News from your Westminster Labour Councillors
July Action Report
We hope everyone had a good June – and with dangerously hot temperatures this July, please make sure you’re staying hydrated and out of the sun. Westminster’s leisure centres and many other places are acting as Cool Spaces – free public spaces where you can come for respite from the heat. Check the map to find ones near you as well as advice for coping with extreme heat.
Help for Young People and Families
The cost of living crisis continues to worsen, and 1 in 6 households – that’s nearly 20,000 households in Westminster – report seriously struggling financially. To help with costs, Labour’s launched a summer package with new funding to help tackle holiday hunger, expand access to free activities for young people, and help families with the cost of uniforms for the upcoming school year.
Save Our Bus Routes from Tory Cuts
As part of the government-mandated cuts which TfL were forced to agree to in order to receive emergency funding in the wake of the pandemic, TfL are now consulting on changes to some major bus routes in Westminster. You have until Sunday 7th August to tell Transport for London how this will impact you.
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NEWS, CASEWORK AND ACTION
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LOCAL NEWS AND ISSUES
Lotus Sanctuary – Women’s Refuge – We have been investigating a number of complaints from residents about this new women’s refuge in Maida Vale Ward. We are concerned that the refuge doesn’t provide good enough accommodation facilities or additional support for vulnerable residents. We have asked Lotus Sanctuary for a response but we have not received one. The council is now supporting some of the residents to find alternative accommodation.
North Paddington Youth Club on Lanark Road – We are very pleased that the North Paddington Youth Club on Lanark Road is now open and we are impressed by the activities it offers for local children. We have supported the club to ensure that funding from the council is paid in a timely way. We also organised a meeting between local residents and the management of the Youth Club to ensure good neighbourly relations.
Food Waste Recycling – Westminster Council is shortly to introduce food waste recycling to Maida Vale. We held an online meeting with representatives of local mansion blocks to see how the system might work in blocks of flats. Initial feedback is that the proposed process will be challenging for many blocks and we have asked council officers to investigate alternatives.
Rubbish Dumping – A resident got in touch about high levels of on-street rubbish dumping. Cllr Paul Dimoldemberg, new cabinet member for City Management replied:
“We very much share your concerns and tackling this long-standing issue is one of our top priorities. We are in the process of identifying the top rubbish dumping ‘hot spots’ in each ward and then tackling each hot spot with targeted actions. We are also setting up area-based Waste Action Teams of Council officers to regularly monitor and take action as required. We also want to involve the local community in the work of the Waste Action Teams to provide local knowledge and ideas. I will ensure that the locations you have identified are added to the list of ‘hot spots’ so that we can begin to take the necessary action.”
Hanging Baskets – Many residents have been asking about the summer flower baskets. These have been ordered and we are disappointed that the supplier is taking so long to install them. We will be extending the baskets to include both sides of Shirland Road, Lanhill Road and Grittleton Road. A couple of summer baskets have appeared on Randolph Avenue so we hope the others will soon follow.
Paddington Rec Ground – A resident wrote to ask about the uneven paving and ponding in the Rec. The council replied: “We are aware of this continuing problem and in the past we have constructed several soakaways of shingle and gravel to help alleviate the problem. However soakaways are only good to a certain point and are all too frequently overwhelmed by heavy rain. Westminster City Council are working with a contractor and hope to be carrying out works on the main pathway between the Randolph Gate and the Café and also some patch repairs close to the Essendine Gate. When the works commence we will ask the contractors to look at the area to the right of the Grantully and see what type of solutions may be possible.”
Youth Market at Maida Hill – We were delighted to join the Lord Mayor at the Maida Hill Youth Market where students from Beachcroft and Marylebone Bridge competed to sell items for charity.
Flooding – We continue to press Government for action to ensure that all householders can continue to get reasonably priced flood insurance and have begun a media campaign. Cllr Barraclough and two local residents were quoted in the Standard about the campaign.
Speeding – We met with residents and council officers to discuss speeding on Elgin Avenue, Shirland Road and Lauderdale Road.
Cycle Stands – Thanks to everyone who suggested locations for new on-street bike stands. We have nominated Shirland Road (both sides) from Chippenham to Sutherland, Maida Vale station, and in and around Paddington Rec.
WORK ON YOUR STREETS
Tollgate House – We have been assisting residents with their ongoing problems relating to the (still) unfinished refurbishment of Tollgate House. The main entrance door regularly fails and needs to be left open, the stairwells need repainting (yet again) and the Procol flooring on the walkways still isn’t at the level of finishing promised by the manufacturers.
Andover Place – We have objected to the proposed change to Andover Place to make the street one-way and to replace yellow lines with double yellow lines. This would make it harder for people on bikes to access Dibdin House and reduce the amount of off-peak parking available. The purpose of the proposed scheme is to help the Naima School with its traffic management at drop-off and pick-up times, but we think that a “School Street” approach would be more reasonable. This would see the street closed to traffic for a short period twice each school day but left unchanged outside these times.
TMOs – Torridon and Thurso, Atholl, Breamer, Dundee – Thanks to two local TMOs for inviting us to their general meetings. We were very pleased to hear directly from residents about their concerns and issues dealing with Westminster Housing.
Torridon residents, particularly on the ground floor, raised concerns about losing the light from the front of their flats due to containers needed to carry out works to improve the fire safety of the building. We are talking to officers about this to see what can be done.
Another recent issue has been a badly managed hand-over of the management of bike storage from one council department to another, which left residents locked out for a few days.
We’ve also asked the TMO to fix the uneven pavement outside Thurso House, which is now underway.
Clifton Road – An abandoned van on Clifton Road opposite the Tesco supermarket was removed by Westminster Parking Services. The van had caught fire from an exploded gas cylinder under the van. Burnt contents from the van were on the street next to the van. A clean up operation was started soon after the vehicle’s removal.
Graffiti in Stone Wharf and St Mary’s Square – There has been an increasing amount of graffiti in Little Venice especially around St Mary’s Square and Stone Wharf. Contractors removed graffiti in both areas on the 4th of July.
Elgin Avenue – A resident contacted us about poor exterior decoration of a house on Elgin Avenue. The owner, a housing association, responded that cyclical refurbishment would begin towards the end of August.
Braemer House – We have been in touch with the Neighbourhood Police following two incidents of cars being vandalised in the car park of Braemer House.
Chelo, Lauderdale Road – We continue to press council officers for action on longstanding complaints of planning breaches and unpleasant smells from this restaurant.
Essendine Road – Local residents informed us that a disability parking space on Essendine Road was no longer in use as the resident had moved away and we have asked the council to remove it.
Randolph Gardens – We have asked the council to prune a tree that’s covering a traffic sign and hanging very low.
Lanhill Road – After we got in touch with the City Inspector, a local resident agreed to prune their hedge on Lanhill Road. It had grown so big that it was blocking most of the pavement.
No appointment necessary
- Paddington Recreation Ground Café, W9 1PD
- 1st Saturday of each month, 10am-11am
- 3rd Sunday of each month, 11am-12pm
- Cafe Nero, 18 Clifton Road, W9 1SS
- 5-6pm, 3rd Tuesday of every month
Thames Water will be surveying all the properties impacted by the 12th July floods last year – make sure you register online for a survey if you haven’t already. After this, they will survey the sewers of the property and install devices, such as one-way valves, if needed. We are also supporting residents with any issues with the form, so please do email us if you are experiencing any.
Ward budget applications
Applications are now open to organisations and clubs to apply for project funding which benefits local residents. If you would like to apply for ward funding for a project but don’t know where to start, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to assist you with your application.
Request secure bicycle storage
The new administration is committed to speeding up the roll-out of secure cycle storage in Westminster. Please register your interest here.
Refuse and Recycling Collection
- Request a second rubbish collection
- Food waste recycling expansion
- Check your refuse and recycling times
- Check what you can recycle
- Check the A-Z recycling directory
- Find out how to recycle electronics
- Order recycling bags online (delivery within 10 days)
Any rubbish bags presented on the pavement on a day where the refuse collection has been removed (as a result of the new food waste service) will be collected by Veolia.
If you have any queries waste collections you can contact the Recycling Team directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can report dumped rubbish, graffiti, broken paving stones and street lights and more to the Report It service.
Meat Consumption Survey
A local postgraduate student at Imperial College is running a study on meat consumption in the UK, and has asked local residents to fill out a 10-minute survey. Respondents have a chance to win a £20 voucher.
North Paddington Youth Club Summer Programme
The North Paddington Youth Club’s summer programme of free activities, running unbtil September, is available here.