RAAC – St Mary Mags and St Stephen’s
The council has provided the following statement about reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in Westminster schools. It is our understanding that the old St Stephen’s building on Westbourne Park Road is being used instead for the two affected classes.
“The health and safety of pupils will always be the council’s top priority. We are aware of the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in two classrooms in one local school, St Mary Magdalene and St Stephen’s CE Primary. The school is in direct contact with parents to inform them that the school will not need to close or move students to online learning, and we are supporting staff to ensure disruption to pupils’ education is minimised.”
Porchester Square Pedestrian Crossing
We are pleased that a new pedestrian crossing on Porchester Square (near the entrance to the gardens) is due to go to local consultation soon, and hopefully will be installed sometime in October. We hope all local residents will respond positively to the consultation.
A resident wrote:
I understand that Celbridge Mews is excluded again this year from the road closures/safety zones for Notting Hill Carnival. I believe this was raised as a problem last year and was due to be looked into, not only because the mews was used as a public toilet and area for drug dealing, but also because visitors’ cars were left parked in front of our garages for the whole of the carnival period, leaving mews residents with no access to their properties; just 5-6 badly parked cars in Celbridge Mews is sufficient to block access to the car in my garage, and last year there were up to 12 vehicles left parked there during the Carnival.
After our intervention a solution was found. The resident said:
To whoever provided the bollards as a visual deterrent at the entrance to Celbridge Mews for Carnival at the last minute – thank you!
We were able to get the car safely back into its garage yesterday evening, which was a great relief.
Porchester Baths Small Pool
A resident wrote:
I wanted to write to you about the small pool at the Porchester Centre.
On Monday 14 August glass was discovered in the water and it transpired that it had fallen from the skylight overhead. Understandably the pool was closed immediately and on Wednesday 16 August, the engineers visited together with Simon Plummer to assess the situation.
My reason for writing to you is to ask whether you would be able to obtain an update from council officers as to the scale of the repairs needed, the costs and the planned timetable. With the small pool out of action, it has impacted on a number of groups in the community:
The women only swimming sessions
The seniors only swimming sessions
Provision for people who are less confident to swim in the large pool, or who may have disabilities that preclude doing so
Aqua aerobics classes which benefit those enjoy exercise, and those who take the classes for rehabilitation
Teaching sessions for all the local schools and private teaching for adults and children at weekends and in the early evenings.
We were able to work with the leisure team to get a quick repair. The resident said:
Thank you very much for the reply and that is wonderful news. I know all my fellow swimmers will be thrilled to hear it so I will tell them over the next few days that hopefully the repair is imminent.
A Lettings Manager wrote the following plea for help:
A ceiling collapsed on top of the Tenant’s bed with the Tenant on it, narrowly missing her, at 02:00hrs on 25thJuly 2023 – FOR 33 DAYS this leak into the basement flat has been reported to City of Westminster who are the Freeholders/Block Mangers of this property, however the leak is still ongoing.
For 33 days, exactly 6 weeks, this basement flat has been slowly destroyed by constant ingress of water that was reported from when it first started to City of Westminster and who have not stopped it, repaired it, we have been incessantly contracting your Housing Services number since 6th July without any resolution as the leak is continuing. We can provide far more detail including daily summary of events, please let us know to whom we should address it, and who can actually effectively take charge of this situation.
We strongly require your urgent attention to this matter. Please contact us EXTREMELY URGENTLY
After liaising with the relevant council officers the Lettings Manager received the following:
I can confirm that we have identified the source of the leak and have informed the resident responsible for the repair that they have seven days to organise their own plumber to attend to the repair. A meeting has also been scheduled with the resident to discuss this matter later this week.
Once I have confirmation that the leak has been repaired, I will organise a plumber to post inspect the works to ensure they have been carried out to the correct specification.
I am very sorry that the source of the leak was not identified in the first instance, should you require any further information please contact me.
Westbourne Park Villas
We have given the green light to provide the Westbourne Park Pantry project, based at the baptist church, with £2990.70 of funding from our ward budget. The project provides fresh food for those experiencing financial difficulty and hardship in the area.
We have successfully negotiated a phased return for our local housing officer to work on site at the housing office at 155 Westbourne Terrace. We are also in the process of trying to ‘onboard’ an additional housing officer to cover Bayswater.
St Stephen’s Gardens
We are helping a resident who has complained to us about repairs not being completed by their private landlord.
Cllr Small-Edwards was delighted to attend the unveiling of a green plaque on Hereford Mansions recently. The plaque commemorates the architect and artist Sir Hugh Casson who was the Director of the Festival of Britain and President of the Royal Academy.
Freedom Pass Issues
We’ve had a number of reports of delays or problems with the renewal of Freedom Passes, and the council’s team said they have a backlog which we have asked the council leadership to investigate. If you are experiencing this please get in touch or contact the council team on it directly:
Phone – 020 7823 4567 (and select option 3)
Email – Freedompass@westminster.gov.uk