BAYSWATER & LANCASTER GATE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2021
News from Councillor Maggie Carman, James Small-Edwards and Max Sullivan, the Labour Action Team in Bayswater, and
Dario Goodwin, Ryan Jude and Ellie Ormsby, the Lancaster Gate Labour Action Team
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Ma Dame nightclub, Porchester Road
Councillor Maggie Carman is continuing to take up complaints about late night anti-social behaviour at Ma Dame nightclub from residents on Porchester Road, Cellbridge Mews and nearby Westbourne Park Road too. The press has reported on the plight of Porchester Road residents who have been unable to sleep at the weekend for 10 years due to anti-social behaviour outside Ma Dame nightclub. Edina Aladi and her son Oliver say they often have up to 25 nightclubbers on their doorstep every weekend and often find huge amounts of litter outside their front door. Edina, who has lived at the property on Porchester Road for a decade, has said it has always been a problem. You can read the story here https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/central-london-street-clubbers-kept-21388828
Cellbridge Mews residents tell a similar story about “thumping music and vibrations coming through our party walls well into the early hours of the morning. Lockdown gave us temporary relief from the noise from the nightclub, but the antisocial behaviour faced by residents in Celbridge Mews is beyond anything we have seen in the past. Much of this coincides with nightclub users leaving the premises, while the nightclub itself continues to breach many of its licence conditions.”
Prince’s Square Gardens
Councillor Maggie Carman has been supporting Prince’s Square residents in their campaign to have Prince’s Square Gardens designated as an Asset of Community Value which would give residents up to a year to raise funds to purchase the Square for the community and other protections.
However, the responsible Cabinet Member at the time Cllr Melvyn Caplan, was deeply sceptical about the idea that it could or should receive this protection. Despite this scepticism and Council foot-dragging, the Square eventually was recognised as an Asset of Community Value on August 13th. Residents said:
“Many thanks for your help on this Maggie. We truly believe that without your guidance and support it would not have been possible”
However, residents have subsequently found out that unfortunately the Square was secretly sold on 15thJuly to a newly created property company leaving the future of the Gardens and residents’ ability to access them uncertain.
St Stephen’s Gardens
We have called on the Housing Department to urgently repair a collapsed ceiling in a flat in St Stephen’s Gardens. The resident had previously raised concerns about the work that had been done to repair his ceiling but the Council’s report found no grounds for his complaint. Now the ceiling has collapsed while he was sitting underneath, injuring him and ruining his flat and possessions.
Councillor Maggie Carman has been helping a Notting Hill Genesis tenant with long-standing issue which has now been resolved after much effort. The resident told NHG, “I wonder if we would have got this far if Councillor Carman had not intervened on my behalf.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has been helping a local business in Queensway with a Business Rates matter. Maggie was able to intervene and resolve the matter, after which the business owner said:
“Thank you so much for your intervention. I have had a response and a call from the Rates Department. Once she heard from you, they took it seriously. The last 24 hours have been stressful and distressing. Can’t thank you enough.”
Following Councillor Maggie Carman’s intervention, a blocked gulley in Chepstow Road has now been cleared. Residents said: “Thank you so much Maggie
That’s a huge relief!”
We have also raised concerns about the quality of roadworks being undertaken along Chepstow Road and the removal of the steel reinforcements. The Highways Team say:
“Regarding the steel reinforcement of the carriageway, unfortunately, the removal is essential in gaining the appropriate depth for the new ducts. While not visibly appealing in its current state, work to trim back the damaged steelwork ahead of the installation of replacement sections will take place during the reinstatement phase of the works.”
We have called on the Council and Notting Hill Genesis to refurbish their long-vacant and unoccupied basement properties in Gloucester Terrace. We counted at least 8 empty flats. It is very bad for tenants either side of an empty flat who often get damp not just rising in their flats, but also all up the shared walls with these empty homes. At the same time there are families living in B&B properties miles from Westminster who could be housed in these empty flats.
We have also asked the Housing Department to assist an elderly resident in Gloucester Terrace with a lighting issue in her kitchen.
You can also read about Gloucester Terrace residents, Pete Evans’ and Ruth Cowen’s nightmare experience of water pouring through their ceiling after Westminster council workers made holes in their roof while attaching cables. The damage is the latest property nightmare at the top floor flat in Gloucester Terrace which has also been plagued by rats.
Following complaints by residents, we have asked the Housing Department to take the appropriate action to stop the daily pigeon feeding from a window in Gloucester Gardens. The Housing Department says: “We have issued the tenants with a verbal warning and have advised that their tenancy may not be renewed if this continues. Hopefully this will be enough to stop the pigeon feeding but please do let me know if you receive any further complaints.”
Councillor Maggie Carman has been helping residents in Sutherland Place with a long-running planning issue which she has helped to resolve. Residents said:
“My goodness you are effective. All resolved. Many thanks for lifting this (actually quite significant) mental burden from our shoulders.”
We have continued to support residents who are increasingly concerned at the Council’s failure to stop the daily rubbish dumping by the big black bins on Artesian Road. Residents say: “When is the Council actually going to notify residents of the ‘trial’ removal of these bad-behaviour-magnets, and their replacement with reconfigured door-to-door waste and recyclables collection schedules?”
We have asked the Council to ensure that the Whiteley’s contractors keep to the agreed hours of work after a resident told us that work is “as early as 07.30, and beyond 18.30”.
Hereford Road – speeding cars
Following our report to the police about speeding on Hereford Road, the police have told us:
“Our Roads and Traffic police set up a team to head to Hereford Road and surroundings for a day of action. We seized three e-scooters, issued three tickets for no insurance and issued one ticket for not displaying L plates (moped). We definitely stopped a lot of mopeds turning right into Hereford Road from Talbot just with our presence, it’s a good spot to pick up traffic tickets so we will go back there with a plain clothes spotter and park the police car further down Hereford out of sight.”
We contacted the Council about this issue raised by a resident:
“The pavement on Moorhouse Road, particularly on the west side of the street, is extremely dirty and looks like it could do with a power wash. It’s pretty much black!”
The Street Cleansing Team told us:
“It’s unusual for the footway here to be stained in a way we would more likely expect to see in areas of the West End with much heavier footfall. What we think is that the tree above this section has been issuing sticky pollen onto the pavement below, which has then captured the airborne carbon over a period of time.”
The team have now cleaned the area with a power wash.
We are helping a Council leaseholder in Kildare Gardens with a sewage blockage issue and have asked the Housing Department to take the necessary action to clear unpleasant smells coming from the drains.
Councillor Maggie Carman has asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“The entrance to Chapel Side has been blocked by building material placed in the road. It is unclear who owns this material. Returning today with an Openreach van loading from the Exchange opposite made it quite difficult to enter the road due to the building material.”
Bishop’s Bridge Road/Inverness Terrace
We have asked the police to investigate this issue raised by residents:
“On the corner of Bishops Bridge Road and Inverness Terrace, opposite the large Waitrose, are a group of men selling art they have done. They are very threatening. They have been on this corner day and night for over 4 weeks It is surprising this has been allowed to persist and for residents having to walk past them even in daylight hours, very frightening.”
Westbourne Grove – Nando’s – what you say
“After complaining to WCC three times about the danger posed by Deliveroo and equivalents who park on double yellow lines at the corner of Westbourne Grove and Kensington Gardens Square, it seems that the situation has improved somewhat.
Having said that, it is still a problem. Nando’s is a blight on the neighbourhood. The employees use the pavement as an ash tray and frequently loudly socialise outside the venue after closing- as late as after midnight. The bottom line is that constant vigilance is needed to keep this business operating to both legal and social norms.”
We are helping residents in Cleveland Square who were flooded in mid July. Thames Water will not accept responsibility for the flooding and will not allow residents to stop paying water rates even though they have had to move out and find somewhere else to live.
St Petersburg Place
Councillor Maggie Carman is helping a resident in St Petersburg Place with a housing application inquiry.
Gloucester Mews West
We have been supporting residents in Gloucester Mews West with a complaint to the Council on an unauthorised platform built by the Cleveland Arms in the Mews archway. The pub has now been requested by both the Highways and Planning Enforcement Team to reduce the width to ensure 2m access, before removing the platform by the end of the month.
Westbourne Terrace Coach traffic
Following our representations to Transport for London, via Karen Buck MP, we have been given the following good news from TfL;
“Following the completion of the majority of works on Eastbourne Terrace related to Crossrail, the main route for the National Express A6 was moved to Eastbourne Terrace from Monday 26 July 2021. The NationalExpress A6 continues to be permitted to use Westbourne Terrace as an alternative route during times of network disruption (i.e. road closures) when no other alternatives are available.
No further services, with a London Service Permit are authorised to use this section of Westbourne Terrace, although we are aware of instances of the A1 service (to Luton Airport) using the road and we are addressing this directly. TfL will continue to work with coach operators and trade associations advising them that coaches should avoid using this section of Westbourne Terrace wherever possible.”
We will continue to press TfL to take strong action if the coach operators do not use Eastbourne Terrace in the future.
Some good news. We’ve heard from Westminster Council that people whose homes are not habitable due to flooding may not be obliged to pay Council Tax. This would apply for the period you are not living in the property.
Unhelpfully, Westminster hasn’t published this on their website or sent us a form for you to complete. Instead, we’ve been informed that affected residents should email Rehana Hannan at the Council email@example.com with details of your property, reasons it is not habitable and some indication of how long it will be vacant.
We are assured that Westminster will treat the flooding victims fairly but please let us know if you have any problems claiming this exemption.
Karen Buck MP secured a debate in Parliament on the floods and you can see the debate here https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/53594ed6-5b3a-4bbc-bb51-14a679199b24?in=11:00:56
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.
£6 Million Marble Arch Mound
The Marble Arch Mound fiasco continues with this latest article highlighting the Council’s failures
Westminster residents’ groups have issued a scathing response to the Council’s £6 million Mound fiasco and the lack of meaningful consultation on major projects.
Following the Council’s admission that its Marble Arch Mound project is costing local taxpayers a massive £6million, three times the £2 million cost originally planned, we called for an independent Inquiry into how and why the costs escalated and who was responsible for the gross mismanagement of this project. Sadly, the Council has refused to hold an independent Inquiry and will be conducting an internal ‘inquiry’.
We have identified many ways in which the £6 million could have been spent to benefit local residents
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
Free NHS Health Check
If you are between the ages of 40-74, you might be at risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke, or dementia. A FREE NHS Health Check can lower your risk and make sure that you stay healthy for longer.
The NHS Health Check is your chance to get personalised health advice and access specialist support. The health check-up is FREE of charge and is designed to spot the early signs of high-risk conditions. You will be invited by your local GP surgery if you are eligible for this health check. Act now and enjoy a healthier life for longer. For more information, please visit oneyou.westminster.gov.uk/check-yourself
Please let us know if you would like to suggest locations for additional bike hangars where bikes can be stored safely and securely.
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
“Having narrowly escaped being seriously injured by an e-scooter travelling at over 20 mph on a crowded pavement in Porchester Road, I must deplore the government-fuelled rush to increase their use in London. I regularly see 11-12 year olds on these scooters.”
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
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
What you say
“I just wanted to say to Maggie and all the team, BRAVO!!! I’ve been seeing what a huge amount of difficult work pours in on you, and how thoughtfully and helpfully you respond every time to the smallest complaints. I do hope all the residents are beginning to appreciate the vast gulf between a Tory and Labour councillor response…”
“Thank you so much for the latest action report, and more importantly thank you for all the work you and your team do in the community.”
“This is a great newsletter! Many thanks for sending it out!”
“Thank you for the excellent work you do in looking after the interests of residents. Good luck in the 22 elections and beyond.”
“Thank you for the enormous amount of work you do on residents behalf is fantastic and very much appreciated”
“Thank you as always for the latest news”
“Thank you for trying to get speed cameras installed on Westbourne Park Rd”
“Thanks so much for your intervention”
“Thank you so much Maggie and team for all you do.”
“Thank you so much for your quick response Maggie. I am grateful for you dealing with this”
“Looking forward to seeing the floral bins – could we please have more of these?”
“Your prompt response is so very much appreciated, as was your call to me”
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