Bryanston and Dorset Square Ward

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

North West House, Marylebone Road

We are delighted that the planning application to demolish North West House and build a much larger building has been withdrawn. Residents say:

“We’ve won!!! No demolition and no new taller building!!!  Truly a big thank you to you – you really helped us in understanding what we were up against and in guiding us how to fight this development. We all really appreciate your help. We’ve learnt that WELPUT has leased the building to WeWork. We believe that they’re investing £9 million into refurbishing the building and that the target date for opening as a working building is March 2018.  Hence the internal work going on now.

None of this would have been possible without everybody doing their bit – so a HUGE THANK YOU.   Everyone has really helped in myriad different ways to create an effective opposition: ideas, contacts, passing the word, arranging meetings, leaflet drops, organising a professional written objection on behalf of all of us, giving money to fund the letter, making time for planning inspections and meetings and most importantly writing the 110 objection letters.  It really proves the power and kindness of our local community.”

 

 

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – August 2017

 

 

 

 

 

York Street

We have reported concerns to Octavia Housing that social rented flats in York Street Chambers are being used as AirBnB lettings.

Chiltern Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I live on Chiltern Street and have put up with a building site on 66 Chiltern Street for 4 years. The road is now two-way again and the bin trucks seem to have re-routed now to run down Chiltern Street! Why and how they have done this I have no idea! but they race down the street very regularly. Could we understand why this seems to be a route they like?”

Marylebone Road/Gloucester Place/Upper Montagu Street junctions.

We have reported a number of broken street lights at the Marylebone Road/Gloucester Place/Upper Montagu Street junctions.

Marylebone Road/Seymour Place

Following our enquiries about cars jumping the lights at this junction, TfL tell us:

“We are currently upgrading around 700 old wet film cameras with new digital units through a safety camera replacement programme. The camera at this junction is part of this upgrade programme and will be upgraded early next year.  In the meantime, we have made the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) aware of residents’ concerns.”

Seymour Leisure Centre

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I have been informed that the invaluable Chair Class50+, which I attend on Monday mornings at Seymour Leisure Centre, is to be suspended from early August until December, during the relevant refurb process. This is truly unacceptable, particularly insofar as the specific age group in question is concerned.  I have already heard from fellow attendees who are outraged at this decision, given the clear health benefits of the class and the fact that it provides a welcome social forum for those who are alone and isolated. If accommodation cannot be found within the Centre itself, surely they could source a small space nearby so that it can continue.  I have been attending for many years, and am disconcerted to think I shall be without such vital exercise for the period in question.”

Recently the resident who raised this told us:

“Thanks for your efforts regarding the suspension of the 50+ exercise class at this Centre.  It has now been re-instated, albeit in the basement with several flights of stairs down but with – happily – an erratic lift for those less mobile.  (We used to be there but the mobility issue came to the fore).  It is certainly so much better than no classes for four months! Huge thanks for your assistance.”

 

 

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – July 2017

Marylebone Road

There is a great deal of development activity along Marylebone Road which appears uncoordinated and potentially a lost opportunity. There are plans for new offices at North West House and for a hotel at the corner of Old Marylebone Road. The NHS has plans to dispose of the Samaritan/Eye Hospital site and the future of the BHS HQ and the 1980’s building next door have both been the subject of speculation. Also, across the road the former NCR building secured a residential consent last year but nothing has happened yet.

We have called on the Council to develop a strategy, in consultation with local residents, to lay down parameters and guidelines for the redevelopment of this substantial part of Marylebone Road in terms of uses, heights, amenities and public realm. So far both the proposals for NW House and the hotel involve taller buildings which have provoked opposition from residents. Neither proposal appears to include any obvious community benefits. However, a strategy which aimed to secure benefits from the comprehensive redevelopment of these buildings could bring a range of local benefits which residents might welcome.

Seymour Place/Marylebone Road

We have asked Transport for London to investigate this issue;

“I wanted to bring this to your attention as I think it is dangerous. A number of cars jump the lights opposite Manor House when they turn from Seymour Place onto Marylebone Road. It cannot be they do not see the lights, although I understand the lights are close to the corner. Can anything be done about this with a camera or better sign posting?”

Linhope Street

We asked the Planning Department for an update on the former Swan & Edgar pub in Linhope Street. We received the following reply:

“The City Council has consistently refused planning permission for the change of use of this public house to a single house, and our decisions have been supported by the Planning Inspectorate at appeal. The Inspector, following a Public Inquiry concluded that the loss of this public house a Community Asset of Value would result in a loss of a valued community facility which would harm the local community. I appreciate that the premises remain vacant but it is an Asset of Community Value, and our viability evidence produced at the Public Inquiry demonstrated opportunities for the site to be retained in a viable public house use subject to suitable terms and conditions.”

Oxford Street

Residents have raised significant concerns about plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street. We have been making representations to TfL arguing that changes to Oxford Street cannot and should not lead to major bus diversions onto residential streets nor in any way detrimentally impact the quality of life of residents.

After pressing TfL they have told us that:

  • They are committed to reworking the bus network in tandem with plans for pedestrianisation, and are already in the process of making changes. The aim is to reduce and remove the number of buses running through the West End as opposed to diverting them. The process of removing some buses has already started.
  • They share concerns about the potential impacts on elderly and disabled people moving along Oxford Street if it is pedestrianised, and have appointed an Accessibility officer to look at how the interests of vulnerable people can be protected. We mentioned the idea of a fleet of electric vehicles and they say it is being considered.
  • They are looking at allowing some movement of vehicles along Oxford Street during certain times of the day to allow delivery, servicing and refuse vehicles access.
  • They are committed to “achieving a scheme that works for the district surrounding Oxford Street”.

We will continue to urge TfL to respond to residents’ concerns on a point-by-point basis. The concerns of residents must be addressed.

Do you have any concerns about pedestrianisation? Please contact us and we will take them up.

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – December 2016

Marylebone Library

According to the ‘Evening Standard’:

“Residents were concerned the move to a new venue, which is believed to be an old curtain shop on New Cavendish Street, might mean a reduction of services and could threaten jobs. “The library is a focal point of our community, used by hundreds of people every day. What kind of bad message does moving it to a smaller venue give out? That it is not well-used and not a beloved library? That it’s not a priority? That is wrong. It is a flagship library and lots of people get a lot of joy out of it. It is just so sad.”

Residents were planning sit-ins and other protests, added that the move “does not bode well” for library services Londonwide.  Staff members at the library said they worried the move would mark a “downward spiral” for the facility.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/row-over-marylebone-library-move-to-smaller-venue-a3418856.html

Seymour Leisure Centre

We have had further complaints from residents about the declining standards at Seymour Leisure Centre which we are taking up with the Council:

“I am a regular user of Seymour Leisure Centre on Seymour Place, and since the facility was taken over by Everyone Active I noticed a marked deterioration in maintenance in the poolside changing rooms. Generally, the standards of upkeep at the facility seem to have declined. I will make a complaint to them, but I was wondering if it was worth flagging this up to you as well and if you’re aware of anyone else raising this issue.”

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – October 2016
Seymour Leisure Centre

We asked the Council to investigate this serious matter:

The Centre is now a major calamity. For two months run down by the company who lost the franchise, and now, so squalid after three months with the new one, everyone is having to leave the gym. At 6.30am we’re paying full price for no cleaning, no staff, late opening, floors strewn with rubbish and with weights and pieces of equipment littered everywhere, no air conditioning, often no music, no one there who know how to work TVs so we no longer have news or sports news. A new gym has opened nearby and has scooped almost all the regulars, many of the men saying they can’t bear the changing rooms any longer, but it’s dire that this is being allowed to happen, and no promise of future improvement can be used as an excuse.”

The Council say:

“We have experienced some issues with the air conditioning, particularly during very hot weather, and the audio visual system does require replacement.  The new contractor will be addressing these issues in addition to delivering a number of capital improvements at the centres as part of the new contract.  However, the day to day operational issues noted in the email clearly aren’t acceptable and I’ve raised this with the contractor and we’ll ensure improvements are made.  We will monitor this situation closely going forward.”

The future of Marylebone Library – what you say about plans to move the library to the Seymour Leisure Centre

“I have been gathering reactions to the Marylebone Library plans. Most families are extremely disappointed with the plans to relocate to a shopfront as it will no doubt mean a massive reduction in provision. How do we teach our children to have a life long love of learning and books without a library?  Other comments I have received in passing discussions are very much along the same lines. Fears over loss of library provision in a shopfront and being downgraded to library services only, loss of the few children’s activities we have in the area south of Marylebone Road. Portman Centre and Church Street are not easily accessible. The leisure centre option concerns are that there will be a downsizing of the library. It is also a very long time away so the thought of a shopfront for 3+ years is disappointing.”

“I think Seymour Leisure Centre is a poor option.   For many people, particularly elderly residents living east of the High Street, it’s awkward to get to.  Is the area behind Waitrose which is up for redevelopment out of the question?   I think that would be infinitely preferable.”

“I’m slightly nervous to ask about the ‘remodelling’ plans for Seymour? They have just signed up with a new provider (Fusion) who cheerfully announced they have a 10 year contract. It’s a brilliant and well-used facility, and I believe the gym is too. So where will the library go?”

Montagu Square

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Outside on the pavement in Montagu Square between numbers 55 -52 there are always collections of abandoned rubbish around the lampposts spilling out of bags or just left loose.  Not only is this encouraging others to be equally antisocial but also vermin.  Perhaps you could investigate and contact people whose names might be traceable   in this mess of food and other detritus.  Since this has been occurring for many months I notice that the rest of the square is filling with litter because it looks so uncared for.”

 

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – August 2016

Bus Routes 13, 82, 113, 139 and 189

TfL are consulting on changes to bus routes 13, 82, 113, 139 and 189 that operate in the ‘Baker Street corridor’ area serving Golders Green, Finchley Road, Abbey Road, Baker Street and Oxford Street. This is a revised proposal following feedback received during a previous consultation held in spring 2015, which resulted in extensive opposition to the plans for route 13. Further information and a response form are available on TfL’s website: www.tfl.gov.uk/consultations including full details, maps and frequency information. The consultation closes on Friday 30 September 2016.

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – July 2016
Blandford Estate

We are supporting residents who have petitioned the Council and say “we do not understand why our current re-cycling procedure has to change which means filling blue sacks and then leaving these sacks out on a Tuesday night which are then collected from Harewood avenue by the council at 08:00 on Wednesday Morning. We are being told by CWH’s that Westminster City Council wish to place these unsightly and hazardous re-cycling bins onto the Blandford Estate when the current procedure is working perfectly well and has done for some years.”

Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood

We have welcomed the Mayor’s decision to select Marylebone as a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN). The LEN was one of eight announced by the Mayor and is funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund with match funding with the relevant Borough. The application was developed with local amenity societies, Business Improvement Districts, neighbourhood forums and property estates.

Councillor Jason Williams, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for City Management and Sustainability said:

“We very much welcome the Mayor’s announcement of the Low Emission Network for Marylebone. The Mayor has made air quality a key priority in his Mayoralty and we also welcome that he has increased the number of LENs from two to five across London.

Marylebone suffers from very poor air quality and the LEN can play an important part in dealing with the air quality issues residents face. We have requested a meeting with the Mayor and Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, to ensure further issues both in Marylebone and Oxford Street are addressed.”

Seymour Leisure Centre

Residents tell us that the basement areas in Seymour Leisure Centre have not been swept for literally years. We have asked Council to ensure that these areas are cleaned regularly in future.

Montagu Square – Update

Following residents’ report of taxi drivers urinating in Montagu Square, the Council has taken the following action:

  • Parking issues – Traffic Marshalls were tasked to monitor both, Monatgu and Bryanston Square for taxis parking in residential bays and not picking up customers
  • Urination – I have requested from the Local Police Team to increase their patrols in the area and deal with any offenders. The City Inspector will also put a signs up regarding on street urination 
  • Littering – the Local City Inspector for Bryanston & Dorset Square monitors the area for littering and will take enforcement action when possible

Paddington Street

We are making enquiries with the Council about this issue:

“Paddington Street has been closed in one direction for months. Now it is completely closed in both directions, presumably for the benefit of the developers of the enormously expensive flats on the corner of Chiltern Street and Paddington Street. What benefit are the residents receiving for all this disruption?”

The Council says: 

“This is an emergency closure for Thames Water- as they have a collapsed main sewer at this location. Urgent attention was required to get the repair underway but I understand that this is a deep sewer and is not a simple job. My Officers were advising TW to make sure local properties were notified. I have asked for a full update.”

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – MARCH 2016

Samaritan Hospital, Marylebone Road

We have again asked for an update on when this long-abandoned listed building will be brought back in to use by the NHS.

Great Cumberland Street/Marble Arch – Update

The Council have investigated the cycle stands at this junction and have told us the following:

“There are four cycle stands that were installed as part of the 2013/14 cycle parking programme.  It seems that space on the footway has been reduced recently due to building works.  This should be resolved when the works are complete.  It would cost several thousand pounds to remove and reinstate the cycle racks elsewhere.”

George Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Each morning for the past two weeks three cars drive down George Street while honking their horns continuously. This morning’s display occurred at 5:07 am. I Googled and realized these elaborate sessions are timed to the Muslim Call to Prayer. I’m sure others have noticed this and complained, but is there anything that can be done? I get that I live near Edgware Road, but it can’t be legal to do this kind of early morning religious display.”

Marylebone cycleway – what you say

“Westminster proposes a cycleway which is of no commercial value, and a danger to residents, and coming past Marylebone Mews. The consultation suggests a snaked route including closing down the major west-travelling artery of New Cavendish Street to one lane all the way from the Post Office Tower to Wimpole Street, and providing a two-way cycle-way. All of our emergency services come from east of Euston Station, not least the Fire Brigade. How on earth could they get here in single file traffic crossing dozens of other roads?”

Baker Street and Gloucester Place two-way proposal – what you say

“You only have to see the disastrous effect this will have on the traffic when recently Baker Street was dug up leaving one lane open for traffic. How dustcarts, delivery lorries, buses and what-have-you are supposed to cope with this is beyond me.”

Edgware Road pedestrian crossings – what you say

“It is very difficult to cross the Edgware Road in one go and that this is a dangerous junction generally.  We have repeatedly requested improvements for pedestrians at this and other junctions on the Edgware Road but to no avail as TFL insists that traffic flow has absolute priority. We have recently been contacted by TFL/Westminster on a consultation to create a cycle quiet way across the Edgware Road at the Burwood Place junction.  These proposals are very poorly thought through and would result in considerable additional danger and disruption from HGVs, particularly past Hampden Gurney school as well as requiring HGVs to make impractical and dangerous manoeuvres to get into Brendon Street.  However, unfortunately the proposals do not include any alteration to the Edgware Road crossings and nothing in the proposal would improve pedestrian safety – indeed it would worsen the situation for pedestrians on Harrowby Street and particularly for children crossing the road to get to school.”

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – January 2016

Great Cumberland Street/Marble Arch

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

The corner of Oxford Street and Great Cumberland Place at Marble Arch must be one of the busiest pedestrian areas in London. So the fact that a very full bicycle stand is positioned there right outside the Pret a Manger shop seems extremely poor planning. As there are building works going on there as well, you can only pass one at a time and so the people congestion and mothers with pushchairs and people in wheelchairs, guests coming and going from the hotel. people heading for the taxi rank, Marble Arch tube station and so on forces many to walk on the road – which is of course very busy with cars, buses motorbikes and cyclists. In my opinion there is a major accident waiting to happen and I suggest that someone has a look as soon as possible – the easiest solution would be to relocate the bicycle stand further up Great Cumberland Place.”

Spring Mews, W1

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I live in Spring Mews, off Crawford St W1 and we rarely have street sweepers in to clean the street. As it’s not a main road it tends to get ignored. We have numerous cigarette butts that are left by Ishtar restaurant staff and patrons in the street, as well as loose road/tar gravel and small stones. I have complained to both Ishtar and Westminster council who react temporarily but it would be good to have a more focused attention by the council in the area.”

The Council say:

“Thank you for highlighting this problem.  I have asked the local Veolia manager to monitor the quality and frequency of sweeping in Spring Mews over the next few weeks. The schedule is for it to be swept each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I have also asked the local City Inspector to speak to the restaurant manager to look at ensuring their staff and customers are not causing litter problems in the Mews.”

Pedestrian crossings on Marylebone Road

We asked TfL why pedestrian cannot cross Marylebone Road in one go. This is the response we have received:

“All the traffic signals on Marylebone Road work in unison to manage any delays that may occur along the entirety of this section of road. All vehicle and pedestrian signals are therefore timed to work in parallel with one another whilst giving pedestrians as much opportunity as possible to cross both halves of the crossing in one movement. However, dependent on when during the signal cycle pedestrians arrive at the crossing, there will be times they will have to wait in the central island to complete the movement.

While it is possible to cross in one movement at both locations referred to in your email, it is not possible at all crossing points on Marylebone Road. If we implemented full width pedestrian crossings at all locations on Marylebone Road it would have a significant negative impact on the operation of Marylebone Road, creating additional delays at a number of locations.

Unfortunately, I cannot therefore commit to modifying the crossing points but I can assure you we are vigilant to changing behaviours and demand, and that we undertake frequent reviews to ensure our junctions work in the most effective way.”

Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum

The Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum will draw up the Neighbourhood Plan and will be involved in all aspects of quality of life in the Marylebone Area. It is therefore vital that as many residents as possible turn up to vote for the adoption of a democratic constitution and committee members, as well as whether we agree or not with Baker Street and Gloucester Place Two Way Traffic.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to exercise democracy in the new Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum on 28th of January 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN.

The Localism Act 2011 devolved power to the community throughout the Neighbourhood Forums.

Anyone who lives or works in Marylebone High Street and Bryanston and Dorset Square Wards, can attend the General Assembly of the Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum on 28th of January 2016 and can put their names forward to be elected as members of the Committee before the new deadline of early January by visiting

http://www.maryleboneforum.org/news/nominations-for-election-as-committee-representative-for-the-marylebone-forum

Anyone who lives or works in Marylebone High Street and Bryanston and Dorset Square Wards, can join the Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum by completing the application form directly in the Assembly meeting or online in this link:http://www.maryleboneforum.org/support

For more information following this link:

 

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – December 2015

Proposed changes to the junction of Harrowby Street, Edgware Road and Burwood Place

In partnership with the City of Westminster, TfL have developed proposals for a safer and more attractive cycle connection between Harrowby Street and Burwood Place across Edgware Road, and would like your views.

The proposals are part of the Central London Cycling Grid – a network of cycle routes in Zone 1. The junction forms part of the Edgware Road to Fitzrovia Quietway. The City of Westminster consulted on other parts of this route in October 2015. TfL say:

“This junction is already well used by cyclists. Our proposals aim to improve safety and create more space for cyclists, catering for the predicted increase in cycling along this route. Our proposals include wider footways, along with improved crossings and public spaces to accommodate the large numbers of pedestrians at this location. At construction stage the junction would also be resurfaced.”

You can see the details at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/edgware-harrowby

Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum

Anyone who lives or works in Marylebone High Street and Bryanston and Dorset Square Wards, can attend the General Assembly of the Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum on 28th of January 2016 and can put their names forward to be elected as members of the Committee before the deadline of 28th of December by visiting http://www.maryleboneforum.org

The Localism Act 2011 devolved power to the community throughout the Neighbourhood Forums.

To join the Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum fill in this form:

http://www.maryleboneforum.org/support

Nominations for election as Committee Member for the Marylebone Forum

The deadline s 28th of December 2015. Anyone interested visit this link

http://www.maryleboneforum.org/news/nominations-for-election-as-committee-representative-for-the-marylebone-forum

You can attend the AGM of the Marylebone Neighbourhood Forum on 28th of January 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN.

For more information following this link:

http://www.maryleboneforum.org/newmarylebone-forum-now-designated

 

Bryanston and Dorset Square by-election: 22 October 2015

Result of Poll:

Julia Alexander – Conservative Party Candidate – 582
Jill Sarah De Quincey – UK Independence Party (UKIP) – 42
Steve Dollond – Baker Street: No Two Ways – 218
Ananthi Paskaralingam – Labour Party – 167
Hugh Small – Green Party – 116
Martin Adam Thompson – Liberal Democrats – 46

Julia Alexander is elected.

Turnout was 17.82%

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – By-Election Update – October 2015

News from Ananthi Paskaralingam, Labour’s candidate in the By-Election on Thursday 22nd October

Dear Resident

Ananthi2It is a privilege to be your Labour Candidate in this Thursday’s by-election. Since I was selected, I have been taking up issues on your behalf and standing up for local residents alongside Labour Councillors and GLA member Murad Qureshi.

Below are some of the local issues we have been taking up recently, many as a result of residents’ responses to our regular newsletters. Let us know if we can take up a local issue in the area.

Baker Street Two Way proposal – Update

This Thursday residents in Bryanston and Dorset Square ward have an opportunity to send a clear message to the Council. Residents’ concerns about the Two Way proposals have to be taken on board and residents have to be fully involved in finding an alternative scheme.

The Conservatives’ have taken local residents for granted for too long. Why else would they have proposed a system which would have led to traffic chaos and rat runs in local streets? Residents need a champion at City Hall, rather than yet another Conservative Councillor following the party whip.

Only Labour can beat the Conservatives in Westminster and a vote for Ananthi Paskaralingam on Thursday is a vote for residents’ priorities.

We are supporting residents of Blandford Estate who did not receive any information from the Council and are concerned about the lack of consultation about the plans for Rossmore Road and the impact on them of greater traffic numbers on Harewood Avenue.

Residents in Fursecroft, George Street tell us:

“We are not in favour of the proposal on the following grounds:

1. Reduction in parking places caused.
2. Increased number of one way residential streets
3. More use of residential streets as rat-runs.
4. Slower traffic on the principal streets above and increased pollution as a result.”

York Street Chambers – Update

Octavia Housing have told us;

“I can advise that our contractors Tree Wise Men have inspected the tree and recommend that they reshape and reduce the crown by 30% and take away any dead wood. They will be carrying out this work on 27th October 2015. They have not recommended works to support the tree but we are looking at some repair works to its planter.”

Crossing Marylebone Road outside the Landmark Hotel – Update

We passed this enquiry to Transport for London:

“An irritation I have are the traffic lights to cross Marylebone Road by the Landmark Hotel – the south one does not seem to go green so it feels like you are having to take a punt on whether you get run over; they don’t sync up for more than a few seconds so you are usually stuck in the middle breathing in the fumes.”

Transport for London has told us:

“Upon receiving your enquiry I instructed engineers to visit the site and conduct an investigation of the signals’ operation. Following this the timings have now been optimised to assist crossing pedestrians. I can assure you this route is being managed at all times by my officers and if further changes are necessary they will be implemented.”

Children looked after by childminders banned from Play Centre

In a move criticised by many, Westminster Council has banned childminders’ children from attending ‘Stay and Play’ drop-in sessions at one of its Children’s Centres. The Council has now written to parents to say:

“As places at Stay and Play sessions are limited we do need to prioritise children living in Westminster attending with parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles and can no longer admit childcare professionals during these sessions”

This follows Westminster Conservatives’ decision to cut £1,339,000 from Children’s Centres, Play and Youth Services over the three years from 2014/15 – 2017/18.

Many working parents depend on child minders and the Council has no right to ban their children from attending Play sessions. Also, many child minders look after their own children at the same as looking after the children of working parents. This ban on childminders attending Play sessions is both unfair and discriminates against working parents.

Did you know?

Three important facts were highlighted over the past week:

Housing – A report from Shelter says that under the Government’s plans to force Councils to sell off high value council flats, Westminster Council will have to sell off 76% of its council homes as they become vacant.

Road Safety – Westminster is reported as having 294 ‘hit and run’ incidents last year, the second highest in London. Despite this, Westminster Conservatives have yet again rejected proposals to follow other boroughs like the City of London, and introduce 20mph zones in residential streets.

Schools – 42% of pupils in Westminster were unable to get into their first choice secondary school, placing Westminster second from bottom of Councils surveyed by the ‘Daily Telegraph’.

As your local Councillor, Ananthi will argue for the following:

  • Central London is a much better place when it provides homes for people of all income levels. Forcing Councils to sell off their vacant flats will make it harder for those on moderate incomes to live locally
  • Action needs to be taken by the Council, the Mayor and by Government to reduce road traffic speeds and protect pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Investing in more high quality local secondary education makes good sense. We supported the establishment of Marylebone Boys’ School and have always been strong supporters of the highly-regarded Marylebone Girls’ School.

Baker Street Two Way proposal – what you say

“I have been to several meetings about the scheme where it seemed very clear the great majority of resident are strongly opposed to the scheme.”

“As a resident of Marylebone, I wish to contest and oppose the 2 way traffic scheme for Baker Street & Gloucester Place”

Please let us know if there are any local issues on which we can help.

Yours sincerely

Ananthi Paskaralingam
Labour’s Candidate for the By-Election on 22nd October

Promoted by Jason Williams on behalf of Ananthi Paskaralingam, both at 201 Hawkins House, Dolphin Square, SW1V 3NT

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – October 2015

News from Ananthi Paskaralingam, Labour’s candidate in By-Election on 22nd October

Bryanston and Dorset Square Ward By-Election on 22nd October

AnanthiAbout Ananthi Paskaralingam, Labour’s Candidate for the By-Election

Ananthi has previously worked as an Advice Worker for the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as a Debt Advisor and is currently training as a Dignity Champion with Healthwatch Westminster. In her spare time she volunteers at an activity centre for older people. Ananthi says:

“I am standing as I want to ensure local people’s views are heard at the heart of decision making and that residents are properly represented. The Tories have taken this ward for granted as can be seen by the recent Baker Street and Gloucester Place Two Way project.”

Only Labour can defeat the Tories in this by-election and you can send a very clear message to City Hall that Bryanston and Dorset Square residents deserve better by voting Labour on 22nd October.

As your Labour Councillor I will fight for:
Action on air quality – demanding the Council and TfL do more to improve air quality in one of the most polluted areas in London
Transparent consultation on the Two Way project – while the scheme could bring benefits for our community, its large impact means that there must be a full and open consultation with local residents. I will also call for bus routes and coach parking to be included in the consultation before a decision is reached.
More Greening in the area – more trees and landscaping to enhance the area
Action on traffic routes – ensuring safer pedestrian crossing and that traffic isn’t diverted from major routes to quieter roads opening up rat runs.
Any decision on the Two Way project to be made by the full Council – so residents’ views can be heard and a democratic decision reached.

Need a Postal Vote for the Bryanston and Dorset Ward By-Election on Thursday 22nd October 2015?

You can apply for a postal vote to vote in the forthcoming by-election by completing this form and returning it ASAP to City Hall;

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/workspace/assets/publications/Postal-Vote-Application-1244470313.pdf

Baker Street Two Way proposal – update

The Council has proposed two revisions to the two-way plans in response to the 1,500 letters and emails from residents and business during the consultation. The revisions are:

“The banned left turn from Gloucester Place onto Marylebone Road will be removed from the scheme, which as a result would negate any possible increase of traffic on York Street, which would retain its current two way operation west of Gloucester Place.”

“Review the current designs for Ivor Place, as well as those covering the Dorset Square Conservation Area, in order to ensure no adverse effects are felt in those areas.”

However, as residents have pointed out, the Council is:

“Not willing to review the right turn from Park Road into Rossmore Road”

Glentworth Street residents have told us:

“Thank you for raising the profile of this issue with the general public. Our position is slightly more nuanced then your email suggests. The residents association is not opposed to the scheme as a general principle. We are opposed to any increases of traffic on residential roads. We are concerned that a potential ran run will be created down Glentworth Street, hence the “Save Our Street” sign. We are also opposed to the closed of the exit from Ivor Place on to Park Road as it would necessarily increase traffic. If the council can implement the scheme so that it benefits residents, then we could support it. Having said this, I cannot speak everyone in our block of flats as there are many who oppose the scheme full stop.”

Marylebone Road Underpass

We are supporting residents who have written to Transport for London to ask:

“Have you analysed what percentage of people crossing Marylebone Road do so by the underpass? It is inconvenient for those with luggage, shopping trolleys, prams, or anyone who has difficulty negotiating stairs. This suggests it is mainly used by fit, unencumbered people, not by the disadvantaged. The subway, even revamped, will remain an ideal place for vagrants and pickpockets to hang out. Has the option been considered of blocking the underpass permanently and just providing improved crossings at surface level? Although pedestrian underpasses were in favour in the 1970s, I understand that the trend in other European countries now is towards crossings at street level.”

Crossing Marylebone Road

We have asked TfL to investigate this issue:

“An irritation I have are the traffic lights to cross Marylebone Road by the Landmark Hotel – the south one does not seem to go green so it feels like you are having to take a punt on whether you get run over; they don’t sync up for more than a few seconds so you are usually stuck in the middle breathing in the fumes.”

Upper Berkeley Street – street clutter

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I would like to draw your attention to the left over traffic signs that currently occupy Upper Berkeley Street, making it impossible for two way pedestrians to pass. Not only that but I am sure that these metal signs have a cost and in the days where councils are cutting back I think that they should be aware of expensive equipment being left out on the street paid for by Westminster residents via council tax.”

The Council says:

“Our Road Management Team has looked into this and has inspected the area several times. On the issue of barriers we were unfortunately unable to find any as part of our inspections. The usual suspects for such issues are either utilities or our own contractors.”

Upper Berkeley Street – scaffolding

We have reported this issue to the Council for investigation:

“There seems to an abundance of scaffolding going up around Marylebone with no health and safety or compliance to the people walking. On many occasions pedestrians are directed in to oncoming traffic. At one building site on Upper Berkeley they are erecting scaffolding and throwing bags on to the pavement below without a care in the world. Who is checking these people? Do they supply method statements and Risk Assessments? Please have someone check on the scaffolding erected above 23 Upper Berkeley Street”

The Council has told us:

“The scaffolding that is causing concern is all on private land and as such has not been subject to any licence or monitoring from the Road Management Team. However, the concerns raised have been passed over to the City Inspector for the area and I understand that the contractor has been spoken to with regards to their site.”

A local resident says:

“I respect the fact that this is being dealt with very promptly and efficiently and more important you actually lived up to your promises of investigation and getting back to me.”

George Street/Montagu Street

We have reported the regular overflowing Big Black Bins and dumped rubbish at this location.

Cycling Quietway

Westminster City Council is proposing a Quietway Route from Edgware Road to Fitzrovia.

The section of this route being consulted on within the City of Westminster is approximately 2km in length. The streets affected by these proposals are Harrowby Street, Seymour Place, Crawford Street, Paddington Street, Nottingham Place, Nottingham Street, Marylebone High Street, Devonshire Street, Great Portland Street and Carburton Street.

In Great Portland Street, the council is proposing to rearrange the street layout to enable two-way cycling, and a new traffic signal to help cyclists and pedestrians cross the road.

Changes to parking bays and kerbside restrictions will also be made.

The plans will allow two-way cycling along Carburton Street to help create a link for cycling between Camden and Westminster, especially for less confident cyclists.

As part of the consultation, Westminster will be holding two public exhibitions for people to attend and learn about the route. The plans — which are also online — will give people the chance to view the detailed designs, as well as meet the design team and discuss the project.

Quietway Route from Edgware Road to Fitzrovia. Public exhibition: Marylebone Library, Macintosh House, 54 Beaumont Street, W1G 6DW. Tuesday 29 September, 4-8pm; Saturday 3 October, 10am-4pm.

York Street Chambers – Update

We have received this update for residents from Octavia:

“I have spoken to the Assistant Director of the team in asset management who tells me that they are not currently contemplating anything other than pruning the tree in the garden at you flats. They are scheduled to have a look at it but at the moment there are no other plans. I hope this will allay your fears. “

Residents say:

“We are all keen to protect and preserve its life – as not only does it provide us tenants with so much seasonal enjoyment and tranquility – but also serves as a critical and functional defence mechanism in combatting the Marylebone Road non-stop pollution – Europe’s highest polluted area.”

Baker Street Two Way proposal – what you say

“Thank you for calling for the decision on the Baker St two-way scheme to be taken by the full Council. This may prove to be an important step in deciding on this controversial proposal.”

Please let me know if there are any local issues on which we can help.

Yours sincerely

Ananthi Paskaralingam, Labour’s Candidate for the By-Election on 22nd October

Promoted by Jason Williams on behalf of Ananthi Paskaralingam, both at 201 Hawkins House, Dolphin Square, SW1V 3NT

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – September 2015

News from Labour Councillors and your local Labour Action Team

Baker Street two way proposals

We have called for any decision on the Baker Street Two-Way proposal to be taken by the full Council rather than by just one Councillor who has already been publicly strongly supportive of the controversial proposals which are being vigorously opposed by local residents and businesses. In a letter to the Council’s Chief Executive we have said:

“As you know, there is considerable opposition to the proposals from local residents and businesses north and south of Marylebone Road, some of whom have put it to me that Councillor Davis cannot be considered to be an impartial decision maker in this instance and may have already made up his mind, notwithstanding the results of the public consultation. With this in mind, and given the importance of this matter across a wide area, I suggest that this matter be considered by the full Council rather than by an individual Councillor.”

Gaby Higgs of the St Marylebone Society has supported our call. She wrote to the ‘West End Extra’ to say:

“I support Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg’s proposal that only the full council should take the final decision on whether the Baker Street two-way project should go ahead. Cllr Robert Davis is wrong to claim the sole right to decide. He has prejudged the consultation by publicly championing the scheme, and should not be involved.”

And Hugh Small of the Green Party also wrote to the press to say “any decision on the final proposal must be made democratically and in that we support Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg’s call for it to be considered by full council.”

We are continuing to support residents in Harewood Avenue who say that they did not receive the Council’s consultation material on the Baker Street two way proposals.

Other residents are also critical of the consultation:

“I think it should also be noted that the consultation questionnaire was biased. Of course nobody would object to wider pavements or more cycle lanes in theory. But I fear that many of those filling in their responses would not realise that agreeing to these changes also means agreeing to the two-way scheme. This means that the questionnaire was misleading and unfair. “

Glentworth StreetGlentworth2

Glentworth Street residents have mounted a campaign against the Baker Street and Gloucester Place two-way plans to stop their street becoming a rat run from south-bound traffic looking for a route on to the Marylebone Road.

 

The Beehive pub, Homer Street

BeehiveWe have asked the Planning Department for an update on the works being undertaken at The Beehive. The Council says:

“We granted permission earlier this year for an extension at rear second floor level and a roof extension in association with the use of the first, second and third floors as one residential unit; alterations to front and rear elevations including lowering of the basement floor by 300mm for additional seating at lower ground floor level in association with the existing public house.

The current permission allows the creation of an enlarged area for customer seating at basement level; as a result, whilst permission was granted for a self-contained residential unit on the upper floors, there would also be a net increase in tradeable floor area.”

Edgware Road

Walking down Edgware Road we have noticed a lot of dumping and generally an un-swept feel about the area. We asked for details of the sweeping regime for Edgware Road. The Council says:

“Edgware Road is swept three times a day, from Marble Arch to the fly over, one per shift of Morning. Evening and Night. Also waste is scheduled for collection from 09.00 to 10.00 daily.”

Marylebone Road/Seymour Place street lights

We have reported a long-standing broken set of street lights at the junction of Marylebone Road and Seymour Place and urged TfL to repair the lights without further delay. TfL tells us:

“On receipt of your email I asked my officers to attend the site and make the required repairs, and they did so on 19 August. “

Harewood Row

Harewood Row bikesWe have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Walking towards Marylebone Station via Harwood Row, just before the Travelodge, there is a fence on the pavement, with bicycles chained on the pavement side, restricting use for walkers.”

The local Inspector says:

“The location of the railings is in the close vicinity of Marylebone Station hence there is always some bikes (different each day) chained to a street furniture during a day. It is a tricky matter as we are unable to remove them on daily basis without putting 48hrs removal notice on them. Whilst the notice is on, the owner removes the bike within given time. However, I’ve emailed City Management with inquiry whether the railings can be removed or more bike racks installed.”

Cycling Quietway

Westminster City Council is proposing a Quietway Route from Edgware Road to Fitzrovia

The section of this route being consulted on within the City of Westminster is approximately 2km in length. The streets affected by these proposals are Harrowby Street, Seymour Place, Crawford Street, Paddington Street, Nottingham Place, Nottingham Street, Marylebone High Street, Devonshire Street, Great Portland Street and Carburton Street.

In Great Portland Street, the council is proposing to rearrange the street layout to enable two-way cycling, and a new traffic signal to help cyclists and pedestrians cross the road. Changes to parking bays and kerbside restrictions will also be made.

The plans will allow two-way cycling along Carburton Street to help create a link for cycling between Camden and Westminster, especially for less confident cyclists.

As part of the consultation, Westmisnter will be holding two public exhibitions for people to attend and learn about the route. The plans — which are also online — will give people the chance to view the detailed designs, as well as meet the design team and discuss the project.

Quietway Route from Edgware Road to Fitzrovia. Public exhibition: Marylebone Library, Macintosh House, 54 Beaumont Street, W1G 6DW. Tuesday 29 September, 4-8pm; Saturday 3 October, 10am-4pm.

York Street Chambers

We are supporting residents who are trying to stop the loss of an Acacia tree in the courtyard of this block. Residents say:

“The tree is not causing any structural or foundation damage, it just needs pruning, some supportive structure and its planter reinforced. It serves us well aesthetically and environmentally. All the residents love and appreciate its beauty

The Council’s Tree Officer says:

“In 2013 the Council agreed the crown reduction of the tree, rather than its removal. However I am of the view that the tree only has a limited safe useful life, and will need to be removed in the not too distant future. I have discussed the possibility of planting a new tree in the courtyard with Octavia, and although space is limited, in my view it would be possible to do so, with some modest modifications to the layout.”

Octavia say

“I have spoken to our asset management team. They tell me that there are no plans to remove the tree, although it is overdue a pruning. We are going to have a look at it and see what the position is.”

Chapel Street

Chapel StreetWe have reported long-standing problems with water ponding outside Hyde Park Mansions.

Gloucester Place rubbish clearance – what you say

“Belated but incredibly sincere thanks for sorting this out. I’m enormously grateful. Please also pass on our thanks to the team who did the dirty work. I know all of the flats in the building have received a letter from the council. So far it seems to have had the desired effect, so fingers crossed that that continues. “

What you say

“Thank you so much for all your time care, energy & concern for Westminster residents”

Please let us know if there are any local issues on which we can help.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Labour Built Environment spokesperson
Westminster City Council

BRYANSTON AND DORSET SQUARE WARD ACTION REPORT – August 2015

News from Labour Councillors and your local Labour Action Team

Glentworth2Glentworth Street residents fight Baker Street two way plans to stop rat-run threat

Glentworth Street residents have mounted a campaign against the Baker Street and Gloucester Place two-way plans to stop their street becoming a rat run from south-bound traffic looking for a route on to the Marylebone Road.

The Transport for London consultation on the plans to re-route the buses closes on 4th September:
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/baker-street/

There is an on-line petition opposing the proposals on the Council’s website http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/bakerstreet/

Call for Baker Street Two-Way proposal to be taken by full Council rather than by just one Councillor

We have called for any decision on the Baker Street Two-Way proposal to be taken by the full Council rather than by one Councillor who has already been publicly strongly supportive of the controversial proposals which are being vigourously opposed by local residents and businesses.

In a letter to Charlie Parker, Chief Executive of Westminster City Council, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour’s Built Environment spokesperson, says;

“Charlie

I am writing to express my concern that, as the prime ‘cheer-leader’ for the Baker Street Two Way project, Councillor Davis will also be the sole decision maker for this project.

Although there has been public consultation on this project, it is clear from Councillor Davis’ public statements that he is far from being impartial on this proposal. The two examples below clearly show that Councillor Davis is very supportive of the project and has been active in promoting what he considers to be the benefits.

For example, Councillor Davis’ quote in the Consultation leaflet strongly promotes the proposals:

“This public consultation gives you the chance to have your say on our proposal to return two way operation to Baker Street and Gloucester Place. Using modern traffic engineering techniques, under the proposed project vehicle flow should be smoother and less congested, without attracting more traffic to the area. This would reduce the dominance of vehicles along both streets and provide greater access, connectivity and useable space for local residents, businesses, workers and visitors. The proposals would also reduce the impact of convoluted journeys that are caused by the current one way system.”

Councillor Robert Davis DL
Deputy Leader
Cabinet Member for Built Environment
Westminster City Council

http://www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk/pdfs/Baker-Street-Two-Way-Consultation-leaflet.pdf

Similarly, Councillor Davis’ contribution to the Baker Street Quarter website is equally positive about the proposals:

Cllr Robert Davis said: “Baker Street is one of the top locations for visitors to this city, with Regent’s Park, Madame Tussauds, the Wallace Collection and the Sherlock Holmes museum nearby.

“It is only right that we seek to make the area a far more welcoming place for everyone that lives in, works in and visits the area. Baker Street is one of our key commercial districts and we want to give those that work there a more pleasant environment. The planned designs will re-establish and rejuvenate the area and bring back two way flow for the first time in almost 50 years, easing congestion in the area and creating better public spaces.

“I suppose Mr Holmes would have described this project as being elementary, but it is far from it. We think this is an exciting opportunity that will require many different parts of the community to work together to achieve success. So this consultation is important, and the project reflects the innovative way in which the public and private sectors can come together to find solutions to benefit the lives of those living and working in London, and we want everyone to play a part.”

http://www.bakerstreetquarter.co.uk/news-and-whats-on/londons-baker-street-set-to-banish-its-urban-motorway-image-for-good

As you know, there is considerable opposition to the proposals from local residents and businesses north and south of Marylebone Road, some of whom have put it to me that Councillor Davis cannot be considered to be an impartial decision maker in this instance and may have already made up his mind, notwithstanding the results of the public consultation.

With this in mind, and given the importance of this matter across a wide area, I suggest that this matter be considered by the full Council rather than by an individual Councillor.

I hope you will give this your full consideration.

Regards

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Labour Built Environment Spokesperson”

Baker Street two-way proposals

We are supporting the concerns of local residents, as well as the St Marylebone Society and the Marylebone Association who are calling for Westminster Council and Transport for London to take more notice of residents’ views on plans to return Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two-way working.

At the June meeting of the Environment Scrutiny Committee, Councillors heard from Gaby Higgs of the St Marylebone Society and Michael Bolt of the Marylebone Association. Gaby Higgs told the Committee of residents’ concerns that the current proposals would cause ‘rat-runs’ through residential areas and that insufficient information had been provided on how bus and coach traffic would be managed. Michael Bolt told the Committee that residents were concerned that the proposed ban on left turns into Marylebone Road at Gloucester Place would force traffic through York Street and on to Seymour Place. He told the Committee;

“Whilst we are generally supportive of the overall aspirations involved in making these roads two way but we are not supportive of a gold plated scheme which fiddles around with the carriageways to such an extent that we see substantial traffic displacement within our area, and the present scheme is in grave danger of doing just this. The effect of all these changes, plus the reduction in carriageway width on Baker Street and Gloucester Place, will be to move more traffic onto residential streets and spread the pollution noise and disruption to surrounding areas.”

The principle of returning Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two way working after over 50 years might be a good idea, but the devil is in the detail of how it will operate at the key junctions. The consultation so far has not convinced many long-standing residents and more needs to be done to show people how the new road system would work in detail. The weakest link for many people is the proposal to ban the left turn at the Gloucester Place/Marylebone Road junction and the impact that this will have on forcing a great deal of traffic through the residential streets north and south of Marylebone Road. Westminster and TfL have a lot more work to do and listening to residents should be the top priority.

The Transport for London consultation on the plans to re-route the buses closes on 4th September:
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/baker-street/

There is an on-line petition opposing the proposals on the Council’s website http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/bakerstreet/

The Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, has said he is not supportive of the Baker Street two-way scheme and wants to work with Westminster City Council to make it work for cycling, saying that the scheme isn’t safe enough. He says the plans, including painted cycle lanes along Gloucester Place, are unable to offer sufficient protection from the fast and heavy motor traffic on the road. Westminster City Council has said that the lanes couldn’t operate 24 hours a day because of the need to allow loading and parking at certain times. Read more here:

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/the-case-of-the-missing-space-for-cycling-cycling-commissioner-says-he-is-not-supportive-of-the-baker-street-scheme

Blandford Estate

Residents on the Blandford Estate say:

“For some reason the 200+ people who live on Blandford Estate were omitted from the distribution. Is it just a coincidence that Harewood Avenue was also omitted from all the published maps and plans issued by the planners of the Baker Street 2-way project?”

Residents say:

“The proposal includes allowing south‐bound traffic to turn right from the A41 Park Road onto Rossmore Road. This will result in an enormous increase in traffic using Harewood Avenue in order to turn right into Marylebone Road. Harewood Avenue is already severely congested: it is the only right turn between Baker Street and the Marylebone flyover, and most of the time has a queue of taxis that sometimes reaches back almost to Rossmore Road. Harewood Avenue is already horrendously polluted”

Gloucester Place

We have reported this issue:

“Over the past fortnight I have called the Council’s Rubbish & Environment line at least four times regarding what appears to be an “abandoned waste” issue at my address. Each time I have spoken to a very helpful and pleasant member of staff who takes down all the details and informs me it will be resolved within 12 hours. But it never is – and when I call again to check on progress, am told the case is “closed”. The situation has been like this for at least 6 weeks and has now become an environmental health issue. The smell is becoming beyond disgusting and will only get worse. “

Following reporting this issue the Council told us:

“I arranged for the removal of all the waste which I have been informed by our waste contractor has now been completed. Follow up work is one of education to all the residents that use the basement for their waste storage; this will be undertaken by the Local City Inspector and the Westminster Recycling Team. A letter will be sent out to the residents at the address with the specifics of their waste management arrangements.”

Old Marylebone Road/Harcourt Street

Harcourt2Harcourt1We asked Thames Water to repair a long-standing water leak at the junction of Old Marylebone Road/Harcourt Street. There was now a large hole in the road which was getting bigger every day.

We are delighted to say that the problem has now been fixed. Thames Water says:

“Our technician investigated the leak and found it was due to a broken valve used to control flows in our large 36 inch main running down Old Marylebone Road. Due to the main’s size the repair needed to be carefully planned to minimise the impact upon the water supply to customers in the area. I am pleased to confirm the repair was completed on 28 July when we replaced the valve and stopped the leak. I am sorry for the time taken to investigate and make the repair.”

Crawford Street/Molyneux Street – vacant block of flats

We have called on the Council to urge the owners of the vacant block of flats on the corner of Crawford Street and Molyneux Street to bring them back in use as soon as possible.

The Harcourt, Harcourt Street

We are making enquiries about the future of The Harcourt pub in Harcourt Street which closed earlier this year. The Harcourt was a very popular local pub which was used by many members of the local Swedish community living and working in the Marylebone area. The Planning Department has told us:

“Following an initial site inspection warning letters were sent out advising all works to cease until consent had been obtained. I received verbal confirmation that the works had ceased and applications for listed building consent and planning permission (ref. 15/04723/FULL and 15/04724/LBC) were submitted on 27th May for:

‘Erection of a single storey rear extension at lower ground floor level and alterations to the front elevation, including the removal of redundant advertising. Installation of a new high level extract duct on the rear elevation in connection with the existing public house and internal alterations at all floor levels.’

The applications are due to be determined by 17th August, and are being considered by Billy Pattison in Central Team. The applications were submitted by Mr James McCulloch of Harcourt Pub PLC, who is understood to be the owner. I note that the website for the Harcourt Arms states that it is currently under refurbishment and is due to reopen summer 2015.”

The Swan & Edgar pub, 43 Linhope Street – Update

The pub is designated as an Unlisted Building of Merit within the Dorset Square Conservation Area. On 6th May 2015 it was included in the List of Assets of Community Value maintained by the City Council. However, the owner is currently questioning /challenging this.

Following the refusal of permission to a change of use of the public house to a single family dwelling, with external alterations, on 11th February 2014, a second application sought a change of use of the public house to a single family dwelling house, with no external alterations, was subsequently refused on 23rd October 2014. An appeal against this decision has been lodged and is due to be heard at an Informal Hearing on 2nd September 2015.

Third and fourth applications have now been submitted, also seeking a change of use from public house to single family dwelling house, but with different external alterations. For this reason the City Council was not able to decline to determine these applications and they have consequently been accepted, are currently out to consultation and pending a decision.

The Samaritan Hospital, Marylebone Road

We are concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Grade II listed Samaritan Hospital on Marylebone Road which closed in 1997 and looks in poor shape. We have asked the Council if they know if there are any plans for the site. The Council says:

“The NHS have recently discussed converting the building into residential as part of their proposals to redevelop and upgrade St Marys Hospital.”

Harewood Avenue

We are continuing to urge the Council to take action against parked cars and taxis which pollute the area by keeping their engines running.

“While Harewood Avenue was being altered, with road works and new pedestrian crossings, the problem of stacked taxis grew less. But they are back now with a vengeance, and rows of more than 20 can be seen regularly, belching out diesel pollution.”

Montagu Street rubbishMontagu Street/George Street

We have asked the Council to clear the regular overflowing bins and to take action to stop the indiscriminate rubbish dumping at this and other locations.

47/48 Bryanston Square

We asked the Council for an update on this long-vacant pair of houses. The Portman Estate says:

“We are in talks with the Wetherby School who are working up a proposal to part extend the school with the remainder as residential. We have redecorated the outside in the meantime and have ensured it is water tight so it is now being looked after.”

Electoral Registration – makes sure your voice is heard

Each year the Council’s Electoral Services Office has to publish a revised Register of Electors. This involves conducting an audit of all residential properties in Westminster. In order to carry out this task Westminster City Council is recruiting enthusiastic, fit and dedicated staff to join the Electoral Canvassing Team.

If you are interested in joining the Canvassing Team then follow this link to the application form:
https://www.westminster.gov.uk/canvasser-recruitment

To make sure that you and your family are correctly registered, follow this link:
https://www.westminster.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Baker Street Two-way proposal – What you say

“Whilst apparently seeking to transform Baker Street and Gloucester Place into pleasant boulevards, these proposals have very serious negative consequences for many of the smaller streets in the area, such as York Street. It would appear inevitable that much more traffic) will be encouraged onto the smaller roads. These small and largely residential roads are quite unsuited to substituting for the proposed massively reduced traffic capacity of Baker Street & Gloucester Place. For example, in York Street, there are already two primary schools, and a growing population of families with children, many of them very young. The increased traffic hazards, and crucially the increase in pollution and further reduction in already dangerous air quality would seem to fly in the face of national as well as European requirements, and will reduce the quality of air and life for residents in every age group. We are very concerned indeed about the overall scheme and in particular the plan to convert York Street into a one way road between Gloucester Place and Upper Montagu Street. This will effectively make York Street part of a one way system from Gloucester Place along York Street, and right onto Upper Montagu Street and onto Marylebone Road.”

What you say

“As a Marylebone resident, I am very appreciative of your efforts on behalf of us in the streets which will be adversely affected by the Baker St 2 Way proposals as they stand. I wish our other local politicians were as engaged and responsive!!”

Please let us know if there are any local issues on which we can help.

If you do not wish to receive further copies of this newsletter please let us know and we will remove your details from our records.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Labour Built Environment spokesperson
Westminster City Council

 

Bryanston and Dorset Square Ward Labour Action Report – July 2015

Baker Street two-way proposals

We are supporting the concerns of local residents, as well as the St Marylebone Society and the Marylebone Association who are calling for Westminster Council and Transport for London to take more notice of residents’ views on plans to return Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two-way working.

At the June meeting of the Environment Scrutiny Committee, Councillors heard from Gaby Higgs of the St Marylebone Society and Michael Bolt of the Marylebone Association. Gaby Higgs told the Committee of residents’ concerns that the current proposals would cause ‘rat-runs’ through residential areas and that insufficient information had been provided on how bus and coach traffic would be managed. Michael Bolt told the Committee that residents were concerned that the proposed ban on left turns into Marylebone Road at Gloucester Place would force traffic through York Street and on to Seymour Place. He told the Committee;

“Whilst we are generally supportive of the overall aspirations involved in making these roads two way but we are not supportive of a gold plated scheme which fiddles around with the carriageways to such an extent that we see substantial traffic displacement within our area, and the present scheme is in grave danger of doing just this. The effect of all these changes, plus the reduction in carriageway width on Baker Street and Gloucester Place, will be to move more traffic onto residential streets and spread the pollution noise and disruption to surrounding areas.”

The principle of returning Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two way working after over 50 years might be a good idea, but the devil is in the detail of how it will operate at the key junctions. The consultation so far has not convinced many long-standing residents and more needs to be done to show people how the new road system would work in detail. The weakest link for many people is the proposal to ban the left turn at the Gloucester Place/Marylebone Road junction and the impact that this will have on forcing a great deal of traffic through the residential streets north and south of Marylebone Road. Westminster and TfL have a lot more work to do and listening to residents should be the top priority.

The Westminster Council consultation on the plans closes on 31st July 2015.

You can make your comments here:
http://www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk/

The Transport for London consultation on the plans to re-route the buses closes on 4th September:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/baker-street/

There is an on-line petition opposing the proposals on the Council’s website

http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/bakerstreet/

Cycling Commissioner says he is not supportive of the Baker Street two-way scheme

The Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan has said he is not supportive of the Baker Street two-way scheme and wants to work with Westminster City Council to make it work for cycling, saying that the scheme isn’t safe enough. The plans, including painted cycle lanes along Gloucester Place, have been labelled unable to offer sufficient protection from the fast and heavy motor traffic on the road. Westminster City Council have said that the lanes couldn’t operate 24 hours a day because of the need to allow loading and parking at certain times.

Read more here:

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/the-case-of-the-missing-space-for-cycling-cycling-commissioner-says-he-is-not-supportive-of-the-baker-street-scheme

Gloucester Place

We have reported this issue:

“Over the past fortnight I have called the Council’s Rubbish & Environment line at least four times regarding what appears to be an “abandoned waste” issue at my address. Each time I have spoken to a very helpful and pleasant member of staff who takes down all the details and informs me it will be resolved within 12 hours. But it never is – and when I call again to check on progress, am told the case is “closed”. The situation has been like this for at least 6 weeks and has now become an environmental health issue. The smell is becoming beyond disgusting and will only get worse. “

Following reporting this issue the Council told us:

“I arranged for the removal of all the waste which I have been informed by our waste contractor has now been completed. Follow up work is one of education to all the residents that use the basement for their waste storage; this will be undertaken by the Local City Inspector and the Westminster Recycling Team. A letter will be sent out to the residents at the address with the specifics of their waste management arrangements.”

Harcourt1Old Marylebone Road/Harcourt Street

We have asked Thames Water to repair a long-standing water leak at the junction of Old Marylebone Road/Harcourt Street.

UPDATE – The Leak has now been fixed!

Thames Water tell us:

“Our technician investigated the leak and found it was due to a broken valve used to control flows in our large 36 inch main running down Old Marylebone Road. Due to the main’s size the repair needed to be carefully planned to minimise the impact upon the water supply to customers in the area. I am pleased to confirm the repair was completed on 28 July when we replaced the valve and stopped the leak. I am sorry for the time taken to investigate and make the repair. “

The Harcourt, Harcourt Street

We are making enquiries about the future of The Harcourt pub in Harcourt Street which closed earlier this year. The Harcourt was a very popular local pub which was used by many members of the local Swedish community living and working in the Marylebone area.

The Samaritan Hospital, Marylebone Road

We are concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Grade II listed Samaritan Hospital on Marylebone Road which closed in 1997 and looks in poor shape. We have asked the Council if they know if there are any plans for the site.

Councillor Audrey Lewis

We were saddened to hear that Councillor Audrey Lewis passed away recently. Audrey was an excellent Lord Mayor last year and was generous in giving her time to Westminster’s many communities.

Her experience and wise counsel was at its best on Licensing matters and many residents have benefitted from the decisions taken by her committee which she chaired for many years.

We thank her for her many years of service to Marylebone as a Councillor and as a member of the Marylebone Association.

“Audrey was hugely respected by the Labour group as someone who was open, engaging and committed to helping local residents of whatever political persuasion and background. We knew we could trust her to be fair in her dealings with us and during her time as Lord Mayor she made a real effort to make a contribution in our wards and across the city. She will be greatly missed.”

Councillor Adam Hug
Leader, Westminster Labour Group

“I’m shocked by the news. Audrey asked me to be the Lord Mayor’s consort to accompany her to an event in our ward celebrating Bangladeshi independence in Churchill last April.”

Councillor Shamin Talukder

“Sorry to hear the news. She was community minded and someone we were able to work with”

Councillor Barrie Taylor

“Very sad news. She was very keen to help us with the Churchill Gardens Christmas tree last year.”

Councillor Murad Gassanly

“This is very sad, she reached out and was someone you could work with as well as a wealth of experience. She was an excellent Lord Mayor. “

Councillor Jason Williams

“This is very sad news. Audrey was a model Councillor. She was in touch with residents, took up their issues with tenacity and was fair minded and practical. She will be missed by many”

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Baker Street/Gloucester place two-way proposal – Proposed changes to bus routes – have your say

As part of the proposals to return Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two-way streets (www.surveygizmo.co.uk/s3/2145353/Baker-Street-Two-Way-Consultation-Questionnaire), some changes to the bus network in the area are proposed. Details of the proposed changes can be found on the Transport for London website: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/baker-street

A consultation survey is now open, giving you an opportunity to have your say on the proposed changes to bus services in the Baker Street / Gloucester Place area. Please use the following link to complete the online questionnaire: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/baker-street/consultation/intro/view

The deadline for responses is Friday 4th September 2015.

Bryanston and Dorset Square Action Report – June 2015

Westminster Council and TfL should listen to residents on Baker Street two-way proposals

Labour Councillors are supporting the pleas of the St Marylebone Society and the Marylebone Association who are calling for Westminster Council and Transport for London to take more notice of residents’ views on plans to return Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two-way working.

At this week’s Environment Scrutiny Committee, Councillors heard from Gaby Higgs of the St Marylebone Society and Michael Bolt of the Marylebone Association. Gaby Higgs told the Committee of residents’ concerns that the current proposals would cause ‘rat-runs’ through residential areas and that insufficient information had been provided on how bus and coach traffic would be managed. Michael Bolt told the Committee that residents were concerned that the proposed ban on left turns into Marylebone Road at Gloucester Place would force traffic through York Street and on to Seymour Place. He told the Committee;

“Whilst we are generally supportive of the overall aspirations involved in making these roads two way but we are not supportive of a gold plated scheme which fiddles around with the carriageways to such an extent that we see substantial traffic displacement within our area, and the present scheme is in grave danger of doing just this. The effect of all these changes, plus the reduction in carriageway width on Baker Street and Gloucester Place, will be to move more traffic onto residential streets and spread the pollution noise and disruption to surrounding areas.”

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour Built Environment spokesperson said;

“The principle of returning Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two way working after over 50 years might be a good idea, but the devil is in the detail of how it will operate at the key junctions. The consultation so far has not convinced many long-standing residents and more needs to be done to show people how the new road system would work in detail. The weakest link for many people is the proposal to ban the left turn at the Gloucester Place/Marylebone Road junction and the impact that this will have on forcing a great deal of traffic through the residential streets north and south of Marylebone Road. Westminster and TfL have a lot more work to do and listening to residents should be the top priority.”

Baker Street two-way working proposal – what you say

“The proposal to provide a right turn from A41 Park Road on to Rossmore Road will result in a very large increase in traffic using Harewood Avenue in order to turn right into Marylebone Road. The section of Harewood Avenue both north and especially south of Marylebone station is already a major area of congestion needing urgent attention. This is the only right turn between Baker Street and the Marylebone flyover. Any additional traffic will seriously affect the, already difficult, access to the station for taxis and other service vehicles. Pollution levels are already dangerously high, given the trains and the dozens of diesel driven taxis in the area.”

Baker Street Two-Way Project: Public Consultation Now Open

The public consultation on the proposed project to reintroduce two way traffic operation to Baker Street and Gloucester Place is now underway. The consultation will last for ten weeks up until Friday 31st July, before which everyone in the area can have their say by visiting the project’s website www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk and filling in a feedback questionnaire. Along with the information on the website, there will also be a series of public exhibitions held in the coming weeks to allow people to see first-hand the scope of the project and speak directly to officers and partners.

Baker Street Two-way

We understand that the option to use Balcombe Street as a right turn for southbound traffic onto Marylebone Road has been dropped from the Two-way scheme planning. This follows initial representations by the Marylebone Association and the St Marylebone Society reinforced by comment from the North Marylebone Traffic Group. Consultation on other options will begin shortly.

Consultation on Changes to Buses Serving Marylebone

Following a review, Transport for London is proposing that bus routes 13 and N13 will no longer run, but there will be extensions and enhancements to routes 82, 113, 139 and 189. Details of the proposals and the consultation, which is open until 10 April, can be found at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/finchleyroad

Harrowby Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Please can you investigate the increased unhygienic problem of chewing gum & cigarette ends constantly outside the Victoria Casino in Harrowby Street? This establishment appear to oblivious to the habits if its patrons, whilst we have to wade through this health hazard on a daily basis, or risk contacting road traffic to avoid it.”

The Council say;

Harrowby Street is manually swept Mon – Sun. Chewing gum requires specialised cleaning. Unfortunately the council do not have a bespoke chewing gum removal service and have not had one for some years now. They have something called a deep cleaning service which can remove gum, but it runs to a very tight schedule, prioritised to principle walking routes and event areas where staining, gum, and footfall scuffing is heaviest and most prominent.

Tyburn Stone

We are making enquiries into this matter:

“I notice that the Bank in Edgware Road that used to have the Tyburn Stone in its window has been gutted and is being refurbished; I tried to ask one of the Builders what had happened to this old stone, but he did not know. Can you find out what has happened to it?”

Labour Councillors have called on Westminster Council to mount an inquiry into the appallingly high levels of pollution on Marylebone Road and other West End roads

Westminster’s Labour Councillors have called on Westminster Council to mount an inquiry into the appallingly high levels of pollution on many of Westminster’s major roads after the ‘Evening Standard’ revealed “toxicity levels up to three-and-a-half times the EU legal limit” and some roads “at least double the EU limit for nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas linked to asthma, lung infections and other respiratory problems.”

The ‘Evening Standard’ reported;

“The most polluted street is Marylebone Road where the EU limit is shattered in at least five places. London’s worst blackspot, where Marylebone Road joins Glentworth Street, showed 132 micrograms – about three and a half times the EU maximum. Nearby at the junction with Wyndham Street the level was 124, some three times the maximum. Next worst are Park Lane and Knightsbridge. Number seven on the toxic Top 50 is Oxford Street where it joins Orchard Road at Selfridges – despite Boris Johnson last year dismissing as “bollocks” claims by top experts that the country’s famous shopping street harboured some of the worst pollution on the planet. The new data lists at least two sites in Oxford Street where current pollution levels are nearly triple the limit.”

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-pollution-shame-laid-bare-the-uks-50-worst-spots-for-air-filth-are-all-in-the-capital-10087611.html

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;

“Urgent action needs to be taken by the Council, in partnership with the Mayor and the Government, to reduce pollution on Westminster’s roads. These latest figures are a wake up call to the authorities. We cannot allow this situation to go unchecked. Growing pollution is damaging the health of residents, workers and visitors and we will all pay a heavy price in increased illness, more call on already overstretched health services and a much damaged environment which will deter visitors and investors from coming to London”

T S Eliot Plaque at Crawford Mansions

We made enquiries following this message:

“When we purchased this, we had anticipated it to be metal with an enamel finish that would withstand the elements for several decades. However, it is covered in cheap plastic coating that is gradually peeling away. The plaque now looks extremely unsightly and cannot be regarded as a good advertisement for either WCC or the Green Plaques Scheme. It is not something that our block can display proudly. The Council agreed with us that the plaque was sub-standard and promised a replacement, even going so far as to say that the foundry were despatching a new plaque and we were wondering if you could do anything to move matters forward.”

We contacted the Council and the the installers have now put it up.

More rubbish on Marylebone streets

According to Amanda Feeny, Chair of the Harrowby and District Residents’ Association and Marylebone Association Committee Member

“Piles of rubbish are becoming all too common in the streets of Marylebone and I wonder if Westminster Council needs to approach the problem differently.
Marylebone Rubbish

Westminster has always had a large transient population but there has been a considerable rise in the number of short term lets in and around our area since landlords can make so much more from their properties if they can rent them almost like hotel space. Although technically they need a permit from the Council to do this very few bother to apply. As a result we are living with more rubbish on our streets. Westminster Council has always taken rubbish seriously. If bags are put out at the wrong time, a warden can go through them, find evidence of the source address and issue a warning, which may result in a fine if offending persists. Now, however, the offenders are often long gone, probably even before a warning is issued, so the system has broken down as any deterrent has been lost.

The Council needs to reconsider the whole system, either by extending daily collections to residential areas where the rubbish is accumulating or restoring the deterrent. There seems to be a marked difference between the behaviour of owner occupiers and tenants, with the former adhering to the collection times far more than the latter. Would it be possible to fine landlords if their tenants do not respect the collection times? Landlords would then take much more trouble to tell their tenants to put out rubbish on the appropriate day.

Marylebone Rubbish2
This may not be the right solution but Westminster needs to give further thought to finding one. The problem is worsening and rubbish is very unhygienic as well as unsightly, spoiling the elegant environment of Marylebone.”

Amanda Feeny, Chair of the Harrowby and District Residents’ Association and Marylebone Association Committee Member
amanda.feeny@marylebone.org

The full version of this article appears on the St Marylebone Association website. Click here to view http://www.marylebone.org/entry/city-management/marylebone-rubbish-on-our-streets-what-can-be-done

Harewood Row – Taxis

We have asked the Council to consider this suggestion from a resident;

“I see that Islington Council is warning off diesel drivers (presumably of taxis) who loiter with engines running. Is there any chance that Westminster might follow suit and that the taxis which still queue on Harewood Avenue might be dealt with? 22 this morning in a line, 23 the day before … plus ca change … Nobody seems to care.”

Blandford Estate

We are making enquiries about this issue;

“We have recently had a pedestrian gate security system installed on our estate. We are always charged for Major Works on a bed-space basis. It transpires that we will be charged as usual on the amount of bed-spaces we have however, been informed that it is a Westminster wide policy to only issue 3 fobs to each flat and any additional fobs have to be purchased at an additional £15. We have been informed by the Marylebone Village office that the reasoning is that only 3 fobs per flat are factored into the cost of the major works and any additional fobs residents required must be purchased. This seems to most residents extremely unfair, as Westminster always charges major works on the amount of bed-spaces. Therefore, surely they should issue the equipment required on the same basis.”

Bryanston Square

Bryanston Sq

We have made enquiries about the long-standing vacant buildings at 46-47 Bryanston Square which are in a derelict state:

The Council says;

“An inspection of the property has confirmed that the property is in a poor state of repair and is considered to be having a detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the immediate locality and the Portman Estate Conservation Area. Consequently, warning letters were issued on 11 February 2014 to all known persons having an interest in the property to ascertain their immediate plans to improve its appearance and condition. A response has been requested within 21 days otherwise they have been placed on notice that they could face formal enforcement action which may include the service of a s215 Notice. “

Dorset Square rubbish dumping

Dorset sq

We presented a petition on behalf of Dorset Square and Balcombe Street residents at the January Council meeting calling on the Council to relocate the Big Black Bin which is attracting regular rubbish dumping.

Three weeks later the bin is still there and the rubbish continues to pile up!

Come on Westminster Council – let’s see some action!

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2 Responses to Bryanston and Dorset Square Ward

  1. Rebecca Anderson says:

    Regarding the Baker Street/Gloucester place two-way proposal, I don’t think this has been presented in a very user-friendly format: maps not easy to read, getting thrown back if you click for further information and difficult to visualize. It mentions air quality but doesn’t really address it, we’re Europe’s no.1 offender!

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