Little Venice Ward

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – November 2017

News from the Labour Action Team in  Little Venice 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lanark Road

We asked the Council to let us know about plans for resurfacing the road after receiving this enquiry:

“Are there any plans to resurface Lanark Road? It’s quite poorly with pothole at the seam of the speed bumps, more noticeable between the section Elgin Avenue and Sutherland Avenue.”

The Council say:

I have had a look at the detailed Annual Condition Survey results and it does show isolated patches that certainly are in need of work and so I would expect this to instead appear as work for localised patches (which may well be full street width) rather than full length resurfacing.”

Randolph Avenue

We have asked Environmental Health to investigate this issue:

“One of the issues I am hearing is the large number of rats appearing in the basement properties both in the rear gardens and front basements in Randolph Avenue. Obviously caused by the building works going on in Lanark Road.”

We have urged the Pest Control Team to visit this site regularly so that the situation can be controlled effectively.

Hall and Braithwaite Towers

We have asked City West Homes to investigate the following issues raised by residents:

“The window louvres, particularly on the higher floors allow water to enter our common parts when we experience heavy rain, this can be as much as six foot, past the doorways of some flats.  Very early on we complained about this, CWH tried reversing these louvres – this did not help.  CWH had a private survey carried out in about 2015, in this survey it stated that these louvres were “not fit for purpose.”  

On some floors in both blocks started bubbling up badly shortly after being laid, some are still in the process of deteriorating. At our Residents Association meeting on 8 August, our Area Manager informed us that we would be refunded for the above works and that they would be carried forward to a future Major Works project. The residents’ association responded clearly that they were not in favour of this solution and that the works should be carried out as per the original contract and that we did not want a refund but for the works to be rectified. We are extremely unhappy with CWH’s total disregard of our wishes and continue with our fight to get these works completed as per the original contract.”

Paddington Green

We have asked the Police to step up policing in the Paddington Green area following the recent tragic stabbing. We have also asked City West Homes if they can locate a CCTV camera in the area so that those involved in drug dealing can be filmed and prosecuted. Residents say:

“The murder of a young man on St Mary’s Terrace last week has heightened the fears of residents.  On a weekly basis, my neighbours are reporting what look like drug drops at the Harrow Road end of St. Mary’s Terrace. Cars arriving to meet someone on a scooter where they do exchanges of packages.  Furthermore, regularly there are young men walking down the street trying the doors of cars parked on the street.”

We have also asked the Environmental Health to take further action to eradicate the problem of rats in the area.

Fleming Court – update

We asked again when an intercom system would be installed at Fleming Court. City West Homes say:

“We recently attended a West panel area meeting. At this meeting the panel raised some concerns surrounding anti-social behavior and consequently the proposal of a door entry systems to ensure added security to our residents at Fleming Court. As a result, this was investigated further and it was noted that a door entry system would be best placed at Flemming Court. This will be discussed further with the mechanical and electrical team, with the view to install a fully operational KMS door entry fob system within the next 18 – 24 months.”

We have also being liaising with the police to increase patrols in the area following the tragic stabbing recently and have asked City West Homes to install CCTV cameras in the area so that the alleged drug dealing can be filmed and those responsible brought to justice.

Warwick Avenue

We have asked the Refuse Department to investigate persistent rubbish dumping in Warwick Avenue and to take strong action against those responsible. Residents say:

“The tree has a sign saying not to dump rubbish or a fine will be imposed. I am so fed up with this and the council are doing absolutely nothing about it. The whole street is an absolute disgrace. It is the same people doing this week in week out. If the council could be bothered to examine the bags they would have the evidence to prosecute but they are just not interested. Why on Earth we are paying council tax, I just do not know. I could do a better job on a fraction of the money that they receive.”

Paddington Service of Remembrance – Sunday 12th November 2017

The Paddington Service of Remembrance will take place this year on Sunday 12th November 2017 at 2.30pm at the War Memorial in Lancaster Gate. The Service is to remember all those residents of Paddington who gave their lives in the two World Wars and in conflicts since then.

The 2016 Service of Remembrance at the Lancaster Gate War Memorial was the first for many years. The Service was very well attended by residents, schools, local groups and Councillors and it is now an annual event.

The Service will be led by Father Paul Thomas, Vicar of St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens and is open to all faiths. Following the Service, a reception will be held in the Royal Lancaster hotel. Details of the War Memorial http://www.londonremembers.com/memorials/memorial-cross-at-lancaster-gate

Call for halt to further Metropolitan Police cuts

We have launched a petition calling on the Government to halt its cuts in the Metropolitan Police budget immediately. Further police cuts will make it more difficult for the police to keep neighbourhoods in Westminster safe and secure, as well as dealing with the increase in everyday violence and the constant terrorist threat.

The petition to the Government says:

“Halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget. Having lost £600 million in real terms over the past 7 years, the Metropolitan Police face a further £400 million cut over the next 4 years. 70 per cent of all police spending in London comes from the Home Office, meaning that any change in that funding has a disproportionate effect.”

You can sign the petition here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543

Tackling polluted air – Mayor introduces the T-charge

The Mayor of London has introduced the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) in central London to tackle London’s polluted air. Research shows that polluted air contributes to approximately 9,400 premature deaths a year in London and costs the health service between £1.4 and £3.7 billion.

The T-Charge is a £10 supplement on the Congestion Charge for vehicles that do not meet certain environmental standards. The Mayor has set the standard at Euro 4 for both petrol and diesel vehicles, and applies to vehicles registered from 1 January 2006. The charge applies during the operational hours of the Congestion Charge Zone, Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm.

There is a 90% discount for residents living in the Congestion Zone area, a 100% discount for blue badge holders and exemptions for emergency service vehicles and motorbikes. You can see the full details of the T-charge online  https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/emissions-surcharge

What you say

“This is a really good newsletter”

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

 

Regards

 

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council Labour Group

 

 

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – October 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Tower

We have asked the Council to prune the trees outside Stuart Tower on Maida Vale after receiving this message:

“There are trees outside Stuart Towers on the corner of Sutherland Ave and Maida Vale that are so overgrown at the bottom that it’s hard to walk past them without having to step into road.”

Rubbish dumping 

We have reported these issues to the Council:

“I wonder, please, if I could lodge a complaint about the increasing amount of refuse being deposited in the area, particularly around trees, the black litter bins (the corner of Formosa Street and Castellain Road is a frequent case in point) and in the garden of St Saviour’s Church. I should add, however, that whenever I have contacted Veolia on the matter, the response time has been very good.” 

We have also reported rubbish dumping in Warwick Avenue.

Tesco, Sutherland Avenue 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“With Tesco’s bright lights all night and cars, there is absolutely no break from the pollution both noise and vehicle volumes for us residents. It’s worse when our windows and doors are open in the warm weather. Regularly in the early hours around midnight to 2 am you are rudely woken by crashing, breaking glass, and once awake you have to listen to Tesco customers’ car doors opening and shutting and their delivery trucks that come at that hour. It is disgusting that one cannot rest at any time of the day!” 

Pavement cycling 

We have raised this issue with the police:

“Can the police do anything about cycling on the pavements? I had a near miss the other night from two emerging from the darkness at about 25 mph. Do I go left, right or freeze? I choose the latter and am in one piece, but are they muggers? “ 

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Westbourne Terrace Road Bridge – Update

Following our enquiries, the Council says:

“The hand railings are due for replacement in our Planned Preventative Maintenance programme for 2018/19. We are satisfied that the railings do not pose an immediate Health and Safety risk to the public but we will monitor the railings until we get around to replacing them. The work to replace the railings is not insignificant and requires specialist trades because of the curvature on the bridge.”

Hall Place 

We have asked City West Homes to repair the front door to Philip Court. The front door lock is broken and has been for some time. Also, the rubbish area at the back of this block is in a poor state. We also reported an electricity/telephone box without a doo where there exposed wires which are a danger to children.

Paddington Green

We have asked Environmental Health Officers to investigate this issue:

“Last week, I walked across Paddington Green.  As I entered the southeast corner a rat scampered across the path.  20 feet later another rat was in the grass, and when I got to the Northwestern corner there were 6 rats in a 3 metre square area.  I have never seen so many rats in this park and so I would assume their population has gotten out of control, especially to be visible during daylight hours.  Can someone please address this?”

The Council says:

“We have the Pest Control team on permanent rotation around parks and open spaces with particular priority given to sites close to waterways. I’ve asked the Pest Control team to review current locations and types of traps/bait deployed in Paddington Green and St Mary’s Churchyard.”

Truscott Arms, Shirland Road 

Some good news in the press about the re-opening of the Truscott Arms:

“West London gastropub The Truscott Arms is coming back from the dead with a bang, thanks to their addition of top chef Henry Harris to their roster. And yes, there WILL be roasts. In April, we heard the *very* good news Maida Vale’s The Truscott Arms had plans to reopen, and even better, it would be keeping its original format of ground floor and garden pub, with a restaurant upstairs. The news was there would be “contemporary European food” but aside from that, we were scant on the details.

Now it looks like the one and only Henry Harris, former head chef of Racine, is set to take the reigns, according to the Evening StandardHenry will be drawing on his expertise in the French cuisine that made Racine famous to create a menu that will “blend British and French influences” – and yes, that does include roasts aplenty. “People can expect a traditional British roast beef with all the trimmings and a nice punchy horseradish, but equally we might lay on a seven-hour slow-roasted shoulder of lamb with rosemary, which has a much more French feel,” Henry told the Standard.

http://www.hot-dinners.com/Gastroblog/Latest-news/the-truscott-arms-returns-with-racine-s-henry-harris-leading-the-kitchen

Stuart Tower, Maida Vale

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

“Can I draw your attention again to the poor trees outside Stuart Tower? Roots are restricted by brick walled circles which are now cracking up. Trees are therefore pushing up shoots which now block the pavement and bus stop. Can you put the trees and humans out of their misery!”

 

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – August 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Westbourne Terrace Road bridge

We have reported problems with flaking woodwork on Westbourne Terrace Road bridge (pictured above) to the Council. The Council say:

“I will arrange for our contractor to inspect the bridge. Once they report back I will let you know their findings and any measures we propose.”

Lanark Road

We have asked the Planning Department to investigate these issues:

·      The need for trees to be planted on the Esso compound at their Lanark Road border to help shield residents against constant noise and pollution

·       The chronic problem of users of the petrol station (before it closed for works) using Lanark Road as a toilet, as Tesco/Esso did not provide toilet facilities to their many customers.

Warwick Avenue

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

“The short but wide, flat (no speed humps) and smooth stretch of Warwick Avenue between Formosa Street and Sutherland Avenue has become something of a drag strip with cars and motor bikes screaming up the street regularly at all hours. This is obviously dangerous, but particularly so as vehicles are sometimes turning into Pindock Mews and are overtaken as they are turning right into the mews. Is there anything that can be done to stop this anti-social and dangerous behaviour?”

Randolph Avenue 

We have reported this issue to the Refuse Department:

“I don’t know if you are aware of the on-going rat problem in Randolph Avenue, which seems to be getting worse. The method of rubbish disposal seems to be contributing to the problem. With no standard rodent-proof bins supplied the rubbish is simply stored in bin liners. This provides a constant supply of food for the rats. Westminster Council should address this situation before the infestation gets any worse.”

Warwick Avenue underground station

We are continuing to press the Evening Standard to remove all the uncollected copies of the newspaper every night rather than leave them to litter the area.

Sutherland Avenue

We have reported this issue to the Council for investigation:

“I am writing again about the zebra crossing where Sutherland Avenue meets the roundabout by the Warrington Hotel. I see many occasions when cars park in the “hatched area” leading up to the roundabout.  The traffic wardens do ticket these cars but the line marking are confusing.  They are perfectly spaced to “suggest” they are car park spaces. I do not have any issues with the ticketing but with cars parked in this area there is a danger to pedestrians using the crossing as clear sight lines to it are obstructed by the cars approaching from Sutherland Avenue. Perhaps different lines??  Additional lines?? NO PARKING painted on the road?”

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Warrington Crescent

We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate a property in Warrington Crescent where a noisy all night party was held recently in a suspected AirBNB-let flat.

Lanark Road/Clifton Road

We have asked the Council to investigate these issues:

“Right-turning into Lanark Road from Clifton Road The sign is very clear and less people do it when the Westminster camera-car is parked in front of Chesterton’s. Why not install a permanent camera? I’m sure it would be cheaper and a better deterrent than using the camera-car. Also, persistent illegal parking at the Lanark Road/Clifton Road intersection – particularly at weekends and usually by Chelsea tractors or other high-value motors. Perhaps the same camera could deter both?”

The Parking Department says:

“We have surveyed this location for the installation of unattended cameras, unfortunately the infrastructure is unsuitable, the lamp columns are ornamental cast iron, and cannot be used for alternative power and the hanging of cameras. We will eventually be able to hang a camera in Lanark Road, but this will only capture vehicles turning left from Lanark Road into Clifton Road. We utilise the car to enforce the restrictions in the area we cannot hang cameras. With the Deregulation Act, cameras cannot be used for the enforcement of parking restrictions, this can only be undertaken by CEO/Marshals, I have passed this information to our enforcement team for action.”

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – June 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Pindock Mews

We have asked the Council to repair the lights in Pindock Mews. Residents say:

“Of 6 lights only 3 are working so it’s incredibly dark down here and quite scary. It also probably explains the presence of the drug dealers”

The Council says;

“The team have investigated this matter and while they have changed some lamps the main problem has been that the controller column has lost its electrical supply which will be escalated to UK Power Network.  However, the team are moving the controller to a new column which should return the light in Pindock Mews into operational order, this should be resolved in the next 24 hours”

Residents say:

“We noticed that some of the lights had been fixed but the one in the middle of the Mews still wasn’t working which seemed odd, but now we know why. Huge thanks in getting this sorted so quickly. Much appreciated!” 

“Pindock Mews is a-blaze! Well, electronically speaking! All the lights are working. Huge thanks to you for expeditiously sorting this out.”

Warwick Avenue and Maida Vale tube stations

We have again asked the Council to contact a senior manager at the Evening Standard about the piles of newspapers left outside the underground stations every night. Residents say:

“Can we take this matter up with someone else within the organisation please? This issue has been raised with them over the last months on many, many occasions. And yet they continue to do nothing about it. Why should the residents of this area have to put up with their rubbish?”

Following continued newspaper debris left at Warwick Avenue underground station we contacted the Evening Standard direct who say:

“I will send a note the to the merchandiser team we have at Warwick Avenue asking that they do more to keep the area clean and tidy, so hopefully you will see an improvement in the coming days. If however matters do not improve let me know and I will look into the issues again for you”

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – May 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Randolph Avenue

We have contacted London Underground about this issue: 

“I would be very grateful if you could assist with an issue disturbing the residents of Randolph Avenue. We are experiencing a sudden increase in noise and vibration and we are now able to hear and feel every train arriving and leaving the station from 5.30am to 1am! I have experienced some issues in the past after TfL replaced sections of the railway tracks in my part but this is quite different and more persistent. My hope is that as this is a new kind of noise which began suddenly, it can hopefully be resolved quickly. It would most helpful if TfL could send their rail maintenance team to inspect / walk the track and see if they can find an explanation for this sudden change.”

Bristol Gardens

We are continuing to try to resolve this long-standing issue:

“The street light outside 28 Bristol Gardens W9 is still permanently on.  It has been on for about six months, I have reported it twice. Doubtless the waste of electricity across the borough is one of the reasons behind the recent failure to control costs resulting in the increased Council Tax. “ 

The Council say:

“We have had one job logged on the system which we attended and fixed. However, a new report about the light outside no. 28 should now be repaired although it may be day-burning for 24 hours or so while it consolidates a consistent communication channel.” 

Residents say: 

“The Light is out – I am impressed. Many thanks for your help.”

Formosa Street 

We have asked Thames Water to take action about the foul smells coming from the drains in Formosa Street.

Clifton Gardens

We have asked the Council’s Tree Officer to investigate the loss of the tree outside the newsagent on Clifton Gardens.

 

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – March 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Warwick Avenue Station

We have asked the Council to ensure that the Evening Standard clears the station area of unwanted copies of the newspaper every day rather than leaving them on the pavement. The Council say:

“I’ve asked the local City Inspector to liaise directly with Evening Standard regarding recycling/disposal of surplus newspapers.”

Formosa Street

We have written to the Borough Police Commander about the horrific attack in Formosa Street. We urge everyone to be extra vigilant.

http://news.met.police.uk/news/female-tourist-attacked-in-westminster-228702

Randolph Avenue

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this issue:

“For some time now I have been aware that cars just double park in Randolph Avenue – the section which has the tube station on the corner. This is a wide road and these cars are just left unoccupied.  I presume that these people park against a car they know so have an arrangement to block them.  The problem with this is not just that it is illegal but that traffic going to and fro is held up as there is no room for two cars to pass at the same time.  Perhaps you could look into this matter when you have time.” 

The Parking Department has responded:

“The parking concession of allowing vehicles to double park outside of controlled hours applies to all wide roads in C zone and is contained within our Kerbside Management and Enforcement Code of Practice that can be found on the link below. This arrangement has existed for many years, as it is recognised by Westminster Council that there is a high demand for residents parking within this zone and any changes to this practice would probably be met with a lot of opposition from the residents. On the plus side, I am not aware of any accidents that have happened here as a result of this concession and so at this time WCC would not be looking to change this, as it does also act as a traffic calming measure as well. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/parking-policies-and-reports

Maida Avenue/Edgware Road

We asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“We have now a long-standing problem relating to two park benches situated at the Edgware Road end of Maida Avenue close by the Cafe Laville.  Their proximity to Edgware Road has made them a perpetual site of food consumption and alcohol consumption.  And with the restricted road sweeping hours the attendant litter just build and builds.  There is a litter bin nearby but this is seldom used by the offenders.  And to be fair it is often full to overflowing with rubbish from nearby flats which have no rubbish bins.  The seats have become an eyesore and in summer months the feasting is day and night with music accompaniment and all sorts. We have even taken to sweeping up the litter ourselves but it is a perpetual task, especially as the road sweeper now passes only once a week. I would appreciate your advice on how best to approach this before the warmer weather brings the hordes.”

A few days later residents said:

“We could not believe our eyes to see early yesterday morning the two benches being expertly removed and the pavement just as expertly restored to normal.  Today it has been so good to see no piles of abandoned drinks cans and takeaway containers, tampons and used tissues which have daily littered the area previously.  This has been a long-term problem which our own attempts have failed to solve.  We cannot thank you enough for your timely intervention.”

St Mary’s Churchyard Gardens

We have written to City of Westminster College about this issue:

“We have a continuing problem with anti-social behaviour and litter being left at the northern part of Paddington Green near to The Little Venice Sports Centre principally by students of the College of Westminster. We have tried speaking directly and although they recognise the problem, they haven’t been able to deal with the situation and I wonder if you might make contact with them please.”

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – February 2017

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Bristol Gardens

We have asked the Council to fix a broken street light outside 28 Bristol Gardens.

Clifton Villas/Warwick Avenue/Blomfield Road 

We have asked the Council to let us have their thoughts on this suggestion:

“Currently cyclists are forced to travel down Clifton Villas and then back up Warwick Avenue which is at a pretty steep gradient for cyclists which holds traffic up as there is no room to overtake safely, especially with parked cars on either side, and many cyclists resort to cycling on the pavements which is unpleasant for pedestrians due to the lack of cycling facilities. 

On the stretch of Blomfield Road the road is very wide however it may be better to to widen the pavements for pedestrians on this scenic route whilst adding a mandatory 2m contraflow cycle lane. The southern pavement is severely degraded by tree roots which could be fixed at the same time. This could be done by moving the parking on the southern side to the northern side and make it all residents only (currently only about half of it is). Alternatively, the cycle lane could just be added adjacent the parked cars, similar to the one introduced at the junction of Stanhope Place and Hyde Park Place, however this does increase the risk of a “dooring” accident, but at least the cars will be parked so that front passengers will be able to see cyclists coming clearly, and the stretch of parked cars is not too long.”

Towpath Cycling – what you say

Cyclists regularly speed and dominate the towpath to Little Venice. I witnessed an accident happening with two cyclists too close together and speeding down the towpath. The first cyclist spotted me walking up in the opposite direction and he slowed down. The one behind wasn’t expecting that and had to emergency break. He crashed straight into a canal boat, fell off his bike and injured himself.”

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – January 2017

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Blomfield Road

We have asked the Council to fix this problem:

“Can you get the council to fix the street light on Blomfield Road that is never off? A waste of electricity and looks daft.”

 Warwick Avenue

We have asked the Council to look into these two issues: 

  • Rubbish and mess caused by Evening Standard newspapers left overnight or over the weekend at Warwick Avenue tube station
  • Mattresses, pillows and other debris – a health hazard as well as unsightly – on the slope from Harrow Road to Porteus Pedestrian Underpass adjacent to the Canal and also underneath the metal bridge. 

Bristol Gardens

We have asked the Council to fix a street light opposite 28 Bristol Gardens which has been lit permanently.

Formosa Street

We have asked the Council to investigate rubbish dumping at the junction of Formosa Street and Castellan Road.

Edgware Road 

We have reported this issue to the Council: 

“My issue is with the sad condition of the ‘garden’ areas in front of the shops along the Edgware Road, just after Crompton Street.  Food is left in plastic trays on the low walls, rubbish is strewn about and empty drink cans are thrown in the garden outside the restaurant at the end of the small parade.  I actually saw a rat tail disappear into the undergrowth a while back!  There is a small bin, but I don’t think it is much used and the owners of the 2 grocery shops make good fruit displays, but clearly spend no time on the area surrounding their shop fronts. “ 

Canal Tow Path

A local resident has started a petition calling for lighting along the canal tow path: It can be found at

https://www.change.org/p/royal-borough-of-kensington-and-chelsea-light-the-canal-towpath-at-westbourne-park?recruiter=375323776&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – November 2016

Warwick Avenue

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

“There is an ongoing litter problem on the W2 section of Warwick Avenue. The council has responded to our request to have the street swept, but this was a one-off. According to the council their contractor is supposed to clean this section of Warwick Avenue every week day. We are experiencing a high volume of dumped litter from vehicles. It really does need cleaning every day. The residents of this section would be very grateful if you would get us back on to the street cleaning rota which we are clearly no longer on.”

Canal Path

We have written again to the Canal & River Trust about this issue:

“Can we address the issue of the lighting on the Canal towpath below Warwick Crescent again? The present situation is really unacceptable, and shows no sign of improving while use of that path has increased hugely over the last few years. The existing system of uplighters in the pavement is almost never working properly; some section (if not all of it) is usually dark, which makes the path both frightening and unsafe. The main point, though, is that the existing system is simply unfit for purpose, because the path is not being illuminated by the lamps when they are working. They provide upward shafts of light, which blind you as you pass through them and can be obscured completely by a standing pedestrian. Neither the edge of the canal, nor obstacles, nor other towpath users are adequately illuminated. This is really dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians, and leaves dark places for people to lurk in.”

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – October 2016

The Truscott Arms – the fight continues

“Without it Maida Vale just won’t be the same, it won’t have that relaxed atmosphere that we all love. On an evening we can sit outside the Truscott and see anyone and everyone, it makes us feel like part of something more than just a pub but a family, somewhere that we can call a second home.”

You can sign the petition here https://www.change.org/p/westminster-council-save-the-truscott-arms-1f92c084-936f-45f9-ab86-b01a11b2315a 

Hall Park Estate

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this issue: 

“I would like to raise concern over the issue of illegal parking on Adpar Street on both double yellow lines and box junctions. On one evening there were no less than 5 cars in the area of the box junctions which faces both Braithwaite and Hall Towers. I dread to think if there was the need for emergency services vehicles needing access. An ambulance or fire engine, getting access could mean the matter of life or death. This is already an immensely used and busy part of the estate. The entrance being Cuthbert Street leading to Hall Place and the entrance to no through road of Adpar Street. With the exit from the petrol station onto Cuthbert Street to get onto the Edgware Road, a challenge to get in via the only road onto the estate is to put it mildly, a challenge!”

The Council says:

“The box junction markings in Adpar Street are not enforceable, as this location is not suitable for such markings and does not fill the criteria for what a box junction markings are meant to be used for.  They were put in some years ago, although all parties at the time understood that there was no associated enforcement power connected with them, but their presence was to act as a visual deterrent, but unfortunately it appears they currently may not be doing so.

The double yellow lines are enforceable however, and I am currently checking our lining programme to see when they are due to be refreshed as they look a bit worn and if not in the near future, I will get it added to get done ahead of programme. I will also get marshals to pay attention to this area.” 

Warrington Crescent

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“This is to tell you that residents in Warrington Crescent have been plagued by rats. I have lived here for nearly 40 years and never seen an invasion like the one we have now.  All along the Crescent we are taking action. I have had rodent control three times since May. Residents are vigilant with dustbins etc but we see rats in the street running with impunity, hovering by drains at night.”

Randolph Avenue

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

“Any ideas on how we can reduce the number of crashes and near misses at the Randolph Avenue/Elgin Avenue junction roundabout just by Maida Vale tube station? The drivers as they travel from Maida Vale (A5) to the roundabout don’t seem to realise that it is one and are going too fast. I have seen two really nasty accidents there, the last only two weeks ago.”

 We have also asked the District Surveyor to investigate a garden wall at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Sutherland Avenue which appears to be unsafe.

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – September 2016

Truscott Arms, Shirland Road

We were angered that the much-loved Truscott Arms pub has been forced to close because the owners of the building have decided to hike up the rent from £75,000 per year to a wildly over-inflated £250,000 per year. Local residents are outraged that this well-loved and successful pub, home to the best roast lunches in Britain (according to a 2014 UK competition), has been driven out of business by what seems to be a transparent attempt to remove the existing tenant.

The pub and its owners have played an active role in supporting the local community since it opened and many are residents now returning the favour to help save the Truscott Arms. With no pub likely to be able to pay anything close to £250,000 per year, residents understandably fear that despite the Truscott’s well deserved Asset of Community Value status this may be the start of an attempt by the pub’s owners to convert the building to luxury flats which we will fight vigorously.

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/restaurants/london-s-best-sunday-roast-pub-closed-by-colossal-rent-hike-a3312911.html

Edgware Road Post Office

A petition has been set up calling for improvements to the Post Office:

“We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to Lobby Post Office Ltd for better postal services at Edgware Rd PO. We welcome the refurbishment of the Edgware Rd Post Office but the local residents, users and businesses of the Edgware Road would like Post Office Ltd to make sure we also have the same service levels we have in Baker Street & Paddington Quay PO’s at the newly refurbished premises.

If the adjoining neighbourhoods can have such good service at their local PO’s, we can not see why the same can not be done at the newly refurbished Edgware Rd PO. We want the Council to lobby Post Office Ltd to make sure their service delivery is the same across all their branches in City of Westminster, particularly at Edgware Rd PO which will still be heavily used by local residents.” You can sign the petition here

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

St Mary’s Churchyard Gardens – update

Following our enquiries, the Council says:

“I wanted to update you on the issues of both gangs of youths and rough sleepers in St Mary’s Churchyard Gardens. This location is subject to regular undercover surveillance by the Police and we are in liaison with them as to what additional measures can be taken to deter anti-social behaviour here. We have also substantially reduced the planting and shrubbery to remove potential hiding places for drugs and weapons. I have also instructed the parks team to increase patrolling visits by uniformed parks staff during the late afternoon and evening to provide a visible deterrence during the busy summer period.”

Residents say:

“Thank you very much for the feedback and it is good to know that acting is being taken. We will certainly let you know if we see anything else.”

Tesco, Clifton Road – warning

We have received this message from a resident:

“I too was scammed at the cashpoint outside Tesco in Clifton Road. They also took £500 from my card. They use a system called Lebanese loop. Police are investigating as they also used card details to buy petrol at the pump in Tesco’s in Sutherland Avenue hopefully they will find the thief’s car registration number on the CCTV. Please share the above info if relevant.”

Little Venice Canal area

We have asked the Canal & River Trust to investigate this issue;

“What has happened to Little Venice Canal at Paddington Basin? Even the ducks have abandoned the green slime that has engulfed the entire basin. Can we please have a longer term solution to the present rather disgusting mess in a once beautiful area.”

Following our enquiry, action has been taken by the C&RT and a resident told us: “I understand that there is a problem in keeping the weed under control, needs a lot more attention and am very pleased to see some improvement this week.”

Rembrandt Gardens

We have alerted the Council to this recurring problem:

“Rough sleepers have again set up home along side the Canal next to the Rembrandt Garden and are bedding down on the grass. They have been there since last week together with their possessions.”

The Council say:

“The site of the rough sleeping is Stone Wharf / Rembrandt Gardens and is managed by both our parks team and the Canal Trust. Earlier this year we saw an influx of rough sleepers in this area and work was carried out to disrupt the rough sleeping and to clean the area.   This was undertaken by the council, police and our partners from the St. Mungo’s Hotspot Team. We are currently looking into the possibility of placing a gate at the mouth of the tow path which would allow us to prevent access other than for the canal boat residents.  It appears that the current rough sleepers are a couple and a single female.  A referral has been made to Streetconcern and the St Mungo’s Hotspot Team requesting an increased presence in the area and for a care plan to be put in place to support the single female.”

Maida Vale/Clifton Road

We have asked the Council to fix traffic light at Maida Vale and Clifton Road after a resident told us “It’s facing the wrong way this morning”.

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – JULY 2016

Edgware Road/Blomfield Road – Update

Following our enquiries, TfL tell us:

“Our planning team have witnessed the congestion at this location and will arrange for a Keep Clear marking to be placed. This will assist the traffic movement at this junction. Although we’re unable to provide a timescale on these works at present, please be assured that the matter is in hand.”

Sutherland Avenue/Maida Vale Tesco – warning

We have received this warning from a local resident:

“At the Esso/Tesco garage on the corner of Maida Vale and Sutherland Avenue there are cashpoint fiddlers in attendance.  I was caught in a swift and clever operation which emptied my account of £500 this morning before I got home (around the corner) – less than 10 min – and rang the bank straight away.  Police also alerted.  Can you alert in your next newsletter – the cashpoint is not in a good position and outside the line of sight.

St Mary’s Churchyard Gardens

We have asked the Parks Department to investigate this issue:

“There is an increasing amount of unsociable behaviour going on in this Park. We have seen a stabbing and overt drug use including use of needles which is a particular concern near to the school. Other activity includes barbequing on the grass which causes damage and on grave stones. We have made reports to the Police but think a patrol presence and some signage would assist to eradicate the problems.”

Lisson Grove – Canal path update

The new Chair of Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society has told us:

“I spoke to the London area Manager of the Canal and Rivers Trust on this and he gave me the following headlines regarding the closed towpath under the Lisson Grove Bridge:

·      the roadway over the tunnel contains a number of high voltage electricity cables which are cooled by a jacket of oil

·      one of these has sprung a leak such that oil was running down through the masonry and polluting the canal

·      repairing this leak is the responsibility of the cable owners but no one has quite got around to doing so – budget pressures/priorities – so for now the tunnel is closed to allow them to catch the oil and drain it to a safe receptacle, without having to close the tunnel to boat traffic. Sadly this does result in the towpath being closed

·      I am due to follow up so will do so and see if the situation has changed”

 

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – JUNE 2016

Blomfield Road/Edgware Road junction

We have again contacted TfL about this junction which continues to cause problems:

“When coming up from Blomfield Road and trying to turn right on Edgware Road the junction is often blocked by buses and general traffic. I live on Aberdeen Place and trying to go straight through Blomfield to Aberdeen; but often that turn is blocked. This creates huge problems with blocked traffic trying to go right on Maida Vale. A simple solution of box junction would solve this problem once and for all. “

Little Venice canal path                    

We are chasing the Canal & River Trust about the closed canal path due to works on a bridge between Little Venice and Regent’s Park. Residents say. “It has been closed, I would say, for a good year now with no explanation whatsoever. I have yet to see anyone working on the bridge either.”

Shirland Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The Truscott Arms is storing its rubbish in the street. They have taken to storing their rubbish on the pavement opposite and there was some all weekend.”

The Council says:

“I will visit the premises soon for reassurance of their waste disposal. They will get a notice from WCC asking to show who their waste carrier is. If the dumping is happening in the weekends mostly and I will then ask my management for approval for out of hours surveillance from our 24 hour team.”

LITTLE VENICE WARD LABOUR ACTION REPORT – MAY 2016

West End Green

We are very disappointed that the Council ignored many of its planning policies and gave permission for the West End Green proposals and that this was followed by the Mayor’s decision not to review the situation and ‘call in’ Westminster Council’s decision. We continued our objection to the West End Green plans for the following reasons:

  • The height of the 30 storey tower is much too high and is not in line with the local area
  • Further plans for the 16, 10 and 9 storey blocks have been increased by at least one storey, which will block all light from Gilbert Sheldon House, Hall Tower and surrounding buildings
  • The scale of the proposal is not in line with the surroundings and character of the area
  • The already stretched GP surgeries, schools and nurseries will come under more pressure
  • Parking and traffic is already an issue in the local area which will be exacerbated
  • Church Street, bordering the site, is already always extremely congested, and the influx of residential and commercial vehicles will be intolerable – the entrance to the site is on this street
  • 300 flats were proposed in the previous application and that number alone seemed high – the new proposal, along with commercial units, appears to be totally excessive.

Warwick Avenue Underground Station

We have written to TfL about this issue:

“I am writing to express my concerns about ongoing noise problems due to late night maintenance work at Warwick Avenue tube station.  Over the past six months, the noise problems have significantly worsened, to the point where it is seriously affecting my sleep, and my working life. I have complained several times to TFL via their hotline, but received no follow-up response. Subsequently I received a notification that major track maintenance will be taking place from April – October 2017, between 11pm-5am, Sun-Mon. Obviously, I am extremely worried about this and the impact it will have on my well-being and that of my neighbor.”

Maida Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The management of the Gogi restaurant’s rubbish on the corner of Maida Avenue and Edgware Road.  Their lease forbids the placing of rubbish in the private road Callard Close and the landlord’s managing agents have at last made them stop leaving their rubbish there where it was an appalling mess as they had insufficient bins, constantly attracting fly-tipping.  But Gogi are now leaving their four bins either on the Maida Avenue pavement or in the nearby gutter.  Anything you can do to resolve that issue would be most helpful.”

The Council say:

“The commercial waste account manager for the area visited Gogi Restaurant. The business has agreed that will no longer store their commercial waste bins at the back of the property but on the frontage instead.”

Residents say:

“This is excellent news. As of today I am delighted to say the Gogi bins are no more and the Gogi rubbish is now in pink bags in Edgware Road for regular daily collection. A triumph. We are most grateful for your transforming intervention.” 

Tesco Express, Sutherland Avenue

We are supporting this initiative started by a parent of 2 children who attend St Josephs School Lanark Road. He has written to the Manager of the Tesco Express as follows:

“I am concerned by the proximity of the Esso petrol station to the school, and the impact of the petrol fumes and exhaust fumes from the many cars that visit your station / shop during school hours. I realise that it is unlikely we are going to be able to move the location of the petrol station, however, would appreciate it if you could maybe install signs asking people waiting for petrol to kindly switch off their engines to limit the exhaust fumes reaching the school. Perhaps we could make it into a competition at the school, get a shortlist of posters from the children, and you be involved in selecting the winning poster?”

Randolph Avenue/Sutherland Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“There are temporary traffic lights that have been installed on the junction of Randolph Avenue and Sutherland Road to deal with road works. This is causing significant traffic build up around St Josephs school (along both Randolph and Sutherland, and no doubt exposing the children to higher levels of pollutants than normal. I have not seen any work being undertaken at this site for 2 weeks, and would hope the council can expedite this work as soon as possible and remove the added congestion.”

The Council say:

“This is a Thames Water emergency job. They have had a burst that is very difficult to repair as the leak is coming from a pipe that is under a maze of other services. Every time they thought they had located it they found it was actually deeper and harder to get at. On top of this they had problems locating the valve to turn off the water. Finally, they were ready to complete the works over this weekend just gone but were asked to stop by those filming the new Mummy film with Tom Cruise. We are not sure why they were asked as the filming was internal and we have told TW that they should not have complied without talking to us. This matter is being looked into with Events and Filming colleagues. However, works should be starting again today with a view to complete ASAP.”

LITTLE VENICE WARD ACTION REPORT – April 2016

West End Green site

Local residents and businesses have waited over 20 years for West End Green to be developed.   This is a golden opportunity to regenerate a long neglected area.   The urgent need is for family-sized homes for overcrowded local families. Many Church Street families will need to move when their homes are demolished to make way for new private and affordable homes. We have continued to object to the offer of only 19% affordable housing. This is way below the Council policy of 30%, and below the 35% affordable housing that has been established in the Futures Plan for Church Street, just across the road.

The latest proposal reduces the height of the tower to 30 storeys (still not in line with Westminster’s policy), but the affordable housing provision remains well below the Council’s policy. This is already one of the most high-density living areas in England, so as well as building houses and shops, the proposals should include upgraded open space combining Paddington Green and St Mary’s Gardens to make up for the impact of the hundreds of additional residents who will live in West End Green.   The plans should include a basketball pitch and tennis courts.

Paddington Green police station

After years of rumours, Paddington Green Police Station has been sold to the same developers who now own the next door West End Green. Paddington Green is the last police station serving North Westminster, since both Harrow Road and St John’s Wood stations were sold for development in 2013. The Mayor’s Office for Policing had previously promised that the development should include a similar replacement either on that site or elsewhere locally.  However, it seems they are now only committed to replacing the Police Station with a ‘front counter and a Safer Neighbourhood Teams base’. We are urging that space for a new police response unit base is found as a part of this development or elsewhere in the area. In the short term the police cars and response team will be moved to Kilburn Police Station in Brent.

Little Venice bridge

We have written to the Canal and River Trust about this issue:

“When is British Waterways going to open the canal after Little Venice that has been closed to pedestrians for almost, I believe, a year now while they supposedly work on the bridge? I often walk along there and have yet to see a single workman.”

2 Maida Avenue

We are working with local residents who are concerned about the unauthorised building works at 2 Maida Avenue. Residents say:

“Without any planning permission and no party wall agreements they have demolished the back of the house and excavated for almost a month vast quantities of soil in order to build a big ungainly modern extension with the entire roof area a terrace in the Conservation Area. We, their neighbours in Stafford House, have swung into action with building advisers to protect our exposed foundations and dividing wall left high and dry by the deep excavations and with the help of WCC Planning Enforcement Team who want all work to cease pending the application, we have been endeavouring to ensure the site is made safe.”

Bloomfield Road/ Maida Vale/Edgware Road

We have asked TfL to investigate this issue again:

I would like to bring to attention once again on the Bloomfield Road/ Maida Vale/Edgware Road intersection. This is a very unsafe crossing and every night that I escort my young kids home, crossing the road is like running the gauntlet, anticipating whether drivers run the red light or not. Its gotten to a point that my kids make a game of it nightly, counting how many cars run the red light before we are able to cross. In addition, I have had 3 near misses resulting with driver abuse in the past 4 months, with my wife has reported one to the police being dismissed easily with the reply ‘We will only pursue further if someone is physically injured.’  Can we not request from TFL a red light enforcement camera at both positions with signage stating that there are ‘Safety cameras are operating’?”

Tfl say:

“While running a red light is a criminal offence and therefore a matter for the police to enforce, the safety of all road users is a top priority for us. We regularly review locations where an issue is brought to our attention.  We assess each location against some criteria to help us determine whether a red light camera would help improve safety. If there have been two or more collisions in a 3-year period on a single arm of a junction resulting in an injury due to motorists running a red light, a camera will be installed. Criteria for introducing cameras are set so that the roads with the worst safety records can be addressed first. Between January 2012 and October 2015 there were 8 collisions at or in the vicinity of the location.  However, in only one case was running a red light identified as a possible contributory factor. Unfortunately, at this time we will not be installing a red light camera but my team will continue to keep this location under review.”

 

Little Venice Ward Action Report – March 2016

West End Green

We have objected to the current proposal for 285-329 Edgware Road (West End Green) on the basis that the proposed scheme:

  • does not provide enough affordable housing (only 22%);
  • is too tall – 38 storeys are proposed
  • the impact on local school places
  • the lack of wider public consultation on such a large scheme.

The site has stood empty for decades and it is welcome that it is being brought forward for development. However, this will be a major scheme and it is vital that it is judged against any detrimental impact on local residents /businesses and against the need to maximise benefits for the wider area. This is especially true give the need for on-site affordable housing, additional school places and access to health services in the Little Venice/Church Street areas.

Little Venice canal area

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Walking from the Rembrandt Garden in Little Venice alongside the canal towards Sheldon Square and under the motorway yesterday was a sad sight of a mattress and belongings which had been used during the night, as well as a large patch of vomit.  This area is often used by rough sleepers; can Westminster offer something better for those in need.”

Little Venice 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.”

Porteus Road/St Mary’s Terrace

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue raised by a resident:

“I want to ask for something to be done with a rubbish bin on the corner of Porteus Road and St Mary’s Terrace.  More and more people are leaving household garbage in the bin.  The bags burst open and there is garbage on the street.  I see the bin got emptied (by regular service) but no one has cleaned up the garbage around the bin.  Which brings up a further point.  I have noticed an increase in street trash over the past month to month and a half.  If there is any street sweeper, they don’t come very often.  Considering this is a path between Sheldon Square and Edgware Road, with lots of foot traffic we get much garbage thrown on the street.  The street sweeping should reflect that.”

The Council says:

“The local City Inspector is aware of the issue and has been trying to tackle the dumping issue but unfortunately with limited success to date. These bins were originally installed to assist dog walkers’ dispose of bagged waste but it now appears they are being misused and have become a convenient waste dumping spot which is obviously not what street litter bins are intended for. I have asked that the bin is relocated. This will be done in the next few days once we have identified a new location. I have also spoken to the local cleansing manager who along with the City inspector will monitor the street.”

Little Venice Action Report – December 2015

Crompton Street

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“I would like to report a dead sapling in Crompton St, London, W2, diagonally opposite the Little Venice Medical Centre.   It needs removing as it has rotted away and could fall on a passing pedestrian or cyclist/motorist in a strong wind.”

Prince Alfred pub, Formosa Street

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“Do you have any indication when this pub will be re opening?  After its ceiling fell down in late April, there have been several notices indicating it’s re opening.  Then there seemed to be a problem with English Heritage regarding the rebuilding of the ceiling.  The latest notice said it would be reopening in November.  This has now been removed, hoardings are still up and there’s no indication of any repairs being done.   It would be a terrible shame to lose this local asset.”

The Prince Alfred now says it will be opening in January 2016.

Little Venice Action Report – November 2015

Pindock Mews

We have again asked the Council to repaint the yellow lines to stop unauthorised parking.

Edgware Road and Blomfield Road junction

We have asked the Road Safety Team about this issue:

“Do you know whether the TFL cycle lane plans for the junction of Edgware Road and Blomfield Road involve the addition of any new green men on the crossings? The crossing in Blomfield Road is particularly dangerous. There are traffic lights on Edgware Road at this junction. When the lights governing Blomfield Road go red and the traffic coming along Blomfield road stops, pedestrians assume that they can cross Blomfield Road safely. Wrong. Traffic coming along Edgware Road from Marble Arch can turn into Blomfield Road and traffic coming the other way from Kilburn can also turn into Edgware Road. So pedestrians have to monitor traffic from three directions if you include the cyclists coming from Aberdeen place. I use this crossing every day and have seen many near accidents, particularly involving tourists who are very confused by this layout. We need a green man. “

“I assume you will be involved in the consideration of the proposed changes to the junction of Edgware Road, Maida Vale, Blomfield Road and Aberdeen Place. If so, could you please bring some pressure to bear on TFL to give real consideration, at last, to the problem of the pedestrian at this junction, and not just the cyclist? “

Little Venice Action Report – October 2015

Elgin Avenue and Shirland Road junction

We are continuing to press the Council to improve this junction

“There is one thing that concerns, not only me, but many fellow parents of children attending St. Peter’s, St. Saviour’s, St. Joseph’s Schools and that is the junction of Elgin Avenue and Shirland Road that is really very dangerous for pedestrians. Drivers often do indicate whilst turning left onto Shirland Road from Elgin Avenue and sped around the corner. My son and I have often almost been hit on a number of occasions and we are not alone as that junction is notorious among those who take their children to school. Indeed, it is so bad that, even though my son is ten and we live on Elgin Avenue, we are still unable to allow him to walk to school on his own because of that junction. May I suggest that a Lollipop person or a proper crossing would help hugely even if employed only between 8 and 9 am and 3 and 4 pm as it is very dangerous.”

The Council says:

“Following a Local Safety Scheme study a scheme for the provision of an all-red to vehicles pedestrian stage at the Elgin Avenue/Shirland Road junction has been agreed and is being progressed for implementation next year. Consequently the option to have a school crossing patrol at the junction is not being considered. However, in view of the fact that two schools in the area have raised concerns over the safety of school children when travelling to and from school it is proposed to undertake a study of pedestrian accessibility and movement in this area. This study will help to identify whether there are locations where measures could improve safety for pedestrians, particularly school children. In addition the schools in the area will be contacted about delivering some road safety education.”

Little Venice Action Report – September 2015

Pindock Mews

We are chasing up the Council on this matter:

“Still waiting for the yellow lines to be painted in the corner of Pindock Mews (Castellain Rd entrance) in Little Venice. Meanwhile, various builders- and other chancers- are parking their vehicles on this corner and restricting the access/exit to or from the mews, which is both inconvenient and annoying. And then they have the cheek to be belligerent and stroppy if their inconsiderate ways are pointed out. Help!”

Blomfield Road/Aberdeen Place/Edgware Road/Maida Vale junction – Update

The Council tells us:

“The Central London Cycle Grid Westminster Quietway Route Camden Town to Little Venice will pass through this junction. Transport for London (TfL) are designing proposals for this TfL controlled junction and officers have asked TfL to consider the feasibility of introducing a signalled controlled crossing for pedestrians across Blomfield Road.”

Little Venice canal path – what you say

“I can add my voice to those who have experienced aggressive cyclists on the Little Venice canal path. I had a cyclist actually swear at me and my 3 young children to get out of the way as they passed at high speed under the bridge beside the Browning pool. I noted that there are signs on the walls that say that pedestrians have priority but I think it is necessary to actually paint them on the pavement to make it more obvious to those who might actually just be ignorant and not intentionally delinquent. “

“I don’t normally respond to your emails – but in this case I really want to underline the issue raised by one of your correspondents – the bit about cyclists on the canal towpath. A few do ring their bells when they come up behind you – but the majority think that a) they own the towpath and b) pedestrians are a nuisance. Anything that can be done – more sleeping policemen? – would be appreciated by those of us who use the towpath as a walkway”

“I would like to echo the concern expressed about cyclists on the canal path. I have seen a number of elderly people startled by a cyclist coming up behind them having to move quickly out of the way and not knowing whether to go toward the canal or into the greenery. The canal path being quite narrow at some points a fall into the canal could well happen. I am particularly concerned over the possibility that the canal path is going to be become integral to the plans to extend cycle routes in the city. If this happens then inevitably many cyclists will be attracted to the path and walkers will no longer be able to enjoy the rare pleasure of a quiet peaceful walk by the canal.”

Little Venice Action Report – August 2015

Hall Place

We have asked the Council to investigate the dropped kerb situation around Hall Place, Paddington Green, in and around the Church Street market. A resident tells us, “my mother along with other wheelchair users, continue to suffer and on many occasions nearly fallen out their wheelchairs.”

Little Venice canal path

We have written to the Canal and River Trust about this issue:

“I often walk to work along the Little Venice canal path between Harrow Rd and Paddington. Despite clear signage that cycling is prohibited on the canal path, cyclists are a constant presence on the path. There is a wide and clearly signed cycle path next to the canal path (on the other side of some fencing) and yet they persist in cycling along a very narrow stretch which is supposed to be prioritised for pedestrians. I agree that cycle paths are important and encourage a healthy way of life, but it seems that pedestrians are starting to be affected more by the ‘anything goes’ attitude of many bike riders.”

Elgin Avenue/Shirland Road Junction – Update

The Council tells us:

“A number of proposals have been made which should improve safety at the junction. These include

• Green man crossing facilities on all arms of the junction through the addition of an all-red vehicle stage in the traffic signalling.
• The pedestrian crossings will be widened and will include tactile paving and skid resistant surfacing on all approaches.
• Street lighting will be improved and Double Yellow Lines brought in around the junction to improve visibility.
• Cycle reservoirs will be added on to all approaches to improve cycle safety.

TfL also intends to commence traffic signal modernisation. Their implementation has been postponed in order to co-ordinate their upgrade with our proposal to implement pedestrian facilities at this junction. Officers are discussing the timing of implementation with TfL in order to manage these changes. “

Sutherland Avenue/Shirland Road junction – Update

The Council tells us:

“Two schools in the area have also raised concerns over the Sutherland Avenue and Shirland Road junction. Therefore, it has been suggested that a study is carried out through Westminster City Council’s School Travel Plan to review pedestrian accessibility and movement in the area. This will help to identify whether there are any locations in the area where measures could improve safety for pedestrians, particularly school children. This review should bring to our attention any other roads or junctions requiring improvements. “

Blomfield Road/Edgware Road

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

“As a resident of Clarendon Gardens for many years, I can only add to the concern expressed about pedestrian risk at the western end of Blomfield Road by saying that the eastern end, the turn off the Edgware Rd, is equally dangerous. Apart from the lack of a crossing, this very heavily used rat run is made very unsafe by drivers tuning into Blomfield Road at high speed long after the lights have turned red against them. Can the police be persuaded to arrest/install safety cameras here? They would make a lot of money in fines.”

Edgware Road site between Paddington Green Police Station and Church Street

This long vacant site has now been bought by the Berkeley Group and we hope that this leads to the early development of the site, including affordable homes and new shops along Edgware Road. One resident has commented:

“I see today that all the old scaffolding that supported the electronic hoardings has been removed. Let’s hope there is speedy progress on what has been a scandalous waste of a prime site for far too long. Berkeley Group has a better reputation than many a developer.”

Little Venice Action Report – May 2015

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.”

Bus stop outside Vale Court, Edgware Road

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“Why has this bus stop been moved 500 metres down the road opposite Stewart Towers? This is a total waste of money and man power. It now means that the walk from Elgin Avenue stop to Hall Road stop is considerable longer. The new bus stop is much nearer the Clifton Road stop. None of this makes any sense at all.”

Pindock Mews

We are chasing up this issue:

“Can you give the Council a boot up the backside re the matter of painting those non-existent yellow lines in Pindock Mews? We are still waiting and now builders vans are parking there and blocking our exit/access via the Castellain Road end of the mews. “

Little Venice Action Report – April 2015

Warwick Avenue

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

“There was a tree knocked over in an accident about five weeks ago outside the flats at the back of St Saviour’s church. The tree root stump and the trunk of the tree are still on the pavement in Warwick Avenue. Could these please be removed?

Edgware Road buses

We have contacted London Buses about this issue:

“I live on Randolph Ave at the junction of Clifton Gardens and use the buses regularly. Bus routes on the Edgware Rd up to Edgware Road underground station have become a nightmare of traffic and angry passengers as the delays are daily, every day, all day and long. Some improvement in this bus route is urgent. Bus numbers 6, 414, 98, 16, 332 are all affected.”

Little Venice Action Report – March 2015

Warwick Avenue Station – Update

Following reports of begging outside the station, the police tell us they will “visit Warwick Ave tube when on late shift to deal with the beggar as begging is an offence so if found committing can be arrested or summonsed to court.”

Sutherland Avenue
Lampost

We have reported exposed wiring on a lamp post in Sutherland Avenue and hope that is repaired soon.

Little Venice Action Report – February 2015

Pindock Mews

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“We have a few problems here in Pindock Mews. Sometime ago you helped in getting the worn away yellow lines in the Mews (Castellain Road entrance/exit) repainted promptly, thus stopping the illegal parking that was going on and which, in turn, prevented our getting in and out of the mews, made it impossible for the refuse or delivery trucks and would have obstructed any emergency vehicles trying to gain access to the mews. However, they have faded away once more and need to be re-done. Can you poke the department you poked before, please?”

The Council said that inspectors will go the area and issue repairs if they feel it is unacceptably faded. The process of repainting lines generally happens once every two years. Hopefully this should happen soon.

Little Venice Action Report – January 2015

Hall Place

There have been recurring issues in and around Hall Place over recent years, and Karen Buck MP has been in frequent contact with the local police, council, CityWest Homes and Westminster College in response to these. Here is the report on the action being taken:

Overview of ASB in the Area – There are historic issues with youth related anti-social behaviour in the Paddington Green area with issues centred around the City of Westminster College, Parsons House and John Aird Court.
Cuthbert House security/repairs – CityWest Homes have looked into the possibility of installing an intercom at Cuthbert House but this was found to be an unviable option. Due to the entrances being an open access design, so there is no communal entrance, foyer or entry door to put an intercom on.
Westminster College – Work with the College has also resulted in changes being made to staff protocols around incident handling and student guidance with regards to acceptable standards. College security conduct regular patrols of the estate and they have recently updated their Working Together Policy and made loitering on the estate by students a breach of their disciplinary process. In order to promote this policy CityWest are having signs put up around the estate over the next few weeks.
Waste, broken railings /Phone box – The local Westminster Warden has delivered education letters to residents in Hall Place and confirms that daily monitoring of the area is taking place. His findings to date are that the area is generally clean, however there have been a few occasions where he has found the Big Black Bins opposite Cuthbert House to be overflowing. These issues were raised to Veolia and cleaned up at the time. An inspection of the phone box on Edgware Road was also completed to ensure that the repairs had been made, but no railings could be found outside of the motorbike shop.
Other actions taken to reduce ASB in the Paddington Green area – The Community Protection Team has obtained a 3 year ASBO against a problematic individual which prohibits them from entering the area. Early intervention plans for other individuals involved in ASB have been implemented and led to no further incidents related to them. Tutorials have also taken place at the College with Year One and Two students on anti-social behaviour and joint enterprise to highlight the impact that this has on themselves and the local community.

Warwick Avenue/Pindock Mews

We are continuing to press TfL to compensate residents in the Warwick Avenue/Pindock Mews area whose homes are being damaged by the diverted buses passing by. So far, TfL has refused to accept any liability, but as one resident told us:

“More or less every time a double decker bus passes up Warwick Avenue towards Sutherland Avenue there is a crunch/shudder in my house, with a door or two rattling. Interestingly during the low period of traffic between Christmas and New Year when buses have little other traffic on the road and can race from Formosa Street to Sutherland Avenue the shuddering got worse as they travelled over the relevant trigger point in the road even faster than usual. Do we have to put our own roadblock in the street to slow the buses down before TfL take this seriously? Imposing a 20mph limit on the double deckers for a 200 metre stretch really does not seem a lot to ask even if these people at TfL are too lazy to come and monitor the vibrations as we have been asking for months.”

Elizabeth Virgo honoured in New Year’s List

Little Venice resident Elizabeth Virgo received a British Empire Medal in this year’s New Year’s Honours list. This is in recognition of her years of (continuing) service in such roles as Westminster Safer Neighbourhood Panels, Paddington Waterways Maida Vale Society and as an ‘Appropriate Adult’ support for vulnerable, mostly young, people in police stations. She is truly a local heroine.

Big Black Bin issues on Elgin Avenue

We have received the following report from the Council after we reported regular rubbish dumping in Elgin Avenue;

• Twice daily inspections carried out local wardens, and additional early morning checks by Veolia management
• A total of 200 letters delivered around Elgin Avenue
• Request in for additional resources to monitor these sites at the weekend and in the evening
• A number of bins at the Elgin Avenue junction with Morshead Road have been removed by the Recycling Team, as they belong to Westminster College, following complaints raised from residents.
• 15 Fixed Penalty Notices and 5 Warning Notices have been issued to individuals dumping rubbish at this location

Lanark Road

We have asked the Council to respond to this bulky household rubbish collection service issue:

“The Council says they can only do this on Mondays through their contractors Veolia. I paid Veolia for a collection of up to 5 bulky items initially to be collected yesterday. I called the company last week and asked them to postpone that to next Monday. They didn’t call to pick up the items yesterday so they must have received my voicemail. However, despite further messages to Veolia (and the council) no one has come back to me to confirm they will still be calling next Monday. To be honest they don’t seem either a very efficient or helpful company. That’s all I’m asking. Just a call from either Veolia or the council to verify they have scheduled a visit next Monday. These are very bulky items and I need them removed.”

Fleming Court

We have requested an update on the long-awaited entry-phone system at Fleming Court.

Fleming Court dumped
We have also reported a number of items of dumped furniture outside Fleming Court.

Sutherland Avenue/Warrington Crescent

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“There is concern from residents around the roundabout at the Sutherland Ave/Warrington Crescent axis. Communal bins have been moved from a convenient spot – away from residential buildings and by a patch of garden – onto the zig-zag lines leading to the pedestrian crossing outside St. Joseph’s School. Complaints have met with no response and no explanation give why the bins have been moved.”

The Council says;

“The bins were moved due to residents’ complaints, but however they have had many more complaints since they were moved therefore, they have now been returned to their original site.”

An accident a month on Elgin Avenue but Westminster Council rejects residents’ plea for 20mph speed limit

Westminster Conservatives have rejected residents’ plea for a 20mph speed limit on Elgin Avenue despite a petition from over 250 local residents and an accident record of 33 accidents over the 36 months from June 2011 to May 2014.

According to the Council’s records there were 33 accidents over the 36 months from June 2011 to May 2014.

• One of the accidents was a fatal personal injury accident
• 8 were serious personal injury accidents
• 24 accidents involved slight personal injuries

11 of the accidents occurred at the junction of Elgin Avenue with Shirland Road. The Council say that a road safety scheme will now be designed for this junction.

The police say that the average speed of traffic along Elgin Avenue is 31 mph and three of the accidents were speed related:

• One occurred at the junction of Elgin Avenue and Shirland Road and involved a vehicle turning right at speed on an amber light and colliding with a motorcycle
• The second was south west of the junction of Elgin Avenue and Shirland Road and involved a vehicle reversing at speed and colliding with a pedestrian crossing the road; and
• The third was at a junction of Elgin Avenue and Chantry Close and involved a vehicle travelling at speed and colliding with a vehicle waiting to turn right then colliding with a vehicle wanting to go ahead, which hit another vehicle that then hit another vehicle.
• The first two were serious injury accidents and the third was a slight personal injury accident.

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

“It is very disappointing that despite an accident rate of one a month, including one death, the Council refuses to introduce a 20mph speed limit on Elgin Avenue. At the very least, the Council should introduce a pilot scheme to see if we can reduce accidents on this busy residential road.”

Petition information – http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/ElginAvenue/

Little Venice Action Report – November 2014

Blomfield Road/Delamere Terrace

We have asked the Council for information on this issue:

“As a regular cyclist in the area, I wondered if there are there any plans to formalise cycle paths or establish cycle exemptions to go against the traffic along the one-way sections of Blomfield Road and Delamere Terrace? Just that given their importance in connecting the canal cycle path that ends by St Mary’s Church and restarts at Lisson Grove, and judging by their current use, these roads are already de facto cycle paths against traffic.”

Edgware Road street lights finally fixed after being broken for FOUR years

We have managed to get a row of street lights in Edgware Road fixed after they were left broken for four years!

A section of Edgware Road, a well populated residential area, was plunged in to darkness after a failure from Transport for London to repair the lights left residents concerned for their safety.

A local resident contacted Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg expressing concern over the lack of light in the Parsons House area of the street. With trees concealing the only working light, he stressed that the deep pavement had become very dangerous and difficult to cross over the last few years, especially in the winter months. Following the resident’s comments the Labour Group immediately got in touch with TfL and the lights have now finally been repaired.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said;

“It is staggering that the lights had taken so long to fix. It is unacceptable that residents were left without light for so many years with TfL and Conservative Little Venice ward councillors doing nothing about it. I am very glad that we have managed to get the lights fully working again and I hope this makes a positive difference to the lives of residents in the area.”

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.

LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION TEAM REPORT – September 2014

Randolph Avenue

We are making enquiries about this issue;

“Earlier this year a private car park was established, without permission, next to 32 Randolph Avenue (near the junction with Clifton Gardens). In response to residents’ complaints, the owner, Parking Eye, was forced to apply for planning permission which I presume was granted retrospectively. Now a corner of the car park next to the pavement is being used as a rubbish dump. Can something be done to prevent people from dumping rubbish there? Incidentally, the charges are much higher than local pre-paid parking. “

The Council has told us that;

“We recently granted consent at 28-30 Randolph Avenue for the following – Installation of parking ticket machine, communications box and replacement lighting pole with fixtures attached including lights and an automatic number plate recognition camera, including a reduction from 27 car spaces to 18 car spaces – The parking is long established and lawful. If they are using it as a dumping ground I will inspect the site and get it cleared up.”

LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION TEAM REPORT – August 2014

Warwick Avenue

We are making enquiries with TfL after receiving the following information;

“A crack has appeared in the wall of my house in Pindock Mews, which I am certain is caused by the buses that have been diverted down Warwick Avenue for the past year. There is one particular point in the road near the junction of Warwick Avenue/Pindock Mews which when a bus runs over it results in the house shaking (I think it might be connected to a drain or something that runs under Warwick Avenue and Pindock Mews). This is clearly damaging our property (and I am certain those of others too).”

LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION TEAM REPORT – June 2014

Harrow Road/Warwick Avenue

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“At the roundabout where Harrow Road meets Warwick Avenue, there is no ‘Give Way’ or roundabout sign telling drivers approaching the roundabout from Harrow Road (i.e. travelling East) that they need to give way to traffic on the roundabout. It is very common to be going round the roundabout and finding vehicles shooting onto it at speed from Harrow Road without stopping. This is a dangerous situation which could be easily addressed by putting up an appropriate sign, which frankly should already be there. I would be grateful if this could be looked into and dealt with.”

Warwick Avenue Tube Station weekly mobile recycling centre

From 28th June a trial mobile recycling centre will be held every Saturday at Warwick Avenue Tube Station from 11am-3pm.

This will allow residents to recycle materials that cannot be collected as part of their regular household recycling. Residents will be able to pick up free recycling bags, ask the Recycling Team their questions and recycle items including batteries, books, phone, small electrical appliances, textiles and more.

For more information please contact Kate Holmes: kholmes@westminster.gov.uk or 020 7641 5713.

Clifton Gardens/Randolph Crescent

We have reported this problem to the Council;

“One thing that is increasingly blighting the neighbourhood is the dumping of rubbish around Big Black Bins. Attached is a typical photo at the corner of Clifton Gardens and Randolph Crescent. I walk past these bins (as well as those at the corner of Warwick Avenue/Sutherland Avenue and Warwick Avenue/Formosa Street) early (0630) every morning and they are always like this. Sometimes I witness what look like builders’ / commercial vans dumping this stuff. I believe that this is illegal behaviour yet it is not obvious anything is being done to stop this from happening.

Clifton -Randolph

I also walk past a council mobile CCTV car monitoring parking in the bus stop in the parade of shops at Clifton Road – if this vehicle moved 150 yards down the road a couple of mornings a week and photographed the flytippers that would be a good start…”

LITTLE VENICE LABOUR ACTION TEAM REPORT – May 2014

Election leaflet

You can read about the Little Venice ward election candidates here Little Venice leaflet

Hall Tower problems reported to the Council

Hall Tower 3

The Labour Action Team was out and about in Hall Tower with Karen Buck MP and we have reported problems with rubbish dumping on the first floor and a broken door handle on the 13th floor

Hall Tower 2Hall Tower1

Action demanded on Little Venice health hazard

Hall Place rubbish

We were delivering election leaflets in Hall Place on Saturday afternoon and came across this horrible mess. Its a huge pile of rubbish, including food waste, and must be a health hazard, attracting vermin etc.

Its the back doors of shops on Edgware Road (about no 491) which are underneath homes on Hall Place (Nos 94 & 96) are immediately above.

We have asked Environmental Health and Refuse Collection to take the necessary action as a matter of urgency.

Campaign to keepopen Maida Vale branch of Nat West bank

Murad Qureshi, Labour member of the London Assembly, has written to Ross McEwan, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Bank Scotland, to protest at the planned closure of the Maida Vale branch of the Nat West Bank.

Murad Qureshi said;

Murad Qureshi

“As a long standing customer of Nat West Bank, I was both shocked and disappointed to learn of the proposed closure of the Maida Vale branch (508 Edgware Road, W2 1EN). Having spoken to several other customers and local residents, I am of the view that this will be an unpopular proposal opposed by many.

Can you please explain what the rationale behind this closure is given that recent marketing of your banking services emphasises the importance of “local” banking? Furthermore, is this trend likely to be repeated across London because my firm view is that like local pubs and post offices, the closure of a high street bank has a detrimental effect on the sustainability of a local community? I look forward to hearing from you.”

Renewed plea for action on the long-vacant West End Green site

Speaking at Westminster Council meeting on 30th April, Church Street Councillor Barbara Grahame made a renewed plea for action on the long-vacant West End Green site;

Edgware Road 1Edgware Road 3

“West End Green is the name of a temporary Car Park.

For those of you who don’t know it, it isn’t in the West End, it’s up the Edgware Road, past the flyover, behind the Paddington Green Police Station tower, and hidden behind a hoarding decorated with an elegant Georgian Terrace design.
It is 2.66 acres in size, and the site is said to be worth between £150 and £200 million, and it has been a temporary Car Park since 1989.

Of course it has been a Car Park far too long. 24 years. Yes it was caught up in a long and fractious Planning dispute and litigation. Residents complained bitterly, petitions were presented, asking why this land was not used for desparately needed housing. We proposed a CPO, but nothing was done.

But I’m raising this today because the site is for sale and there is at last real chance that it can be transformed into a landmark that residents and the council can be proud of. A landmark that would lift the whole area and be a catalyst for the changes that we in Church Street Ward and in Little Venice Ward have been working so hard for through our Futures Plans.

There is an extant Planning permission for the site, for a mixed development including a supermarket with underground parking, 156 flats for holiday lets, 307 residential flats of which 103 , that’s 35%, should be affordable housing and the 204 full market price units located in a 22 storey tower, plus contributions to health, education, public realm etc.

Of course there have been changes since that permission was agreed in 2005, so this may not be the scheme that is built out, but the principles are there, so I want a commitment:

– That this council will resist any attempt by developers to claim that the inclusion of on-site affordable social housing would make their scheme unviable. If they over-bid in the current bidding frenzy for this site, that’s their problem.

– A commitment that the affordable homes really will be affordable for local people whether for rent or shared ownership; local homes for local people must be a priority if we are to end the scandal of children living in over-crowded homes that are not compatible with a world class city.

I do have other wishes of course.

– That If developers include the Police Station in their scheme, which would make sense, that they retain a Police base that will need to serve the whole north of Westminster and keep it safe.

– That the contribution to education should be used to expand our excellent existing schools and college, not enable a land grab by a Free School that does not meet proven need

– That contribution to health enables local GPs to develop their facilities and meet the demands modern health provision

– Parking for Church Street Market traders

– That the development complements the Little Venice and Church Street Futures Plans by creating employment, perhaps an enterprise centre, a new home for the Cockpit Theatre,

Local people have waited a long time for this derelict site to provide something useful. This time we need to get it right.”

Petition calls for action to improve road safety at Sutherland/Randolph Avenues junction

Sutherland

We have started an on line petition calling on Westminster Council to improve road safety at the junction of Sutherland Avenue and Randolph Avenue outside St Joseph’s School

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

The petition reads:

“We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to take action to improve road safety at the junction of Sutherland Avenue and Randolph Avenue outside St Joseph’s School”

Residents say;

“Cars are not stopping on the pedestrian crossing (this happens all the time). Cars are driving too fast and not stopping also when you cross from the Warrington pub to St Joseph’s School. You definitely take your life in your own hands when you cross in that area.”

Little Venice Action Report – April 2014

Lanark Road

We have drawn this problem to the attention of the police;

“There have also recently been a spate of burglaries at homes on Lanark Road too (flats 160-180). Might be an indication of a marked increase in crime in Maida Vale generally? So if there is a mobile police unit, they need to patrol the whole of the area, not just the posh bits.”

Parsons House

We are investigating this problem with City West Homes and the Council;

“I have a disabled mum who is wheelchair bound and lives in Parsons House and each time we take her out the Paving surrounding the house as well as the Edgware Road is terrible!!!!! We have discussed the issue with the City West Homes Estate Office in Hall Road on several occasions but no joy. Furthermore, there are not enough dropped Curbs for the wheelchairs to be able to cross so this means that each time the cares need to turn the wheelchairs in order to go on the pavements. This action not only it puts a great strain on the carers to manoeuvre the wheelchair, also the disabled whom are on the wheelchair feel a great pain and stress. Not to mention the continuous damages that makes to the wheelchairs.”

Sutherland Avenue/Randolph Avenue road safety plea

Sutherland

We have called for measures to improve road safety in the Maida Vale and Little Venice area after receiving the following distressing message from a local resident;

“I just wanted to let you know that we have had 2 serious accidents on the corner of Randolph Avenue and Sutherland Avenue (crossing from the Warrington pub to St Josephs School). On 2 April in the morning there was an accident involving 2 cars (police and ambulance were there). And today 840am, 3rd April there was a 10 year boy cyclist was involved in an accident (ambulance and police were there again). Very distressing for all the neighbours. Cars are not stopping on both the pedestrian crossing (this happens all the time). Cars are driving too fast and not stopping also when you cross from the Warrington pub to St Joseph’s School. You definitely take your life in your own hands when you cross in that area. I know, I’ve been living in the neighbourhood for 8 years.”

Last month, We started an on-line petition calling for a 20mph speed limit in Elgin Avenue which has so far attracted over 200 signatures http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/ElginAvenue/

twentys-plenty-lr

Little Venice Labour Action Report – March 2014

Lanark Road

We have drawn this problem to the attention of the police;

“There have also recently been a spate of burglaries at homes on Lanark Road too (flats 160-180). Might be an indication of a marked increase in crime in Maida Vale generally? So if there is a mobile police unit, they need to patrol the whole of the area, not just the posh bits.”

Parsons House

We are investigating this problem with City West Homes and the Council;

“I have a disabled mum who is wheelchair bound and lives in Parsons House and each time we take her out the Paving surrounding the house as well as the Edgware Road is terrible!!!!! We have discussed the issue with the City West Homes Estate Office in Hall Road on several occasions but no joy. Furthermore, there are not enough dropped Curbs for the wheelchairs to be able to cross so this means that each time the cares need to turn the wheelchairs in order to go on the pavements. This action not only it puts a great strain on the carers to manoeuvre the wheelchair, also the disabled whom are on the wheelchair feel a great pain and stress. Not to mention the continuous damages that makes to the wheelchairs.”

‘Use it or lose it’ planning powers could bring long-vacant Edgware Road site back in to use

Edgware Road 1Edgware Road 3

Labour Westminster Councillors say that the long-vacant ‘West End Green’ site on the corner of Edgware Road and Church Street which has planning permission for a new supermarket and hundreds of new homes should be a priority target for Ed Miliband’s new ‘use it or lose it’ planning regime following the the General Election next year.

The new ‘use it or lose it’ planning policy would strengthen the ability of councils to compulsorily purchase land with planning permission which has not been developed.

Labour say that this prime site at 291-325 Edgware Road has been vacant for over 20 years despite having planning permission for new homes and a supermarket for many years. At the same time Westminster’s housing crisis is getting worse, day after day;

• There are over 1,000 local families living in overcrowded conditions
• According to Government figures, 828 new homes were given planning permission in Westminster in 2012/13 of which only 82 were affordable homes
• In Westminster, average weekly rents are 71% of local wages, £524 out of £737, according to the ‘Evening Standard
• Westminster Council has spent £111m on putting homeless families in hotels and B&B since 2010
• It will take over 5 years for Westminster Council to re-house the near 400 tenants affected by the Bedroom Tax in smaller flats, according to the Council’s own figures.

Councillor Barbara Grahame, Labour’s Planning Spokesperson, said;

“Labour’s new ‘use it or lose it’ planning policy will get long-vacant sites like this developed for much needed homes for people wanting to buy and rent, as well as delivering more social housing. Westminster Council has failed for decades to get this site developed and the owners have been content to do nothing and watch the value of their land increase. This sort of neglect is not in the public interest and Labour’s proposed new ‘use it or lose it’ policy will finally get vacant land with planning permission back in to use”.

Security Update

Karen Buck MP has written the following letter to residents in Maida Vale and Little Venice;

“Dear Resident,

I am concerned by a number of reports in the local area of a recent increase in both commercial and residential burglary, including a number of thefts of buggies and other items from the communal areas within blocks of flats.

The local police teams have been increasing patrols but I am very aware of the fact that this is probably not enough to increase their visibility sufficiently to provide reassurance – and this may have been true even before the reduction in size of our ward-based Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

I have, therefore, asked Westminster police to consider bringing in the mobile police station, to demonstrate an increased local police presence. I very much hope that this will be agreed soon.

Police are, additionally, advising people not to leave items, especially valuable items, in communal areas.

Here are some of the key points from my recent correspondence with police about these problems:

– The police are conducting targeted crime prevention patrols to the most burgled streets across the North Wards and this includes actively looking for open and vulnerable premises and highlighting them to the respective owners and landlords. For persistent premises we also have refer them to environmental health to take enforcement action around their communal security

– The police recently started ‘Super Cocooning’ Non Residential Burglaries. ‘Super Cocooning’ is an enhanced form of crime prevention combined with witness enquiries carried out after a premises has been the victim of a burglary. Door to door enquiries are carried out not only to establish if witnesses can be traced but also to alert other residents/business owners that a burglary has taken place.

-Ttargeted patrols have been carried out around affected Wards over the last two weeks in addition to increased crime prevention visits including target hardening visits in conjunction with the local crime reduction officers.

For your information: The Maida Vale Safer Neighbourhood Police Team Number is : 07920 233 950

Always dial 999 in an emergency, but use the 101 number to report crimes and other concerns that do not require an emergency response.

I hope that this is helpful.

Yours sincerely

Karen Buck MP”

Little Venice and Maida Vale security concerns

Warwick AvenuewstationMV station

There have been a number of mobile phone thefts and retail premises burglaries recently and we have suggested the following;

• The installation of signs at and near Warwick Avenue and Maida Vale tube stations suggesting that people don’t pull their phones out as they leave the stations
• The introduction of a system whereby local businesses are informed when there have been local crimes. Lauderdale Parade has experienced three shop break-ins in the quite recent past, but other shops weren’t warned of this.

Working together, in partnership with the police, we can reduce crime locally.

New Doctors’ Surgeries

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

North West London Medical Centre
56 Maida Vale, London, W9 1PP
Tel: 020 7624 4433
Open 8am to 4pm

Third Floor Lanark Medical Centre
3rd Floor, 165 Lanark Rd
London, W9 1NZ
Tel: 020 7624 8616
Open 10am to 6pm

You are able to walk in or book a same day appointment at these practices. 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.

LITTLE VENICE WARD ACTION REPORT – SEPTEMBER 2013

Pindock Mews

We asked the Council to investigate this issue;

“Please can you get the council to do something about the yellow road markings that have worn away at the end of the mews (at the Castellain Road entrance end). I asked the council almost a year ago to do something about this. Two months ago workers arrived to re-paint the resident bays but they informed me it was another group responsible for painting the yellow lines. As a result of not having any road markings in place that end of the mews is a free for all for free parking. The already constricted entrance is filled with non-resident cars, trade vans etc. As a result it makes coming into the mews and exiting the mews very difficult indeed. Cars have been damaged by the bollard on the corner as they have tried to squeeze past the parked cars. Refuse trucks and delivery vans can’t get through the restricted space and if an emergency vehicle tried to enter the mews they wouldn’t be able to gain entry. I have called the council on several occasions and still nothing has been done about it. Can you help please?”

The Council told us;

“I attended site this afternoon and the single Yellow lines in question have gone completely, and in general they are quite faded, so I have placed an order on Confirm to repaint them (20 meters on each side).”

A happy resident commented;

“Fab news! I was cursing this very morning as I tried squeezing my car past all the non resi cars. You are a star! Though quite why those council Johnnies didn’t action it before now (despite my numerous calls) is a mystery!”

Lanark Road

We have called on the Council to deal with this issue:

“I am having problems in Lanark Road with street drinking. Between my block of flats and the next there is a Westminster car park with allocated spaces. There are some bushes and it is partially hidden from the street. On odd occasions one or more adult males are congregating there and consuming alcohol from bottles. I have seen them there at various times from 6pm – midnight. They always leave the area strewn with their empty beer bottles and other assorted rubbish dumped on the ground or in the bushes. It doesn’t happen every night but it is increasing in frequency. On occasions I have called the police and they have responded reasonably quickly and moved the persons on. They also suggested I notify the council. I did this this morning and was told it is a matter for the police, not for the council. I am contacting you in the hope you may be able to either get the council or the police or both to make a more determined effort to stop these street drinkers. Rather than me or neighbours contacting police perhaps patrols could keep a more vigilant look out as they pass by.”

We have had the following feedback from residents;

“Thank you for taking up the issues mentioned in my recent email and for including it in your last newsletter. I have not witnessed anymore drinkers or empty beer bottles in the undergrowth where they are usually deposited however this morning I saw someone has left a lighter and a syringe on a wall in the car park.”

Elgin Avenue, City of Westminster College

A resident asked us;

“I live on Elgin Avenue and I had a query regarding the college building on Elgin Avenue by Wymering Road. I have noticed people living there – are they squatters? Do you also know what the plans are for the building as it doesn’t look particularly well kept?”

The College has told us;

“The College’s plan to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the building and then reopen the campus as the primary satellite to the new main campus at Paddington Green has been on hold for some time pending the sale of the College’s site at Cosway Street, NW1, which is to provide the necessary finance for the associated works. With the completion of the sale of the Cosway Street site to Westminster City Council earlier this year, the finance is now in place. Subject to the outcome of a final review of available options, the way is clear to take forward the refurbishment of the Maida Vale site, with a view to reopening the campus to students in September 2014. In the meantime, following the eviction of squatters last summer, the College has installed a number of ‘live-in caretakers’ to ensure no further damage to the building until such time as the refurbishment works are ready to start.
One or two local residents have recently expressed concern about the overall state of the site and action has been taken in conjunction with the agency responsible for the live-in caretakers to address this. Consideration is also being given to removing some of the steel security plates currently fixed over ground floor windows and doors, in order to improve the appearance of the building while the final go ahead for the refurbishment work is awaited.”

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