QUEEN’S PARK WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – January 2022
News from your three Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale and Action Team member Cara Sanquest
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Fernhead Road – Zebra crossing outside St Luke’s Primary School
Some good news! Road safety improvement works along Fernhead Road, between Carlton Vale and Marban Road, will start in January and will include the widening of the footway along Fernhead Road and the installation of ramped zebra crossing close to St Luke’s Primary School. The work will last for approximately 2-3 months, weather permitting.
- Phase 1 of the works includes changes to the footway along the eastern side of Fernhead Road, including its junction with Saltram Crescent. This phase of works will take around 4 weeks.
- Phase 2 of the works includes changes to the footway at the Fernhead Road junction with Saltram Crescent. These works are proposed to begin in February and will last for around 2 weeks.
- Phase 3 of works is the installation of the raised zebra crossing and road resurfacing. To allow for safe working practices, a number of temporary changes will be made to the operation of the immediately surrounding roads. These include a road closure with a clearly signed diversion and the use of temporary traffic signals. Works are proposed to take place in March and last for around 3 weeks.
We asked the Council what the plan is for the former Rainbow Nursery building in Bravington Road which closed in October. The Council say the intention is to re-let the site with preference given to another nursery operator and will send all interested parties the following information:
“The property benefits from a Class E Planning Use and offers will be invited from all compliant use types, with particular encouragement given to nursery school operators, in the light of the previous use and the benefit such a use brings to the community”
Following the removal of the two sets of black bins from Ilbert Street which were attracting huge amounts of illegal rubbish dumping, residents have asked if they can be provided with a recycling bin and non-recycling bin so that they can store their rubbish off the street between the three weekly collections (two non-recycling collections each week and one recycling collection a week). We agree with this suggestion as it would help keep rubbish off the street.
The Waste Team say:
“This could be a good trial to improve waste and recycling storage/presentation by residents. I’ve asked the team to look at potential bin designs we could use and will also need to discuss with Veolia for any manual handling issues. We should have some ideas to discuss with you in early January.”
Droop Street School Street – Queen’s Park Primary School
The Droop Street School Street will be live from Monday 10th January. For details, please see https://www.westminster.gov.uk/school-streets/trial-schools/queens-park-primary-school
Miller House, Harrow Road
We asked Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) to fix the broken lift at Miller House, Residents say, “For over 2 weeks now the lift in Miller House has been broken (issue was reported on 3rd December). The last communication from the housing team was about the contractors planning to get it fixed by 14th December. Today, the lift is still broken. It’s major inconvenience for all tenants and especially familiars with kids and buggies, as well as carrying shopping to top floors.”
Following our enquiries, NHG said:
“I’ve spoken with our mechanical and electrical team who’ve advised that the contractor is attending today. Unfortunately, the contractor we use for lift repairs’ staffing levels have been affected by Covid, meaning we haven’t been able to get out here as quickly as we’d like. However, this should be resolved by end of today.”
The Avenues – Major Works
We have received enquiries from residents about the lack of activity on the Avenues properties undergoing Major Works. We asked the Housing Department for an update and this is what they say:
“This is a multi-million-pound refurbishment programme of works that consists of 3 phases given the sheer volume of work from Second through to Sixth Avenue on the Queens Park Estate. I can assure you that these are not inactive sites, but are on-going with works in various stages of completion. Our Service Provider, Axis Europe is ahead of schedule and we are on track to complete by the end of March 2022. There will be a reduction in scaffolding to the various locations from January 2022 once the works have been signed off by Westminster’s Quality Management team.”
A shop on Kilburn Lane has asked if anything can be done about the rubbish that is left by the street sign outside the shop which is used as a pick-up point. The shop has asked if this can be changed. Also, there are two unused half-broken telephone booths outside the shop which are used as a toilet or taking drugs. The booths are not heritage ones and are not used and they have asked if they can be removed.
The local City Inspector told us:
“I have spoken to our Waste Contractors and asked them to not use this as a collection point. We will keep an eye on this as I’m not entirely convinced this is solely down to the Crews gathering the waste here, I believe this is also residents. As for the 2 telephone booths, we will look into this and contact the owners and will update you accordingly.”
581 – 587 Harrow Road
A planning application has been submitted by Westminster Community Homes for the demolition of the former Tyre and Wheel buildings and the construction of part 4, part 5 and part 6 storey building to create ground floor commercial space and 25 one-bed flats with balconies, bicycle storage, refuse storage and communal roof terrace.
The application documents can be viewed online at www.westminster.gov.uk/planning where you can also make comments. Please use the reference number 21/08497/COFUL.
Environmental and other issues
- Ashmore Road – We have asked our City Inspectors to improve street sweeping and take action against the regular fly tipping and dog littering. Residents say, “The foot path has become unsafe for a child to walk/ride their scooter on. Large household items are blocking the footpath, with shattered glass from tables all over the footpath.” We have also asked the Street Lighting Team to fix the streetlight outside 88 Ashmore Road.
- Kilburn Lane – we have asked our colleagues in Brent to investigate the gate to number 193 which is blocking the pavement by the bus stop.
- Marban Road/Ashmore Road – we have asked our City Inspectors to take action on this issue, “There has just been another road traffic collision involving two cars at the junction of Marban and Ashmore Roads. Currently there is vehicle debris in the road which is being driven over or swerved past by other vehicles. Can someone from WCC arrange for street clearance/cleaning as a matter of urgency?” The area was cleared that evening.
- Dart Street – we have asked our City Inspectors to investigate rubbish dumping on Dart Street next to a wall opposite Harrington Court. Residents say “It’s really an eye sore and it has become worse in recent weeks with fridges, sofa set and household rubbish. As soon dumped rubbish is collected more appears.”
- Beethoven Street – we have asked our City Inspectors to investigate a number of issues in Beethoven Street. Residents say, “We have not seen a street sweeper for at least a couple of weeks and our street is covered in rubbish! Also, the road surface further up from our buildings is so bad.” Following our enquiries the street has been cleared of rubbish.
- Lothrop Street – we have asked Street Lighting Team to fix a broken streetlight outside 59 Lothrop Street.
- Coomassie Road – we have asked the Tree Officer to arrange for a tree lying on the pavement to be planted or be removed.
- Sixth Avenue – we have asked the Council to relocate an electrical vehicle charging point on Sixth Avenue after a series of anti-social behaviour incidents.
- Harrow Road – we have asked our City Inspectors to investigate rubbish dumping outside 459 Harrow Road where residents say, “Open bags of rubbish are left out for collection, but the rubbish ends up all over the pavement”.
- St John’s Church area – we have asked the Street Lighting Team to improve the street lighting from the junction at Ladbroke Grove at St John’s Church to Sixth Avenue. There are no columns for quite a distance and the lighting opposite is dim.
- Selby Square – we are supporting residents in Selby Square who are concerned to ensure their security is maintained as part of A2 Dominion’s redesign of the Square.
- Farnaby House – we have urged the Housing Department to repair a flat in Farnaby House where the tenant has had water penetration in the kitchen and bathroom since October. We are also helping a family living in overcrowded conditions and supporting their application for a larger flat.
- Bravington Road – we have been supporting a Council tenant family who have been badly inconvenienced by the building works being undertaken by private owners above them.
- Ilbert Street – we have asked the Council to investigate the roof of a house in Ilbert Street where there appears to be problems of water penetration.
- Croft House, Third Avenue – we are helping a family in Croft House who are badly overcrowded, amongst a number of serious issues. We are also helping another resident who needs outstanding repairs to be completed.
- Ash House, Droop Street – we are continuing to help residents in Ash House who are experiencing problems with their heating and hot water.
- Ashmore Road – we have been contacted by an elderly resident who lives on the top floor of a flat in Ashmore Road where there are 4 flights of stairs. He has severe mobility problems because of an accident. He is virtually housebound with community groups delivering food and we have asked the Housing Department to investigate.
- Portnall Road – we have again raised concerns with the Head of Building Control about the front ground floor windows of 255 Portnall Road which appear to being held up by wooden props. The Council say they “will put into place effective action to address the issue.”
- Pine House, Droop Street – we are helping a resident in Pine House who has been suffering from heating and hot water problems for some time.
Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Plan.
On 25th November 2021, Westminster City Council formally adopted the Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Plan.The council’s decision to adopt the plan can be found at this link. Prior to adoption the plan was subject to public consultation, independent examination, and local referendum.
The plan now forms part of Westminster’s statutory Development Plan and will be used alongside the council’s City Plan and the Mayor’s London Plan in determining planning applications in the Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Area. More information on the Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Plan can be found here.
We have called for No Rise in Council Tax until at least 2024. As residents face a challenging winter with rising prices and energy bills, they want to know that they aren’t going to have any nasty surprises in the spring in when it comes to Council Tax.
Labour Councillors will vote against any increase in Council Tax until at least 2024 to try to help residents through these difficult times. We think that at the very least Council Tax should be frozen at its current rate, while further efforts are made to protect those on low incomes.
£6 Million Marble Arch Mound
The Marble Arch Mound is finally coming down! The Council has told us
“The Marble Arch Mound will close to the public on 9th January. The process of decommissioning the Mound will begin on 10th January, with the removal of the art installation and onsite operator facilities. Deconstruction of the Mound will then begin 18 January 2022 and our contractors FM Conway will erect site perimeter barrier. It is anticipated that the decommissioning work will be completed around May 2022.”
The Marble Arch Mound cost £6 million – three times the original budget – and entry up the Mound has been free since it opened as the Council had to scrap the plan to charge visitors because of the very poor reaction to the promised ‘spectacular views’ that never materialised.
UPDATE – The Council Officer responsible for the £6 million Marble Arch Mound fiasco was Westminster Council’s highest paid employee at £220,000 a year. You can read more here
If you have any issues with dogs you can contact Crissie Chambers (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as Nuno Reis (email@example.com) and they will deal with them together on their twice weekly patrols.
Green New Deal for Westminster
We have launched a Green New Deal for Westminster which sets out a clear, ambitious agenda to achieve the change we desperately need. Key measures include:
- Appointing a Cabinet Member with responsibility for climate action. This will be pivotal to driving change from day one of a Labour Council.
- Implementing a Net Zero Test for all decisions to assess the climate impact of decisions made, and a sustainable approach to procurement.
- Seeking to refurbish first rather than demolish, putting real emissions standards on all developments, and retrofitting our existing housing.
- Driving a green recovery and a just transition, with a Local Climate Bond for investments in our neighbourhoods, a focus on green jobs, and training available to all.
- Starting recovery in the streets, with a commitment to 15-minute neighbourhoods, new tree planting, and high streets that attract customers with active travel infrastructure.
In the spirit of working collaboratively with others we are keen to hear from residents, experts, and other stakeholders about how to develop and build on this plan. So please do get in touch with us to share your thoughts.
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 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
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
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.
The next session of ‘Coffee with a Cop’ is at Queen’s Park Library on 25th January, 17.30-18.30
You can keep an eye on the latest local crime information through the Met Police website:https://www.met.police.uk/a/your-area/met/westminster/queens-park/
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
You can see the latest data for your area here
Westminster Council’s advice and response website:
What you say
“Appreciate the quick feedback.”
“Just read your excellent (as ever) newsletter. The K&C development at the gas works is a huge concern and I am glad that WCC is alert to this. I also note the comment about planter areas at the base of trees. I would be more than happy to care for some along Canal Terrace on the Harrow Road!! The trees along the Terrace are a lovely addition but an absolute eyesore with rubbish dumped around them.”
“Thank you for the diligent work. An extra thanks for getting the humps sorted in 6th Avenue, for the first time since they were originally installed many years ago there is no longer a bang/crash in driving over them, a low steady speed is all that is now needed, no braking or acceleration required. Perfect. I suspect the residents appreciate it immensely. Thank you.”
“Many thanks forward to your interesting and useful Action Reports.”
“Thank you for the continuous monthly updates, it is always a joy to read them.”
“Many thanks as always for all the updates. The ongoing waste of money on the Marble Arch Mound is shocking especially as the money is needed for so many other things. Good news about the proposed food waste collection trial. I hope it starts soon.”
“Many thanks for continuing with the good job you are doing.”
“Thanks to you and all your team for great support to the QP community.”
“Thank you for your support in this matter. I know that without your help I would have had to wait until after Christmas.”
Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to your neighbours. 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.
Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale
Your Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors – Here to Help, All Year Round