HYDE PARK WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – January 2022
News from your Hyde Park Labour Action Team – Judith Southern, Md Shamsed Chowdhury and Paul Dimoldenberg
NEWS AND ACTION
The Hyde Park Estate area, bounded by Edgware Road/Bayswater Road and Sussex Gardens
We have asked the Council to ensure that Albion Mews is swept regularly. Residents say, “Thanks so much for following up. It’s true, the leaves are the worst they’ve ever been right now!”
Westbourne Street/Bathurst Street
The daily illegal rubbish dumping continues by the tree at the Westbourne Street/Bathurst Street junction, despite the new warning sign attached to the tree. We have asked the Council to install CCTV so that those responsible for the illegal rubbish dumping can be identified and prosecuted.
We have asked the Council to remove a long-abandoned bike by the railings in Bathurst Street. The local City Inspector told us, “A 48-hour notice was attached. The 48-hour notice has expired so I have submitted the job for the contractors to remove it.” We are delighted that the bike has finally been removed.
Also, on our regular walkabouts, we noticed that Bathurst Street needs a good sweeping. We have asked the local City Inspector how often the street is supposed to be swept.
We noticed that there is a large pond and a loose kerb stone at the entrance to Bathurst Mews/Bathurst Street. We have asked the Highways Team if this can be investigated and fixed. The Highways Team say, “We have raised a job for the kerb to be re-laid and will be looking at carrying out a level survey for the reprofiling.”
We have asked the Council to ensure that Albion Mews is swept regularly.
We have asked the Street Lighting team to fix the streetlights in Connaught Square. Residents say, “All lights (including tree lights) have been out for weeks on the North side of Connaught Sq. It’s a dark area and known for drug dealing.”
Sussex Mews East
We have asked the local City Inspector if the graffiti can be removed from the post outside Sussex Mews East. The City Inspector says, “I have raised a job via “Report it” to get the graffiti removed.”
Update – the graffiti has now been removed.
Radnor Place/Radnor Mews
We have asked the Street Lighting Team to fix the streetlight in the tunnel from Radnor Place into Radnor Mews. The Street Lighting Team say, “I have been advised this has been attended to and now should be back in light.”
We have asked the Council to remove a large mound of rubbish in black bags dumped outside 9 Somers Crescent and to search the rubbish to find details of who was responsible.
We have asked the local City Inspector to have offensive graffiti removed from a wall in Stanhope Terrace. Graffiti was also daubed on the walls of St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens which we hope will also be removed. The Council says:
“I can confirm that City Inspectors have reported this for removal – explaining the insulting nature and asking if this could be a priority for attention.”
Update – the graffiti has now been removed.
We have also asked the Council to remove a mound of dumped rubbish outside a house in Stanhope Terrace.
The area in front of Claire Court, 144/146 Sussex Gardens, is strewn with rubbish, including used nappies. We have asked the City Inspector to contact the landowner and require them to keep this area clean.
We have asked the Homeless Team to offer assistance to the occupant of a tent which has appeared next to the Monkey Puzzle pub on Southwick Street.
Westminster Council has spent over £20 million on Oxford Street with most of it going on expensive consultants
Hyde Park ‘rewilding’
Hyde Park could be redesigned and lost species, including beavers, reintroduced to London under rewilding plans announced by Mayor Khan. You can read more here
£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
The Star Street area, between Sussex Gardens and Praed Street
Well done to residents in Star Street who designed and paid for the large signs on lamp posts warning of the fines for illegal dumping. This is a great example of community action which residents say is having an impact on the dumping situation
We have called on the Council to locate CCTV cameras at the corner of Star Street and Sale Place where the dumping is concentrated. We need to get tough with the illegal rubbish dumpers by using CCTV to identify those responsible, issuing fines and ‘naming and shaming’ those who dump rubbish on the street.
Also, a resident has informed us that there are drug dealing activities at a flat in Star Street, mostly at night-time. We have asked the Council and the Police to investigate.
We are delighted that, following our six-month campaign with residents to remove the two ‘drug dealing’ benches in Southwick Street, they have now been removed.
The local press has reported on the removal of the benches
We have also asked the police to investigate continued drug dealing in the street and have passed on details of suspected car registration numbers.
Saint Michael’s Street
We have asked the local City Inspector if there is a way to remove the blue and white paint which has been spilled on to the roadway in Saint Michael’s Street.
Sussex Gardens/London Street
We have asked the Highways Team to fix noisy manhole covers on Sussex Gardens near the corner with London Street.
We have asked the City Inspector to investigate the rubbish dumped outside 7-9 Talbot Square and to remove an abandoned bike chained to the railings opposite 16 Talbot Square.
Update – the abandoned bike has now been removed.
If you are looking for commercial premises there is a high spec office/shop currently vacant and available to rent in Bouverie Place. For enquiries call 07428 272827.
Edgware Road area
El Prince, Edgware Road
We wrote to Criterion Capital, leaseholders of 145/147 Edgware Road, to urge them to take action to remove the pile of mattresses stored outside El Prince. In our letter we said:
“We been contacted by local residents who are very concerned about the large number of mattresses which are piled up in the doorway of 145/147 Edgware Road. The land where the mattresses are stored is private land and that Criterion Capital is the long leaseholder.
The Police and the Council say that this location has been a problem for some time with drugs offences and underage prostitution. It would be very much appreciated by local residents, and no doubt by neighbouring retailers, if you could arrange for the clearance of the mattresses from the front area of the unit so that the various illegal activities are stopped and the current eyesore is removed. It would also make common-sense to reinstate the security shutters that were removed as this would solve the mattresses issue and the associated anti-social behaviour in the shop front area of 145/147 Edgware Road.”
Criterion Capital say:
“We have completed the letting of the unit to a convenience store who also provide a delivery service to their clientele. I am expecting the tenant to commence works in the unit next week.
The tenant will address this situation ensuring such use of this shop front ceases. Our aim is to make this parade of more benefit and attractive to the local community and residents.”
Update – the new tenants have started to refurbish the shop; the mattresses have gone and the front of the shop unit is boarded up.
Edgware Road/Sussex Gardens
We have again enquired about the green fences around the tree near Boots at the corner of Edgware Road and Sussex Gardens. All the fences have been blown down and we are questioning the purpose of the fencing. If the tree roots are causing a pedestrian hazard, then surely a more comprehensive approach is required to deal with both the hazard and the rubbish dumping/pigeon feeding at this location.
We have asked BT to remove the flyposting and prostitute’s cards from the phone box outside 149 Edgware Road. BT say, “I have now arranged to have this kiosk cleaned as soon as possible.”
Small electrical goods recycling centre
We have been asked if a small electrical goods recycling bin can be located in the Edgware Road area to replace the one that used to be at the corner of Sussex Gardens (along with the other bins) but which was removed some time ago. We have asked the Recycling Team if this is this something that can be investigated.
The Council say, “we’ve got a few electrical bins that need to be redeployed in January, so we’ll look for sites in this area.”
The Chapel Street, Cabbell Street and Transept Street area
We asked the local City Inspector to investigate the pallets dumped outside 38-47a Chapel Street. These must have been dumped by builders working in the area and we hope the City Inspector’s Team can identify those responsible.
We asked the Council to ensure the bike hire company picks up two abandoned bikes – one on Chapel Street outside Hyde Park Mansions, and the other on the corner of Star Street and Sale Place.
We have asked the City Inspector to investigate the street cleaning schedule for Transept and Cabbell Streets. Residents say:
“As far as we can tell, there is no longer a street cleaner patrolling Cabbell or Transept Street. We used to see a street cleaner daily in past years, but this is no longer happening. Given that the streets accommodate hundreds of abodes, and we are throughfares to Edgware Rd tube station – we need daily even twice daily cleaning.”
Edgware Road Station
The police were outside Edgware Road Station as part of their ‘Project Servator’ operations recently. Project Servator “aims to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, while providing a reassuring presence for the public. Our officers are experienced and specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone is planning or preparing to commit an act of crime.” You can read more here about the project
Marylebone Old Road
We have asked TfL to fix a dangerous pothole at the junction of Marylebone Old Road and Marylebone Road. The pothole is particularly dangerous for cyclists, as well as drivers.
Paddington Basin/Sheldon Square area
We are continuing to press Notting Hill Genesis and Network Homes on the installation of the air conditioning units for flats on the first and second floors of Sheldon Square. Residents say, “Thanks for keeping up the pressure on this.”
We have contacted Peabody following an enquiry from a resident whose boiler is leaking by the entrance to his flat. We have asked Peabody to investigate and take the necessary action to fix this problem
We have again asked the Refuse Team to contact the Hilton hotel about street sweeping along the private part of Harbet Road for which the hotel is responsible. Residents say:
“The Hilton have stopped sweeping the road again. They did keep on top of it for a few weeks but have now stopped. Please can you chase them?”
Travis Perkins site, Harrow Road
So far, there are over 140 objections to the proposals submitted by Unite Students and Travis Perkins for the Baltic Wharf site at the junction of Harrow Road and Bishop’s Bridge Road. A few minimal changes have been made from the original proposals:
- The building is now stepped from 6 – 20 storeys, as opposed to the original proposal, which was 7 – 22 storeys.
- The number of student beds has been reduced from 843 to 768 – just 75 fewer
You can see more at www.balticwharfpaddington.co.uk
You can object to the revised proposals on-line at https://www.westminster.gov.uk/planning-building-and-environmental-regulations/find-appeal-or-comment-planning-application/search-and-comment-planning-applications reference 21/04536/FULL
Or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org giving your name and home address and reference 21/04536/FULL.
We will continue to support residents’ objections to the revised proposals and have submitted another objection letter to the Council.
You can also sign our petition bit.ly/baltic-wharf-petition
Hermitage Street – End the cladding scandal
The campaigning group ‘End Our Cladding Scandal’ issued the following statement following the recently announced reforms.
“We welcome the news that Michael Gove is scrapping the unfair loan scheme and replacing it with a fund to remove dangerous cladding in buildings between 11 metres and 18 metres.”
“This government may be starting to talk tough, but these promises – finally – need to be backed by tough action, too. There may be more funding for cladding only, but the burden of paying for repairs for other serious safety defects – lack of compartmentation, missing fire breaks, shoddy building work – has still not been lifted from leaseholder shoulders, whatever their building’s height.”
Westbourne Terrace area
Westbourne Terrace – National Express coaches
At the suggestion of a local resident, we have asked TfL to move the National Express bus stop from Bishop’s Bridge Road to Eastbourne Terrace so as to ensure that National Express coaches use Eastbourne Terrace rather than Westbourne Terrace. The resident says,
“Whilst National Express does appear to have stopped its A6 service for the time being due to the pandemic, it has been adding more and more services on Westbourne Terrace. I have taken pictures of the A1 and 400 services on Westbourne Terrace. I have also seen the A11 on the street regularly. There is also at least another service regularly passing on Westbourne Terrace.
It is obvious that unless the National Express bus stop is moved from Bishop’s Bridge Road onto Eastbourne Terrace, National Express will keep using Westbourne Terrace for every single one of its routes heading to Victoria.”
Transport for London say:
“For any white liveried and full National Express branded coaches sighted on Westbourne Terrace please email full details to LSP@tfl.gov.uk with the Date, Time and Registration plate. Please also say if the coach is heading to or from the direction of Paddington station and the illuminated destination shown on the front and/or side of the coach e.g. ‘A6 Stansted’. If smart phone photo images are taken and sent, please send images of the back of the coach rather than the front.
Such evidence will be checked by TfL then by National Express by interrogating its GPS vehicle tracking data system. And if there is a match then a driver will be identified, interviewed and be formally disciplined or dismissed from his/her job, if necessary.”
Chilworth Street/Westbourne Terrace
We have asked the Refuse Collection Team to increase monitoring of this location at weekends after receiving this message from a resident about illegal dumping:
“Over the course of last week, I must say that the situation improved in a significant way, which was great. However, the situation over the weekend remains the same, with reduced frequency of collection leading to a real mess in the area.”
We have asked the police to investigate residents’ concerns about drug dealing from a property in Gloucester Mews. We have also asked the Street Lighting Team to improve lighting in the Mews, including fixing the streetlight between 56-58 Gloucester Mews which residents say has not been working a few months now.
At the request of residents, we have asked if Westbourne Crescent can be considered for a bike hangar as there are a number of bike owners who need some where to park their bikes safely. The Cycle Officer says:
“Thanks for the suggestion, we’ve added the location to the requests log for consideration in future roll-outs.”
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.
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.
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 Hyde Park Ward Safer Neighbourhood Police Team is PC Adam Oddy, PC Harminder Purewal and PCSO Grant. You can contact them at AWMailbox.SNTCWHydePark@met.police.uk
You can keep an eye on the latest local crime information through the Met Police website:
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
Voting by post
It is much easier, quicker and safer to vote by post. You have two weeks in which 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 email@example.com or post it to Electoral Services, Westminster City Council, 14th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.
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.
You can read the ‘Westminster Extra’ online
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
You can see the latest data for your area here
What you say
“Once again well done to you and your team – you are all doing a wonderful job. Keep up the good work.”
“Huge thanks for your fantastic efforts on residents’ behalf. And for the latest Newsletter.”
“You guys are brilliant. Thank you for all that you do.”
“I am very thankful for your rapid follow up with the Council on this.”
“Huge thanks for your fantastic efforts.”
“I just wanted to write and say a big thank you for the work you are doing in our area. I just received your update through my letter box which includes news about the rubbish at the tree and railings in Westbourne Street — great idea about the CCTV camera, but also about the bike in Bathurst St and the loose paving stones.”
“Thank you again for your continued help on this.”
“Thank you so much once again for your hard work and commitment.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Please feel free to pass this report 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
Please keep safe, stay well and look after yourself and your neighbours.
Judith Southern, Md Shamsed Chowdhury and Paul Dimoldenberg
Your Hyde Park Ward Labour Action Team – Here to Help, All Year Round
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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