MAIDA VALE & LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2021
News from Maida Vale Councillors Geoff Barraclough, Rita Begum and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis and Iman Less
And the Little Venice Labour Action Team – Murad Qureshi and Sue Wolff
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Floods of 12 July – Update
Westminster Council has released an interim report on the floods of 12 July. This will be discussed at a special meeting of its City Management Scrutiny Committee next Thursday, 30 September at Porchester Hall, Porchester Road, London W2 5HS. The meeting is at 6.30pm with doors opening at 6.00 pm. If you can’t join in person, the meeting will be live-streamed on Microsoft Teams.
Follow this link for both the report and a details of the live-stream.
Meanwhile, we have been active in supporting our residents:
- We have arranged with Westminster Council that anyone whose flat is uninhabitable does not need to pay Council Tax. Please email Rehana Hannan firstname.lastname@example.org details of your property, reasons it is not habitable and some indication of how long it will be vacant.
- We have set up a crowdfunded appeal with a local charity that will pay grants to people who have uninsured losses. Fill in this form http://ow.ly/qpRH50G1G9Y to apply for a grant of up to £200 per household.
- We helped Karen Buck draft her speech at the Parliamentary debate on flooding in Westminster North. You can see the debate here https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/53594ed6-5b3a-4bbc-bb51-14a679199b24?in=11:00:56
- We joined with local residents at a public meeting they organised
- We have helped many residents with individual problems presented by their landlords including Westminster Housing and Notting Hill Genesis (NHG).
- We have written to NHG in support of residents who want their flats renovated with uPVC doors and non-return valves
We have learned that the floods of 25 July will be the subject of a separate investigation and report.
We continue to press the Council to bring an early end to its failing £50,000 trial of repainted ‘floral’ bins. The new ‘floral’ bins are flimsy and don’t open properly. As a result, there is more waste left around the bins and left for the foxes to tear apart over night. The trial ends shortly and the black bins will return. Residents told us:
“I live on Widley Road and I have not noticed any difference re fly-tipping so far. However, the last few times I went to use the recycling bin it was locked and therefore I had to leave my bag of recycling on the ground instead of in the bin. Hopefully the lid will be unlocked again soon.”
“On the colourful bins, I think the issue with fly tipping is often because they are full. There are a few places in particular, like along Elgin Avenue. I do like the new designs though!”
Container on Essendine Road
A resident asked why there is a shipping container parked on Essendine Road. Council officers told us this box is being used by Notting Hill Genesis (a housing association) in connection with repairs to its flood-damaged properties on Shirland Road.
We worked with council officers and Le Cochonnet restaurant on Lauderdale Parade to ensure it can continue al fresco dining after the temporary permissions expire at the end of this month.
Residents alerted us to vandals setting fire to some of the tree pits. We have asked the Neighbourhood Police to investigate.
The City Inspector is taking enforcement action against two traders on Elgin Parade who have been ignoring instructions about the proper disposal of commercial waste.
Essendine School Street
Local residents will be pleased to learn that this project will not now be proceeding. Original plans would have caused considerable congestion and increased pollution along Wymering and Essendine Roads. Instead, council officers are looking at curb build outs and other less radical traffic calming measures.
Council officers have been working with the Naima School to draw up proposals for street improvements on Andover Place to discourage parents from parking/idling during drop-off and pick-up times.
We have been working with residents to ensure Westminster Housing deals effectively with a mouse infestation. The mice have been disturbed following the start of building works in the car park and have been seen in a number of flats. Also at Torridon, we have asked Westminster Housing and the TMO to prioritise increasing the amount of bicycle storage available to residents.
We are making enquiries with the Planning Department about this issue:
“I was distressed to see the communication mast in a prominent and highly visible position as the scaffolding came down for the Warrington Hotel extension work. As a conservation area, being chipped away one property at a time, this is unacceptable. I read our freehold documents to find that even satellite dishes are restricted on my property, the Warrington Hotel seems to be able to do whatever they want. I request that this communication mast be relocated so it is out of sight from the Sutherland Avenue/Warrington Crescent corner of the building.”
Maida Vale/Elgin Avenue
We have asked the Housing Department to offer assistance to a homeless couple after residents reported the following:
“This morning noticed a couple of people sleeping under a duvet with belongings around them on the grassy area in front of a large block of flats corner of Elgin Avenue and Maida Vale. I tried to get through to Housing the queue was long I also tried online “report it” could not find a suitable box for homeless.”
We are helping a Blomfield Road leaseholder with their enquiries with the Housing Department over long-delayed repairs.
West End Gate
Residents in Prince Louise Close, next to the West End Gate development on Edgware Road, say that their sleep and environment is being badly affected by the construction work next door.
At the request of residents, we have asked the Cycling Team if a bike hangar can be located in Blomfield Road. We have suggested that another location be considered outside Maida Vale Library.
Westminster’s streets are littered with mounds of dumped rubbish from Pimlico to Paddington despite the Council spending £50 million a year with Veolia whose contract has just been extended for another three years. The time is long overdue for tough action against the regular rubbish dumpers who litter the streets of Westminster and who are currently getting away with this particularly selfish and nasty form of anti-social behaviour. We have put forward a 5-point plan to tackle the rubbish dumping menace.
Marble Arch Mound
We have called on the Council to remove the £6 million Marble Arch Mound as soon as possible. The Mound project has been a major embarrassment to Westminster Council who have lost £6 million of taxpayers’ money. It highlights the incompetence and arrogance of a Conservative administration that has been in power for far too long.
The Marble Arch Mound fiasco continues with this article highlighting the Council’s failures
We have identified many ways in which the £6 million could have been better spent to benefit local residents
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
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 email@example.com
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 contact Street Link who are able offer help and assistance. You can contact Street Link 24 hours a day at www.streetlink.org.uk.
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
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
Travis Perkins site – what you say
“Please do not consider the planning application for the new high rise housing development at the Travis Perkins site. I am an apartment owner in St Marys Terrace and over the last ten years our view of the sky has been increasingly darkened by new buildings, cranes, high rise housing developments and new office buildings. Each of these new buildings is higher than the community limit of seven floors.”
E-scooters – what you say
“E-scooters are interesting … I like them personally, but I think they often replace walking rather than other “dirty” forms of transport, so I do question if they are really “cleaner” forms of transport. I like that they are requiring scooter parking bays so they don’t end up being left everywhere, but the scooter bays are hard to find!”
What you say
“Thank you for sending these updates.”
“Thanks so much for the newsletter – I find it so helpful and informative!”
“Thank you so much for your, as ever, very useful newsletter.”
“I write again to thank you for all the work you do keeping an eye on this unique area of London.”
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 Geoff Barraclough, Rita Begum and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis and Iman Less
Your Maida Vale Labour Councillors
You can read our news here
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/