ST JOHN’S WOOD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – February 2023
News from your Westminster Labour Councillors
We hope you are well.
This is our latest Action Report on the issues we have been taking up on behalf of residents in the St John’s Wood area recently.
Please let us know if we can be of any help with issues in your street or block and we will do our very best to help.
St Mark’s Church, Hamilton Terrace
We were shocked to hear about the major fire which has destroyed the 175-year-old St Mark’s Church in Hamilton Terrace. Firefighters from Kensington, Paddington and West Hampstead rushed to fight the blaze in the early hours of 27th January. 80 firefighters attended the fire, which has destroyed both floors of the Grade II listed building on the intersection of Abercorn Place. No injuries have been reported.
Structural engineers are assessing the damage amid concerns over the stability of the church spire. The cause of the sudden blaze is unknown and under investigation, but the church had reported boiler issues just a few days earlier.
St Mark’s Church has served the community since 1846 and formed part of the Anglican Affirming Catholicism movement within the Church of England. It was designed by English architect Thomas Cundy, whose son built the spire, which was rebuilt in 1955 after the church suffered damage from a World War Two bomb in 1941.
Avenue Road/Prince Albert Road
We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue:
“We have a problem with the drainage system at the junction of Avenue Road and Prince Albert Road. Every time there’s a heavy downpour of rain we get flooded. On 3 occasions in recent years our ground floor entrance halls have been completely flooded and worse our basement car park, lift motor rooms and electrical cupboards. We’re almost uninsurable and now pay and inflated insurance premium. There’s obviously something fundamentally wrong with the drainage. Any help or advice that you can offer would be greatly appreciated by the 40 families that live here.”
The Highways Team will be meeting residents this month to discuss this further detail to asses the scale of the problem and the action needed.
Woronzow Road/St John’s Wood Terrace
We have asked the Waste Team to consider this request:
“We really could do with a street rubbish bin at corner of Woronzow Road and St John’s Wood Terrace. Many people walk in this area and there is always litter discarded on the pavement and roads”
The Waste Team say
“There are currently 2 litterbins close to the suggested location, so I don’t think we need anymore. We installed 2 extra litterbins in Norfolk Road in January to help with litter and bagged dog waste, but bins can attract dumped waste too so we need to be mindful. Another consideration is the bin we had on Woronzow Road (junction with Acacia Road) went missing 8 times.
The recent leafing schedule would have affected daily sweeping/litter picking and this has now come to an end. Therefore. I think its best we flag this location to Veolia to monitor or perhaps shift one of the other bins.”
St John’s Wood Road
We have again asked Transport for London to fix the streetlights outside Lords View, St John’s Wood Road.
Following our enquiries, an illegally parked van in Townshend Road has been removed. Residents say, “Thank you, job done. The van was removed straight after the bank holiday.”
Hamilton Terrace area
We are making enquiries about this issue raised by a resident, “I frequently walk down Abercorn Place to Maida Vale. Some people do bag their dog’s mess, but quite a few leave the bags around the tree bases. They then get kicked into the pavement and trodden on. Hamilton Terrace suffers from the same, and no doubt many other streets. Can waste bins be provided in this area?”
The City Inspector tells us, “Residents can place dog waste in normal bins. We removed the dog waste bins some 10 or so years ago due to the cost of having specialist collections for the bins. I am also very familiar with the longstanding issues regarding dog waste in Hamilton Terrace and surrounding streets. We do conduct dog waste specific patrols and operations to educate the public and catch offenders and am planning on continuing these in 2023.”
We have asked the Animal Wardens and City Inspectors to investigate a recent report from a resident of a child being attacked by a dog in Wharncliffe Gardens. The Council say, “We’ll contact the resident directly to see if more information can be gained about the owner of these animals and where he lives. We’ll also liaise with the local policing teams to see if they have had anything reported directly to them. Dangerous dog legislation is enforced by the police but responsible pet ownership is a key part of our tenancy requirement too.”
Dog owners can place bagged dog poo in any rubbish bin on the street. Please do not leave bags of dog poo by trees on the street.
Electric vehicle charging
Some good news on the cost of electric vehicle charging. Ubitricity has introduced smart charging technology in Westminster where there are over 1,500 lamppost and bollard charge points. The smart charging allows users to schedule their charge to an off-peak time, such as between 7pm – 4pm which is priced at a cheaper rate. Since December 2022, the average smart EV charging user has saved £4 on their charging session. An EV user charging twice a week would save £32 a month.
St John’s Wood High Street – what you say
“I want to say a huge thank you to the Westminster City Street Team who look after the St John’s Wood High Street area. A short while ago an old bicycle with ugly advertising board attached to it appeared yet again outside Pret a Manger on corner of Circus Road and St Anne’s Terrace. A similar bike has been abandoned there many times before. Within a week of the bicycle being there it was removed by the street team.”
“My concern is for St John’s Wood High Street is there are quite a few empty shops. We are all happy when a new shop or restaurant opens but what worries me is that there are a few new restaurants in premises that were not restaurants before. Wouldn’t want the whole street to turn into restaurants.”
Cost of living support for families
The Council has announced that Primary School aged pupils will receive a free school lunch in Westminster from January. This now includes Years 3 – 6, as well as pupils in reception, years 1 and 2, who are already receiving this offer https://www.westminster.gov.uk/news/free-school-lunches-all-primary-school-aged-children
Residents have been in touch with their reactions
“I’ve just read about WCC offering free school meals for primary pupils. I can’t tell you the difference this will make to my family at the moment. The cost of everything has increased immensely, I’m hugely grateful for this support for families across the board.”
“Very positive response at the food bank today to the announcement on free school for all primary age children in Westminster. Thank you.”
Around a quarter of households across Westminster (approximately 31,000 households) are particularly vulnerable to rises in living costs, with some people facing extreme hardship. We can help you get the support you need, from showing you how to access government financial aid to finding local advice services. Whatever hardships you’re facing, we’re here to help.
Help getting your shopping or prescriptions delivered
If you are vulnerable and cannot get to the shops, the Westminster Connects shopping service volunteers can collect your shopping and prescriptions and deliver it to your home. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get help through this service. You can read more here
The Council has produced an ‘Environmental Justice’ map which shows the distribution of environmental conditions, climate impacts and access to green, sustainable resources across Westminster.
The Council’s Animal Welfare Team addresses animal cruelty cases and offers support and advice to those that need it. The Team has delegated authority to enforce the Animal Welfare Act and, in worst case scenarios, authority to seize animals. You can contact the Team at email@example.com
A link to a map of Council owned trees is now available. It includes trees on streets, in housing estates and in parks.
A new edition of an illustrated walking map has been released by Footways, plotting hundreds of kilometres of scenic, safe and pedestrian-friendly walking routes in central London. The map, which is also available as a digital copy with geolocation – encourages Londoners to choose walking to get around their city.
The Ramblers’ Association has organised Wellbeing Walks in central London. They say, “Almost all of us can manage a stroll, and Ramblers Wellbeing Walks make it easier to start walking and stay active. And you’ll certainly never be short of good company.” You can read more at https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/ramblers-wellbeing-walks.aspx
Waste/recycling collection and street cleaning
Waste/recycling collection and street cleaning schedules for all streets can be checked at:
Recycling bags can be ordered from
Bags will be delivered within approximately 10 days of order.
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
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
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 tell the Council about dumped rubbish, broken street lights, graffiti and more by using Report It
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
How to retrofit an air source heat pump
An air source heat pump is an environmentally friendly way of heating buildings. It’s a low carbon alternative to gas boilers that can reduce your carbon footprint, may save you money, and could future-proof your home from regulation changes. Our new ‘How To Retrofit’ guide explains how heat pumps work, their benefits and any practical issues to consider when installing one. It also outlines what permissions you may require from and how you can make a successful application.
The Council has also produced a guide on how to make your windows more energy efficient
You can read the ‘Westminster Extra’ online
What you say
“Very informative as usual. Please keep up the good work.”
“Thanks for your updates, Labour is doing a good job in the area.”
“Thanks for your incredibly fast response, I cannot tell you how much that is appreciated.”
Please let us know if we can help with any issues in your street or block and we will do our very best to help.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality
Westminster City Council