Hyde Park Ward


News from the Hyde Park Ward Labour Action Team – Barbara Hainsworth, David Lumby and Judith Southern






Praed Street 

We are taking up this issue with the Council and the London Taxi Drivers’ Association:

“I suggest someone takes a look at the taxis idling on Praed Street outside Paddington Station? There are many residences very nearby with pedestrians walking along all day, and it is already an extremely polluted road, without constant unnecessary diesel fumes adding to this.

I know that future taxis hopefully be greener, but it doesn’t mean they can’t just turn the engine off for now, or go round to the proper place round the back of the station. This is just a suggestion for quite a small, but really annoying, issue for anyone walking along that road. It could be something as easy as a few signs to remind drivers, as every time I’ve asked, they have always been very willing to turn their engines off.”

Westbourne Terrace – Update

Following our enquiries about coaches using Westbourne Terrace, TfL say:

Currently, only the A6 is authorised to use Westbourne Terrace. We have contacted National Express, who operate the A1, to advise them that they must remind their drivers that there is a designated overnight route that avoids Westbourne Terrace. If there are repeated incidents where this Isn’t being followed please report it to us on 0343 222 1234 or at tfl.gov.uk/contact so that we can take action with the operator. We are already in discussion with Westminster City Council and National Express to move both routes to Eastbourne Terrace once Crossrail complete their works, and remove the diversion, at the end of this year.”

Bayswater Road – update

Following our enquiries about the congestion along Bayswater Road, TfL say:

“The recent changes at this location are due to the completion of the East West Cycle Superhighway. The EWCSH now provides segregated cycle lanes and has been designed to greatly improve safety and comfort for cyclists by reducing their conflict with motorised traffic. In order to accommodate the new cycle lanes, we have had to rebalance road space, this has resulted in the removal of some space from road users including traffic lanes. Due to this reallocation of road space there has been an increase in travel time whilst all road users grow accustomed to the new junction layout. We will continue to review these timings, and make further changes if required to achieve the right balance for all of London’s competing demands.”

Residents say:

“I take little comfort in the TfL statement.  Yes, we all know it is due to the Superhighway installation (which is barely, if ever used, by the way), and I have little faith in their assertion that they will review the timings.  In addition to the delays on buses/vehicles, it takes for ever for pedestrians to cross the road now at Lancaster Gate.  I have seen too many people dashing across when the lights are against them, as they have run out of patience.  I fear an accident or fatality in due course.”


We have welcomed the increased on-the-spot fines of up to £150 for dropping litter, including from vehicles.


Problems paying Water Rates?

Thames Water is running a project with Citizens Advice Westminster to help people who are having problems paying their Water Rates. They can help to access hardship funds and apply for grants to pay off water rate debts. They will provide budgeting advice and negotiate regarding other household debts.

Contact the Gateway helpline 03003301191.

There is also an on-line enquiry form at:


Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

After decades of the Conservatives taking Westminster for granted, residents have a real chance to change the future of this city. Years of cuts have taken their toll on local services, particularly for the most vulnerable.

The Conservatives have put the needs of developers above the needs of the vast majority of local residents. For generations they have failed to build the Council (social rent) and lower (intermediate) rent homes that Westminster needs to give the City a viable future.

Labour has a credible alternative plan that can be delivered today despite the damage being done by the current government. Our communities are calling out for change, and in this manifesto Labour sets out a vision for how things could be run differently, how we will deliver a Westminster for the many not the few if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd 2018.


Register to vote

The local Westminster City Council elections are on Thursday 3 May.

If you aren’t already registered to vote, you need to do so to vote in this local election.  The deadline to register at gov.uk/register-to-vote is Wednesday 17 April. It only takes a few minutes. Anyone who is already registered to vote does not need to re-register. If you have moved home in the last few months and have not registered to vote at your new address you still have time to register at this new location.

The other key dates are the postal vote application deadline which is 5pm, on Wednesday 18 April and the proxy vote application deadline is 5pm, Wednesday 25 April.

EU citizens are able to vote in these local elections.

You can get more information by visiting www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-city-council-election-2018

What you say

“Enough to make me cross the floor! Nice to hear the ambition”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.


Barbara Hainsworth, David Lumby and Judith Southern

Your Hyde Park Ward Labour Action Team

Promoted by Robin McGhee on behalf of Barbara Hainsworth, David Lumby and Judith Southern all at 4g Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY








News from the Hyde Park Ward Labour Action Team






Bayswater Road

We have asked TfL to investigate the traffic light sequence after to receiving these concerns:

“With the new traffic/road configurations at Lancaster Gate, there are  now long delays involved in getting through the traffic lights along Bayswater Road: if you take the bus from Hyde Park Street, going west, it can take at least three changes of lights for the traffic to move  past Victoria Gate entrance.  Such is my frustration that I now walk from Albion Street to the Lancaster Gate bus stop to avoid sitting on  the bus, in endless delays, that can be as long as 10′.

On a return bus journey, going east, it can take a similarly sizeable time for traffic to move through the traffic lights and there are long  delays beyond The White Swan pub. It is clearly excellent that the buses can now go straight ahead, rather than having to go round the one-way system behind the hotel, as was the case for decades.  But the knock-on effects of the new layouts on Bayswater Road, at Lancaster Gate, are extremely irritating thereby.”

Junction Place, W2

We have asked the Council to investigate this suggestion from a resident:

“I have been meaning to raise a serious concern in regards to Junction Place, just off the very busy Praed Street. It is a very narrow road. I use South Wharf Road and access it coming off Sussex Gardens onto Sale Place left on to St Michael’s Street and turn right onto Junction Place. I am unable to use Sale place as this meets Praed Street I can only go right.

I think it is very dangerous. Vehicles turn right into the road even though it is very narrow. You also have a single yellow line on the left as you approach Praed Street so when no traffic restrictions this road becomes near enough unusable. You also have cars needing to reverse back onto Praed Street right by a zebra crossing. Can this be made into a one way?”

Oxford Street

Following the announcement of the latest consultation returns on the Oxford Street project, we have made the following statement:

“The consultation results show that TfL and Westminster City Council still have a big job to do to demonstrate that the proposals will have local benefits.

We have four major concerns and call on TfL and Westminster Council to show ((a) how any additional vehicular traffic will be kept out of residential streets; (b) how air pollution levels will be reduced in residential streets; (c) how the needs of the disabled and elderly will be provided for and (d) how Oxford Street will be managed 24/7 to ensure the safety and security of residents, shoppers and visitors

“We will keep campaigning to get the best deal for local residents and businesses”

Giving residents a powerful voice in the planning process

For too long Westminster Conservatives have treated residents as an afterthought in a planning process geared towards the needs of major developers. If elected to run the Council in May, Labour will radically reform how the planning system operates to put residents first.

Labour’s reforms include:

  • Giving residents the right to speak at Planning committee meetings to present their case. Westminster is virtually alone amongst local authorities in preventing residents from doing so.
  • Providing more information explaining how the planning system works, including jargon busting, to help residents find the relevant information that explain what is being proposed for their area and have their say. The Council would also use social media to encourage resident engagement on key decisions.
  • Establishing a ‘Design Panel for Westminster’ to allow professional architects, other experts and interested residents to give external advice to planning committees on design aspects of major planning proposals.
  • Creating a new Strategic Projects Planning committee with a larger than normal membership to prevent major applications being dominated by the whims of over-powerful individual Councillors such as Tory Deputy Leader Cllr Robert Davis.

Keeping the Council Tax low

If elected in May Westminster, Labour will keep Council Tax low. Labour will support the current proposals by the Council for a freeze in the Council Tax rate and a 2% rise in the adult social care precept in 2018/19. If elected, we will not raise the council tax and adult social care precept by any more than the Conservatives have over recent years.

Council Tax is always an emotive issue. Westminster Council receives the highest levels of parking revenue (£73.2m) in the country as well as substantial commercial income from its large Central London property portfolio (£42.8m) that help prop up its finances far more than in other boroughs. Westminster also has a long-track record of under-investing in its public services and its upcoming budget plans to cut over £3 million from services for children and young people and £2 million from rough sleeping and supported housing.

Due the impact of crippling Conservative Government cuts to local council funding, Westminster Conservatives have raised the Council Tax (including the adult social care precept) every year since 2016.

Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes

Residents are angry with the very poor performance of CityWest Homes. Service standards have clearly deteriorated after Conservative council cuts to the housing management budget, the closure of local estate offices and the bungled introduction of a new call centre and repairs contract.

A Labour Council would immediately put CityWest on notice so that if its performance does not rapidly improve it will be stopped from managing the council’s properties.

  • From day one, Labour will take action to end the repairs crisis and improve the way CityWest treats residents.
  • We will re-establish local estate offices.
  • We will urgently look at further ways to improve the failing call centre system.
  • We will give residents a greater say over how their homes are managed.
  • We will introduce a new leaseholders’ charter to improve support to resident leaseholders and look to limit huge major works bills.

Building genuinely affordable homes

If Labour win the Council, we will create a new type of affordable housing –  Westminster Key Worker Homes. We will commit that, in addition to social housing, all new affordable housing built on council land will be at rents that are affordable to residents on average and below average incomes. We will ensure that these homes are focused on providing opportunities for long-standing residents of Westminster and key workers such as nurses, teachers, firefighters and the police.

Labour’s pledge on Cleaner Streets

Mattresses and other household objects dumped on our street corners have become an all too common a sight. A Labour council will rigorously focus on fly-tipping and bulky waste dumping and we have made a number of commitments that will help tackle the problem. If elected in May 2018:

  • Labour will urgently reform the fees and charges for bulky waste collection, restoring a ‘first time free’collection and reducing costs for standard collections.
  • We will develop a new ‘express collection’bulky waste removal service.
  • We will look further at the use of mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping hotspots and at ways to increase fines for dumping.
  • As part of our support for a new Private Renters Charter we will improve the information provided to landlords, letting agents and tenants.
  • We will provide a smartphone App to make it easier for residents to make use of the Council’s ‘report it’ service, helping further target the worst affected areas.

25 more ‘Nightmare Stories’ from City West Homes

In January 2018, we unveiled a dossier of ’20 Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’. The reaction to this from tenants and leaseholders was overwhelming, with many more ‘nightmare stories’ coming to light from all over Westminster. Residents are angry with the very poor performance of City West Homes, particularly following the recent debacles over the new call centre and the repairs contract.

We have followed this up with ‘25 More Nightmare stories from City West Homes’ with details of:

  • Continued long waits on the telephone to report problems to the CWH call centre
  • Failure to deal with emergencies quickly
  • Lack of communication between CWH and its tenants and leaseholders
  • Poor communications between CWH and its contractors
  • Failure of CWH to return calls from tenants and leaseholders
  • Broken appointments by CWH contractors


Welcome for extra police on the beat

We have welcomed welcomed the Mayor’s decision to invest an additional £59m annually to support an extra 1,000 police officers by using income raised from business rates. This will help avoid falling police numbers due to Government cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

We have also welcomed the Mayor’s announcement that he is creating a brand new £45million fund to help young Londoners who are at risk of getting caught up in crime. The Mayor’s new Young Londoners Fund will see £15m invested in each of the next three years, beginning from April. Of the total new funding, £10million a year will make up a new fund into which local communities, charities and schools will be able to bid for funds, and £5million a year will be invested to scale up existing projects funded from City Hall that are already supporting young Londoners.

In addition, over 1,800 people have signed Westminster Labour’s petition to halt the Government’s further £400 million cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

The petition to Parliament, https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543, runs until 27th April.

Register to vote

The local Westminster City Council elections are on Thursday 3 May.

If you aren’t already registered to vote, you need to do so to vote in this local election.  The deadline to register at gov.uk/register-to-vote is Wednesday 17 April. It only takes a few minutes. Anyone who is already registered to vote does not need to re-register. If you have moved home in the last few months and have not registered to vote at your new address you still have time to register at this new location.

The other key dates are the postal vote application deadline which is 5pm, on Wednesday 18 April and the proxy vote application deadline is 5pm, Wednesday 25 April.

EU citizens are able to vote in these local elections.

You can get more information by visiting www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-city-council-election-2018

What you say

“Thank you as always for the very helpful and informative Newsletter.”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.



Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council




News from the Hyde Park Ward Labour Action Team






Westbourne Crescent

We asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I live in Westbourne Crescent, years ago we had a large rubbish bin bin at the Gloucester Terrace. end of the street. The council removed it, we objected strongly because it was very easy to put our rubbish into it. Years later we received a note of reprimand from the council about rubbish not being out for collection at the correct time and therefore left lying in the street and consequently getting strewn all over the place, I e-mailed the council on the address on the reprimand but got no response. The people who are supposed to sweep the street don’t do it and I witnessed this yet again yesterday. I have tried in the past reporting this to the council to no avail.”

The City Inspector says:

“I carried out an educational letter drop in October 2017 advising residents of waste collection times and days. I have also been monitoring location on a regular basis. There are receptacles for residents to use in Sussex Gardens outside St James’s Church which was also stated on the letter.  My contact details are also on the letter but the only correspondence I have received is from a resident who lives in one of the basement flats complaining about her neighbours putting refuse out at the wrong times. The street is also swept Monday to Friday and the beat sweeper has up until 14-00 to sweep street.”

Please contact jwhelan@westminster.gov.uk to report any further problems

Westbourne Terrace 

We have raised this issue with Council: 

“I really find that the Council appears not to realise the extent to which Westbourne Terrace has been deteriorating over the past ten years. We used to be able to reasonably refer to the street as being residential, but the actions of the past decade have completely changed this: 

1) All traffic signs have been changed in order to direct all possible traffic on the street.

2) More than three million buses have been diverted from the untouchable, fragile, hallowed grounds of Eastbourne Terrace and have significantly damaged the street

3) The extremely frequent National Express bus lines have been added on the street, 24 hours a day. These lines are much more frequent than the already awful ‘every 30 minutes’ stated.

4) Pretty much all the local streets have been resurfaced…except the main one on which all traffic has been directed towards.

All these have led to a genuinely unbearable amount of vibration. During the night, I am talking more or less every minute. It is really impossible to sleep like that. Obviously, I have said nothing of the nitrogen dioxide emanating from all this additional heavy traffic. Can I suggest that the Council seriously consider to urgently resurface the street, and to consider putting all buses back on Eastbourne Terrace where they used to be. It would be good for users, and would keep all this nightly disturbance on a street that is completely empty at night.”

Paddington Cube – update 

According to the ‘Evening Standard’:

“The Paddington Cube is facing further delays after campaigners launched a renewed appeal against the proposed £825 million office block. Save Britain’s Heritage has submitted legal papers seeking permission to take its case to the Court of Appeal after a separate challenge from Imperial College Healthcare NHS trust was rejected by the High Court. Imperial claims a new road layout required by the “floating” 14-storey Cube will delay emergency ambulance access to St Mary’s hospital. Save claims the Cube will be detrimental to Brunel’s Grade I listed Paddington station and the Bayswater conservation area.”



There is a new Chief Superintendent in charge of Westminster Police and we hope to meet with him soon to discuss his plans. We will keep arguing for more police to keep our streets safe and for the Government to halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget. In particular:

  1. There have been huge real-terms cuts to policing budgets across the country. In London alone, £700 million has been cut from the Met Police’s budget.
  2. These cuts mean that in London, we’ve lost 2,495 Police officers and 3,261 Police Community Support Officers.
  3. The Met Police still needs to find a further £370 million of savings by 2022 – meaning police numbers could fall below 27,500 by 2021 – the lowest level since 2002.

We have started a petition to stop the police cuts https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543 

Oxford Street proposals

We have been pressing TfL on a range of issues raised by residents. Our priority is to make the transformation of Oxford Street work for everyone – for residents, for businesses, for shoppers and for visitors. We also want more public toilets, transport for disabled people and more use of quieter, electric delivery vehicles. As ever, the ‘devil is in the detail’ and we look forward to seeing a practical and common sense plan that works. Until then, we will keep fighting to get the best deal for local residents and businesses. 


If you have any issues you would like us to take up please us know.


We have written to Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, and Jo Johnson, Minister for London, requesting that they ensure the scandal of unregulated pedicabs in London is ended and support the Private Members Bill proposed by MPs Paul Scully and Karen Buck gets government approval.

 “This Private Members Bill has cross party support. The lack of regulation of pedicabs means they are less safe, they cause nuisance, drivers and passengers are uninsured. Drivers are not checked, prices are inconsistent and arbitrary. You and your officials can read key points here.


Let us know what action you plan to take to resolve the anomaly that pedicabs are regulated all over England except London where most of them are and putting the appropriate authorities (TFL, Mayor of London) in charge.  We have been campaigning for this for some time and previous efforts by Westminster Council amongst others have failed. This Bill needs your support.”

City West Homes ‘Nightmare Stories’

We have published a dossier of ’20 nightmare stories’ from City West Homes’, based on the experiences of CWH tenants and leaseholders over the past few months across Westminster. All have been reported to CWH for action and some problems have now been resolved – but only after a Labour Councillor had intervened. This is not the way to run an organisation responsible for 12,500 tenants and 10,000 leaseholders. How many more similar stories of incompetence and neglect go unreported because the tenant or leaseholder has not been able escalate the problem by reporting it to a Labour Councillor? City West Homes is in need of a radical overhaul and Labour is pledged to do this following the May Council elections.

To see the report go to https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/westminster-labour-launches-dossier-of-20-nightmare-stories-from-city-west-homes/

Please let us know if you are having problems with City West Homes. 

Cleaning up Westminster’s Planning system

We have pledged to clean up Westminster’s Planning system if we are elected at the Council elections on 3rd May.

There is a clear perception that senior Conservative Councillors have very close relationships with developers. For example, the Conservative CEputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Robert Davis, has disclosed that since the start of 2015 he has received hospitality related to his role as a City Councillor from developers, big business and other interests a record 514 times. This equates to a staggering 14 cases of declarable hospitality a month, peaking at 47 cases in December 2016. We believe that such an approach does not help build public trust that the Council will put the needs of residents before those of property developers and business interests.

If elected to run the Council in May, Labour will engage with industry representatives in open settings to share views and push for residents’ priorities, but we will do so whilst working to achieve the highest standards. Labour commits that:

  • Labour Cabinet Members and Councillors will not accept hospitality from individual developers and their agents.
  • Labour will require the Council to formally record all meetings between Cabinet Members and developers when discussing individual schemes. There will always be an officer present.
  • A record of these meetings will be posted on the Council website within two weeks.


Dealing with Airbnb 

Research by the Residential Landlords Association published in December 2017 found the number of Airbnb rentals in London has increased by 187% since 2015. Karen Buck MP (Labour) said the number of properties advertised in Westminster North on Airbnb has more than doubled – from 1,603 in 2015 to 3,621 in 2017.

“In blocks of flats, long-term residents find themselves living in a hotel but without the services to support it, like staff and security. They have to deal with constant comings and goings, security concerns, noise, rubbish. These properties turn over every few days so you feel you aren’t living in a residential community.”

Karen Buck said short-term lets were also contributing to housing shortages.

“The original concept of Airbnb was you rent your flat out when you’re away or your spare room. That still happens and that’s absolutely fine. But what’s also happened is professional landlords have moved in, who in many cases own multiple properties.”

Research by Westminster City Council found that renting a one-bedroom flat in the area will make £495 a week for an ordinary tenancy, but £1,561 a week on a nightly basis.

Two years ago, the law changed to allow London properties to be let for up to 90 days a year without permission from the council. In January 2017, Airbnb introduced a block on London hosts renting out homes for more than 90 days a year, to ensure users complied with the law.

But some landlords are finding ways around the rules, including re-listing a property under a slightly different address or advertising a whole flat as a single room, which is not covered by the 90-day limit. People also advertise on alternative platforms to get around the cap.

Karen Buck said it was difficult for councils to enforce the 90-day limit and has put forward a bill to Parliament calling for all short-term lets to be registered

“It’s difficult to monitor. Local authorities have to spend a lot of time and money trying to catch the people breaking the rules. My suggestion is very light touch. People who are staying within the law are fine and just need to spend 30 seconds registering their property online. There’s no question of denying permission. But for people that are breaking the rules, we have a means of bringing them to justice.”.

The Blitz in Westminster

This website shows where bombs were dropped during the Blitz. You can find out how close they got to your home


What you say

Excellent communications, thank you! Very impressed”

“I was most grateful to receive this bulletin about the Hyde Park Ward.”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.



Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council





News from Westminster’s Labour Councillors






Westbourne Terrace

We have asked Transport for London to consider this suggestion from a resident: 

“I am writing to suggest that the Council be asked that the A6, and now A1, bus routes be changed in order to pass on Eastbourne Terrace, instead of Westbourne Terrace. The A6 buses been passing on Westbourne Terrace 24hr a day for more than two years, now the A1 buses have also been added during the night. This means that throughout the night, huge heavy buses are passing on Westbourne Terrace, every 15 minutes. Given that the street has not been resurfaced in decades (between Bishop’s Bridge Road and Craven Road), despite millions of vehicles having been diverted on it during Crossrail works, this is inevitably resulting in systematic vibrations – all night long.

Given all of what we know about the impact of pollution on health, I cannot understand why all these buses are passing on Westbourne Terrace when they could perfectly pass on Eastbourne Terrace. Eastbourne Terrace only has offices, and not a single person is there at night. On the other hand, Westbourne Terrace is completely residential, with thousands of people living on it.”: 

Montgomery House, W2 – Update

Following our enquiries on behalf of residents, The Council says:

“Montgomery House has recently been inspected by London Fire Brigade (LFB) as part of their on-going inspection process for buildings that have failed ACM cladding tests. In the LFB’s view, the building measures that have been put in place, described below in more detail, provide a satisfactory mitigation of fire risk for the building at the current time. 

We are aware that Peabody has regularly undertaken Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs).  The most recent FRA was undertaken on 23 October 2017, with a further review scheduled for the end of January 2018. As a result of these assessments Peabody has implemented immediate measures to safeguard residents of Montgomery House which includes a walking watch.   

We understand that heat detectors are to be installed within each flat that has a habitable room with a window that overlooks the ACM cladding and these detectors will link to smoke detectors which are to be added along communal corridors. In conjunction with this system, all flats will have a separate fire alarm system, consisting of smoke and heat alarms as appropriate.”

Junction Place, W2

We have Transport for London to investigate this issue:

“We are experiencing excessive basement noise from the underground train once again after a year of respite. Is this something you might be able to help raise on our behalf? It’s Junction Place which is in W2, just off Praed Street. “ 

Edgware Road/Harrowby Street

We have asked the Council to contact the owners of the Victoria Casino about

“The persistent unhygienic problem of tons of spat out chewing gum, cigarette butts and other detritus that is constantly outside the Victoria Casino on Harrowby Street and Edgware Road. This health hazard is left by the people using this grim facility. The company must be held accountable for the clean up of the front of building. We have to wade through this on a daily basis & despite alleged Westminster officers patrolling the area, it has got worse – can you please investigate?”

Land by Edgware Road Station

We raised this issue with Transport for London:

“There is a strip of vacant land by Edgware Road Station on Chapel Street which has been vacant for decades and is currently used as a car park. It used to be a parade of shops with flats above before it was demolished about 30 years ago. This is just the sort of site that could be redeveloped for affordable house (perhaps for TfL staff) with commercial space on the ground floor.”

TfL say: 

“We are currently undertaking feasibility work on the site next to Edgware Road station. This work is being carried out in partnership with an adjoining landowner. There are challenges which TfL must overcome in order to bring the site forward. The car park is situated directly over the railway lines which are framed by early twentieth century infrastructure: this means that significant enabling work will be required to bring the site forward. As a result, it looks likely that the site is best suited to a mixed use scheme, which would have the potential to deliver affordable housing. “

Rubbish Dumping

In response to the regular concerns expressed by residents, we have put forward the following ideas:

  • Reinstate a free service for standard household bulky refuse collections and introduce a paid-for service for express bulky refuse collections
  • Use mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping ‘hotspots’.
  •  Increase fines for dumping.
  • Consult residents to decide where extra bins might be of assistance and improve signage and communication with residents
  • Offer residents the chance to report dumping via Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
  • Target Council inspections and waste collection to the worst-affected areas to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping.

What do you think?

Council housing

Inside Housing magazine has published details of the number of former council homes now being let by private landlords, after analysing statistics from two-thirds of councils in England. The research reveals that on average more than 40 percent of property bought under Right to Buy is now in the hands of private landlords. The figures for Westminster show that out of the 8,988 leaseholds sold to council tenants, 3,363 — 37.42 percent — are now owned as buy-to-let.  Inside Housing says that the average weekly council rent in London is £108 while for private flats it is £359.

City Council elections, May 2018

An interesting article looking forward to the May Council elections by Dave Hill which quotes Andrew Murray’s State of Soho blog


Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council





St Mary’s Urgent Care Centre

St Mary’s Urgent Care Centre (UCC), run by private healthcare provider Vocare Limited in the Praed Street hospital, was rated inadequate in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published recently. We’ve been asking people about their experiences of the Urgent Care Centre and it’s not pretty. Please sign our petition to take the management contract away from the failing private contractor and return it to the NHS.


Here are some examples of what you told us:

Alexandra Pink said: “I took my husband to A&E recently and we got referred to the Urgent Care Centre … it was a complete disaster. I tried to complain but they weren’t interested. Something needs to be done as the company running it is clearly not providing the service they are paid to”

Jennifer Fee said: “My daughter was referred to the Urgent Care Centre by A&E … the doctor walked out of the room because my 2 yr old was crying and didn’t return. He told us in the waiting room that it was a soft tissue injury so we left. Five days later we took her to Royal Free where they confirmed she had a fracture”

Another resident said: “My daughter was sent home from the Urgent Care Centre with a groin to toe cast. Six days later, we returned as she was in terrible pain. There was a horrible suppurating wound under the cast for which she needed 2 days of intravenous antibiotics and we were told she might need surgery. And then we found out that her leg was not fractured after all so it was an incorrect diagnosis and the cast had exacerbated the infection!”

You can read about the failing Urgent Care Centre in this article from the Ham & High:


Oxford Street – Getting answers from Transport for London

Our priority is to make the transformation of Oxford Street work for everyone – for residents, for businesses, for shoppers and for visitors. We also want more public toilets and more use of quieter, electric delivery vehicles. As ever, the ‘devil is in the detail’ and we look forward to seeing a practical and common sense plan that works. Until then, we will keep fighting to get the best deal for local residents and businesses.

Over recent months we have putting your questions to Transport for London to get answers on the key issues for local residents. Here is what they say:

Why is it necessary to transform the Oxford Street district?

  • It is estimated up to 500,000 people already use Oxford Circus station every day and the number of people coming in and out of Bond Street station is likely to increase by 30 per cent when the Elizabeth line opens in December 2018.

What is being proposed?

  • The guiding principle has been that any improvements to Oxford
    Street should not be at the cost of surrounding residential streets and the
    whole district must benefit.
  • The Mayor is looking at improving Oxford Street in stages, starting with
    what we are calling Oxford Street West. We are proposing removing all
    east-west traffic between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus with north south
    routes retained so traffic can move through the district.
  • The Mayor is considering whether the closure should be 24 hours or
    whether delivery and servicing vehicles should be allowed access overnight
    and have asked for people’s views about this.

Won’t this simply cause congestion and pollution elsewhere?

  • Only two bus routes will run through the district, a reduction of over 70 per cent from 2016.
  • Buses will run for just 220m on Wigmore Street, between Welbeck
    Street and Baker Street, and will be reduced to low flow overnight. There
    will be only one bus stop in each direction on Wigmore Street.
  • Buses will be the cleanest, quietest and greenest that TfL has.
  • Traffic on many streets will be unaffected, with decreases on some
    and slight increases on a minority. We have published expected journey times
    for each street.
  • Traffic is expected to reduce on Wigmore Street, even with the additional buses. These run at around one every four minutes in the peak in each direction (17 per hour) and one every fifteen minutes (four per hour) overnight in each direction

What will happen with pollution? 

  • Overall air quality will improve across the district
  • There will be some variations, with some sites improved further by
    the scheme, but at all sites looked at pollution would be improved in
    comparison to now.
  • The proposals include installing 100 air monitoring stations across the district
    so that, for the first time, we will have an accurate picture of what is
    happening, rather than the current estimates. This information will be
    available to everyone.

What are you going to do about deliveries to Oxford Street?

  • Very few businesses currently use Oxford St for deliveries and
    we’re looking at new loading bays in side streets.
  • There are only between 0 and 5 vehicles loading on Oxford Street West each hour, as the vast majority of activity already happens on side streets or at the rear of premises. Much of the night sees no loading activity at all.
  • The changes proposed mean that the maximum distance to a loading bay would be no more than 50 metres for almost all businesses.
  • The Mayor is working with the freight industry and businesses to reduce the overall number of deliveries to the district.

How will you make sure that the area is accessible to all?

  • The Elizabeth line stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road will be step free, along with the improved Tube stations.
  • Taxi ranks will be located no further than 200m from any point on Oxford Street West and be clearly visible. The total number of rank spaces in the area will increase by 25 per cent by 2020.
  • A better environment for all will include improvements to pedestrian surfaces, lighting, in-street information, way finding landmarks, seating, resting areas and meeting places.
  • Bus stops are currently, on average, 113m away from any point on Oxford Street West. The new scheme could see that increase to 300m, but many will be 200m and intensive work continues to make sure Oxford Street remains accessible for all.
  • At least 25 new pedestrian crossings will be installed, all of which will use energy-efficient LED lighting and have pedestrian countdown technology.
  • The Mayor is  working closely with a range of representative groups for older and disabled people to refine our plans.
  • The Mayor is  considering the feasibility of providing a further mobility service along Oxford Street and to/from local bus stops.

What will the impact be on parking and cycling?

  • There will have no impact on the supply of resident and motorcycle parking and will ensure that disabled parking is retained throughout the area
  • Cycling is very important and TfL is working up the detail ahead of a proposed consultation in 2018

What will you do to keep it attractive and safe?  

  • A comprehensive management plan will set out how we will deal with anti-social behaviour, licensing, street cleaning and enforcement issues, and work with partners to ensure that it is adequately funded.
  • Oxford Street is already a potential target for attack and the proposals are to make people safer.

Lost bus link from Queensway to Oxford Circus

  • The proposal for changes to bus services means that the 94 would end at Marble Arch, rather than continuing to Oxford Circus
  • It is hoped to run the 94 into Oxford Street West if we are able to locate a bus stand in North Row. If we can achieve this then the 94 will run very close to the pedestrianised area.
  • Either way, it will be possible to change for the 390 (with the new Hopper fare meaning it can be done on a single ticket) which will serve Oxford Circus after following its new route on Wigmore Street and Henrietta Place

What are the benefits of transformation?

  • The transformation will improve air quality across the district
  • Create beautiful, safe, accessible and inspiring public spaces to address some of the very serious and pressing current issues of poor road safety and air quality.
  • Make it much easier to walk and move throughout the whole area.
  • Equally protect and enhance the quality of life for residents in the area.
  • Support businesses to grow to create new jobs for the benefit of local people and all Londoners – keeping Oxford Street competitive.
  • Support the introduction of the Elizabeth line to the area.

Oxford Street transformation

The opening of the Elizabeth Line at the end of 2018 will bring millions of new visitors to Oxford Street to shop, to work and to visit. The current state of Oxford Street with narrow, broken and cracked pavements, increasing pollution, a very high pedestrian accident record and an unattractive environment is not acceptable. Doing nothing is, therefore, not an option.

But this certainly does not mean that local residents and businesses should simply accept what the Council and TfL propose without questioning it thoroughly and very carefully. Residents are those who will be most affected by the changes and so residents need to be put first. Residents’ concerns about displaced traffic and increased pollution on residential streets must be answered. No ifs, not buts. The Council and TfL must show that these concerns are being addressed and ensure that the plans do not lead to the disruption, congestion, pollution and daily inconvenience that many residents fear.

It is for that reason that we have met TfL to insist that residents’ questions are answered. We will keep asking these questions until we get answers.

We have called for a street-by-street plan of of the changes so that residents and businesses can see how they will be affected. We want a big reduction in traffic, including buses. We want to see a dedicated transport service for the disabled and elderly so that they, too, can enjoy the new Oxford Street. And we want to see a plan for Wigmore Street and Henrietta Place which shows how buses can be accommodated without causing problems.

Our priority is to make the transformation of Oxford Street work for everyone – for residents, for businesses, for shoppers and for visitors. We also want more public toilets and more use of quieter, electric delivery vehicles. As ever, the ‘devil is in the detail’ and we look forward to seeing a practical and common sense plan that works. Until then, we will keep fighting to get the best deal for local residents and businesses.

You can see the latest plans for Oxford Street and make your comments here https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/oxford-street/


St. Mary’s Hospital to build new outpatient building 

Plans to redevelop St Mary’s Hospital cleared a major hurdle when the NHS Trust which runs it was given permission to build a new outpatient building. Westminster City Council granted Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust planning permission in principal for the building on the eastern side of the estate at the location of Salton House, the Dumbell, and Victoria and Albert buildings. It will enable the trust to bring together the majority of St Mary’s outpatient services, and is intended to form the first phase of a redevelopment of the whole of the hospital’s site.

Paddington Cube

The controversial £775 million Paddington Cube is facing a second High Court challenge, this time over its impact on emergency service access to St Mary’s Hospital. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has lodged an application for permission to bring a claim for judicial review to supress Westminster City Council’s final planning approval for the office block. Last month SAVE Britain’s Heritage won the go-ahead for a judicial review of Communities secretary Sajid Javid’s decision not to call in the plans. AECOM’s review of the plans highlighted issues over visibility for ambulance drivers, potential delays and congestion and an increased risk of collisions. The Health Trust claims that these concerns, which are shared by the London Ambulance Service, have not been accurately reported or addressed and that the council’s report to the members of the planning committee was misleading.



Hyde Park Square

We have asked the Council to investigate this anti-social activity:

“I note the comments from a resident in Montage Square about taxi drivers urinating on the fence and bushes of the garden square. We suffer from the same problem on Hyde Park Square, where the smell can be so bad in parts of the garden that it literally renders them unusable.  The taxi drivers also pee in bottles and then for some reason decide to pour the contents out in the same location! For years, residents and the garden committee have lobbied Westminster, the police, the taxi association etc, but still the problem continues.  We have been asked to and provided photographs and video footage, all to avail. Several residents have been verbally abused including myself (quite violently), whenever they confront one of these drivers.  “

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – January 2016

Paddington ‘Pole’

We have welcomed the announcement of a delay in the Paddington Pole proposals, that we first called for in December when the developers first submitted their planning application and Westminster Council sought to push ahead with the application for a decision in early March 2016.

We have been clear that the scheme proposed failed to deliver for local people, changing the skyline dramatically but failing to to provide much needed affordable housing. The excellent campaigning work by local residents, the Skyline Campaign, SEBRA and others have helped now force the developers and the council to see sense and delay the project.

The designers must now go back to the drawing board and come back with a radically revised plan that dramatically reduces the height of any new building and significantly increases the number of social and genuinely affordable homes in Westminster generated by the scheme.

Labour group leader Councillor Adam Hug said:

“Westminster residents won’t accept only cosmetic changes to the Paddington Pole plans, shaving off just a few floors and hoping no one notices. There must be a real rethink about how this important site is used so that it benefits local people. We must all remain vigilant to ensure that this happens.”

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – December 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – October 2015

Praed Street

We asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Please do something about the huge environmental problem of black cabs waiting with their engines running on the double yellow lines in Praed Street by Paddington Station exit and Hilton hotel. There are often as many as 10”

The Council told us:

“Just to let you know that we have done as you requested and directed our Marshals to focus on this area in terms of enforcement activity and I would hope that there has been some improvement by now. Please let me know if this is not the case.”

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – August 2015

Albion Gate, Hyde Park

We have asked the Royal Parks to investigate this issue:

“I wish to add more information regarding cyclists and Hyde Park. The beginning of the main pathway through the park which is listed on the map as “NO CYCLING” but the original lettering on the path to that effect has been eroded over time and I find that it is now mostly visitors using the “Boris Bikes” which cause the issue cycling at speed past pedestrians with children and dogs. Without any police attendance, I don’t know how you can improve on this but replacing the sign might at least help.”

Sheldon Square, Paddington Central

We are taking up a number of issues raised by residents living at Sheldon Square about noisy building works and other environmental issues. One resident says:

“The noise is heard from within my bedroom with the double-glazed window closed.”

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – May 2015

Albion Gate

We are taking up this issue raised by the Connaught Village Forum with The Royal Parks:

“Long before anyone had dreamt of reserving dedicated parts of the public realm for cyclists, the park notice board & map at Albion Gate was placed in the centre of the footpath. Since the introduction of the cycle lanes some years ago, either side of the noticeboard, it has been impossible for someone wishing to read the notice board or map without obstructing the cyclists. Moving the noticeboard to one or other side would seem to be a sensible course of action, and is long overdue.”

Cycling on the pavement

We are liaising with the Council and the Police on this recurring issue:

“I have written to you previously about people cycling on pavements. I am particularly aware of it on the Edgware Road and Bayswater Road where I walk daily. I have seen policemen in the vicinity of these cyclists but they seem to take a blind eye. I also see them cycling in Hyde Park where there are clear ‘NO CYCLES’ signs but I suppose that is a matter for the Park Authorities who seem to be equally indolent. Although I realise you may have many more pressing and noble causes to fight, I would be most grateful if you could give this problem your attention; perhaps a few high profile and hefty fines may be a deterrent.”

Star Street

We are making enquiries about this problem;

“My neighbours and I have continually complained to Westminster Council about short lets in this street. There are two agencies (that I know of) involved in this nefarious activity. Groups of people congregate at all hours outside these offices and I have it on good authority that cash changes hands with no record kept to people who stay for a short length of time in our area. Who are these people – who are the landlords? This is a conservation area and buildings are listed and expensive. We are fed up to the back teeth with Westminster doing nothing about this problem which brings our street into disrepute and mess. Can you do anything about this?”

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – June 2014

Albion Gate

We are making enquiries with the Royal Parks about this issue;

“Anyone who uses the park via Albion Gate over the next few weeks (especially during rush hours) will need to be careful. Someone has blocked off the North Carriage Drive crossing immediately ahead of Albion Gate. Pedestrians have now to walk along the footpath a few yards to the left and through a small gap in the barriers – which have appeared overnight – to cross the road. I am not certain who is responsible for this stupid arrangement – obviously no one who comes into the park via Albion Street with a couple of small children or a dog.”

Hyde Park Place

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“There are several hot-spots where dumping in Hyde Park Ward takes place on a regular, almost daily basis. Which is why I don’t understand why these locations are not effectively monitored, and why nothing is done unless I report that dumping has taken place!”


Hyde Park ward election campaign moves in to top gear

Residents have told us of the key issues for Hyde Park residents;

Short term lets

“Yes it is a problem but only in certain buildings. Things are being done but not certain how effective it has been (the summer will tell) – there are still short lets in Coniston Court and there are still many at 25 Porchester Place. Most of them are ‘medical tourists’. The only way these can be eradicated is by the managing agent of the buildings to take a proactive stance.”

Commercial Waste and other rubbish dumping

“Commercial premises putting their rubbish, which includes food, out in the street in plastic bags last thing at night. They are rummaged by foxes and contents are spilled out all over the pavement and road – even if it is eventually cleared up it is sometimes there for the most part of the day. It looks horrible.”

“The spillages of rice & old bits of chicken remained on Connaught Street for the majority of the day yesterday”

“The daily dumping of bags, loose rubbish, by the trees in Hyde Park Place, Bayswater Road, W2”

Dog Mess

In Connaught Street, Kendal Street, Albion Terrace and Porchester Place

Proliferation of shisha cafes

“The proliferation of shisha cafes with all the open charcoal burners being left unattended on the pavement or being swung around in the air, I can’t believe that they aren’t a health and safety hazard”

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – January 2014

Paddington Basin

We are making enquiries about this issue;

“I’d like to report the state Paddington Basin is currently in. We can see that it’s going to be drained & renovated but it’s now full of water, fenced off & filled with rubbish (the rubbish moves with the breeze to cover the lake or all sit in one corner) & looks awful. We question the timing of fencing off the area earlier than needed when work over Christmas has not commenced on the end we live. Can it be kept clean while it’s being worked on? It’s embarrassing having our visitors see our swamp rubbish tip lake view currently”

The Canal & River Trust told us;

“The area in question falls outside of our remit but I will speak with the developers ask them to clear their area of responsibility and assist in clearing any windblown rubbish in the main basin area. Hopefully you will see some improvement in the future.”

Doctors’ Surgeries

Seven day GP opening service has been extended to the following surgery;

The Connaught Square Practice
41 Connaught Square, London, W2 2HL
Tel: 020 7402 4026
Open 10am to 6pm

You are able to walk in or book a same day appointment at theis practice. You do not have to be a member of the practice to use the service, and registration with your own GP will not be affected.

Paddington Station/Eastbourne Terrace Entrance – what you say

“There are two other entrances to Paddington Station from the West, which I use all the time but I hardly see another soul there. Maybe “officially” they are for people who use the station car park, but there is certainly no notice to say that only car park users may enter that way. One can walk down into the station car park either at the vehicle entrance on the junction of the Bishop’s Bridge and Eastbourne Terrace, or at the vehicle exit halfway down Orsett Terrace, and thence up onto the very long Platform One, which takes you straight into the station with no barriers and takes mere minutes to walk. I have to say I do not recommend it for those with mobility problems due to the steep steps, road humps and no pavements.”

Hyde Park Ward Action Report – December 2013

Gloucester Terrace

We have asked the Council to examine the suggestion of a pedestrian crossing after receiving the following enquiry;

“A crossing would be needed at the south end of the street, between Westbourne Crescent and the southern end of Gloucester Terrace. There is a regular flow of pedestrians crossing from the east side of the street to the west, as the west is the side one must be on to then cross to the traffic island where Lancaster Gate tube station is located. Due to the lack of any form of formal crossing from Craven Road south, the pedestrians do so by crossing the road without the protection of lights or a zebra crossing. There is the facility to cross the road at its very southern end, but this is very dangerous as traffic approaching from the west speeds around the corner. Due to a bus shelter, it is very difficult to see such traffic coming. A zebra crossing or a set of traffic lights midway between the southern end of the street and Westbourne Crescent would alleviate this problem. It is a highly residential area and the flow of pedestrians is constant.”

Paddington Station – Eastbourne Terrace entrance

We asked the Council about this enquiry;

“Can I raise the matter of the pedestrian entrance to Paddington station from Eastbourne Terrace; this has been closed to construct Crossrail. For those who live in the middle of either Westbourne Terrace , Gloucester Terrace and even further west, walking, especially if disabled or partially disabled , to the either of remaining entrances is a serious difficulty. We need to seek Crossrail and Network Rail assurance that this Eastbourne Terrace entrance will be reinstated as soon as possible, and that it does form part of the eventual completed Crossrail proposal.”

The Council told us;

“The entrance by the relocated seated Brunel statue will be returned to public use when the construction of the new entrance to the Crossrail station is complete and improvements along Platform 1 are finished in 5 years’ time. Then there will be steps and lifts from the new Eastbourne Terrace highway down to both Network Rail platform level and further down to the Crossrail platform below. From February 2014 the western part of Eastbourne Terrace will be returned to highway use but the area closer to and adjacent to the station will still be a work site so pedestrian access cannot return until those works are completed and the new Crossrail station bought into service for December 2018.”

Hyde Park Road Action Report October 2013

Connaught Village – Rough Sleeping

Jack Gordon tells us;

“Following on from the discussion on the Forum regarding the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the instances of rough sleeping around the Connaught Village area, Nick Johnson, HPEA Chair and myself are looking towards a multi-agency approach to try to alleviate the problem. This will involve primarily the police under the supervision of Ken Taylor the SNP Sergeant but also the Safer Streets Homeless Team and the St. Mungo’s Charity who work in the area. We shall also be discussing the issue as a matter of urgency at the next Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel meeting on Monday October 21st at the Edgware Rd. Hilton Hotel. Apart from the police we will look to have council officials and councillors in attendance to add further weight to our efforts here.”

Hyde Park Square

We have asked the Police to look into the problem of this Square (and others in Westminster) being used as a toilet;

“We have had an issue with urinating taxi drivers in Hyde Park Square for many years and have dealt with everyone from the carriage office, the police, Westminster etc and we even ended up with CCTV footage of guilty parties, however no one was ever fined and no progress was ever made. It’s obviously a serious problem across London!”

Al-Dar, 61-63 Edgware Road W2

We have asked the Council to investigate the following concerns from residents;

“This restaurant continues to ruin my life and to some extent lives of others in my building too. They always run (open or closed) well in to the night on weekdays and weekends well above their allowed opening hours and bang and drag furniture and other equipment on/across their marble/granite/tiled floors and against walls too.”


One Response to Hyde Park Ward

  1. Adam says:

    Good luck!!

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