MAIDA VALE & LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION REPORT – May 2022
News from Maida Vale Councillors Geoff Barraclough, Rita Begum and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis and Labour Candidate Iman Less
And the Little Venice Labour Candidates – Sara Hassan, Murad Qureshi and Rosie Wrighting
Read our Manifesto – Labour’s Plan for a Fairer Westminster
Our manifesto for the May 5th local election sets 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.
We are keen to hear from you! Let us know if you have any thoughts.
WARD NEWS AND ACTION
Geoff, Nafsika, Rita and Iman have been working hard over the last month on the following issues:
Essendine School – heat pumps
We’ve had complaints from residents about the noise from the new air source heat pumps installed at Essendine School. We will check with Council officers whether the new equipment has been set up correctly.
Thames Water is planning to survey all the homes affected by the floods of 12th and 25th July last year to see whether it should install extra equipment such as non-return valves. To make sure you are included, you need to register on Thames Water’s website: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/investing-in-our-region/sewer-flooding-prevention
Service charges – Westminster Council and Notting Hill Genesis
Following intervention from the Maida Vale councillors, Westminster Council has admitted over-charging leaseholders in Thurso, Atholl, Bramaer and Dundee Houses a total of £141,000. Details here: https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/issues/2022/04/19/3021/
Meanwhile, we contacted Notting Hill Genesis housing association in support of a local resident and received the following, astonishing, admission: “The majority of 2022/2023 budget estimates that were sent out at the end of last year were incorrect and were significantly revised before corrections were sent out.”
If you are leaseholder or tenant of either organisation and are not getting sensible answers to sensible questions about your service charges, please get in touch.
Lanark Road – Cycle Hangars
We’re pleased to see a new cycle hangar outside 113 Lanark Road. The long-promised hangar outside 221-235 is promised by the end of May.
Lanark Road – Dolphin Block
We have been supporting residents to gain compensation from Dolphin Living as their block has been plagued with problems with hot water and heating after problems with the air pumps.
We had a very positive meeting with Westminster Council staff about Paddington Rec. The new tennis courts have been delivered and there are plans to refurbish the rest of the courts, too. The Council have also committed a 50K budget to refurbish the paths in the park that are most in need of work.
We are also pleased that the Council has removed the planning application for installing a smart screen in the park (and thank you to everyone who commented on the planning application). The staff are having a re-think and would still like to install a screen but either without removing the monkey-bars at all or by re-providing the monkey-bars to a different area of the park.
Petition on Inclusive playgrounds
We are pleased to hear that after the petition we launched, Westminster Council is scoping the playground on Alfred Road (in Westbourne ward) to be refurbished with equipment that will be inclusive of children with disabilities and additional needs. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, and if you haven’t done so already, please sign it here so we can continue to put pressure on the council to improve facilities.
Broadband – cobbled streets
Residents living on cobbled streets have been left behind by the telecoms companies that are so enthusiastically digging up the roads at the moment. To get their attention, all residents are encouraged to register their interest with these G.Network, Hyperoptic and Community Fibre.
The Maida Vale councillor surgeries have started again after an enforced break due to Covid. You can come and meet us at the Café in Paddington Rec:
- First Saturday of the month at 10am
- Third Sunday of the month at 11am
No appointment needed
Sara, Murad and Rosie have been very busy over the last month:
St Mary’s Terrace
We are continuing to help residents in St Mary’s Terrace whose sleep is interrupted every night by the ‘bleeping’ of Veolia vehicles reversing outside the deport under the Westway.
We had thought this problem had been resolved but the ‘bleeping’ started again after two week’s respite, so we have asked again for this annoying and anti-social activity to stop. The Council say:
“Veolia have asked me to pass on their sincere apologies. The depot manager has been tasked with strictly enforcing the ‘reversing beacon off’ commitment they gave. Unfortunately, we’re having further issues with the entrance doors having broken again and are trying to get this resolved as quickly as possible.”
St Mary’s Churchyard
Murad, Sara & Rosie are undertaking a survey on what other facilities we could have in St Mary’s Churchyard off Paddington Green. As it is in a corner of the locality, tucked away from everything else which we could all make a better use of with new facilities. Please take part in the survey with this link
John Aird Court
We have continued to help residents in John Aird Court who are experiencing problems with water leaks into their flats.
Travis Perkins site, Harrow Road
The Mayor of London has decided not to call in Westminster Council’s decision to reject planning permission for the 20-storey student block on the Travis Perkins site. The Mayor upheld the council decision to refuse permission for several reasons including impact on light and lack of capacity in local amenities. This means that the planning application is refused by both Westminster Council and the Mayor.
You can read the Planning Report to the Mayor here https://planning.london.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i4J000006btkMQAQ/20210909?tabset-c2f3b=2
We campaigned against the proposals alongside St Mary’s Terrace residents for a year and we are delighted that the Mayor has taken this decision to refuse planning permission. Residents say, “Great news!”
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.
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.
£6 million Marble Arch Mound
You can read the latest on the £6m Marble Arch Mound
Regulating Airbnb premises
To help residents in Maida Vale, Little Venice and elsewhere who are plagued with problems associated with unauthorised short-term lets, Labour MP Karen Buck introduced a Bill in Parliament calling for a national register of short and holiday-let accommodation. This is another move in her long campaign to regulate AirBnB and similar companies to control the impact on neighbours and neighbourhoods.
Unfortunately, Karen’s Bill was blocked by a Conservative MP.
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
Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society
If you’re interested in the local area, please join PWMV. It publishes a regular newsletter and it’s free to join. https://w9w2.co.uk
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 https://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.
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
You can report dumped rubbish, broken streetlights, graffiti and more using 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.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE
You can see the latest data for your area here
What you say
“Thank you for getting the canal sidewalk cleaned up between Little Venice and Ladbroke Grove.”
“Thank you for the newsletter. I had not been aware that there were concerns related to the Bakerloo line and thanks to your letter I have signed the petition and will share it with other residents.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
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Keep well, take care and look after yourselves and your neighbours.
Councillors Geoff Barraclough, Rita Begum and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis and Labour Candidate Iman Less
Your Maida Vale Labour Councillors
You can read our news here
Sara Hassan, Murad Qureshi and Rosie Wrighting
Your Little Venice Labour Action Team
You can read our news here https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/your-ward/little-venice/
You can read Murad Qureshi’s blog here https://muradqureshi.com
Promoted by Connor Jones on behalf of the Maida Vale Ward Labour Candidates and Andy Whitely on behalf of the Little Venice Ward Labour candidates, all at 4G Shirland Mews, W9 3DY.