BAYSWATER & LANCASTER GATE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – August 2021
News from Councillor Maggie Carman and the Labour Action Teams in Bayswater & Lancaster Gate
Following the recent flash floods, we were contacted by Network Homes leaseholders in Westbourne Gardens who said:
“We were also flood victims. Seems four years of complaining to Network Homes to get the roof fixed and gutter cleared wasn’t enough and water built up and poured through ceilings and down walls of all flats, then came up from the floor in our basement flat. We were almost finished our renovations so devastated. The ceilings collapsed in the top flat and the fire brigade essentially evacuated us but we’re still in the process of arranging temporary housing.”
Westbourne Grove – Nando’s
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Licensing Team to investigate the number of motorbike delivery drivers working out of Nando’s on Westbourne Grove after residents in Kensington Square Gardens reported the following:
“I appreciate during lock down restrictions were eased. We are now facing extensive noise from moped drivers in Kensington Gardens Square from Nando’s on Westbourne Grove. Are you able to confirm when businesses have to revert back to their old trading conditions? Nando’s were refused a takeaway licence in 2017/2018”
The Council has told that the current situation is that “due to the temporary provisions introduced by Central Government to assist businesses during the Pandemic Nando’s are permitted to offer a hot food takeaway service until at least 23rd March 2022.”
Westbourne Grove – Gail’s
Councillor Maggie Carman has written to the Managing Director of Gail’s about waste disposal problems outside their shop on Westbourne Grove. In her letter, Maggie says:
“I am a councillor for Bayswater and was delighted to support Gail’s planning application a few years ago. Gail’s has been a popular addition to our neighbourhood, however a problem has arisen over waste disposal. I quote an email from John Zamit, Chairman of the South East Bayswater Residents Association:
‘There is a condition on planning consent for Gail’s that refuse has to be collected by 7pm I recall, but trouble is their refuse collector First Mile always collects very late so always Gail’s refuse bags are in a pile next to residents’ piles of rubbish when I pass by after 10pm which is often. The residents’ pile stays there to collection time at 11 next morning. You have to see it to believe it! Whole situation a really mess!’
So, residents are adding their rubbish to the Gail’s pile which is a really common behaviour – where people see rubbish already there they somehow think it’s ok to add to it. Could you please look into this? It seems as if you either need to change your refuse collector or make sure they pick up your rubbish before 7pm.”
Hatherley Grove – Gail’s
In addition to rubbish issues, Max Sullivan and Maggie have taken up a noise complaint on behalf of a resident of Hatherley Grove who is disturbed by the operation of Gail’s extractor fans from 5am to around 8pm each day. Maggie has asked the Council’s Licensing team to investigate and report back.
We have contacted Notting Hill Genesis to report that the entry phone at 29-31 Talbot Road is not working and asking for it to be repaired.
Prince Bonaparte pub, Talbot Road
Residents alerted us to this issue which we reported to the Council:
“The builders who are currently doing the refit start every day just after 7am -decorating outside but you still get noise from moving ladders and general chat and shouting to each other. I did ask the foreman why they were starting so early and he said he didn’t know about the Westminster times but they had a tight deadline (surely not the residents problem?)”
We have received the following response:
“One of our City Inspectors attended the pub this afternoon and spoke to the foreman and some of the painters. The hours for building were explained to the builders who are now aware of when they should be working.”
Residents say, “Thanks so much for passing this on the for the department in question dealing with it so quickly. Thanks for helping out on this, got a lie in this morning! Beautifully quiet!”
We have contacted Notting Hill Genesis to report that a flat in Shrewsbury Road has had a flood as a result of problems with a leaking toilet.
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Housing Department to repair a broken door in a flat in Orsett Terrace.
We have raised this issue with the Highways Team:
“Chepstow Road is soon to be dug up so that the latest fibre broadband may be installed. As you may know (you have helped us in the past) the road has been resurfaced multiple times in the last fifteen years or so. The last time was only in 2017 or 2018 after many complaints from residents. The last resurfacing has on the whole stood up well.”
The contractor will be digging up Chepstow Road and damaging the road’s structural fabric yet again thus guaranteeing we will soon be back at square one regarding unacceptable vibrations and damage to our properties. Would you be able to put pressure on the Highways department to ensure the entire road is resurfaced correctly after the work is completed and not just tarmac thrown down over the refilled trenches which will soon sink causing all the same problems?”
We are supporting residents in Prince’s Gardens who are dealing with anti-social behaviour caused by an individual who does not live in the Square but continues to return and cause problems.
We have asked the Environmental Health and Housing Teams to investigate reports of rats in the back entries to flats in Gloucester Terrace. The Environmental Health Team told us
“The land belongs to Westminster Housing. They are aware and had already had recommendations from pest control to make some changes to the garages/disused bin storage area. The area manager has asked their repairs team to make those changes asap.”
We have also reported extensive damage to the roof of flats in Gloucester Terrace by broadband installation companies. Residents reported, “we have a serious problem with leaking roofs following the destructive antics of the crew connecting fibre cables from the street to the houses. In stringing up a cable line from chimney stack to chimney stack they have smashed tiles, dislodged pipes, disturbed lead flashing and generally wrecked most of the roofs on this side of the road.
Because of the heavy recent leakage, I contacted Repairs and reported the problem. Their agent attended last Thursday and was appalled at the level of destruction, promising to report the outrage. I’ve heard nothing since.”
The Housing Office say:
“Community Fibre Limited inflicted damage to the rooftops at Gloucester Terrace due to issues with the abseil team. They are in the final stages of replacing the tiles to the rooftops and attending to other elements of the damage and are in contact with the councils repairs team.
G.Network are planning to install their own infrastructure on the building and their abseil team are aware of previous issues with the quality of the roof and are undertaking other elements of securing the rooftop against water ingress. They will also review the remedial works undertaken by Community Fibre to ensure a satisfactory conclusion or to identify where additional works may be required.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Parking Team to reinstate two disabled parking bays that have been removed from outside the Porchester Centre. Residents say:
“There were two blue badge spaces and they were removed during the first lock down when the new cycle lane was put in place. The cycle lane is very useful and no one is criticizing that. But the loss of the blue badge spaces is causing problems for people with disabilities wishing to use the centre as there is no parking for them now.”
The Parking Team say:
“The Disabled parking bays outside the Porchester Centre were suspended under a temporary traffic order, until December 2021, to allow for the cycle lane. The cycle facilities at the location are now being reviewed and will be completed in September 2021. Should the cycle lane remain in place then provision for Blue Badge holders will still be available and would be relocated within close proximity. In the meantime, temporary parking provision for Blue Badge holders will be reintroduced, close to the Porchester Centre, as soon as possible.”
“That is really good news. I will pass it on to my fellow swimmers. I shall look forward to seeing the temporary and then the permanent bays as they are finalised. Once again thank you very much for your help I really do appreciate it.”
Hereford Road – speeding
We have asked the Council and the Police to take action on speeding traffic along Hereford Road. Residents say:
“The main concerns arise from drivers of cars turning left from Talbot Road into Hereford Road; having turned into Hereford Road, they speed down to Westbourne Grove; alternatively, having turned into Hereford Road from Westbourne Grove, they speed up to Talbot Road.
Also, motorcyclists driving in either direction along Hereford Road, often with “L” plates and carrying signage of food delivery companies. Some motorcyclists ignore the No Right Turn into Hereford Road and ride on the wrong side of Talbot Road in order to enter Hereford Road. Recently, there was an accident involving two motor cyclists (both with “L” plates), one of whom crashed into the open door of a parked car.
I suspect that, of the available measures (eg. speed bumps, making the road one-way, installation of cameras), none is perfect; but if there is anything that you are able to do which may help to address the matter, we would be very grateful.”
The Police say:
“I have contacted our Roads and Traffic Police: they have confirmed they will arrange a day if not a few days this summer to focus an action day in Hereford Road/Talbot Road and Artesian Road looking at speeders, poor drivers, illegal moves made by drivers etc. Alongside this, we as SNT will provide a more high vis approach and conduct our own days of action in the area tackling traffic related offences.”
‘Ma Dame’, 58 Porchester Road
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Licensing Team to take action against Ma Dame for breaching the conditions of their licence. Maggie says: “This is part of a recurring pattern as I have been aware of concerns with this venue since 2018. Could you please consider recommending a review of the licence?”. Residents say:
“We were woken up at 1.30am on the morning of 24th July from shouting in the street from patrons leaving Ma Dames. Various vehicles were parked outside or near our house with patrons drinking, shouting laughing and moving between cars and a mini-bus. This went on till almost 3am. This follows an established pattern of behaviour which has been highlighted previously.”
Porchester Road – Noise from track maintenance
We have asked the Council’s Noise Team to investigate loud construction noise late at night coming from or near the train tracks.
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Council to investigate and take action against an unauthorized short-term letting in Durham Terrace, following representations from residents of Swanleys. Residents say:
“The property is at 13D Durham Terrace. We have complained to environmental health to no avail. Police have even been called and attended, but they could not gain access and apparently do not have the power to force entry. They were jeered at and pelted with items by “guests” at one particularly busy rave on 12/13 June (which lasted 11pm-8am). Far from calming down since, the parties have escalated and are now virtually weekly.
This has been ongoing for years but has escalated of late with large loud gatherings until early morning (even during lockdown) and our residents cannot escape in the current climate. The rooftop on which the parties are regularly held is an illegal structure. The holiday let circumvents the 90-day regulation by advertising across multiple platforms.”
The Council say: “This will be picked up and investigated as requested and we will keep you and the residents updated.”
Prince’s Court, Queensway
We are supporting Prince’s Court residents in Queensway who have raised serious concerns about Sainsbury’s delivery vehicles. Residents say:
“Despite the new regulations being in place for over six months, the Sainsbury’s store located at 75 Queensway seems unwilling to recognize the change. On daily basis, they continue to undertake deliveries after 10.00pm, with vehicles arriving between 9.30pm and 10.00pm and loading and unloading going on for an hour from about 10.00pm. All of this is taking place right under a sign which clearly states, “No Deliveries after 1.00pm”.”
We have asked the Parking Team to investigate.
We are supporting residents who have been campaigning for almost a decade to have the National Express coaches diverted from residential Westbourne Terrace to the shorter and non-residential Eastbourne Terrace. This simple diversion would bring residents some relief from the constant traffic noise and go some way to improving air quality in this very busy road.
Eastbourne Terrace, which runs parallel to Westbourne Terrace, is now open following completion of the Crossrail works, so there is no reason for Westminster Council and Transport for London to delay any further in arranging for National Express to divert its coaches down Eastbourne Terrace. Karen Buck MP has written to Heidi Alexander, London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, asking her to intervene and get this sorted as soon as possible.
You can sign our petition here: bit.ly/WT-Petition
You may have seen the new pink and green ‘floral’ bins in a few locations around the area. But the initiative is off a bad start, as a Council officer explained to Councillor Maggie Carman:
“The pastel pink and green bins are wrapped in a floral design. However, the manufacturer has put the lids on the wrong way round which means that the bins are currently facing the wrong way. An engineer is being sent out to amend the lids, which have been remade. Once the bin lids are on the right way round, the wrapped side will be on display.”
We have again asked the police to reduce the use of helicopters to observe demonstrations in the West End. We understand the need for surveillance of demonstrations but, we asked the police “why don’t you use drones? This would be considerably cheaper and less invasive.” The police response was as follows:
“There are advantages to using a helicopter rather than a drone, where necessary, as they play an important role in keeping people safe. The Met has invested in drones, and they are being used, but the technology is not sufficiently advanced to replace helicopters their entirety. Investment in drones will remain, but helicopters will continue be an essential tool for policing in London. As always, we endeavour to balance any disruption caused to the public, with the need to ensure safety.”
We will continue to press the police to use drones as the technology improves and hope that the use of helicopters can be reduced.
Marble Arch Mound
We have called for an independent inquiry into the expensive £2 million Council Marble Arch Mound fiasco.
According to the ‘Evening Standard’, “the £2m Marble Arch Mound has been branded London’s worst attraction. The unbelievably depressing picture gallery lets you see why from about 27 different angles – and will save you £4.50.”
A new study has found that “London basement extensions as normal as loft conversions”. You can read about it here
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)
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/
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
North Paddington Foodbank
If you are in need of emergency support, please contact your support worker or Westminster CAB for a referral, you will then be contacted by the food bank to arrange a delivery or collection. If you are struggling to access a referral or are concerned for someone you know, please call the food bank directly on 07932 623443.
The Foodbank is on the frontline helping more people than ever before in a very difficult situation. Please donate here
The Food Bank is in need of volunteers of all ages across all roles. From lunch hour delivery drivers to evening packers and daytime support. If you would like to find out more please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
You can tell the Council about dumped rubbish, broken street lights, graffiti and more by using Report It https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
You can see the latest Covid data for your area here
Westminster Council’s advice and response website:
Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222
Covid – what you say
“I am sad and depressed to see that only 38% of adults in Westminster have been double vaccinated. This is a dreadful figure and seems to be working against all attempts to get through this virus without impacting our community and the NHS. Only just over 50% have had a first dose. This is the first step in improving life, returning jobs to the community and safeguarding everybody. Is there nothing more one can do to convince our neighbours that this is so very important?”
What you say
“Thank you for your email and the work you do to assist residents with problems.”
“Thank you for your prompt and detailed response.”
“Thank you so much for your help”
“Thanks a million!”
“Just to let you know that I have signed up for community fibre broadband this morning and they will be installing in a couple of weeks. Thanks for all you have done chasing this up over the last year or so. The wait is finally over……”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
If you know of anyone else who might like to receive this report, please send them this sign-up link https://bit.ly/labour-news
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
Dario Goodwin, Ryan Jude and Ellie Ormsby
Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team – Here to Help, All Year Round