Harrow Road Ward

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

 

 

 

 

Croxley Road 

Maida Hill Forum would like to safeguard the City of Westminster college building on Croxley Road. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/community-right-bid.

“It’s important to act now, or before we know it we may have lost it all to a developer. There are many options for future use, including residential but preserving something for community. One of our Neighbourhood Planning team is happy to lead a team applying for it to be an asset of Community Value – please can anyone help her? Email info@maidahillforum.org.uk.”

Rubbish dumping in W9

We have called on the Council to take strong action against those found dumping rubbish in the streets. Fernhead and Fordingley Road are some of the worst streets affected.

Fermoy/Hormead Roads

A number of residents have raised this issue:

“I’d like to raise a question about plans for the Harrow Road area since the fire on the corner of Fermoy Road earlier this year.  I hear that the gate/barrier at the junction of Fermoy and Hormead roads had to be cut away to get access for the fire engines may now not be replaced.  This would be a calamity for the residents of Fermoy and Hormead roads.  That barrier was erected 30 years ago to stop the roads being used as a rat run between Great Western Road and Harrow Road.”

The Council say:

“We have placed an urgent works order for the removable bollards to be installed in the carriageway to prevent traffic using this section of Fermoy Road as a through route.  A ‘cycles only’ sign is planned to be included with the bollards, but I will see if we can install a ‘no motor vehicles’ sign on a post/lamp column also.”

Lydford Estate

We attended a residents’ meeting to hear concerns about increased anti-social behavior on the estate. Residents and shopkeepers identified the following recent incidents:

  • Youths breaking open a security gate with heavy tools
  • An air gun attack on a resident which ended yup with her in hospital
  • A fight in Fernhead Road
  • Large groups standing in residents’ porches and not moving when asked

One solution is to have a regular police presence on each estate. We have asked Karen Buck MP to raise these issues with the police.

Chippenham Road/Harrow Road junction

We have asked the Council to investigate this junction which has seen a number of recent accidents:

“I feel accidents have increased. There was a island on Chippenham Road which was removed but there are no road markings to replace it. The incident relating to the biker who broke his leg could have been avoided if the driver of the car that him hadn’t turned in early and drove into the wrong side of the road. If there were road markings clearly showing the division in the road, this accident may have been avoided. I would like the council to definitely review its recent changes to the road.”

The Council say:

“The markings for the crossing and the stop lines follow standard guidelines, and introducing additional markings where the island used to be on Chippenham Road would be inappropriate.  I do not wish to speculate on the accident in question until the TfL data is made available, but the stop line in Chippenham Road is set far back from the junction, so there does not appear to be any apparent hazard, and the traffic lanes are clearly defined. We will review the accident report when it is available, but I do not expect we will be making any changes at this location.”

Warlock Road Chippenham Road

We have asked the Highways Department to see if this issue can be investigated:

“Peak times especially in the morning, there is chaos on Warlock Road at the junction of Chippenham Road. Due to cars being parked either side of Warlock road, passing is impossible and those wanting to turn right into Chippenham Road, there is frustration and confusion.”

The Council say:

“I propose introducing double yellow lines around the junction to deter parking on the corners of Warlock Road and Chippenham Road, and to improve visibility for motorists entering and exiting the junction during peak hours. The traffic order consultation and making and implementation will be coordinated with the nearby works for the Chippenham Road/Shirland Road junction. The consulting and making of traffic orders is a statutory process which will take 12-16 weeks to complete, after which (assuming there are no objections that are upheld) the new restrictions will be implemented.  “

Chippenham Road/Shirland Road junction – Update

Following our longstanding campaign to improve safety at this busy junction, the Council say:

“I have visited the location, and understand the issue with vehicles parking on the yellow line at the junction obstructing traffic flow, especially for busses. There are single yellow lines at the junction, and I will be progressing a scheme to introduce double yellow lines.  Double yellow lines should act as a parking deterrent during controlled hours and current uncontrolled hours (overnight and at weekends), and protect traffic flow through the junction. The usual timescales for traffic order consulting and making apply – between 12 and 16 weeks.”

 

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – August 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Harrow Road/Chippenham Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:

“There have been some serious accidents at the junction of Harrow Road and Chippenham Road where a car turning right into Chippenham Road has hit a motorcycle; and there was one a couple of weeks ago which I believe was fatal. This is becoming a regular occurrence and I think that some investigation is required into the control of this crossing and the way these lights are set up. A filter light may be required.”

The Road Safety Team say:

“With regards to the recent accidents, the Police have confirmed that the accident that happened in June was not fatal, but a motorist suffered a broken leg, and was reported for motoring offences. Following a fatality in 2013, a scheme was implemented in August 2014 to provide signalised pedestrian crossing points.  Since this scheme went in, collision data does show a reduction in the severity of accidents for a comparative time period prior to the implementation of the scheme in 2014. However, in view of concerns about recent accidents, the City Council has raised the matter with Transport for London to review the signal layout and timings at this junction.”

Hormead Road

We are continuing to press the Council to take action against those responsible for dumping furniture, boxes and rubbish by the big black bins.

The Chippenham

The owners of the former Chippenham Hotel have been ordered to remove steel shutters and spruce up the long-neglected local landmark, after campaigning by local residents. A letter from Westminster City Council issues the owners of the building with a Section 215 notice under the Town and Country Planning Act. This requires them to carry out works to address the visible neglect that has left the former pub ‘an eyesore.’

Ashmore Road

We have contacted the police following reports from residents about stolen Santander bikes which are being used by drug dealers and others engaged in anti-social behaviour.

 

 

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – July 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

 

 

 

 

Malvern Road – Crime Report

Following a recent shooting on the Brent/Westminster border at Malvern Road and a number of knife incidents, we have urged the Council to increase its resources to the Gangs Unit so that additional efforts can be made, in liaison with the police and local schools, to tackle the increased gang-related crime involving young people.

Edbrooke Road/Elgin Avenue – Update

Following our enquiries on behalf of residents, the Council tells us:

“Road safety works at the junction of Edbrooke Road and Elgin Avenue are being progressed.  The proposals include relocating 10 metres of resident parking at the junction and replacing with double yellow lines to improve visibility and also give more road space for vehicles exiting and entering Edbrooke Road. The proposals will be going out to public consultation in the next month or so. Also, both roads will be included in a 20 MPH speed limit trial in the summer.”

Harrow Road

Following the fire a few months ago, residents have asked:

“Do you know what is going on with the building on the corner of Fermoy and Harrow roads which was unfortunately devastated by fire in February? We were told that it would be demolished mid-May but nothing has happened. The debris has caused an infestation of flies which makes opening doors and windows in this warm weather practically impossible; and there is also an issue with scooters using the pavement next to the building as a cut through between Harrow Rd and Great Western Road. We have already had a local pet killed as a result of this – how long before it is a child?”

The Council say:

“Demolition contractor (Savoy Construction) commenced on site on Monday 19th June at 8am. They have extended the closure on Fermoy Road and 6 further parking bays have been suspended to facilitate the works. They envisage the works will take 6 weeks in total and hopefully Harrow Road will be returned to two-way traffic 5 weeks after they commenced on site. They have removed a large amount of the scaffolding on Fermoy Road and started to take some of the building down. Further scaffolding is required on Harrow Road and Fermoy Road where the edge of the building is adjacent to the neighbouring property but this will not impact on the carriageway.”

Saltram Crescent

We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to update us on two terraces that have been built in Saltram Crescent. The Council told us that enforcement action is to be taken. Residents said:

“Thank you so much for your swift help. It has been hard to reach the planning officer in question at times and we appreciate you taking the time to assist us.”

Edbrooke Road Area

Residents have made further suggestions for traffic calming in the Edbrooke Road area:

“We would welcome sensible traffic calming measures to prevent the street further becoming a rat run, but traffic flow and the logic of one-ways needs to be looked at in the wider area contained by Elgin Avenue/ Harrow Road/ Marylands Road/ Shirland Road. The way certain streets have become one-ways over the years is piecemeal. The partial one way/ two way in Oakington and Marylands Roads is illogical. The pedestrian blockage of Marylands Road (introduced in the late-1980s) necessitates additional journeying along adjacent streets to be able to approach neighbouring streets.

Reopening Marylands to traffic full length would take vehicles off adjacent streets and a clever realignment of one-ways – including an expansion in the number of streets made one-way – would prevent these largely residential streets being used by commuters and delivery vehicles. In considering whether to replace pay/display bays with double yellows, note that visitors/ contractors frequently struggle to find pay/ display bays available.”

Goldney Road

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“Some of the drug dealing on the corner or Goldney Road and Chippenham Road appears to have shifted. New cars and drivers are parked. Pot is being smoked by an athletic looking young man standing on the pavement. Has drug dealing stopped or just shifted?”

Hormead Road

Following our enquiries about the continued rubbish dumping by the black bins in Hormead Road, the Council has told us:

“The majority of waste found by our officers and the waste contractors Veolia in Hormead Road and the surrounding area is residential and not commercial. There is undoubtedly an element of businesses fly-tipping but the number is considerably reduced since we launched an initiative in the Harrow Road area last year. We realised that a number of businesses did not dispose of their waste correctly and through a variety of methods have ensured that all of the premises in the Harrow Road and adjacent streets are now disposing of their waste in a legal fashion. We are aware that there will always be an element of people flouting the law but with extra patrols being made by our enforcement officers we are confident we can reduce the incidents of fly-tipping even more. “

Shirland Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“There is a continuation of daily garbage dumping – both small and bags – at the bottom of trees. What do residents need to stop doing this? Street bins? Better (communal) bins or rubbish facilities/logistics? Needs to stop at some point!”

 

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – June 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

 

 

 

 

Hormead Road

We have again asked the Council to take strong action to stop the continued dumping of rubbish by the black bins in Hormead Road. The Council say:

“I have instructed the City Inspectors to prioritise this location for additional monitoring and to determine what additional enforcement resources should be deployed to effectively address this problem.  Veolia have also been instructed to undertake a deep clean of the area.”

Chippenham Mews – Update

Following our enquiries about the need to slow down vehicles along Chippenham Mews, the Council says:

“Analysis of the latest available thirty-six months accident data for Chippenham Mews has revealed that there have been no personal injury accidents. However, the City Council has recently undertaken highway improvements at Chippenham Mews, which consisted of refreshing the existing yellow line markings to maintain compliance with the traffic management orders, and the installation of school wig-wags signage to alert drivers of children and parents walking to and from the nearby primary school.

In addition to these measures local residents will be consulted in early summer this year regarding plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit to reduce traffic speeds in this area. If a favourable response to the proposals is received from the wider community, and the necessary approvals granted, the scheme signage will be implemented in late autumn 2017. “

Goldney Road/Edbrooke Road area

We have again asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:

I live in Edbrooke Road and I was vising a friend when the car accident happened on Goldney Road a couple of weekends back – it was indeed horrific and I was lucky not to be part of it as I passed by walking only a few minutes before the accident happened. This is not the only car accident in the area recently, but certainly the most “noisy” one. There have been quite a few more unreported accidents in both streets over the past months/years as, unfortunately, drivers throughout the day (but mainly during morning rush hour) use Goldney Road and Edbrooke Road as shortcuts to Harrow road via Marylands Road – most of them drive in Elgin Avenue and then take left in either of these two streets in order to avoid traffic and the two lights in Elgin/Chippenham and Chippenham/Harrow. It’s getting too dangerous for all of us living in those streets but also for other neighbours who take their kids to school or to the Edbrooke Gardens.”

Elgin Avenue/Edbrooke Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:

“The corner of Edbrooke Road and Elgin Avenue is also a high risk corner for motor accidents due to how narrow the street becomes when cars are parked on both sides of Edbrooke Road. Cars driving on Elgin Avenue and using the shortcut of Edbrooke Road towards Harrow Road, tend to turn (left) at a higher than expected speed, and inevitably use part of the counterflow lane, especially when cars are parked right in the corner. As a result, many accidents have happened in that corner and in many occasions accidents were avoided in the last minute. A potential way to mitigate the issue would be to apply a double yellow line at the first few meters of Edbrooke Road in order to prohibit cars being parked there, and at the same time to give more space to cars driving from Edbrooke Road to Elgin Avenue (and vice versa). This solution would reduce the amount of pay and display space in Edbrooke Road (by 2 parking spots) but will certainly make driving and walking in the area safer.”

Elgin Avenue

We have again asked the Council when Elgin Avenue (Chippenham Road to Harrow Road) will be resurfaced. Residents say:

The non stop army of Tarmac lorries are still thundering up Elgin Avenue from the depot at Westbourne Garage en route to Royal Oak. Can you please let me know when our section of Elgin Avenue will be resurfaced?  The tarmac is crumbling and London clay coming through when it rains.  The substrate is clearly not man enough for the job. I am getting complaints from my end of the building re the building trembling when large vehicles hit the depressed areas.  If you look along the front of Marble House, you will see the road on our side in particular is a poor condition. “

The Council say:

The section of Elgin Avenue between Chippenham Road and Harrow is due to be resurfaced, subject to co-ordination, on 20th July this year. According to the programme the works are due to take place under a full closure and could take up to 9 days. The surface course will be upgraded to hot rolled asphalt. Council contractors will be carrying out letter drops prior to the works once dates have been formally agreed.”

 

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – May 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

 

 

 

 

Hormead Road

We have asked the Council to take action again on this continuing issue:

“I am a resident of Hormead Road. There are a few problems that we seem to be stuck with having made many efforts over the last decade to shift them. The first is the horrendous fly-tipping by the black bins at the end of Hormead Road. It is a daily, revolting “welcome home” for all of the residents.  The second is the drug dealing that goes on fairly openly at each end of the street.”

We have also asked the Council to remove graffiti from street signs and bollards.

The Council says:

“We are running daily operations in and around the north of the city to monitor and enforce on the problematic bin sites. We will have 2 City Inspectors on a daily basis in a vehicle to concentrate on the most problematic sites. The BBBs which feature most highly with non-compliance are in the north district so I will be taking part regularly on these operations. Regarding the Anti-Social Behaviour I will discuss with the Problem Solving coordinator for the area.

Elgin Avenue

We have asked the Council for an update on this issue:

“Can you let me know when the section of Elgin Avenue. between Harrow Road and Chippenham Road, will be resurfaced? The surface is breaking up and it appears the substrata is not adequate. Marble House is being damaged by the heavy vehicles as they bounce along the road.” 

Oakington Road

We have written to Paddington Academy about this issue: 

“I live on Oakington Road opposite the Paddington Academy. In general, they are excellent neighbours, but they do have a habit of forgetting to turn their classroom lights off in the evenings. Their windows are large, and their lights are powerful, and it is obtrusive when the lights are left on all night (or sometimes all weekend). It also seems very wasteful to have the lights blazing at all hours. Would you be able to speak to them about this, please? I suspect it is just a case of someone needing to be tasked with checking that all the lights are off when locking up last thing at night. Or if a timer was fitted to turn off the lights in the evening, I am sure it would soon pay for itself in lower energy bills.”

Following our enquiries we have found out that they are very much aware of this problem and have called in electrical engineers to rectify the dimming and evening switch-off.

Goldney Road

We have called on the Council to introduce traffic-calming measures in the Goldney Roads area following another accident. Residents told us:

“A car collided at speed with a van on Goldney Road right outside the rear gates of St Peter’s Primary School, and next to Edbrooke Road Gardens park.  The speeding car then hit another car and another van (which were both parked adjacent to Edbrooke Gardens) at such speed as to force the car onto the pavement, and causing it enough damage as to write it off.  Mercifully as it was a Sunday morning the school was closed and the park quiet, so there was no injury – however had this been a mid-week morning and a passer-by had been walking past on the pavement, it may have been a very different story.” 

Chippenham Mews – Update 

Further to our enquiries about speeding vehicles along Chippenham Mews, the Council say:

“The City Council has recently undertaken highway improvements at Chippenham Mews, which consisted of refreshing the existing yellow line markings to maintain compliance with the traffic management orders, and the installation of school wig-wags signage to alert drivers of children and parents walking to and from the nearby primary school.  In addition to these measures local residents will be consulted in early summer this year regarding plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit to reduce traffic speeds in this area. If a favourable response to the proposals is received from the wider community, and the necessary approvals granted, the scheme signage will be implemented in late autumn 2017. “

Chippenham Junction

We are continuing to urge the Council to take action, along with Brent Council, to deal with the traffic congestion issues at the Chippenham Junction. We are grateful to receive a number of suggestions from residents for changing the traffic light sequence and the parking/yellow lines which we have asked the Council’s Highways officers to consider.

In addition, we have raised our concerns about these issues:

“Momtaz has been flouting the non-smoking laws now for far too long. All day, everyday large numbers are congregated smoking on the premises and hot coals are often prepared outside on the street, which is completely unacceptable. The building itself is in dire need of repair, and the removed windows are left propped out on the pavement. At night cars park illegally around the junction so they can park close by.

Sadly the Chippenham pub has fallen into a terrible state. What was once a beautiful old pub is now just a canvas for fly posting and graffiti and is constantly full of squatters. There have been windows smashed too, leaving pedestrians to negotiate a pavement full of glass. What are the developers planning? Surely both them and the council should be doing more to maintain the outward appearance of this building. It’s such a shame that we’ve lost another local pub and worse still that it’s now such an eyesore.”

Denholme Road/Saltram Crescent 

We have asked the Council’s Tree Officer to investigate this issue:

“On the corner of Denholme and Saltram Crescent, why did the Council fill in a spot where a tree had been felled following damage to it during a storm last year rather than replace it with a new tree?  This corner now suffers from fly tipping problems whereas the tree’s previous location seemed to deter dumping. Since the tree was removed, I have noticed much more fly tipping.”

Also, a resident has told us:

“When BT put in the two new DSLAN fibre optic cables from Kensal Rise telephone exchange to the two phone cabinets, 60 and 33, on Fernhead Road they managed to connect the wrong cables to the wrong boxes. A BT engineer said: “this could take a while to sort out.” 

 

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – March 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

 

 

 

 

Chippenham Mews

We have again asked the Road Safety Team to take action against speeding cars along Chippenham Mews. Residents say:

“At times the speeds are terrifying and in most cases they are moving too fast to capture the number plates.  Increasingly vehicles are now speeding down the WRONG way, even more terrifying. On the occasions that either I or other residents have witnessed this on the road and shouted at them to slow down the reaction has either been verbal abuse or drivers deciding to veer towards you in a menacing manner.” 

Saltram Crescent – Broadband 

We have received this update from a resident of Macroom Road:

“BT recently install super-fast broadband cabinets on Fernhead road between Denholm and Croxley Roads. The new larger cabinets contain the fibre optic cable and the equipment to transfer the signal the last few hundred yards to the houses. BT is very active at the moment in the street manholes, serviced by the new cabinets, as they work to repair the cables that rats have been chewing through.”

Walterton Road area

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate whether measures are needed to improve road and pedestrian safety in the Walterton Road area.

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – February 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Harrow Road Fire – Update

As many will know, a significant fire broke out on Friday morning (24th February) on the Harrow Road. Ten fire engines and over seventy firefighters were involved in bringing the blaze under control. Thankfully there were no reported injuries.

Unconfirmed reports are that it started in a Lebanese restaurant but London Fire Brigade are investigating and this has not, repeat, not, been confirmed.

The block is managed by Westway’s Letting Agents and there were eight flats affected, although we are unsure how many residents in total occupied them. Westway’s and their insurers are supporting those affected.

A hoarding has been erected to protect the public from any possible collapse of the building, which will likely need demolishing. In the meantime, a contra-flow system has been put in place to allow some movement of traffic along Harrow Road.

Karen Buck MP and local Councillors have praised the emergency services for their response to the fire. However, they remain concerned that in the aftermath traffic is not being properly managed in the area and have called on the Council and Police to help improve the situation.

Please see the latest photo from the site. It is hoped that the scaffolding construction works at the scene will be complete this evening (28th February). The missing signage at Elgin Avenue has been replaced and traffic is not turning into Harrow Road.

Before the road can be partially reopened they will need the traffic control measures (contra-flow controlled by traffic lights) put in place – this is still not sorted.

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Goldney Road

We have again asked the Council when the long-promised replacement tree in at the Chippenham Road end of Goldney Road will be planted.

Bradiston Road

We have asked the local City Inspector to investigate these issues:

“Dog Fouling bags are left on the pavement in Bradiston Road – particularly outside numbers 14,16 and 18. Also, the front gardens of the properties on Bradiston have long standing rubbish in them, chairs, building waste, racks, etc. etc.  The council say they cannot remove property from a private garden, but the owners do nothing.  Neither do the tenants.  What can be done? “ 

Chippenham Mews

We have raised this issue with the Parking Department:

Car-owners from outside Westminster have taken to illegally parking during weekdays and in working hours on the Marylands Road end of Chippenham Mews.  The whole of Chippenham Mews has a single yellow line, allowing for the brief loading/unloading for the few remaining businesses during proscribed hours. However, it would appear that certain individuals have realised that they can park here without incurring any penalty.  I recently collared one of the parking wardens about it, as he had walked straight past an offending vehicle without ticketing it…and was told that the yellow line was faded enough so that whenever a ticket was being issued they were being challenged successfully, and therefore were unenforceable.  Because of this, the local parking wardens have simply given up ticketing these vehicles.  

If the council has decided that the yellow lines are too faded to be able to issue tickets it begs the question when are they going to repaint them?  The very warden I spoke to said that he and other wardens were constantly raising this issue themselves to their superiors” 

Saltram Crescent

We have asked the Council for an update on BT super fast broadband after receiving this enquiry: 

I’ve contacted the council, but had no response, about getting fibre optic internet into Saltram Crescent.  I’ve been advised that the council have stated there is too much street furniture on the road and will not allow its installation.  Is this correct?  Can it be reviewed?  Our internet connection is pretty poor and as we live in Westminster it seems unfortunate and outdated that we cannot take advantage of a better service.”

The Chippenham Junction

We have asked the Council to liaise with Brent Council to sort out gthis recurring issue:

“At 11.30 this morning there was complete chaos as is so often the case at any given time of day. The absence of double yellow Lines between the Bakers and specifically outside the Fish Bar yet again with two vehicles parked was making it impossible for larger vehicles to turn right into Shirland Road. By this I mean two buses, a Tesco semi trailer and others causing a hold-up of major and unacceptable proportions.  

With probably five bus routes negotiating the junction in all directions it seems to me inconceivable that the simplest of schemes could not have been introduced to rectify the problem. The shopkeepers would not like it of course but some kind of regular purge has to be introduced to prevent the selfish ‘just popping in to buy lunch, a paper, a lottery ticket factor.’

Fermoy Road

Following the recent fire, we are again chasing this issue with the Council:

“This morning we all woke up to the horrendous fire that has ravaged through several businesses and homes on Harrow Road. The London Fire Brigade were hindered in their efforts to get to this fire at the height of rush hour and the school run by traveling through Great Western Road via Fermoy Road to get to the fire – to find that their emergency access was blocked by this box. The gate had to be cut through to get open wasting precious time and risking the lives of anyone who may have been trapped in the buildings. Is anyone going to challenge BT on this and what do the council intend to do about this issue. Especially more so as there’s a sheltered housing facility at the top of Fermoy Road housing vulnerable elderly people.”

Malvern Road 

We have contacted our colleagues in Brent and asked them to investigate this issue:

“Behind my flat is a Block of flats within Brent. When this was developed, about 10 years ago, we were promised a communal garden. This never happened and it’s been allowed to over-grow since then. But for the past 6 months the vacant space at the rear of Malvern Road would appear to have been used for a reclamation centre. It’s now got out of hand and is looking like a scene from Steptoe and Son. Can something be done please to clean it up?”

 

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – January 2017

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Edbrooke Road area

We are supporting residents in the Edbrooke Road area who are lobbying the Council to change its planning policies so that they can build a mansard roof on their property. One resident says:

“We are not in a conservation area and in fact there are four existing mansard extensions on our immediate road with 7 more in the street behind and at the end of our road. But now and for the past 12 years the council has just said, ‘no’. The planning document on roofs was last updated in 1995. Surely after 22 years there must be some validity in reconsidering this policy and looking to work with the families who actually live in the area to come up with a policy that enables us to expand our homes appropriately and the council to maintain control on the design of those expansions. We aren’t rich. We can’t afford the stamp duty required for us to move homes and more importantly we love our home. But we do want to have a family and to do so we have to expand our home. After leafletting just a few streets we already have 30 families in the immediate area who are in support of our request to the council to reform this policy. We are not looking for automatic planning approval just the right to work with the council on a loft extension that is subtle and characteristic of the homes in the area as well as providing us with an essential living space to enable us to have the family we have always wanted.” 

122-124 Chippenham Road – update

Following reporting this to the Council we have received the following update from the Planning Department: 

“An inspection of the property and an examination of the City Council’s planning records revealed that the property was in use for Class Sui Generis purposes without planning permission from the City Council, and was therefore unauthorised. In addition, an unauthorised canopy structure had also been installed without planning permission to facilitate the unauthorised shisha smoking use. I am pleased to inform you, however, that following action taken by the Planning Enforcement Team, the unauthorised use has now ceased.”

Lydford Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue: 

I have an issue on Lydford Road, there is a large Ivy bush that hasn’t been cut back for some time and is now making the pavement virtually unusable, particularly when the parking spaces are being used.”

Fermoy Road 

We have asked the Council to instruct the businesses in Fermoy Road not to place their refuse bins in the disabled parking bay. 

Saltram Crescent 

There is an ongoing issue of dog-fouling bags being left dumped on the road along Saltram Crescent. The animal warden has arranged patrols and will monitor.

Prince of Wales crossroads

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Can anything be done to have the pavements cleaned every so often. They are really in a pretty disgusting state and nobody seems to care”

Councillor Tim Roca’s Update

  • Chippenham Pub – Shutters

I’ve been pushing enforcement to act and get rid of the ugly steel shutters on the Chip. The security company and owners have been told they have to be removed and issued several warnings by the Council. They simply aren’t paying attention. The Planning Inspector re-visited the Chip last week to officially confirm that the shutters are still in situ and that the property is also being fly-posted.

Now they are not complying we are pushing the Council to issue a section 215 notice requiring the removal of the security shutters and for the removal of the graffiti. If the requirements of the notice are not carried out the lowner could be fined and have a criminal record.

I will update people once the notice has been authorised.

  • Harrow Road – Illegal street trading

Many shops along the Harrow Road have stalls/ furniture outside their shops on the pavement. Land registry checks show these shops don’t have private forecourts and are illegally street trading.
Myself, and Cllr’s Bush and Mckie supported taking action. Letters have been sent to businesses and we’ve asked the Council to proceed with the Harrow Rd ward section of the road.

  • Mansard roofs

Residents of Goldney and Edbroke roads may have received a note from a local resident about the issue of mansard roof extensions and expressed an interest. As you may know a number of people are unhappy with the limitations Westminster City Council’s current policy imposes. A number of residents have raised this and it’s clear there is some desire from some quarters for change of policy in this area.

As a first step I’d like to explore the current policies, their reasoning, and discuss the issues residents have with them and how we make progress. I’ve asked for one of Westminster’s planning officers to join us for an informal meeting at 6-30pm on 2 Feb at the Squirrel Pub.

  • Walterton Road j/w Warlock Road

This is probably one of the top 3 fly tipping hot spots in our area. We’ve asked the City Inspector to do additional patrols, targeting hotspot areas, in addition to regular patrols. These plain clothes patrols have had good results, with 29 fixed penalty noticed issued on one day last year. But it just seems like one continuous struggle.

If you message me when you see an issue with fly tipping I can go straight to the relevant council team.

  • Drugs – Shirland Mews

Reports of drug dealing in Shirland Mews and general issues of ASB. Police conducted leaflet drop advising residents of how to report crime. They are monitoring the area and have requested statements from victims. I understand the Mews association is meeting with Housing association re lights in car parks

  • Maida Hill Market – street drinking – mopeds

I’m chasing for an update but I understand at least some CPN’s and at least one CBO (Community Protection Notice and Criminal Behaviour Order) has been issued in recent months relating to the anti-social behavior at the market.

Our local ward police officer has spoken to fast food companies in the area about their moped drivers. He also did a joint patrol with parking enforcement in relation to cars driving in pedestrian zone

  • Lydford Estate

Youth ASB on the Lydford seemed to have improved but there were some December reports of Riverton Close again becoming an area with suspected drug dealing. The Police and council are aware.

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – December 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Oakington Road area

We have again asked the Council to designate the Oakington Road area a 20mph area in order to make it safer for residents and pupils at Paddington Academy. Residents say:

“Like all the Oakington residents I have spoken to, I have nearly been mown down by speeding cars. I have two toddlers and getting them in and out of the car safely is a dicey business.” 

“As a resident of over two decades living in close vicinity of the no-entry sign and working from home, I can see and sense cars AND vans speeding down Oakington Road irresponsibly as well as those who drive in against the one-way instruction without hesitation using the road as a convenient short cut. Some others drive in to park. There are many young families with toddler to teen age children living in this road. Students from the Paddington Academy arriving and departing often spilling into the road on a daily basis.” 

“As the parents of two small children we also know from experience the real danger of speeding cars on Oakington Road.  Getting children in and out of car seats is made hazardous by significant numbers of drivers who come round the corner from Marylands at speed and shoot along Oakington Road. Children going to and from Paddington Academy often cross the road on Oakington Road, and that it is in my view only a matter of time before one is hit by a driver rounding the blind corner from Marylands Road at speed.”

The Council has told us:

“I can advise that the roads adjacent to the Academy, Elgin Avenue and Oakington Road, are under consideration for inclusion in the 20mph trial. It is expected that the sites selected for the trial will be confirmed in January. Implementation on the selected sites for the 20mph trial will then follow after that but owing to the numerous processes and procedures that have to carried out will take a few months.

I would add that Oakington Road has been reported as a speeding location to Community Roadwatch. Community Roadwatch is a road safety initiative which aims to reduce speeding in residential areas. WCC is currently working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to run Community Roadwatch. The scheme gives local residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams, and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles. Any information captured through Community Roadwatch will help to identify whether further interventions are required.”

Fermoy Road 

We have asked the Council to investigate these issues: 

“BT have put a new signal box in near the fire gate on Fermoy Road. As you know, this is a local hotspot for scooters and motorbikes driving along the pavement and a group of local residents have been trying to get the Council to look at measures to dissuade this behaviour, or at least punish those who continue to flout the law. The positioning of the new signal box now prevents the fire gate from opening at all! This makes it even more difficult for us to have conversations about what measures can be put in place. Is it possible to find out why this has happened and if it can be rectified?

I would also agree about the shop on Fermoy Road near Harrow Road. Combined with people using the street as a public convenience and a rubbish bin, it makes for an eyesore and a ‘smell-sore’! The van connected to the restaurant also constantly parks in the disabled bay as well as the Zipcar bay, despite being asked not to.”

The Council say: 

“The local City Inspector has visited the location and spoken to some of the businesses. We have asked Veolia to introduce a washing regime which will improve the appearance of the pavement. We are speaking to the local police team about the allegations regarding people street urinating at the same location and to take enforcement action where necessary.” 

Goldney Road

We have chased the Council to replant a long-promised replacement tree in Goldney Road.

Fernhead Road

We are concerned about road safety for children at St. Luke’s, Fernhead Road as there is no crossing or lower speed limits. Parents and staff say they have experienced some difficulties with speeding drivers and we are taking this up with the Council.

Chippenham Road/Fernhead/Shirland Roads

We met with the Ward Police Officer, PC Armstrong and affected shop owners who were experiencing problems with youths over the summer. They’ve subsequently all been approached by the Police and given impact statements. This has now resulted in several banning notices being given to the problem youths advising them that they are banned form the area. There are still outstanding court dates for several of the youths involved.

Maida Hill Market

The main issues now revolve around vehicles driving through the pedestrian area. The Council have organised joint operations with the Police and Parking teams to stop vehicles and educate them; the Market Inspector has arranged for the trees to be cut back to the signage can be clearly seen and officers have written to the Road Management Department, highlighting the issues and asking them to look into what can be done to improve the situation.

Ashmore Road

A Council contractor pollarded the plane trees on Ashmore Road as part of the winter pruning programme to minimise the effect of these trees to the adjacent properties. Many of the plane trees have been removed from Ashmore Road over the years as they have caused subsidence damage and been replaced with trees better suited to the location and far less likely to cause damage to adjacent properties. There is a particular tree causing subsidence damage to 3 properties. The front steps of all three are moving away from the main building. The most sensible course of action to minimise stress and disruption to the home owners is to remove the tree and to replace it with a different tree species more suited to the location.

Fleming Close

A resident raised issues with overgrown bushes on Fleming Close, near the Chippenham Road (just next to the Squirrel). The bushes are completely overgrown and beginning to impose on the pavement. We’re working with the landlord and Senior Arboricultural Officer to get this sorted.

Saltram Crescent

There is an ongoing issue of dog-fouling bags being left dumped on the road along Saltram Crescent. The animal warden has arranged patrols and will monitor.

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – November 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Fermoy Road/Harrow Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“We live on Fermoy Road and have to walk through end of the road to get to Harrow Road on the school run. There is a door on Fermoy road that a restaurant use for deliveries and to store their industrial bins. The area around the door and on the public pavement is disgusting. The smell is rancid. Me and my children have to hold our noses and sometimes use the road to walk past. We cannot use the other side of the road as its a lowered pavement which is usually occupied by cars being repaired by the mechanic. It’s a health hazard and more than anything not safe for us with small children and the residents of Fermoy Road – especially the older residents who live at the top of the road in the sheltered accommodation. It’s awful, especially as the road is used as a public toilet which we have already been complaining to the council about. Please can someone look into this. “

Junction of Hormead and Great Western Roads

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The bins are constantly used by fly tippers- fridges, beds, compressed boxes, TVs, builders rubbish, drums of used cooking oil are dumped there daily. Often the pile of rubbish is big enough to force pedestrians onto the road to avoid it. It is a truly depressing site.”

The Chippenham – Update

Councillor Tim Roca has continued to make enquiries about the situation at The Chippenham. This is the latest response from the Council:

I’ve been in touch with the City Inspector Nuno Reis who has kindly looked into the issue for us. He has found that there no work is going on, rather squatters are currently using the space. When he visited the site the police were there (with the landlord’s agent) and were securing it post-eviction. A live-in security guard is going to be moved into the building very soon as this has been the third incidence of squatting in less than two months. The agent Nuno met is called Donna Delman and she discussed the existing planning permission but admitted that an application may go in for the building to be converted into residential units.” 

Harrow Road Post Office 

We are again calling on the Post Office to install a post box outside the Harrow Road Post office after receiving this enquiry:

“The post office on Harrow Road recently underwent a refurb which was nice. During the refurb the neglected to put the post box facility back. The situation is that you have to jump in on someone being served to post a letter which causes aggravation to those in the queue. Also after opening hours you cannot post anything. The staff have mentioned something about a post box being erected outside the post office. But it’s been over a year and nothing has happened. When will Harrow Road get its post box?” 

Marylands/Goldney/Oakington/Edbrooke Road area

We have again asked for traffic calming and the introduction of a 20mph area following another traffic accident in Oakington Road near Paddington Academy. Residents say:

“A car driving down Marylands Road towards the Paddington Academy (corner of Marylands/Oakington) failed to negotiate the turn and crashed straight through the school fence.  The metal fence is completely mangled and the parking post was torn from its concrete moorings lying amongst the wreckage.”

Elgin Avenue 

We have asked the Council to investigate reports of an unauthorized basement being dug under a house in Elgin Avenue.

Shirland Mews 

We have asked the Council to invrstigate pavement parking in Shirland Mews. The Council says:

“We will send marshals to the location and we will monitor this area, but please can I remind residents of the facility to use the link below to report any cases that need our immediate intervention, as these go straight to the marshals control centre from which marshals can be deployed.”

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it-vehicles

Prince of Wales junction – what you say

“It does ‘look’ much better with Costa there but the area desperately needs a decent, affordable one and has no pub at all, decent, affordable or otherwise, apart from the Squirrel. Five pubs have been lost, which means a massive loss of community exchange and dialogue. No chance of getting Wetherspoon interested?”

“Costa Coffee is at least a positive amongst the negatives but whilst there is a betting shop next door there will always be problems! Perhaps an occasional Police Presence might be an advantage in that area of the Prince of Wales /Harrow Rd/Market site. The pavements in that area and up the Harrow Rd. Are disgusting. Are they EVER cleaned?”

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – October 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Shirland Road

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this issue:

“I am wondering if there are still traffic wardens patrolling Shirland Road as there appear to be a number of cars parking for long periods of time without residents parking permits in the part of Shirland Road between Chippenham and Fernhead Roads. Do we still have traffic wardens or is it all done electronically now?”

We received the following response:

“Over the last 6 weeks Shirland Road has received an average of 105 Marshal visits per week, or 15 per day. Over this time Marshals have issued 56 PCNs of which 28 were for 12r contraventions ‘Parked in a resident parking place without clearly displaying a resident permit’.  Marshals have also carried out 4 soft actions of moving the vehicle on for the same contravention in this street during this time. We will ensure the street continues to receive a high level of Marshal focus.  No electronic enforcement takes place in Shirland Road.”

The resident commented:

“Thank you very much for this – very interesting! Good to have the name of the person to contact if I have queries in future and also to know that electronic monitoring is not happening.” 

Saltram Crescent traffic calming

We have asked the Highways Department to investigate this issue:

“As you know, after several meetings and much consultation, the proposed new traffic scheme for Saltram Crescent has gone ahead, which is a fantastic result for the local community.  

However, the the no entry signs, the road markings and the no left turn sign at the Fernhead junction with Saltram Crescent are being completely ignored by drivers. In the brief moments that I am either crossing this junction or driving out of it, I have noted no less than 17 cars driving straight through the signs. That is from a total of maybe 5 minutes of observation. I have also had three altercations with drivers attempting to drive through the no entry signs while I was crossing the road. Two claimed they didn’t know it was no entry, but only one turned round, the other two ignored me, one drove around me at speed. This is not only frustrating, but highly dangerous, since cars are driving up Saltram Crescent on the one-way section rightly not expecting any oncoming traffic. Have you got any ideas what can be done about this?”

The Council tells us:

“I have again highlighted to the Police the contraventions taking place and requested that they attend the two junctions. We are going to arrange for the CCTV car to monitor the location and act as a deterrent. This will also provide an indication of the extent of violations at the two junctions.”

Talk of the Town, Walterton/Shirland Roads 

Councillor Ruth Bush made this enquiry to the Council:

“I’ve just gone past this place:  the maroon/transparent canopy has gone – but what is there instead? A grey tent around part of the area and two parasol heaters on the remaining area, with men sitting about on the raised platform. It looks perfectly dreadful – far worse than when the canopy enclosed the platform. I can’t believe this is what the Council intended. Could you get it looked into promptly, please?”

The Council says:

“This property is under investigation already and prompt action is being pursued.”

Estate Agents’ Boards

We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate this constant problem with estate agents’ boards: 

“They litter Shirland Road, Marylands Road and Edbrooke Road in particular. In Shirland Road I counted in excess of 30. They repeatedly put up SOLD or LET signs without the preceding for SALE or To LET signs which is a clear infringement. I saw a neighbour actually take down a couple of LET signs over the weekend in Marylands Road. This morning, I noticed Greene and Co have put them all up again in the same spot.”

 

HARROW ROAD WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

The Chippenham – update

Councillor Tim Roca reports:

“I’ve asked the Council Enforcement Team to investigate the metal shutters placed on the Chippenham Pub. It’s bad enough the planning system was so weak it allowed the application, but it is outrageous the owners are now making even more of a mess of a local landmark.”

Saltram Crescent traffic calming – update

The traffic calming system is now in place and operational. First reactions from residents:

“A neighbour just told me I’d driven the wrong way down my own road!!! YES!!! Victory to the people!!! I assume they’ll put sign up to say new road system in place. Great work everyone there and here in Saltram Crescent. “

Maida Hill market area

We have asked the Council to let us know what can be done about this issue:

“I just wanted to let you know that unfortunately there is a big problem with anti-social behaviour on the Maida Hill market area, where there are gatherings of 30 people most evenings, drinking and generating a lot of noise with music on loudspeakers, loud screaming and laughs. It is frightening to walk from work past them, particularly for me as a female, as I’ve seen drunk people slashing glass bottles, screaming, leaving behind piles of rubbish with music from big loudspeakers on the wheels. Is there anything that can be done here?”

The Council says

“The anti-social behaviour has started again in the last few weeks.  The police designated ward officer for the area has had complaints about the market area from residents and we have received a complaint from one of the market traders.  The group of older men used to turn up in the evenings, however it appears that they are now arriving in the afternoons too.

We are in the midst of contacting the complainants in order to obtain statements from them.  We will then go back to the group and advise them that the behaviour which is being reported (street urination, noise nuisance, littering) is anti-social and that if it continues we will have no choice but to start issuing Community Protection Notice warnings and then Community Protection Notices in order to stop the anti-social behaviour.  Our city operations night team is visiting the area on a daily basis and will continue to monitor the situation. “

Maida Hill Place toilets

We have asked the Council to explain why the women’s toilets are out of action. The Council says:

“It seems there is a problem with a wet fish stall holder whose stall sits above the ladies toilet and whenever he disposes of his salty fish water it causes the electrics to trip out.  Apparently there is no problem when he is not trading. We havearranged for an electrician to inspect the site to ensure that all is safe and the market inspector is also involved in taking this up with the relevant stallholder. Once the problems have been resolved the ladies toilets will be reopened.”

We have also asked that the steps are cleared of rubbish.

 

HARROW ROAD WARD ACTION REPORT – July 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

Saltram Crescent traffic calming – update

Following our enquiries the Council has told us:

“The Council’s Service Provider (FM Conway) commenced works this week on the provision of power supplies to some of the sign locations. In addition, the Traffic Order process has started. FM Conway’s programme for the delivery of the scheme indicates the scheme being operational by mid-August.”

Goldney Road

We asked the Council’s Tree Officer about this issue:

It is just over a year since I first contacted the council about replanting a tree on Goldney Road which was storm damaged and subsequently chopped down. The Council confirmed that a new tree would be planted, however, it has not. It is really disappointing that we have not had a replacement to add a bit of much needed and much appreciated greenery back into our end of Goldney Road. What’s more, the patch of earth that has been left behind is frequently covered in dog poo, thanks to people who can’t be bothered to clear up after their dogs, which my three year old daughter recently stepped in when getting out of the car.” 

Following our enquiries the Tree Officer told us:

“I was in Goldney Road last week surveying the street and the surrounding streets for trees that need replacing and for potential new sites.  Despite the wet weather it is too late to plant a replacement tree now but I have included it on the programme for this autumn.”

Edbrooke Road Gardens

We are continuing to press the Council to take action to safeguard residents’ amenity. Residents say:

“I do not believe that the groups congregating there are local.  There also, I believe, two different groups.  One drink alcohol and smoke marijuana and the other I believe are trading something or other.  Hence the need for the little moped that is darting back and forth in the evening. It is a great shame as it is at times intimidating to walk past on the way home with my young son.  I know that the floodlighting has been added and the hedge cut back with CCTV installed but I think a polite nod from the police to let them know that they are being watched might help maybe?”

“I too have young children and would love to be able to let them run around in Edbrooke Gardens.  However, because of the frequency of the presence of dogs, it is not safe to allow them to, both because of the risk of them being knocked over by a boisterous pooch or scared by them running about, but mostly because of the dog fouling that by nature will always occur no matter how careful and observant the dog owner“

But I have thought of a solution which would bring new life to this park, and joy to the many local people who don’t have dogs and would love to enjoy lying on the grass, sunbathing, having a picnic or playing with their children. Would you consider proposing to the council put up a small fence on the western quarter of the park, running along the pathway from the Western Goldney Road entrance to the Western Edbrooke Road entrance) and make this a dog-free zone?  You immediately have a small area which is clean, safe, sunny and can open the park to a whole new cohort of happy residents!  I have nothing against dogs or dog owners, but I do wish young families could have the chance to make use of this fabulous area in the same way they do.”

The Council says:

“We are aware of these problems and are in close liaison with the Metropolitan Police regarding priority locations for increased surveillance and patrolling.  I have also instructed our parks team to increase patrols through Edbrooke Gardens and other nearby parks and gardens by uniformed parks staff during the late afternoon and evening period to provide a visible deterrence to anti-social activity during the busy summer period.

On the issue of dog fouling in the area around the park I have asked the cleansing team to check that we have sufficient litter bins in the surrounding area and that they all have the ‘dog waste can be put in here’ signs on them that have proved successful in tackling this problem in other areas. The council’s Animal Warden will also be asked to look at hosting another ‘Responsible Dog Owners/Free Micro-chipping’ event in the Gardens.”

Talk of the Town shisha café, 122-124 Chippenham Road – Update

The Council tells us:

“Two enforcement notices were served and took effect on the 8th June 2016 which require the cessation of the shisha smoking and the removal of the canopy structure to the front of the property within 3 months. The date for compliance with both notices is the 8th September 2016.”

Elgin Avenue road surface

We have asked the Council to investigate the road surface along Elgin Avenue between Chippenham Road and Harrow Road. Residents say: “The road surface is breaking up. The substrate is not fit for the purpose.”

Shirland Road and Elgin Avenue – Junction Improvement works – Update

The Council has given us this latest update:

“The ongoing construction work at the Shirland Road junction with Elgin Avenue has unfortunately been subject to an extended implementation period due to unforeseen circumstances relating to footway construction and coordination of the programme.

The scheme which includes a traffic signals equipment upgrade with pedestrian push button facilities and improvements for right turning vehicles, footway improvements and carriageway resurfacing is now expected to be complete by the end of July, with the new traffic signals switched on by 10th July. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this delay.”

The Chippenham – Update

Harrow Road Ward Councillor Tim Roca reports:

“The Chippenham Pub on Shirland Road was considered at a third Planning Committee. The owners applied in December for a certificate of lawful use, to allow the Chippenham to become a shop. The pub was closed in early 2015 after being purchased by developers. The dilapidated ‘shop’ running out of the ground floor seemed a clear attempt to circumvent planning rules and the protections put in place for pubs. Local residents and councillors have been making representations against this application since January.

We’ve known from the start that this was going to be a difficult fight because the planning rules that effected the application were so weak (they’ve since changed). I’m sorry to say that the Committee ultimately approved the certificate. I was able to make representations and the Committee were very sympathetic, and cross examined the Council Officers about the options and pressed them on all the points we raised. Nevertheless, the law is very restrictive in this area. We are establishing contact with owners about their plans going forward, to make sure the community has an input in any future development.”

https://timroca.com/2016/06/14/update-chippenham-pub/

 

HARROW ROAD WARD ACTION REPORT – June 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

Edbrooke Road Gardens

We have asked the Parks Department to look in to this issue:

“Every summer, crowds of young men gather and chat through the night, smoking God knows what. They litter the place. It’s really frustrating because they sit at the bench, right next to the bin but they think somehow it’s cool to just throw their takeaways on the ground right next to the bin. 

What is most frustrating is that the park keeper locks the gates with these young men still inside. He makes no effort to ask them to move out. He doesn’t engage with them at all. Yet, on the odd occasion I or another mother is there at closing time, he does not hesitate to tell us the park is closing and we should move out. The park keeper does a good job tidying the park in the morning but is hopeless at emptying the park at night.

It’s an intimidating atmosphere for a communal park, to have young men, with bikes and mopeds racing up and down the adjacent roads hanging around after hours. It shouldn’t be allowed to be used as some gang meeting place after hours and I suspect, drug use.”

CCTV cameras switch-off

We are very concerned about Westminster Council’s decision to switch off all of its crime and disorder cameras across the city. We have particular concerns for areas outside the centre of Westminster where public spaces are less likely to be covered by TfL or private CCTV cameras. We are calling on the Council to provide reassurance that areas that have had a high number of incidents recorded on the current camera network, such as Harrow Road and Church Street wards, won’t be left without support. We are also calling on the Council to use the money saved to deliver public realm security works, such as improved lighting, and supporting the work of the integrated gangs unit and other security measures.

Safety improvements to the Shirland Road/Elgin Avenue junction

We are pleased that, following the petition from residents, the Council has agreed to the following safety improvements:

“The traffic signals will be upgraded to include a dedicated all-red to vehicle pedestrian stage (including pedestrian countdown facilities).  This means that whenever a pedestrian push button is activated, all the traffic signals for vehicles will subsequently turn to red and a green man will be shown on all crossings, allowing pedestrians to cross each road without any vehicles passing through the junction at the same time. The physical pedestrian crossing facilities will be improved at the junction by repaving the footways and widening the crossing points.  Advanced cycle stop lines will also be provided on both Elgin Avenue approaches to supplement those already existing on the two Shirland Road approaches. The road will also be resurfaced at the junction.”

Traffic/pedestrian lights Chippenham/Shirland Road Junction

We have asked the Council to fix the traffic/pedestrian lights Chippenham/Shirland Road Junction.

HARROW ROAD WARD ACTION REPORT – May 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Walterton/Chippenham/Shirland Road junction

We have asked the Council for an update on these issues raised by residents:

  • Corner of Walterton Road/Shirland Road café burns embers on the side of the street area for the café. This is an extreme fire hazard going into summer and a child or animal could easily be burnt as open the road. This has been an ongoing issue.
  • AMPM shop on Chippenham Road. This is the owner also of the café as per above.  There continues to be material waste around the shop that it produces, cigarettes thrown out of the café constantly, and waste around the shop.  

We have also asked the Council to fill a large pothole in the road at this junction.

Shirland Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:

“Speeding down Shirland Road. This is an ongoing problem and seems to be getting worse.  Motor Bikes in particular speeding down Shirland Road in particular from Chippenham Road going west. What is being done about this? Speed cameras would be an easy fit and make material revenue for the council? someone will get hurt soon.”

Saltram Crescent traffic calming

We are making enquiries in to the latest situation on the proposed traffic calming initiative in the Saltram Crescent area. The Council say:

“The scheme has been approved for implementation under an Experimental TRO. The processes to progress the ETRO have been commenced and will be advertised shortly. The implementation schedule for the introduction of the scheme is being prepared. However firm dates for the delivery of the scheme on-street cannot be set until the timeframe for provision of the power supplies required to illuminate the signage is known. The power supplies are provided by UKPN so at the moment the key focus is arranging for UKPN to install the power supplies. Once the date for the provision of the power supplies is known then a date for advertising the ETRO and undertaking the necessary works on-street will be set.”

Since then there has been another accident:

“A quick note to say that this morning a car sped up Saltram Crescent at around 9:30am followed by an almighty bang and it was a car collided with a van. I called the police to report the incident so that it least it was on the record 101 call. Ambulances appeared to have been called. It’s sad that Westminster is able to make more progress demolishing our swimming pool and lining their pockets than investing money in infrastructure to make our community safer”

We have called on the Council to implement the long-promised traffic calming as a matter of urgency.

HARROW ROAD WARD ACTION REPORT – April 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Maida Hill Market area

We have again asked the Council to address the continuing issues here:

“Unfortunately the situation with rubbish on Maida Hill market area has deteriorated yet again. Is it possible to put larger bins, organise multiple collection of rubbish from the market every day or at least to install CCTV to see who is dumping all this rubbish onto the streets? CCTV would also help with anti-social behavior. Before the weather got cold, I often saw many people totally drunk, behaving in an anti-social manner with loudspeakers on full volume. The behaviour was threatening to passers-by.”

The Council say:

“There have been problems with increasingly large piles of waste accumulating on Maida Hill, with market traders, local businesses and street sweepers all collecting rubbish into one pile, prior to the Veolia crew attending on their evening run at about 6.30pm. We have found out that, for some time now, the street sweeper for the Harrow Road, between the market and Ashmore Road has been putting all of the waste from that stretch of the road, on to one location at the market, which has contributed to the problem. We have therefore asked Veolia to ensure this working practice ceases. The street sweeper sacks will now be left in situ at recognised collection points in the Harrow Road for Veolia operatives to collect.

We will also be providing an additional waste bin at Maida Hill market for the use of traders only – this is for all cardboard and other recycleable waste only. The Market Inspector will continue to monitor this situation, to ensure compliance over coming weeks, and we anticipate that there will be a reduction in the volume of waste seen.

We have also been monitoring the issue with street drinkers for many months now, and will continue to do so, alongside local police teams, especially as the evenings lengthen and weather improves.  The street drinkers have been engaged with in the past, particularly back in the autumn. “ 

Elgin Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Can you use your influence to get a traffic island installed in Elgin Avenue please? This wide road is dangerous to cross, especially for elderly and disabled people, some of whom use Elgin Surgery. Traffic bollards about halfway along Elgin Avenue would be very helpful. They would not obstruct the traffic as the road is already very broad. Several busy bus stops are located along it.”

The Chippenham

The Council deferred making a decision about The Chippenham pub being turned into a retail unit. The Planning Committee deferred a decision in view of concerns raised by local people and asked to see more information, such as invoices, as evidence the building is being used as a shop.

Shirland Road/Chippenham Road

We have asked the Council to deal with this issue:

“The corner of Shirland Road and Chippenham Road, where the crossing is located is practically drowning in water. This happens every time it rains. The crossing is unusable to those pushing baby buggies. “

Shirland Mews

We have asked the Council to investigate what can be done to resolve this issue:

“I have contacted you in the past regarding the inconsiderate parking in Shirland Mews. I can often not drive into my own road as people either park right across it, completely blocking the entrance or down the side, making it impossible to pass.  Worst of all, vans and cars often park on the pavement. I walk my 2 children to and from school everyday and we often have to walk in the road as the pavement is blocked. This is unacceptable, why should i put our safety at risk because somebody in a van can be bothered to either wait for a suitable parking space or use one a few metres down the road. Speeding is also a huge problem. It’s a cobbled road, highly dangerous when wet and populated mostly with families with children. A camera of some description would go along way to deterring this type of behavior. Also a more realistic speed limit of 10mph should be implemented. Those who live in the mews have no need to speed up and down it. Please look at this and try to improved the road safety in my area.”

The Council say:

“Our marshals regularly patrol this road, and in the last 6 weeks have done so some 35 times, dealing with 10 contraventions that they have found.  However, I will ask them to increase their presence over the next few weeks and pay particular attention to the points you have raised.

Unfortunately, our use of CCTV has been severely restricted with the implementation of a Deregulation Bill that came into force, and we can now only use it in a very small and specific area which unfortunately does not cover the issues you raise here, and so we are unable to deploy a CCTV camera.

It is not current City Council policy to implement reduced speed limits on its highway network. Nonetheless it is proposed that consideration will be made to the painting of the legend ‘SLOW’ at the non-cobbled access points at each end as a means to caution drivers to be considerate to the local neighbourhood they are driving through.”

Elgin Avenue/Shirland Road area – Road Safety issues – Update

The Council has given us the following update:

  • Elgin Avenue/Shirland Road junction improvement scheme – Works are programmed to commence on the introduction of an all-red to vehicles pedestrian crossing stage on 14th
  • Elgin Avenue/Shirland Avenue area – Owing to resource issues it has not yet proved possible to commence the pedestrian accessibility study in this area. The study is now scheduled to commence in April
  • Fernhead Road/Shirland Road area – In the last 3 years there were 3 accidents at this junction, one of which involved a vulnerable user. This safety record means that the junction has not been identified as a location for an accident remedial feasibility study under Westminster City Council’s Local Safety Scheme programme. There are therefore no current proposals for this junction. However the situation will be kept under review as part of the Saltram Crescent traffic calming scheme that was recently approved for implementation.”

Elgin Avenue road surface

We asked the Council if there are any plans to resurface the road along Elgin Avenue between Chippenham Road and Harrow Road. Residents say that the road is in a very poor state. The Council say”

“This section is not in the new Highway Programme for the coming year. I understand that while it was recommended for inclusion by my Inspectors it did not meet the cut against other priorities based on the Value Management score process. Another section of Elgin Avenue is included (Chippenham Road to Shirland Road).”

Local residents and Labour Councillors have been fighting for the future of the Chippenham Pub on Shirland Road.

The Chippenham  was closed with little warning in early 2015 after being purchased by developers. A dilapidated ‘shop’ has since been run out of the premises in a clear attempt to circumvent planning guidelines that protect pubs.

The owners have applied for the pub to be re-designated a retail unit under planning regulations, using the supposed discount ‘shop’ they have been running as their way round the rules.

Labour Councillors; Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca, ‘called in’ the decision and insisted it be considered at a full planning committee, rather than as a tick box exercise.

The Committee met on the evening of 15 March and Cllr Roca spoke on behalf of residents. Aside from the community arguments, he made the case that no reasonable person having visited the ‘shop’ would believe it was a serious retail business, and that it was a clear attempt to get round planning rules. After consideration the Committee declined to approve the application until it had seen further evidence from the owners to prove the shop was what it said it was; till receipts, invoices, wage slips etc.

Cllr Tim Roca commented on the news:

“This is a welcome temporary reprieve. Most of us clearly want the Chip to return to its former glory and I shudder to think of what may have happened in the meantime to some of the historic interiors. The Pub sits in a prominent site at the junction of the Chippenham, Shirland and Malvern Roads. However, it now looks a sorry sight compared to the well maintained and liked community pub it was just a year ago. Though the law is very narrow in this area I have asked Council Officers to contact the owners of the Chippenham so we can establish a dialogue and get community input into the future of such an important local building.”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – March 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Shirland Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

There seems to be a growth of motorbikes on Shirland Road. They tend to park in the centre of road (ie between Fernhead and Chippenham) which makes parking around them quite difficult. As their owners live at the end of the road I wondered if it might be an idea to have a few dedicated motor cycle spaces at the end of the road or on Fernhead. Just a thought!”

The Council say:

“I am happy to investigate the possibility of additional provision if it is warranted. Currently motorcyclists who live in the borough are entitled to a resident permit that allows them to park on residents’ bays and many prefer to keep their bike within view and so they tend to shun motorcycle bays in preference to resident parking bays. Therefore. we need to ensure that any parking changes will benefit both car and bike users.”

The Chippenham

We have asked the Planning Department to investigate this issue:

“I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there has been some demolition work in the back yard to the Chippenham Hotel pub. The area is now boarded off and while there doesn’t appear to be anything more happening it is concerning given the history of the owners with the Carlton Tavern.”

Fernhead Road

Residents have again told us of their concern about traffic speeds along Fernhead Road between Shirland Road and Carlton Vale. We have asked the Council if there is any action that can be taken to slow down traffic, particularly as St Luke’s Primary school is in this stretch of road.

Bradiston Road

We have asked the Council to remove an abandoned moped in Bradiston Road. The Council says: “The abandoned vehicle was removed and disposed of on Friday morning.”

Edbrooke Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

A considerable number of street lights are no longer working/ have been switched off on Edbrooke Road. Since there has been neither consultation or even information, there is no way of knowing whether this is a Council’s decision or a temporary state of affairs. Although days are getting longer, night will fall at some point and a very dark street presents a risk hazard, particularly to wheelchair users and those with a pram.”

Lapworth Court

We have asked the Council to remove an abandoned car outside Lapworth Court. The Council says vehicle has now been removed and that:

“To ensure that abandoned vehicles are investigated and dealt with in a timely manner,  it is advised that such matters are reported through via our website at https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it-vehicles, or by telephoning the Environmental Action Line on 0207 641 2000.  This will ensure a swift response and ensure that the job is allocated accordingly.  “

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – February 2016

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Prince of Wales, Harrow Road

We are making further enquiries after receiving this message:

“After the successful opposition to transforming the Prince of Wales Pub into a betting shop or similar disagreeable operations, the building has been totally gutted and is barely supported by rudimentary scaffolding with a corrugated iron roof. The whole flimsy structure on the corner of a busy road is an eyesore and a potential collapse risk. Do you know what is planned for it?”

Lydford Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:

“Since the waterworks wee carried out in Tamplin Mews gardens last year the traffic was diverted off Chippenham Road to Lydford Road and surrounding roads. Once work had been completed I assumed traffic would reduce. But it is busier than ever as drivers have found a short cut to Fernhead Road.  My main concern is the speed of the cars that travel down this road. Cars have been scratched by these car and safety is compromised. What was once a very quiet road has become a main road.

Could the council please monitor this road and put in traffic calming methods.  And please don’t wait for casualties to occur first to put those measures in place.”

The Council say:

“A review of the safety record for Lydford Road reveals that there have been no personal injury accidents over the 36-month period up to the end of July 2015. It is recognised that in view of the comment that traffic conditions have changed in Lydford Road that this review may not reflect current circumstances. Accordingly, it is proposed that the Police be requested to carry out a traffic speed survey to assess existing traffic conditions and assist in identifying any appropriate traffic calming measures. I would add that the number of measures on roads of this width and type, which in particular seek to reduce damage to vehicles, are limited and can result in a loss of parking and/or the requirement for one-way working. In the interim whilst further investigations are taking place it is proposed to look at whether ‘SLOW’ markings on the carriageway would help to mitigate the concerns raised.”

Warlock Road

We have asked the Council to check that the street lights along Warlock Road between Walterton Road and Chippenham Road to see if it some additional lighting might be provided. We have also asked for a check be made to see that all the lights on and around the Maida Hill Marketplace are working properly.

Saltram Crescent

 

We have asked the Council for an update on the Saltram Crescent traffic calming proposals and have asked the Council to implement the double one-way system that residents agreed last year. Here is the latest report recommending the go-ahead for the proposals

http://committees.westminster.gov.uk/documents/s16915/Saltram%20Crescent%20Cabinet%20Member%20Report%20SCCMR.pdf

 

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – December 2015

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

The Chippenham

We are continuing to take this issue up with the Council:

“It would also be great to find out what is happening with the beautiful pub, the Chippenham. This area would benefit greatly if this is retained as a sensitively refurbished pub rather than over-priced flats. This cross roads is in desperate need of attention and a space of social and community value that is welcoming to all, this would bring some life back. In recent years this corner has become an issue. I have been physically harassed late at night getting of the number 6 bus and I know local residents whom have been here for years are being more and more excluded from this hub of very dominant ghetto of shops and cafes.” 

The Prince of Wales pub, Harrow Road – Update

The appeal against the Licensing Sub-Committee’s decision to refuse the new betting premises licence for Betfred has been withdrawn. This means that the refused decision is now the final decision. The Council’s Senior Licensing Officer says:

“There is little doubt in our minds that the effort put in by the local community made a huge difference to the decision which may have had a very different outcome without the strength of your concerns.”

William Hill, 357 Harrow Road

The Licensing Sub-Committee decided to impose 30 conditions on the William Hill licence at 357 Harrow Road which will hopefully have a serious effect on resolving the issues with that premises. The Sub-Committee determined that William Hill must provide a licensed security guard at the premises. We all hope that this, in conjunction with the Betfred decision, will lead to an improvement in the area and help deal with some of the persistent problems at the premises.

Saltram Crescent traffic calming – update

Residents write:

“In October 2015, the council wrote to residents with the letter below calling another public meeting. Basically there hadn’t been any progress on the proposed plans to calm Saltram Crescent due to various objections – form the ambulance service and resident sin side roads, understandably concerned that traffic form Saltram would simply be diverted to their roads – Croxley, Bradiston, etc.

We don’t believe this to be the case as much of the traffic causing problems in Saltram is though traffic. So we really want to see the trial in place and see what happens. That’s the only way of knowing. After a heated meeting it seems we now have to pursuade the council to put the trial in place.

If you agree that we should trial traffic calming in Saltram Crescent then please do sign up and tell us what you think on the form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Ej3xB53NYvH_8DQwh-HZZ22znflwBYjqLci87W56X7A/viewform

 Harrow Road Ward Action Report – November 2015

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Lydford Youth Club

We are working hard with residents to get a youth group reinstated following the recent decision by City West Homes to close its youth club on the Lydford and other estates in Westminster. Residents say:

“The Lydford Tenants and Residents Association started this youth group 15 years ago and are concerned that there has been no consultation and with community organisation in the area who have a strong interest in these important facilities for young people. We would like to hear from others who care about provision for young people in this area so that we plan some response to save our clubs.”

Fermoy Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The level of rubbish in Fermoy Road appears to be getting worse – we have drink receptacles left on our fences, there is a great deal of fast food litter from local eateries and not to mention the dog mess (there was a significant fowling on the motorcycle chains at the intersection with Hormead which was disgusting to have to clean up). Fly tipping is also getting out of hand behind the bike bay at Hormead/Fermoy- it seems like every week there is a new heap of wood, a mattress, some white goods, general rubbish left there for someone else to clean up.”

Harrow Road Councillors’ Surgery – Venue and date change

From the 9th January 2016, the Councillors’ Surgery will take place at: The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES  every Saturday, 11am – 12 noon.

If you have any enquiries regarding the Harrow Road Councillors’ surgery, please contact 0207 641 4299.

Betting shop plan for Prince of Wales pub refused

POW demoA last night’s Planning Committee the proposed change of use of the Prince of Wales pub on the Harrow Road to a betting shop was unanimously refused.

Two separate petitions containing 768 signatures combined were collected and 80 individual objections were received by the Council. Officers recommended refusal as:

“…the loss of a public house and the proposed use will harm the retail vitality and viability of the Harrow Road District Shipping Centre.

A great victory for the local community!

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – October 2015

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Parents left waiting as Westminster Council forgets its pledges to keep St Peter’s Primary school children safe

Almost two years ago Labour councillors for Westbourne and Harrow Road wards and Karen Buck MP convened two meetings for concerned parents from St Peter’s School and local residents with Westminster Council’s transport team calling for action on dangerous driving in Chippenham Mews and to stop it being used as a rat run. At these meetings the council pledged to parents and residents that by August 2014, they would:
• put planters in Chippenham Mews to slow down traffic
• put ‘no entry’ markers near the Chippenham Road exit to deter drivers going the wrong way
• build out the pavement and put school signs at the Maryland’s Road entrance to reduce speed when entering the Mews and
• contact local businesses to ask them to avoid deliveries at the start and finish of the school day.

As of October 2015, 22 months after the initial meeting, only the school signs have appeared, with no sign even of a simple letter to local businesses about their deliveries. Karen Buck MP and local Labour councillors are calling on the council to explain the massive delay in implementing these measures they promised local residents.

Councillor Adam Hug said;

“It is disappointing that the council promised parents it would act to help keep their children safe but has failed to deliver. Have they forgotten about these parents and residents? The Westminster Council transport team needs to get its act together and implement what they promised immediately.”

Karen Buck MP said:

“It is unacceptable that commitments made to parents and other concerned residents are allowed to simply drop of the radar. Westminster needs to follow through to make sure that when concerns are raised about safety, appropriate action is taken.”

Two public meetings were held on 6.12.2013 and 28.3.2014 with parents, residents, councillors, Karen Buck MP and representatives of Westminster Council’s transport team and local police.

Maida Hill Place

Karen Buck MP has written to the police and the Council about the current unsatisfactory situation with street drinkers:

“I have just walked home via Maida Hill Place, for the first time in a few weeks at this time of night, and I was absolutely shocked by the scale of the street drinking. There were at least twenty people there, in two or three groups, and their activities are totally dominating the area. Although I don’t personally find their behaviour threatening, there is no question that it is an intimidating situation, and indeed there were several residents expressing genuine distress as they tried to pass through. Whatever happened to the attempts to control this situation? It clearly hasn’t had any effect at all so far. Please may I have an urgent update? “

In addition, we have asked the Council to deal with this ongoing issue:

“Clearly if the market continues to operate, the council needs to consider ensuring a collection of rubbish multiple times a day, and adding further commercial waste containers – currently there is only one and this is not sufficient.”

The Markets Manager told us:

“Regarding waste collections for the Harrow Road, there are currently two collections a day Monday to Sunday. These collections are for residential rubbish, commercial waste bags and market waste. The times of theses collection are 09:00 to 10:00 and 18:30 to 19:30. Waste can be placed out on street no more than 30 minutes prior to the collection times. We will monitor the location and where necessary enforcement action will be taken against any individuals placing waste onto the street outside of the prescribed collection times. I will also look into the possibility of increasing the number of market waste bins.”

Chippenham Road/Shirland Road Junction – Update

The Council has given us the following update:

“There are two open enforcement investigations on the Shisha cafes either side of the junction. Number 99 Chippenham Road has a lawful Class A3 (café / restaurant) use and it appears that it is being used unlawfully for shisha smoking. We are in the process of prosecuting the owner of the business for non-compliance of the requirements of the extant enforcement notice which requires the shisha use to cease.

At number 122-124 Chippenham Road there is currently a planning appeal regarding the use of shisha an unauthorised forecourt extension. The appellants are seeking to retain the structure and the use. I understand that it has taken the Planning Inspectorate an inordinate amount of time to validate the appeal and at this stage our enforcement action is being held in abeyance pending the outcome of the appeal.

Our food safety team has also visited AM2PM. The fruit stall outside the shop is sublet by the store. Although there was no evidence of pests at the time of our visit, we instructed the two workers on the stall that fruit must be stored during the night in a manner which prevents contamination from pests. We also made it clear that our staff patrolling during the evenings and at night would check that this was being done.”

Saltram Crescent traffic calming – what do you

“I am surprised that after all this careful consideration objections by just 1% of the consulted residents are allowed to complicate matters like this. Of course it was to be expected that there will be a small minority objecting any proposal. May that as it be, I don’t understand why the one-way measures are not implemented on a test basis now, as originally planned. That would be the obvious way to judge the effect on the other roads. In my eyes there will be only marginally more traffic in the side roads heading towards Saltram Crescent, because this has to come from residents. The majority of the current traffic is through traffic, which would then stop.”

Shirland Road/Chippenham Road junction – what you say

“There are more and more Kangaroo Mopeds 24/7 parked on Shirland Road causing noise pollution, all speeding up Shirland Road. Could add a speed limit on Shirland Road and a ban on these mopeds be put in place. For too long this area which borders Brent is left behind.”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – September 2015

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Lydford Youth Club

Harrow Road Councillor Tim Roca has written to The Leader of Westminster Council, Councillor Philippa Roe, to protest at the proposed closure of the Lydford Youth Club

Dear Philippa,

Re. Closure of Youth Club on the Lydford Estate

At our recent meeting I raised the matter of the Youth Club on the Lydford Estate being closed down without warning and concerns raised by local residents. You were not aware of the closures and suggested that I take the matter up with CityWest Homes and update you.

Harrow Road Councillors and myself have now received a briefing on the positon from City West via Jayne Vertkin, Head of Early Help Services. I am therefore writing as promised and requesting your urgent assistance in view of the serious issue involved, which I outline below.

The facts of the matter are that the Brunel, Ebury Bridge and Lydford Youth Clubs are to close imminently. The consultation with staff affected closes on 7 October and in reality there is no prospect of substantive alternative provision being put in place once they close.

The reasoning behind the closures is that there is a lack of funding and the assertion that the clubs are not meeting local needs due to low levels of engagement with young people.

Local Democracy – There was zero consultation with ward councillors in advance of such a significant decision. An apology has been received from Ms Vertkin and a promise made that we will in future be briefed in a timely fashion. However, you will understand how hollow such an undertaking is now these clubs are just weeks away from shutting their doors.

The briefing we received from CityWest indicates the Clubs have been running a deficit for 2 years, ample enough time you would have thought to engage with  Councillors and the wider community. Such a consultation would have allowed a positive debate about the future of the clubs and new ideas about recruitment to be properly considered.

The bigger picture – It seems entirely counter intuitive that at a time when anti-social behaviour such as at the Maida Hill market is causing concern, and neighbourhood policing is being cut dramatically, that positive activities such as youth clubs should be shut down. A serious lack of joined up thinking appears to have occurred, and a failure in communication between, CityWest, the community and local councillors.

Instead of closing down youth clubs we should be talking about how to encourage more people to attend them. Myself and colleagues would ask that you intervene urgently and use your influence to put this decision on hold, so a proper consultation and carefully thought through plan be put in place.

I have cc’d the new Chief Executive of CityWest, in the hope he will positively intervene in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Tim Roca
Harrow Road Ward

Saltram Crescent Traffic Calming Scheme – Update

Letter to Local Residents about the public meeting to be held at 7pm on Monday 12 October 2015 at the Fernhead Road Methodist Church

Dear Local Resident,

This letter invites you to a public meeting to be held at 7pm on Monday 12 October 2015 at the Fernhead Road Methodist Church  to discuss the progression of suitable traffic calming measures for Saltram Crescent.

Residents of Saltram Crescent have, on a number of occasions, raised issues of speeding and road safety on Saltram Crescent. Although initial investigations did not reveal a speeding issue in the road, residents have continued to raise concerns regarding traffic management and road safety. A review of the safety record reveals that in the three year period up to 31 March 2015 there have been three accidents and two of these were at the junction of Saltram Crescent with Fernhead Road, rather than in Saltram Crescent itself. In addition, residents have raised concerns of the road being used as a “rat-run” by drivers looking to save time by avoiding the junction of Fernhead Road with Carlton Vale and Kilburn Park Road.

Following a meeting held on Wednesday 26th November 2014 it was agreed to set up a Working Party to discuss various options. The Working Party met on several occasions (10th December 2014, 7th January 2015, 11th February 2015 and 23rd April 2015) with Local Ward Members also attending. The resident volunteers also met separately to discuss possible options (including all those put forward at the public meeting). The remit of the Working Party was to consider suitable measures to resolve the concerns raised by residents of Saltram Crescent, but that would also have minimal impact on those roads surrounding Saltram Crescent.

Residents in Saltram Crescent and the surrounding roads selected an option, which the City Council informally consulted upon by a letter sent out on 19th February 2015. The scheme proposed would make Saltram Crescent one way northbound between its junctions with Bradiston Road and Fernhead Road and Saltram Crescent one way southbound between its junctions with Fordingley Road and Shirland Road.

The consultation included a total of 1,707 consultation letters. This informal consultation generated 42 responses, of which 14 were expressions of support, 17 were objections and 11 were comments. One of the objectors has conducted a petition amongst the residents as an objection to the proposal. This petition generated 80 signatures.

The main objections received to the proposals were that it would put more traffic on other roads in the area such as Denholme Road, Croxley Road and Fordingley Road and increase traffic flows on Fernhead Road and Shirland Road. In addition it would be cycle unfriendly and would extend journeys times for traffic trying to get to or from Saltram Crescent.

It is acknowledged that the comments put forward by the objectors could have been influenced by works being done by Thames Water.

The key feature of the option that was consulted on was short lengths of one-way working at both ends of Saltram Crescent. Both these lengths of one-way operation would allow vehicles to exit Saltram Crescent, but not enter it. This type of arrangement would remove any ‘through-traffic’ from Saltram Crescent, but it would also mean that vehicles bound for Saltram Crescent would be displaced onto adjacent residential roads.

In terms of traffic flows, the weekday daily flows in Saltram Crescent appear to be around 1,000 vehicles and in the main the maximum hourly flows that have been observed were lower than two vehicles per minute. What is not currently available though is what level of this traffic is through-traffic and what has an origin / destination in the area. In addition no data is available for flow levels in the surrounding roads. Without this information being available it is not possible to assess the impact of the proposal. What we do not want to happen is the transferring problems onto other roads, traffic flows would be bad enough, but care particularly needs to be taken in terms of safety.

PC Brian McDonnell from the Metropolitan Police has applied for a speed survey to be installed in Saltram Crescent later this month. The City Council will also be undertaking some traffic surveys to see how much traffic already uses the side roads.

Undertaking a traffic impact study with the results of these traffic surveys will give an indication of how the proposal might operate in practice. It would also provide the appropriate information in order to identify any further mitigation measures that could address the concerns conveyed through the consultation exercise and to monitor the impacts of the proposal, if it was implemented.

I hope that you will be able to attend the meeting.

Yours sincerely

Martin Low
City Transport Advisor

Oakington Road/Sutherland Avenue

We have reported a number of serious incidents of rubbish dumping to the Council. As one resident told us:

“Rubbish bags have now been lying outside Oakington Road house numbers 38 and 40 since the middle of last week. The rubbish collection on Friday has ignored them, as they do with regularity of similar bags alongside trees. Everything is all over the pavement again, either thrown about by the wind or torn open by foxes in the night. And so it goes on. For almost a week we had a burned out barbecue standing outside no 40 which was eventually collected. But the complete set of bedframes leaning outside No 18 for the same time was not. Posting a letter this afternoon at the Sutherland/Harrow Road junction post box, photos at that location speak for themselves”

Hormead/Fermoy Roads

We have again pressed the Council on the outstanding issue with the removal of the firegate at Hormead and Fermoy Roads. This encourages cyclists and scooters to use the pavement to access the other end of the street. Residents wanted bollards instead of the firegate as at least that way cyclist and scooters could weave through and not use the pavement.

We have also asked for rubbish bins to be located in Fermoy and Hormead Roads at the request of residents who reported:

“I had an encounter with a gentleman whom I challenged when I saw him clean up after his dog and leave the untied bag at the base of a tree. I asked him if he could throw it in the bin and he said there were no bins and he was not going to carry the bag home with him. While I think a responsible dog owner would take it home, it does appear that if there were rubbish bins available this would reduce the level of all kinds of litter / rubbish / dog mess.”

Chippenham/Shirland Road junction

We have asked the Council what action can be taken to deal with this long-standing issue:

“The corner of Chippenham Road and Shirland Road is such a mess with two shisha bars, disgusting chicken shop opposite Domino’s Pizza and rubbish all over the place. When are they going to upgrade that corner? The grocery shop next door to Domino’s leave all their fruit and veg out ALL night long on the street covered only by filthy covering and left for all the rats and mice to have access to it and then sold the next day. Where are the health and safety issues? How can this area be so neglected when Elgin Avenue and Little Venice are treated with more respect. It’s all Maida Vale /Hill but we’ve been left to rot?”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – August 2015

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Oakington Road/Sutherland Avenue

Elgin dumpingWe have reported a number of serious incidents of rubbish dumping to the Council. As one resident told us:

“Rubbish bags have now been lying outside Oakington Road house numbers 38 and 40 since the middle of last week. The rubbish collection on Friday has ignored them, as they do with regularity of similar bags alongside trees. Everything is all over the pavement again, either thrown about by the wind or torn open by foxes in the night. And so it goes on. For almost a week we had a burned out barbecue standing outside no 40 which was eventually collected. But the complete set of bedframes leaning outside No 18 for the same time was not. Posting a letter this afternoon at the Sutherland/Harrow Road junction post box, photos at that location speak for themselves”

William Hill, 357 Harrow Road

We are supporting the campaign for a review of the William Hill betting shop licence and the details of how you can add your voice are below;

http://www.maidahillforum.org.uk/latest-news/78-william-hill-harrow-rd-licence-review-please-write-in.html

Maida Hill Market

We have asked the police to investigate this problem:

“I just want to mention that motor bikes and scooters come from Walterton Road cutting through Maida Hill market to Elgin Avenue. Most users are from the local pizza take-aways, Top Pizza, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza in Chippenham Road. All their drivers they use this short cut at high speed. One day I saw a young child nearly got knocked over. Just to add, there are two big signs saying ‘no motor bikes or cars’ next to the toilets at Maida Hill market. I really appreciate if you can help us to stop these dangerous bikes crossing through the market”

Fermoy Road

We are taking up this issue with the Council:

“There is an inordinate amount of fast food containers (mostly from the chicken shop opposite the street), food and household waste on a daily basis in Fermoy Road between Harrow Rd and the fire gate across Hormead Road, despite the local street cleaners’ best efforts. Some people even leave their rubbish directly under the sign that warns about the fines for dumping rubbish! I myself have challenged people sitting in stationary cars, who think it appropriate to throw rubbish out of their window, to be laughed and sworn at. I know this is not a priority for local law enforcement, but perhaps a rubbish bin or two on Fermoy Road might encourage people to throw their trash out?”

Kenrick’s, 518 Harrow Road

We have asked the Council to investigate these problems:

“I live across the street from the bar, and over the past year I’ve regularly contacted the noise team, but the issue is more than just loud music. There is extreme drunkenness, fighting, yelling and dancing in the street on a regular basis. The problem spills out into the street in Harrow Road, occasionally stopping traffic, and it also spreads up along Ashmore Rd. I hope the Council will be able to deal with this issue in a way that makes Harrow Road safer for the rest of the community. I hope that there is something you can do to help residents reclaim Harrow Road and scrub away some of the general impression of Maida Hill as “lawless land”.”

Lanhill Road

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“I would like to enquire what the very noisy works are on Lanhill Road. Why there was no notice about them with their very heavy drilling/demolition and when they will be finishing. Living very close on Elgin Ave with a newborn baby, it is very stressful.”

Saltram Crescent/Fernhead Road junction

We have asked the Council to take up this issue:

“Please could someone talk with the owners of Carlton Elite car hire whose premises are at the Saltram/Fernhead junction? Numerous times I have come through this junction‎ (both directions), to find myself suddenly facing a car coming towards me on the wrong side of the road. The drivers are carrying out bizarre manoeuvres to park or drive off. These drivers sit on the yellow lines whilst they wait for a fare. I have nothing against the company, they have been here years and provide a valuable service, and presumably they need to respond quickly to booking requests, but they are not considering others.”

Lydford Estate

We have asked City West Homes to investigate the regular dumping of rubbish on the street by users of Lydford Hall. City West Homes tell us:

“The original issue related to Pinnacle People leaving their rubbish outside the back door, at the time we advised that they should use the large bins across the estate. However, they have been leaving their rubbish at the base of the tree on the street, which is unacceptable. In light of the situation we are arranging for them to have their own wheelie bin, so they are able to dispose of their rubbish responsibly within the grounds of the garden at Lydford Hall. Pinnacle People will cover the extra cost of the wheelie bin.”

Elgin Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“This spring, Westminster Council installed new trees along both sides of Elgin Avenue (between Chippenham Road and Harrow Road). The design of the cages around them wasn’t the best and as a result they have now turned into litter bins. They are now full up with litter, food waste, dog faeces and a used urine sample bottle. This could be solved almost instantly if someone briefed the street sweepers to address this as part of their normal, daily routine. Instead, it really makes the local area look neglected and dirty, which is a shame as it offsets the very good work done by planting the trees in the first place. I logged an online report via the WCC website back in June but nothing happened. I reported it by phone in July and then again last week but nothing has happened”

The Council has told us:

“The waste has now been removed and we have instructed our contractor to cut an aperture in the cage in order that debris can be removed, this should be completed before the end of the week.”

A satisfied resident said:

“I’m bowled over by how quickly this has been rectified once the information gets through to the right people. Please keep up the good work and pass on my thanks.”

Shirland Road

We are continuing to press the Council to introduce measures to reduce vehicle speeds along Shirland Road.

Chippenham Hotel

We are concerned that the owners of this pub are the same company who demolished the Carlton Tavern in Carlton Vale. They have closed the pub and the fear is that they are looking to put in another betting shop or poor retail outlet with no regard for the future of this iconic building. We are monitoring the situation closely.

News just in – the owners have put the upper floors on the market http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-for-sale/property-53958926.html

Tim Roca wins the Harrow Road By-Election

Labour’s Tim Roca has won the Harrow Road by-election with a sensational 75.4% share of the vote.

With a 6% swing to Labour, the full result is:

Tim Roca (Labour) – 1,139 (75.4%)

Wilford Augustus (Conservative) – 334 (22.1%)

Robert Stephenson (UKIP) – 38 (2.5%)

Tim joins the 16-strong Labour Group, including his two Harrow Road Ward colleagues Ruth Bush and Guthrie McKie.

Tim Roca adds his voice to stop Betfred plans for Prince of Wales pub

Karen and HR teamTim Roca, Labour’s Candidate in the Harrow Road by-election on Thursday 23rd July has added his objection to the Betfred planning application to turn the Prince of Wales pub in to a betting shop.

Tim has written to Westminster Council’s Planning Department to object:

Dear Westminster Planning Department,

Betfred planning application – former Prince of Wales pub on Harrow Road.

I am writing to object to the above application for change of use permission from Betfred, in order for a new betting shop to be located in premises at the former Prince of Wales pub on Harrow Road.

As you will be aware the local community is strongly against the change of the premises into a betting shop, and powerful representations were made by residents at Betfred’s recently declined licence application hearing on 2 July. This licence was also objected to by the Metropolitan Police, who raised concerns regarding anti-social behaviour, as well as local councillors and Karen Buck MP.

This building is a local landmark, located prominently which should be developed in a way which improves the whole Maida Hill Market area. We need a proper balance of shops and facilities along the Harrow Road in the interests of a safe and thriving local community.

It is of note that this would be the 8th betting shop within the area, an unacceptable concentration. This has to be of concern when a licence of a nearby betting shop (William Hill, Harrow Road) has been called in for review, and when a staggering £25 million has been lost to addictive fixed odds betting terminals in the City of Westminster in just the last 12 months.

Speaking to residents on the doorstep and seeing the campaign against Betfred’s licence application has made clear to me the strength of local feeling on this issue. In view of the clear arguments against, and the expressed feeling of the community I would strongly urge that this application be rejected.

Your sincerely,

Tim Roca

Labour Candidate, Harrow Road Ward on Thursday 23rd July

Promoted by Andy Whitley on behalf of Tim Roca, both at 4g Shirland Mews, W9

Karen Buck MP opposes BetFred planning application for Prince of Wales pub

POW demoKaren Buck MP has written to Westminster Council to oppose the planning application for a BetFred betting shop in the Prince of Wales pub on the Harrow Road.

After working closely with local residents and local Councillors to defeat the BetFred licensing application on 1st July, Karen has written the following letter:

Dear Westminster Planning Department,

I am writing to oppose the granting of permission for a change of use in respect of the former Prince of Wales pub, Maida Hill- specifically to enable these premises to operate as a betting shop..

As a local resident, with a local workplace, and as a frequent user of the shops and market at the ‘Prince of Wales’ junction, I am convinced that a betting shop on this dominant site will be harmful to the area.

Considerable efforts have been made in recent years to improve the ‘piazza’ opposite the Prince of Wales, which had been plagued by crack-dealing and street drinking. It was necessary to have a dedicated police team just to deal with the problems in the area. Despite the combined efforts of the Council, Local Area Partnership, traders and residents, this has not been a quick or easy task and whilst much progress has been made, the area still faces challenges In recent months, there has been a significant increase in levels of street drinking at the junction, and this is heightening concerns amongst residents and traders that long-term improvements may not be sustained. There is a high level of deprivation in the surrounding streets and estates and several services close by providing support for vulnerable people, including Westminster Drugs project, Central and North West London Mental Health service and City Living for people with learning disabilities, so additional ‘stress’ to the area should be avoided.

Whilst it is important that a betting shop in this location would be the 8th within a short radius (not least because recent figures indicate that £5m was lost to Fixed Odds Terminals alone in north Westminster last year) what is particularly significant is the importance of this site. Any sustained improvement in the area must start with the ‘corner’ premises of the junction- of which the former Prince of Wales is easily the most physically significant. This site becoming a betting shop sends a signal that we have ‘lost’ the square as a managed, mixed, safe and potentially vibrant part of the community.

I therefore very much hope that Westminster is able to act in the community interest and refuse a permission for a change of use.  premises.

Yours sincerely

Karen Buck MP

The link below is to the application on the Westminster Planning website.

You can comment through this link

Tim Roca’s Harrow Road Campaign Update

Karen and HR teamIn the last few weeks I have been out on the doorstep with the Labour Harrow Road team talking to residents about the issues and concerns affecting them and the area.

Several issues stand out. They are concerns which if elected I would champion and get Westminster Council to take seriously.

Many residents have spoken to me of their genuine worries about road safety. I am determined to address these concerns and improve road safety in the area. I support proposals for improving road safety in Saltram Crescent and other neighbouring roads. I also back the petitions to improve road safety at the various junctions along Shirland Road (Elgin and Sutherland Avenues in particular).

Fly tipping and general concerns regarding rubbish being dumped in the street. This is an ongoing problem which Westminster Council needs to take more seriously. The solution has to be two pronged, including enforcement tackling those who wilfully dump rubbish without thought to residents in the area, and secondly ensuring efficient collections and a more reasonable cost for larger items to be disposed of.

Anti – social behaviour is clearly an issue of concern to many people. It is simply not acceptable that some people feel afraid of being able to walk through the Maida Hill Market area and other places. It is also something which is more challenging to tackle in view of the continuing cuts to frontline police officers, including the closure of the police station on Harrow Road. We need a joined up approach and I will work hard together with residents, Police and local businesses. It means challenging continuing attempts to turn the Prince of Wales pub into another betting shop and pushing for a review of licences for those that already exist.

Finally there is the future of Harrow Road shops as the heart of the community. I want to see big improvements so that the Maida Hill market can flourish. Attracting new shops, cafés and restaurants should all be part of the mix, as we create a vision for the area that matches residents’ aspirations. As was proved through the success on stopping Betfred, this is all about working as a team to achieve the best outcome for the area.

I will work hard to get the Council to take these problems seriously and ensure that Harrow Road gets the attention and resources it needs. I will be standing up for local residents and fighting for the community’s interests at all times.

I will also continue to work closely with Karen Buck MP and the other Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush and Guthrie McKie to ensure that residents’ concerns are taken seriously by the City Council.

Tim Roca

Labour’s Candidate for Harrow Road Ward – Thursday 23rd July 2015

Promoted by Andy Whitley on behalf of Tim Roca, both at 4g Shirland Road, W9

 

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – July 2015

From your Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush and  Guthrie McKie and Labour candidate Tim Roca

Karen and HR team

 

 

 

 

Prince of Wales pub latest – Westminster Council rejects betting shop licensing application

POW demoThanks to a campaign by local residents, Labour councillors and Karen Buck MP, Westminster Council has rejected an application by BetFred to turn the Prince of Wales pub, Harrow Road into a betting shop.

Tim Roca, Labour’s candidate for the Harrow Road by-election said:

“I’m delighted Westminster Council has listened to local residents and said no to another betting shop on Harrow Road. This is a great first step, but the fight is not over. It is very likely that BetFred will appeal so we must be ready to continue our campaign through the planning appeal process.]

There are already several betting shops nearby, which is an unacceptable concentration. The committee agreed with residents and ourselves that a betting shop in such a prominent place would put vulnerable residents very much at risk. It would also blight local businesses. We need a proper balance of shops and facilities along the Harrow Road in the interests of a safe and thriving local community.

The building is local landmark and an important asset. It should be developed in a way which improves the junction and the whole Maida Hill Market area.”

Saltram Crescent – traffic calming

Saltram image Following the consultation which found a majority of residents in favour of the traffic calming proposals, we are pressing the Council to go ahead. The proposals would be put in place for an initial 18 months so that their effect on all concerned can be properly assessed. We know that there are concerns from some residents in the side streets, but we believe that these concerns will be catered for within the proposals. If this turns out not to be the case we will ask the Council to review the situation so that any problems are resolved quickly.

Karen Buck MP has received the following reply from the Council on the latest situation on traffic calming proposals:

“Following the public meeting on 26 November 2014 on Saltram Crescent, we have recently completed a consultation exercise regarding the proposed traffic calming measures. The measures selected by the working party for consultation, were those that it considered would have the minimal impact on all roads in the Saltram Crescent area, including the side roads.

The Working Party considered a number of different options including road humps and road closures, but has opted for the one-way solutions at either end of Saltram Crescent. This solution would allow traffic to exit Saltram Crescent and resolve the rat running traffic issue, without pushing the through traffic onto the side roads. The Working Party have accepted that this solution may require some traffic from Saltram Crescent to use the side roads, but they considered that it would be unlikely that the through traffic would divert on to the side roads, as there would be no advantage in doing so over going the direct route. The Working Party hoped that the scheme they proposed would encourage through traffic to use the main roads as it should be using.

A number of residents from Fordingley Road and surrounding roads have sent in their concerns following the consultation exercise. Their concerns and comments have been collated and included in a Cabinet Member Report on this project, which will be submitted shortly for consideration.”

Maida Hill Market area

maida-hill-marketWe have asked the police to take action to stop the late night anti-social behavior around the market area;

“I came home just after 11pm and as I got out of the car – half the way down Elgin Avenue towards Chippenham Rd, I heard them shouting and screaming! And an hour later they are still here (after midnight)! I don’t know who else to call – no doubt they will be here tomorrow, and the day after, and every night now the weather is warm”

We have also asked for more rubbish bins after receiving this request:

“I wanted to let you know about a massive problem with rubbish dumping at the Maida Hill market area. There are not enough containers for commercial waste (despite various promises to install more containers as the market has expanded). The area looks very unpleasant, dirty and this encourages mice. While there are cleaners who clean the area, absence of large rubbish containers means that for most of the day huge piles of rubbish are dumped onto the street. I hope the council can install large rubbish bins, or perhaps organise twice-a-day rubbish collection from the area. It is madness to try to expand the market, especially if these issues are not resolved first.”

The Market Managers has told us:

“I have made arrangements for the market bin to be changed to one that can be locked with a padlock to prevent abuse from residents and businesses. The traders have all been reminded of their duty of care. As a result of this all market waste is placed into the designated market bin and all cardboard boxes are broken down. Maida Hill market waste is collected within the Harrow Road collection time bands, which are Monday to Sunday 9am and 6:30pm. The market bin is located behind the public toilets from where it is used on a daily bases by the traders. For the evening collection time, the street sweep wheels the bin to the Harrow road junction with Elgin Avenue ready for the refuse crew to collect. This location is also used by local businesses, residents and street sweepers to place bags for collection.

Waste enforcement operations (Project Red) have recently been conducted on the Harrow road. Unfortunately at the location in question there was no evidence found to show where the waste had originated from. We’ll continue to monitor this location with the intention of identifying the individuals who dump waste outside the collection time bands. The cleansing and waste management agreement for the market is currently under review in preparation for completion of the market extension.”

Lydford Estate – Update

The Deputy Estate Manager has given us an update on various issues of concern to residents on the Lydford Estate:

“I am aware of the most recent parking issues on the Lydford Estate, especially where people are parking on the ramp as you enter the estate. We are working closely with Wing Parking to increase the patrols on the estate. This has resulted in Wing Parking issuing a number of penalty charges which normally deters illegal parking however thus far in this case it has been unsuccessful. We will be writing to the block closest to where the cars are parked with the intention of identifying their owners. The details of the cars have been taken by the Police in order for them to carry out background checks on the vehicles. We are continuing to monitor the situation.

With regards to the potential drug taking, this would ultimately need to be reported to the police, however it would be useful to have some specific areas within Lydford where the drug taking is happening. Anything you would be able to provide would be useful so we are able to get to the bottom of the issue with the support of the police.”

Following further information received from residents we have reported that the alleged drug dealing is being carried out at the Harrow Road end of the estate.

Edbrooke Gardens

We have raised this issue with the Council:

“As I write, the Council is killing/eliminating one of the superb trees that makes it a joy to be living opposite them. Why is this tree destroyed? I am no botanist but it seemed pretty healthy to all of us. What consultation has taken place? I am sure that I have not been consulted in spite of my location. This is real violence being made of the only oasis of peace and greenery left in this area and a violence to all users of the park.”

The Council’s Arborcultural Officer says;

“We are carrying out maintenance to the trees in Edbrooke Road Gardens as part of our cyclical maintenance regime. The majority of the work is to remove dead, dying or damaged branches, crown lifting over footpaths and the public highway, so nothing controversial. However, there are three trees identified for crown reduction. Two lime trees that have been implicated in subsidence insurance claim. Lime trees are very tolerant of pruning and will grow back readily. The other tree is a sugar maple that has been crown reduced previously. Unfortunately this species is particularly prone to branch failure from the old pruning points and therefore this work is required for reason of public safety. I did speak to a resident this morning who was concerned at the work that was going on so I’ve said that’s I will inspect this particular tree to ensure that we are not carrying out any more pruning than is necessary.”

Rubbish dumping

Edbrooke Rd GdnsCCTV should be deployed at rubbish dumping hotspots to catch those anti-social people who ruin the local environment for everyone else, following reports of continual rubbish dumping in Walterton Road, Goldney Road and elsewhere. Some residents believe that people, particularly builders and landlords, are driving to parts of the area from elsewhere to dump their building rubbish and old furniture.

Rubbish dumping is becoming one of the biggest local issues and those responsible should be caught and fined for their anti-social and irresponsible behaviour. At the same time, Westminster Council needs to improve its street refuse collection service with regular patrols to clear rubbish dumping hotspots as quickly as possible.

Hormead Road

A number of residents from Hormead Road have complained about the behaviour of some of the boaters living on the Grand Union Canal. Karen Buck MP is speaking to the Canal and River Trust, as well as Westminster City Council and Police, to see what more can be done to tackle complaints of anti-social behaviour, littering and noise. House boaters are a long standing and welcome part of the local community, but it is a shame that a minority are causing such problems for their neighbours.

Shirland Road

We are taking up this issue with the Council:

“Motor cycle delivery vehicles take up between 2 – 3 pay and display bays outside 184 – 190 Shirland Road on a daily basis. This has become very annoying, car drivers cannot park, and they have been asked to move into the motor cycle bay on Saltram Crescent which is empty every single day. When the drivers are asked to move they say ‘speak no English’. I am sure the company they work for is not aware that 8 of their drivers are sitting on Shirland Road for 4 hours, 7 days a week. Please can someone do something as this has got to stop, it’s not fair on local residents coming in from work and who cannot park.”

Sutherland Avenue/Elgin Avenue road safety petition launched

Alongside residents, we have launched an on-line petition to urge Westminster Council to improve road safety at the junctions of Sutherland Avenue and Elgin Avenue.

The petition reads:

“We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to take action to improve the safety of road crossings at the junctions of Sutherland Avenue and Elgin Avenue by the installation of timed pedestrian crossing lights.

We are concerned about pedestrians, especially child-safety along Shirland Road.”

You can sign here

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

Need to improve road safety in the Harrow Road area is long overdue

Tim Roca, Labour’s Candidate in the Harrow Road by-election, together with Karen Buck MP and local Councillors, have had a number of recent enquiries from residents about road safety in the Sutherland/Elgin/Goldney/Edbrooke Roads area.

One parent wrote:

“Elgin and Sutherland are so unbelievably dangerous. Why are there no pedestrian lights? Sutherland is particularly frightening. There was some road works done on Sutherland recently that made the whole area so much more dangerous (as they decided to take out all the lights at the same time) I foolishly thought that this was so they could put pedestrian lights in, but they haven’t. Any view on how we can make these roads safer for our school children? “

Another adds:

“The purpose of this email is to plead with you do persuade the Council to implement road safety and road calming  measures around Edbrooke Gardens, before a child is hurt or killed. Westminster has to revisit the issue of road safety in the light of the changing demographic. It is, as its always been, a very densely populated area. Why are there speed bumps in Delaware Road, which is dominated  by media studios and not on a road that features a public space used by children?”

And a third says:

“As you know, Goldney Road has access to St Peter’s School on its south side and Edbrooke Road Park to its North; children (and indeed parents) cross the road regularly, and I am terrified for the safety of my young daughter (and other’s children), who, in spite of me carrying her to and from my car whenever possible, could break free and run into an oncoming speeding car with horrifying consequences. Surely with the school and park, Goldney Road must merit some kind of traffic calming – either speed bumps or introduction of partial ‘one way’ system as exists on Oakington Road (by Paddington Academy)?”

Along with Karen Buck MP, we have asked the Council’s Road Safety Team to investigate the situation as a matter of urgency and to bring forward proposals to improve the current unsatisfactory state of affairs.

Promoted by Andy Whitley on behalf of Tim Roca, both of 4g Shirland Mews, W9

Karen and HR teamTim Roca is Labour’s choice for the Harrow Road Ward by-election

The Labour Party has chosen Tim Roca to be its candidate in the forthcoming Harrow Road by-election on Thursday 23rd July.

Tim was brought up in Cheshire before moving to London 8 years ago. He was state educated and the first in his family to go to university. Tim works at King’s College London in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science. In his spare time he acts at as a charity trustee and is a member of CAMRA.

Tim, 29, studied history at Lancaster University and was president of the Student’s Union, taking a role campaigning against tuition fees.

Tim said:

“I feel privileged to be selected as Labour’s candidate for the Harrow Road Ward. I want to stand up for the community and, together with the current councillors Ruth Bush and Guthrie McKie, be a powerful advocate for the area.”

Karen Buck MP said:

“Tim will be a great advocate for local residents. I’m really looking forward to working with him”

Councillor Adam Hug thanked outgoing Councillor Nilavra Mukerji for his service saying;

“I would like to give my thanks to Nilavra for all his efforts over the last 5 years on behalf of the residents of Harrow Road and across Westminster. We wish him well in the future”

Promoted by Andy Whitley on behalf of Tim Roca, both at 4g Shirland Mews, London W9

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – June 2015

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Maida Hill Market area

We have asked the Council and the police to investigate this continuing issue:

“There are about 20 people gathering at the Maida Hill market after 6.00pm. They bring a loud speaker, they start playing loud music until midnight, sometimes later than that. Also lots of alcohol is been consumed bottles, cans, cups. What is worst is when they urinate at the square by the trees. My kids are straggling to have a sleep and they keep waking up many times at night due to the loud music especially when they need to get up early in the morning to go to school. Something needs to be done to tackle this anti-social behaviour”

Fermoy Road

We are making enquiries about this long-standing issue:

“I wonder if there is anything that you can do to help a local situation in Fermoy Road which has been going on for a number of years. There is a firegate in place which (when the lock hasn’t been broken, prevents cars from using Fermoy Road as a rat-run between Harrow Road and Great Western Road). Unfortunately motorbikes and scooters know the area well and mount the footpath all day, every day, putting local residents at risk, including children and the residents of the sheltered accommodation which is located next to the firegate.

There has been dialogue with Westminster Council on this for many years, and we thought we had finally made progress earlier this year but this appears to have now stalled and we are yet again in a frustrating position of inactivity. Meanwhile, these motorised vehicles continue to put residents at risk. Is there anything that you can do to help us?”

Shirland Road, Chippenham Road and Walterton Road junction

We have asked the Council to let us know the latest situation on this long-standing issue:

“I just wondered if you could do something about the eyesores and the blatant flaunting of the smoking laws by the two shisha places at the junction of Shirland Road, Chippenham Road and Walterton Road”

Shirland Road/Elgin Avenue junction

We have the Council to investigate the problems at this junction after receiving this message:

“Both my son and his friend had a very lucky escape this morning on their walk into school. They were crossing at the junction of Shirland Road and Elgin Avenue between the newsagents and the interiors shop Day True. As there are no pedestrian lights there the only way of gauging whether it’s safe to cross is by guessing the traffic light sequence. The 2 older boys crossed first as we took charge of the 3 younger children. The boys were about three quarters of the way across when the lights changed and a motorbike, which must have been travelling at some speed accelerated through the amber light missing the boys by millimetres.

At the junction of Shirland Road and Chippenham Road we now have a pedestrian countdown which has greatly improved our ability to cross safely at this junction. However the two remaining junctions are still a danger and this is a major route to school for many families. I am asking and for Pedestrian lights to be installed at these junctions and all those on major routes to school before there is a serious accident and the 20MPH speed limit to be introduced. On the final day of Walk to School Week, I have had a very cold, harsh reality check, and realised the streets are not safe for myself and my family.”

The Council says they are currently considering the following options:

  • Upgrade to double yellow lines around junction and loading blips
  • Add cycle reservoir on Elgin Avenue arms (already on Shirland Road) and add pedestrian Green men to all arms.
  • Stop lines 3m from studs
  • Improve pedestrian crossing studs and widen to the min of 2.4m
  • Add tactile paving
  • Upgrade traffic islands in line with new stud lines
  • Right turn pocket in centre of junction in line with Shirland Road
  • Pedestrian phase

Lydford Estate – parking

We are following up this issue raised by residents:

“I have noticed the continuous parking of cars on the ramps entering the Lydford estate on Riverton, Portgate and Lapford Closes. These cars do not have parking permits and I understand a number of them have parking tickets and but this has not resolved the problem. The effect of this illegal parking is that residents who have paid for parking permits and also services such as rubbish collection have difficulty getting into the estate and driving into their allotted parking spaces around these closes. It is believed that the owners of these cars live in houses on Ashmore Road opposite the entrance to Portgate Close. There is also a lot of drug related activity in some closes at night.The police have been informed of these problems which have been going on for some months. It is time that some action is taken”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – May 2015

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Edbrooke Road Gardens

Edbrooke Rd Gdns
Residents have asked if speed controls can be put in place in Edbrooke Road and Goldney Road to deter speeding cars who endanger local residents when crossing the road to get to the gardens, particularly parents with small children.

We have also asked the Council to remove rubbish dumped outside the Gardens.

Chippenham Road

We have asked the Council to remove rubbish dumped in Chippenham Road near the junction with Shirland Road.

The Chippenham

We are keeping a close watch on the future of The Chippenham pub after learning that it has been bought by the same company that bulldozed the Carlton Tavern.

Fernhead Road

Transport for London have told us that the Countdown Display at the bus stop outside 173 Fernhead Road was temporarily removed to allow bus shelter upgrade works to be undertaken. These works have now been completed and they have assigned an engineer to reinstall the display as soon as possible. These works will be completed as a matter of high priority.

Harrow Road pubs – what you say

“I strongly disagree that what Harrow Rd needs is a cheap, soul-less chain pub. I think we have enough soul-less cheap betting and grocery store options nearby as well as the inexpensive Angie’s Freehouse. I would love to see another classy establishment or gastro-pub similar to the Union Tavern on Woodfield Road and the canal. “

Prince of Wales pub – what you say

“The last thing we need is another betting shop”

Maida Hill market area – what you say

“I think the Maida Hill market is not just a market in day time it is also a drinking place for the drunks especially from 6.30pm onwards. After the market closes they all start gathering at the square playing loud music. I have been forced this evening to call the police. Please something it needs to be done to tackle this anti-social behaviour. They don’t care about anyone, especially young children who go to bed early for school.”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – March 2015

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Saltram Crescent update

Residents report the following:

“Hopefully everyone has seen the letter from the council informing us of their proposed solution to calm traffic in Saltram Crescent. It’s all on http://safersaltram.blogspot.co.uk/.

Thanks to everyone who stepped up and formed a committee to liaise with the council and who came to our meetings. Thanks too to our hard working councillors Ruth, Guthrie and Nilavra and our MP Karen Buck for pushing it through and arranging meetings. And big thanks to the council, for listening to our concerns, thoughts and for meeting with us and working out a solution. Together. Feedback from the committee has been that the council and their consultants have been amazing – knowledgeable, collaborative and action-orientated.”

Harrow Road Traders

Harrow Road traders have a long standing concern about the shortage of pay-and-display and delivery bays, which affects their businesses. A delegation has been to see Karen Buck MP and she is taking this up with the Council to see if we can find a solution.

Harrow Road

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“Thank you for all the work done concerning the improved crossing facility (Pelican Junction) at Harrow Road and Chippenham Road, which is now ‘complete’; however, the removal of some of the safe haven islands has had the effect of large commercial trucks cutting the westbound corner from Harrow Road into Chippenham Road, often at speed as they try to beat the lights. Since the closure of the Batching works heavy traffic has decreased significantly. Even though the Crossrail works are continuing their traffic conforms to regulated hours of activity. I notice the ‘massive’ new batching facility under construction in its new position and wonder just how much Cement truck traffic it will generate on completion. Please could you ask the licensing authority to clarify the hours that facility will operate, and trucks use the surrounding residential area streets.”

Ernest Harriss House, Elgin Avenue

We have asked Genesis to deal with this issue:

“I’m sad to note that our little “jungle” at Ernest Harriss House continues to gather more rubbish. I would’ve helped but I don’t have gardening equipment.”

Harrow Road pubs – what you say

“As you know, the Elgin Avenue/Harrow Road/ Chippenham Road area has lost three pubs (the Neeld Arms, the Prince of Wales and the Chippenham) over the last few months, after the closure of another two pubs (top of Elgin avenue and Harrow Road – Windsor Castle and Elephant & Castle) in the last two years or so. The only pub left in the area is the Squirrel (formerly the Red Squirrel). I did not grant my custom to any of the closed pubs but, clearly, these closures must result in a considerable impoverishment of social life/social exchanges. Is there any way that the Council could tempt a chain of reasonably priced pubs, say Wetherspoon, to open a venue in our area? There is, definitely a need for a pub – preferably a ‘not posh’ pub.”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – February 2015

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Save the Prince of Wales pub on Harrow Road from becoming another betting shop

Prince of Wales
We have started an on-line petition to save the Prince of Wales pub on Harrow Road from becoming another betting shop.

You can sign here:

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

The petition reads:

We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to bring in an Article 4 direction preventing the Prince of Wales pub on Harrow Road becoming a betting shop in order to protect local amenity and the wellbeing of the area.

This stretch of Harrow Road already contains 3 betting shops, including one directly next door. We believe that the Harrow Road and Prince of Wales junction need a wider and better range of shops and facilities, not a greater concentration of fast-food and betting shops.

Walterton Road

The Council has given us the following update on action being taken to tackle persistent rubbish dumping:

“Operations were undertaken focusing on Big Black Bin sites at Warlock Road junction with Walterton Road on 28th and 30th January with further operations taking place on 3rd and 5th February. We are also arranging for the bins at this site to be taken to the Veolia depot and searched through to look for evidence of commercial dumping.”

Shirland Road junction with Walterton Road

• Twice daily inspections continuing.
• Due to increased demand another recycling bin has been placed at location.
• Wardens are reporting reduced levels of dumping at this location

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – January 2015

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Lydford Estate

We have reported this issue to the Environmental Action Line at the Council:

“I’m tired of complaining about lack of bins on the Lydford Estate. I moved here in March of last year and everyone dumps their rubbish outside the front of my house four steps from my door. I have complained to City West Homes and environmental health but with no success. I would appreciate your help with this.”

The Council say they have identified solutions to the issue, including the installation of a household waste bin in the street. In the meantime, the local warden will supply educational literature to all the residents of Drayford Close, informing them of the correct time and place to present their waste. He will also post anti-dumping signage in the vicinity.

You can report issues like this to environmentalactionline@westminster.gov.uk

Lydford Estate Play Area

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“This playground is very well used – you only have to go past there to see. For at least two years we have been asking City West Homes to replace three broken swings – one at least of which was a swing which a child with a disability could use. I would also like to see the green moss removed from the playground surface. We are not talking about a lot of money here to replace the swings and make the playground nice again”

Prince of Wales pub – what you say

“I would like to make a comment about “The Prince Of Wales”, this Irish based pub. It was used by many in our community and we went on to organise “Harrow Road goes Irish” Sunday afternoon festival at the Market place supported by hundreds from the Harrow Road. We don’t want another Yuppie pub like the Elgin or Squirrel we want OUR PUB BACK used by our community and enjoyed.”

The Chippenham pub – what you say

“I saw recently that the Chippenham pub has closed and I would be interested in hearing what development plans there are, if any for the site. I feel like that area of Shirland/Chippenham Road has FAR too many shisha cafes/chicken joints, so it would be lovely to hear that something like that isn’t proposed. It would be lovely to have an independent business like a restaurant or florist or something to add a bit of lift to the area”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – December 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Maida Hill Market area

We are following up the suggestions in this response to last month’s report:

“I wanted to echo the comments around the pubs at the junction of Harrow Road and Elgin Avenue. I was never a fan of the Prince of Wales as it was quite a blight when they painted such a prominent building in the area bright yellow and green. I’m wondering whether there is any way to enforce a vetting system for businesses at this junction? Given that so much money has been spent on the Maida Hill market and that Sainsbury’s have added a much needed positive face to the area…what we really need are the following:

1. A new pub on the site of the Prince of Wales, perhaps managed by the excellent management of the Elgin pub near Maida Vale station. They have taken a mediocre spot and added a genuinely pleasant facility for locals.
2. A major intervention to replace the Costcutter at the corner to add a shop and/or restaurant or cafe that adds to the local amenities. It’s an attractive building at the centre of the area on a pleasant square and yet we have the least aesthetically pleasing eyesores there, and this serves to further blight the Harrow Road area. There is nothing positive about this shop and it drags the whole area down. Beautiful windows looking onto a new decent terrace could really transform the whole area with a little help from government.
3. Direct intervention to attract a few decent cafes to open, since a Pret, Costa or Cafe Nero would do wonders to transform this area. I’m not ‘pro chain’ and would prefer an independent like Daniella’s Lounge…but anything that can help unify the area is desperately needed

Personally I would like to see inclusive places that can cater to rich/poor, and the culturally diverse population…but which can move it away from becoming a men’s-exclusive and increasingly down at heel ghetto. We don’t need posh, just decent. Progress has stopped and things are going backward quickly…how can a high street 3 minutes’ walk to Westbourne Park station and next to wealthy Maida Vale be left to rot with so little planning?”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – November 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

New Elgin Doctors’ Practice

We are supporting the GPs at the New Elgin Pratice to make sure they are not forced either to close or to move out of the local neighbourhood. Karen Buck MP is working with them, NHS England and the Council (responsible for any future planning issues affecting the building). Please get behind this campaign. We have already lost 2 General Practices in North Westminster recently and we need to keep our GPs!

Here’s the patients’ petition http://www.scribd.com/doc/247736319/Elgin-Practice

Even if you are not a patient, an email to show your support would help greatly.

Harrow Road pubs

We are acting on the concerns expressed in this email:

“Can I share with you my alarm about the loss of pubs along Harrow Road near the Elgin junction? Elephant & Castle gone; Neeld Arms boarded up; Prince of Wales suspended; Bad rumours about the Flora further up. It feels like we’ll just be left with Kendrick’s soon. None of these would exactly win prizes from CAMRA but they did serve this ward and I fear lack of licenced premises will just drive street drinking further. So is there any way to at least press for the return of the Prince of Wales? I know there have been at least two awful incidents there, so I guess it would need tight managing & a new licensee. But its permanent loss would be a local disaster.”

Given its impact on the junction we think the Prince of Wales is the one to focus on. The best thing would be for it to be taken on by a new landlord who has the capacity to improve the pub and offer something better, perhaps introducing a restaurant. We will be working with the Harrow Road Town Team to look at all the opportunities to find solution

Walterton Road /Lydford Road junction

We are continuing to press Thames Water for action on this issue;

“Please do continue to press Thames Water on the longstanding issue of the stench around Walterton/ Lydford junction. This has been going on for years not months or weeks. I find it hard to believe that not only can it not be rectified but also that it is not a health hazard. Sewage in the air? I appreciate efforts have been made to solve the issue but that is little consolation when we are no further forward years down the line – the outcome is the same as if they had done nothing! No change in stench. “

Maida Hill Market area

Along with Karen Buck MP we have repeated our request to the Council and the police to tackle this growing problem:

“My windows are looking to over Maida Hill market, since I moved in I have noticed that there are a lot of drunk people sitting and drinking on the benches by the market using a very bad language and they get very loud too. Can you please help us to sort this problem which we are facing every day?”

Results of Karen Buck MP’s Thames Water Survey

Around 140 people responded to Karen Buck’s survey about the Thames Water works taking place in Maida Hill and Little Venice and the full results are available on her website here

http://karenbuck.dreamhosters.com/index.php/karenb/articles/thames_water_report/

Overall feedback has not been positive and you have told Karen about poor communication from Thames Water, frustration with delays and many problems including noise and environmental issues, worse traffic and increased difficulty getting around the area.

Based on residents’ responses, Karen has written to Thames Water to ask them to take action to improve the situation for local people. She has requested an assurance that works can be completed in line with the current deadline, better and more frequent communication, help for those living right next to the work sites and, given that the survey found that residents in Maida Hill had been most disrupted by the project, major improvements to Tamplin Mews Gardens as a form of recompense.

Saltram Crescent consultation meeting to discuss reducing traffic speeds on 26th November

Saltram image

Alongside Karen Buck MP, we have been supporting the campaign to reduce traffic speeds in and around the ‘Saltram triangle’. Harrow Road Ward Councillors met with Cllr Argar, Martin Low and other traffic officers from Westminster Council on 18th September to take forward options for improvement – the idea is for a series of ‘give way’ bays along Saltram Crescent. Councillors have said that the residents must be consulted on this and a meeting is being held at

St Luke’s Church, Fernhead Road, W9 3EH on Wednesday 26th November 2014 from 6:30pm.

There is also a petition calling for a 20mph speed limit in the area. Please find the link here http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/fernhead20mph/

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – October 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Fernhead Road

We have organised a petition calling for a 20mph speed limit after receiving this information;

“I live in Fernhead Road between Carlton Vale and Shirland Road junctions and I have witnessed daily over recent years the increasing breaking of the 30mph speed limit. The speed indicator alerting motorists to when they are over 30mph travelling towards Shirland Road is obscured by a tree for traffic towards Shirland Road. It is clear from SLOW markings on road and notice about traffic calmed area at Carlton Vale junction that 30mph should be limit. However I have frequently observed light warning sign being repeatedly triggered. I would support 20mph limit in Westminster as this would dovetail with surrounding boroughs, however it needs enforcing, as even with 30mph limit drivers completely and deliberately ignore. I look forward to your response and any useful information for me as a resident of this stretch of primarily domestic road with a nursery one end and a school the other. Its great having buses here, and I understand emergency vehicles need clear route, but ordinary traffic needs to be safer.”

You can sign the petition here http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/fernhead20mph/

Elgin Avenue

We have asked the asked the Highways Department to investigate the following issue;

“I am concerned about the repeated reckless traffic behaviour at peak times seen on Elgin Avenue at the junction with Shirland Road. At the Shirland Road junction one can observe speeding cars approaching the traffic lights and continuing through regardless just when the lights have changed to red. Sometimes there is crazy overtaking at the last minute by some drivers overtaking cars that aim to stop. Yesterday morning a succession of three vehicles, just now another succession of vans and private cars continuing through red without hesitation. It is often quite stunning to observe the complete disregard for these traffic lights.”

Maida Hill Market area – what you say

“Even though this area has improved considerably in the last 10 years, it definitely feels as if it is slipping back. This junction used to a godforsaken place – it was I believe one of the top 10 most dangerous locations in the whole country! – it got better but, since the closure of the Harrow Road police station, it feels now as if it is deteriorating. There used to be a steady stream of police and Community Support officers coming and going on foot which was, if nothing else, reassuring – screaming police cars are no substitute. Rumour has it that a new, smaller police station is to be opened in either the old police station or the old town hall next door, is that true? And if not, can we have one?”

Walterton Road/Lydford Road – what you say

“On the sewage odour issue at the intersection of Lydford and Walterton roads the information from Thames Water shows that a lot has been done and much more will be. One question which is still pending is when the remaining works will be carried out as the odour is still very much there.”

Rubbish dumping – what you say

“My firm belief is that we are indeed dealing with anti-social behaviour, mostly from builders, but also from local residents too and this ought to be tackled in the right way, with a mix of education/prevention/review of current rubbish collection procedures and strong law enforcement.”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – September 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Maida Hill Market area

Many residents have given a welcome to the Maida Hill Market- one of several steps taken to improve this area, which was previously plagued by drug-dealing and other problems. Unfortunately, we have recently seen a worsening of anti-social behaviour in the area, including a particular problem with street drinking. This is bad for the market and bad for the community. We are working with Karen Buck MP to look for solutions, but feel we have not been helped by the closure of the Harrow Road Police Station last year, and reductions in Safer Neighbourhood policing. Serious efforts are needed to deal with the problem, but resources are clearly very stretched. It would be very helpful indeed to get feedback from residents to help us keep up the pressure.

Also, following a tweet from a local resident we reported this to the Council;

“Maida Hill market mens toilet filthy. Needs a deep cleanse. Water tap running continually. Entrance post full of rubbish!”

Lydford Road/Walterton Road

We have asked Thames Water and the Council to re-investigate this long-standing problem;

“I would like to report a long standing problem with sewage odours at the intersection between Lydford Road and Walterton Road. This is not new. I remember plans to erect a ventilation column when we moved in to Lydford Road, some 6 years ago. But nothing happened, I don’t know why and the odour, especially during the summer time is simply horrible. I would appreciate it if you could make the relevant enquiries to let us know what could be done to permanently get rid of this issue.”

Chippenham Road

We reported the following incidence of rubbish dumping to the Council;

“A lot of rubbish has been dumped between 48 and 52 Chippenham Rd, just opposite St Peter’s church. This area backs on the estate where I live. From time to time we see stuff dumped here.”

The Council says;

“The local area warden has agreed to do a leaflet drop in the area before the end of the week, the leaflets will remind residents where they are meant to leave rubbish, which days the collections are and state explicitly that resident are not to dump rubbish on the pavement.”

Maida Vale Flood Alleviation Scheme

You are invited to an open afternoon to see part of the Thames Water work on the Maida Vale Flood Alleviation Scheme

Saturday 13 September 2014 from 1pm to 3pm

Harrow Road entrance, Westbourne Green.

• Bring your friends and family
• Meet the team
• See the shaft, cranes and diggers and a photo exhibition

Please feel free to pass on these details to anyone else who may be interested in attending.

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – August 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Saltram Crescent

Following the petition to the Council to take action to reduce vehicle speeds in Saltram Crescent, we have received the following update from the Council;

“The Council has allocated £150,000 for resurfacing and redesign of Saltram Crescent, including consultation with Ward Councillors and residents on all options that have the potential to address issues of rat-running, inappropriate speeds and road safety at this location.”

We are looking forward to the consultation and will update you with further details as soon as we get it.

Maida Hill Post Office

We have started an on line petition to urge Royal Mail to locate a post box outside Maida Hill Post Office on Harrow Road. As many residents have said, it makes no sense to have a Post Office with no post box outside! The petition reads:

“We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to urge Royal Mail to locate a post box outside the Maida Hill Post Office on Harrow Road”

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

Call for action to remove unwanted estate agents’ signs

We have called on Westminster Council to take action to remove the unwanted proliferation of estate agents signs in Shirland Mews.

Shirland Mews signs

We are delighted that the offending signs have now been removed.

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – June 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Thames Water works – Lanhill and Grittleton Roads

We have raised the following concerns from residents with the Council;

“We have no objection to the flood alleviation scheme works being carried out currently in Tamplin Mews, however we have received a letter from Thames Water explaining the next phase of the work due to commence in August. They are planning various phases of closures to Shirland and Chippenham roads during the works. Unfortunately they don’t appear to have taken into consideration the impact on Lanhill and Grittleton Roads. Both roads will be used as short cut alternatives thus increasing congestion along two narrow residential streets. The problem could be solved by blocking (temporarily) the end of both streets and placing the necessary ‘access only’ signs at the Elgin Avenue ends of both streets.”

Chippenham Road

We have asked the Council to let us know what can be done about this long-standing problem;

“I am writing to say what a distressing and unpleasant experience living on Chippenham Road has become – between Harrow Road and Elgin Avenue specifically. For the past year or two we have had an increasing and constant flow of huge open trucks, cement mixer trucks and extra-long load-bearing vehicles on this section of the street. The simple reason for this is that they cannot turn left at the junction of Harrow Road and Elgin Avenue to access the industrial area near the bus station. We also have a regular trail of Out of Service buses on Chippenham Road for the same reason. I understand that some of the traffic is related to Crossrail and will eventually cease, but much of it is not related to Crossrail and hence this road has become the highway from hell in terms of noise and pollution. It does not even cease or cut back in the evening. The trucks thunder back and forth every 10 to 15 minutes– full and empty – until after 2 a.m. EVERY week night. These are trucks that can barely make the turn at Elgin Avenue/Chippenham Road – sometimes they have to reverse back and forth. It is madness.

Apparently there are no rules or regulations to protect the public/residents from this daily onslaught. This is not a major highway like Harrow Road or the Great Western Road. Many of us who have lived on the street for years have tried and failed to have these trucks regulated or limited in some way. It seems that residents take last place on this issue. I have lived here since 1987 and this nightmare is forcing me to move from the area. I am so disappointed but cannot afford to have my health and wellbeing further downgraded by this situation, and I am very angry that uncaring commercial considerations have won out here. As I understand it, Kensington and Chelsea council refused to allow these trucks to access their site via K & C streets. Clearly Westminster has less regard for its residents.”

Grand Union Pet shop – corner of Shirland and Walterton Roads

We have asked this issue to be investigated;

“Something needs to be done urgently about the customers of the Grand Union pet shop. They need to warn their customers, when they bring their dogs to the shop either before or after they have attended the dogs tend to use the tree outside 186 Shirland Road as a toilet. The paved area is so small, the mess is unbelievable and the residents of two houses by this tree suffer.”

Edbrooke Road

We are making enquiries into this request from a resident;

“We need a waste bin on Edbrooke Road itself, the bins are all in the little park which is locked at night so there is nowhere to deposit waste. Is this possible? “

Dog micro-chipping

There will be a Free dog micro chipping event at Edbrooke Gardens, Edbrooke Road on Tuesday 22nd July 2014 between 11am-2pm.

Lanhill Road/Elgin Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“Every time there is heavy rain the corner at the junction of Lanhill Road and Elgin Avenue is impassable on the pavement.”

The Council says;

Lanhill

“We are aware of the problem here. My Inspector has been keeping an eye on it and getting excess water swept away as required. The crossing has been put in (a few months ago) for alterations to improve its design and we are awaiting sign-off as to whether this can be done.”

City Council Election results

Thanks for your support

http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/docstores/publications_store/elections/2014/results/harrow-road-election-results-2014.pdf

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – May 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Walterton and Barnsdale Roads

We have reported more instances of rubbish dumped on the streets

Barnsdale rubbishWalterton rubbish

Fernhead Road – junction with Shirland Rd and Lydford Estate

We have raised the following issues with the police;

“We are receiving reports of drug related activity along this stretch of Fernhead Rd, from early evening onwards. Also, apparently, there are some young men gathering near the nursery in the afternoon, from around 5pm, who are at the very least smoking drugs and may also be dealing.

The Breeze Cafe has recently had an incident where a drunk threw a bottle of vodka against their shop front, smashing one of the glass panes, which will now cost the owner a lot of money to replace. Can you increase visible patrols along this stretch, late afternoon and evening please. The local businesses including the Breeze Cafe do a great job in trying to ‘normalise’ this area, and the last thing we need is for people to start avoiding it for fear of trouble.”

Harrow Road election leaflet

You can read our election leaflet here Harrow Road leaflet

Walterton Road and Fernhead Road rubbish dumping

We have called on the Council to removed dumped rubbish at the corner of Walterton and Warlock Roads and at the junction of Fernhead and Barnsdale Roads

WaltertonFernhead

With so much dumping happening at the weekend we say the Council should introduce a rubbish removal service to patrol the area. What do you think?

Saltram Crescent Road Safety Update

We have been pressing Westminster Council to look at traffic calming, and took the Cabinet Member along the street so he could see how traffic speeds along.

We have set up a petition on the Council’s website. Please sign it if you haven’t already done so.

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

You can also sign up to the Safer Saltram campaign to be kept informed:

http://safersaltram.blogspot.co.uk

Harrow Road/Chippenham Road crossing

After receiving this enquiry we asked the Council for an update;

“Just read your excellent update today which has prompted me to contact you to ask about what is happening with the crossing that was supposed to have been put in place in March at junction of Harrow Road and Chippenham Road. If you recall, there was a fatality there last year which prompted a petition for better safety at this crossroads. Do you know what is happening? My son goes to St Peter’s and the road is dangerous to cross even for adults, let alone small children. “

The Council say;

“The Council gave approval to the proposals for the junction of Harrow Road with Chippenham Road and Windsor Gardens on 25 February 2014 for capital expenditure of up to £411,000 being spent for the design and implementation of the scheme being met in full by a grant from TfL. The report is available on the City Council’s website via the following link:

http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/committee/index.cfm?c_docs=Cabinet%20Member%20Decisions/City%20Management%20Transport%20and%20Environment/2013-2014/37%20-%20Improvements%20at%20Junction%20of%20Harrow%20Rd%20with%20Chippenham%20Rd%20and%20Windsor%20Gdns

TfL’s Traffic Signal Team has approved the scheme in principle and formal approval is imminent. TfL has also confirmed that it will fund the cost of the traffic signals as the site is due for traffic signals modernisation. I will let you know when the remaining funding has been secured from TfL.”

Fernhead Road/Carlton Vale/Kilburn Lane junction

We are making enquiries about this issue;

“The lack of any pedestrian crossing at the Fernhead Road/Carlton Vale/Kilburn Lane junction is a real problem. Every day, 100s if not 1000s of pedestrians are forced to cross this busy highway, which can be really dangerous, especially with cars racing down from Queens Park and into Carlton Vale. The only pedestrian crossing in the entire vicinity is located 150 yards west of the junction at the start of Kilburn Lane. The next nearest is 300 yards to the right, across Carlton Vale. The vast majority of pedestrians are trying to get to Queens Park station, so they simply take their life into their own hands and cross onto one of the two road islands in the southern part of the junction and then use the third island in the northern part of the junction. This is a situation where the pedestrian really is a second class citizen to the domination of the car. Is the reason nothing has ever been done here because at some point there might be a major new development built here? Or are the two councils simply waiting for there to be enough serious accidents?”

Chippenham Road/Shirland Road junction

We have asked the Council to investigate this report from a resident;

“The open flouting of the anti-smoking laws in the shisha cafés that now dominate the Chippenham/Shirland junction continues. Mumtaz continues as it always has, despite various warnings and assurances that the council is ‘working with them to become compliant’. Now the newest one, Talk of The Town, is doing the same thing.”

The Council say;

“An enforcement notice was served in respect of Momtaz on 13 December 2013. No appeal was lodged against the enforcement notice and the City Council’s Legal Department have confirmed that the notice was served properly, despite claims to the contrary made by the business owner’s Solicitors. The period of time allowed for the unauthorised use to cease has passed and the business owner is now committing an offence. Prosecution action is likely to commence shortly; however, a planning application seeking consent to continue the use as a mixed restaurant/shisha smoking place was received by the City Council before the enforcement notice was served (ref: 13/09328/FULL). This application was originally invalid, but was validated in February this year, and as such must now be formally considered by the City Council, with a right of appeal against any refusal of planning permission.”

“My colleague is dealing with planning enforcement matters relating to ‘Talk of The Town’ and an evening inspection was carried out at the site approximately 2 weeks ago. The use of the site appears to be in breach of planning control and warning letters were sent to all parties with an interest in the site last week, which have allowed 6 weeks for the unauthorised use to cease. If the unauthorised use does not cease within this timescale, then it is likely that an enforcement notice will be served.”

Edbrooke Road gardens

We have asked the Parks Manager to investigate this suggestion;

“The recent re-landscaping and gardening of the park has vastly improved the space but there is still the presence of individuals meeting and smoking drugs. They also seem to appear to be dealing in illegal substances. I did not get close enough to verify this but one individual arriving to meet two others drove their moped through the park on the path whilst I was walking my 18 month old son along it. I believe that the bench at the bottom corner allows them to convene in a ‘private’ space. It really is such a shame that such a pleasant open space in this residential area feels unsafe to use with children on a sunny weekend daytime. May I suggest introducing swings for babies or planting colourful bedding plants could be a solution? Or entice more people to the park on a weekend by hosting a fete/flea market/farmers market or something to make it too busy a space for private meetings to take place?”

What do you think?

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – April 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Oakington Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“I am writing to express the Academy’s concern in relation to the lack of signage and warnings for approaching traffic to Paddington Academy both on Marylands Road and Oakington Road. I know local residents have canvassed the council over the years to address this but have not had any outcome. We also urgently require a safety barrier outside of school to stop students spilling on to the road. From an academy point of view the safety of students and passers-by is a primary concern and it seems strange that new signage or school warnings were not commissioned following the erection of two new academies within close proximity of each other.”

Residents have told us;

“Thank you for this action!! Finally after years of addressing this outstanding issue, the appropriate traffic warning signs at either end, Elgin Avenue and Marylands Road are now in place.”

Hormead Road

We have contacted Westway Housing Association about these problems;

“The doors to the bins in flats between 48 and 56 have been broken for the last 6 months and have not had any attention despite me ringing Westway Housing and reporting it. Also there is a constant build-up of rubbish beneath the flats between 58 and 60. This constitutes mattresses and other inflammables which is open to any flying cigarette. A very dangerous situation.”

Maida Hill Market report from Klaudija Green, Community Protection Officer

• Market – The new market is still up and running with the new Saturday market starting in the Spring. The market has proved to be a useful deterrent for any on site drinking and people congregating who wish to engage in antisocial behaviour.
• Police Enforcement – The Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) when on duty patrol the area, as well as PCSOs (this occurs during day and night shifts). Targeted patrols are put in place to monitor the level of street drinking and ASB. Any on street drinkers with alcohol in their hand has the alcohol taken away. The Sergeant and team of PCs patrol the market in the evening over the weekend when on duty. The Police will continue to keep an eye on proceedings when they are on patrol.
• Assistance – If any repeat offenders are identified and they engage with the Police asking for treatment/support, they will be advised/referred to nearby drug and alcohol centres according to their individual needs. They will be fully supported if they wish to get help with appropriate advice and further support provided.
• Street furniture- In the past the Police have suggested removal of the benches from the area as they are used by problematic individuals especially. Councillors strongly oppose this suggestion as the local community use the benches during day.
• William Hill betting shop – The Community Protection Officer had a meeting with William Hill’s security investigator and the area manager during which a number of strategic tactics have been agreed and put in place to assist problem solving in the area. This includes but is not limited to: refurbishing the shop outside and inside which was completed towards the end of Feb 2014. It has been agreed that all staff will smoke now in their designated areas which will stop them socialising with their customers at the front of the shop. Barring letters have also been implemented which clearly states: “that any persons drinking alcohol, or involved in any other form of ASB inside or directly outside of these premises will be asked to stop! If they refuse to do so they will be barred from all William Hill premises.”
• CCTV – All cameras in Harrow Road Ward are fully operational. There is a parking enforcement camera at Maida Hill Market which is used for parking enforcement purposes only. This is in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and any transient vehicle users, delivery vans and visitors to the market.
• Wardens – The local warden Tony Crisp is continuing to monitor the area for any dumping of residential and commercial waste as well as monitoring any litter on the highways being dropped by members of the public.

The continuing saga of the Harrow Road Post Office with no post box

Maida Hill post office

Labour Councillors have repeated their plea to the Royal Mail to install a post box outside the Maida Hill Post Office on Harrow Road. Surprisingly, the Royal Mail, not the Post Office, is responsible for Post Boxes.

Currently, there is post box outside the post office to post letters. To post a stamped letter at the post office you have to enter and wait in line to give it to a teller. To make matters worse, there is a door next to the main entrance that looks exactly as though it is part of the post office and has a mail slot set into it. Many post office users post letters through this private letter box thinking it is a post box.

In December 2013 Councillor Ruth Bush, Harrow Road ward, wrote an email to James Mitchell at the Royal Mail (james.mitchell@royalmail.com) ;

“I wrote to you on 7 November about the lack of a Post Box at the newly refurbished Maida Hill Post Office. I do not appear to have had a reply. We have no Post Box, and now we learn that people are putting mail in the next door letter box. Please let me know as soon as possible when a Post Box will be placed at the Maida Hill Post Office location. I cannot imagine why this was not co-ordinated with the refurbishment, and I don’t have to tell you how very inconvenient this for people, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Is there any way of making an immediate temporary provision available inside the door, so that people don’t have to queue up?”

Having received no response, in March 2014 Councillor Bush has written again to Mr Mitchell, by email:

“Concern about the absence of a Post Box at the recently refurbished Maida Hill Post Office continues and, in fact, grows. I have had no response from you to the email below. I have today received further information about residents’ annoyance that there is still nowhere to post their letters at the Post Office. Please let me know as a matter of urgency when a new Post Box will be installed outside this Post Office.”

As one resident remarked;

“This is not a life and death issue but it does affect a lot of people in the community and it’s little things like this can lift the tone of a place for the better.”

So, come on Royal Mail and gives us a post box!

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – March 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Saltram Crescent

Residents are calling for measures to calm traffic on this road. Over the past few years residents have witnessed a number of accidents, countless near misses, excessive speed, and several incidents of road rage (including violence). People drive down this road too fast considering the poor visibility of oncoming traffic and the fact that two vehicles can rarely pass without one pulling in. We have organised an on-line petition at

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

Bradiston Road

We were asked by residents to investigate the road surface. The Council told us;

“The small area outside 8/10 Bradiston Road was completed before Christmas. Other than that there is nothing close to intervention criteria.”

Fernhead Road/Saltram Crescent junction

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue;

“I do feel that the width of both Saltram Crescent and Fernhead Road could and should be narrowed at this junction. With regard to Saltram Crescent, approximately 100 yards prior to the junction the road is effectively single carriageway due to residents parking on both sides of the road but in a short distance there are almost three lanes and at this point drivers tend to accelerate. Vehicles coming in a southerly direction from Queen’s Park often race across Carlton Vale at speed.

Some years ago there was a proposal to make the entrance into Saltram Crescent from both Shirland Road at the southern end and Fernhead Road at the northern end, NO ENTRY. This would stop Saltram Crescent being a ‘rat run’ and would make a major contribution to both restricting the amount of traffic along Saltram Crescent and thereby reducing the speed of travel.

Finally, enforcement of both the single and double yellow lines at the Saltram Crescent/Fernhead Road junction would improve the visibility at this junction.”

Lydford Road/Warlock Road area

We have asked the Council to investigate these concerns raised by residents;

“Since Chippenham Road has been closed, most traffic diverts down Warlock Road and into Lydford Road to get north to Kilburn and Queens Park. Cars speed down and have knocked side mirrors due to the congestion sometimes on that road. Litter has also increased on the roads. The increase in cars using this road has trebled. My main concern is that it is no longer a safe road. I have also noticed cars fly pass the give way sigh on the one way road of Walterton Road from Shirland Road oblivious to the traffic coming from Lydford Road. There have been a number of near misses.”

Report from Tony Crisp, Harrow Road Warden

• I had cause to speak to scaffolders working on the post office building in Harrow Road. They were causing an obstruction and people were unable to pass by. They removed the ladders and other items whilst I was present. I had our highways officer conduct a follow up inspection. The builders had also left a large amount of waste on the pavement which I had them remove also whilst I was present.
• There was a large residential fly tip in Elgin Avenue and Chippenham Road which I had cleared after I had gathered evidence at these locations. I then took appropriate enforcement action.
• I reported a tree in Fermoy Road which had a branch hanging down that was a danger to pedestrians.
• I investigated a complaint concerning Half Penny Bridge not being sufficiently lit. My investigation revealed a tree on the K & C side was blocking the lights on the lamp post – I contacted my colleagues in K & C to request a cut back. I also requested a bulb on our side to be replaced.
• I have been working to resolve an issue with our tree cages being used as litter bins. The result is that many are being removed in spring and the rest lifted up so waste cannot collect. I am also hoping to get some green netting to temporary cover the tops. During this time I have discovered and come across a number of items of discarded waste (bagged and bulky) which I have taken appropriate enforcement action and arranged removal.

Walterton Road rubbish dumping

Walterton rubbish

We have reported the following problems to the Council;

“I would like to report that the big black communal bins located on Walterton Road (intersections with Shirland Road and Warlock Road) are a very frequent cause for concern. People indeed regularly dump big items or dangerous ones (like broken glass, etc). This not only creates a walking hazard for many, especially children and older people but is a health problem as very often these bins are overflowing too. I know that the area is frequently infested by rodents and this just can’t help. I am in frequent contact with the local team that looks after the cleanliness of the area and they are doing a great job, but there has to be a more systemic resolution to the issue created by the use of big black communal bins.”

Saltram Crescent residents are calling for a 20mph speed limit

Labour Councillors have organised an on-line petition at

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

Speeding cars in Saltram Crescent have been causing problems for many years.

car crash 1car crash 2

Residents are calling for measures to calm traffic on this road. Over the past few years residents have witnessed a number of accidents, countless near misses, excessive speed, and several incidents of road rage (including violence). People drive down this road too fast considering the poor visibility of oncoming traffic and the fact that two vehicles can rarely pass without one pulling in.

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – February 2014

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Shirland Mews

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this problem;

“I’m completely fed up with vans constantly parking at the entrance to the Mews on the double yellow lines or worse mounted on the pavement! They do it so they can pick up from either Brandon Tool hire or Kennedy’s. Today a van just stopped right in the middle of the mews and unloaded causing total chaos. I really want something to be done about this. Perhaps a camera which issues automatic fines for vehicles parked illegally would be a start. It’s not just the inconvenience, it’s also extremely dangerous. I have to walk my children in the road as am unable to walk them along the pavement as often there will be a van parked there. Vans also park on Shirland Road outside the shops which completely blocks your view of the oncoming traffic when exiting the mews. There have been a number of accidents over the years as a result of this. It’s just pure laziness, as literally 10 meters from where they park, there are pay and display bays which can be safely used blocking no one’s view of the on-coming traffic and leaving the pavements free for their purpose.”

Elgin Avenue

We asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“I should like to report the pavement areas outside the entrances to both Burlington Close – Pedestrian gate and to Marble House. The pavements drop down and as I tried to gain rapid access to my flat today in the heavy rain I got my feet wet. Burlington Close is the worst. The pavements have been out of alignment for some considerable time and 1/2 paving stones are broken. Water just congregates after any heavy rain.”

Proposed Jubilee and Moberly Sports Centre redevelopment plans

Although the official closing date for comments was 15th January, residents’ comments about the proposals will be accepted up to the day of the Planning Committee – which is some months away. This will apply to both Westminster and Brent Councils. You can make comments to Westminster Council online at

http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=MXJHNLRP03500

You can also make comments to Brent Council on line at
https://forms.brent.gov.uk/servlet/ep.ext?extId=101150&reference=114208&st=PL

Chippenham Road

We have brought this matter to the Council’s attention;

“I’ve noticed that at the rear of Burlington Close where it meets Chippenham Rd. adjacent to No. 48 has become a significant dumping ground for rubbish, black bags etc. “

Saltram Crescent

We have had many responses from residents wanting action to slow down traffic on Saltram Crescent including this typical comment;

“If measures were to be introduced, the obvious first move would be to introduce a 20 mph speed limit to include the streets bounded by Shirland Road, Saltram Crescent and Fernhead Road. It could start at the Chippenham junction, up Shirland Road to Fernhead Road and along to the junction with Kilburn Lane (or continue along the Lane). Electronic digital signs that display car speeds could be added possibly to encourage drivers to reduce speed as necessary (such as that on north side of Carlton Vale opposite the top of Fernhead Road).

Another measure that could be considered would be to narrow the mouth of the junction of Saltram Crescent and Fernhead Road to make it a bit less accessible/convenient a turning to short cut to Shirland Road. That could have an unwanted knock on effect for the school crossing, possibly.

Measures I would personally be against include road humps of any kind. They have been proven to damage cars, create vibration which damages buildings, and create noise and unwanted additional emissions from cars braking and accelerating at each hump. (Where I live on the Crescent I hear vehicles rattling and jarring as they hit the humps on Carlton Vale every day.) “

Another day, another car crash on Saltram Crescent

Labour Councillors have repeated their call for action to slow down speeding traffic on Saltram Crescent, north Paddington, following another collision involving speeding cars

car crash 2car crash 1

Councillors say that the Council’s current complacent action towards road safety cannot be allowed to continue and that measures such as introducing a 20mph speed limit on residential roads must be considered urgently.

Call for action to slow down speeding cars in Saltram Crescent

saltram car 2Saltram car

We have called for measures to slow down speeding cars along Saltram Crescent, north Paddington, after more vehicle collisions, one of which resulted in a car being shunted on to the pavement after it was hit and could have caused injuries to pedestrians.

Saltram Crescent is often used by drivers as a short cut between Shirland Road and Fernhead Road and, with cars parked on both sides of this narrow road, visibility is not good as the road curves round. Residents have long called for safety measures to slow down traffic and Labour Councillors have supported residents’ call for action.

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

“These latest collisions show that Saltram Crescent needs action to slow down speeding cars in order to protect residents. The Council has so far failed to address this real problem and action is needed now before a more serious accident happens”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – December 2013

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Maida Hill Market

We are very pleased to have got the market up and running again after a period of inactivity. There is a general market Monday to Friday (managed by Tudor Markets), and on Saturday, we have hot food and produce thanks to KERB.

The Christmas lights at the market will be switched on by the Lord Mayor of Westminster on Saturday 7 December at 3pm

Harrow Road Town Team

We asked the Council to put together a working group of residents, local businesses and organisations with a stake in Harrow Road, to look at how we can improve Harrow Rd as a place to shop. The team will commence its work in December, and work with the Council and ourselves to identify the key priorities and help find solutions.

Thames Water – works at Tamplin Mews Gardens

We are concerned to be informed that there will be delays in the works commencing, and the date for the park to be re-opened may now be pushed back. We have asked for an urgent meeting with Thames Water and the Council to try and move things forward.

Harrow Road Police Station

When the police station closed in early Summer, we along with Karen Buck MP, urged the police and the Council to at least set up a police contact point on Harrow Road. Despite promises that the new Registrar’s Office (formerly the One Stop Shop) could be used, we have now found out that this will not happen as the police and the Council cannot agree terms. We are not satisfied with this and feel the needs of local residents need to be taken seriously. We will be seeking a full explanation and demanding that both parties look at this urgently.

Edbrooke Road

We met with local residents, the police and Council officers to look at how best to deal with the noise and ASB issues at Edbrooke Gardens. We will be working closely with them to work on tackling these problems.

Jubilee Sports Centre

We are very disappointed that the Council has opted to shut down the existing leisure centre in favour of a large centre at the Moberly site in Brent. We know that many of our residents use Jubilee, and will not necessarily be able to get to the new Moberly Centre. This despite the overwhelming views of residents consulted, who wanted Jubilee to stay.

Concerns over pedestrian safety

We are concerned about reports from a number of parents at St Peter’s C of E School, about speeding cars along Chippenham Mews. We are meeting the school, parents and Council Officers to see what measures can be used to improve road safety. We know that many other areas of the ward share these concerns, and we will look at whether we can develop similar approaches for other affected areas.

Former Royal Mail Sorting Office – Lanhill Road

The site is being developed by Dolphin Square Foundation for residential flats. The demolition work has commenced, but the dismantling of this significant structure has caused noise, vibration and disruption to neighbouring residents. We have been working with residents to try and get some agreement on a way forward.

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – November 2013

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Proposed pelican crossing at the Harrow Road/Chippenham Road junction

We have been concerned at the slow progress at installing the proposed pelican crossing at the Harrow Road/Chippenham Road junction following the fatal accident earlier this year. The Council has given us the following update;

“The design team is making good progress with TfL who is responsible for approving the design and assisting with its implementation. A transport model has been submitted to TfL and if TfL accepts this then it is expected that the scheme design will be completed and submitted to TfL for approval by 31 December 2013 with a view to implementing the scheme by 31 March 2014.”

Maida Hill Market

KERB Saturdays MHP Flyer WEB

Here are details of the Saturday market where you can buy vegetables, bread, meat and cheese as well as a wide array of street food. KERB, who run the market say;

“Most people come to the market for street food but spend a lot less on all the amazing food available to take home. We’re really keen to make it work for all involved, and hopefully create a long-term sustainable Saturday shopping and lunch destination for the neighbourhood in the process.”

Macroom Road area

We have reported the following problem to the Council;

“There has always been a problem with dog fouling in my neighbourhood, but currently we are going through a particularly bad phase. There is obviously a new dog owner in town. Macroom Road, where I live, plus Croxley Road and Saltram Crescent, all have horrible dog poos strewn along them. Taking my daughter to school through all this is a nightmare. Please can the council take action on this – if the council were as hot on anti-social dog owners as they are on parking offences, my life would be 100% more pleasant.”

Lanhill Road

Residents are concerned about the demolition and construction works at the former sorting office and the impact on traffic congestion and pedestrian safety. They say;

“It is quite simply not excusable, the other end is blocked with Thames Water excavations and there is already heavy traffic from Murphy trucks involved in that site. It is not realistic to have extra HGV traffic in the road. What will the Council do about this?”

We are making investigations with the Council.

Walterton Road

We enquired when the broken wall at 15 Walterton Road will be repaired. The Council told us;

“The wall has been demolished and made safe several weeks ago. The wall will be rebuilt (or the railing will be installed) when we do the major works to the property. The estimated commencement date for major works to this property is June 2014.”

Report from the Harrow Road Community Protection Officer

• There have been reports of street drinking and related antisocial behaviour reported in Harrow Road Ward. I had a meeting with one of the residents and the Police in order to listen to their concern first hand and establish how best to approach this issues as well as delivering significant improvement and/or resolution. This will now take shape in the form of partnership work with SNT, local betting shops, off licences and residents.
• I have been working in partnership with Harrow Road Westminster Local Warden to address the issue of street litter on Fermoy Road.
• I have been addressing the issues of cab drivers illegal parking in Marylands Road as well as littering outside commercial premises at the same location whilst the road works are taking place. This behaviour affected people commuting and causing traffic issues in the area. I worked with with the parking department to establish if the enforcement can go ahead which now has been confirmed and taken forward. This has resulted in wardens patrolling the street every half an hour and undertaking enforcement improving the traffic flow in the area.

Harrow Road works

We have asked for an update after receiving the following enquiry;

“Are you able to give us any information on the road works on Harrow Road between Chippenham Road and Sutherland Ave? They have been there for several weeks and there appears to be no progress being made.”

Elgin Avenue

We have reported this matter to the Council;

“Between Wednesday 25th and Friday 27th September 2013, a section of Elgin Avenue was resurfaced between Widley Road and Moorhead Road.
• No prior notification was given to residents or business that the busy thoroughfare that is Elgin Avenue would be closed for 3 days.
• Traffic management of the project was poor.
• Traffic was diverted the WRONG WAY up Widley Road – which for years has been one-way. Residents were not informed, and there was no speed limit imposed on the incoming traffic going in the wrong direction. I have had two reports of residents backing their cars out of parking spaces into the road, having checked there was no traffic coming up in the expected direction – only to find traffic coming towards them in the wrong direction.
• Is this the only section of Elgin Avenue due for resurfacing? If so, why was it selected? Was it a priority – or simply the easiest section of the road to work on as there is no parking in the centre of the road at this point?”

Harrow Road Ward Action Report – September 2013

From your three Harrow Road Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Chippenham Mews

We have made urgent enquiries with the Council after receiving the following message;

“My 4 year old son was almost hit by a speeding car down Chippenham Mews as we were walking home yesterday from St Peter’s school. If my son had been hit he would never have survived that hit the car was speeding like a lunatic and this is happening every single day putting children and vulnerable people at risk. We as parents and residents need something to be done. We don’t want to wait for a child to be hit by a speeding car for the local government to think about doing something, we need something to be done and now.”

Shirland Road

We are making enquiries about this matter;

“There has just sprung up yet another fruit stall on the pavement outside 213 Shirland Rd. Do we need any more of these stalls around this area? It is also causing problems to people with pushchairs and wheel chairs. Don’t they need some sort of licence or can anybody do this?”

Shirland Mews/Shirland Road

We have reported the following problem to the Council;

“The lorries that park outside the shop completely block the view of oncoming traffic for motorists and pedestrians leaving the mews, and often make entry to the mews from Shirland Rd difficult and unsafe by forcing cars to swing out wide to get past the end of a lorry partially blocking the junction. This is made much worse now we have the single lane and temporary traffic lights, as drivers are forced to nose out of the mews to see oncoming traffic, and if there is any, this can result in grid-lock until the lights change – which can take a long time with the new phasing.”

Elgin Avenue

We have asked the Highways Officers to look into this problem;

“Much as I dislike them there is now an urgent need for speed bumps on Elgin Avenue. There was another casualty today signalled by the arrival of the air ambulance. On approaching the lights at the junction of Shirland and Elgin many drivers irresponsibly put their foot down to miss the red light. Often they increase their speed as far back as Lanhill Road on one side and Delaware road on the other side of the lights. The problem is exacerbated by high sided vehicles parking on the corners and obscuring oncoming traffic to drivers pulling out and pedestrians crossing. Of course there would be no problem if the idiots who insist on driving at ridiculous speeds down what is a residential street simply slowed down to within the legal speed limit. That is never going to happen so best slow them down with large speed bumps on the approaches either side of the lights at least if not all the way along.”

Harrow Road/ Elgin Avenue Junction Update

Klaudija Green, the Community Protection Officer for Harrow Road and Queens Park, tells us

“The Safer Neighbourhood Team will be proactively targeting the area and monitoring for any ASB or street drinking. This will be implemented as part of their patrols to target the area during the daytime, dealing with any ASB robustly and moving on any groups or individuals who are intimidating members of the public.

Police will be passing any names of problematic names of individuals to myself which will be tracked via the local problem solving meeting which I chair on a fortnightly basis. I will also be co-ordinating any work done with those individuals which will include looking at enforcement action in the form of ASBOs, Housing Action or straight forward Police enforcement action.

We are also waiting on the installation of new a new CCTV camera on Fernhead Road junction Elgin Avenue. BT are currently in the process of applying for a street works permit in order to fit the fibre optic cables to make the camera operational. Unfortunately the fitting of the camera has been a slow process my predecessor has been liaising with the Service Delivery Team in City Management in order to move this along as fast as possible as the camera will be able to used as an enforcement tool as well as making local businesses and residents in the area feel more secure in their local environment. I will follow this up to see as to what the update is and have cameras now been installed as agreed.

The local Westminster Warden will also be focussing on the area from an environmental aspect in order to make sure the area is kept to a high standard of cleanliness and will be looking to take further action against those individuals seen dropping litter on the public highway and monitoring those local businesses who are breaching licensing/planning laws and are placing unpaid waste on the highway”

Maida Flood Action

Harrow Road Councillors, Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji have supported the work of the Maida Vale Flood Action Group in their legitimate demand to be able to live without the fear of further flooding. We are pleased that this work has finally resulted in a positive outcome for them.

We were, however, concerned that, in finding a solution, Tamplin Mews Gardens would be sacrificed at least in the short term, and our community would lose this precious green space and play facility. We have sought and been given assurances by Thames Water that: (a) the overflow tank could not be sited elsewhere; (b) any disruption to the residents and businesses around Tamplin Mews Gardens and Chippenham Road during the works will be minimised; (c) the green areas in the park will be fully restored and the facilities improved upon completion.

We have met with Thames Water, officers at the Council, and local residents to try and ensure that the needs of everyone are fully taken into account. We have raised these considerations in our submission to Planning Committee and at the Committee meeting, highlighting the need to ensure minimal impact on surrounding residents both during and after the works. At the meeting, we also stressed the need to ensure that the vent stack will work as it is supposed to, and residents in the surrounding homes, particularly Abinger Mews do not get odours coming across. Thames Water have been asked to look at this again and improve the specification further.

In addition, we have managed to secure some positive community benefits in mitigation:

• The existing play area will be kept open throughout the works and have some minor repairs carried out
• A new improved play area will be fully funded by Thames at completion of the works, and designed after consultation with park users – £80k provision for a new play area is included in the agreement
• Some additional greening will be funded over and above replacing the trees being lost
• No loss of parking spaces – the 3 spaces being lost will be re-provisioned near the old ones
• The ‘hexapath’ areas (plastic hard surface) will be covered in new turf, not seeded as originally proposed. This will cost them more but should mean that the park is fully restored and functional as soon as they finish their works

We’ve also asked them to look at traffic management very carefully when managing road closures and diversions, and any impact on surrounding roads. We’ve also stressed that the works must finish on time!

None of us wanted Tamplin Mews Gardens to be out of use even for a short while, but these works are necessary, and we will continue to work with residents to ensure they are delivered with minimal disruption. The works are due to start in September and should finish in June 2014.

Latest Harrow Road ward leaflet calls for action on road safety

RuthGuthrieNilavra

Councillors Ruth Bush, Guthrie McKie and Nilavra Mukerji have been delivering their latest Harrow Road newsletter to local residents, featuring stories on the call for action on road safety through a pelican crossing on the Harrow Road and Chippenham Road junction and on the closure of Harrow Road Police Station and

Read their leaflet hereHR Rose June 2013 Saltram Cres

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6 Responses to Harrow Road Ward

  1. Amit says:

    I am constantly fed up of cars driving fast on the Ridgeway (small road), North Harrow and surrounding areas. Yesterday, I saw a white BMW travelling close to 60/70 mph. There are lots of small children around and it won’t be long before there is a serious accident.

  2. Candice says:

    I would like to enquire what the very noisy works are on Lanhill Road. Why there was no notice about them with their very heavy drilling/demolition and when they will be finishing. Living very close on a Elgun Ave with a newborn baby, it is very stressful.

  3. A M says:

    I live on Fernhead road and am increasingly being disturbed by the congregation of people sitting in the pedestrianised maida hill market area. Currently it is 11pm and there are about 20 people sitting in the area drinking and shouting. A police car stopped about 10 minutes ago and spoke to them, yet since the police car have gone they have continued making noise. I have only moved to the area recently but can see the problem dates back to at least last year from comments on this thread. I am worried it will only get worse as the weather gets warmer. Please could you advise me of what is being done to mediate this problem, as clearly the police don’t have much effect/aren’t doing anything to make the people actually disperse.

    • Amelia

      Thanks. This issue has been continuing for some time and Councillors are working with the police and the Council to try to resolve the situation. We will keep you updated on progress.

      Paul

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