QUEEN’S PARK WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – April 2022
News from your three Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister and Hamza Taouzzale and Labour Candidate Cara Sanquest
Read our Manifesto – Labour’s Plan for a Fairer Westminster
We have launched our manifesto for the May 5th local election, setting out our plan to deliver a Council that puts residents first. Our key pledges are below, and you can read the full manifesto here. A Labour Council will be on your side:
- Freezing Westminster’s Council Tax until 2024 to help with the cost of living crisis.
- Putting the needs of residents before developers in the planning system,
- Keeping our area safe with more police to tackle knife crime and Council action on Anti-social behaviour and rubbish dumping.
- Standing up for better NHS services against cuts and sell-offs.
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
We have asked the City Inspectors to take action on this issue:
“Can I bring to your attention that at the Oliphant Street end of Ilbert Street a pair of trainers have been hanging from a telephone line in the middle of the street for several months? This is obviously gang related and although I have contacted Westminster nothing has been done”
The City Inspectors say:
“We have reported this to BT, and I too have followed this up. I am aware that some of the challenges that they face is getting the road closed so that they can get a cherry picker to remove the trainers. We continue to follow this up, however, I am aware that this may be lower on their priority list than we may like.”
Also, residents in Ilbert Street have been given three new bins – for general waste, for food recycling and for general recycling – as part of a pilot scheme to keep rubbish off the streets and increase recycling. We hope the pilot scheme goes well so that it can be considered for the Avenues generally.
All three bins will be located off the pavement within the front area of the houses.
We are very pleased to see that new zebra crossing has finally been installed outside St Luke’s Primary School on Fernhead Road. The new zebra crossing will make it much safer to cross the road between the school and the Saltram Crescent area, as well as slowing down the traffic on this very busy road. We campaigned for many years to get the zebra crossing and it is great to see it finally delivered!
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this recurring issue:
“Could I please bring your attention to the dreadful traffic congestion being experienced by residents on Kilburn Lane every weekend – this is the section behind the Moberly sports centre that leads to Chamberlayne Road – obviously being used as a short cut.
Every weekend we experience constant traffic jams, arguments between frustrated motorists, some of which have turned very violent, and damage to parked cars due to traffic in opposite directions trying to squeeze past each other. I dread to think what the air quality is – could I ask if it has ever been measured?”
Harrow Road – speeding – update
Following our enquiries to the Council about installing speed cameras on Harrow Road on the section between Ladbroke Grove and Great Western Road, the Highways Team say:
“Recently the City Council have completed a road safety scheme on Harrow Road at the junctions of Second and Third Avenue. Officers have collated data for this location and the data shows that the speeds are within the Department of Transport guidance for 20mph speed limits. Having said that, it has been confirmed that additional 20mph roundels will be installed along this section of Harrow Road to encourage motorists to drive responsibly.”
We have asked the City Inspectors to liaise with their colleagues in RBKC to investigate this issue described by a resident:
“I had a nasty altercation with two women on the far side of the steps, they were putting out several bags of grain and rice and lumps of bread all along the canal. I said it would attract vermin and the council had only recently cleaned up the area. One of the women went mad at me, shouting and screaming abuse and using very foul language. Could some signs be put up on the far side to say please do not feed the wildlife, it is a litter offence?”
Queen’s Park Station
We were at Queens Park station with Tulip Siddiq MP, Karen Buck MP and fellow Councillor colleagues and residents to meet with Network Rail and TfL to discuss progress on the (very long overdue) step-free access for Queen’s Park tube station. Not there yet but hopefully getting closer…
Queen’s Park Gardens
We have asked the City Inspectors to take action to stop the ball game areas being used to exercise dogs, after receiving this message from the school nearby:
“In one of the cages in the park by school there is a huge pile of dog poo and unfortunately we have PE lessons in there. We have noticed since the dog run was closed that people are using the cage as a place to let their dog off the lead. Our PE teacher has said one of the cages was full of dogs today during their PE lesson and some of the children found it quite frightening.”
We are very pleased that there are plans to introduce new greenery to the Mozart Estate and Juniper House. The Housing Department has told us:
“Our colleagues in Groundwork London will put some additional planters on the Mozart estate and at Juniper House. The location of the planters on Mozart estate will be the entrance from Third Avenue to Bruckner Street. The planters will be robust, being made of timber which will be treated with good quality but low environmental impact preserver to keep them looking good for as long as possible.
We will put in a range of low maintenance plants that Groundwork London managed to acquire for free from another site in Westminster. There are a few gaps in the planting on the Mozart estate and at Juniper House, so we will put some plants there to improve the appearance.”
Petrol fuelled equipment
We asked the Parks Department if they are phasing out the use of petrol-fuelled equipment. This is what they told us:
“Our Grounds Maintenance Contractor, Continental Landscapes, is committed to changing over to electrical equipment. At present all mowers are still petrol as there is currently not a great selection on the market (especially with rollers). All other machines which need to be replaced (due to age, broken etc) are now replaced with battery equipment (leaf blowers, hedge trimmers etc) in all our parks. I understand in Queen’s Park we are currently only using electric hedge trimmers, but this situation will change”
We have asked the Housing Department to investigate a report from residents that a Morgan Sindall vehicle was speeding down Enbrook Street. Residents say,
“It’s a 20mph zone with speed bumps. The driver did several runs up and down the street, turning the car at the end to then speed back. It was obvious there was no business purpose. He was just enjoying the electric acceleration. I estimate he was doing over 30mph. This is a residential street with many kids living on it. There’s no need to be speeding and doing it in a branded van seems to be a good way to get caught.”
A resident contacted the Canal & River Trust about debris in the canal recently:
“The water has changed in recent days to a murky brown colour and this morning the canal is clogged with rubbish and plastic along a long stretch of at least a mile and is now heading slowly towards Little Venice.”
The Canal & River Trust explain:
“What you are see is Spring Turnover – it is happening now. Each year, after cold weather, an important phenomenon occurs beneath the surface of the frigid waters. It’s called “Spring turnover,” and it means the canal is, literally, all mixed up. It’s as organic matter on the canal bed decomposes and releases man made material that it has held in colder weather. Whilst the sight is not a pleasant one its nature’s way of preparing for the coming months. Our contactors are due to start removing the rubbish and algae in the coming months.”
We never knew that!
If you would like to join a volunteering group to assist clear the debris left over from spring turnover you can find out more here https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer/ways-to-volunteer
We have asked the Council for an update on the recent e-scooter trial after residents raised concerns about e-scooters using the pavement and putting pedestrians at the risk of injury.
Environmental and other issues
- Third Avenue – we have asked the City Inspectors to arrange for rubbish outside Charles Leach Court on Third Avenue to be cleared as a matter of urgency. We also asked the Highways Team to fix broken bollards on Third Avenue who say, “This has been made safe and a job has been raised to install two new bollards”.
- Ilbert Street – we reported a vandalised electric vehicle charging point on Ilbert Street which has now been fixed.
- Fifth Avenue – we reported a broken drain on Fifth Avenue. The Highways Team say, “This has been made safe and a job has already been raised for a permanent repair”.
- Fifth Avenue/Droop Street – we have asked the Cycle Team to repair the cycle hanger on Fifth Avenue/Droop Street junction which has been crashed into and needs to be repaired.
- Bravington Road – we are supporting residents’ requests for more electric car charging points on Bravington Road and for action to stop speeding vehicles along the road.
- Bravington Road streetlights – we asked for a number of defective streetlights in Bravington Road to be repaired. The Street Lighting Team say, “Bravington Road is currently having the light columns replaced as part of this years planned preventative maintenance programme as the columns are at the end of their serviceable life. Our contractor has confirmed that 4 lights are not working currently and will repair within the next 24hrs.”
- Mozart Street – we have asked the Highways Team if they can replace the current damaged asphalt pavement in Mozart Street with traditional paving stones as in other neighbouring streets.
- Lancefield Street – we have asked the Council to limit the hours of work on Saturdays by the contractors working on the former Jubilee site.
- Second Avenue/Harrow Road – we have asked the Council to investigate this report from a resident,“There is scaffolding and people painting the whole end brick wall of shop and flats on corner of Second Avenue and Harrow Road. Surely not allowed given conservation status of estate?”
- Kilravock Street – we have asked the City Inspectors to take action on this issue: “A resident in Kilravock Street says that there is dog mess outside his property very often and it’s really bothering him and his family.”
- 459 Harrow Road – we have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate reports of this property being used as an HMO without permission.
- Ilbert Street/Third Avenue – we have asked the City Inspectors to arrange for graffiti to be removed from the house at the corner of Ilbert Street and Third Avenue.
- Fifth Avenue – we have asked the Housing Department to arrange for the scaffolding to be removed from a house in Fifth Avenue following the completion of repairs.
- Bravington Road – we have asked the Housing Department to inspect a property in Bravington Road in very poor state of repair which is being used as temporary housing.
- Fourth Avenue – we are helping a family in Fourth Avenue who need to move to a ground floor property or supported/sheltered accommodation.
- Third Avenue – we are making enquiries about a flat in Third Avenue where there was a disturbance outside during the night.
- Pine House – we are helping a family in Pine House who have no heating and hot water.
- Onslow Close – we are helping a family in Onslow Close with their transfer request to a flat with wheelchair access.
- Lothrop Street – we have asked the Housing Department to investigate the condition of a house in Lothrop Street which is suffering from damp.
- Nutbourne Street – we are continuing to urge the Council to rehouse a family in Nutbourne Street to more appropriate housing.
- Miller House, Harrow Road – we have asked Notting Hill Genesis to arrange a transfer for a resident who needs to move on medical grounds.
- Huxley Street – we have asked the Housing Department to investigate a drainage issue affecting a number of houses in Huxley Street.
- Beethoven Street – we are assisting an overcrowded family living in a one bedroom flat in Beethoven Street and have asked the Housing Department to find a larger flat.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
If you are thinking of organising a street party to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, these links might of interest
Queen’s Park Book Festival
The 2022 Queen’s Park Book Festival will return on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September 2022.
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.
We are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine in their hour of need. You can support them in their struggle against Putin’s invasion here
We voted for No Increase in Council Tax at the last Council meeting.
We are 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.
We called on the Council to freeze Council rents. The Council budget included a Consumer Price Index inflation plus 1% rise in rents for council flats, shops, and other commercial properties owned by Westminster’s Housing Department. That’s the maximum rise local authorities are allowed to impose and works out an average increase of £5 a week.
We have called for local action to help with energy bills.
Under a recent Freedom of Information request, we uncovered that Westminster Council has issued just 1 fine for every 1,112 reports of unnecessary engine idling since 2017. Over the 5-year period, over 70,000 incidents were reported to the Council, but a mere 63 fines were handed out and only 34 were actually paid.
Westminster residents aged over 60, or in receipt of disability benefit, can request free help from a handyperson. The service covers minor works to a home such as replacing light bulbs and other small DIY jobs. It does not cover gardening, plumbing or decorating, and it is not an emergency service. Please see the following link for details https://www.westminster.gov.uk/handyperson
£6 million Marble Arch Mound
The £6m Marble Arch Mound is coming down – at a cost of £660,000.
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 email@example.com 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:
Recycling small electrical appliances
Any household electrical and electronic item that operates on a battery or has a plug and is smaller than 60cm in length and under 30cm in width and height, can be put in an on-street small electrical appliances recycling bin. For details of locations see https://www.westminster.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish/reusing-and-other-recycling-services/how-recycle-electrical-appliances/small-electrical-appliances
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.
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
What you say
“Thank you for all your support for the area.”
“Great news re food waste and Ilbert Street.”
“Thank you, your efforts are much appreciated!”
“Thank you for the update, appreciate your continued support.”
“Thanks so much for your support through all this if it wasn’t for your help I will be like my friend who is still not sorted.”
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.
Councillors Paul Dimoldenberg, Patricia McAllister & Hamza Taouzzale and Labour Candidate Cara Sanquest
Your Queen’s Park Ward Labour Councillors and Candidates – Here to Help, All Year Round
Promoted by Andy Whitely on behalf of the Queen’s Park Ward Labour candidates, all at 4G Shirland Mews, W9 3DY.