St John’s Wood


News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Grove End Road

We have asked the Council to contact Thames Water about this issue:

“I am writing to you as a concerned and angry resident of Grove End House. We have had a leakage of fresh water from a Thames Water access point on the pavement for nearly 3 weeks now.  We reported it to Thames Water and they have visited the site twice but have not stopped all this fresh water running into the street and joining the other pooled water as mentioned in your newsletter.

I resent paying such high water rates for it to be wasted by the only fresh water supplier in the area. We have reported the pooling of water at the crossroads repeatedly but to no avail.  It has now caused damage to the curbstones. Any help would be appreciated in stopping this fresh water going to waste.”

The Council say:

“This leak has been attended by Thames Water and the leak has been found to be coming from the shared private pipes of Grove End House. Technically this is a private matter that should be dealt with by the managing agents/freeholder for the block. However, Thames Water are doing the work and I am not sure if they are recharging the freeholder or doing this as a good faith piece of work. Thames Water say they will be in attendance to complete this by 15thSeptember but if this hasn’t happened then residents should call Thames Water after that date to pursue.” 

Allitsen Road

We have asked the street cleaning team to deal with this issue:

“Can anything be done out the pavement in Allitsen Road outside the Ivy Cafe and particularly the Chicken shop. The pavement is disgusting.”

St John’s Wood Terrace

We have asked the Council to take action against those dumping rubbish by the bins in St John’s Wood Terrace.

We also asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The entrance to Robinsfield Infant’s School in St John’s Wood Terrace, is very busy with parents/carers going in and out. There is no litter bin outside school and every day litter accumulates, mostly sandwich/crisps packets, water bottles etc.Could Westminster supply a bin outside school on the street?Immediately opposite school there is a Westminster bin, outside a pub/restaurant and it is hardly used. Perhaps that bin could be moved to outside school to the pavement that most people walk along to and from school/St John’s Wood? Just an idea, as the pavements this end of the Terrace are always full of litter.”

The Council say:

“I suspect the bin was installed here due to the parking restrictions in terms of the cage vehicle pulling up but we can shift the bin across to outside the school and see how it goes.

Residents said: 

“Amazing, a bin appeared yesterday outside school and I think it will help keep litter down on this end of the terrace. Not only for school kids/parents but most people tend to walk up and down the pavement this side of street to avoid crossing road where it meets Charlbert Street. It is a tricky corner to negotiate crossing and will get a lot worse when so called Post Office is re-located in Charlbert Street and Royal Mail vans collect and deliver post/parcels to and from the Post Office regularly.”

Reynolds House, Wellington Road 

We have asked the Council totake action against those dumping rubbish by the bins at Reynolds House 

City West Homes – The Future 

We are delighted that Westminster Council has finally listened to the long-standing concerns of local residents and Labour councillors by taking the much needed decision to take control of Westminster’s Housing Services back in house and closing its arms-length management organisation CityWest Homes.

For several years, but particularly since summer 2017, we have been sounding the alarm about the performance of CityWest Homes, highlighting many ‘nightmare’ stories of poor performance and raising deep concerns about its service and culture, including most recently in a July 2018 Council Motion calling for CWH to be scrapped.

There is, however, much still to do in order to improve the services residents receive but this is a welcome step forward.

The case for a Tourist Tax

We have estimated that introducing a small Tourist Tax on hotel bedroom occupancy could raise over £25 million a year and help to pay for the costs of keeping the city attractive and providing the everyday public service which visitors expect to see.

A Tourist Tax would help to pay for the cost of providing facilities which tourists enjoy – keeping the environment clean and tidy, maintaining parks, street lights and open spaces, public toilets, policing and emergency services, as well as cracking down on illegal short-lets.

In Westminster, the state of public toilets is appalling with many toilets in the West End and other parts of the city closed or poorly maintained by the private operator. The estimated £2 million a year cost of running Westminster’s public toilets to a high standard could be paid for via a Tourist Tax.

In addition, some of the revenue could also be spent on policing short term lettings to ensure that unauthorised short term letting is stopped. Currently, there are real problems across Westminster with unscrupulous landlords ‘turning homes in to hotel rooms’ because of the increased revenue they can generate.

What do you think of the idea of a Tourist Tax?

St John’s Wood Post Office – what you say 

“There was an excellent turnout to the consultations that Post Office management held at the St John’s Wood church hall on Thursday 30th August. Not a single person was in favour of the dreadful plan to re-locate the Post Office from the busy hub at corner of Circus and Wellington Road to a little grocery store tucked away on mainly residential Charlbert Street. It just doesn’t make sense at all and the aim to move it there in November this year would cause huge upheaval to the Christmas rush.” 

“I am strongly against the closure of the post office as it will affect my business badly. “ 

What you say 

“Thanks again. Keep up the good work.”

“Thanks for this report. Best wishes and thanks for all the good work”

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


Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team





News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

St John’s Wood Post Office

The Post Office are proposing to move St John’s Wood Post Office to a nearby retail store which will be known as SW Food Store but is currently St Johns Wood Food Store at 41-45 Charlbert Street, London, NW8 6JN. You can see the full details here:—proposal-letter-1.pdf

You can give your comments on the proposals, by 19th September, by writing to

We organized a petition to keep the Post Office open which attracted over 450 signatures – please add your name

St John’s Wood Road/Grove End Road

We have asked the Highways Team to investigate the issue of repeated flooding at the junction of St John’s Wood Road and Grove End Road.

Grove End Road

We have asked the local City Inspector to investigate regular rubbish dumping along Grove End Road.

Henstridge Place

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“I have noticed our neighbours are dumping their rubbish daily by the entrance of their drive and is building up.  They are not using bins other than one that is on view and constantly overflowing.  They have no bins for recycling and when they have a party it is unbearable.  I believe it will encourage pests and rodents especially in this hot weather and am sure this is not allowed.  Could somebody from the council drop a note to tell them to keep their rubbish away from the main road and in a safe hygienic area. “ 

The Local Inspector says:

“I visited the property yesterday and spoke to the new tenant. According to him, the waste was left exposed in the property by the old tenant who just moved out. I gave him an educational letter explaining the right procedures to dispose his waste and he agreed to comply with it. Although the waste is located in private property, I have asked Veolia to kindly remove it this time.”

St John’s Wood Terrace

We have asked the Planning Department for an update on this issue:

“Do you know anything about what is happening at Chesterfield House, 76 St John’s Wood Terrace, purpose-built Almshouses for older residents. It used to be the St Martin in the Field’s Almshouses but a few years back we heard that it was going to be knocked down and re-built as part flats for elderly folk/part flats for key workers. Dates have been set for demolishing the current building but seem to change regularly and it could be a concern to elderly residents still living there and near neighbours not having firm plans.”

The Planning Department says:

“Permission was granted on 30.1.2017 to redevelop the almshouses to create 44 affordable units for the charity. When permission was recently granted for 1-18 York Terrace East –the developer agreed to pay to construct these 44 units as their off site affordable housing contribution and this is secured via a legal agreement”

Townshend Estate 

We have City West Homes to take action to stop the sheds on the Townshend Estate being used by rough sleepers.

Fettes House

We have asked City West Homes to remove a stolen cart which has been dumped in the Fettes House car park.

Plastic-free Westminster

We have called on the Council to promote a ‘plastic-free city’ by encouraging supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, bars and shops to:

  • use more easily-recycled containers
  • offer paper bags to package fruit and vegetable
  • promote ‘packaging-free shops’ which allow customers to bring their own containers, keeping waste to an absolute minimum.
  • use paper drinking straws in cafes, restaurants and bars
  • be part of a water bottle refill scheme
  • locate Recycling Points in the entrance of stores for old plastic bags and film
  • boost recycling and cut waste by encouraging shops, restaurants, cafes to introduce a deposit when customers buy drinks bottles and cans
  • encourage residents, visitors and office workers to carry reusable coffee cups and bottles

We say the Council should also give a lead by installing new drinking fountains in parks, squares, shopping areas and near transport hubs across Westminster to enable people to fill up water containers/bottles. In addition, the Council should:

  • work with the Canal & River Trust and Port of London Authority to ensure waterways and surrounding areas are clear of plastic and other debris, through regular clean-ups of these areas to stop plastic getting into the Thames
  • call on the Royal Parks to ensure all events there (Concerts, Winter Wonderland etc) are plastic-free in terms of takeaway containers
  • support a local social enterprise to make and sell products encouraging people to reduce plastic use – reusable cups, paper straws, reusable shopping bags

23 more City West Homes ‘Horror Stories

We thought (and hoped) City West Homes had, at last, turned the corner and was heading for an improved service. How wrong we were! City West Homes’ performance continues to create new horror stories for tenants and leaseholders.

So, we have compiled 23 more ‘Horror Stories’ as told to Labour Councillors by City West Homes tenants and leaseholders. Thankfully, after reporting them to CWH, many of these long-standing issues have now been sorted. But some are still outstanding even though they were reported to CWH many months (and sometimes longer) ago. Westminster City Council is currently conducting a Review of City West Homes’ performance to which Labour Councillors are contributing.

We hope that this latest batch of ‘Horror Stories’ gives the Review Team further examples of what has gone wrong so that tenants and residents no longer have to endure the appalling level service that is currently on offer from City West Homes. You can read them here

Watch out for fake British Gas refund emails

We’ve had an increase in reports about fake British Gas emails claiming to offer refunds. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking British Gas phishing websites that are designed to steal the usernames and passwords for British Gas accounts. Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

St John’s Wood Post Office – what you say

“I am devastated for all of us. We love our Royal Mail P.O and the excellent staff, all of whom have been there for years and years and will be made redundant. We have until 19th September to give our views about it and I hope that councillors will take it up on our behalf and see if we can save it moving and another nail in the coffin of Royal Mail towards complete privatization!”

Review of the Planning system in Westminster – what you say

“There is a more than lurking feeling in Westminster that the Planning Department needs sanitising. Local residents are concerned that their views are not being heard over the chorus of powerful developers bent on profit rather than local benefit. Above all there must be machinery for local residents to be heard at planning meetings.”

What you say

“Keep up the excellent work you are doing.

“As always a very interesting and informative e mail” 

“Thanks for info, always interesting and thanks for quick response to litter in my street, cleared in 2 hours!!”

“Many thanks as ever a good report with requests for action reported.”

“Thank you so much for dealing with this matter so quickly “

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team




News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

City West Homes

Are you a City West Homes resident? Fill in our survey about CWH services and how they can be improved.

Westminster Council has finally agreed to review City West Homes following months of complaints from residents and pressure from Labour Councillors…/citywest-homes-r…/

Unfortunately, the Council intend to consult just a few tenants and leaseholders. We believe all CWH residents should have the chance to tell the Council what they think. Complete the survey by 2 September and we’ll forward your views to the Council.

Clifton Road/Maida Vale

We have asked the Council to fix a broken traffic light at the corner of Clifton Road/Maida Vale  

Hamilton Close

We have again asked the Council to do a proper repair to the cobbles in Hamilton Close. 

St John’s Wood Terrace 

We have asked the street cleaning team to investigate this issue: 

“There is some unsightly rubbish left outside the old church at 87 St John’s Wood Terrace. It has been there for about 10 days and does need removing. The whole street is looking messy, we used to have a very nice street cleaner who cleaned the lower end of the terrace – towards Townsend Road – very efficiently, but I have not seen him for months now!” 

The Council say:

“The area was visited and waste removed. Area was inspected with Veolia street cleansing manager and street cleansing looked at in the locality, with various requests put in for remedial works.”

Abercorn Place 

We have asked the Council if anything can be done about this issue: 

“There is a black plum tree in the forecourt of Abercorn Place School. The plums fall at this time the school is closed now so the children and teachers are perhaps unaware of the mess these plums make and how people passing by tread on them and then walk the stains into our property which is nearby. I suppose since this tree is on private land Westminster will not do anything unless requested by the school?” 

The Council say:

“The local City Inspector has been asked to talk to the school about their tree and if there’s any chance that it can be cut back away from the public highway. However, as it’s on private land, I understand that there’s no route for enforcement if they don’t agree to help.

In the meantime, I’ve alerted the local street cleansing depot to the location of this plum tree so that they ensure the pavement remains well swept throughout the summer. Also, if there is a proliferation of squashed plums on the pavement at any time, the resident is welcome to report it to us on the council website, and we will get the area washed down.”

Marlborough Place 

We have asked the Tree Officer if this issue can be investigated: 

“Next to the 189/139 bus stop called Marlborough Place heading towards Lords there is a very overgrown bush spilling out onto the pavement I helped an elderly lady make her way round it as she was a bit anxious.  The bush is on private land but is spilling out onto public highway and because it is by the bus stop where people queue” 

The Tree Officer says:

The standard procedure is to write to the owner /occupier bring the matter to their attention. If this doesn’t elicit the desired response a Section 154 notice is served which give the council powers to undertake any work necessary to remove the obstruction form the highway and recover from the owner any costs incurred. But given the circumstances It seems unlikely that we get any response and in view of the minor amount of work required I’ll just get our contractor to deal with it.” 

Wellington Road estate – parking update

After many months’ campaigning from residents, we have received the following update from City West Homes about parking control on the estate: 

“I am writing to confirm that funding has been approved for a barrier gate at Elgood and Boyton House and that I have written to our contractors today asking they now progress this work. Once I receive a time frame I will get back to you.” 

St John’s Wood Barracks – update 

Following enquiries from residents, we asked the Planning Department for an update on the redevelopment plans. The Planners say: 

“I understand that the developers anticipate making a start on site in 2019. It is taking a rather long time but they have done enough works on site to keep the permission alive”

Former St John’s Wood Police Station – update

A number of residents have asked about the former police station. The Planning Department say: 

“The owners have a 3-year permission granted by the Planning Inspectorate to convert and extend this former Police station into flats. The applicant has been applying to discharge the planning conditions attached to the appeal decision dated 20 June 2017. 

We have a current approval of details application 18/03200/ADFULL which seeks to discharge a number of conditions 3b,3f,3g,3h,6,7, 9  and 12 which relate to details of landscaping; redesign of entrance doors; redesign of the railings; railings around the access balconies; redesigned entrance to Greenberry Street to retain the gate piers and redesign gate; samples of all external materials, including glazing and rainwater goods; details and samples of all new joinery (including windows and doors); sample panels of new facing brickwork; scheme of hard and soft landscaping.”


We have asked City West Homes to investigate this issue: 

“Can I ask you to press Westminster Council to deal with the increasing issues of seagull nesting, circling and dive bombing over houses in Clifton Hill and Springfield Road. These creatures circle constantly, are vicious and the numbers are growing; even aside from the noise and the property damage it’s a risk leaving children outside with food. They appear to have nests near Boundary Road estate but Westminster council refuses to look into it unless you are a council tenant despite it being a public health issue.”

Early morning and late night delivery vans 

We are continuing to press the Council to take action against early morning and late night food delivery van operators. Residents say: 

“The men start as early as 6am and finish as late as 11pm.  I spoke to one of them and they agreed with me but said these are the times that some people want.  The noise of the crates being dumped on the ground doors slamming not to mention someone coming into our property and trudging up the stairs and damaging the front door by using the crates against the door to hold it open.”

Review of the Planning System in Westminster

We have urged the Council to seek the views of residents as part of the Review of the Planning system in Westminster being undertaken by the National Planning Advisory Service (NPAS).

The review of Westminster Council’s planning system comes after Councillor Robert Davis stepped down as Cabinet Member for Planning earlier this year

So far, the Council say that the NPAS will be consulting with Councillors and a variety of stakeholders but “will not be undertaking a full public consultation as part of the review”.

We believe this is not good enough and we are encouraging residents to write to us with their views on how the planning system currently operates in Westminster and what changes are needed to better serve residents.

We have called for major changes to the current system

Please let us know your thoughts so we can pass them on to the Review team.


The Mayor of London has criticised Westminster City Council for “dragging its feet” in reinstalling previously removed CCTV cameras. Fixed CCTV cameras in central London were axed to save £2.7 million in 2016. Only 14 cameras are currently active, compared to the 75 which were operational in 2016. The council said it was working with police to find an alternative solution, but Sadiq Khan said a decision was “taking too long”.

What you say

“Many thanks and also for all the updates you send me.”

“As usual very informative.” 

“Thanks for your excellent newsletters” 

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team






News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

St John’s Wood Terrace

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The bins at the end of St Johns Wood Terrace where it adjoins Townsend Road outside of the Townsend Estate are an absolute disgrace and I would like you to notify any relevant body of our disgust at the carnage that is being dumped outside our wonderful estate, how often is it cleared and cleaned would be of help.” 

The Council say: 

“I have asked the local City Inspector to monitor as a matter of priority and take enforcement action as required against anybody found to be fly-tipping.  I would also encourage residents to report dumping incidents to the council via the website as this will ensure the fastest response and also help us to adjust collection schedules to match changing usage patterns.” 

Wellington Place/Wellington Road

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“Could we ask you very kindly to look into a problem with the recycling station on the corner of Wellington Place and Wellington Road (opposite Knight Frank’s office)?  A few of the recycling bins are a little distance from the rest, and the gap has becoming a permanent dumping ground for domestic waste and low-level fly-tipping. The bin men do clear it, but not regularly, and I saw a rat among the dumped bags the other day. Also a fox appears to have torn some open recently. 

The problem can perhaps be modified by moving the separated bins up against the others and posting ‘This is a recycling station, not a site for dumping domestic rubbish’ signs with threats of fines.”

The Council say:

“The recycling bins at Wellington Place are placed within the fixed metal corralsThe bins referred to in your email are sweeper sack bins which are used to aggregate local street sweepers waste. I have tasked officers to look at the possibility of having a permanent corral installed for these sweeper bins to keep them in place. I have also asked the City Inspector to carry out additional visits to Wellington Place and to take educational and enforcement action as required.”

Wellington Road estate

We have asked City West Homes about this long-standing issue: 

“I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with my questions around the parking on the Wellington Road Estate, despite asking for clarifications for around a year now. The standard response is that the cost of putting up a barrier is being investigated… 

In fairness, on one specific occasion, a car which I reported as parking for weeks at a time, resulted in a DVLA check by CityWest, and a resulting letter being sent to the registered owner. Unfortunately, this car is now parking in our courtyard again…

Overall, I feel that, given we are paying for the right to park here, we should be able to do so. Currently, anyone who wants to shop in St. John’s Wood, watch a cricket match, or simply can’t find street parking, picks the easy alternative to park in our parking area. It’s free, and no-one is there to stop them. I am finding it increasingly difficult to understand why, given we pay, there is such reluctance to monitor the area at least a good few times a week, and to make it clear that unauthorised parking will not be tolerated. “ 

Cochrane Street 

We have asked the Council to take action against those responsible for dumping rubbish by the recycling bins on Cochrane Street outside Fettes and Reynolds Houses.

Blenheim Terrace

There are now three vacant shop units in Blenheim Terrace and we have asked the Council to look in to ways in which businesses can be encouraged to occupy the vacant shops, including allowing change of use to other business uses.

Lodge Road 

We have asked the Council to look in to this issue:

“A 20mph limit is urgently needed in Lodge Road which the cars speed along at 50mph+ and which has long since been an issue with residents in the social housing at the Lisson Grove end of Lodge Road.” 

Lodge Road/Oak Tree Road

We have again asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“As you are aware Lodge Road has diversions and we have to use Oak Tree Road to get onto St John’s Wood Road. People park on the pavements with double yellow lines. Where are the parking wardens? Why is no one giving out fines when this is regular occurrence. It is near impossible to access Oak Tree Road due to people parking on the pavements during controlled hours.”

St John’s Wood High Street/Terrace

We have again asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“I live in Eagle House, a block of ten flats on the corner of St John’s Wood High Street and St John’s Wood Terrace. Very near to our building there is a Tesco Express branch. The loading bay at the back of the branch is no longer in use, hence delivery trucks now park in front of the Tesco branch but also in St Johns Wood High Street. The multiple deliveries occur 24/7 with most taking place late at night. The transport of products from track to branch in large metal trolleys result in too much noise and wake us up for years now. Notably, massive delivery trucks passing through during the nighttime also make the shaking of the building more noticeable and increasingly worrying. “ 

The Parking Team say:

“This area is already on Service Enhancement due to deliveries at Starbucks and Pret a Manger, we will also add Tesco’s to this list for our marshals to look out for their vehicles and visit the store to speak with the manager regarding delivery times.”

Woronzo Road 

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

“In the last few weeks a tree blew down in WoronzowRoad close to the junction with Queens Grove – please confirm it will bereplaced because a few years ago another tree in the same section ofWoronzow Road between Queens Grove and Norfolk Road similarly blew down and has never been replaced.”

St John’s Wood Road 

We have asked the Council to investigate the recycling bins near Wharncliffe Gardens. Residents say: 

The problem is these bins are for recycling and yet they are stuffed to the gunnels with household waste by people who haven’t bothered to work out where their communal rubbish bins are stored, or who, as is more likely the case, can’t be bothered to walk to where they are. What rubbish can’t be crammed in just sits around the base of the bins and obviously attracts the rats. 

But these recycling bins are only emptied ONCE a week (which in itself seems at odds for a large estate teaming with people) but of course if they are full of rotting and stinking perishable rubbish with further bags piled all around and it’s only cleared once a week, then clearly there is going to be a problem with vermin. “

Acaia Road/Ordnance Hill

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

“The crossroad where Acacia Road meets Ordnance Hill remains dangerous to local residents, in particular the elderly and the many children going to the local schools. Every day there are a number of close calls in this confusing and busy spot.  The plans for cycling quietway 3 included much needed traffic light pedestrian crossings in this spot. Considering the huge barracks development is about to go ahead with additional heavy traffic into the area, could you kindly enquiry on progress on quietway 3. Or if the quietway is no longer happening put this issue in front of local powers?”

Norfolk Road

We have asked the Refuse Team to investigate this issue: 

“We all know the phrase “be careful what you wish for”, well I was one of the many that wished for more street bins in Norfolk Road to try and stop dog owners, of which I am one, leaving small doggy bags around trees, lampposts etc, and eventually somebody listened and we now have a few more litter bins. However, instead of small poo bags we now have large green bags clogging up our pavements. It is not unusual for these bags to be attacked by the foxes and leave garbage scattered all over the street for days at a time – please look into this matter.”

 The Refuse Team say:

“The green sacks contain litter and detritus swept up by the local street sweeper. Sweepers cannot carry all of the litter they collect on their trolleys so have a series of drop off sites where the bags are then collected by a vehicle for removal out of Westminster. There are similar ‘drop off’ points along all street sweeper routes and we do endeavour to clear these as quickly as possible. It is very uncommon for foxes to be attracted to sacks of street sweepings as they generally don’t contain any food waste.” 

Abercorn Place

The ‘Ham & High’ reports:

Workers have reportedly been living on a construction site in Abercorn Estate in St John’s Wood. Maida Vale local Murad Qureshi said that he saw mattresses and clothing on the building site. He contacted construction union Unite to alert them. Unite regional officer Paul Lomax wrote to Westminster City Council with his findings. Cllr Geoff Barraclough, Labour councillor for Maida Vale, said: “These reports are very worrying if true. Construction workers do a critical job in London and don’t deserve to be exploited by penny-pinching developers.”

Hill Road

We are making enquiries with the Council about early morning and late night food deliveries. Residents say:

“My concern is that with the slamming of doors and the scrapping of plastic containers over their metal floors followed by the emptying of their metal trolleys followed by more banging of doors and revving of engines it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a decent 8 hours of sleep.” 

Empty property

We have asked the Planning Department for an update on this issue:

“I would draw your attention to the fact that the house mentioned many times in Marlborough Place is still empty and derelict. It has been that way now for over five years with no works being carried out. I believe there was an enforcement notice but it had no effect.The one on Loudon Road appears occupied by someone but no work has progressed and it has been a building site for four years plus with ugly hoardings outside. This is not commensurate with a Conservation Area.” 

A few days later, a resident wrote: 

“Like a miracle since I wrote to you work at Loudon Road recommenced, some of the hoardings were removed and the house has been freshly painted so something is happening!!!”

Twelve more scandals from City West Homes 

Council elections come and go but City West Homes’ performance just gets worse. Over the past few weeks since the Council elections we have received scores of cries for help from City West Homes tenants and leaseholders and here are 12 of the worst everyday scandals. We have been working with residents to address their problems since the issues were raised.

City West Homes appears incapable of sorting out this mess and we have now called on the Council’s Chief Executive to step in. We have asked

  • Why are CWH continuing to make life a misery for residents?
  • When is someone going to get a grip of City West Homes and turn it in to a functioning, competent organisation?
  • When will the Council take ultimate responsibility for this sorry state of affairs

My Westminster Fund

The My Westminster Fund is open for applications until 27 August. The fund is open to all voluntary organisations, resident, faith and community groups within Westminster. This includes schools and other establishments which care for Westminster residents (such as residential care homes). All individual applications must be for under £10,000, and must benefit residents in a neighbourhood in Westminster.Your project must support one of these themes:

  • community leadership
  • community cohesion and pride in your community
  • environment and greening
  • young people

Westminster Refugee Welcome Committee

We have received this message: 

“Westminster Refugee Welcome Committee is a group of volunteers working together to ensure the resettlement, warm welcome, and successful integration of vulnerable refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the City of Westminster. We focus on complementing the Council’s efforts to source housing, fundraising, and facilitating the resettlement of those making a home in our borough via the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), which includes Community Sponsorship. 

Our aim is to ensure that resettled people feel welcome in their new community as well as being able to make their own contribution. London can be overwhelming and it can often be difficult to feel a part of a community. We want incoming families to feel they have friendly faces on hand to support and befriend them, and to help them learn how to thrive in their new city. 

We are always looking for volunteers, who will be able to commit to certain roles in the preparation and welcoming periods.  There are many roles available, including locating housing, fundraising, equipping properties, welcoming at the airport, local orientation, among others. If you are interested, please do get in touch via Robbie Parks (co-chair of Westminster Refugee Welcome) at

What you say

“Thank you as ever for this very useful update.”

“I just wanted to say thank you for all your help with regard to some of the issues I have had with CityWest homes of late. It really is quite an uphill struggle at times, and, to be quite honest, I do so wish I did not have to trouble you. But sometimes, it seems it is only you they listen to. Despite all the opportunities I give them to resolve issues. To think I only ever reach out to them about, what I consider to be, the more significant matters…Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for all your help.”

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team






News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Wharncliffe Gardens

We have raised this issue with City West Homes: 

“The estate light directly outside Rothley Court in Wharncliffe Gardens is not working. Or rather it is but it’s been programmed to come on during the day and go off at night! As a result, it very dark here at night and since there are several lone women living on the ground floor coming home at night is quite disturbing as it’s a lonely spot. “ 

Residents say: 

“Huge thanks for fixing the matter of the lights – super impressive. If only everyone – and all departments –  worked as professionally as you do!”

Grove End Road/Scott Ellis Gardens 

Following our enquiries about pedestrian safety at this location, the Council say: 

“Thank you for your email regarding the absence of a formal crossing facility at the junction of Grove End Road and Scott Ellis Gardens.A review of this location is currently underway with the aim of improving accessibility for pedestrians getting to and from the bus stop. This review should have concluded by the end of June 2018.”

Abbey Road

Following our enquiries about the fading markings on the famous ‘Beatles’ crossing, the Council say:

“I can confirm that our service provider has been instructed to repaint the markings, and hopefully I will be able to provide a completion date shortly.”

Abercorn Place 

We have again asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate building works at Abercorn Place following concerns raised by residents.

Northwick Close

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

“It has been a long time since we had a visit from the man who used to cut away weed growth between cobblestones. It’s also been a long time since the dustman tidied up the gutters along the kerb.” 

Hamilton Close

We have again raised this issue with the Council: 

“Thanks to your efforts Westminster came along to repair the dangerously damaged cobblestones. Unfortunately, the “repair” was botched, and some of the replacement cobbles are already crumbling. Would it be possible for you to persuade Westminster to come back and do the job properly? Not only are the new cobbles crumbling, they are uneven, and the cement surrounds are completely out of kilter with all the others.” 

Loudon Road/Carlton Hill

We have asked the Noise Team to investigate this issue: 

“Can you please investigate the noise issue emanating from Cafe Med’s new extraction plant – on the corner of Loudon Road and Carlton Hill in the middle of a residential area It buzzes and can be heard in the street and many neighbouring gardens during the day and at night When I asked Cafe Med about it they said that they had installed a new air extraction unit as part of their refurbishment works and that they would do something about the buzzing, but that was several months ago and it’s still buzzing.”

Maida Vale and St John’s Wood superfast broadband

Read the story about how a local rabbi and Karen Buck MP worked together to bring superfast broadband to Maida Vale and St John’s Wood:

Basement developments 

The Guardian has published recent research by Newcastle University on the extent and impact of basement developments in Westminster and elsewhere in London:




COUNCIL ELECTION SPECIAL – Thursday 3rd May, 7am – 10pm

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Candidates

And Sam Gardner, Phillida Inman and Connor Jones, your Abbey Road Ward Labour Candidates

Grove End Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to look in to this issue:

“Residents in Scott Ellis Gardens have raised the problem of there not being a pedestrian crossing across Grove End Road at or near the St John’s Wood Road Lord’s Cricket Ground bus stop (stop H). Lots of people, including commuters in a rush and elderly people looking to use the bus, cross Grove End Road at this point (rather than at the junction with St John’s Wood Road) and at present it’s very dangerous.”

Lorne Close 

We have asked the Council to investigate these issues:

“Residents living on the estate on Lorne Close have complained about the maintenance of the road before the entrance gates to the estate. Rubbish dumped on the side of the street is not removed quickly and the cobbled area in front of Park Lorne is often full of rubbish. Also, the Lorne Close sign was vandalised with graffiti some weeks ago and this has still not been removed.”

Acacia/Ordnance Roads

We have asked the Street Cleaning Team to investigate this issue:

“I live near the corner of Acacia and Ordnance.  We are in desperate need of more bins in this area.  There are too many people who use Acacia Road as a thoroughfare because of the tube station and many dog walkers in the area. There is nowhere to put waste on that street and it ends up under trees and on fences, front walls, etc.”

Bronwen Court

We have asked City West Homers to investigate this long-standing issue:

“We still have issues from the disastrous and costly major works carried out in 2014-15. At the time, we had several burglaries from the insecure scaffolding, and the repairs were of seriously low quality, even though the extortionate bills were never reduced, and forced some families, some who had lived there since pre-War, to sell to pay them off. Just this week contractors have contacted me, again, to inspect snagging, for at least the 4th time.”

Maida Vale

We have contacted A2 Dominion Housing Association about a missing drain cover and some broken tiles outside the entrance to a flat on Maida Vale.

Lodge Road/Oak Tree Road area

We have asked the Parking Team to investigate these issues:

“I write to you with an on-going issue we face as residents. Can we have better controls like on Match days so that residents like myself who pay for resident permit can actually park our cars in resident bays. Currently it’s free to park on resident bays after 18.30 weekdays and all day on weekends. Can we have that extended to midnight on festive days and match days, allowing residents to have priority on the parking available?” 

St John’s Wood Road

We have asked the Highways Team to investigate this issue

“The drainage grid is in St John’s Wood Road is blocked/defective and causes a huge pool of water that spreads way out into the road. Cars splash people on the pavement.   The large puddle also blocks the pedestrian crossing. This is also a hazard when cricket is staged at Lord’s as thousands of fans move through this junction and could be inconvenienced when raining. This has been reported many times, but real action has not been taken. I hope you people can pressure the right people at Westminster Council to take action. “

Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

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

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

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

What you say

“Well done and thank you for being on so many cases for us”

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Candidates


Sam Gardner, Phillida Inman and Connor Jones

Your Abbey Road Ward Labour Candidates

Promoted by Andrew Whitley on behalf of Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, and Sam Gardner, Phillida Inman and Connor Jones, all at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY





News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team 

Lorne Close

Following our enquiries about various issues at Durham House, A2 Dominion tell us the following:

“The emergency repair you highlighted with the missing paving has been made safe and we have raised an order for the missing bollard to be replaced.  I did not pick up the issue with the handrail so I will raise an order for this to be fixed. I agree that there is a problem at Lorne Close and I can tell you what our plans are to rectify this.

Main Gates – These will be fixed within the next 4 weeks. I have asked for a lead in time for this to ensure that everyone has the adequate fobs to access the gate to prevent any vandalism

Underground Car Park –  We will be applying for funding to replace the roller shutter to the car park, renew the cctv and add additional cameras (and remote access) to allow us to monitor fly tipping more closely and replace all doors leading from the car park into the blocks with new more secure and robust doors with fob access only.

We already have quotes for the works and we will be seeking some engagement from the residents to work with us on the improvement to ensure we have covered any issues they are experiencing.”

Wharncliffe Gardens

We are helping residents in Wharncliffe Gardens who are having problems with housing repairs and are taking up this up with City West Homes.

St John’s Wood Road

We have reported this issue to the Council for action:

“The tree is on the south side of St John’s Wood Road between Maida Vale and Northwick Terrace has bags that have been there since last week, one opened by an animal. I wish I could say that this situation is particular to s Bank Holiday. Alas, it is used for dumping continually and not on the regular stop of any cleaners. Parents watch their children drop food and walk away without a word. I have noticed that Hamilton Terrace is plagued by similar problems but is cleaned more regularly and thoroughly.

Surely a 2-pronged attack is necessary: both to encourage a more proactive action on the part of the sanitation department but also some form of public health education locally to involve residents in keeping the streets a space to be proud of.  By the way when was the last time anyone around here was fined for littering or fly-tipping?  Empty threats are worse than anything.”

St John’s Wood High Street

We were out speaking to residents on St John’s Wood High Street. So many empty shops! Soaring rents and sky high business rates hike are hitting local shops. We need a more proactive approach to save our High Street.

Also, a number of residents living on St John’s Wood High Street reported the issue of people dumping their household rubbish on the street outside their flats, rather than taking it down the street to the black bins. We have asked the Council if there’s anything that can be done to discourage people from dumping their household waste on the High Street.

Abbey Gardens area

We are making enquiries with the Planning Department about this issue:

“I am writing about the absurd amount of junction boxes popping up on almost every street put there by Virgin Media in St John’s Wood area. At junction of Abercorn Place and Abbey Road there are now 5 of them and looks so ugly, and on Abbey Gardens there is now a junction box ruining the view of the street. Are there no laws governing this or can they put them anywhere they wish spoiling the area? Also their contractors rip up the pavements and when putting them back do so unevenly and with little cement between the stones.”

The Planners say:

“I do share your concerns over the proliferation of such cabinets and their design but regrettably, these cabinets do not require planning permission, as they are ‘permitted development ‘. The Government in 2013 introduced new legislation which effectively removed the need to apply for prior approval for a period of 5 years in respect of the siting of such equipment cabinets inside conservation areas. This 5 year period will expire on 30 May 2018 and it is expected that the government might make these rights permanent.”

Salt House, Abbey Road – update

The Council says:

“This application is still under consideration. The consultation period does not expire until 16th April and it is too early to say when this will be going to a Planning Committee.”

Wood Food and Wine

We have received this message from a local resident:

The above convenience store is at the corner of St John’s Wood Road and Hamilton Close NW8. The shop is now closed, the lease having been forfeited by the Landlord. It is s pity that the landlord has not had regard for the benefits which the shop conferred on local properties.

For many years the store has been an invaluable local resource, servicing not only local residents in houses and mews premises but the large blocks of flats such as Grove End House, St Johns Wood Court, Wharncliffe Gardens etc. It was also a useful facility for the many thousands of visitors to Lord’s Cricket Ground. 

It will be sorely missed unless steps can be taken to have it reopened either under the former ownership (who were well-liked and friendly locals) or some new owner wiling to carry on the same kind of business. The notice of forfeiture was posted on Monday the 16th April by Andrew Wilson and Co, 26 Missouri Avenue, Salford M50 2NP, a trading arm of a company called CGDM Ltd. Their email is , and the phone number is 0161 925 1800.”

And another 25 more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’

We have issued a new dossier of another 25 more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’ this year, following our first report in January 2018, which included 20 Nightmare Stories, and our second report in March with details of 25 more Nightmare Stories.

Once again, we have had reports from tenants and leaseholders living right across Westminster – from Pimlico to Paddington, from the West End to Westbourne – all expressing anger at the incompetent and heartless way in which City West Homes treats its 22,000 tenants and leaseholders.

Service standards have deteriorated badly following Conservative council cuts to the housing management budget, the closure of local estate offices and the bungled introduction of a new call centre and repairs contract.

In 2018, it is hard to believe the almost Dickensian situation some people have to live in and which is summed up by this report about a 70 year old woman in Dowland Street, Queen’s Park who “has been without electricity for 6 weeks. Contractors turn up and never finish the job. She is now lighting her flat with candles.”

We will immediately put CityWest on notice so that if its performance does not rapidly improve it will be stopped from managing the council’s properties. We have set out our plans for change if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd.

Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes

  • From day one, Labour will take action to end the repairs crisis and improve the way CityWest treats residents. If it doesn’t urgently improve Labour will scrap it.
  • We will re-establish local estate offices.
  • We will urgently look at further ways to improve the failing call centre system.
  • We will give residents a greater say over how their homes are managed.
  • We will introduce a new leaseholders’ charter to improve support to resident leaseholders and look to limit huge major works bills

Fighting Anti-Semitism

Karen Buck says:

“I was one of a number of Labour MPs who joined the demonstration against anti-Semitism which took place in Parliament Square.

Anti-Semitism is racism, pure and simple, and has no part in my party, our politics or our society more generally. Anti-Semitic attacks have been on the rise in recent years and there can be no equivocation in condemning them for what they are. It is deeply distressing to me that we have reached a position where so many Jewish people clearly feel unwelcome, uncomfortable or worse, in Labour, and where those speaking out on the issue risk being abused for it. That there is a problem to be dealt with can be in no doubt.

I pledge my total commitment to ending this intolerable situation and it is right that we are now held to account for turning words into action. I am already an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Jews and am signed up to the All Party Parliamentary Group against anti-Semitism, but I welcome further suggestions. We have a strong record of tolerance in this local community and I will do all I can to ensure that this is upheld.”

Standing up for our EU residents

In the EU referendum in 2016, Westminster voted overwhelmingly to Remain.

If elected in May, Westminster Labour will fight to support our EU residents at this difficult time by expanding EU residents’ access to specialist legal advice and support services.

We will also play an active role in challenging the Government’s attempts to weaken EU citizens’ rights and demand that all existing rights are retained in the future.

We will appoint a Council Champion for the issues facing EU nationals and create a working group of local residents from the EU27 to help address future issues.

EU citizens are eligible to vote in the Council Elections on Thursday 3rd May.

Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

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

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

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

Green waste

A resident has asked:

“Is there any future in asking to have a green waste collection re-established at least is in parts of the neighbourhood where there are plenty of gardens?”

We will explore opportunities where appropriate to support community composting and the recycling of food waste.

Problems paying Water Rates?

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

Contact the Gateway helpline 03003301191.

There is also an on-line enquiry form at:

Abbey Road area – potholes – what you say

“In Abercorn Place we have had much work and digging going on intermittently since before Christmas mostly due to Virgin Media putting down cables.  The men who then cover over the road do not really do a very good job and our roads now look like a patchwork quilt! I reported a series of holes in Abercorn Place going towards Nugent Terrace. Over the weekend a serious pot hole appeared at the top end as you turn in from the Abbey Road.  It seems to have been quickly filled almost overnight not a great job but better than nothing. The curbside at the Beatles crossing looks ropey as does the crossing up at St. John’s Wood Station this area always seems to flood due to poor drainage perhaps so not surprising that section looks bad.”

What you say

“We so clearly need more police on the ground.  All the major issues are festering in large part due to a lack of local police on the beat.  And as well, more CCTV.”

“Thank you!”

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

Promoted by and on behalf of Westminster Labour Party at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY





News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team and Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Circus Road

We have asked the Council to fix the footpath on Circus Road adjacent to the John and Elizabeth Hospital. Residents say:

“In parts this is now at 45 degrees owing to tree roots. It makes walking highly hazardous especially for the elderly and the disabled both walking en route to the hospital.  Could somebody look into this please?”

Cochrane Street

We have contacted Octavia Housing on behalf of residents in Cicely and O’Neil Houses about various repairs and maintenance issues.

Lorne Close NW8

Some residents on Lorne Close were concerned about drug dealing continuing in the car parking area despite recent action taken by the police. There was also concern about young people entering the estate and damaging things. The local police team said:

‘We patrol the area whenever we are on shift, as it is a high priority area. Where possible/if grounds exist we will always carry out a stop and search as we have done so in the past. If residents are still concerned about drug dealing, please ask them not to ignore but to call 999/101 and a unit can be sent round. 

‘Residents should understand that there are only 2 police officers covering the entire Regents Park ward. Also it would be great if A2 dominion could put cameras up and/or a gate leading to the underground car park. That way, less people can cause damage to property.’

We are pressing A2 Dominion to fix the broken entry gate and CCTV.

There is also a very dangerous situation outside Durham House where there is severe damage to one of the paving slabs directly in the path up to the door and the hand railings are completely unstable.  We have also raised the issue of fly-tipping on the estate that needs to be addressed

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“The end of Elm Tree Road at the corner with Grove End Road suffers from illegal parking of vehicles overnight, on double yellow lines or so far from the kerb even on single yellow lines so as to make passing through very difficult. For a reasonable length of the road from the corner coming into the road, for example until the door to number 1A, please could you make the parking lines double red to discourage people to block the road overnight. It is a single lane road and bad parking on both sides makes it impossible to pass through. “

The Parking Team say:

“The location is not on and nor it is adjacent to a red route so the painting of red lines specifically for this junction would not be an option.  The junction is already protected by double yellow lines and Marshals are able to enforce on single yellow lines when vehicles are parked more than 50cm from the edge of the carriageway on a single yellow line.  As part of their normal course of duties we will ensure Marshals who regularly patrol this area are aware of the feedback below, and take appropriate enforcement action in line with policy should they come across vehicles parked in contravention.”

Elgood House, Wellington Road

We have asked City West Homes and the Refuse Department to review the location of a number of refuse bins following requests from residents. City West Homes say:

“The bins belong to WCC and we have raised this issue with the Environmental Action Line. We have requested that Veolia go on site today to remove any loose waste. We have also requested that they move the bins to another location based on the feedback from the resident. “

Townshend Estate

We have asked the Council to investigate reports of a homeless person sleeping in a shed on the Townshend Estate and to offer the necessary assistance.

St John’s Wood High Street

We have asked the police for a report on recent incidents in the High Street area.

We have renewed our call for the Government to reverse the cuts to the police budget. The government have cut the Metropolitan Police/ Greater London Authority budget by £650 million so far, with another £350 of cuts now under way, and Westminster has lost almost a third of their police strength since 2011. Most of the cuts in our police numbers happened before the last Mayoral election. On top of this, the Council grant from Central Government has been halved, which helps explain why they decided to close down their City CCTV programme.

You can sign the petition here

Circus Road/St. Ann’s Terrace

We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“In the morning “rush”, pedestrian access is blocked by cars waiting or parked, while the owners frequent Pret or other nearby shops.  This includes blocking the dropped kerb. This area (which has double yellow lines) should not be used for waiting/parking.  It might be helpful if the double yellow lines were reinforced with double yellow kerb markings to discourage waiting and further aid enforcement by making violations even less ambiguous.  

Perhaps you could also encourage Pret/Starbucks to have educational signage in their shops and on outside tables to highlight the impact of blocking the corners/dropped kerbs for less able pedestrians?”

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are continuing to help residents in Scott Ellis Gardens with repair issues and take up their concerns with City West Homes.


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

Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

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

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

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

What you say

“Well done! Very much appreciate receiving the updates.”

“Thank you for this report. It does seem as though you are trying to make a tangible difference in real time.”

“Could you please ask the Council if they could put in speed restrictions (flashing light signs) on Hall Road.   This has become a very busy road with loads of lorries now using it.  A rat run.  With all the building that continues apace in this area I seriously think that we need traffic calming before a major accident. “

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team


Promoted by and on behalf of Westminster Labour Party at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY






News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team and Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg 

Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections

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

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

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

Wellington Road public toilets

We have asked the Council why the public toilets on Wellington Road, nest to the St John’s Wood Church playground, have been closed for so long.

Allitsen Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this recurring issue:

“On Sunday morning there were 30-40 nitreous oxide canisters in the layby by the New Inn.  This situation with such clearly blatant drug dealing going on in NW8 is appalling.  This is a main route for children walking to school at St Christina’s and Robinsfield.  Please can we try and do something more to tackle this.  There needs to be more of a police presence in the evening to catch these people.  It is horrible that our children keep having to see this sort of detritus.”

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are continuing to take up individual problems on behalf of residents. We have also asked City West Homes to check the lifts and improve rubbish collection services. City West Homes say:

“We think there has been problems with the cold weather, as these are Hydraulic lifts and the oil gets too cold and thickens up, which tries to resolve itself, with the lift repeatedly trying to start, which heats the oil. We asked the contractor to attend site last week to ensure the heaters in the tank were sufficient, before the cold spell returned. 

We have been finding a number of rubbish bags next to the recycling bins located next to block 1 and 12. At present the cleaners are moving the bags into the bins on a daily basis meaning that there is often insufficient space to store the refuse in the bins. The bins are currently emptied on a weekly basis and we will certainly look into increasing that to twice a week as that may also help resolve the issue.”

Hamilton Close

Following our enquiries about the state of the cobbles, Gustavo the local Inspector, tells us:

“I have just spoken to the local highways inspector who has raised a job in relation to the broken cobbles outside number 8 Hamilton Close.”

St John’s Wood Post Office

We started this petition to Save the St John’s Wood Post Office petition a year ago and you can still sign up to add your voice

Labour’s pledge on Cleaner Streets

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

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

Building genuinely affordable homes

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

25 more ‘Nightmare Stories’ from City West Homes

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

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

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

Welcome for extra police on the beat

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

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

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

The petition to Parliament,, runs until 27th April.

Cleaning up the planning system – what you say

“As you rightly say, it is inequitable of Westminster Council to forbid residents from speaking out at planning meetings and to have to rely on Councillors who may not share the views of objectors.”

Hamilton Close – what you say

“I was glad to see the comment about the state of the cobbles in Hamilton Close. The bad state of the cobbles is largely due to damage caused by heavy vehicles delivering building materials or to skips taking away spoil from excavations. The rot began with the basement excavations for 14 Hamilton Close and 22 Hamilton Terrace. Since then work on 20 Hamilton Terrace has involved much disruption and further damage to the cobbles because 13 Hamilton Terrace has been used for deliveries and removal of rubbish in connection with the major refurbishment of of 20 Hamilton Terrace.”

What you say

“I admire what you are all doing for the ward and thank you”

“I read with much interest the News from Regent’s Park Ward Labour action team”

“Thank you so much for this quick response. My goodness, don’t you even take Sunday off?”

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council





News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team and Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

St John’s Wood Post Office

We started this petition to Save the St John’s Wood Post Office petition a year ago and you can still sign up to add your voice

Lodge Road

We have contacted Soho Housing Association about repairs to flats at 50 Lodge Road.

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are helping a number of residents with repairs and maintenances issues that need to be fixed by City West Homes.

Eamont Street

We have asked Gustavo, our local Inspector, to investigate this issue:

“Eamont Street has a corner shop opened twenty four seven. The side of this shop is on Eamont Street, and there is a low wall, behind this wall there is always unsightly rubbish. I have often spoken to the shop keeper who tells me that people use the space as a rubbish dump. It makes the area look so awfully grubby. “

Gustavo tells us:

“I have spoken to the staff of the shop about keeping the space behind that low wall clean from litter and rubbish. Although it is their private area they still have the duty of care to maintain it clear. The staff agreed to cooperate and I have been monitoring the site during my inspections. That space has been kept clear from litter since I first visited the shop on Monday.”

Hamilton Gardens

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“We have also been at the receiving end of obvious drug dealing in the cul de sac of Hamilton Gardens. It has subsided a bit thankfully but I can concur it is extremely brazen, unpleasant to observe (lights, car running, etc) and the rubbish and mess left behind after they finally leave is downright disgusting and disrespectful! “ 

Hamilton Close

We have asked Gustavo, City Inspector to investigate this problem:

“The cobbled roadway in Hamilton Close was repaired a few years ago but only for a short distance extending from the entry to the Close from St John’s Wood Road. Can you persuade Westminster Council to repair these cobbles?  There is a clear danger of tripping or falling, particularly at night.”

Northwick Close

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

“Our magnificent old fig tree that sits behind 16 Northwick Close was cut down to stumps a few weeks ago. Can someone at the Council give assurance that it will grow back to its previous glory?”

Fettes House

We are continuing to help residents in Fettes House who have had problems with water leaks and City West Homes’ delays in fixing the problems.

Cochrane Street recycling bins

We have asked Gustavo, local Inspector, to ensure that the dumped rubbish by the recycling bins is removed regularly. Gustavo says:

“I have been talking to my recycling team for assistance to have a consultation with residents of the blocks nearby this Micro Recycling Centre. This consultation would aim to get a response about the possibility of removing these bins as Veolia and I have been doing an extensive monitoring on this location for quite sometime. I have also taken lots of both educational and enforcement measures against alleged offenders. “ 

Cochrane Street 

We are continuing with our efforts to persuade the Council to allow new modern windows to be fitted in properties in Cochrane Street in order to keep residents warm. 

“We would like to provide our tenants with better insulation but have been refused.  We had to go to great expense installing purpose made single glazed windows where the elderly tenant would have benefited from a more modern approach. I would point out that our building dates from 1963 and is of no architectural merit.   It is next door to a 1930’s building where Westminster did nothing when the owners replaced architecturally significant Crittal windows with double glazing.  Retrospective permission was granted.”

Ordnance Hill 

We have raised these two issues with the Police again:

“I too have seen nitrous oxide bottles in the morning on Ordnance Hill close to Robinsfield School.  Given what your report had recently said about activity in Ordnance Hill, Aquila Street and Henstridge Place, what are the police doing about it?”

“I was astonished 2 weeks ago to witness a ‘moped’ robbery attempt at the corner of Ordnance Hill and Acacia Road. A young man in a suit, calling an Uber cab took evasive action when he realised the bike was mounting the pavement to snatch his phone. But the bike went around twice and made more attempts – the man retreated into the front of the Ordnance Pub. But neither the young man, nor the security man who kindly came to help, called the police. The security man said it was a waste of time. He said it was becoming common in St Johns Wood and they had called the police several times before, but the Police would do nothing… even though the bike was circling St Johns Wood looking for the next victim. We heard a yell – and saw the robber had found success outside St Johns Wood underground station. The landlord of the Ordnance and 2 customers came out to help – but it was too late by then, the bike had vanished.”

We have also raised the issue of dog fouling and Gustavo, the local Inspector says: 

“The animal warden and I have done an extensive work on Queen’s Grove in regards of signage and educational letters and warnings to residents re bagged dog fouling by the tree bases. We will meet again tomorrow to start the same type of work on Ordnance Hill.”

St John’s Wood Road area – residents’ parking

We have asked the Parking Department to see if any additional residents’ parking could be found in the area around St John’s Wood Road? Our recent discussions with residents have identified the following issues

  • Aberdeen Place – residents mentioned the problem that the residential spaces are for cars registered in zones B and C, which means that people who don’t live nearby are taking up spaces there and preventing residents from parking.
  • Cunningham Place – residents raised the issue of parking on weekends when there is a cricket match on, as the parking restrictions only apply during the week
  • Scott Ellis Gardens – many people raised the difficulty of finding a space on the street. Some mentioned that there are people with multiple cars filling up the street and often taking up two spaces in order to save it for their other car.

The Parking Department say:

“There is also a new parking scheme being implemented at the moment that will provide up to an additional 8 parking spaces on Cunningham Place and Aberdeen Place. We are aware that much of the C Zone residential area is heavily subscribed and that some locations like Scott Ellis Gardens are particularly over-subscribed due to the fact that this small cul-de-sac is entirely comprised of flats rather than individual houses so parking will always be difficult and there is no kerbside available to provide any additional parking.”

Regent’s Canal tow path

Plans from the Canal & River Trust and The Royal Parks have been announced to create a new ramp and steps down to the Regent’s Canal from Avenue Road. There are existing steps at this location (beside Macclesfield Bridge) which do not fully connect to the towpath. It is proposed to replace the steps with a new ramp and a full flight of steps to the towpath. The design has been developed to limit the impact on the trees and vegetation and to take account of the access needs of visitors. You can comment on the proposals via and the closing date for comments is Friday March 23, 2018.

Giving residents a powerful voice in the planning process 

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

Labour’s reforms include:

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

 Keeping the Council Tax low

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

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

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

Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes

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

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

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

Register to vote

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

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

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

EU citizens are able to vote in these local elections.

You can get more information by visiting

Marlborough Road

Here are some interesting facts, figures and pictures about the former Marlborough Road underground station

St John’s Wood High Street – what you say

“There is one more shop closing to add to the list – Carphone Warehouse. It’s not that this one is a particular loss but the reason for all these departures is the ridiculously high rents that apparently keep being raised even further once a tenant is established. Such a waste! If only we could have some more independent shops and cafes like Primrose Hill, and like we had before!”

Voluntary additional Council Tax payments – what you say

“Instead of the funds being merged into the Council coffers, and lost, a separate Trust fund should be set up and run by an all party set of Trustees to ensure the use and direction of the money.” 

“What concerns me is that it is the decent honest residents who are most likely to accede to Westminster’s demands for a voluntary contribution; surely the absentee/millionaire/overseas-based owners, who can most afford to contribute, will just ignore the request.” 

Basement extensions – what you say 

“In Marlborough Place, we have constant basement extensions being built. We are due another one and have objected, no one takes any notice. Money talks and there are a lot of underhand deals going on, we are sure. Our house has been severely damaged and internal deep cracks have had to be repaired twice due to basement works in our road. This was confirmed by our decorator.”

What you say 

“This is a fantastic email so thank you very much.  I appreciate the regular updates so thank you again.” 

“I am happy to be able to report that the drive-in and surrounding pavement to the Wellington Hospital administrative offices in Circus Road is due to be renewed within the next twenty days weather permitting.”

“Thank you for your most helpful and informative email circular.” 

“As a resident of St Johns Wood for 50 years I find your bulletins very interesting” 

“Thank you for all your work on the St John’s Wood Action Report.”

“Thank you for the ever interesting and comprehensive news update.: 

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




Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council





News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team and Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Acacia Road

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

“Outside the SJW tube station the pavement on Acacia Road needs urgent looking into. The pavement blocks are uneven and many are loose and very dangerous. The other day an old lady fell over close to the post box and I had to pick her up. Luckily she wasn’t hurt badly but was very shaken – it could have been a lot worse Please have this URGENTLY looked into and the pavement re-laid?” 

Cicely House, Cochrane Street 

We have written to the Council about the problems with replacing the 70-year-old rotting wooden windows in Cicely House. We are told that Octavia want to renew the windows with modern double glazed windows but the Council is insisting on replica wooden windows which are very expensive. Meanwhile residents, including the elderly and vulnerable, continue to suffer from the cold.

Elm Tree Road 

We have asked the Council to remove a car that appears to have been dumped. Residents say: “it has been parked in the paid parking bay top of Elm Tree Road on the corner of Circus Road for weeks maybe months accumulating endless parking tickets. Looks to be abandoned. “ 

Wellington Road estate 

We are taking up a number of long-standing heating and repairs issues raised by residents of Reynolds and Fettes Houses. 

Hamilton Terrace and St John’s Wood Road junction

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

“I have tried many times to argue for a pedestrian crossing to be installed across Hamilton Terrace so that pedestrians walking up and down St John’s Wood road can cross in safety.  At the moment there is an island and on each pavement studs to indicate to vision impaired people that they are approaching a roadway. All that are needed are two beacons and white lines.  Crossing the road from the direction of Lords to the centre island is not dangerous as vehicles slow down on approaching the T junction with St John’s Wood Road.  The dangerous part is from the island to the pavement going down to Edgware Road. Vehicles which use Hamilton Terrace as a rat run frequently approach this turn at a fast speed coming from the Lords direction or from the Edgware Road and turn into Hamilton Terrace without always indicating that they are turning, It is not easy for any one on the centre island or on the pavement towards Edgware Road to spot turning vehicles even if the pedestrian keeps an eagle eye. I am ultra cautious at this spot but even so have had to step back quickly to avoid being mown down.”

Hamilton Close

We are supporting residents who are opposing yet another basement extension in Hamilton Close. Residents say:

“A basement is not needed for a mews cottage and is entirely out of character and place in a cobbled backwater like Hamilton Close. The Close is a narrow cobbled street whose surface was seriously damaged by the excavations next door. There is no space for skips and trucks delivering building materials. These would lead to the highway being closed for periods. This is unacceptable to other residents including two old ladies in poor health. The excavation of a basement here is environmentally damaging. Apart from the many truck loads of waste polluting the atmosphere residents would be plagued by dust, noise and vermin and there could be damage to underground water and increased dangers of subsidence.”

Maida Vale

We have asked the Council to investigate residents’ concerns that rubbish is being dumped on Northwick Terrace and also near the Maida Vale Health Centre in the alley by the entrance to the block, attracting mice and leading to problems when it rains.

Clifton Court

Residents have requested a bench on the east side of the road so that people can sit outside in the sun in Summer. We are chasing the Council about this.

St John’s Wood High Street 

We are making enquiries with the new owners of a large number of shops on the High Street. Residents have told us of their concerns about the 6 or so empty shops on St John’s Wood High Street and when they will be re-let for shops that serve the local community. The owners, Trophaeum Asset Management, say:

Empty shops are certainly the hot topic at the moment and we are of course well aware of this.  At the moment all of our vacant shops are either already rented (number 41 to Facegym and number 51 to Core Collective) or under development. Unfortunately, with FaceGym, we have reached a difference of opinion with Westminster regarding the use of the unit and they have asked us to make a planning application. This is frustrating as the retailer has been ready and waiting to open for 6 months and it looks like this will be delayed further.  Core Collective are due to open in August. Number 11 is undergoing an extension to create a bigger shop. 

The Kooples and Maison Blanc have both closed down their stores but they still have leases in place and so we cannot re-let them yet, but we are in discussions with them to allow us to find replacement tenants. Lastly, we are working hard to find a high quality neighbourhood restaurant to replace Carluccio’s. We hope to have more news on this very soon.

 With our vacant shops, we paint the shopfronts and regularly clean them, as well as installing smart, branded, brightly coloured vinyls in the windows. Obviously it is in our interest to rent the shops out but we must balance this with ensuring we let the properties to the right retailers rather than national chains and estate agents and so some patience is required! There are a lot of other vacant properties on the high street which are not under our ownership and unfortunately, we do not have much control of these, but we have written to other Landlords to encourage them to improve the appearance of their empty shops. 

 Lastly, we are liaising with the Post Office in response to local feedback to establish if we can find a suitable location for a Post Office franchise on the High Street. “

Ordnance Hill 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“We live in Ordnance Hill, next to the former Kings Troop Barracks and The Ordnance Arms pub.  Recently I have noticed, whilst walking my dog late at night, a number of drugs deals being done from cars parked in Ordnance Hill. Last night was typical. A car with a number of men inside, sitting with the engine running and headlights on, music playing quite loud, waiting for people to come to them to collect and I presume pay for their drugs. I am sure the headlights are left on so the buyers know which car to but the brazenness of it is quite startling. They even apologised to me for the noise as I walked past.

I called the Police with the registration number and details but they came too late and the car had driven off. I have seen kids from the houses in Queens Grove and Norfolk Road running to the car for their drugs and running home again. Last night there were around 20 nitrous oxide canisters on the pavement, presumably from users buying them from the people in the car. And we are sure they use Ordnance Hill rather than surrounding streets which are equally quiet as the other streets have the private watch guards patrolling most of the night. I have seen similar things in Acacia Place.

I have seen several different cars and whilst last night’s events were more brazen and left more detritus around, including the canisters and broken glass bottles thrown from the car, it’s clearly a new place for them to stop and do their business unchallenged. It’s not nice, to say the least, for any of the residents or people walking from the underground, and will become unsafe in a very short time. There are lots of young children around in the morning and the drug waste and canisters shouldn’t be seen by them at all.”

And the St John’s Wood Society say:

“Drug dealing is also taking place regularly on Aquila Street which is a side street off St John’s Wood Terrace. Residents from Aquila Street Estate have raised this problem with the SJW Society recently as it has escalated”.

Grove End Road

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“I visit my doctor’s surgery regularly; it is located adjacent to the John and Elizabeth Hospital.  Unfortunately, the pavement there is very uneven and slopes a lot making walking hazardous. Could this be looked into please? The pavement is very uneven because of tree roots I think.”

Outer Circle 

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

“We cross the Outer Circle -from the running track to the Regents Park playing fields every Saturday, with hundreds of other young children and would feel so much safer if we had a proper crossing.” 

Royal Parks say: 

“The Royal Parks have reviewed pedestrian access, cycling and vehicle use of the Outer Circle with the Crown Estate Paving Commission and Transport for London over the last 3½ years and they have no plans to introduce infrastructure currently at this location. We are sorry to hear that you feel unsafe at this crossing The sight lines are good and the pedestrian refuge is sufficiently substantial to slow approaching vehicles.”

Marlborough Road bus stop

We are making enquiries with TfL about this issue:

“TfL repeatedly just closes the bus stop and you are left to walk a considerable distance back from the next stop. What is more there is no prior warning until the bus has left the previous stop. The stop at Marlborough Place has repeatedly been closed leaving nothing between Grove End Rd/Abbey Road Studios and Boundary Road. “

Maida Vale replacement bus stop

Following our enquiries with the Council and TfL over many months, we have been told: “The new stop is being proposed immediately south of the junction with Vale Close for the southbound bus service.”

St John’s Wood Park 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue: 

“At the top of St John’s Wood Park, there is a brick tower with a railing around it and it is full of empty alcohol bottles and cans and other rubbish and old food. Very unsightly, unhygienic and festering. Please could it be cleared away and would be a good idea to have some kind of wiring across railings so people cannot use it as a fly tip? “

Cleaning up Westminster’s Planning system

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

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

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

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


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

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

We have started a petition to stop the police cuts

Collection of Domestic Bulky Waste

We are making enquiries following this comment from a resident:

“I don’t mind paying charges are reasonable. But at least make the system easier. At present one fills in a form on line and waits for a response to book an appointment and pay within 48 hours. If you don’t get a response you need to start the process all over again. I am now on my third attempt.”

The Blitz in Westminster

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

Abercorn Place Estate sale – what you say

“The sale of the Cricketers Estate is a scandal.  I have read the press coverage. Shame on Westminster for permitting this which they say is perfectly legal.  Is there nothing that can be done to redress this situation? “

What you say

“An excellent report and well done to your team.

“You are stars!”

“Thank you for all you are doing” 

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council







News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team and Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Abercorn Place Estate

More national press coverage of the sale of the Abercorn Place estate 

Charlbert Street

We have asked the Council to deal with this long-standing issue: 

“There is an abandoned bike chained to a tree in Charlbert Street. I have lived here 9 years and it has been there all that time! It is chained to a small tree on the pavement and as the pavement is narrow and it is not a good idea. I noticed a Westminster notice attached to the bike at the beginning of December 2017 saying that bike was presumed abandoned and would be removed in 48 hours. The bike is still there.” 

A few days later, the resident wrote: 

“Thank you so much for taking this up for me. It was a pleasure to walk up the street last Friday and see that the old bicycle had been removed at last and it was far easier to walk on the narrow pavement.” 

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Council to remove the road signs and barriers left on the pavement following completion of work in Elm Tree Road. They have been there for a month despite residents reporting this problem. The Council say:

“I am now informed that the equipment has been removed. It had been left behind by our own contractors following completion of a job. They have been spoken to about their failure to properly complete this as they should.”

Also, residents have suggested a number of potential locations for extra residents’ parking, to which the Council has said: “At least one of the three locations in Elm Tree Road has potential for additional residents parking and I will arrange a site visit/meeting over the coming weeks to take measurements and draft up a new scheme.”

St John’s Wood Terrace

We are making enquiries about a number of long-term vacant houses in St John’s Wood Terrace.

St John’s Wood Station area

We have asked the Council to again investigate the drains around the station. Residents say: 

“I was at St John’s Wood station yesterday in the pouring rain and there was only a puddle on the opposite side of Finchley Road outside what used to be the branch of HSBC. I see there is a drain which must have been cleared since I wrote to you. But the drain must block easily as the lake accumulates whenever there is heavy rain. I don’t know whether anything can be done to keep it clear. And if there appears to be a blockage, is there someone one can contact to get it cleared promptly?”

The Council say:

“I have received feedback from TfL as to why the ponding outside (and near) St John’s Wood Station on Wellington Road (TfL’s network to maintain) has not been fixed. “There is an issue at that location in that we cannot excavate due to an underground Thames Water Leak preventing us back-filling any repair as it will get washed away under the surface.” TfL report that due to the above they are working with TW to get the leak scheduled in for repair so they can then undertake their works.”

Circus Road/Acacia Road 

We have asked the Council to repair this stretch of road way/pavement:

“I would draw your attention again to the enormous puddles that form outside the uneven driveway St Johns/Elizabeth hospital by the bus stop. Everyone gets drenched as traffic goes past. Also there are broken and uneven small square paving stones outside St Johns Wood Station, Last week an elderly and disabled person tripped & nearly had a bad fall!” 

Grove End Road 

We have asked the Council to ensure Thames Water fixes this leak: 

“Just checking if you’re aware of the ‘leak’ in Grove End, opposite the synagogue? It’s a significant leak that has been pouring out water for about a week now – I have yet to see anyone trying to repair it. With all the news about Thames Water’s problems with water leakage, this feels particularly outrageous. It’s an appalling waste of water. “ 

The Council say:

“The reason for the delay is that the leak is to a 6” main in the carriageway but unfortunately Thames Water had difficulty locating the correct valve to enable the repair. To facilitate this now they are going to have to interrupt water supplies to around 1,000-1,500 properties- and this requires 5 days’ notice. The interruption of supply is scheduled for 5th Feb and affected properties have been notified. Assuming all goes to plan the entire scheme will then be completed (with the highway reinstated) by the end of the 7th February. Whilst it may look like there is no one out there, we along with Thames are monitoring the site very closely to ensure that everything is kept safe, tidy and clean.” 

Blenheim Terrace 

Karen Buck MP has criticized the sale of a former Blenheim Terrace NHS building which has now been developed for luxury housing.

Queen’s Terrace

We have asked the local City Inspector to look in to this issue:

“I have also noticed the amount of food and drink refuse accumulating here and have frequently seen groups of men waiting around at the far corner of the road during the day.  I have no idea if this is the reason for the refuse, but a bin in the corner might help. “

Abercorn Place parking bays – update

Following our enquiries about the future of the former doctor’s parking bays on Abercorn Place, the Parking Department has told us:

“We still plan to convert these bays to Electric Vehicle bays and a planning application has been submitted and is currently working its way through the planning process. In the interim we will suspend these bays for Residents’ use.  A suspension sign will be put up on street confirming this and residents will be able to use these 2 spaces until we have a confirmed installation date for the EV charging points.”


The MCC has announced that the next phase of development at Lord’s will be led by architects, WilkinsonEyre.  The rebuilding of the Compton and Edrich Stands is the next phase of the MCC Updated Masterplan. Detailed work on the design will begin immediately. MCC hope that, subject to the appropriate consent being obtained from Westminster City Council, construction work will commence after Lord’s hosts the final of the men’s ICC Cricket World Cup in the summer of 2019.

City West Homes ‘Nightmare Stories’

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

To see the report go to

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

St John’s Wood Memories

We came across this interesting local website recently.

Rubbish Dumping

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

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

What do you think? 

Dealing with Airbnb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tesco Bags of Help – Community Grant Scheme

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the 10p Bag for Life charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund community projects that benefit the local community. Following a public vote, three projects in each Tesco region will receive an award every two months, with first place receiving up to £4,000, second place up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.

  • Who can apply? Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organisations, schools, Parish Councils, local authorities and social housing providers.
  • What kind of projects will Bags of Help fund? Projects that benefit the local community are eligible for funding – from improving community buildings and developing outdoor spaces to buying new kit or equipment, training coaches or volunteers, and hosting community events or activities.
  • How to Apply – For more information and to apply visit the website:

If you need any further advice or support – including talking through some project ideas or finding out how to make a project eligible – contact Paige Matthews, Community Project Officer, Groundwork London Phone: 020 8762 0321 E-mail:

What you say

“Many thanks as always for your informative and helpful letter which is a real benefit and asset to the community” 

“Thank you for this comprehensive email” 

“Thanks for welcome reports!” 

“Thanks for update”

“Thanks as always for your dedication and support”

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



Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team



Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council







News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team 

Labour Candidates for the Regent’s Park Ward, Janet Seale, Hussain Ahmed, Liam Taggart.








Abercorn Place Estate

We are continuing to press the Council to explain how the freehold of this Council estate is now in the hands of a company controlled by one family. One person commented:

“I would like to know by what magic the ownership changed from public to private ownership. As I understand the law, more than a half of the original council tenants must have gained a lease via right-to-buy and collectively enfranchised the whole estate.  A requirement within this procedure is that the qualifying tenants must have a long lease and must not own three or more flats. This would suggest that the qualifying tenants had acted collectively to form a company and all been shareholders of this company.  Somewhere the history of this must be stored and recoverable. I would like to analyse the route from, say, eighteen council tenants getting leases, to qualifying tenants collectively buying the estate, to one company owning the estate. “

See the latest here

Cunningham Place

We have asked Council for an update on the long=standing road works. Residents in Wharncliffe Gardens say:

“The works are taking a ridiculous amount of time to complete with people present on site only every few days. This is also causing a major problem with the recycling bins on the corner of Cunningham Place and Aberdeen Place. As the bins are still in use but are hard for the dustbin lorries to access due to all the fences around the works, these are becoming unsightly and a major dumping ground for every type of rubbish going large and small and a worsening rat problem. While it was possible to walk along the pavement earlier in the year this is now impossible for buggies wheelchairs etc. as more of the pavement has been taken over and people need to navigate the tiny spaces between parked cars, causing people to cross over on a very blind corner of the road.

This corner has always been unsightly compared to the rest of the road with 2 trees now missing that were originally opposite Crocker’s Folly on Cunningham Place.  When the works are finally complete can we have an assurance these trees will be replaced?” 

The Council says:

“The works here relate to the major UKPN cabling works that have been ongoing for some time both here and on Lisson Grove. The works will complete tomorrow. I am not aware of the issues with the trees but we are investigating.”

Queen’s Terrace

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

“It is just astonishing how many tree trunks are decorated with plastic dog poo bags- along Queen’s Grove there are little black plastic bags. There is one sign, but more might help please, particularly along the terrace between 1-28. There is definitely a shortage of litter bins in the vicinity, there seems to be more litter than usual, particularly at weekends- mainly food and drink wrappings. The gentlemen sweeping the streets say that there aren’t any staff out at the weekends.”

St John’s Wood Station 

We reported a blocked gully on Circus Road outside St John’s Wood Station which has now been cleared. 

Hill Road

We have asked the Council to clear the road and pavement of building materials.

Abercorn Place

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

“I would urge you to consider pushing forward getting speed tables in Abercorn Place. This road is a total danger to all pedestrians and cyclists and the very many children who go to school there. Cars and bikes roar along here too and despite the welcome, newly installed 20mph signs the vehicles ignore them and continue at the same ridiculously fast speeds. “

Aquila Street

We have contacted BT about access to super-fast broadband for Aquila Street residents.

The Salt House, Abbey Road

With the support of the St John’s Wood Society, the Salt House in St John’s Wood is campaigning to safeguard its future.

Karen Buck MP says:

“The Salt House has been a public house since 1872 and has now been sold to property developers who wish to turn it into luxury flats and offices. This is such a sadly familiar story in London. We have to stop developers tearing apart what gives London it’s pulse and character. The Salt House is one of the few remaining local pubs in the area and has many long-term regulars who love it dearly. It is also home for the key staff members and their family who live above it and a secure job for many more. It would be a travesty if this beautiful Victorian pub was granted change of use and disappeared after over a century and a half.”

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate the following concerns raised by residents:

  • Excessive speeding by motorists and cyclists – At present there are many, many motorists and cyclists who storm down the street and present clear and present dangers to pedestrians and infant children. A 20 MPH zone sign would certainly help.
  • No wide vehicles – Wide lorries and heavy goods vehicles all too often use the road, turning on hazard lights and creating massive disruption. Often, they are doing works at Lord’s nearby or on residences in Hamilton Terrace. The road is effectively single lane traffic. A sign restricting the presence of wide vehicles and HGVs would be very helpful.
  • Street lighting – The number of street lampposts is inadequate and so is the power of the lights. Can we please look into properly lighting what is currently a very dark street at night, quite unsafe for lone travellers and children?

Council housing

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

City Council elections, May 2018

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

City West Homes – what you say

I am a tenant with CWH and it has been a total nightmare since they closed the SJW estate office has been closed. My own personal experience of the new call centre has been very disappointing.  I have had to contact them twice:

1) The first query I called the number twice and both times I was on hold for over 40 mins without any success, I even called the emergency number and once again no one picked up my call. I then had to take half a days holiday to attend a drop in session to have my query resolved. At the drop in session, the lady told me the wait for a call to be picked up was over an hour and in the future I should email the call centre. 

2) The second time I needed to contact the call centre was to report a repair, which I did via email as advised, they are suppose to reply with a full response in seven working days, my initial email was replied to on the seventh day and an initial appointment was made for a contractor to attend my flat, however subsequent enquires and access to my neighbour flat above were required. When I emailed them for an update on whether this had been completed I have had no response to my email, I chased them up with another email two weeks later and once again no response, I called the number for the call centre but once again no one picks up the phone. I am now at a complete lose on what I need to do to expedite this repair as CWH simply do not respond via any of their communication options open to us tenants. Very frustrating.”

Abercorn Place Estate – what you say

“I horrified to read in the local paper about the Cricketer flats and do hope that something can be done to reverse what has happened.  Much work has been done to put up railings and gates for security and I now realise that a private company must have done this.”

What you say

“Many thanks for your efforts to keep an eye on our neighbourhood and the wellbeing of our residents.”

“Excellent as ever and I note we now have 20 mph zone notices painted on the roads with schools including mine!”

“Many thanks for these letters/updates – they are very much appreciated!”

“Thank you for your newsletter I always follow it with interest.”

“Many, many thanks for getting a response which gives greater peace of mind.” 


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


Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team 


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council












The Salt House, Abbey Road

We are supporting efforts to save The Salt House from closure. Residents say:

It has recently been sold to developers and they plan to turn it into residential and office space. It is such a familiar sad story in London, several people will lose their jobs and many people will lose a much loved community venue. The Salt House has been a public house since 1872. It is one of the few local pubs remaining in the area and it would be a travesty if it closed down and was granted change of use.”

Abercorn Place estate

We have called for an inquiry in to how the freehold of the entire Abercorn Place estate in St John’s Wood has been transferred from Westminster City Council to a private company, Kunta Kinte Ltd which has two shareholders, both of which are registered at 7 Bradman House on the estate. The Abercorn Place estate (known locally as the ‘Cricketers’ because the three blocks are named Bradman, Warner and Verity Houses after three famous pre-war Test cricketers) was built by the former St Marylebone Borough Council in the 1950s following World War 2 bomb damage. In addition, almost all the 34 leasehold interests are now in the hands of one individual.

Murad Qureshi, former GLA member, has written about this issue He said:

“When the great and the good built this estate through the local council, they could never have imagined this could happen to the housing being provided for its residents in Marylebone in desperate housing need. What makes this quite incredible is that almost all the leasehold interests are now in the hands of one individual. On many Council Estates in Central London, you often find over 50 per cent of the flats and houses are owned by leaseholders, but almost completely by one individual via his companies, is very unusual indeed. “

Lodge Road/Lisson Grove

We asked the Council for an update on this issue:

“Lisson Grove outside the Church of Our Lady on by the corner of Lodge Road.  In the many, many months that this has all been dug up. I have yet to see anyone working on this site.  It creates massive traffic on Edgware Road due to the road being closed and is massively inconvenient.”

The Council say:

“We have seen all sorts of unfortunate delays here that have slowed down the UKPN works. The works by UKPN have been very complicated as they are repairing and replacing extremely high voltage distribution cables. This is not a simple job and was essential to maintain supplies to the area. We have been working with TfL and London Buses to minimise disruption where we can. We currently expect to see the works cleared by 10th November.”

Rossmore Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this suggestion:

“I would like to propose an idea for re-instigating a permanent left turn from Rossmore Road towards Regents Park currently in place due to the ridiculously protracted UK Power cable works going on. It seems to be an excellent traffic easer in the morning and evening due to the fact that lodge road is a nightmare in rush hour due to it’s layout and width. This idea would some take northbound traffic away from the are and ease congestion useful too when the Mosque is in full use as well and Lords is in action. I am currently using it and saving valuable extra minutes.”

Hall Road broadband

We are making further enquiries with BT about this issue:

“Our block (William Court, 6 Hall Road) is an Exchange Only lines connection (because we’re too close to the exchange!). As a result, we have been told that we were way at the back of the cue for fibre. Since then Virgin has created connections on Hall Road so it may have spurred BT into action. I did a quick check on the BT broadband site this morning and it still lists our block as ADSL only.”

Cotman House, Townshend Estate

We have again urged CityWest Homes to take action against the regular illegal parking outside Cotman House and other parts of Townshend Estate.

Charles Lane

We have asked the Environmental Health team to investigate this issue:

“In Charles Lane a smoke alarm keeps going off.  It is infuriating.  Is there anything that can be done please?

We have received the following update

“The Noise Team visited the resident and identified that the noise was coming from the smoke alarm at a property in Charles Lane. The resident held a key to property and having gained entry the battery was changed on the sounder and the noise has ceased. “

Henstridge Place

We have asked the Council to look in to this issue:

“I live on Henstridge Place and have some serious concerns about that cul-de-sac.  There are frequently people sitting in their cars, usually young boys, parked at the end of this cul-de-sac.  Sometimes they are out of their cars and chatting in the street. It can be quite frightening to come home at night alone in the dark and see this going on.  They are often playing loud music in their cars and clearly up to no good, hidden away in this small street. Is there something we can do to make this street safer for the residents? “

Blenheim Terrace

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“On a daily basis there is a pile of rubbish dumped on Blenheim Terrace near the green grocer and Moments Cafe. It appears the merchants on that side of the road are not properly ridding their business of rubbish and place it on the sidewalk instead of paying for a bin. There are several flats above the businesses and they also drop their rubbish on the sidewalk. There are two round bins on the street, but these are always overflowing. In the last couple of weeks there has been the appearance of a wood palate and building material left under the “No Dumping” sign. Not only is this unsightly, but a health and safety issue, as there have been rats and crows feasting on the leftovers from the businesses and rubbish from the flats. The business owners need to be held accountable for disposing of their business rubbish properly and the flats need to be provided enough disposal cans for their rubbish.”

Wellington Road

We asked the Council to fix a blocked drain at the junction of Wellington Road by St John’s Wood tube station where people are regularly getting soaked by drivers.

Carlton Hill

We have asked City West Homes for an update on the long-delayed major works on the 77 Carlton Hill Estate. Residents say:

The last full major works on the 77 Carlton Hill estate were done 15 years ago and CityWest Homes have an obligation under the terms of the lease to “to keep (the estate) in good and substantial repair”. At present there are rotting window frames, brickwork and paving is cracking and many other estate repairs are needed. This is a breach of the lease and puts lessee and residents’ wellbeing at risk. 

In October 2012, CityWest Homes announced they would be issuing S20 notices for the works. Since then on an annual basis we have had verbal confirmation the works would be “highly likely” to be progressing within the following year. Each time the works have been postponed, with a variety of excuses given. Most recently CityWest attended the estate AGM in June this year and told lessees that S20 notices would be issued in the Autumn and would work likely start in January 2018. Last week we were told via email by CityWest that they “do not currently have scheduled dates for notices or works to start”. 

Road Safety

We have asked Road Safety Team to investigate the following suggestions from residents:

  • A zebra crossing at the Hall Road/Hamilton Terrace junction
  • A zebra crossing at the Abercorn Place and Hamilton Terrace junction
  • Action to improve safety for pedestrians crossing Grove End Road to St John and Elizabeth Hospital

Environmental issues

We have asked the Council about these issues by residents:

  • Hamilton Terrace – Despite the Council saying there are 4 bins, there is not a single bin on the long stretch of Hamilton Terrace between Hall Road and St John’s Wood Road on either side. Seems a tad puzzling that the Council thinks someone walking up or down this stretch of road will try and hunt the bins on the Hall Road to Abercorn Place and Carlton Hill stretch.
  • Queen’s Terrace – There could easily be a litter bin near the letter box at the Queen’s Terrace junction of Queen’s Grove as well as on the Ordnance Hill corner. The latter would be in sight of security who may be able to keep a watchful eye.
  • Allitsen Road – Did the council ever clean the pavement outside the Ivy and the Chicken Shop on Allitsen Road?

City West Homes call centre

We have written to CityWest Homes (CWH) to call for an urgent review of their call centre operations. We are getting continual reports of residents who can’t get through to the call centre – and not getting an adequate response if they do make contact. When the local estate offices were closed and the call centre was proposed we were promised a more efficient service, with officers being freed up to go out and talk to residents and deal with problems. The reality is that there has been a real reduction in service, leaving residents feeling cut off and neglected. Our concern is that vulnerable tenants will be especially affected – and the continued lack of response from the call centre may lead them to give up trying to contact CWH to deal with urgent repairs.

Westminster Handyperson Service

The Council operates Handyperson Service with 2 handypersons working across the borough supporting residents across all tenures including City West Homes. It is a FREE service to anyone over 60 or for those under 60, on a disability benefit.

There is a £50 allowance for essential materials and residents are only able to use the service twice in any 12 months. It is not an emergency service but can tackle those little jobs around the home that older people can struggle with from changing a light bulb to putting shelves.

The following works are examples of the kind of jobs the service will carry out:

  • Home safety such as smoke detectors, grab rails, removing trip hazards.
  • Minor electrical work such as replacing broken sockets, switches and pull cords, replacing fuses.
  • Minor plumbing works, replacing tap washers, fitting lever taps, repairing leaks and unblocking sinks
  • Home energy efficiency – draught proofing, fitting low energy light bulbs.
  • General repairs and other minor jobs – moving furniture, small carpentry jobs, easing sticking doors, fixing curtain rails, hanging curtains, lowering shelves, putting up shelves.

What works are not covered?

  • Work involving gas appliances and boilers
  • Electrical works except those indicated above
  • Decorating
  • Gardening

The number to call to arrange the appointment is 0207 641 8959.

London Living Wage

We are delighted that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has increased the London Living Wage to £10.20p. He says:

“I am delighted to reveal today that the new London Living Wage is increasing to £10.20 – as promised when I ran to be Mayor, breaking the £10 mark for the first time ever. Working people keep my city and our country running. From cleaners and nursing assistants, to childminders and shop assistants. They deserve to live free from poverty. Today is a good step towards my ambition: a city and a country where everyone can share in our prosperity and everyone has a fair shot at succeeding.”

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

Fast food takeaways

We are pleased that the Mayor is intruding new planning policies to ban fast-food takeaways from opening within 400 metres of schools in a bid to tackle the capital’s child obesity epidemic. In addition, all new chicken, fish and chip and pizza outlets will have to sign up to minimum healthy food standards before getting planning permission. The Mayor said the move would help deal with the “ticking time bomb” of childhood obesity in London, where almost 40 per cent of children are obese or overweight by the time they finish primary school, the highest proportion in England.

What you say

“Many thanks for raising the rubbish issue blighting our neighborhood. It’ll be great to have this all sorted as it’s really unpleasant walking past rubbish that is left out for weeks/illegally. As ever, we are very grateful for your work on these issues.”

“Many thanks for the report.  I am so pleased that the Council is being held to account.”

“I very much enjoy reading this, as I have lived in St John’s wood my entire life. It is very useful to see how the community feels and how certain issues have been addressed.  Thank you for all your help and involvement. “

“Keep up the good work.” 

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











Hall Road/Hamilton Terrace

We have asked the Road Safety team to look in to this issue:

“I live on Hall Road between Hamilton Terrace and Maida Vale. Every morning and afternoon I walk my children to and from nursery. There is no pedestrian light at the corner of Hamilton Terrace and Hall Road. It is a 4-way junction with cars tuning from every direction and is often quite dangerous and demands a high level of focus and constant communication with the drivers to ensure one is seen as there is almost never a safe time to cross. Pedestrian lights on that corner would tremendously benefit the families that cross that junction daily on foot. Please consider look into this. “

St John’s Wood Terrace

We have the Council to consider this issue:

“Please consider dog waste bins along St John’s Wood Terrace. At nearly every tree base – and there are many along our street –  little bags of dog mess are left on most mornings. I never see anyone leaving them but they are regularly there. It might encourage dog owners to be more considerate.”

Wharncliffe Gardens

Following our enquiries about illegal parking on the Wharncliffe Hardens estate we have had the following update from City West Homes:

“We are aware of this issue which has arisen recently, in these 7 parking bays. Unfortunately, Council wardens have no jurisdiction to ticket people parking without authorisation in housing land bays. The housing team are following our procedure and monitoring the area. Where they see vehicles, they are recording this and placing letters on the vehicles. Where we have persistent offenders, we refer these to the DVLA for registered keeper details. We can then take action using the tenancy or lease for resident, or for trespass for non-residents.”

Townsend Estate

We have again asked City West Homes to take action against illegal and unauthorised parking on the estate. City West Homes say:

“We have been placing warning letters on any vehicles they find on our estates that are parked without authorisation. In the main these have worked and the unauthorised parking has ceased. However, there will always be some residents and other visitors who flout the parking rules.

In order to try and tackle those who persistently break parking rules we have decided to take legal action where necessary and in most cases this will mean applying to the courts for an injunction. Our housing team regularly visit Cameron House in order to issue a letter on offending vehicles. We will take a photographic record at the time of the visit, which will subsequently be used in court. We will be applying to DVLC for owner details of the vehicle if we see it more than once. The housing team will be visiting the estate next week in order to ascertain if there are areas on the estate we can erect either bollards or gates in order to stop this activity.”

Queen’s Grove

We have asked the Refuse Collection Team to investigate this issue:

“We have a mysterious disappearing litter bin that is most useful and it keeps being moved and has now disappeared. It is particularly useful for dog walkers who insist otherwise in dripping bags by all the trees. Can the trees have signs and the litter bin out back please?”

The Council say:

“We are aware of the repeatedly disappearing litter bin in Queens Grove and are investigating the issue, as several litterbins have now disappeared from this location. We can of course look at other potential bin locations in the area but I would refrain from replacing bins at this junction until we have identified who is responsible for removing the bins.”

Hall Road

We have asked the Refuse Department to investigate this issue:

“Coming home today after the bins have been collected, and dustbin men have not collected some of the rubbish (i.e. by the bin outside Grove Hall Court) which is now overflowing and spilling out onto Hall Road. The rubbish outside number 10 has been sat there for 3 weeks now, with more being dumped by passers-by and what I can only assume are tradesmen and residents. This is now spilling out onto the actual street, with McDonald’s and Pret coffee cups sat there, not being collected. On no fewer than 4 occasions have there been rubbish collections and no bin men have collected this rubbish. Whose responsibility is it? What is our council tax being spent on?”

Hamilton Terrace

A similar problem exists in Hamilton Terrace which we have also reported to the Council:

“Hamilton Terrace, it would be very difficult to localise where on the road dog mess is left. On my walk to St John’s Wood station to go to work and, quite frankly, whenever we walk in the neighbourhood, there is dog mess in most streets. It’s a Westminster-wide issue. Whilst it’s great that wardens and City inspectors visit, it is difficult to have faith that this helps the issue as it is unlikely people leave dog mess when others are around. Also, if they aren’t visiting during ‘peak dog walking hours’, which I assume is before 9am and early evening, then I question the actual effectiveness of this and I can’t say that in all the years living in Hamilton Terrace, I have ever seen anyone. Unless I am mistaken, there isn’t a single litter bin on either side of Hamilton Terrace between Hall Road and St John’s Wood Road, which is a long stretch of street. “

The Council say:

“We currently have four litterbins in place along Hamilton Terrace and a further two bins at the junctions with Carlton Hill and Abercorn Place. These have been specifically stickered to indicate dog waste bags can be deposited in them, and we have additionally erected 8 new signs and carried out regular visits at the most common dog-walking times but as you will appreciate catching owners ‘in the act’ can be very much hit and miss. I have asked our officers to check the signage (and to re-install any that have been recently torn down) and the locations of the litterbins. If local residents do wish to report irresponsible behaviour they can use the quick report-it form at Times and descriptions of repeated incidents will obviously assist enforcement officers in being in the right place at the right time.”

St John’s Wood Park

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

“Constant insane drivers treating this quiet backwater as though they are at Donnington. Please put speed bumps in!! Take care of your residents

Circus Road

We have asked Highways Department to investigate this issue:

“For many years a section of paving and a driveway into Wellington Hospital has been a concern to many residents of St. John’s Wood. It was not until I noticed an elderly lady pushing another elderly person in a wheelchair trying to navigate around this hazard that I decided that enough is enough. I have spoken to roads and paving department in the Town Hall and received a reply saying that the problem had been dealt with and completed. Not so. I checked the area the following day and the situation was totally unchanged. the driveway is badly damaged and when it rain there is a large pothole in the middle of this drive that fills with water making matters all the worse for pedestrians who then are forced out into the traffic in order to circumvent this hazard.”

St John’s Wood Terrace/Woronzow Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I was hoping that you can help me with an on going situation with a motorbike parked in a motorbike bay situated in St Johns Wood Terrace at the junction of Woronzow Road NW8. Please can you help to have the alarm fault fixed as the alarm sounds in wind and rainy conditions…this does not happen every night but a few times a week. I have reported this noise nuisance to the council before but the problem is still on going. Westminster noise patrol have tried to find out who the bike belongs to (August!). Now the person/possibly the owner has removed the number plate from the bike!”

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

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 

Pavement Cycling – what you say

“Laws need to change regarding cyclists. They have nearly run me over on the pavement at high speed as I was leaving my home in Hamilton Terrace to get into the car. Nobody could identify the offender as cyclists are not required to have a licence.

“A lot of these problems with speeding and bikes on pavement would be dealt with by putting in cctv. I know you said there was no budget but it would self-pay, It would make us feel safer too”

Abercorn Place – what you say

“I note the 20 mph zone notices now in Abercorn Place re the school but why are the notices only facing the traffic coming up from Maida Vale and not also the traffic turning in from the Abbey Road cars still try to speed down and since the notices are facing down Abercorn they do not see them.”

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



Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council










Hamilton Terrace 

Following our enquiries about bins for dog waste, the Council say:

“We have several litterbins located along Hamilton Terrace with signage confirming that they can be used for depositing bags of dog mess. If there are any specific locations that are causing an issue please just let me know and I can ask the local City Inspector to consider relocating or installing additional litter bins. Hamilton Terrace is a known major dog-walking route so is frequently visited by both our Animal Warden and City Inspectors at the most common dog-walking times.” 

St John’s Wood Terrace 

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

“I was happy to note in your recent newsletter that you have asked the road safety team and Police to look at speeding in the northern section of Ordnance Hill. Can you ask the same team to also look at St John’s Wood Terrace, from Ordnance Road towards Townsend Road (one of the experimental 20 mph sections) as this also suffers from drivers of high performance cars accelerating harshly and loudly, sometimes then quickly decelerating to turn into Charlbert Street (and accelerating again).” 

Charles Lane 

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

“The junction of Charles Lane to St Johns Wood High Street is extremely dangerous because of cars parking so close to the junction. It is impossible to see if anything is approaching because of cars parked in the high street, on both single and double lines. Could somebody look into this please before there is a serious accident?” 

The Council say:

“The yellow lines meet the required Department for Transport standards, and the site has a good safety record.  The existing lines will be refreshed this year as part of programmed cyclical lining works.  To further protect the sight lines at the junction, the waiting restrictions (double yellow lines) would need to be extended around the junction. As a policy we do not upgrade yellow lines around junction corners until there is a funded scheme in the vicinity that will make this possible and cover the necessary costs.  Therefore, I have added this site to the programme and it will be considered when other works scheduled in the area.”

Ordnance Hill – update 

Following our enquiries about speeding cars, the Council says:

“We have contacted the Metropolitan Police with regards to the alleged speeding and have agreed to place an ‘Automated Traffic Counter’ (ATC) within Ordnance Hill to get an accurate measure of both vehicle speeds and volume of traffic. Should this identify excessive speeds the Met Police will consider undertaking speed enforcement or refer the location for ‘Community Road Watch’ (CRW). CRW is an initiative which gives residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles.” 

Hall Road broadband

We are making enquiries with BT about this issue:

“Our block (William Court, 6 Hall Road) is an Exchange Only lines connection (because we’re too close to the exchange!). As a result, we have been told that we were way at the back of the cue for fibre. Since then Virgin has created connections on Hall road so it may have spurred BT into action. I did a quick check on the BT broadband site this morning and it still lists our block as ADSL only.”

Greenberry Street/Barrow Hill Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I wrote to Westminster Council recently about the problem being caused by foxes attacking the Council refuse bin on the corner of Greenberry Street and Barrow Hill Road.  According to the newsagent on the spot – who opens up around 05:30 each morning – it is a regular occurrence to see one or more foxes tearing apart the bags in the bin in search of food.  This results in a considerable amount of rubbish being strewn across the road. “

Elm Tree Road

Following representations from residents and ourselves, traffic counts will be taken along Elm Tree Road to assess traffic speeds, prior to consideration of appropriate action. We have also asked for double yellow lines to be located on the bend in the road.

St Edmunds Terrace

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this issue:

“With the close proximity to both Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, parking outside our homes or even nearby on the weekend is incredibly difficult. All the visitors to the park occupy the bays and at times park on the double yellow lines making driving dangerous. With the increased development on the street, there are more residents than before and it is becoming an increasing problem parking. What is the best way to go about to making the resident parking hours also on weekends?”

Planning Committee meetings 

We propose to allow direct representations from residents at Planning Committee meetings if we win the Council election in May 2018. Many residents have made the points below to us over the years and we think it makes common sense to give residents a voice:

“I have sat in on Planning Meetings, but only as a silent witness. The majority of Planning Committees in the country allow a number of citizens to have an opportunity in a few minutes to comment. When I have spoken to leading planning lawyers they have been staggered. Perhaps procedures of the Westminster Council have been changed – but if not how can they be made to be democratic?” 

Empty Homes

We are supporting the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who has urged the Government to allow London’s boroughs to increase council tax bills for high-value homes that are left empty. The Mayor wants boroughs be able to boost the empty home council tax levy on high-value properties above the current 50 per cent of council tax allowed, saying that the ability to charge this levy at a meaningful rate will “incentivise occupation” and “generate a more substantial receipt” of support for investment in new affordable homes.

North Paddington Foodbank

The North Paddington Foodbank was set up by the Wallerton and Elgin Community Homes (WECH) Housing Association in 2013. Demand has doubled since last year. In 2016/17, it supported 1168 families compared with 520 the previous year. There are on average 2 people per household and one third of them have children.

CAB adviser Noreen O’Neill explains:

“I help a wide range of clients including single parents, the elderly on pension credit, families and, sometimes, ex-offenders on release from prison. The typical profile of clients are those struggling to get by on a low income. They are particularly vulnerable to an unexpected bill or loss of benefits or income, as they have no reserves to fall back on.

“Housing benefit is the most common problem, followed closely by rent arrears and general money and debt problems. Sometimes clients can experience a delay of more than six weeks in receiving benefits, leaving them in an impossible situation, unable to buy food. This can happen when new claims are being processed or when a change of circumstances leads to people having their benefits stopped abruptly while they are reassessed.  Sometimes clients are sanctioned, which means repaying benefits that have been overpaid, which then makes their financial situation even worse.”

If you need further information on the North Paddington Foodbank you can go to:

For advice on debt, housing, employment, benefits or other general advice contact Citizens Advice Westminster via our website or call our Adviceline on 0300 330 1191.

Uber – what you say

“There’s no danger of London losing access to on-demand rides. And no, 40,000 drivers are not losing their livelihood. Most likely, Uber’s new management will make whatever changes are necessary to win the appeal. Even if Uber loses its appeal, other apps will take its place and sign up the drivers. On-demand minicabs are here to stay. You could even set up your own Uber clone business using software. Uber may succeed in cornering the London market or it may be put out of business by the regulator and replaced with one or more equally convenient but unsubsidised new services. In both scenarios, the public gets its rides and the drivers keep their jobs but the fares will more accurately reflect the true economic cost of providing the service.”

I do not want to join the debate over the recent suspension of the UBER licence by TfL, but it seems as though this part of town is a congregation area for the Minicabs servicing the Central part of London, as they are frequently parked on the yellow lines and residents’ parking areas waiting for calls. in the winter months they often keep their engines on to keep warm, and are in the habit of emptying their rubbish in the gutter, along with body waste. I go early to work during the week (0630 – 0700) and often see this first-hand. In the absence of any kind of Police or Wardens, which have become scarce, they seem to be able to act with impunity, and drive off if they see any authority approaching. These Drivers obviously provide a service that some people appreciate for their availability and economy, but there is no social provision for their needs, and I doubt their contribution to the local council funding.”

Pavement cycling – what you say 

“I was threatened with violence by a cyclist who was on the pavement in Finchley Road between Circus Road and Acacia Road last week. I had just got off a bus.” 

“A sizeable group of cyclists regularly mount the pavement, jump traffic lights and ride the wrong way down streets when suits them. They are oblivious to the law and insulting when questioned. Often, the riders are using mobile phones and/or headphones at the same time as riding.” 

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



Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council











Cotman House – Parking Update

Following our enquiries about illegal parking on the estate, City West Homes say:

“To try and tackle those who persistently break parking rules we have decided to take legal action where necessary and in most cases applying to the courts for an injunction. Our team will regularly visit Cotman House in order to “sticker” vehicles- we will take a photographic record at the time of the visit, which will subsequently be used in court. We will be applying to DVLC for owner details of the vehicle at the same time. In respect of this specific abuse of a parking bay, we do retain the right to remove a bay from a resident if we find that such an abuse has taken place.  We will be visiting the estate to ascertain if there are areas on the estate we can erect either bollards or gates in order to stop this activity”

Hall Road – superfast broadband update

Following our enquiries, BT tell us that residents in the Hall Road area can now order fibre broadband, now that cabinet 59 is connected to the Lords exchange.

Hamilton Terrace

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I wanted to email about an ongoing issue on Hamilton Terrace. Residents along the street are leaving recycling bags out outside of the times recommended by Westminster Council. We have noticed this a lot up and down the street – people are leaving rubbish and recycling out by the trees, often for days on end. The result is that rubbish bags get split by foxes, and recycling bags are just dumped by the trees. It’s a ghastly sight and I am sure I am not alone in thinking this. “

Loudoun Road

We are making enquiries about the works at 15 Loudoun Road. Residents say:

“These works have now been going on for some time, over a year. We have been given no indication when the job will finish and work is intermittent which will only extend the time until completion. “

St John’s Wood Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I would like to raise an issue regarding a loose drain cover on St Johns Wood Road, just before the junction with Grove End Road when facing Lords.  The cover is just outside Grove End House and the Santander bicycle stand.  It is very disturbing very difficult to sleep with the constant thumping every few seconds.”

St John’s Wood High Street area

We have asked the Council to look in to this issue:

“The pavement outside The Ivy cafe and the Chicken Shop in Allitsen Road are covered in grease. Disgusting.”

The Council say:

“A deep clean of St John’s Wood High Street is currently programmed to commence during w/c 4th September and will take approximately 2-3 weeks to complete. In advance of this the City Inspectors are undertaking enforcement action against any businesses that allow grease/oils etc. to leak from there waste bags.”

We have also asked the Road Safety Team to include Allitsen Road and Charlbert Street in its review of local roads:

“Please note the speeding car problem is also related Allitsen Road which is used as an entry racetrack to the St. Johns Wood High Street and has many children living in this road”

“Can I suggest you add Charlbert Street to the Road Safety concerns on St Johns Wood High Street. Mornings especially traffic comes roaring through this quiet residential street at Main Road speeds.”

Abercorn Place/Maida Vale

We have again raised this issue with the Council:

“The parking spaces for doctors still remain near the NHS surgery that closed some time ago (where Abercorn Place meets Maida Vale) – it was called the Maida Vale Clinic.  Also two charging posts remain wrapped up so out of use.”

The Council tells us:

“The former doctors’ bays are being converted to electric parking charging points

Ordnance Hill

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

“Ordnance Hill is often used as a ‘drag race’ speeding area, heading north from the traffic lights at Acacia Road. It is especially young men in sports cars who try to go from zero to 60 as quickly as they can. It is frightening, dangerous and often very noisy. Whilst we do not want speed bumps to be installed, it would be useful to have speed cameras.”

The Council say:

“We have contacted the Metropolitan Police with regards to the alleged speeding and have agreed to place an ‘Automated Traffic Counter’ (ATC) within Ordnance Hill to get an accurate measure of both vehicle speeds and volume of traffic. Should this identify excessive speeds the Met Police will consider undertaking speed enforcement or refer the location for ‘Community Road Watch’ (CRW). CRW is an initiative which gives residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles.”

Residents have also asked for more litter bins and say:

“As the King’s Troop Barracks were a high security target, there are no public bins in our local streets – they were considered bomb threats. Since the Troop left, we are no longer a high profile location. Our area is full of dogs who are walked both by their owners and by ‘dog walkers’, however there are no bins locally into which ‘bagged’ deposits can be made. As a result, many plastic ‘dog poo bags’ are placed around the trees in the area, as well as in gutters. Although our streets are very regularly cleaned, this builds up very quickly and it is a menace.”

The Council says:

“Thanks, this seems like an eminently sensible suggestion. I’ve asked our Street Cleansing Manager to review and will get back to you.”










Carlton Hill

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

“There is a 7.5 ton weight restriction on Carlton Hill at both ends. This is more abused than observed. Heavy goods vehicles try to push their way down this very narrow street with parking on both sides often getting stuck and holding up others. On other occasions they charge down the street bouncing over the sleeping policemen and slamming down shaking the houses. This Sunday afternoon two gigantic coaches belonging to Laguna Travel pushed their way in stopping any oncoming traffic. I stopped the coach and pointed out to both drivers they were breaking the law. They were immediately abusive and tried to say they were not commercial vehicles.”

St John’s Wood High Street

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

“Residents in St Johns Wood have been complaining for years about speeding fast cars in St Johns’ Wood High Street and into St Ann’s Terrace. There are many elderly people, children and people walking with pets and these sports cars are a nuisance. CCTV would also be helpful in both of these roads for burglaries. This could be very helpful to assist with this.”

The Council says:

“St John’s Wood High Street has been reported as a possible vehicle speeding location to Community Roadwatch; a road safety initiative that aims to reduce speeding in residential areas.  Westminster City Council is currently working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service to run this scheme, giving residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams and use speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles. The City Council will await the results and any information captured through Community Roadwatch will help to identify whether further investigations are required in the future.  Additional information can be obtained by contacting: “

Dora House, St John’s Wood Road

Central & Cecil Housing Trust has gained consent for a 156-home senior living redevelopment of Dora House opposite Lords Cricket Ground. C&C plans to demolish the existing Dora House and construct a new residence on the Lodge Road side of the site. The front of the site will be used to build 44 private apartments. The revenue from this will fund the construction of the new Dora House.

Cameron House, Townshend Estate

We have asked the Council to repair a defective lift in Cameron House.

Cotman House, Townshend Estate

We have asked City West Homes to take action against the long-term illegal parking outside Cotman House. CWH say:

“In order to try and tackle those who persistently break parking rules we have decided to take legal action where necessary and in most cases applying to the courts for an injunction. I shall be asking my team to make sure they regularly visit in order to “sticker” this vehicle- we will take a photographic record at the time of the visit, which will subsequently be used in court. We will be applying to DVLC for owner details of the vehicle at the same time.”

St Edmund’s Terrace

We have asked the Parking Department to investigate this issue:

“I am writing regards to the residents’ parking on St. Edmunds Terrace. With the close proximity to both Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, parking outside our homes or even nearby on the weekend is incredibly difficult. All the visitors to the park occupy the bays and at times park on the double yellow lines making driving dangerous. With the increased development on the street, there are more residents than before and it is becoming an increasing problem parking. I just wanted to see what is the best way to go about to making the resident parking hours also on weekends?”


According to the press:

“Westminster City Council wants a component of affordable housing to be included in plans for two ten-floor blocks at the Nursery End of the ground. However, the developer who is proposing developing Lord’s in conjunction with the MCC, feels that social housing should be built away from the Nursery End blocks, which are intended to provide expensive accommodation. Instead, he wants to knock down houses in Grove End Road, at the opposite end of the ground behind the pavilion, and build 50 flats that would be a mix of private homes and accommodation for hard-up cricketers and other sportsmen.”




Abercorn Place

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The North West London Medical Centre has been shut down from the end of March this year. The white boxed road marking has two bays, both have been unoccupied from the end of March 2017. These two bays need to be sorted out as it been 3 months now. “

Cameron House, Townshend Estate

We have asked the Council and City West Homes to take action against illegal parking outside Cameron House. City West Homes say:

“I visited the estate to put notices on those cars parked in areas which are not allocated for parking and/or parked without a valid permit. We are now in the process of requesting information from the DVLA about the owners of the vehicles so that we can write to them directly and if necessary, take further action.”

Elm Tree Road

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

“I live in Elm Tree Road and have noticed that with increased road traffic at Lords due to the Warner stand and other development, many goods vehicles and Uber drivers use this road as a speedy through-road even though it is very narrow, and use it to hang around with idle engines. However there are many families here with small children and crossing the road has become more dangerous for them at times. Can we look into making it a 20 MPH road and installing double red lines at the corners, not just double yellow, to stop constant idle parking by such vehicles?”

Alma Square

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I would be grateful for your suggestions as to how to deal with rubbish being put out in the street whenever people have it, without waiting for the collection day. In Alma Square a number of residents are still putting out their rubbish as and when they have it. Rubbish was left for at least 5 days, last week, on Thursday the recycling van took the soggy cardboard.”

The Council say:

“I have asked the local City Inspector to monitor this street as a matter of priority and to take enforcement action as appropriate against any residents or businesses fly-tipping waste outside of the agreed collection times.”

41 Abbey Road – Update

Following our enquiries, the Council has given us the latest update on this long-neglected property:

“I can confirm that an enforcement report seeking authority to serve a Section 215 Notice on the property has been prepared and approved. The report is currently with the City Council’s Legal Services to prepare the Notice and subsequently serve on the property. The Notice requires works to be carried out to the front elevation of the property to improve its appearance and bring it back to an acceptable standard. As a precursor to serving the Notice, Legal Services issue Section 330 Notices to ascertain ownership details. There is a 21-day timeframe for responses to be returned.”

Queen’s Grove

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“The public litter bin that usually sits on the northwest corner of the junction of Queen’s Grove/St John’s Wood Park/Ordnance Hill disappeared a couple of weeks ago. Is this deliberate? It is an extremely useful and strategically placed litter bin for dog walkers. With few alternative bins in the immediate area I fear that withdrawing the bin will lead to an increase of the horrible plague of dog poo bags dropped in the street or dog mess not being cleared. Please could it be reinstated ASAP?”

The Council say:

I have reported this missing litter bin to our contractors who have replaced it today. “


The press has reported the following:

“Marylebone Cricket Club has begun the process of consulting its members on two options for the radical development of Lord’s. The consultation document, which has been sent out to 18,000 full members and 5,500 associate members, is the largest survey produced by MCC and sets out the details of two proposals for the redevelopment of the home of cricket. In one plan the Nursery Ground would be moved back towards Wellington Road allowing for the Compton and Edrich stands to be made taller and deeper, creating room for an additional 2,000 seats. The club would then refurbish the Tavern and Allen stands between 2027 and 2030, for which it has planning permission from Westminster City Council, and establish new staff accommodation, offices and turnstiles by the north gate nearest to St John’s Wood Tube station by 2032.”










The Clifton

Great to see The Clifton re-open last month! We popped in for a pint to wish the new landlords all the very best for the future!

The Star, St John’s Wood Terrace

Residents living close to The Star pub are concerned about its conversion to a restaurant and have raised questions about the location of the proposed flue which will be close to residents’ windows and bring food smells close to their homes. We have asked the Planning Department if this be looked at carefully so that this issue does not have a negative impact on local residents.

The Council says:

“The flue at the rear is currently being investigated by the Planning Enforcement Team. In respect of the use of the premises, we have advised the owner that restaurant use will require planning permission and neighbours are very concerned that the outside seating area at the front will be used predominantly for shisha smoking. However, we need to wait until the premises opens “

Acacia Road

We have reported a broken pavement in Acacia Road. The Council say: “We have investigated this and found a small area of footway that does meet our intervention criteria for repair. Works have been ordered and will be completed within 10 days.”

Park Road/Baker Street

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

“There are still cars crossing during pedestrian green light, one morning even a bus and 2 police cars, so I think this shows it is not clear that there is a red light.  Yes, there is congestion of the road at certain times but it is also unclear that the red light on the left of the street applies not to Allsop Place but to Baker Street and especially to a pedestrian crossing. There should be a second traffic light installed on the right hand post plus a sign ‘pedestrians ‘ on both sides and/ or the floor marked in red to make it more visible”









Finchley Road/Queen’s Grove – Update

Following our enquiries, TfL has given us the latest update:

“Our traffic engineers have observed the junction of Finchley Road, Marlborough Place and Queens Grove and noted some eastbound vehicles from Marlborough Road being unable to continue onto Queens Grove in one movement as you have described. We have identified a possible solution which will require changes to be made at the junction. These changes should be completed in the next two weeks.”

Wharncliffe Gardens

We have reported this recurring issue to the Council:

“You may recollect that some considerable time ago  I wrote to you regarding rats on and near the point where Lisson Grove crosses the Regent’s Canal and you arranged for action to be taken to get rid of them. Unfortunately, they have returned and have been seen by Wharncliffe Gardens residents not only on the bridge but also in the nearby garden adjacent to Ashby Court on the Wharncliffe Gardens Estate and near the entrance to the WAES college.  Would you arrange, please, for this to be followed up as residents living nearby on the Wharncliffe Gardens Estate have expressed their concern.”

St John’s Wood empty properties

Residents have pointed out the following long-term empty properties about which we are making enquiries:

  • 15 Loudon Road – this site has been derelict for over 4 years. There is no work going on behind the hoardings which are an eyesore.
  • A property in Marlborough Place that has lain derelict now for upwards of 7 years.
  • The former old people’s home at Greatham Lodge on Abbey Road
  • 87 St John’s Wood Terrace, an old church where building work started over a year ago, then stopped. This old building has been derelict for years.
  • The house corner of Clifton Hill/Greville Road which has been a building site for many years

Woronzow Road 

We have asked the Council to investigate a property in Woronzow Road which neighbours say has had extensive building works undertaken without planning permission.

Charles Lane

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“In St Johns Wood the not so new now Chicken Shop has its vent at the back of the shop pointed towards Charles Lane. The residents of Charles Lane have complained about the noise and smell but no improvements seem to be happening.

St John’s Wood Terrace

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

“Our bench on St John’s Wood Terrace is still very problematic with litter always on and around it. Many times I have asked if the rubbish bin could be moved close by the bench. It always is moved to the bench after I mention it, but usually within two days it is on the kerb again. It is there now and has been for some time. I asked the road sweeper one day who was by the bench if it could be moved back, but he said that it was not his job. I feel almost as if it should be taken away altogether but the many old folk in the two almshouses use them to rest bringing home shopping. Is it not beyond the wit of man to have the base of the bin permanently secured to the pavement near bench? After all, only the inner layer is removed for taking away rubbish.” 

The Council say:

“The litterbin has now been moved back and our contractors have been advised to ensure that the bin remains next to the bench. The crews who service and empty this bin have also been advised to return the bin to the correct location. The local depot will monitor it to ensure it does not stray away again.”

Hamilton Terrace

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

“Hamilton Terrace is a popular road to walk dogs in, unfortunately at the St John’s Wood Road end we suffer from dog owners disposing their poo bags around trees or on the pavement. Apart from the unpleasant look they pose a health hazard. Could we have a bin in our area for disposals? This would seem small matter but it is a significant nuisance for both residents and road cleaners.” 

The Council say:

“We have recently installed new signs on Hamilton Terrace to target dog fouling and I have asked the Local City Inspector to undertake some patrols.  Hamilton Terrace is popular for dogs and we previously installed 4 litterbins further up the Terrace for owners to better dispose of bagged waste. However, given its overall size I will arrange for another litter bin to be installed this week on St John’s Wood Road Junction end, initially on a trial basis to see if this helps. Again the Local officer will monitor it.”

Manor Apartments, Abbey Road 

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I want to raise the issue of construction works in the backyard of Manor Apartments, 40-42 Abbey Road.Because of the daily construction and digging work in the backyard there is constant dust coming out .. our windows facing the backyard are very dirty and we are obliged to constantly keep them closed so that dust doesn’t get in. Is there a chance the council can apply some dust control procedures? like having the construction area covered instead of exposing us to the dust and knowing that not being able to open windows in the summer is an issue.”










Carlton Hill

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

“We have lived on the west side of Carlton Hill for 12 years. The traffic is getting worse by the day. The problem is that we have incoming traffic from various roads: Maida Vale Road (left at the lights into Carlton Hill), Hamilton Terrace and Abbey Road.  Moreover, cars perceive Carlton Hill as a wide road (it is between Maida Vale and the junction with Hamilton Terrace) and go at high speed all the way through, which is quite dangerous. Can anything be done about this?”

Abbey Road

We have reported a burst water main at the Abbey Road zebra crossing.

Finchley Road

We are making enquiries again about this issue:

“Crossing Finchley Road from Marlborough Place and travelling onto Queens Grove, the traffic light allows only a few cars through and then all traffic is stationery for a few long minutes. It would be so much more efficient to keeping the traffic flowing with a green turning arrow for cars crossing Finchley Road heading East at this junction.”

Cochrane Street

We have contacted the Parking Department about this issue:

“Apparently there are no restrictions on a Saturday and Cochrane Street is used for parking by motorists from outside the area, many of whom park there to avoid payment in neighbouring streets.  This causes problems for local residents with permits wishing to park there and can make crossing the road hazardous for pedestrians.”

15 Loudoun Road – Update

We have received the following update from the Council following our enquiries:

“Following engagement with the owners of the above property, planning permission and listed building consents have been approved, and are in the process of being implemented. These consents permit the refurbishment and extension of the property, and address the issues that were raised as part of the untidy land complaints. In addition, a hoarding has been erected to protect the site during the construction, and has helped resolve the fly tipping issue. The City Council continues to monitor the site to ensure that the works are in accordance with the planning permission, but has decided to take no further action with regard to the untidy land.”










Clifton Hill/Greville Place

We have asked the Planning Department about this issue:

“There is an empty/half-finished house on the corner of Clifton Hill and Greville Place. It’s been in this state for possibly 10 years. What can be done to finish the work?” 

The Clifton pub

Many residents have asked us when The Clifton pub will re-open. It looks like the refurbishment works have stopped and we are trying to find out what is happening. 

Northwick Close 

We asked the Council to fix a broken street light in Northwick Close, just by the Cedric Chambers flats.

187 bus route

A resident has suggested this change. What do you think?

“Please could you look at a frequently asked request for the 187 bus to be re routed through St John’s Wood Road on its journey from Central Middlesex Hospital to Finchley Road O2 Centre instead of Hall Road as it is duplicating the no46 route at this point? This would better serve local residents and the many visitors to Lord’s Cricket Ground.”

Carlton Hill – what you say

“I was one of the residents who some 20 years ago campaigned for speed calming measures to be installed and suggested a chicane rather than humps or tables, but I now wish I hadn’t as heavy goods vehicles and especially skip lorries seem to love driving as fast as they can over the humps causing noise and dreadful vibrations that make the houses shake.”

“I live in a house in Carlton Hill, east of Abbey Road, and this stretch is affected by the increased amount of traffic and heavy vehicles in exactly the same way as the section west of Abbey Road. So perhaps the Council could look at the road as a whole.”

Cycle super-highway – what you say

“Finchley Road Road through to Swiss Cottage and beyond is a major arterial route to Central London for all of North West London and beyond. This route can only get busier as there has been a phenomenal amount of new housing built along this route and beyond, and if only a fraction of the new homeowners use cars, it is still an increase.  And yet we see TFL trying to funnel car users into a reduced area.”










Circus Road

We asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Please do something about installing rubbish bins on piece of land adjacent to St John’s Wood Post Office. There are two seats there, in use all day. People take their lunch breaks there and there are NO BINS! it is always unpleasant to see all the rubbish left there every day.”

We were delighted to hear from residents: 

“It was wonderful yesterday to walk past the post office in Circus Road and see that a rubbish bin had been placed next to the benches where people sit to eat their lunches etc. Thank you for your efforts, a result after years of trying to get it resolved.”

St John’s Wood Terrace 

We have asked the Council to look into this issue:

“A few years ago I urged Westminster Council to install a bench to enable the elderly residents of the two almshouses to rest on their way to and from the shops. We got the bench and we use it daily. So too, do the employees of the many estate agents nearby and gentlemen of the road and Saturday night revellers! A bin has been placed on the kerb a good way from the bench so no-one uses it but all debris, bottles, cans and empty sandwich packets clutter up the bench and me and my neighbours frequently are the ones to clear up and place the rubbish in the bin.

Is it not beyond the wit for the bin (it’s a heavy duty one) to be moved beside the bench so that it encourages those using the bench for eating/drinking to dispose of their own rubbish?”

41 Abbey Road – Update 

Following our enquiries about the derelict state of this property, the Planning Department has told us the following:

“We wrote to the proprietors of the property in December 2016 requiring a written confirmation of their plans of how they intend to improve the appearance and condition of the property. Our letter brought the following concerns to their attention:

  • the condition of the render on the front elevation at all levels
  • cracks on the front façade in need of repair with lime-based mortar
  • peeling and flaking paintwork, including window frames, windowsills, walls and parapet, in need of repair and repainting to match the remainder of the building
  • poor state of cornices and all window sills and frames, also in need of repair works with lime-based mortar and repainting to match the building
  • vegetation growing from within the windows and walls of the building. 

They sent an email informing the City Council that they are currently obtaining quotations from contractors to carry out works as per our letter. However, due to the Christmas break, obtaining quotations was taking longer than anticipated. They hope to begin works shortly.”

Grove End Road

We reported a water leak at the end of Grove End Road in the hope that it could be fixed before it caused serious damage.

Carlton Hill

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

May I draw your attention to the increased level of traffic now using Carlton Hill west of Abbey Rd. it is a residential street but in the morning, early evening and now most of the day it is taking much more heavy traffic than it was designed for. There are speed bumps but these are not doing the trick, in fact heavy vehicles taking them at speed are causing shock-waves to affect the houses. Additionally, residents’ Vehicles leaving their off street parking take their lives in their hands as they try to reverse out onto the road. The speed and volume of traffic, associated noise and pollution really does need to be addressed.”

Acacia Road/St John’s Wood Tube Station

We arranged for a number of dumped Christmas Trees to be removed.

Park Road/Baker Street

We have asked the Road Safety Team to look into this issue:

“At the junction of Park Road with Baker Street there is a traffic light which pretty much gets ignored by the motorists. We have to cross there every day on our way to school and back – and have nearly got run over several times or at least gotten some nasty looks as we make our way through the cars during green light for the pedestrians. It is very dangerous with my 3 kids and very frustrating because drivers just don’t care or maybe they don’t notice that they have to stop?”

Empty Property

We have asked the Council to tell us what can be done to get these two properties repaired and back in to occupation:

  • 19 Cavendish Avenue NW8 – a very large beautiful old house falling into disrepair.  A rusty sat dish on the side, no tv aerial on roof that I can see.  Always a light on in lobby behind front door and a light at the side.
  • 112 Hamilton Terrace NW8 – another large house in disrepair.  I noted tv aerial on the house and lower windows one had shutters closed the other a grill so some security.  Other windows blinds or a partial curtain.  No lights.  The front portico over the door is padded over to secure crumbling decoration over the portal



Ordnance Hill

We have made enquiries about a long standing empty Council property in Ordnance Hill:

“The house next door has been empty for nearly two years. The council say it would be too expensive to ‘do up’ in order to house a needy family. But the neighbour who left the address said it was perfectly okay. It is now, however, getting very run down. If the Council were not planning to sell it for these years why hasn’t it been used for temporary emergency family housing? And why haven’t the Council looked after the property meantime? This morning I saw a rat coming from the front of that property.”

The Star, St John’s Wood Terrace – Update 

Following our enquiries, the Council says: 

“Since the appeal was decided, we have heard very little from the owners.  However, we understand they are looking at bringing forward a development that reopens the pub at ground and basement levels with flat/s above.” 

St John’s Wood Barracks

Revised plans on a scheme to turn the former army barracks in St John’s Wood into luxury homes has been submitted to Westminster City Council. The Council gave the scheme planning permission back in 2014 for 163 apartments and houses but this has now been increased by eight – while a series of villas has been reduced in number. The site, will also include retail along with 59 affordable homes and a further 41 off-site.

Wellington Road

We have reported this issue to TfL:

“We live on the west side of Wellington Road, the extension southward of Finchley Road from St Johns Wood station to the roundabout at Lords which includes Wellington North and Wellingon South hospitals and the pavements here are in a very poor condition.  Taking into consideration the crowds using this thoroughfare during the cricket season, plus those using the hospital and of course the many pedestrians going to and from the station and bus stops etc., when is this extension to Finchley Road pavements going to be repaired?”

Finchley Road/Marlborough Place

We have asked the Council and TfL to investigate this suggestion:

“Crossing Finchley Road from Marlborough Place and travelling onto Queens Grove, the traffic light allows only a few cars through and then all traffic is stationery for a few long minutes. It would be so much more efficient to keeping the traffic flowing with a green turning arrow for cars crossing Finchley Road heading East at this junction.”



Finchley Road/Queen’s Grove

We asked the Council to investigate this issue

“I have noticed that the drivers travelling from Marlborough Place and continuing onto Queens Grove via the traffic light at Finchley Road tend to not keep to their side of the road and are often heading straight towards oncoming traffic that is turning out of Queens Grove and left onto Finchley Road. This is a problem as on many occasions I have had to brake very suddenly so as to avoid a head on collision despite staying very clearly in my side of the road. “

The Council has told us:

“I am pleased to be able to inform you that Transport for London were aware of the issue that has been raised. Consequently. as part of their planned works at this junction TfL will be amending the line markings for right turning vehicles into Queens Grove from Finchley Road. The stop line is being realigned so that turning vehicles remain on the correct side of the road. The amendments to the carriageway markings were undertaken at the end of October. Hopefully this will address this issue and TfL will be monitoring the revised layout once installed.” 

Residents say: 

“Thank you so much for sending this issue to the correct people. I am very grateful for the action that will be taking place. I hope that this is enough to solve this problem. Again, many many thanks for your swift action.”

St John’s Wood Post Office 

Our petition to peen open St John’s Wood Post office has over 150 signatures and you can sign here These are some of your comments:

“The staff really know what they are doing and have years of experience. Everything is very efficient each time I go there and there is a staff member who helpfully corrected my daughter’s passport application three times before I successfully submitted it and received her passport within a few days.”

“This is a PROPER post-office. Formosa St is nowhere close to the quality of service that we have been used to receive in SJW… A very sad news indeed! Keep it open!”

“St John’s Wood post office is vital to the neighbourhood. It is always busy and provides a great service. The next post office nearby would be the corner shop in Formosa St! It can sometimes barely cope with the numbers it serves.”

St John’s Wood Station

We have asked the Council to fix this problem:

“I hope you could talk to the council about the lake that appears outside St. John’s Wood station when it rains – by the newspaper hut. Somewhere there is a drainage problem. Makes it impossible to cross safely.” 

Elm Tree Road – Update

Following our enquiries about improving visibility for drivers along this ‘dog-leg’ road, the Council say: 

“Mirrors are not a ‘permitted’ measure on the highway so that is not an option. As there have not been any personal injury accidents at this location in the last 3 years there is not really the justification for any intervention measures. However, I have noted that there are already SLOW markings on either side of the bend and these probably need to be refreshed. In addition. it might be that a centre-line is implemented on the bend to provide a further indication of the change in direction of the road.”

St John’s Wood roundabout

We have asked Transport for London to complete the replacement of the safety railings after receiving this message:

“Thank you for taking notice of my concern regarding the safety railing near St Johns Wood park leading out onto St johns wood round about. Why has only HALF of the safety railing been replaced? You can clearly see markings on the pavement outside of the position of the previously removed railing. Currently it only makes half of the area outside the gate safe. If a child were to exit the gates and turn right he/she would end up on the busy round about. “

TfL say:

“Originally intended to guide pedestrians away from the road, guardrails had the opposite effect. We found that people often walked around them, which sometimes trapped them in the road. Pedestrian guardrails are not vehicle restraint barriers and do not offer pedestrians protection from vehicles. In many cases, they provide a false sense of security to both pedestrians and drivers. We have been monitoring the situation where guardrail has been removed, and we have noticed a decline in the numbers of incidents involving pedestrians.

At this particular location, we did not consider the guardrail to be offering benefit to any user of the highway and so had it removed, however after receiving representations from a local school and others, we met with the school on site and agreed to reinstall the panels that are today, and in both of our views that was determined to be the most suitable outcome.”

Abbey Road

We have asked the Planning Department for an update on this issue:

“I wonder if anyone knows what is going on inside and outside no. 41 Abbey Road. It was a nursing home when I moved here and now look at it…… A disgrace”



St John’s Wood Post Office

We have started a petition calling on Westminster Council to lobby the Post Office to keep open the Crown Post Office on Circus Road, St John’s Wood

The government owned Post Office on Circus Road serving St John’s Wood is set to shut down or be taken over by a private company.  It has been identified as 1 of 42 loss-making main Crown branches in the UK. It is currently on the market as a franchise meaning a private company could take it over and run it.

So far, the petition has been signed by 138 local residents – many thanks!

The Star, St John’s Wood Terrace – update 

The Planning Department tell us:

“The applicant’s appeal was dismissed and we understand that the unauthorised use has ceased operation. At this stage, we do not know if anyone else has taken the premises on, whether the pub will reopen or if it is on the market.”

Northwick Terrace

We have contacted the Council’s Tree Officer about this issue:

“Two years ago, the Council removed a tree from the west side of Northwick Terrace, promising to replace it.  This has not happened and the space is an ugly blank except for the rubbish which accumulates there. Can it please be replaced?” 

The Tree Officer says: 

“We’ll be planting replacement trees towards the end of the month and I can confirm that this on the list.”

Cunningham Place/Aberdeen Place

We have reported these issues to the Council for investigation:

“Since the closure of the Regent’s Canal towpath between Cunningham/Aberdeen Place and Lisson Grove many more people have been using the high-level pathway adjacent to Wharncliffe Gardens Estate.  However, this is still being extensively used by cyclists who do not dismount and is subject to large pools of water after even average rainfall due to inadequate drainage. Would you please take the following issues up with the Council: 

  • Almost all the “No Cycling” signs are missing and new ones are required at both ends of the footpath and at intermediate points;
  • The drains adjacent to the railings are blocked and need to be unblocked.
  • Several of the lights are on all day thereby wasting electricity and the barriers designed to encourage cyclists to dismount could do with a coat of paint.”

We also asked the Council to remove graffiti from a wall at the junction of these two roads:

“This eye sore at the end of the road just brings the area down and encourages more of the same. Can you get the council to clean up the graffiti? It’s been here for ages and more and more is added. Also, the dumping of rubbish around the recycling bins is appalling. Collections really need to take place here daily.”

Residents tell us:

“Just to say thanks for arranging for the problem with the lighting to be addressed.  You will be pleased to know that the lights are now not burning during the day.”

‘Huge thanks for pointing, as ever, your boot in the right direction! The graffiti in Cunningham Place has been removed. I’m not sure when, but I was delighted to see a lovely clean wall today. I’m sure they will vandalise it again, but for the time being it looks great.”

Queen’s Grove  

We have asked the Council to take this issue up with TfL: 

“The disused Marlborough Road underground station is undergoing extensive prolonged works by TfL in the middle of the night. The team arrive and leave during the night as they change shifts but park along our road noisily, banging car doors, having conversations and roaring engines. This is very disruptive to those of us who have bedrooms to the front of our houses including children, students doing exams, the elderly and so forth. The consequences are huge. Dogs bark, people have their sleep disrupted, shut the windows and generally experience stress.

The solution is simple, if only Transport for London would listen, which is for the service personnel to park along the stretches of Marlborough Place and Queen’s terrace where there are no occupied residences to disturb. Please can you help with this?”

Abbey Road 

We have asked the Council to replace the lights on the belisha beacons at the ‘Beatles crossing’ on Abbey Road.

Hill Road

We have asked the Council to repair a defective street light in Hill Road. 

Hall Road/Circus Road

We have made enquiries about this issue:

“Can you please ask the council why they are not hoovering out the drains which are becoming clogged with leaves?   The junction of Hall Rd and Circus Road the drains were full yesterday and there wasn’t much rain. No wonder there is flooding.”

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Council investigate this issue:

“I live in Elm Tree Rd, a small road between Grove End and Circus roads with a dangerous full 90 degree elbow bend. I had previously written to you regarding a mirror which had been mounted on a tree on the bend which had been removed and the response was that this mirror had not been placed by the council. The danger remains and a mirror mounted on a pole on the corner would help reduce the danger. Could the council mount such a mirror in the interests of public safety?”


Petition to save St John’s Wood Post Office from closure

We have started a petition calling on Westminster Council to lobby the Post Office to keep open the Crown Post Office on Circus Road, St John’s Wood

The government owned Post Office on Circus Road serving St John’s Wood is set to shut down or be taken over by a private company.  It has been identified as 1 of 42 loss-making main Crown branches in the UK. It is currently on the market as a franchise meaning a private company could take it over and run  it.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the changes are not necessary as the Post Office is due to break even this year. It added that the move is being forced through in a bid to make a £10million turnover by the end of 2018. CWU rep Huw Davis said:

“It’s early days but it’s an outrage where we’ll see many job losses. They want to make £10m by ridding those they say are losing profits, looking at staffing costs and buildings. Somehow the St John Wood’s Post Office has become part of that. The services, whether you get them in WH Smith or in a shop is not as good as what you get from dedicated staff who have worked there for many years. I hope the public will fight against this privatisation.”

Hall Road

We have reported this issue to the Council:

Can you investigate traffic flow in Hall Road.  This is a bus route. Due to extensive building works there are often lorries parked both sides of the road most of the day. It makes it very difficult for local residents who wish to pass through this road. I understand there is to be a further development in William Court. Please can you see that the Road is free for cars to pass freely and for wardens to monitor the parking.”

The Council say:

“Marshals have been to this location and spoken with the site manager who states that they are asking their drivers to report to site later in the day to help ease any congestion.  Our marshals have also been regularly patrolling the area and will continue to do so, and so far on their visits the area has been clear of any obstructions.”

Wellington Road

We have asked the Council to fix a drain cover outside Lord’s – “It’s noisy when the car goes over the it but when a bus or a train goes over it it is ear piercing”

St John’s Wood roundabout

We have asked the Council to let us know about this issue:

Why have the safety railings outside St Johns Wood park leading onto St John’s Wood roundabout been removed? This is a major issue as the exit leading onto St John’s Wood roundabout has a slope near the exit and children on their push bikes or scooters exit it frequently. Please have the safety railing put back as a matter of urgency before some child gets seriously injured”


Bus Routes 13, 82, 113, 139 and 189

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


Elwood House

We have urged the Council to deal with unpleasant smells in this block following concerns raised by residents. The Estate Office has told us:

“I managed to get Thames Water out today and have just completed an hour long inspection with them on the drainage system. We got to the route of the cause of the blockage, this was proved to be excessive domestic waste, specifically wet wipes and nappies. This waste got down to Thames Water drainage system and built up over time, causing the blockage to the drains. There was so much in the drainage that the regular van and unit they sent to was not powerful enough and had to send out a “heavy duty” unit who will have the relevant equipment that can jet out the waste. They are scheduled to return this afternoon. Therefore, in light of this situation, letters will be sent out to the residents informing them of guidelines of what can and cannot be put down they’re sinks and toilets.”

Cotman House

We have asked the Estate Office to investigate persistent anti-social behavior at Cotman House.

Hill Road

We have again urged the Council to repair two longstanding potholes in Hill Road outside numbers 20-22.

Circus Road bus shelter – Update

Following our enquiries, TfL has told us:

“I am sorry we have been unable to provide a shelter at this location. We tried installing a shelter in 2007 but the attempt failed due to a legal challenge. A further request was received last summer but was not pursued in view of what had happened previously. The local authority then consulted locally about providing a bench. I understand this was initially positioned to the back of the footway but was moved to the middle after objections were received. We have no plans to provide a shelter at this location.”

Junction Maida Vale and Carlton Hill/Carlton Vale – update

Following our enquiries, the Council says:

“The construction has taken longer than expected but the scheme is now nearing completion. The current position is that the ducting works have been completed and TfL is now on site installing the new signals equipment, including all-round pedestrian facilities. These signals works are currently programmed to be completed by 14th/15th July. Resurfacing of the junction will then follow, taking a few days. Lastly high friction surfacing on the approaches will be laid towards the end of August.”

Springfield Road

We have reported this issue to the Council for investigation:

“There are builders working at two sites in Springfield Road and regularly the builders block off the residents parking bays with cones or bags of rubble and/ or planks of wood or just park their vans or skips in the bay’s without having any permits or applying for suspension of the bay’s from Westminster and which are totally ignored by the traffic wardens to the detriment of the residents who wish to park there. Cannot Westminster and its wardens not enforce the law and ensure that the builders do not abuse the law and inconvenience the residents more than absolutely necessary?”


St John’s Wood Post Office

We have written to the Post Office to oppose the proposed closure of the St John’s Wood Post Office. We said:

“The Post Office is an essential local service used and valued by many residents; especially older people with reduced mobility who rely on the variety of services it provides. St. John’s Wood High Street is a great example of small independent business working to serve local residents and the loss of the Post Office would be keenly felt. As the possibility of the Post Office closing is a matter of great concern locally we would appreciate it if I could be kept update with any developments regarding its future.”

The Post Office say:

“We have identified St John’s Wood Crown Post Office as a branch where we are seeking a franchisee to take on the running of the Post Office.  At this stage we have not finalised proposals for this branch and we will launch a public consultation when we can announce our intended franchise partner and location for the branch.  We will also host a customer forum so that members of the public can speak to Post Office Ltd about our plans.”

Abbey Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Once again Abbey Road was flooded in the recent rains. The drain on the south eastern corner of Abbey Road/Carlton Hill remains blocked. This has been the case for 5 years. The water runs north on Abbey Road and west on Carlton Hill flooding to the crown of the road. You cannot access the post box or stand at the bus stop without being drenched by passing vehicles.”

Violet Hill Garden

We have asked the Parks Department to investigate this issue:

“I have a serious problem with dog owners using Violet Hill gardens as a dog lavatory.  I regularly see young children playing on the small lawn, too young for the playground, being totally ignored by dog owners who allow their animals to foul the grass near to where they are playing.  I have challenged a few of these selfish dog owners and been shocked by their response.  The problem is that, no matter how scrupulously they clean up after their dogs, if the animals defecate on the lawn one cannot clean the grass properly.  The smell and traces of poo remain.  Parents do not allow children to defecate in public!  Why should we accept gross behaviour from dog owners? Not all of us are lucky enough to live in houses with gardens.  We need our parks for the children.  But we cannot allow toddlers to play amongst filth which can so easily be prevented. “

Barrow Hill area

We asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I would just like to mention whilst writing if anyone else has found it rather disagreeable seeing so many small black bags littered around Charlbert Street, Eamont Street, Mackennal Street, and other streets in NW8 left by dog owners.  May be a few dog bins would help.”

The Council says:

“Dog owners can use any of our street litter bins to dispose of bagged waste – the majority of our litter bins have stickers highlighting that bagged dog waste can be put in the bins. Several additional bins were placed in streets around this particular estate last year to assist owners.”

Cameron House update

The Estate Office has given us the following update

“We currently working with our ASB team and have taken steps to address the issue of youths congregating in the area that has been highlighted to us near Cameron House. Quotes have been requested from our contractor to install gates in the vicinity of Cameron House’ sheds which were highlighted as an area of concern, and will be applying for funding to install them once this has been received.”

Elm Tree Road

We have asked the Council to fix this problem:

“Elm Tree Road is a narrow road which has a 90 degree dogs leg bend. We are on the bend. Very dangerous bend for traffic. A mirror had been fixed to a tree, presumably by the council – to help motorists see incoming traffic. This mirror has been removed.”

Aberdeen Place

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I live on Aberdeen Place. We have two problems on the street; the pub traffic where people come and park outside the pub. The zone restriction ends at 6.30 Mon -Fri and basically as a resident I don’t remember the last time I was able to park on the street. Second problem is that on any given day 70-75% of cars parked on Aberdeen Place are Zone C; so people drive from zone C and leave their cars on Aberdeen Place as it is closer to Paddington etc. Everyone iving on Aberdeen Place gets resident permit Zone B, yet the vast majority of cars parked on Aberdeen Place are Zone C. A simple solution would be to re-zone Aberdeen Place into Zone B and not B/C. We have cricket coming up and this would make parking impossible on weekends.”

The Council says:

“I have investigated this and it appears that this allowance of allowing C and B permit holders to park in certain counter respective zones seems to be as a consequence of a decision that was taken back as far as 1990. Although, the full reasons for this decision seems to have been lost in time, it is felt that it was something to do with boundary changes that happened then. I have therefore forwarded this request onto the relevant parties, so that it can form part of our Parking Service Review to see if there is still a need for this concession. The point raised regarding extending controlled parking hours already forms part of this review process anyway and will be looked at in line with this policy review.”

Prince Albert Road

We have asked the police to be vigilant about this issue and to take action whenever possible:

“I continually observe cyclists on the pavement along Prince Albert Road. Today one came around from Townshend Road on to Allitsen Road on the pavement and told my wife and I to get out of the way   This cannot be right. We are pensioners.”

The Star, St John’s Wood Terrace

Karen Buck MP has received the following update from the Council:

“I am aware that the Property has recently re-opened with the same estate agents occupying the ground floor.  An enforcement notice in respect of the use of the site has not been served because the unauthorised use ceased and it became a vacant public house, which is not a breach of planning control.  A planning enforcement inspection has recently been carried out, which confirmed that it is no longer a vacant public house and is being used in breach of planning control – although this is disputed by the owner.

A Public Inquiry is due to be held at the City Council’s offices on 7 June in respect of the appeal the owner has lodged against the City Council’s refusal of their Certificate of Lawfulness application from last year.  The Planning Inspector’s decision on this appeal will clarify whether an estate agent use of the Property is lawful or not.  It is therefore likely that the formal service of an enforcement notice will be held in abeyance pending the formal determination of that appeal, which should be shortly after the Public Inquiry. “

Circus Road

We have asked TfL to let us know the situation about the missing bus shelter:

“Please can you find out why the bus shelter on the south side of Circus Road closest to the Wellington Hospital was removed? Now there is a very nice bench (strangely and inconveniently placed in the centre of the pavement) instead, and no shelter. It seems to me that the shelter would have been better left as is!”

Building works in St John’s Wood

We have asked the Council to investigate a number of building sites in Cliftom Hill and Springfield Road to ensure that the sites are safe.



St John’s Wood Station

We asked TfL to look into this issue:

“St John’s Wood Station was without down escalator service for almost three months while it was serviced. A fortnight ago it re-entered service only to collapse after 10 days. There has been no service since Friday and no technicians are working on it. This is unacceptable. At the same time I would point out that 70% of the light bulbs in the listed uplighters on the escalator are burned out.”

We also asked TfL to investigate this matter:

“TfL recently refurbished the St John’s Wood Station bus stop towards Baker St/Oxford Street but have removed the indicator board!!There are 5 different routes from this stop & timings are needed especially on routes 46 and 187 which have 15 minute intervals and much longer at weekends and also 82 bus to Victoria. Why has it not been replaced?”

TfL have given us the complete list of Countdown signs temporarily out of use, including the one at St John’s Wood Station They say that they are waiting for the power to be connected.

Circus Road

We have asked the Council to repair the pavement in Circus Road after receiving this message:

“A resident of Grove End Road is confined to a wheel-chair and has to make regular visits to the medical facilities in Circus Road.  She tells me that the condition of the pavement on her route, especially in the vicinity of the medical practices in Circus Road, is in a very bad condition and causes problems for the person pushing her.”

Cunningham Place/St John’s Wood Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I took my paper for recycling to the containers at the corner of Cunningham Place and Aberdeen Place and found that both waste paper containers were full to overflowing with paper strewed around on the nearby pavement. This is a very unsatisfactory situation as, I assume, the containers are not emptied at weekends and many people, especially those in employment, bring their recyclable waste there at the weekend.  I have experienced overflowing containers on previous occasions and feel that the containers should be emptied more frequently as many residents are being discouraged from recycling.”

The Council says:

“The recycling bin collection frequency at Aberdeen Place is currently scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday each week. The basic plan is that we appreciate many more residents use the bins at weekends so they are cleared on Friday (ready for heavy usage on Saturday) and then again on Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, it isn’t cost effective to send vehicles every day unless usage is consistently above 50% of the ‘bin capacity’ available. Some bin locations can be overwhelmed on occasion by one or more residents having a major clear-out (e.g. large volumes of cardboard packaging) but we are tracking patterns of usage to determine efficient collection schedules. I have asked for a review of weekend usage at Aberdeen Place to take place over the next four weeks and this data will be used to determine whether collections need to be increased or changed around.”

St John’s Wood Terrace

We are continuing to chase this issue:

“We are still experiencing problematic minicabs parking in our resident bays in St John’s Wood Terrace and at the junction of Townshend Road. We therefore end up having to park a further distance from our homes which is proving annoying. especially with shopping and young children.”

Wellington Road

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“There is a very noisy drain cover outside the National Express bus stop going north on Wellington Road, outside Lords Cricket Ground. It is very near the Wellington Hospital and must worry them also. The noise when vehicles go over it is very disturbing. Could this also be repaired asap?”

Loudoun Road 

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

“Please could there be a review of traffic slowing measures and/or speed limit review on Loudoun Road. Due to an increase in commuter traffic off late it has become increasingly difficult to cross the road safely between 8am-9am especially.  Cars appear to be undeterred by the rather low speed bumps and pay no notice to residents attempting to cross the road with very small kids and babies. I was in fact scraped by someone’s wing mirror last week as I was attaching one of my two kids in the car seat.  This morning I waved at a car to slow down only to be almost run over and beeped at furiously.  It will not take long before a serious accident at this rate….”


Great news – The Clifton Pub in St. John’s Wood has just won its Licence!

Local campaigners say:

“During the last two and a half years we managed to get an Asset of  Community Value  status on our historical pub and stop it being developed into a residential building. Our new landlords hope to open in July 2016, but I will keep you updated on the official opening date, I believe they will also be brewing their own Clifton Ale in time!”

Circus Road/ Cavendish Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Could you request that the council installs a street rubbish bin somewhere on the corner of Circus Road and Cavendish Avenue in St John’s Wood, NW8. This busy spot opposite the rear of the St John & Elizabeth hospital and a NHS health centre is constantly full of waiting taxis and private cars as well as hospital transportation and other health service vehicles   The drivers generate rubbish and rather than taking it home with them some see fit to throw coffee cups, food and other trash in to the cages surrounding the saplings at this end of the road.”

The Council say:

“There are two nearby litterbins on either side of Circus Road next to the bus stops so I am tentative as to whether cabbies and other vehicle owners will actually use it. We will therefore trial another bin and monitor its usage for four weeks and then make a decision on whether it stays or goes. I have asked Veolia to arrange for its installation.”

Residents say:

“I noticed that there are indeed two bins in the vicinity; one is a hundred metres down the road near a bus stop on Circus Road and the other is on the other side of Circus Road near the hospital entrance. However, the cars, vans and taxis all wait in Cavendish Road and seemingly can’t be bothered to walk down the street or cross a busy road. So I maintain it would be useful to have a bin on the Cavendish Road /Circus Road junction on the right hand side pavement.”

Tesco, Circus Road

We have asked the Council again to investigate this issue:

“The parking of lorries outside Tesco’s at St John’s Wood still goes on. They are still there every day up to 10 a.m. (they leave space for 1 small car on some occasions). They complete ignore the fact that they should clear by 8am.”

St John’s Wood Road

We have reported this problem to the Council:

“I have tried to report the noise every time a vehicle drives over the drain cover outside Lord’s. The clinking noise is loud and dreadful especially when the window and balcony door is open. This needs to be sorted as soon as possible.”

Abercorn Place

We have asked the Council to fix this problem:

“On the T-junction of Abercorn Place opposite Wellesley Court is a loose manhole cover. Each time a automobile drives over it the noise is annoying and loose. Can it become secure?



Townshend Estate

We have reported an unauthorised parked motorbike in the cycle parking area and asked the Estate Office to investigate unauthorized parking in the area near Cotman House.

Circus Road

We have asked the Council to investigate whether a disabled parking bay on Circus Road is still required as residents say that it does not appear to have been used for the past five years. The Council says:

“The removal of this bay has been on the list for our contractor to do for some time now.  Following your email we have now flagged this up as urgent and the disabled element of the bay should now be removed within the next few weeks.”

Acacia Road/Ordnance Hill

We asked the Council to inspect a cracked wall at a property at this location to check that it was safe. The Council told us:

“I inspected this wall a couple of weeks ago and note it is not immediately dangerous although defective. It has at some point been rebuilt and is likely affected by the adjoining tree. There is a survey target on the corner pier which suggests this is being monitored by another surveyor/ structural engineer.”

The Clifton Pub, Clifton Hill

The Clifton Pub in St John’s Wood has potentially new tenants, Robson Brothers Ltd, after a three year closure!! All that is required is the license, which will be the same as the previous one, for a bar and restaurant.

Boundary Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“An area of footpath has been barriered off for at least six weeks and possibly nearer eight weeks. I am not sure what work was done originally requiring the barriers but I cannot believe they are now serving any useful purpose – no work has taken place for many weeks. They are in fact causing an obstruction as a parent with a pram would probably just about be able to get past, but I am certain a disabled person in a wheelchair would not be able to pass at all as the path has been narrowed so much. Apart from anything else, at this time of government cutbacks this is also a total waste of resources which I am sure could be better used elsewhere.”

Proposed St John’s Wood cycleway

Transport for London’s public consultation on Cycle Superhighway 11, planned to run from Swiss Cottage, through Regent’s Park, to Portland Place, is under way.

The scheme includes controversial proposals to close gates at the north and south ends of Regent’s Park for much of the day. Residents in the Swiss Cottage and St John’s Wood areas have launched a petition against the proposals which can be signed at:-

Residents say:

“Please use your political voice to object to the proposed TFL cycle route which will be a nightmare for residents in your area “

“I was wondering what you are going to do about the very ill thought out cycle super highway 11 and the traffic chaos that will result from it in and around St. John’s Wood.”

St John’s Wood Terrace

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“We have frequently had minicabs parking in Resident bays in St John’s Wood Terrace which prevents us residents from finding parking. They sit there for a considerable amount of time whilst waiting for jobs etc. It is very frustrating. Is there anything that can be done?”

The Council tells us:

“We have tasked the Marshalls with increasing visits and enforcement in this area, as well as gathering information regarding times and vehicle/ company details in order that we can contact the relevant minicab companies. “

Regent’s Park Zoo

We are making enquiries with London Underground about this matter:

“There is very misleading information made on the Bakerloo line trains when they stop at Regent’s Park. The announcements states that ‘passengers should alight here for local buses to ZSL London Zoo’. This statement causes great confusion to many of the visitors hoping to go to London Zoo, for the following reasons.

  • They do not understand what ZSL means. Some think that it is another zoo not the main London Zoo.
  • They do not understand what is meant by ‘local’ buses and may think that this is a different service from the normal buses.
  • However, the most important point is that from Regent’s Park station there are NO buses (local or other) that go to London Zoo. The only bus that goes to the Zoo is the route 274 which only stops a very long way from Regents Park station. (in fact far closer to Baker Street station). 

Maybe the staff from the Bakerloo line should be made to make this journey themselves so that they realise how misleading the announcement is. As visitors to London are so important to the economy of our city, I feel that we should all do as much as possible to make our city as visitor friendly as possible.”

Safety and Security

We have asked the police for an update following this enquiry:

“I was interested to read in the paper this week about a number of lone women (and mothers with young children) being robbed of jewellery in the middle of the day/late afternoon in Notting Hill, Maida Vale and St John’s Wood over the last 6 months. Can you please let me know what is being done about this?  I understand from the articles that the perpetrators are still at large.”



Marlborough Place/Abbey Road

We have asked the Council to repair the many potholes after receiving this message:

“The worst offender is at the intersection of Marlborough Place and Abbey Road. There is a very large pothole at that intersection, which can damage to your car If you are driving across that intersection along Marlborough Place. You have to slow down considerably to traverse the pothole safely! There are also a number of potholes on the block of Marlborough Place between Abbey Road and Hamilton Terrace.”

Lodge Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem:

“Lodge Road was recently resurfaced but inadequate attention was given to drainage as, after every even modest rainfall puddles remain at several places on the road, mainly on the south side.  This is not only inconvenient when crossing, but the puddle at the junction with Park Road which can be in excess of 20 metres long, is a particular hazard for passing pedestrians who have to avoid getting drenched from the not inconsiderate amount of traffic coming southwards from the nearby roundabout and turning into Lodge Road.  Can you draw this to the attention of the Highways Department with a view to remedial work being undertaken at all points where necessary”

Lisson Grove/Wharncliffe Gardens

We have reported this issue to the Council:

“When walking up or down the west side of Lisson Grove I invariably see rats on the bridge across the Regent’s Canal between the railings and the pavement and a number of rat holes are clearly visible.  There does not appear to be any evidence of measures being undertaken to eradicate these and perhaps you would ask the relevant department of WCC to take action, please, especially because of the closeness of the Wharncliffe Gardens Estate.”

The Council says:

“This is an issue that we were aware of following routine inspections by our officers.  Rodent activity was identified in this area in late December 2015 and a reactive treatment was subsequently implemented with baiting has been taking place during January 2016.  We have increased the frequency of visits in order to gain control of the infestation. Wharncliffe Gardens itself is currently under a pro-active baiting programme for rats, agreed to and funded by City West Homes.  At this stage the activity appears to be localised to the raised planter over the canal and will shortly be brought under control. “

Elgood House, Wellington Road

We are taking up this issue with City West Homes:

“Despite diligently paying for management services through my charges every month, I am having a great deal of difficulty in getting the St. John’s Wood estate office to take ownership of issues, and to manage them to resolution. I have been asking them to resolve a problem that we had around noisy pipes that I first raised with them in November last year. I have been very patient, and I understand that that the holidays did cause timing disruptions, however, not only has the issue not been resolved, it appears to have worsened”

Empty properties in St John’s Wood

We have asked the Planning Department for an update on the situation at 34 Marlborough Place which has been derelict for over 5 years and at a property at 15 Loudon Road in a similar long standing state of dereliction.  The Council says:

“In respect of 34 Marlborough Place, we have recently refused planning permission for the construction of front, side and rear first floor extensions and installation of rooflights on design grounds. The extensions are far too big,

In respect of 15 Loudoun Road, there is a valid planning permission and listed building consent for the erection of single storey extensions to the front, side and rear, excavation of basement, internal and elevational alterations and new front boundary wall. The applicant has started to discharge a number of the conditions, and we currently have an approval of details application for the Construction Management Plan (CMP), so hopefully works will start shortly if we are satisfied with the CMP.”

Ryder’s Terrace

We are supporting residents who are opposing yet another planning application to build a mega basement at 40 Ryder’s Terrace. Residents say:

“The basement would appear on the face of it to run counter to both the WCC cited guidelines and the proposal put forward in Parliament by our MP, Karen Buck, to curtail such development. The proposed basement runs the entire width of the plot east to west. Moreover, the huge amount of soil that would be extracted all has to be removed via the narrow ramp leading from Blenheim Terrace to Ryder’s Terrace making life a total misery for residents in the immediate vicinity specially bearing in mind that there is very limited space for dumper trucks to turn around. “

Acacia Road/Ordnance Hill

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“There is an empty house on Acacia Road and Ordinance Hill that has a six foot wall that looks dangerous as has cracks which could fall and hurt someone”

Northwick Terrace

We asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Thames Water fixed a mains leak about ten days ago but left ‘Road Closed’ signs at both ends of Northwick Terrace. Are you able to get them removed?”

The Council says:

“Thames Water have been notified and Section 74 overstay charges are being applied. Thanks for passing this on as we are able to levy charges on the utility for such failings. If you or a resident wish to report signs left behind after works they can drop an email to my team at

Townshend Estate

Residents on the Townshend Estate tell us that they are concerned about growing anti-social behaviour and drug dealing on the estate. Residents suggest installing CCTV and we have asked City West Homes if this can be considered.



Circus Road/Wellington Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Just by the traffic lights of Circus Road/ Wellington Road there is a red designated parking place outside the hospital.  Could you please ask the Council if this could be re sighted further down the road because more often than not the 187 and 46 cannot get past parked cars waiting at the lights.  This then causes a traffic jam.   With 189 and 139 being diverted recently down this road, it has added to the congestion.”

Blenheim Road

We are supporting residents who are calling for the installation of a speed camera to deter speeding motorists:

“Now that the school year is well underway again I am afraid that the problem of speeding (and increasingly large) vehicles has returned in force to Blenheim Road. This week I watched the same elderly neighbour missed twice by a hair’s breadth by speeding vehicles and as is also sadly common, one of the drivers was clearly using a handset. A permanent camera could capture both offences.  I drive every day and often do the ‘school run’ myself. I do not need to drive or act in this way to transport my children so why should others be allowed to endanger pedestrians and other road users with impunity outside my home?”

Aquila Street

Residents tell us that properties in Aquila Street NW8 have had scaffolding up since last April. We have asked City West Homes what is happening here and when will the works be completed.

The Star public House, St John’s Wood Terrace

The Star pub closed just before ‘Asset of Community Value’ status came into force, and opened as an unauthorised estate agent. Karen Buck MP has been asking for action on this and here is the latest update:

“The City Council has obtained legal advice that supports the Council’s opinion that an A2 estate agent’s office use at the above site would be unauthorised.  However, it appears at present that the property is not being used for any purposes – it currently appears to be a vacant public house.

The City Council has recently been notified by the Planning Inspectorate that an appeal has been lodged by the owner of the property against the non-determination of the certificate of lawfulness application (ref: 15/05273/CLEUD).  A report will be submitted to the Council’s Planning Committee recommending the refusal of that application, seeking confirmation that members would have accepted that recommendation, were the application determined before an appeal was lodged.

The appeal will be dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate through the Public Inquiry process and all interested parties will be formally consulted on the appeal and notified of the Inquiry date(s) once this has been set by the Planning Inspectorate.”

St John’s Wood Barracks – update

The owners say:

Since July, we have been undertaking a soft strip of all the buildings on the site in preparation for demolition. This soft strip, which will be completed later this month, has included the removal of ceilings, floor finishes, partition walls, kitchens, bathrooms and all utility connections.”

Junction of Maida Vale/Carlton Vale/Carlton Hill

The Council has proposed junction safety improvements to improve safety for pedestrians at this busy traffic signal junction, which is outside St George’s secondary school. The traffic signals will be upgraded to include a dedicated all-red pedestrian phase (including pedestrian countdown facilities). This means that whenever a pedestrian push button is activated, all the traffic signals turn to red and a green man is shown, allowing pedestrians to cross.

The physical pedestrian crossing facilities will be improved at the junction by repaving the footways and widening the crossing points. The road will also be resurfaced at the junction.

An assessment on the street lighting undertaken in June 2013 identified that the existing lighting did not conform to current lighting standards and should also be upgraded.

Transport for London has also informed the City Council that two existing red light cameras at this junction will be upgraded in conjunction with this scheme.

The existing right turn ban from Maida Vale north to Carlton Hill is in operation from 7am to 7pm only. This is proposed to change so that the restriction is in operation 24 hours a day.

In all, the proposals include:

  • Upgrade of the traffic signals to include dedicated all red pedestrian phase (where all traffic is held at a red signal whilst pedestrians cross the road);
  • The traffic signals will be upgraded to include for the count-down indicators;
  • Widening the existing crossings;
  • Widening the existing footways around the junction;
  • Upgrade the existing red cameras at the junction;
  • Introduction of advanced stopping lines for cyclists;
  • Amending the existing northbound no right turn ban from Maida Vale into Carlton Hill (currently in operation 7am to 7pm) to be in operation 24 hours a day;
  • Resurfacing the carriageway on the junction;
  • Upgrading the existing highway lighting;

Junction of Finchley Road, Marlborough Place and Queen’s Grove – update

Transport for London has told us:

“Due to the merging of southbound lanes on Finchley Road after the junction, a yellow box would not be the most appropriate measure here. However, based on our observations we have concluded traffic would move through more smoothly if ‘Keep Clear’ road markings were introduced. My officers had advised they will implement new markings within the next three to four months.”

Relocated bus stop between Abercorn Place and Hall Road on Maida Vale‏ – Update

We asked TfL why they did not consult residents about the decision to relocate the bus stop. TfL tell us:

“While we do not carry out consultations for relocating single bus stops, we of course do so for schemes with potentially wider impact on the travelling public.When we move bus stops we are required to notify residents or businesses whose property fronts directly onto the new location. In this case, as there is no direct frontage at the new location, no notification letters were required. Meanwhile, I can assure you that the move was fully approved by Westminster City Council.

Regarding the Countdown sign, I can confirm this will be reinstated once the shelter has been connected to the electricity grid. This is dependent on our contractors who we are chasing regularly.”

Barrow Hill Estate

Karen Buck MP will be meeting the new Chief Executive of City West Homes to discuss residents’ concerns about the ongoing major works programme on Barrow Hill Estate. In order to better understand residents’ concerns Karen sent out a survey to all of the residents asking for their thoughts and comments on the project.

Derelict sites update

We have received the following update from the Council:

42 Carlton Hill: Works have re-commenced on site. A new contractor has been appointed and the Case Officer will be attending the site to establish how things are progressing.
34 Marlborough Place: The general condition of the front boundary wall and the untidy appearance of the land is be rectified. The owner has also confirmed their intention to fully implement the planning permission granted in 2010, which is currently part-implemented, and seek to re-instate the front boundary wall. Should works not have commenced on site to remedy the general condition of the land then legal action will be considered by the Council.
15 Loudoun Road: The developer has confirmed his intention to redevelop the site, and has submitted details to discharge the condition concerning the Construction Management Plan.

St John’s Wood Road buses

We have asked Transport for London to consider this suggestion:

“Instead of both 187/46 buses turning left along Maida Vale when they come out of Clifton Road, and then proceeding up Hall Road towards Circus Road, identical routes here, one of these buses from Clifton Road could go straight over the Edgware Road into St John’s Wood Road; turning left at the top into Wellington Road (opposite the Church where there’s a bus-stop) and then virtually continue their normal route.”

“When I was young the bus that is now the 139/189 ran along St John’s Wood Road to the Church roundabout but at some point it was rerouted through Lisson Grove and Rossmore Road. It would be good to have a St John’s Wood Road service perhaps by diverting the 46, 139, 187 or 189 but the frequencies of buses on the existing routes would need to be maintained.”

Wharncliffe Gardens

Karen Buck MP tells us that it has now been confirmed that the residents on the Wharncliffe Gardens estate will be having new windows fitted as part of their major works programme, following her efforts in trying to make this happen.

Aberdeen Place towpath closure – update

We have asked the Canal and River Trust to let us know the situation:

“The towpath at the top of Aberdeen Place has been closed for months. The official notice, attached to the railings said it was initially closed for energy company works which is understandable, but it has now been closed for two or three months longer than the notice states. Many tourists as well as local people love to pick up the towpath walk after Little Venice and the 250 yards of Aberdeen Place where there is no towpath. “

The Canal & River Trust has told us:

“There has been an oily discharge appearing on the towpath, where it is beneath the bridge that carries Lisson Grove over the canal. We continue to explore with UK Power Networks and National Grid, two companies with installations in the area, but it has proven difficult to establish the source. Our environmental scientists are keeping the situation under review to minimise the impact but until the seepage can be eradicated the towpath here is not safe for pedestrians and cyclists.”

In response, we have asked the Canal & River Trust to put up sign with this information.


Lodge Road update

We have asked the Road Safety Team to contact this resident who has offered to assist with the Council’s investigations:

“I am sure the traffic planning officers are more than capable, but having driven in the area for over 40 years and living in Lodge Road for many years, I might be able to give a deeper insight on the whole area and its bigger picture? The Lodge Road issue is a much bigger, wider picture than just routine traffic in one street. I would love to help my community and offer my local driver/resident experience to the Council on this issue, if they feel it might assist them.”


Karen Buck MP’s bill designed to help local planning authorities restrict the size and depth of basement development has had its first reading in the House of Commons. This Bill was introduced to Parliament on 16 September 2015 under the Ten Minute Rule. This allows an MP to make his or her case for a new bill in a speech lasting up to ten minutes. The Basement Excavation (Restriction of Permitted Development) Bill 2015-16 is expected to have its second reading debate on Friday 29 January 2016.

Finchley Road/Queen’s Grove

We have asked the Council to investigate this request:

“Can I ask you please to see if you can have a yellow box painted where one turns right from Finchley road into Queen’s Grove? Too often traffic travelling south inconsiderately blocks the inter section causing tail backs of traffic wishing to turn right and causing congestion for traffic travelling north along Finchley Road.”

St John’s Wood Road

We are taking up this issue with TfL:

“Many elderly local friends wish I would revive my campaign to have a single-decker bus along St John’s Wood Rd from Maida Vale to the Church Roundabout, possibly using the 46 or 187 with a simple ‘detour’ of one of the routes”

Northwick Close

We have reported noisy building works on Saturday afternoon and asked the Council to take action to safeguard residents’ amenity.

Regent’s Park

We have asked The Royal Parks to investigate this issue:

“I walk in Regent’s Park all the time and recently walked in that area of natural vegetation as you enter from Prince Albert Road turn left and walk as if towards the Zoo. I believe the area is called Holford House site or Leaf Yard or Chat enclosure. I came across some rough sleepers surrounded by their bags under a tree so I quickly left the area. This area was designed for greater enjoyment of the park it makes us urbanites think we are in the countryside. I am told they have been there 3 years!!!!!! The police have been told many times.”

The Royal Parks tell us:

“The rough sleepers do not stay overnight in the park. They often use the northern end of Regent’s Park during the day choosing to sit in the sun and dry clothes etc. A particular favourite area is the Holford House meadow. The Police are well aware of the individuals and do move them on from time to time. On most occasions the individuals are not breaking any Park Regulations and if they are being well behaved they are entitled to be in the park. If they are found in the park after park closing they are removed from the park. I understand that they tend to spend the night in a number of locations along the Regent’s Canal away from the park. I will talk to the Wildlife Officer to ensure that he is much clearer in how he communicates with the public. “


Westminster City Council planning committee has approved the latest phase of a £200 million redevelopment of Lord’s cricket ground. The changes will increase capacity to 29,500, with a new stand and 5,200 retractable seats on match days. Two seating areas, the Allen Stand built in 1935, and the Sixties-era Tavern Stand will be demolished and rebuilt.


St John’s Wood High Street area – cleaning

We are taking up this issue with the Council

“St John’s Wood is an affluent busy commercial and highly populated area with hoards of customers sitting on public pavements daily. At no point have street cleansing put into place a strategy to cope with this and it is not acceptable to walk over filthy pavements anymore. There is no excuse for commercial businesses along stretch of Circus Road from Cochrane Street end right through to St John’s Wood High St to be disregarded re hygiene. Let Starbucks, Gails, Richoux pay for pavements to be hosed weekly as their customer mess this pavement with coffee cigarettes foods. Commercial businesses in this area are abusing our public pavements and residents are suffering!”

Garden Waste collection

We have raised this issue with the Council:

“I would like to raise the issue of the disposal of Garden rubbish which currently has to go into the general collection. I am aware of the influence of cuts but many parts of Westminster have considerable amounts of Green Waste. Can anything be done to make better use of this?”

The Council say:

“The Garden Waste Collection Service was cancelled in 2010 – primarily due to very low levels of participation by local residents. There are no proposals to reintroduce this service and instead we encourage residents to compost their food and garden waste at home. Further details can be found at”

Hamilton Terrace and Abercorn Place junction – what you say

“My children make the crossing every day at the junction of Hamilton Terrace and Abercorn. Pedestrians never have the right of way. There are plenty of young men in very expensive cars who seem to want to run them down. The enormous Abercorn bus is a nuisance too. There should be a pedestrian crossing there. “

“I’d like to echo the feelings of those who wrote in to you last month regarding adding a pedestrian signal at corner of Abercorn Place and Hamilton Terrace. I heartily agree with this idea!”


The Clifton Pub, Clifton Hill

thecliftonThe Planning Committee has refused permission for change of use to residential, as recommended by the Planning Officers. One of the important issues was that the owners had submitted marketing information which showed that the pub had been marketed for a rent about twice what would be reasonable, and the owners had also removed all the internal fittings which would be needed to reopen it. There were 173 letters opposing the loss of the pub, and 14 in favour – almost all the latter were from near neighbours who said it had been badly managed when open.

St Edmund’s Terrace

We are supporting residents who are opposing further development proposals in St Edmund’s Terrace. They say:

“It is proposed to demolish three houses that were built about 40 years ago, are in good condition, are well constructed, attractive and enhance the area. To destroy them would be an act of vandalism. Their replacement by nine flats might not increase available properties in Westminster, primarily as they will be in the more highly priced property range which seem to be particularly attractive to overseas buyers who often only use them for occasional use”

Hamilton Terrace/Abercorn Place

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

“Could you please speak to the Council regarding installing a pedestrian walk signal, and a camera at the lights on the corner of Hamilton Terrace and Abercorn Place? There are a large number of schools in the area (ASL, QK, Abercorn etc) and many children walk to school through this junction – something we should be encouraging. Hamilton Terrace is increasingly being used as a rat run especially by the enormous red buses from Abercorn School, carrying tiny children to their other location, which turn left onto Hamilton Terrace not waiting for small children crossing and thundering down the road (despite the fact that large vehicles are prohibited on Hamilton Terrace). In addition, as there is no camera installed at the junction, there are numerous cars who shoot through red lights at high speeds. It is just a matter of time before there is a child killed at this junction – can something be done before that happens, please?”


Boundary Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Some years ago traffic management measures were introduced between Loudoun Road and Abbey Road to slow the traffic (after a local consultation). However, the raised roadway is split and by driving between the raised areas allows vehicles to travel at whatever speed they choose, thereby making the traffic calming measures ineffective. I have noticed recently that vehicles and cars in particularly are travelling up and down Boundary Road at high speed, with estates on both the Camden and Westminster side of the road with large numbers of children living there and with parked cars on both sides restricting vision it can only be a matter of time before there is a tragic accident. I wonder if you can speak with the police to get some enforcement action, or perhaps better traffic calming measures which cannot be by-passed.”

Hamilton Terrace and St John’s Wood Road‏ junction

We are taking this issue up with Road Safety Team:

“Some time ago I raised the dangers to pedestrians wanting to cross Hamilton Terrace when walking along St John’s Wood road down the hill towards the traffic lights at the St John’s Wood Road junction with the Edgware Road. There is a pedestrian crossing over St John’s Wood Road but none over Hamilton Terrace. There is no real problem for pedestrians wanting to cross over the first part of the road coming from the direction of Lords as visibility is good and vehicles coming along Hamilton Terrace have to slow down before turning into St John’s Wood Road either towards Lords or towards the Edgware Road. The danger arises on the second or other part of the crossing nearer to Edgware Road. Vehicles coming up from Edgware Road turn into Hamilton Terrace and it is not easy for pedestrians to spot vehicles some of which fail to signal a left turn. A largish number of vehicles especially at rush hours, turn right into Hamilton Terrace coming along St John’s Wood Road from the direction of Lords using Hamilton Terrace as a ‘rat-run’. The dangers would be reduced if a zebra crossing were to be placed across the end of Hamilton Terrace at the junction with St John’s Wood Road”.

Marlborough Place

Karen Buck MP is taking up this issue with the Council:

“Marlborough Place is a very busy cut through between Hamilton Terrace, Abbey Road and Wellington Road. Unlike other similar cut through in the area, it has no traffic calming features. Consequently it has become a very popular “rat run”. Despite it being a residential road, vehicles regularly drive through at very high speeds both in and out of the rush hour. It is dangerous for pedestrians crossing the road and for drivers trying to drive in or out of their driveways. Most driveways are relatively narrow and Residents Parking spaces and single yellow lines can come right up to the edge of the driveway entrances making visibility regarding passing traffic and pedestrians very limited. The speed of passing vehicles makes coming, going and crossing very dangerous.”

Blenheim Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Blenheim Road is one of the few residential streets in the vicinity without speed humps and everyone from school run drivers to taxis and minicabs is now taking advantage of that to speed down our street. There is a generational change underway as more families have moved in while other older residents still remain and so the risk to pedestrians is growing exponentially. Some people oppose any change to the area but the priority must now be safety, can you please help?”

The Council has told us that the Police are to commission a two week speed camera survey using a small temporary camera.

Nugent Terrace/Abercorn Place junction

The Council has agreed with residents’ suggestion that double yellow lines are needed to prevent cars coming out of Nugent Terrace at the weekend being hit due to blocked sightlines resulting from people parking on the single yellow line on Abercorn Place. We are now awaiting a date for this to be implemented.

Lisson Grove/Lodge Road junction

We have again asked the Council to deal with this long-standing issue:

“The reflective Bollard at this junction has been hit yet again. This is the fourth or fifth time in 12 months. It’s only a matter time before there is a serious accident here. What is the council waiting for?


Lodge Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this road safety issue:

“The main problem is – because Lodge Road is long and straight- people speed like lunatics along it. Their speed is curtailed at points because it also gets congested at various spots where it narrows due to parking on both sides. If the drivers are not speeding then they are engaged road rage. It’s also a busy road with lots of pedestrians crossing at the Regent’s Park end going to the hotel. At the Lisson Grove end there is the church and church hall busy with folk and, moreover, children going to clubs and lessons.

Yesterday at the church end as children were using the church hall to my absolute horror a motorbike doing about 40 miles an hour or thereabouts came roaring along the pavement to avoid the bottleneck that had formed at the Lisson Grove end. Had any child opened the door and stepped out onto the pavement at that moment there would have been a fatality. I was incandescent but powerless. Is there any cctv on this road? That idiot needs to be caught.”

41 Abbey Road

We are pleased that the planning application for the conversion of the former long-empty and derelict care home at 41 Abbey Road into 7 flats was approved by the Planning Applications Committee on 2 June 2015. We liaised closely with local residents to support this proposal.

Tesco, Circus Road

We are continuing to chase up this long-standing issue:

“Tesco’s delivery lorries at St Johns Wood have become a nightmare. I am sure that the Council are doing everything in their powers to solve this problem. Let me assure you that the lorries are there after 10 a.m. in the mornings, blocking up all the spaces. Furthermore at many times there is a second delivery lining up outside the Post Office, also waiting to deliver. This has got to stop. They must leave at 8.30 a.m. as arranged with the Council, not at 10 a.m. I am over 95 years of age, and cannot park as those valuable spaces are used by lorries still delivering at 10 a.m. Please do something.”



The Star public house – latest update

The Planning Officer investigating the current situation at The Star public house in St John’s Wood Terrace says that, after considering all of the evidence available, the planners are of the opinion that a material change of use requiring planning permission has taken place at the site.

The planners have written to the freeholder and the tenant requesting that the pub ceases to be used other than a public house within 28 days, otherwise formal action will be considered.

The Council cannot force the owner to open as a pub, but only a pub use will be lawful. If the owners fail to cease using the building other than as a public house, and if an enforcement notice is served, the owner will have a right of appeal.

We will keep you posted on any further news we hear.


Junction of Lisson Grove and Lodge Road

Lisson Grove bollard
We have reported this issue to the Council:

“The traffic bollards at the junction of Lisson Grove and Lodge Road are destroyed, on average, once every three/four months. They are currently broken. I have hit the traffic island at night when there was no illuminated bollard (it having been destroyed by a collision) resulting in several thousands of pounds of damage to my wheels, tyres, axle, shock absorbers. Luckily I was able to maintain control of the car but it is only a matter of time before a very serious incident takes place here.”

Circus Road Tesco

We have reported this long-running issue to the Council for action:

“Tesco are still delivering late at their St John’s Wood Branch. Their lorries are still there past 9 a.m., taking up all the small number of parking spaces. I understand that they were to be clear of those valuable spaces by 8 to 8.30 a.m. Can this be taken up with Tesco?

Marlborough Place

We have advised residents to write an objection to the Council after receiving this message:

“We have been notified about a planning application in Marlborough Place. This is a house which was only built a few years ago and recently sold. The new buyers wish to convert the garage into a habitable room and excavate the basement. One wonders why they bought this house if it was too small to start with! BUT the problem with this application is that our building is next door to them and our parking lot already has flooding when it rains a lot with rising water that comes through the concrete floor and walls as it is very close to the water table level already. Digging out a basement next door certainly is not going to help this and they will disturb it even more. They will also have flooding problem themselves if they are allowed to go ahead.”

Potholes in Hill Road

We have chased up the Council again about this long-standing problem:

“The day after your visit in January, white paint marks appeared around several of the 3 inch deep pot holes in Hill Road but nothing has been done to repair these? When can we expect some action?”

Junction of Nugent Terrace and Abercorn Place

We have again reported this issue to the Council:

“I am particularly concerned about the situation of the junction of Nugent Terrace and Abercorn Place, about which other people have commented in your newsletter. When can we expect some double yellow lines to be placed on Abercorn Place to the left of Nugent Terrace so that, at the weekend, it is possible to pull out safely from this junction without risking a side impact collision with cars racing down Abercorn Place?”

The Clifton pub – what you say

“Clearly the buyer has no intentions if renting it as a pub and wants to build a house. In fact he has not done his numbers as a pub but as a redevelopment. A building of such historic significance and local amenity should never be allowed to be converted. The pub was always full of people!!!”



Urgent action needed to protect The Star in St John’s Wood

Along with Karen Buck MP, we are making urgent enquiries with Westminster Council about building work at The Star in St John’s Wood after receiving this message from a local resident:

“As I am sure you know the 200 year old Star Pub in St. John’s Wood Terrace was given protection status by Westminster Council. Here is the Wood & Vale report on the confirmation:

On Friday the 20th March 2015, the pub was opened as normal. The staff arrived the next day to find they did not have a job as the pub was being stripped out by builders and according to the builders is being converted to an estate agents with flats above. As if St John’s Wood needs another estate agent outlet. Using the building as anything but a pub is totally against the Westminster Council protection order.

This needs urgent political action before the premises are let, which will make matters more difficult to resolve, as another social necessity in St John’s Wood looks like being lost forever.”

Violet Hill Gardens

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“Please would you discover Westminster Council’s plans for these gardens. At present there is a park keeper present for all the hours the garden is open. I understand that from the end of March it is intended that a keeper would only be present to open and close the gates leaving the garden and playground otherwise unattended. If this is right, how will the garden be maintained? The garden and the playground are a much valued local amenity and it would be most regrettable if they were allowed to deteriorate or at worst sold off to greedy property developers.”

Dale House, Boundary Road

We reported this issue to City West Homes;

“Please note that the light on the stairwell leading to 31-36 Dale House is not working”

The Clifton pub – what you say

“This was purchased some while ago by an investor and due to local people objecting planning to build a private house was withheld for a year so that a tenant could be sought in order to keep it as a local amenity. I am aware that an experienced local tenant applied but to no avail apparently. It would be a shame to see another large and probably empty house appear bearing in mind that the Clifton has been a pub for many, many years.”


Wellington Road Estate

On behalf of residents of Elgood House on the Wellington Road estate we contacted City West Homes about a disputed parking ticket from CWH’s private parking contractors. CWH has agreed to cancel the parking ticket and refund the parking fine.

Bronwen Court

Karen Buck MP continues to receive complaints from concerned residents and leaseholders from Bronwen Court about several issues, ranging from concerns about the recent burglaries in the block, the quality of major works, the costs and the lack of flexibility with regards to payment schedules for the two sets of major works. After several months of chasing, CityWest Homes have finally said that they are willing to consider residents on a case by case basis for the payment of the major works bills, but have failed to elaborate any detail regarding this.

Carlton Hill

It has been more than half a year since Karen Buck MP first contacted CityWest Homes on behalf of concerned leaseholders at Carlton Hill about the severely delayed major works, as well as other concerns, but no response has been forthcoming! Karen has registered a formal complaint to Mr Ben Denton, Strategic Director for Housing and Regeneration, about the wholly unacceptable delay in responding to these complaints.

Karen BuckReport to the St John’s Wood Society from Karen Buck MP

As always, it is a pleasure to write a piece for the St John’s Wood Society on some of the policy issues occupying my time and attention. The Society continues to do splendid work defending the unique built environment of the area, as well as championing the interests of this diverse community. Specifically, the hard-working Planning Committee handles a huge workload with aplomb, despite the scale (St John’s Wood Barracks, Lords) and the frequently controversial nature (basements) of the issues that members must deal with. St John’s Wood is fortunate indeed to have such defenders.

Crime and policing

The continuation of the now 20-year long decline in overall crime is extremely welcome, but it inevitably conceals lots of variations- both in types of crime and between areas. Last year’s crime figures for Westminster, for example, show another fall in total crime on the year, including burglary and robbery, but a sharp rise in violent crime, which rose from 7,019 offences in 2013 to 8,541 in 2014. This particular type of crime remains rare, and St John’s Wood is safer than many other areas, but nonetheless there was a rise from 7.3 violent crimes per 1000 in 2013 to 9.7 per 1000 in 2014 in Abbey Road, and from 10.1 to 14.7 per 1000 in Regent’s Park, so there can be no complacency.

Meanwhile, I was very disappointed to hear that the Paddington Green custody suite has been closed, since this means that when the police make an arrest they have to take the suspect right across the Borough (usually to Belgravia) for processing- greatly adding to the time they are off the streets in north Westminster. The pressure on staffing levels remains acute- I previously reported that we lost almost one-third of our total police strength in Westminster between 2011 and last year. All of these facts suggest that we should not be looking at further reductions in policing next year.


The process of tightening up on planning guidance is still underway, with Kensington and Chelsea being in the front line of Councils adopting new rules (K+C councillors voted on these in mid-January). Whilst Westminster has interim guidance in place this is not actually new policy – it reflects current practice by putting all the standards into one document. On the plus side, Westminster is starting to win appeals against applications the Council wishes to reject, but there is some concern that the response to last year’s consultation remains unpublished, and I know residents are still very anxious to see tougher restrictions coming in as soon as possible.

Impact of the de-regulation of rules on residential short/holiday lets

I was grateful to all those residents who responded to my survey about the impact of the growing ‘short-term let’ industry on residential communities. Drawing from their comments – which were overwhelmingly negative about further re-regulation- I initiated a debate in Parliament in order to try and convince the government not to go ahead with further loosening of the rules. In addition to all the concerns about the consequences for residents- such as increased levels of noise nuisance, rubbish, minor damage and greater insecurity- I raised the fact that in Westminster some 3000 properties have already been turned over to the hospitality industry, reducing the number of homes available for people who actually need somewhere to live. Of course no-one wants to prevent owners doing a holiday home-swap or something similar but with visitor numbers to London continuing to soar, and owners able to charge far more for short lets than ordinary rentals, there is a real danger that parts of central London will be under increasing pressure and lose their character as places where people actually live. Camden, for example, has recorded a leap in the number of properties advertised in short-let websites since the government introduced the De-regulation Bill.

The local NHS

Pressure has been building on the London NHS in recent weeks, and our local hospital, St Mary’s, was criticised by the Care Quality Commission in their inspection report at Christmas. Overall, the Imperial Trust was found to ‘require improvement’, but the Accident and Emergency service at St Mary’s was found to be inadequate, as was the Outpatients service. (The A+E was uprated to ‘requiring improvement’ in the week of writing). St Mary’s has also fallen below required performance standards for treating patients in Accident and Emergency, and senior managers tell me that at any one time, they have the equivalent of a ward of patients they cannot discharge home because there is not enough support for them in the community. Speaking in Parliament on this issue last month, I asked the Secretary of State why the government has been closing Accident and Emergency units (such as Hammersmith and Central Middlesex, which closed last autumn) in the middle of an A+E crisis.

Leasehold concerns

I have held two advice sessions for private and council leaseholders in recent months, with expert input from lawyers working for LEASE. Many leaseholders from private blocks in St John’s Wood, as well as CWH leaseholders from Carlton Hill, Bronwen Court and Wharncliffe Gardens came along to ask questions about issues ranging from how to ensure financial transparency from Managing Agents, the best way to take a case to the LVT, service charges and Major Works. Although these sessions have been useful to those attending, they flagged up how disempowered many leaseholders feel when dealing with their freeholders/Managing Agents, including, unfortunately, City West Homes.

On the subject of tenure, it is fascinating to note that the growth of the private rented sector in Britain has had a real effect locally. During the last census period, the % of properties rented privately rose from 36% to 45% in Abbey Road, and from 34% to 42% in Regent’s Park, and there is no reason to think it hasn’t grown further since then. Although a healthy private rented sector is a good thing, a decline in the proportion of long-term residents does have an impact, and can make it harder to build community institutions. Whilst many private tenants are satisfied with their property, it is also true that the PRS is over-represented when it comes to problems, too- ranging from poor energy efficiency to excessive letting agency charges, so it is important to have the right powers and capacity to deal with downsides.

Please do continue to raise your concerns with me, and I will always do my best to respond. I look forward to continuing to work with the Society in future.

Karen Buck MP

New threat to the Clifton pub

The Clifton pub in Clifton Road, St John’s Wood, is under renewed threat. The new owner of the pub wants to turn this popular and much-loved local pub into a house and has submitted a planning application to Westminster Council. You can see the plans and give your views on line.


Crossroads of Hamilton Terrace and Abercorn Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“There are huge potholes and spilt concrete all over the road as you approach this junction from Maida Vale. The pothole at the junction itself is now some 3″ to 4″ deep and over 2 ft long. Also the concrete companies whose lorries regularly spill concrete at this steep junction from the rear of their “bottle lorries” should be made to clean up. I have reported a couple of lorries direct to the council with the number plates and never heard anything back about holding these companies to account. They charge their clients £880 per load plus VAT and are well able to afford cleaning up their own waste.”

“I am sure others have notified you of this dangerous crater at the junction of Abercorn Place and Hamilton Terrace. Cars have to swerve to avoid it and it’s getting bigger by the day. From time to time it gets repaired but so ineffectively that it reoccurs so costing the borough/ tax payer more than it should. I would be grateful if you could ask for this to be looked into and resolved.”

We contacted the head of road management at the Council and he says that they are aware of the situation and a job had been raised to permanently repair the road a few weeks ago. There were some issues and this didn’t get done, so he followed it up and will reorder the works. A make safe was completed at the weekend in order to tide it over until the full repair.

Abbey Road/Belgrave Gardens – what you say

“I endorse this complaint. Yesterday I could easily been knocked off my bike as I could not see what traffic was travelling north in Abbey Road. I was coming out of Belgrave Mansions and parked vans and cars blocked the view.”

Basement developments – what you say

“We can’t emphasise enough how the horrendous build of basements and swimming pools needs property legislation. We need to set up an online petition and get many, many signatures to stop this continuing. We have in Marlborough Place an enormous project major works for the last 18 months!! The constant drilling affects the foundation of surrounding houses.!! This work is far from complete and the planning permission is given far too easily. This has to stop! We feel for all of you who are being subjected to this where you live.”

“Living on Hamilton Terrace for over thirty years, we have remarked a notable increase in recent years in both the rate and scale of massive developments on the road, which include huge basement excavations. We find it unacceptable that such huge scale work is permitted to be carried out in a Conservation Area. Furthermore, it is worrying that huge basements are being carved out in areas where there are subterranean water systems and where there is likely to be a detrimental impact on terrain and properties. Finally, being surrounded by huge scale construction means that there is constant noise, dust and lorry traffic in an area which used to be renowned for its serenity. “


Northwick Close

We have alerted the Council to this issue:

“Our street light at the bottom of the cul de sac end has been out of service all week. Could it be fixed?”

Hamilton Terrace/St John’s Wood Road junction

We have asked the Council to investigate this suggestion:

“I have frequently had to step back to avoid an accident as vehicles from St John’s Wood Road swerve into Hamilton Terrace frequently without indicating. There is a pedestrian crossing over St John’s Wood Road. It may be argued that it is unusual to have two zebras so close together, but the position at Hamilton Close/St John’s Wood Road is similar to that by Warwick Avenue where there are two crossings at right angles.”

Scott Ellis Gardens and Hamilton Close

We are making enquiries about this issue:

“A major part of the fairly tall boundary wall between Scott Ellis Gardens and Hamilton Close fell down in the storms at the end of January 2013. City West Homes who are responsible for the blocks of flats bounding Scott Ellis accepted responsibility for repairing the wall and collected the old bricks together. At first they put up a temporary wire barrier, but this proved most unsatisfactory. Eventually a wooden fence was erected. This has ensured that Hamilton Close is not used as a short cut into Scott Ellis, but it is not a long-term solution. I was led to believe that rebuilding work would start in November but my latest information is that the work is ‘on hold’ pending discussions with Westminster Council. The wall was built in Victorian Times and lacks modern foundations. Part of the remaining wall is displaying damp and one section is bulging as a result of a tree. Please can you please press for rebuilding to begin soon? It is now a year since the storm.”

Abbey Road

We contacted the Council about this problem:

“Can anything be done about the minicabs and drivers who park on the double yellow lines in Abbey Road at the corner of Belgrave Gardens to sit in the café or pretend to be loading by putting their boot lids up thereby obstructing visibility for pedestrians and traffic exiting from Belgrave Gardens and restricting the traffic flow along Abbey Road which is also a bus route? This needs urgent attention before a serious accident occurs.”


Bronwen Court, Grove End Road

Bronwen Court

We have contacted City West Homes after residents expressed their concerns about many aspects of the major works currently being carried out there. These included the cost to lessees, standard of workmanship, length of time being taken to carry out the work and security issues. Nick Luder of the St John’s Wood Labour Action Team reports:

“Standard of Work: In the view of residents the standard of the major works being carried out left much to be desired (putting it mildly). We were invited to enter flats and were shown examples of the lack of adequate repair work on the windows etc.. The impression given on entering the buildings and mounting the staircases is hardly that of a competent contractor.

Cost: Lessees considered the cost to be extremely excessive and figures quoted to us certainly gave that impression.

Security: Residents feel there should be an immediate independent security audit of the buildings by the appropriate crime prevention authority in conjunction with CityWest Homes.”

St John’s Wood station area – what you say

“I have no doubt that for many motorists their determination to get somewhere, even to the next red light, as fast as possible, trumps road safety and observing the rules of the road. Westminster Council can’t change the culture, but it can take steps to curb some behaviours and to make the roads and pavements a bit safer for others. Restricting parking around John and Lizzie’s is a very good idea. I suspect that another zebra crossing in Grove End Road might be counter-productive and lead even more motorists to tear down the road and ignore pedestrians at the crossings at the junction with Abbey Road. As it is, it is obvious that lots of drivers have no intention of stopping for pedestrians at the crossing, at least until they are aware that the pedestrians are looking them in the eye.”


Dora House

In recent weeks Karen Buck MP has been contacted by dozens of Dora House residents with their thoughts about the imminent Dora House demolition and refurbishment. In response to the concernsKaren contacted landlord Central & Cecil and Westminster City Council to raise these with them. Many residents also wanted to meet Karen to discuss their thoughts in person, and so she arranged to meet with residents and Central & Cecil on Friday 24 October. The meeting was a chance for residents to discuss their concerns with Karen and to have their questions answered by Central & Cecil.

Aquila Street

At the request of residents in flats in Aquila Street we have spoken to City West Homes about the dangerous state of the common parts. CWH have confirmed that carpets that have been identified to be in disrepair or a hazard are due to be replaced very soon.

Cochrane Street

We have asked the Council to check whether the street lighting is adequate, following concerns expressed by residents.

Abercorn Place

We have asked the Council to investigate reports of speeding traffic along Abercorn Place.

St John’s Wood station/Circus Road area.

We are making further enquiries about the following;

• The need for a zebra crossing opposite St Johns and Elizabeth or at the least clear the parking opposite the hospital so the sight lines for approaching traffic are improved.
• The poor state of the garden area outside St John’s Wood station
• The timing of the pedestrian crossing outside St John’s Wood station
• The drainage on the west side opposite St John’s Wood Tube where there is a muddy lake and people have to stand well back to avoid drenching by traffic.

Clifton Pub, Clifton Hill


We are concerned and the continued closure of the Clifton Pub. The Council’s Planning Officers tell us;

“Whilst press reports earlier in the year indicated that the new owner intended to let the premises again as a public house it has not re-opened as such and is currently vacant with estate agents’ advertising boards on the premises which indicate that the property is being marketed. Its current condition appears to be acceptable and there are no obvious grounds for planning enforcement intervention in this respect. There have been no formal planning applications to date but it does seem likely that applications for alternative use may come forward and residential, or possibly a form of bar/restaurant use, are most likely to be proposed. The current marketing exercise may be underway to demonstrate demand for/viability of the current pub use. We are aware of local sensitivity to the issue and any planning application would be the subject to notification of neighbours, amenity society, local Ward Members etc.”

Lodge Road/Park Road junction

We have asked the Council to investigate these two issues;

• In the pavement at the northern side of the junction there are dangerous potholes adjacent to Thames Water service covers
• In the road and on the pavement at the southern end of the junction a very large puddle always forms after major rainfall


Abercorn Place

We have reported a number of sites where builders had started work before 8am and action was taken by the Noise Team to get the builders to abide by the regulations.

Eamont Street

We have reported incidents of rubbish being left and uncollected in Eamont Street near the junction with Allitsen Road, following enquiries by residents.

Prince Albert Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“Exiting by car from North Gate block has become extremely perilous and the residents of North Gate would like to do something to improve the situation. The problem is caused by two factors: (a) The large number of vehicles parked (legally) on the North Gate side (opposite side to Regents Park), (b) The concave bend in the road at this point and (c) Vehicles accelerating and speeding once they enter Prince Albert Road from the Lord’s roundabout. As a result of these factors it is usually necessary to creep forward beyond the line of parked cars in order to see whether any traffic is approaching from the Lord’s roundabout direction. The manoeuvre is particularly difficult for the relatively large number of older people residing at North Gate. I believe North Gate would, if given permission, be willing at their expense to place mirrors on the park side in order to assist people exiting.”


Clifton Hill

We are making enquiries with the Council about these two issues;

“Do they intend to do anything about the dreadful state of the pavement in the section of Clifton Hill between Abbey Road and Greville Road and the disaster which is pending outside 68 Carlton Hill?, a house newly decorated and the most awful mess of the pavement. Can you chase up what’s happening to 104 Clifton Hill? It’s been in an unfinished state for many years.”

Wells Rise

We have contacted Thames Water about this issue;

“There is a water leak and ground subsidence at the corner of Wells Rise and St. Edmunds Terrace NW8. Despite repeated calls to Thames Water no action seems to be being taken.”

We have also made enquiries about this issue;

“For about two years, when construction of the development of the flats at the top of St Edmund’s Terrace started, the residents of Wells Rise have experienced a constant stream of very big lorries, danger from the traffic, inconvenience, disruption, reduction in parking spaces, noise, dirt and pollution. This was compounded significantly when work started on Barrow Hill in May 2013. Wells Rise has moved from a quiet and pleasant road to an abomination filled with dirt and potholes, with water leaks as well. So far we have not heard from Thames Water or the developers of the flats, as to how much compensation the residents of the houses in Wells Rise will receive. I expect this to be substantial as well as re-painting all of the houses as they have become very dirty as a result of the constant passage of lorries up and down the road.”

Pavement on the corner of Park Road and Clarence Gate‏

We were contacted by someone who tripped on a raised paving stone with a sharp corner close to the bike hire stand and man hole cover. We have asked for this to be investigated and repaired.

187 bus – what you say

“A definite yes PLEASE to a bus or the 187 running along St. John’s Wood Road”

“I would like to ask that the 187 bus route is NOT changed. I use this bus regularly and its route from Maida Vale is a good, direct one.”

“I did not know that the bus even went down St John’s Wood Road. I use it frequently from Hall Road. Would not like to see a change in route.”

“In the stretch of Circus Road between Grove End Road and Wellington Road there are two bus stops very close to each other, (for the 187 going to the O2 Centre) both near the Wellington Road end. The one before is a long way away, right up the hill in Hall Road. Is it possible to move the one between that closest to Wellington Road and the one up the Hill in Hall Road closer to the junction of Hall/Circus Roads and Grove End Road? Going the other way, there is one in Hall Road very close to this junction, why not put it opposite? Or just across Grove End Road, outside South Lodge? There is plenty of room at both points and it would save people in Abbey Road wanting to make the journey walking an unnecessary extra 100 yards or so to the stop and finding there’s another one about 30 yards further on.”

“I note on your newsletter that someone is suggesting that the 187 bus is re-routed down St Johns Wood Road as there elderly residents live they. Elderly residents also live down Circus Road/Hall Road so by moving the route someone, somewhere along the line will suffer. Simple solution, every alternate bus on the 187 route goes down St Johns Wood Road, that would mean 2 an hour down that road and 2 an hour down Circus Road keeping everyone happy.”

“Many of us elderly residents in the Hall Road, Grove End Road, and surrounds also use the 187 bus and are glad of its route via Circus Road and Hall Road”

Abbey Road Beatles crossing – what you say

beatles zebra

“Regarding the Beatles crossing why not put traffic lights a little way before and after the crossing this would give traffic and fans doing photos both time and safety, at the moment it’s pot luck for everyone.”

“One way of making it a lot safer for the general public and tourists alike would be if a limit could be allowed to the size of the ‘Beatles Walk’ guided tour. These walks are often 70-80 strong and terminate at either the studios or the zebra. This is far too many people for one group and they cannot be passed on the pavement, one has to walk in Abbey road itself to get around them. Can’t the tour be split into smaller groups of about 20/25 people? That’s ample for pavements of this size. The tours are so big now that a lot of the punters can’t hear him properly and often shoving and jockeying for positions in the group take place, with people again spilling into Abbey Rd or getting angry if locals try to go through them.”

“I would also love to see the back of the more recent outfit who set themselves up as ‘official photographers’ at the crossing, wearing high viz jackets. These idiots form the tourists into queues in a direct line facing the zebra, and if you try to go through the line the tourists think you are queue jumping or trying to get into their photos! The photographers think nothing of waving the traffic on even when people are in the middle of the road trying to cross it. Surely the council can get rid of them?”

“The poles have been cleaned/replaced and the beacons are now working properly. This is the only listed crossing in the country and it is only right and proper that it is kept in a tip top condition. Thanks for your help in getting this sorted which will no doubt be appreciated by the thousands who visit it every week. In respect of the council’s idea to put a lollipop lady on the crossing I don’t think tourists will appreciate having a lollipop lady in their pictures as there certainly wasn’t one on the Beatles cover!”

Residents reject plans for ‘white monolith’ in Ryder’s Terrace, St John’s Wood

The ‘Wood & Vae’ reports;

Residents are opposing revised plans to transform a St John’s Wood home into a “hideous white faced monolith”.

The owners of a property in Ryder’s Terrace are seeking permission to turn it into a limestone-clad five bedroom home, with a two-storey basement and space for a gym, swimming pool, games room and cinema.

But residents, who successfully saw off a similar bid in 2013, are fighting the proposal and fear that its scale will have an “overpowering and damaging” impact.

Last year, the owners withdrew a planning application after Westminster Council raised concerns about the height and scale of the development, which the new proposal has sought to address by scrapping plans to have bedrooms on a second floor.

Christine Cowdray, St John’s Wood Society planning spokeswoman, said: “We’ve objected on the grounds that it represents significant overdevelopment on the site and it will have an overpowering and damaging impact on Blenheim Passage and neighbours.

“We’ve objected to the unsustainability of the basement and we’ve raised significant concerns about the construction of such a large building and basement given the restricted access to the site.”

The planning application says the 1960s house, located in a conservation area, is “unsightly” and the new design is “contemporary yet contextually sensitive”.

It adds: “Careful consideration has been given in the development of the design to ensure there is little or no impact on the amenity of the nearby residents or occupiers in terms of sunlight, daylight and privacy.”

Resident Patrick Matthiesen described the design as a “hideous white faced monolith”, adding in his letter of objection: “It is quite clear that the sheer mass of this structure and the extent of the excavations for a two-level basement are wholly inappropriate and I for one must object in strenuous terms that it will impact on my property and decrease its value and the value of the related amenities.”

To comment visit Westminster’s website with ref 14/06107/FULL.


Wharncliffe Gardens Major Works

Karen Buck MP has met with the Wharncliffe Residents’ Association to discuss residents’ concerns about the timetabling of the scheduled major works. She is supporting residents in pressing CityWest Homes to move quickly with providing advice on payment options and hardship schemes.

Abercorn Place

We have asked the Council to investigate this matter;

“There is a numbered disabled permit holder’s only bay outside 29 Abercorn Place NW8 that has not been used for over a year. Surely the council should monitor these bays. I suspect the person who needed it has long since gone and the bay should go back to residents permit bays”

Abbey Road

We have asked the Council to do the necessary repairs after receiving this message;

“The Beatles crossing is the most famous and photographed in the world but it is also the most shabby. The road markings are eroded, the poles are all worn and the beacons are dirty and one hasn’t been working properly for many weeks. Would the council consider cleaning it up and thereafter keeping an eye on it?”

Hamilton Terrace

We are making enquiries after receiving this message;

“I am not sure if you are aware but there has been an increased instance of violent mugging and burglary recently in and around Hamilton Terrace. In discussions with the Police, whilst they were gathering evidence, they commented that they had made recommendations to the Council in relation to the installation of CCTV but these recommendations have unfortunately not been acted on. All the Hamilton Terrace residents I have spoken to would welcome extra lighting illuminating the pavement and front gardens. It is very disappointing that the Council have not addressed the concerns of both residents and Police, the consequence of this lack of action means that more residents have suffered horrible injuries that could potentially have been prevented.”

St John’s Wood Underground Station

We have again written to TfL about the garden area after receiving this comment;

“I completely agree with the Resident who commented on the state of St John’s Wood tube station frontage. I have noticed the poor state before, but particularly noticed it yesterday. This is a key point for the area with access to major hospitals, Lords, and the High Street, where shop-owners have set up a Business Group to encourage shoppers to the High Street. Could you please ask Transport for London to address the issue? It is a focal point for visitors and locals and could be glorious.”

Another resident has made the following point;

“I don’t agree about the entrance to St John’s Wood Station – bits of it are like a meadow with lots of pretty wildflowers – some lovely nasturtiums appeared about a month ago. St John’s Wood is full of tidy beds of pelagoniums and petunias – meadows are in short supply.”

Marlborough Place

We have continued our enquiries after receiving this message;

“As a resident of Marlborough Place I am concerned about the lack of progress rebuilding the wall next to the rear entrance to the flats at the corner of Hamilton Terrace. It was mentioned in one of your previous reports. “

The Council says;

“This matter remains under active investigation. We are in dialogue with a planning agent acting on behalf of the owners of the land, Marlborough Lodge. Following issue of warning letters, the refuse and building materials on the land have been removed. The agent has also confirmed that the owners intend to build a new boundary treatment comprising a 1 metre high wall with railings affixed above the wall. These works will require planning permission and a deadline to submit the application of 31 July 2014 has been given. Once an application for planning permission has been submitted and validated, we will notify you.”

Loudon Road

We have made enquiries after receiving this question;

“I would like to know why no. 15 Loudoun Road is such a disgrace to the community.. looks like squatters live there.. any ideas?”

The Council says;

“I understand the owners made a query regarding a proposed rear extension last month. I will arrange an inspection of the property regarding its condition.”

Circus Road

We have reported this long-standing issue to the Council;

“This morning around noon exactly what I have long forecast occurred. A women was knocked down crossing the road from St John’s and Elizabeth Hospital to Loudon Road by a truck. I discussed the matter with the police, who were in full agreement that this site has long needed a zebra crossing. Eastbound traffic careers round the corner until they can see the traffic lights at Wellington Road; westbound traffic is revving up at the change of lights and cannot see a clear line of sight around the kerb opposite the hospital on account of vehicles parked on both sides. It was all acceptable when St John’s and Elizabeth was little more than a cottage hospital. In recent years it has expanded to double its size, with large specialist departments expanded and a big GP health clinic, resulting in many more patients. If the hospital in recent years has found it necessary to have one or even two doormen, as ushers, surely this underlines the situation”


St. John’s Wood Terrace

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“There are quite a few drivers that seem to enjoy treating St. Johns Wood Terrace as a proving ground for the acceleration of their cars (often noisy sports cars) in both directions from the speed table equipped junction at Ordnance Hill, and indeed speeding over the speed table often with scraping noises. St. John’s Wood Terrace is a broad, straight road with the houses set well back which may tempt drivers to think that speed would be low risk. However the road does pass a school and accommodation for older people. Excessive use of speed can be observed pretty much daily, particularly in the evenings, but also at other times when the traffic is quiet.

I think an appropriate solution for the St. Johns Wood Terrace would be additional speed tables/speed cushions along the terrace, from Ordnance Hill towards the high street, and especially having speed tables at the junctions of Charlbert Street and Woronzow Road. It is a shame this was not considered when the road was recently repaved.”

St John’s Wood Station

We have asked London Underground to address this issue;

“Take a look at the flower beds surrounding St John’s Wood station. A thicket of weeds 3 foot high and neglect and yet again no properly sized refuse bins. We are about to be inundated by visitors to Lords, visitors to the richest city in the world. What must they think? “

Violet Hill Gardens

We have asked the Council if they will investigate this concern raised by residents;

“Violet Hill garden which used to be a showstopper 20 years ago has declined in maintenance standard year on year. The plantings are no longer innovative and the main north western border has been abandoned to weed and rough shrub growth.”

St John’s Wood trees

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“There has been a tree cut down and not replaced on the pavement southwest side of Blenheim Road and an ugly stump which is a pedestrian hazard on Abbey Road near the corner with Abbey Gardens. This has been like this for almost two years and in the old days would have been long replanted.”

Northwick Terrace

We asked the Council for an update on this matter;

“The street sign (north side) for Northwick Close NW8 disappeared a couple of months ago. I know you asked someone to look into it but still no sign.”

Police Surgeries

Police Surgeries are held each week at St Johns Wood Library on;

• Wednesday 7.00pm-8.00pm
• Thursday 7.00pm-8.00pm
• Saturday 2.00pm -3.00pm

No appointment is required.


Labour’s Candidates for Abbey Road and Regent’s Park Wards

You can read about Labour’s Candidates for Abbey Road and Regent’s Park Wards here Abbey Road leafletRegent’s Park leaflet

Junction of Wellington Road and Grove End Road‏

We have asked TfL to investigate the situation at this location following a serious accident;

“There was a serious accident at the junction of Wellington Road and Grove End Road. I am not sure if the motorcyclist survived. People have been complaining to TFL about the ludicrous 8 second warning for pedestrians to cross Wellington Road opposite the LT station. It should be at least 11 or 12 seconds. Why do we have such a short time? Regardless of representations TFL does not even reply. Worse still, traffic on Wellington Road heading south and wishing to turn onto Grove End Road does not have a filter arrow. Instead the northbound traffic light turns red for about 30 seconds but filtering traffic has no warning of a change. This is how this accident happened. It is a potential or actual death trap. Not to have a filter arrow and a reasonable time for turning traffic as there is on Maida vale into Carlton Hill is senseless and irresponsible.”

“I have lobbied for several years for a zebra crossing opposite St John and Elizabeth hospital on Grove End Road. The road curves and the line of sight is poor. From the hospital you have to come out from behind parked vehicles and risk being hit by cars coming up the street round the curve at 30mph. Neither pedestrian nor driver has warning. This is after all a hospital! Again, no response from TFL.”

St Johns Wood Park – what you say

“I strongly support the complaint in your last issue about the way traffic uses it as a rat-run. It is not just a question of noise but of safety when crossing the road. Could the two councils –Camden and Westminster-be asked to work together to regulate the traffic preferably by installing speed humps?”

Abbey Road Beatles crossing – what you say

beatles zebra

“I think (I’m convinced!) that the frustration created (on both sides) by this situation, makes this crossing an accident waiting to happen. The problem could be addressed by (1) installing pedestrian lights with long gaps between possible pedestrian green lights (to prevent traffic chaos from constant crossings); or (2) removing the pedestrian crossing and installing railings to prevent people trying to cross the road in this location. Failing some remedial action, many drivers are likely to continue putting their hands on the horn and driving through!!!!”

“I live round the corner from it in Alma Square and pass it a number of times daily. Tourists get huge joy from visiting it – it delays the traffic very slightly but you really have to be mean-minded to spoil the tourists’ fun. It is not a danger. I have never seen an even remotely dangerous incident of any sort. As the Beatles would say: Let it be”

“I strongly endorse this resident’s comment. Regrettably, this ritual has been allowed to develop for so long without any form of restraint that it’s difficult to know how to control it. Tourists are attracted in ever-increasing numbers by advice in travel guide books and by organised tours and it’s got completely out of hand. Those standing on the kerb waiting for their chance to pose impatiently wave traffic through as other people try to cross. I have seen an infant placed sitting in the middle of the zebra crossing while its benighted parent stood in the road, back to oncoming traffic, taking a snap. Graffiti migrates from the wall of the EMI studio to adjacent properties. If warning signs were erected they would be quickly defaced or seized as souvenirs.”

“From time to time some young entrepreneurs wearing high-visibility jackets appear who seem to arrange to take photographs of people on the crossing. Presumably they do it for money or tips. Or are they tour guides? Interestingly, they do exercise a controlling effect and are at least aware of the traffic and the need for elementary safety precautions. So – is there an opportunity here for a youth employment programme in which youths wearing ‘official’ jackets impose some order on this chaos? The tourists are not trouble-makers; they are simply ignorant of traffic regulations and, unsurprisingly, think they are taking part in some sort of authorised carnival. I am confident they would quickly fall into line if there appeared to be an official presence controlling the event, at least at peak periods. “

“Please leave things as they are. Most drivers have the necessary patience to put up with this small price to pay for living in the best city in the world. There is no need to be heavy handed; this an innocent enjoyment of a mildly iconic place in London”


Barrow Hill Estate

Barrow Hill

We are making enquiries about the programme for the long-awaited major works and a date when they will start, including security works. City West Homes say;

“A Major Works programme is scheduled to start in April that involves a door entry system. We have installed cameras in both entrances at Robin House which been in place since 12 February 2014. We will write to residents with details of the agreed programme, and invite residents to attend a meet the contractor drop-in. This will be an opportunity to meet the team, discuss access arrangements, and the ways in which we will minimise disruption to residents. We have kept residents updated on the planned major works via our local newsletter which is issued every three months. We have also been keeping residents update by email and sent the latest update confirming that the final stage our procurement process had been completed and the funding agreed. “

Wharncliffe Gardens

Karen Buck MP met with the Wharncliffe residents’ committee to hear their concerns about the costing and management of the planned major works. Given the history of works here and elsewhere in Westminster, they are right to be insistent of greater clarity of information and stronger project management and accountability.

Bridgeman Street

Residents in Bridgeman Street say they see cars coming down Bridgeman Street in the wrong direction from north to south although it is a one-way street. Residents fear an accident sooner or later as Barrow Hill School is in this road. We have told the Council that the road marking “No Entry” is very faint and needs repainting, perhaps on Bridgeman Street itself rather than on Allitsen Road. There is a “No Entry” sign on one side of the road and suggested that perhaps this should be reinforced by one on the other side, too.

St Edmund’s Terrace

We are making enquiries about this incident;

“This week the building work on St Edmund’s Terrace has caused serious damage to a mature tree on Wells Rise. During the loading of a crane onto an articulated truck on the hill at the top, the truck was forced out of control, while lacking a driver in the cab, and slammed into a tree on the west side. Photos are available. This sort of unsupervised vehicular activity should be banned.”

Wellington Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“At the lights close to St John’s Wood tube, on the main road where it changes its name from Wellington to Finchley Road, very close to the island in the middle of the road in the southbound lane is a ‘pothole’ that’s about a foot long, 6 inches wide and about 6 inches deep. It’s been there for years, and is actually a small, sunken pipe cover. The pipework is too short with the result that the cover is below the road level, this depth increases every time the road is resurfaced without taking off the old tarmac. This is a very busy crossing with short crossing times so often there are too many people on the island. As soon as the lights go green the cars race off at full pelt, so there can be lots of shoving to get from the island to the other side. Recently I saw someone take a tumble after tripping in the hole and it was pure good fortune that she wasn’t hit by a car. I think it’s a miracle that nobody has been seriously injured by tripping into oncoming traffic.”

Queen’s Terrace and Queen’s Grove junction

We have passed these comments from a resident to the Council;

“An application has been submitted to convert the church/ old surgery into a large Pilates studio – Heartcore . They propose 2 studios each with 15 persons in each class. That isn’t 30 people coming into the area but 60 on the hour every hour will be on the move. Our area cannot cope with this – there isn’t the parking.”

Loudon Road/Boundary Road junction

We are following up this resident’s enquiry;

“I submitted an inquiry/request for a cross signal at the intersection of Loudon and Boundary Roads. I cross this intersection with my kids daily and it is very dangerous (cars don’t stop).”

Abbey Road

A local resident writes;

beatles zebra

“As better weather arrives so do more tourists determined to have their photo-opportunity on the zebra-crossing outside the Abbey Road Studios. I reiterate my plea for the surviving Beatles to be responsible for “policing” this disruptive, frustrating and highly dangerous mayhem, which often holds up buses and other traffic for long periods. Many visitors don’t know our law and many think the crossing their playground. “

What do you think?

St John’s Wood Park

We are making enquiries about this issue;

“Part of our road is in Camden who put up recently 20mph signs and part is in Westminster. Because the parallel roads – Finchley Road has a speed camera and Avenue road has speed humps – all the regular traffic speeds up St John’s Wood Park because there are no speed restrictions. The noise from some of these cars and motorbikes is unbelievable because the speeds are up to 70 or 80 miles an hour because it is a straight unrestricted road.”


Northwick Close

We have asked the Council to investigate this enquiry;

“I know that in recent months residents in Northwick Close NW8 have phoned the Council about ‘dips’ in the cobbles of the mews, but in recent weeks it is getting worse. Some neighbours think this is due to the major basement excavation and the heavy vehicles/skips that have been coming & going. Do you think someone could have a look?”

We have also asked the Council to replace the street sign which has disappeared from the north side of the wall at the entrance by Northwick Terrace.

Crossing at Lisson Grove/Grove End Rd/St John’s Wood Rd

We have asked the Council and TfL to look at this issue;

“I thought I would mention that my most-often-used crossing at Lisson Grove/Grove End Rd/St John’s Wood Rd NW8 is treacherous because the green man lasts such a short time. If it can be extended even by just five seconds more that would be a godsend.”

Marlborough Place

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“I have tried to draw the Council’s attention to the small plot of land immediately adjacent to 73 Marlborough Place, very near the junction with Hamilton Terrace. This is entirely overgrown and is becoming a dump for any passing rubbish. Can this be cleared (leaving the small trees) please?”

Queen’s Terrace and Queen’s Grove junction

We have contacted the Parking Department about this issue;

“We are desperately short of resident parking here. No 27a was a doctor’s surgery which had two “doctor” parking places outside but the doctors have long since moved and the building now has a for sale board on it. It would be so useful for these spaces to revert to much needed “resident” parking now. I have tried to put this to WCC by phone but have been passed around without any resolution and I cannot find any relevant place on the WCC web site where I can put my request. Could you assist in pressing the relevant department to convert these two parking spaces to desperately needed “resident”?”

The Council says;

“Our permits team received information at the end of January that the Doctors bays in Queens Terrace were redundant and have authorised a request to convert the redundant Doctors bays to residents parking. To convert the Doctors bays to residents requires us to change the Traffic Management Order that governs those particular bays (and makes them legally enforceable). Part of this process involves the drafting of a new Traffic Order and then advertising and consulting upon the proposal and it can take up to 12 weeks. However we are already 2 weeks into the process and I would expect that the bays will be converted sometime in mid-April.”

Scott Ellis Gardens

We have asked that loose paving stones outside Block 6 of Scott Ellis Gardens be repaired.

Wharncliffe Gardens

We have reported blocked drains along the upper path above the Regent’s canal alongside Wharncliffe Garden Estate between Cunningham Place and Lisson Grove. Residents say;

“They are completely blocked and large puddles form when it rains”

Newcourt Street

The City Council proposes to convert the police vehicle bay outside the former police station into a residents’ parking bay and recently consulted on the proposal. No objections have been received and the bays should be operational by mid-March.


The Star and The Clifton pubs, St John’s Wood

We are delighted that the local campaigns to save both these well-used local pubs are going so well. The planning application for the conversion of The Star has been withdrawn and the new owner of The Clifton says that he is looking for a new tenant to run the pub.

Meanwhile, the St John’s Wood Society is applying to register both pubs as ‘Assets of Community Value’, in line with the suggestion from a resident;

“I have read with interest the local campaigns to try and save the Clifton and the Star in St John’s wood –an area which has lost a substantial number of community pubs over the last 10 years or so. Has the Labour group thought of promoting the concept of registering such pubs as Assets of Community Value? Whilst I don’t believe this will completely stop developers, it might raise a presumption in favour of retention of existing use at the planning stages. I find that some of the arguments in favour of retaining pubs such as these two are emotional and merely focus on history or sentiment rather than their current value to the local community (who are not all millionaires!) which I think carries more weight. Registering the two pubs might help –there is information on the Campaign for Real Ale site –”

Wells Rise potholes Update

“I was so pleased when I turned into Wells Rise tonight, prepared to take any avoiding action possible, but the hole had vanished. They came during the day today and mended the gaping holes in the road, it was about 20 feet by this time, so once again well done for organising this. It was really serious, had filled with water in all this rain, and it was almost impossible to avoid it. It will make such a difference to have the road flat again, so many, many thanks.”

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.

St John’s Wood police station sold for £8.5 million will become luxury flats

The ‘West End Extra’ reveals;

St John's Wood Police Station

“ONE of three Westminster police stations that closed last year has been sold to property developers for more than £8.5million.

It has been revealed that St John’s Wood police station in Newcourt Street was sold by the Mayor of London in October and will now be turned into a large block of residential flats.

After details of the sale were uncovered this week, Westminster North MP Karen Buck questioned how the money was being spent.

She said: “We’re certainly not seeing it feeding through into additional policing on the ground, which is, of course, what the promise was.”

The police station was axed last year and put on the private market as part of a £500million cost-cutting drive, which saw dozens close across London.

City Hall’s former housing chief Councillor Jonathan Glanz, who was forced to resign last year, was paid £27,000 to advise the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) on the deal in a personal capacity.

Details of the sale were revealed on a list of police buildings sold by MOPAC. It shows how 11 sales have already gone through bringing in a total of £27m and that the owner of the four-storey former police station in St John’s Wood is now Newcourt Property Holdings Ltd.

The developer is not registered at Companies House and no details of the new owners have been made public.

The deal was orchestrated by estate agents Knight Frank, which described the 7,000 sq ft property as an “attractive four-storey detached yellow-brick building” with “potential as a residential redevelopment”.

It was closed at the same time as two other police stations in Westminster.

Harrow Road police station is also expected to be sold on the private market, but the freehold of the Marylebone station belongs to Portman Estates, which had a long-lease contract with the Met.

The exact plans for the old St John’s Wood police station remain unclear as the new owners are yet to seek permission from Westminster Council for any major works.

But a register of the sale states that it is intended for “refurbishment/redevelopment for residential”.

Ms Buck said: “The gauntlet I would throw down to Westminster Council is to make sure that there is a reasonable proportion of affordable housing to rent and to buy on site.

“We are in a housing crisis and even in St John’s Wood people are saying to me we have to have a reasonable proportion of affordable housing on these sites, because otherwise everything is luxury and being sold to investors and residential communities are being hollowed out in front of our eyes. So, whether you’re thinking of the money that it generates or what happens to the building, we are losing out.”

She added: “The line from MOPAC was ‘you’ve got under-used buildings and we need more people’. Up to a point I don’t disagree with that. But where are the people? We are hundreds of police officers down on where we were in 2010.”

Cllr Glanz, who is a solicitor and director of property company 45 West, was paid £500 a day to help MOPAC dispose of the buildings.

Last year he denied a conflict of interest between this job and his former role as the cabinet member for housing and property.

He said: “I don’t perceive that as a conflict of interest. They are based on separate criteria and I have deliberately not got involved in any debate in Westminster to avoid the suggestion of that.”

Cllr Glanz was forced to resign last year after making controversial comments in which he compared social housing tenants to millionaire “trustifarians” on the Channel 4 show Made in Chelsea who depend on handouts from relatives to live a luxurious lifestyle.

A spokeswoman for MOPAC said: “All money from police station sales will be ploughed back into policing, including investing in IT to deliver a 21st-century police force better equipped to respond to crime.”

Plans to turn Star pub in St Johns Wood into family home withdrawn


The ‘Wood & Vale’ reports;

“A controversial planning application to turn St John’s Wood’s last “traditional” pub into a posh home has been withdrawn – but campaigners warn the war is far from over.

The Star pub in St John’s Wood Terrace was told today that property developers West End Investments had withdrawn its plans to redevelop the building.

Westminster Council confirmed to the Wood&Vale today that the application has been withdrawn.

The company, run by property entrepreneur Marcus Cooper, had submitted plans to turn the pub into a family home complete with games room, cinema room and a “gym with wet and steam room”.

Locals rallied round the pub and started a campaign to “Save the Star” which got more than 800 signatures.

When told of the news, many were delighted but also wary of new plans being submitted to Westminster Council later on.

Mick Hunt, head groundsman at Lord’s Cricket Ground, has been drinking in the pub for more than 40 years and told the Wood&Vale he was delighted with the news.

He said: “What people need to realise is that this is a vital community hub that also helps the local economy with a lot of passing trade.

“Over the years we have lost too many pubs down here but if this one went it would be awful. People really care about the place.

“It has a real cross section of people who go there but the great thing is, once you have a pint in your hand we all become equal.

“When we first heard about the plans we were all a bit shell shocked. Despite this good news, we know that we have not won the war yet – just the first battle.”

Karen Buck MP backs campaigns to save St John’s Wood pubs ‘The Star’ and ‘The Clifton’


“The sudden emergence of campaigns to defend local pubs- most recently ‘The Star’ and ‘The Clifton’ in St John’s Wood, have brought together some distinct and important elements. One is, of course, a specific affection for the pubs themselves- the food, the beer, the service, the events held there. The second, related factor is the pub forming part of a sense of place- the pub within the neighbourhood. Of course habits change and, in the same way that high streets must adapt to our growing fondness for shopping on-line, many pubs are going under due to our different patterns of consumption.

Despite this, a good pub is something we feel strongly about. It is part of our cultural heritage. It is somewhere to meet up, especially at night when the coffee shops have closed. A good pub is one of the remaining centres of community life, and we often cling to that, in a fast-changing place like London. A good pub, too, welcomes people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We can all rub shoulders together in a manner that has become increasingly rare in our rather stratified city.

But there is more. Many if not most of our pub defenders make the point to me that they don’t want to see their pub converted into yet more luxury housing- housing which may be simply another home for (global) investment, and maybe not even lived in. In common with the campaigners against monster basement conversions, pub defenders feel that their slice of inner London- prosperous, perhaps, but never far away from much more mixed communities, is disappearing. Most of us feel the need for some familiarly, some roots in the neighbourhood we live in. We like to see familiar and use familiar landmarks.

Some of this, is, of course, down to us. If we don’t shop locally, local shops will disappear. If we don’t pop in to our local pub, it will close too. But we want a fighting chance against the tide of property investment which is engulfing central London. If ‘localism’ is to mean anything, our council and our planners must use whatever powers they have to support well-loved local institutions like ‘The Star’ and ‘The Clifton’. They must make sure a robust local economic strategy keeps our ‘high-streets’ alive. And the government nationally should support the proposals of Business Select Committee to support pubs, which are closing at the rate of 18 a week across the country. Each of those 18 closures costs their community 11 jobs and sees a loss of around £80,000 to the local economy- investment which isn’t matched by the replacement of a pub with a luxury home.

In the meantime, I wish every good luck to the local campaigns around ‘The Star’ and ‘The Clifton’, which have clearly touched a real nerve and deserve to succeed. ”

You can do your bit by signing the petition at

Save the Clifton pub


We are supporting residents who want to save this long established and well used local pub. They say;

“Please join us in keeping our beloved pub, which has been in this community for over 300years from being developed into another residential property. It is the heart & soul of St Johns Wood, which has been enjoyed by so many from near and far. ”

Rubbish collection success in Abbey Road

Labour Councillors have chalked up another success by getting rubbish cleared from a vacant former care home at 41 Abbey Road.

Abbey Rd rubbish

The rubbish had been left uncollected for weeks, if not longer, until Labour Councillors reported the problem to Council Officers, after which the rubbish was cleared up by contractors working for the owners.

As one happy resident told us;

“Miracles happen! A red van came this morning and two men swept the front and have removed the rubbish”
Abbey road rubbish 2

Save The Star in St John’s Wood – a great local pub

Labour Councillors are supporting the bid to save The Star public house in St John’s Wood Terrace from closure and conversion in to a luxury residential development. Councillors are encouraging residents to sign the petition and to write to Westminster Council to object to the planning application.


The petition says

1. The Star is an important social hub for people who live and work in the area.
2. It attracts a local, national and international clientele that is multi-lingual and multicultural.
3. The Star plays an important role in attracting tourism revenue; cricket fans and players from Lords, musicians from nearby RAK Studios, Regent’s Park day-trippers, even celebrities like Paul McCartney, Dustin Hoffman, Liam Gallagher and the Arctic Monkeys have sampled their hospitality.
4. The Star is aesthetically significant; an old-style corner pub with an attractive exterior complimented by a Dickensian interior with original features.
5. The Star is a ‘proper’ traditional pub with history (built in the 1820s), strong links to the community and a unique identity. 6. The Star is the most unique of all 4 pubs remaining in the area. If it were to close it would leave an irreplaceable void and a lack of choice.
7. Many local residents believe Westminster Council has an obligation to protect the Star as an important heritage site for the area, to maintain the current level of real customer choice for local pub-goers and to send a clear signal to the local electorate that it cares about local pubs and amenities.

You can make comments on the planning application on line at


Circus Road Tesco

We have asked the Council to investigate this recurring problem;

“I wonder if you would have a look at the condition of the pavement kerb stones and the gutter outside Tesco on Circus Road St Johns Wood. Every evening these very large lorries arrive to deliver to Tesco. The noise they make is awful they can come and go until around 10 o’clock. Now they are not satisfied with breaking up the pavement outside Tesco they are now parking outside the post office and Library. When asked what they were going to do about the above matter the answer was the council will repair it.”

The Council says;

“We’re checking the state of the footway and any damage etc. However, photographic proof of the Tesco lorry being the cause would be great to help move this forward. If the resident has a digital camera or smartphone I wonder if they could also send us anything showing this activity. It seems to me that they sound more likely to catch this as they are seeing it so often.”

41 Abbey Road – Derelict former care home

We have written to the owners of this property and to the Council after receiving the following message from a local resident expressing concerns that are widely held in the area;

“This former old people’s home has been left to go derelict unattended. Weeds and rubbish are piling up and probably rats too. The whole structure which has been empty for almost two years is being deliberately left to decay. Recently it was raided by the police because of squatters who had turned the five storeys into a giant a nursery. The owners should be compelled to properly maintain the building.”

The Planning Enforcement officer tells us;

“We have undertaken an inspection of the property and it is envisaged that warning letters will be issued next week.”

Wall at junction of Ormonde Terrace and Prince Albert Road‏

This wall is in Camden and we had the following update from Camden Planning Officers;

“It appears that this wall was demolished by Camden’s building control team in partnership with The Royal Parks as it was structurally unsafe. However while the lodge, known as Primrose Hill Lodge is owned by the Crown and managed by The Royal Parks on behalf of the Crown, the wall is outside the registered boundary of the lodge. It is unclear who is responsible for the wall in order to discuss its reinstatement. I have requested further assistance to see if there is any chance of discussing the rebuilding of the front wall. I will update you”

Wells Rise

We have repeated our enquiries about this pot hole problem which a number of residents have brought to our attention;

“I thought I would write again to enquire what the officers propose doing about the large hole that is growing and deteriorating at the top of the hill that is Wells Rise. The problem is at the very top of the hill in the middle of the road, with the centre of the road starting to crack the length of the side of our building. The non -top cleaning down of our hill is certainly not helping this situation, but the trucks dropped a ton of mud here again just after they started work at 8.00 this morning, so if they are that careless, the cleaning, noisy as it is, may be necessary. The disruption is certainly very galling especially since we do not benefit at all from their building.”

“For the last year or so we have been subject to substantial and continuous noise, pollution and disturbance from the two developments at the Primrose Hill end of St Edmund’s Terrace. The road surface in Wells Rise is now atrocious due to the almost continuous passage of very heavy lorries – indeed there have been at least two mains water pipe leaks as a result.”

St John’s Wood mansion has £65m price slashed by half

The ‘Evening Standard’ reports;

“A property billed as the “finest newly constructed house in London” had had its £65 million asking price cut by £30 million.

The five-storey, 11-bedroom home with10 bathrooms, a gym and underground parking in St John’s Wood is now available for offers “in excess of £35 million”. The reduction has led to speculation that the capital’s “super prime” property market has become over-inflated.

The St John’s Wood home is at 40 Avenue Road, near Lord’s, and is being marketed by Savills and Knight Frank. Neither estate agent would comment on the property.

It has 21,600 sq ft of floor space including a leisure complex, a marble-lined entrance, a mahogany panelled study and an underground car park.

Buying agent Henry Pryor said there were a number of multi-million-pound homes for sale on the same road, including one which has been reduced by 24 per cent over the past 12 months.

“The market has softened in the past year and people can’t be so cavalier with asking prices,” he said. “It can punish those who are over-ambitious. Canny buyers now appreciate that you no longer have to pay ticket price and the queue of potential buyers for these mega-sales has reduced to a trickle.”

Trevor Abrahmsohn, who runs Glentree Estates and specialises in multi-million-pound homes, said business was down 50 per cent this year. The super-agent pointed to the rise in stamp duty on homes above £2 million from five to seven per cent. “The market has stopped above £2 million in London and the supply is clogging up,” he said.”

Action demanded on derelict St John’s Wood care home

41 Abbey Road

Labour Councillors have written to the owners of a derelict former care home, Greathead Lodge, 41 Abbey Road, after receiving the following message from a local resident expressing concerns that are widely held in the area. Residents say;

“This former old people’s home has been left to go derelict unattended. Weeds and rubbish are piling up and probably rats too. The whole structure which has been empty for almost two years is being deliberately left to decay. Recently it was raided by the police because of squatters who had turned the five storeys into a giant marijuana nursery. The owners should be compelled to properly maintain the building.”

Labour Councillors have found out that the former care home was bought in May 2011 by a company registered in the Virgin Islands for £5.9 million.

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

“This is long-derelict property is a blight on the St John’s Wood environment and the owners should secure the building and clean it up without further delay. In the longer term, this building should be refurbished and brought back in to use as a priority. If the current owners are not willing to do so then they should sell to a housing association who can provide homes for those in housing need.”


Lorne Close, Park Road

We did a walkabout in Lorne Close recently. General issues raised included anti-social behaviour in the basement garage and communal areas, including damage to parked cars and the entry system. We were told that police response-times leave much to be desired. The reduction in Neighbourhood Police Teams may be one reason for this.

Loudon Road/Carlton Hill

We asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“Are you aware that the Café Med on the corner of Loudon Road and Carlton Hill is in the middle of a residential area? However, each night around midnight to 4am a council rubbish truck comes to very noisily pick up their rubbish, which includes emptying a bin full of bottles which smash and make a racket when they are tipped into the dustbin van. Given that there are 2 weekly collections on Loudon Road and 2 different collection days on Carlton Hill (so 4 pickups of rubbish each week), can you investigate if there is an alternative to the middle of the night collections?”

The Council has told us;

“The Council doesn’t collect any waste from Café Med since they are under contract with a private waste collector (“Biffa”). We have contacted Biffa asking them to consider collecting at a more suitable hour. The local Warden will also visit Cafe Med to ask them to be more considerate of their neighbours when arranging waste collections. I have also highlighted this issue to the Noise Team who may potentially be able to serve a Noise Abatement Notice if the problem continues.”

Springfield Road/Loudon Road signs – what you say

“Thank you very much for your intervention – this has at last been rectified. We now have street signs displayed again – hope this time they are not removed.”

Boundary Road estate – what you say

“I totally agree with the comment of the owner of the flat in Carlton Hill Estate, although not in the same position, I believe I have had similar experiences with City West Homes. They stated that some work would happen on Boundary Road Estate and invited residents to a meeting last July – which I attended, since then absolutely no information has been forthcoming. City West Homes seems very fond of sending out glossy brochures saying ‘ what a brilliant job they are doing’ which seems to be based on their own opinion, I do not know of any resident who thinks this.”

Lisson Grove moorings

“Is there some way we can compile the complaints about the Lisson Grove moorings which regularly appear in your newsletter and put pressure on British Waterways? When I investigated I found that the man responsible for locking the gates lives in one of the boats and appears to open and close them when he feels like it. One Saturday over the summer he never opened them at all. This is a tow path – not a gated community. I too have also been made to turn back by that man long before dusk. And I also found him rude and aggressive. In fact a passer-by was so concerned at his behaviour towards me, he stopped to check I was all right. I have seen any number of tourists bewildered and lost. Can British Waterways please tell us what they intend to do about this. Why has this intimidating man been left in charge despite numerous complaints?”

Basement Excavations

Westminster Council has now issued a revised policy for consultation, which you can see and comment on here:

Karen Buck MP has introduced her own bill into Parliament seeking to give greater legal protection to Councils that choose to toughen their policies, but risk appeals by well-funded developers.


Cochrane Street

We have written to Octavia Housing to request replacement of the windows (and possibly the front doors, too) of their properties in Cochrane Street. Residents tell us;

“The flats were built in 1948 and windows have not been replaced since. The windows and front doors are in such a state of disrepair that they expose the residents to freezing draughts, even when it’s sunny. Even with full central heating, the flats can be cold, especially in the winter months in high winds.”

Ormonde Terrace and Prince Albert Road

We have contacted Camden Council about damage to a historic wall on the corner of Ormonde Terrace and Prince Albert Road.

Clifton Hill, Loudon Road and Springfield Road street signs

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“In July, I noticed that a street sign that had for 12 years been attached to a wall on Clifton Hill was hanging by two nails. I reported this to the Council dealing with street issues, asking them to reattach it properly. An hour later, it had been completely removed, and a few days later the Springfield Road sign attached to the wall had also been stolen. Both of these were on the corner of Loudoun Road. To date, besides three follow-up calls by myself, the street signs have not been replaced. I was told it can take up to two months – this time has been exceeded. Is there anything you can do to expedite their secure (theft-proof) replacement please?”

Queen’s Grove

We have asked the Council to investigate this problem;

“I am writing to bring to your attention that there are paving stones outside my house on Queen’s Grove that are loose and dangerous. Could you please advise who I need to contact to ensure that the paving stones are secured?”

Area around Ordnance Hill, Acacia Road, Townshend Road and thereabouts

The Council has updated us on the action being taken to keep the area clear of dog waste;

“I’m pleased to confirm that this very issue is being dealt with. A growing occurrence of bags of dog waste being discarded in tree bases, coupled with the last city survey results that listed dog fouling as a major problem for our residents, has led to the development of an awareness campaign, which was launched at the start of the month. The main aspect of this campaign has been posters on our major dog walking routes, stating ‘Your Dog, Your Responsibility’. This is directed at dog walkers, reminding them to clean up after their pets and also dispose of the waste correctly, either in litter bins or by taking it home with them. In conjunction with this, we will also be attaching stickers to litter bins in dog walking areas, clearly identifying that dog waste can be disposed of in the normal litter bins. We hope that by promoting responsible dog ownership, the blight of dog fouling and bagged dog fouling on our streets will reduce considerably. The local Wardens will also continue to take enforcement action against inconsiderate dog owners as required. For more information, including a map function that can locate your nearest litter bin, please see the following council website.”

More luxury homes for St John’s Wood as Mayor flogs off another Police Station

St John's Wood Police Station

St John’s Wood Police Station, closed by Mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year, is being sold for more luxury housing. The Mayor has appointed estate agents Knight Frank to sell the building and is likely to be converted to luxury apartments for overseas investors, with no affordable housing.

Labour Councillors say that the building on Newcourt Street should be passed to a housing association so that it can be refurbished for low cost housing and include a police facility where the local Safer Neighbourhood Team can be based.

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

“St John’s Wood does not need more luxury housing but there is a shortage of homes for rent at prices that local people can afford. The former police station is a public asset and should be used to provide homes for local residents and not sold off to the highest bidder as an investment. Slowly but surely, the Conservatives are making Westminster a place where only the very wealthy can afford to live. This is tearing the heart out of places like St John’s Wood and other parts of Westminster and it is time to say ‘enough is enough’ so that our local communities can be protected.”

The rise and rise of ‘Super Prime’ – and what is may mean for our city.

Karen Buck MP writes;

The St John’s Wood Society deserves all the credit it gets for its constant efforts to protect the quality of life of this unique and lovely corner of London. It is a corner rich in history and culture. A corner about which many stories have been told- some of them even fit for re-telling in decent company. But central London is changing fast and new pressures are emerging which challenge all of us who want to live in a dynamic but socially and culturally diverse city which maintains a sense of community across its many ‘villages’.

The rapid growth of the ‘super prime’ housing market- usually defined as properties worth £10m or more- confirms what we already knew, that London is one of the handful of global cities deemed safe and attractive for international investors., and which is therefore sucking in massive investment in property. According to the recent Savills report over two thirds of buyers at the top end of the London property market came from overseas in the past two years.

Now, London has always been an international city (at pretty well every level), and this international appeal, together with the generally successful integration of diverse communities, is one reason for London’s success. Cities don’t thrive economically or in other ways if they are closed off to outsiders or don’t appeal to them. Many Britons own homes abroad, too. So this is not an argument for insularity.

But that doesn’t mean we should not be asking some hard questions about the public policy implications of what is happening in the heart of London.

Such as, what is the impact on a neighbourhood when so many houses are owned by people for whom they are not home, and who indeed may rarely even visit?

To take one specific example, helped by the St John’s Wood Society and other Westminster amenity societies, I have been campaigning on the issue of excessive and disruptive basement conversions. A common theme frequently emerges from neighbour’s complaints- the owners of so many of the properties where these mega-basement excavations are going on are no merely absent but hidden behind foreign companies, unaccountable and uncontactable.

Should we be concerned that such a high proportion of new-build, high value, London homes are being marketed abroad, off-plan? That they are not even always available to home buyers?Isn’t it making the situation worse that the Council is permitting so many high value developers to avoid their duties to provide even a small proportion of affordable homes on the site of these developments? Despite the huge housing pressure across London, driving up homelessness amongst the lowers income groups, which itself cost Westminster over £40 million last year, just 139 new ‘affordable’ homes have been built since 2010, and only 85 of them were for council rent.

Westminster already has the highest proportion of any council in the country for households renting privately. A healthy private rented sector is a good thing, but it is characterised by very high turnover, and this is turn is associated with a low level of connection to the area. The new housing market is intensifying this process, with the risk that very high transience undermines hard-won efforts to build a sense of community, and reduces pressure to deliver effective local services.

And finally, can it be right that the residents of super-prime homes like the £20m plus properties at 1, Knightsbridge pay the same property tax (in the shape of Council Tax) as the owner of a home originally valued at just £320,000? This seems to raise some serious questions about fairness.

However this debate unfolds (and I welcome the views of St John’s Wood Society members), I want to ensure that the interests of long-standing residents are protected. Change is inevitable- London never stands still and that has many positives as well as some downsides-but we do not want to follow the pattern emerging elsewhere, where the centre is hollowed out and the needs and interests of established communities are submerged beneath the tide of global super-wealth.

Beatles’ Abbey Road cover used as safety message in India

The ‘Daily Telegraph’ reports;

The Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover has helped cut road deaths by 20 per cent in Calcutta after it was used by traffic chiefs to highlight the danger of jaywalking.

The album, which was released in 1969, flawlessly demonstrates one of the cornerstones of the highway code as John, Paul, George and Ringo use a zebra crossing to cross a road in St John’s Wood, London.

Now Indian road chiefs have used the image to warn pedestrians about the dangers of ignoring the safety laws in an attempt to cut the large number of road deaths in Calcutta.

Some 140,000 people die in road accidents each year in India, the highest rate in the world. By comparison the UK has just over 2,000 road deaths per year and the USA around 32,000.

Hundreds of signs bearing the album artwork, along with the slogan “If they can, why can’t you?”, have been put up around Calcutta in recent months.

More than 400 people die every year in Calcutta in 3,000 road traffic accidents, with more than 2,000 being injured, but since the posters went up the accident rate has fallen by around 20 per cent, officials said.

Supratim Sarkar, the joint commissioner of the traffic police in Calcutta, said that the profile of the band should mean it was “a big enough incentive for people to take notice”.

He said: “We are trying to say that if John, Paul, George and Ringo could use the zebra crossing, you can do it too.
“The Beatles touched thousands of lives with their music and we are simply trying to use their universal appeal to save lives.”

Ernie Sutton, the treasurer of the British Beatles Fan Club, said last week: “If this poster can help save some lives by encouraging people to use zebra crossing then I think it’s a great thing to do.”

George Eliot Primary School wins Times Education­al Supplement Outstand­ing School of the Year award

George Eliot Primary School, in St John’s Wood, has won the coveted Times Education­al Supplement Outstand­ing School of the Year award. It completes a dramatic turnaround after the infants school was placed in special measures in 2009, leading to it joining up with the primary under the stew­ardship of headteacher Beatrix Simpson.

Ms Simpson said: “Respect is very important to me. When I came here children were throwing stones at each other in the playground. Now children are respectful of each other.”

The school’s 445 pupils were made up of a “challenging demo­graphic” with more than half receiving free school meals, nine out of ten speaking English as a second language and 26 per cent having special educational needs.

The TES judge said the school was “impressive not just for the results but for the richness of school life”.

Action needed to bring empty St John’s Wood home for elderly back in to use

41 Abbey Road

We have called for action to bring the long-vacant former home for the elderly at 41 Abbey Road in St John’s Wood back in to use.

The former home for the elderly, sold by Elizabeth Finn Homes, has been vacant for over two years and is visibly crumbling away.

This substantial property should be brought back in to use as soon as possible so that it can provide homes for people in housing need.

2 Responses to St John’s Wood

  1. Frédéric Valognes says:

    Would you be good enough to let me know about te current status of the 41 Abbey Road mansion. +33 6 48 67 75 02

    • I think that this property was given planning permission to be converted to apartments earlier this year. The proposal was supported by residents who had been concerned at the long-standing derelict state of the property.

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