QUEEN’S PARK WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – October 2021
News from your three Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale and Cara Sanquest
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
We have continued to urge the Police, the Council and A2Dominion to take the necessary action to stop the late night anti-social behaviour at Stansbury Square. Residents say:
“Every day/night a group are congregating revving mopeds, shouting, screaming, sitting on the wall and smoking cannabis, selling drugs, blocking garage access and leaving lots of litter. Could you tell me, Westminster council, what is the duty of care for the civil society/residents, who want to live in peace and want to sleep at night after a long day’s work?”
We have asked the Parking Team to let us know how parking will operate on Caird Street for the residents of the new houses and flats that have been built on the former Jubilee leisure centre. The Parking Team say:
“We have been undertaking additional visits through the day at this location. A couple of PCNs have been issued and a few drivers have been spoken to and moved on. I have asked that these visits continue.
The new development will have 23 off-street parking spaces. Before Planning permission for the new properties was granted colleagues in Highways Planning assessed the local pressures and found that this should not be an issue here as vehicle ownership by residents in the area is around 35% of properties. Resident parking bay occupancy in the area was at an acceptable level. Since the closure of the sports-centre we have been able to find space for 1 extra pay-by-phone bay and 6 extra resident bays.”
We have also asked the Council to take the strongest possible action against contractors at the Jubilee site for repeated Sunday working which is prohibited unless permission has been granted. No permission has been granted by the Council yet Sunday working has taken place a number of times recently. The Council told us:
“The Street Works team will fine them under section 74 of the New Roads & Street Works Act for overrunning we will also charge them for an illegal road closure.
Colleagues from Parking have been made aware and will recharge retrospectively for the bays that have been occupied without suspensions and we will place any further applications for works by them in WCC under stricter scrutiny.”
We have also repeated our requests to the contractors to switch off the lights on site at night. We have also repeated our request that the contractors clean the windows of houses in Caird Street, Bruckner Street and Cannon House.
Residents have reported a deterioration in the street sweeping in Dowland Street and elsewhere in Queen’s Park Ward. We have asked the City Inspectors to investigate the current street sweeping operations. Residents say:
“I am really concerned about the state of our streets. I have made numerous phone calls, had the inspector call and visit me. I live on Dowland Street, we never see a street cleaner. I have to clean myself,it’s not just Dowland Street that’s not being cleaned ,it’s all around the area. Considering we have had our council tax increased which includes street cleaning, I’m not happy about it. I was told that the contract company who do the street cleaning are paid generously so why is it allowed to continue. What was once a good well-kept area, is no longer ….”
Kilburn Lane/Harrow Road junction
Remedial works were undertaken in mid-September at the Harrow Road/Kilburn Lane junction to rectify surface defects that were identified following the resurfacing of the junction in December 2020. Anti-skid works are also scheduled for 14th/15th October.
Following the recent safety concerns we raised, the Highways Team is planning to undertake a review of the junction in the coming weeks.
268 Kilburn Lane
We have again urged the Housing Department to start the long-delayed major works at 268 Kilburn Lane. The council initially proposed 2015 for the building refurbishment but have postponed starting work every year. The latest is that they are now saying that the 2021 date has been postponed to 2022 or even 2023. This amounts to a 7/8 year delay on starting work. We have already presented a petition from residents and we raised this with the Cabinet Member for Housing at the last Council meeting.
We have received the following update from the Highways Team about the long-awaited new pedestrian crossing at St Luke’s School on the north side of Fernhead Road:
“After further investigation the Team have advised that the scheme is progressing, they have been slightly delayed due to a lack of resources affecting the contractor’s ability to carry out trial holes. Although all being well, they are expecting to begin on site in January 2022.”
Ilbert Street big black bins
Following continued regular dumping by the two sets of black bins in Ilbert Street we have asked the Refuse Team to take away both sets of bins for a trial 8-week period to see how this affects the dumping situation. One resident has told us of their recent experience:
“I have just spent almost 40 minutes removing loads of cardboard boxes dumped in the pink general waste bin and putting them into the empty green bins. Clearly a business. Wholesale boxes for rice, spices, bottles etc. The waste guys had just gone. The guys came this evening to empty so I then went out and got rid of my waste. In between me emptying one sack and coming back within 4 minutes, the pink bin was full to the rim with the cardboard!! Yet the recycling green bins empty. The area around the bins is disgusting. I disrupted foxes ripping stuff open. This has to change. There needs to be a camera in this area to pick up the serially selfish people who don’t give a stuff about their neighbourhood.”
Our local City Inspectors, Nuno and Hussein will monitor both sites and Veolia will clear fly-tipped waste at these sites. We have also asked for very strong monitoring of the rubbish that is dumped so that it is searched to find any identifying marks that trace it back to the owners. We have asked the Council to issue fines, not just ‘warning letters’.
Queen’s Park Court
From Monday 20 September for 6 weeks, UK Power Networks (UKPN) are diverting electricity cables in the road and pavement to the west of Queen’s Park Court to enable the new housing construction work to commence. The Housing Department say:
“To allow the ducting for the newly diverted underground cables to be laid, trenches will be dug with a mini digger to break the road and pavement surface. These works will be noisy whilst they take place. There will then be periods of hand digging which will minimise disruption. Once the area is excavated a lorry will attend to remove the waste material. The ducting for cabling will be laid along the excavated area and finally it will be back filled and re-tarmacked or slabs re-laid. There will be no interruption to residents’ electricity supply from these works unless UKPN damage a cable and if this happens, they will repair it as quickly as possible.”
The parking situation should ease in the new year as a newly configured car parking area in the middle of the estate is provided as part of the plans.
PC Dave Hammond has given us this update on the action being taken by the police:
“Electric scooters are an issue across London, a lot of the problems are caused by a lack of knowledge of the law, and the difference in law between rental scooters and privately owned scooters. We have carried out a number of operations over the last few months which have involved seizing scooters and issuing fixed penalty notices. We will continue these operations”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ha’Penny Steps footbridge
Many residents have been in touch about the works at Ha’Penny Steps bridge. We are very sorry for the disruption and questioned the need for the works when they were first announced.
We have urged the Council to speed up the repair works. The current slow progress is not acceptable. We asked the Council for an explanation for the slow progress and they say:
“Whilst it might be perceived to look like a small workforce on the bridge with only 1 painter observed, and a somewhat slow start, it has taken time to mobilise correctly, and there has been much time spent setting up the diversion signage, security measures etc. We started the works on Monday 20th September with a team of 4 operatives, and this increased to 7 from the Tuesday, and today I can conform we have 1 Site Agent, 3 painters, 4 semi-skilled operatives, 2 specialist sub-contractors, and 2 safety boat crew on site.
We know how much scrutiny this scheme will come under in regards from the public, and appreciate the disruption it causes them, so are closely monitoring the programme of works and will do our upmost to keep a good continuity of works in progress at times.”
We will keep the pressure on the Council to get these works done as quickly as possible.
Moberly Sports Centre
We are continuing to urge the Leisure Team at the Moberly to fix the broken spinners at the Moberly Leisure Centre. Users say: Just to let you know the spinners have now disappeared completely from the wall. There is an out of action sign in its place, but unfortunately, no hint of a return”.
The Leisure Team say:
“All clothes spin dryers have been removed to be fully repaired; we expect these back before the end of next week.”
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.
Environmental and other Issues
- Ilbert Street – we have asked the Refuse Team to issue an immediate fine to the White City (yes, White City!) resident who dumped their rubbish in Ilbert Street.
- Harrow Road/Fourth Avenue – we have asked the Refuse Team to clear the rubbish dumped by the black bins outside Queen’s Park library and in Fourth Avenue.
- Fifth Avenue – we have asked the Street Lighting Team to fix a broken streetlight outside 80 Fifth Avenue.
- Fifth Avenue/Droop Street – we have asked the Cycling Team to arrange fir a vandalised buke hangar to be repaired as quickly as possible.
- St John’s Terrace – we have asked the Council to improve the street sweeping in St John’s Terrace. Residents say rubbish is “all the way to the dead end where the flats are being built The litter consists of plastic bottles, wrappers and other bits.”
- Caird Street – we have again asked the developers of the Jubilee site to turn off the lights at night as it is disturbing the sleep of residents living opposite.
- Galton Street – we have asked the Street Lighting Team to fix a broken streetlight in Galton Street.
- Onslow Close – we have asked the Parking Team to investigate a car that appears to have been abandoned in Onslow Close. The Parking Team say, “The car has a valid Tax Disc and MOT in place; therefore, the Council is unable to pursue it as an Abandoned Vehicle. We will however, look to identify the owner of the vehicle and ask them not to use the resident parking facilities at this location during controlled hours.”
- Third Avenue – we have asked the Street Lighting Team to fix broken streetlights at 50-58 Third Avenue.
- Mozart Street – we have asked the Council to issue fines to rubbish dumpers outside the Royal Lancer pub and elsewhere in Mozart Street.
- Kilburn Lane – we have asked BT to repair a phone box outside 326 Kilburn Lane where the glass has been smashed. We have also asked the Highways Team to fix a broken drain cover.
- Beethoven Street – we have asked the Tree Officer to investigate a recently-excavated tree pit in Beethoven Street and let us know when a tree will be replanted. The Tree Officer says, “The tree stump here was ground out last week and our contractors should not have left it like this. I have asked street cleansing to attend to sweep it clear.”
- Ashmore Road/Kilburn Lane – we have asked Council to issue a fine to a local business which dumped rubbish by the bins at the corner of Ashmore Road/Kilburn Lane.
- Ilbert Street – we have asked the Street Lighting Team to fix a broken streetlight in Ilbert Street.
- Droop Street – we have asked the Housing Department to investigate the windows at a house in Droop Street and to do the necessary window repairs/replacement.
- Mounsey House – we are helping a resident of Mounsey House with a repair issue.
- Third Avenue – we are continuing to help a Third Avenue resident with a neighbour nuisance issue.
- Ash House – we have asked the Housing Department to investigate problems with water pressure in a flat in Ash House.
- Nutbourne Street – we are assisting residents in Nutbourne Street with their housing situation.
- Queen’s Park Court – we are continuing to help residents in Queen’s Park Court with damp problems.
£6 Million 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
E-Scooters – what you say
“While I do not on principle oppose the use of rental E scooters, I do fail to understand why there are so many locally in the Avenues area. Multiple brands, mixing on various pitches, and of course the inevitable units abandoned on the public highway — why is this ‘trial’ so complex? And why do we not have a bicycle rental site somewhere on the estate? I see very few users of the rental scooters. Perhaps demand isn’t high enough to support as extensive a roll-out?”
If you have any issues with dogs you can contact Crissie Chambers (email@example.com) as well as Nuno Reis (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will deal with them together on their twice weekly patrols.
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
Voting by post
It is much easier, quicker and safer to vote by post. You have two weeks to cast your vote and you 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, graffiti, broken paving stones and street lights and more to the Report It service https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it
The next session of ‘Coffee with a Cop’ is at Queen’s Park Library on 20th October, 17.30-18.30pm.
You can keep an eye on the latest local crime information through the Met Police website:
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
“Your help is always so appreciated. I cannot think of another organisation that would genuinely and sincerely chase up peoples queries about their neighbourhood. You and your colleagues provide such a knowledgeable reassurance”
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Keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Your Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors – Here to Help, All Year Round