BAYSWATER & LANCASTER GATE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – October 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
We hope you are well.
With the number of people getting vaccinated increasing every day, we hope that we will soon be through the worst of the pandemic. Along with Karen Buck MP, we are doing all we can to help the local community and individual residents and their families.
You can read our latest news on http://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Please feel free to pass this report on to any of your neighbours who may be interested. 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
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Prince’s Square Gardens
Councillor Maggie Carman has continued her campaign to support Princes Square residents in their battle to keep the Gardens open for public use. The Council has now listed them as an Asset of Community Value which means that there is a six months’ moratorium on any sale – giving the local community a chance to explore options.
We are continuing to support residents in Prince’s Square who are calling on the Council to deal with the regular anti-social behaviour.
Chepstow Road/Talbot Road
Councillor Maggie Carman was out with the Senior City Highways Inspector on a site visit to Chepstow Road/Talbot Road. G Network had dug up and discarded the steel road reinforcement grids. Maggie said: “We are going to ensure they replace them and resurface the road to a high standard.”
The Highways Inspector says:
“After walking the works on site, it was agreed that the contractors will take out all of the reinstatement, approximately 100m of carriageway, with no steel reinforcing in and put new back and replace the poor quality reinstatement. We will continue to the monitor the works and once complete and we will walk it to ensure it’s all up to standard when near completion.”
We have urged the Highways Team to investigate ways of reducing vehicle speeds down Hereford Road. Residents say:
“This continues to be an ongoing issue with cars and mopeds/motorcycles coming from Westbourne Park Road and Talbot Road. Hereford Road is now a 20 mile per hour zone and yet the cars and mopeds are barrelling at speeds much higher if not twice or three times that limit throughout the day and even more aggressively as night falls. Hereford Road is a relatively narrow, residential road with many families including young children. This poses an ongoing significant danger to the safety of our residents.”
We have also asked Notting Hill Genesis to repair a broken intercom at a property in Hereford Road which has been broken for over 6 months and was reported back in April.
Following our enquiries on behalf of Gloucester Gardens residents about leaseholder heating and hot water accounts, we have received the following update from the Housing Department:
“We have further trained the two members of leasehold operations and I have arranged for the 2021/22 heating and hot water costs to be reversed. A letter will be issued to all leaseholders affected by Friday.”
“Many thanks as always for achieving this resolution for us. It looks as if the matter has been resolved.”
We have again urged the Council to take action to tackle the problem with rats which residents of Gloucester Terrace are suffering from since July. Residents say: “There has been no work or improvement visible to we residents since our last complaint. It’s a serious public health issue that would be better addressed sooner rather than later.”
Nando’s, Westbourne Grove
We have supported residents living close to Nando’s on Westbourne Grove with a noise issue. Residents told Nando’s:
“For several evenings there has been a repetitive sound coming from the grill above your kitchen entrance. It is a bit like low level car alarm. I can even hear it when indoors with the windows closed. I would guess it is some kind of mechanical problem with a kitchen fan, as I don’t recall this problem in the past. Could you kindly expedite this as it is the kind of repetitive irritation that gets everyone in the house down after a while.”
Councillor Maggie Carman alerted the Noise Team about this issue. Residents say:
“The noise people called me a little while ago for more information. They said they would send someone to investigate. As ever, thank you for your prompt attention to this annoyance.”
St Stephen’s Gardens
We have asked the Street Lighting Team to investigate this issue raised by a St Stephen’s Gardens resident:
“I am apprehensive about using the bins after dark, as I feel vulnerable with some of the people that congregate here nightly. I think if there was a light installed here it would not be as appealing for the drug dealers and this sort. I believe it could also make it less likely that the people not being responsible with disposing of rubbish, to pay more attention, as they then become visible to others observing their actions.”
The Street Lighting Team agree and say:
“I can confirm that this site has been reviewed and that a new lamp column will be installed in this section of footway, which will add additional lighting to the footway due to the presence of trees in this small area. This will be programmed in with our service provider FM Conway for installation in the near future.”
We are helping a number of residents on Orsett Terrace including a resident who needs a ramp at the entrance to his block of flats in order to access and exit the building safely. We also asked for the door-opening timer to be fixed and this has now been done and is now working properly.
We are helping another resident on Orsett Terrace who has a problem with the noise made by the common entry door.
We are also working with a tenant who is concerned about unsafe work having been carried out on a property, and worrying reports of how the Council officers have dealt with this case so far.
Following the removal of the big black bins because of constant rubbish dumping, we have asked for large, prominent ‘No Dumping’ signs to be located as people are still turning up with rubbish and just leaving it there. We have asked that the signs indicate the maximum fine that can be imposed. Residents say:
“Artesian Road is still being used as a garbage dump by a profusion of disrespectful people. The ‘No Dumping’ sign strapped to the tree outside the Church of St Mary of the Angels is far too small and, as it is not accompanied/supported by CCTV cameras, is tantamount to worthless. Veolia teams continue to drive along the street, several times each day. During the last 45 minutes, two teams have driven past the piles of rubbish in the street at present, ignoring them completely.”
We are continuing to press the Council to take action to stop the regular out of hours working at the Whiteley’s site.
Craven Hill Gardens
After seeing a letter in the ‘Westminster Extra’ from a resident, we have asked the Council if there was anything in the planning permission for the hotel development adjacent to Craven Hill Gardens to prohibit the imposition of a £750 a year charge for residents to use the gardens.
After visiting residents in Westbourne Crescent, we have asked Notting Hill Genesis when they will be repairing and refurbishing the common parts of their properties. NHG say:
“I agree the internal and external parts are in need of updating and have been chasing up these works with our assets investment team. The cyclical works are due to be carried out on the Crescent this financial year. In the meantime following my recent visit, I noticed that a roof leak has caused further damage to the plaster board and ceilings on multiple floors. A roof job is currently in progress and once this is complete a contractor will be attending to make good the affected areas and redecorate.”
Porchester Square/Gloucester Terrace
We have raised a complaint about noise pollution from cars at the north end of Porchester Square/Gloucester Terrace on behalf of a resident, and have asked the Council to consider speed calming measures.
Related to this, we sought the latest information on possible options doubling glazing on these listed properties. Any leaseholder or freeholder who wants to install double glazing and is concerned about planning restrictions are asked to email to NorthPlanningTeam@westminster.gov.uk and to include photos of the windows being replaced as well as details of the proposed windows.
The Council say:
“The new city plan policy on heritage makes clear that sensitive measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change will be encouraged. There are no specific policy restrictions in conservation areas, double glazing is acceptable in principle in unlisted buildings and in many cases will not require planning permission. In respect of double glazing in listed buildings, we have to strike an appropriate balance which will allow measures which optimise energy efficiency and comfort while meeting our statutory duties which require us to protect and enhance the special character of our historic building stock. For this reason acceptability of double glazing in listed buildings will still depend on the specific impacts on the special interest of individual listed buildings, as set out in national policy. We must also recognise that historic buildings are symbols of sustainability, given how long they have stood to their adaptability.
This more flexible approach will be reflected in emerging supplementary planning documents which will explain policy and encourage residents to consider implementing appropriate retrofit measures, including double glazing. My colleagues in Planning Policy will be drafting the new SPD. It is also important to recognise we do have statutory duties in relation to listed buildings and while double glazing may often be acceptable, its acceptability will depend on the specific impacts on the special interest of individual listed buildings.”
We have asked the Highways Team to give us the latest update on the situation in Chilworth Mews after residents made this enquiry:
“When the Crossrail cabins were finally removed from Chilworth Street about six months ago, the site was closed off with new barriers. My understanding is that this is for the eventual use of the street for the construction of the hotel projected at 40 Eastbourne Terrace.
Why have the pavements on both sides of Chilworth Street been made to be so narrow by those ‘temporary’ barriers. It is impossible for pedestrians to cross each other, especially when someone coming from, or going to, Paddington station has luggage. In the meantime, there is a huge space in the street that has been unused for months. Could it not be possible to move the barriers into the street so that the pavements can be clear for pedestrians.”
We have also asked the Tree Officer to investigate a broken tree outside 2 Chilworth Street.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Westbourne Terrace – what you say
“The A1 does not occasionally use Westbourne Terrace. It exclusively uses Westbourne Terrace. It really essentially feels like National Express has taken everyone for fools. It said its A6 service was going to stop serving the Paddington to Victoria link via Westbourne Terrace. What it did was to switch the A6 service with the A1 service instead.
Why National Express has this obsession with using Westbourne Terrace come hell or high water, I have no idea. But there is no doubt it does. And it is making a complete mockery of local councillors in the process.”
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.
£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
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 email@example.com
Please let us know if you would like to suggest locations for additional bike hangars where bikes can be stored safely and securely.
Electric Car charging points
Charging points have been installed in lamp columns across the area and you can register your interest in having a lamp post charger installed near you by completing the form below. You can also register an interest in having stand-alone charging posts installed in your local area.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 10 days 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
“Very good work! THANK YOU!”
“Thank you for your thorough review of local matters. It is always a very interesting read.”
“I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to do so, as well as to reply to me. It makes a big difference.”
“I truly appreciate all the time you spent on helping me, your help was invaluable, your intervention on this matter made all the difference. Not surprising I support Labour.”
“Thanks so much, Maggie. You’ve got them moving. A shame it takes your intervention, but much appreciated.”
“Thank you, Maggie for looking into this matter which had just gone on with no action”
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