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

Lauderdale Mansions

We are supporting Lauderdale Mansions leaseholders against their absentee freeholder who is trying to make a quick buck by building nine flats on the roof of their block.More than 100 people have objected to the proposals, but residents say freeholders Parkcity has made little to no effort to listen to their concerns.

Maida Vale Councillor Geoff Barraclough said:

“It’s disappointing Parkcity has refused to speak to the residents and leaseholders of Lauderdale West, preferring instead to present their plans for pokey new flats as a fait accompli.”

You can read the full story here

https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/lauderdale-mansions-west-plan-to-add-nine-flats-to-maida-vale-building-1-6094615?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

Carlton Tavern

The pub is largely rebuilt now with attention mainly focusing on the interior. This must also be restored to its former state and the works are being closely monitored by Westminster Council. At the moment, we expect the pub to reopen in the Autumn but are concerned we have heard nothing from the owners about their plans for operating the Carlton Tavern. BBC London News has been covering the story since the pub was first demolished and produced a short feature last week featuring a brief interview with Councillor Geoff Barraclough.  https://youtu.be/Wf32JSPdeiI

Tollgate Gardens

We continue to support the residents of Tollgate Gardens who have suffered years of disruption as the estate has been demolished and rebuilt around their building. The refurbishment of the Tollgate Gardens block has been hit with a series of problems. We asked the Council not to sign off the work without agreement from tenants and leaseholders. The Council said:

We are aware of the workmanship issues at Tollgate House and these have been robustly raised with Clarion and Arcadis. To safeguard our position we have not accepted or yet snagged the majority of the work. We have been clear about the standard we are expecting and have held a strong, consistent line on this. Clarion and Arcadis have both recently changed personnel on the scheme.  Early indications are that they are finally understanding the scale of the issues, however we will monitor this and reiterate our dissatisfaction with the quality of work.  Councillor Robathan has agreed to visit the site, meet residents and inspect the works once we have certified completion.  We believe that this will be some time in late August / early September.”

Torridon House Car Park

Westminster Council has announced plans to build a new block of flats on the car park of Torridon House. We will be writing to residents shortly with the latest information but have been strongly arguing with the Council that (1) all new flats should be for social rent with priority given to current Torridon residents (2) car parking and storage space for Torridon residents need to be retained and (3) minimise overlooking, reductions in daylight/sunlight and residents’ privacy.

Lanark Road Garages

Westminster’s proposals to build two small new blocks on the garage sites on Lanark Road have reached the planning stage. These will be eight new homes at social rents with priority given to local families in housing need. You can see details and register your views here:http://bit.ly/2x5TO0v

St Saviour’s School

The Local Government Ombudsman has upheld a complaint by a Maida Vale resident against St Saviour’s School, Shirland Road, W9 because of its failure to properly apply the school admissions code.  The three Maida Vale councillors are calling the school to fully implement the recommendations of the Ombudman. The main recommendations are:

  • The Parish Priest should no longer sit on the admissions panel
  • The school should no longer give children from its own nursery priority admissions to the reception class
  • The school should make clear that its demands for financial contributions from parents can have no bearing on the admissions process
  • Councillor Geoff Barraclough said:

“St Saviour’s is a publicly funded school that educates local children with taxpayers’ money. It’s vital that its admissions are fair and above board. The school must implement the Ombudsman’s findings in full.”

Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis added:

 “St Saviour’s falls well below the Westminster average for accepting children with special educational needs, children in receipt of free school meals and children whose first language is not English. The admissions policy needs to be applied stringently so that any remaining places can be offered to local children who would love the opportunity to attend this outstanding school. Then the school’s demographics may start to reflect more closely those of other Westminster schools.”

Full details of the Ombudsman’s findings can be found here: https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/education/school-admissions/17-007-942#point2

Maida Vale/Kilburn Park Road

Following a bad accident at this junction, we asked the Road Safety Team to investigate what action could be taken to improve safety.

The Road Safety Team say:

Thank you for your email highlighting concerns at the junction with Maida Vale and Kilburn Park Road. Having reviewed this location and observing vehicles parking on the corners we have arranged for the introduction of further parking restrictions on both corners of the junction to ensure vehicles do not park in such a position as to obscure visibility. We anticipate advertisement in July with implementation following late July, early August subject to review of objections.”

Widley Road

The Widley Road Garage planning appeal hearing is set for 10th July at City Hall, Victoria Street, SW1 6QP. All welcome. Councillor Geoff Barraclough will be speaking in support of local residents.

The Squirrel, Elgin Avenue

Along with local residents, we are opposing the planning application to close ‘The Squirrel’ public house and convert it to 5 residential flats.You can see the plans and make comments at https://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/

Reference 19/01895/FULL

https://www.westminsterlabour.org.uk/westminster-news/2019/05/06/westminster-labour-campaigns-to-save-the-squirrel-pub-on-elgin-avenue/

Paddington Rec

The new play area in Paddington Recreation Ground is now open. Read all about it here:

https://www.yorkmix.com/business/yorks-playscheme-creates-paddingtons-perfect-playground/

Essendine Primary School

We attend the opening of the brand new reading space called ‘The Reading Den’ and were delighted that the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Ruth Bush came to cut the ribbon.

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/sites/default/files/torridon_car_park_-_exhibition_boards.pdf

Notting Hill Genesis

We receive a great many complaints about the poor standard of service given by Genesis Housing Association to its tenants in Maida Vale. Most recently, we found a vulnerable man left without bath or shower for over a year. He had to wash in the sink. After we intervened, Genesis have made good and installed a new kitchen and bathroom to his flat.

Cycle Hangars

The public consultation on cycle hangars has gone well and we’ve been told that two new ones will be installed in Maida Vale – one at the junction of Castellain Road and Elgin Avenue, the other on Sutherland Avenue by Foscote Mews. These will offer secure cycle storage. The hangars are operated by a private company and details of how to rent a space for your bike will be posted on the hangars once they are in situ. If you would like to suggest other locations, please an email to cycling@westminster.gov.uk.

Electric car points

Westminster is proposing three new electric car charging bays to be installed on Bidduplh Road near Paddington Recreation Ground. More news when we have it.

Kay McCormack

We were sad to learn of the death of Kay McCormack, 40 year resident of Maida Vale and 30 year champion for Westminster tenants. She was Chair of the Carlton Vale Tenants Management Organisation and won the National TPAS Tenant of the Year Award in 2018. http://camdennewjournal.com/article/kay-mccormack-wins-tenant-of-the-year-award

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