animal Licensing regimes and in fact we have been awarded a Gold Paw Print award in the last number of years for animal welfare for our licensing and animal welfare arrangements.”
Plane Trees and Subsidence
Residents asked whether Plane Trees should be retained if they need annual pollarding to reduce risk of subsidence in neighbouring buildings. We have a long reply we can share but the summary is:
“There are not that many intact avenues of London planes in Westminster and these are mainly concentrated in the Maida Vale and St Johns Wood areas and presumably worth preserving. Accordingly, the council has resisted the piecemeal removal of trees from these historic natural features of the townscape. “
Maida Vale Library
A resident wrote with praise for the library. We passed the compliments to the staff and management:
“The libraries have been kept open as much as possible within the national restrictions and it has been made as easy as possible for residents to continue to use them. Until recently, for instance, there have been no fines for overdue books and no charges for making reservations. When during the various lockdowns I would go to Maida Vale library to collect my books on hold, they would be waiting for me, as for others, in separate brown paper carrier bags with our names on them so that we had no anxieties about the virus. It has been a very impressive service.”
Beachcroft Care Home
After calling a special meeting at City Hall to ask the council to re-think its decision to extend the GCH Healthcare’s contract, we are pleased to have won some concessions.
Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis said: “Beachcroft residents deserve the best quality care. It’s a false economy to choose suppliers based on cost alone and we’re pleased that Westminster will look seriously at bringing the management of the home in-house. We do also hope that residents will receive nursing care at Beachcroft if they need it without having to move home.”
Essendine Road/Shirland Road
Westminster’s parks department has agreed to give some attention to the tree and micro-park at this junction. This will include some new planting and a rubbish bin which should help to stop littering.
Kilburn Park Road – tree
A resident asked why a tree at 159 Kilburn Park Road had been so severely pruned. The council replied:
“There’s quite a bit of history regarding this tree with some residents asking for the tree to be pruned severely and others not wishing to see the tree pruned at all. The council’s position is that the tree needs to be maintained to ensure that it doesn’t pose an unnecessary risk to persons and property. To avoid the potential risk of damage to the property the tree has been pruned regularly and is due to be pruned again during this winter to maintain it at around its current size. We also respond to reasonable requests for pruning if a tree is causing issues such as growing very close to buildings and casting very deep shade. In this instance the resident has asked several times for the tree to be pruned. “
Brent Council has proposals for upgrading its section of Carlton Vale running up to Queen’s Park. You can see the designs for “Carlton Vale Boulevard” here: https://www.carltonvaleboulevard.co.uk
Elgin Parade – street drinking
We asked the City Inspector to get involved after reports of street drinkers using the tables and chairs outside Gails and harassing local residents.
Residents have asked about the paths at Paddington Rec which are sometimes uneven and can form large puddles when it rains. We asked the council about their plans and we were told that all paths and signs in Paddington Rec were due to replaced. Paths will be filled with a new permeable material which will not pool water and which will protect the tree roots without breaking. Similarly, the signage in Paddington Rec will be replaced. These works are extensive and require considerable funding so it expected that they will be completed in about two years’ time.
Residents have asked us when social bowling will resume. We are pleased to announce that Social Bowling will return on the week of 2nd August but initially users will need to bring their own equipment. However, Everyone Active is working on restarting the system of equipment hire in the coming weeks which will now require a cashless deposit.
Residents have asked us when the tennis courts will be renovated and the booking system improved. The council have replied that there are plans to renovate the tennis courts within the next two years by stripping down the surfaces and repainting them. We have been assured that problems with the booking system have been resolved although we are keeping a watching brief on this.
We have contacted the Canal & River Trust about this issue:
“The Canal & River Trust really need to cut the buddleia that have taken hold in the canal wall along Maida Avenue, Little Venice, towards the cafe end. They are getting in the way of a much-loved view along the canal and must causing damage to the wall and pavement.”
Travis Perkins site, Harrow Road
A planning application has been submitted for the Travis Perkins site proposing the demolition of the existing Travis Perkins buildings and erecting a building (plus basement) of between 7 and 22 storeys in height providing accommodation for 843 students. A new building for Travis Perkins’ builders’ merchants will be on the ground floor of the new building.
Residents have described the proposals as ‘gross overdevelopment’ and the Hyde Park Ward Labour Action Team has submitted an objection to the Council.
You can make comments online at https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/ using reference 21/04536/FUL
The Maida Vale councillor surgeries have started again after an enforced break due to Covid. You can come and meet us at the Café in Paddington Rec:
- First Saturday of the month at 10am
- Third Sunday of the month at 11am
No appointment needed
A new study has found that “London basement extensions as normal as loft conversions”. You can read about it here
E-Scooter hire trial
Transport for London is holding an e-scooter hire trial over the coming months. If you have any comments on the trial, please contact TfL by email at email@example.com.
E-scooters – what you say
“I was more than amused to hear of the E-scooter rules. The E-scooters will take the path of mobile phones … used whenever and wherever, jeopardising lives at every turn. How will these rules/laws be enforced? Especially when boroughs are trailing E-scooter rentals!!
As a disabled individual I am in constant fear of E-scooters on the pavements. They come up from behind, AT SPEED, and are silent. My husband and I agree … if we are hit, or brushed, or hurt we will do everything to take both the individual and the borough for everything we can. It is all well and good to state the law, but a law unenforceable is a waste of all resources. And … what about electric bikes? Same story?”
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
If you see anyone sleeping rough, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Street Link. You can contact them 24 hours a day at www.streetlink.org.uk.
Voting by post
It is much easier, quicker and safer to vote by post. With a postal vote you have two weeks to cast your vote and can vote at home.
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.
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
You can see the latest data for your area here
Westminster Council’s advice and response website:
Beware the Coronavirus scammers
What you say
“Thank you for this update, which I am always pleased to receive.”
“Thank you. I’m always pleased to read these reports. It’s good that your team take an active role in making the area better.”
“Thanks very much for your last newsletter, I was very grateful for you posting the link to comment about the development of the old Paddington Green Police Station. I have objected to this huge development. It is far too big. Where will all these people park their cars? The local health centre will be overwhelmed and the buses over crowded!”
“Thank you as ever for your work on behalf of Maida Vale residents and for your helpful action reports. I am delighted we have Labour councillors in the area.”
“Finally a big thank you to Cllr Geoff Barraclough for being so quick to get the news out and start the process of getting answers.”
“Thank you for advocating on behalf of the Maida Vale and Maida Hill residents.”
“It’s a shame you’re not our ward councillor as ours seem to be completely asleep at the wheel right now.”
“I just returned from several weeks at sea (for my job) and was delighted to see the lovely flower baskets along Shirland Road. I had written to you about them a while back and you promptly wrote back to assure me they would be installed this year. The street is looking better all the time. Thank you!”
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 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/