Councillors Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Geoff Barraclough and Rita Begum
Councillors Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Geoff Barraclough and Rita Begum

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Tollgate Gardens

The local press reports:

“Disgruntled tenants and leaseholders in Tollgate Gardens are despairing at the state of their homes and surroundings as a high-profile regeneration project continues. People living in Tollgate Gardens are aghast at the standard of work, and have drawn attention to the “shoddy finish”. Leaseholders are concerned issues including lighting cables hanging loose outside, damaged piping and stained floors will need to be rectified, and this could mean a significant service charges hike.

Although Westminster Council and CityWest have had an independent surveyor verify the site is safe, they have agreed to commission a second to reassure the community, who have continued to express concerns about the altered structure of Tollgate House itself.

Local councillor Geoff Barraclough remarked he was concerned by the “finish” of the work undertaken. He pointed out the wires, and also criticised an eco-roof that has been installed. He told the Wood&Vale:

“Failing CityWest Homes has botched the works at Tollgate Gardens. Even the green roof is brown. And leaseholders are rightly worried that they will be left picking up the tab when all the mistakes need making good.”

Councillor Barraclough also raised the problems at Tollgate Gardens with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration at the Full Council meeting in January. In response, the Cabinet Member agreed to meet residents and view the works herself before signing them off.

Paddington Rec

Residents have raised this issue:

“I would like to raise an issue with the Paddington Rec playground works.   Is it really necessary to block off the path between the playground and picnic part of the park entirely? Thus making it difficult for us dog walkers to do a large walk around the outskirts of the park?  Surely, they could do one section of the playground, and then the picnic area – leaving the path free for us to utilise until works are crucial in that particular area?  We cannot take dogs into the nature area, so need to walk back round on ourselves.  Currently, there seems to be no works being carried out on the path?  Annoying and unnecessary.”

We visited the site and spoke to the contractors. The work is quite extensive and the contractors are spread across the path with work underway both in the old picnic area and in the playground. The path itself being used for plant equipment. We did press the point but the contractors were pretty clear that the path can’t be restored until the work is complete.

Maida Vale SWAT (Street Waste Action Team) – Update

We have written to the Council about the anti-fly-tipping SWAT team’s glowing report on its activities in Maida Vale.

“The central contention, that the SWAT activity reduced fly-tipping around the Big Black Bins to zero is difficult to believe. We didn’t see the team operating in Maida Vale and the team did not engage with Ward Councillors. The idea that 300 leaflets (in a ward with 11,000 people) made a difference stretches credibility.

The report references a survey in which 69% of residents said that SWAT had positively impacted the BBB sites. This sound suspiciously like Veolia marking their own homework. What survey? What sample size? 

The SWAT team’s activities during the eight-week period were a bit of a running joke locally. Nobody saw them. I wonder if we could have the SWAT team back for another go. And do it properly this time with real engagement with the Councillors and local residents.”

Glasgow House 

A resident at Glasgow House was unable to be picked up by his hospital transport because someone was parked in the emergency bay. This happens all the time and is not controlled by City West Homes even though they have an office right there overlooking the location. We have insisted that City West Homes take responsibility for policing the parking in the area.

Carlton Vale/Maida Vale

We asked the Highways Team about this issue:

“I wonder whether the Traffic light phasing at the Junction of Carlton Vale/Maida Vale is in your remit? It does not seem to favour the traffic traversing Maida Vale in a timely or appropriate manner and often as a consequence of a measured approach to the junction (slow driving speed). It appears that the sensors do not recognise (or acknowledge) that there are vehicles patiently waiting to cross Maida Vale? Sometimes the delay can seem interminable”

The Highways Team say:

“The signals are often weighted to the heavier flows to ensure, or ‘better fit’ with network priorities, however I can ask TfL to advise with regards to this specific location and if any anomalies are present. “

Maida Vale/Hall Road bus stop

We are making enquiries following this request:

“We have our lovely bus stop back on Maida Vale, but there is a need for a waste bin there as people are leaving their rubbish on the seats!.”

Following our enquiries the Council installed a new bin.

Lanark Road

Westminster Council has announced plans to build eight new homes on two garage sites on Lanark Road. These will be for social rent with a local lettings policy and we are deighted to have secured this investment in Maida Vale. Many families are living in over-crowded accommodation and this investment will make a differende, albeit a small one. 

Also on Lanark Road, we have reported two properties in Lanark Road to Westminster’s Environmental Health Department for creating a health hazard.

Abercorn Place/Maida Vale

We asked the Highways Team to look in to this issue:

“We wanted to ask you about the traffic lights at Junction of Abercorn Place and Maida Vale. They don’t allow you to safely cross the road. They need to put a timer like at Junction of Carlton Hill/Vale, where there is a countdown. I have seen near misses which could have resulted in an accident. “

The Highways Team say:

“Currently, there is a ‘green man’ pedestrian crossing phase on the southern arm of the junction.  We have an on-going programme of pedestrian countdown installations, and this site is included in the programme.  Officers at TfL are doing a feasibility assessment at the moment to see if the green man can be upgraded to include the countdown timer.  The other three arms don’t have ‘green man’ facilities, and at the moment there aren’t plans to convert these.”

Randolph Surgery – Update

There has been considerable concern about the standard of service at Randolph Surgery over the last year or two. While patients may be sad that the GP partners handed back their contract to Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, they will be relieved to hear that this also spells the end of the Virgin care contract that managed back office services. Central London Clinical Commissioning Group will be appointing a care taker provider to manage the practice from May 2019 before undergoing full procurement in 2020.

Councillor Geoff Barraclough has written to the CCG with a number of questions about the continuity of care, the recruitment process and the consultation and Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis will be meeting the clinical commissioning group together with Healthwatch to discuss the process of appointing the care-taker provider.

Dibdin House

We have been supporting residents’ concerns about the need for improved rubbish collection service at Dibdin House. 

Maida Vale station

We are making enquiries about this issue: 

“Given the changes outside Maida Vale tube station, is it possible to have at least one newspaper recycling bin moved back to outside the entrance to the tube?  I think there’s limited value in having bins on the opposite side of the street.”

Maida Vale Ward Budget

The ward budget is a fund of £46,000 that is spent according to local priorities as decided by the three ward Councillors subject to approval from Westminster Council. Recent expenditure in Maida Vale includes:

  • Reading Den for Essendine School – £5,000 – Children will have an inviting and well-resourced Reading Den that will support their love of reading and promote ‘Reading for Pleasure’, which will impact on their successes- not only in reading but in all areas. The project will benefit 250 children.
  • St John’s Hospice Christmas Fayre – £810 – Christmas Fayre to raise money for our local hospice
  • Age UK Digital Inclusion Project – £6,000 – Classroom sessions for older people to helping them become less digitally isolated. Sessions will be heldtwice monthly, and each session will be allocated a topic of learning. e.g. online shopping, online banking, using smartphones, social media, booking GP appointments online etc. The project is expected to support 180 older people in Maida Vale.
  • St John’s Wood Adventure Playground – £1,520 – School Holiday provision for February half term at the Adventure Playgroundfor 30 children including 4 children with Special Educational Needs. The playground charges a small fee of £15.00 per full day & £7.50 half day. The playground subsidizes 8-10 children whose families meet the Child in Need criteria and due to their circumstances are unable to pay.
  • Z2K Advice Services – £3,025 – Advice Services for those in urgent need of housing and benefits advice, to prevent homelessness and maximise income for those living in poverty. The project includes representations at tribunals, complex universal credit cases and cases where legal aid is not available. The service is expected to support 68 people in Maida Vale.

Cycle hangars

The Council has announced locations of the first 15 cycle hangars to be installed in Westminster. Two are proposed for Maida Vale ward at Elgin/Lauderdale and Sutherland/Delaware.

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Councillors Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis

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