Councillors Ruth Bush, Tim Roca and Guthrie McKie
Councillors Ruth Bush, Tim Roca and Guthrie McKie


News from your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca and Action Team Member Concia Albert


Councillor Guthrie McKie was a member of the Committee which grilled the Council and Thames Water about the flooding.  The Council’s response was far too slow and a full report from Thames is yet to come.

But there is 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 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 flooding victims fairly but please let us know if you have any problems claiming this exemption.

Maida Hill Marketplace – Public Toilets

We have started a petition calling on Westminster Council to rescind its decision to close the underground public toilets at Maida Hill Marketplace

These toilets are immediately adjacent to the Market in that area. They provide a necessary service to local people and visitors. These are historic public conveniences that not long ago won an award for their artistic contribution to the area. The single automatic toilet is simply not sufficient. The Council is being selective in its closure of these Victorian toilets. Similar toilets in other parts of Westminster are remaining open.

You can sign the petition here

We continue to work with Council officers to try and find positive solutions to the difficulties arising from differing wishes for the use of this space.  We’re also pushing for an end to the water pooling that appears in the middle of the Marketplace after every downpour.

Fernhead Road/Saltram Crescent

Resurfacing works near the Fernhead Road/Saltram Crescent junction will be undertaken shortly. We are told that this should deal with the problem of the vibration caused to residents on either side, where there’s been a strip of repair done years ago which somehow was never solid enough.

Fernhead Road pedestrian crossing

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.”

Saltram Crescent

We responded to residents’ complaints about dog fouling and as a result, there are now 21 anti dog fouling signs along the length of Saltram Crescent, dog fouling bags have been handed out and City Inspectors are carrying out spot checks.

Former Chippenham Pub

After we alerted them, the Council’s Building Control team got the site tidied up and made safer, but then an unlicensed, freestanding scaffold was erected for painting, so Council officers had to be alerted again. Some work has progressed, which is welcome, but there is still no contractor contact information and we do not know when the Co-op work will be done.

Harrow Road Co-op 

Speaking of the Co-op, Councillor Ruth Bush opened the refurbished store on the Harrow Road – now called Paddington Co-op – in her role as a Deputy Lord Mayor, along with Councillor Guthrie McKie and Queen’s Park Councillor Patricia McAllister.

Street Lighting

Councillor Tim Roca has been responding to residents’ calls for earlier and brighter lighting in some streets.  This has led to some trees being scheduled for trimming and to level of lighting being slightly raised (but below the level that causes harm to wildlife). 

Rubbish dumping

We responded to residents’ complaints about litter dumping and flytipping, and City Inspectors have been working on this, issuing 4 Fixed Penalty Notices to residents who refused to take any notice of being told.  Please keep your rubbish and recycling inside until collection days or put it in (not outside) the Big Black Bins.  And please don’t leave it by trees or lamp posts or on the pavement.  The link to your collection dates appears later in this newsletter and also here:

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. In our view, 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.

Autumn Nights 2021

Every year, the Council, the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade work together to limit anti-social behaviour during the period covering Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali.  This year, they are stressing the additional need to take account of Covid-19.  They make the following points:

  • Fireworks can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Please make sure you use them safely by following fireworks and fire safety regulations such as not storing fireworks in your home or communal spaces.
  • Halloween and Bonfire Night, and Diwali are to be enjoyed by all. For this year, we are asking residents and visitors to additionally follow Government COVID-19 guidelines to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. For example, always maintain the rule of six when outdoors when attending any displays and taking part in low-risk activities.
  • If you live on a Westminster Housing estate, anti-social behaviour can be reported by either calling 0800 358 3783 or emailing
  • To report misuse of fireworks, call the police on the non-emergency number 101. In an emergency, or if you are in immediate danger, always call 999.

Key dates

  • Halloween – Saturday 31 October
  • Bonfire Night – Thursday 5 November
  • Diwali – Saturday 14 November

Family festivities round the Christmas Tree – 4.00pm 27 November – Save the Date!

Once again, we have recommended funding from the Harrow Road Ward Budget towards providing a Christmas tree and lights on the Maida Hill Marketplace for the festive season.  Switching on the lights will be a fun event for children (and their adults), with entertainment, singing and refreshments (and a bit of talking). Join the Lord Mayor in the countdown at the top of your voice!

Evacuees from Afghanistan

In her role as Chair of Westminster Faith Exchange, Councillor Ruth Bush alerted faith leaders to the need for spiritual and pastoral support for families evacuated in the turmoil of flight from Afghanistan.  The response from faith leaders – Muslim, Jewish and Christian – was immediate and support is being sensitively given to families in considerable distress.  If you would like to support these families, please contact one of the organisations on this link:

Helicopter Noise

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 in 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.

Council leaseholders face higher charges

In their latest example of overspending and failing to deliver what they promised, Westminster Council has admitted their costs have gone massively over budget for their day-to-day services for leaseholders, leading service charges to hit an average cost of £1,631.41 per household. This is a massive 8.6% over the Council’s original estimates to leaseholders for 2020/21. 

North Westminster Programme

A new Council funding stream has opened for up to £40,000 for projects taking place in Queen’s Park, Harrow Road, Westbourne or Church Street wards. Individuals or organisations are eligible to apply. Applications open on 1st November 2021 for projects that are aimed at:

  • Empowering young people
  • Enabling all adults to progress
  • Building connections between people
  • Making places safe, sustainable and welcoming

The deadline for applications is 28th November 2021 at 11:59pm.

You can find out more at or you can also get in touch via email at

Gambling Consultation

The Council has launched a consultation on its revised Gambling Policy.  This is important for Harrow Road Ward so do please respond. All the information is here:

£6 Million Marble Arch Mound

Westminster Council has released its internal review of the £6 Million Marble Arch fiasco which saw costs escalate from £2 million to £6.6 million in a matter of months. As the report finds, “despite clear and repeated warnings”, the Mound was left unfinished and plans to recoup costs with entry charges had to be scrapped. The review has found:

“There was a breakdown of project management of the Mound which, amongst other issues, led to confusion over roles and responsibilities, a lack of communication between staff and contractors working on different elements of the Marble Arch Mound project and a basic lack of project coordination and documentation.” 

The Council rejected Labour’s call for a full independent inquiry of how and why the costs had increased and why there was a basic lack of financial control. The subsequent ‘internal review’ has failed to ask key questions about the Council’s failure to apply basic financial controls on this high-profile project. The ‘internal review’, as expected, also fails to ask questions about the involvement of the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members in making decisions regarding the cost increases.

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

Report It

You can report dumped rubbish, broken street lights, graffiti and more using the Report It service

Refuse collection and Recycling collection times

Recycling bags can be ordered from Bags will be delivered within approximately 10 days of order.

You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here

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:

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

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.

Voting by post

It is much easier, quicker and safer to vote by post.

You can use this form to apply for a postal vote

You can email your completed form to    or post it to Electoral Services, Westminster City Council, 14th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.

‘Westminster Extra’

You can read the Westminster Extra online

Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE

Dispelling the vaccination myths

Here is the link to a video featuring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic celebrities dispelling myths about the vaccine and encouraging people to have the vaccination

Interactive Map

You can see the latest data for your area here

Westminster Connects COVID-19 phone line – 020 7641 1222

Beware the Coronavirus scammers

Local Police

You can read the latest news from the local police here

What you say

“Keep up the great work”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.

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Please keep well, take care and look after yourself and your neighbours.



Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca.

Your Harrow Road Labour Councillors – Here to Help, All Year Round

Councillor Ruth Bush opens the refurbished Harrow Road Coop
Councillor Ruth Bush opens the refurbished Harrow Road Coop
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