News from Councillor Rita Begum and the Labour Action Team in Maida Vale – Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis.
Councillor Rita Begum’s casework summary
- Kilburn Park Road – Rita helped to sort out a care plan for a resident who is diagnosed with Dementia and is now in a care home and advised his wife on related matters.
- Torridon House – Rita helped to sort out the repair pf an outstanding door handle.
- Falkirk House – Rita gave advice to a resident about premises they to run a workshop on women’s issues
- Dibdin House – Rita is pressing Grainger to sort out a repair issue with the front door entry system not working properly all the time. In addition, fire door keys have not been issued to all residents.
- Queen’s Arms pub – Rita has taken up Dibdin House residents’ complaints about noise coming from the next door pub when people leave at night. Rita has visited the Queen’s Arms pub and spoken to the manager who has since said they will only use main entrance on the main road when customers are leaving so as to eliminate noise and to keep all doors closed at all times.
- Elgin Mews – Rita gave advice to a resident on where to get legal help and gave him details of Paddington Law Centre
- Delaware Mansions – Rita is advising residents whose parents are buried in Kensal Green cemetery and need help with a maintenance/repair issue.
Kilburn Park Road
Given its location on the borough boundary, we have asked the Council to liaise with Brent on how to improve the Kilburn Park Road environment, particularly as the redevelopment of the Brent side recently has brought an increase in population, cars and activity in the area – as described in the comments below:
“Something really needs to be done about Kilburn Park Road. There is only one rubbish bin on the entire huge stretch between Shirland Road and Carlton Vale. There is no zebra crossing on this long stretch. Litter is constantly dumped and not cleared. Traffic is too fast. The road is covered in pot holes. Parking for residents on the Westminster side is not managed well – anyone is allowed to park there on weekends and after 6.30 pm. It is often impossible to find a space, especially since the new flats built on Brent side. Suggest residents parking be ‘at all times’ as in other parts of the borough. This is very busy with several large schools nearby and seems to be completely neglected by Westminster – the excuse being that one side is in Brent. This is not good enough- we pay council tax like everyone else and are entitled to a decent environment. “
The Council says:
Ownership of Kilburn Park Road is shared with Brent and the highway maintenance responsibility is split. Westminster maintains the carriageway north of property number 117 Kilburn Park Road. The Council inspects our highway sections of Kilburn Park Road on a monthly basis. The condition of section maintained by Westminster is significantly better and it is our view that the carriageway surface that Brent maintain between Shirland Road and property number 117 requires full resurfacing. Officers will raise this with their counterparts in Brent. In terms of minor reactive maintenance, the Council undertakes to repair any difference of level in the carriageway that is greater than 50mm. The monthly Inspections ensure that we capture any defects within our highway that meet the criteria for repair.
With respect to the request for a zebra crossing it should be noted that this section of highway has not been identified through any accident statistics as being in need of such an intervention. There has been significant building development works on the Brent side of the street but it should be noted that there are two existing refuge islands between Shirland Road and Carlton Vale which may assist in crossing.
In terms of traffic speed, we are not aware of any concerns being raised with the Council. The Council is undertaking a trial of 20mph zones outside certain schools and in certain accident hotspots. The section between Rudolph Road and Andover Place is already part of the experimental 20mph zone trial. The outcomes of the 20mph trial will be reviewed before any further measures are considered.
Kilburn Park Road is located in Westminster’s parking zone C where single yellow line, pay-to-park bays and resident bays are controlled 08:30 to 18:30 Monday to Friday. Although its section from Shirland Road up to the junction with Rudolph Road marks the boundary between the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Brent, no reciprocal parking agreement applies between the respective boroughs as it does elsewhere in C zone, such as in Kilburn Lane and Oxford Road. However, Brent residents, like anyone else, are permitted to park on Westminster’s single yellow lines, pay-to-park bays and resident bays during evenings and weekends outside of the controlled hours. Whilst most of the Brent side mirrors our hours of control, a section from Shirland Road to Carlton Vale is controlled 08:00 to 18:30 Monday to Saturday. Officers are aware of some parking issues which have arisen as a result of residential development in Brent and this issue will be reviewed over the coming months.
Waste and cleansing issues
Kilburn Park Road is swept on a daily basis Monday to Friday and actively monitored for littering outside of these scheduled sweeps. The Council does not generally install litter bins on residential streets as they tend to attract fly-tipping. The most common exceptions to this are where there are small parades of shops or, as with Kilburn Park Road, a bus-stop where people congregate. Officers will continue to monitor this road to ensure standards of cleanliness are maintained.
We have also passed this information to Brent Council and asked them for their plans.
We have asked the Council if the 20mph signage can be reviewed to make it less confusing for drivers:
“As a resident of 28 years I have seen the situation worsen and the roundabout at Lauderdale, Sutherland and Randolph Avenue become a free for all. The situation has been exacerbated by the confusing new speed signs. A new 30 mph speed sign has been positioned at the end of Lauderdale, at the roundabout, encouraging motorists to now speed up as they approach. We have never had a sign before and the roundabout is at a school junction. There is also now a 20mph speed sign on the adjacent Ashworth Road, which, although it runs past the synagogue is a quiet residential street with fewer residents and little traffic. Lauderdale Road, by contrast, has over 250 flats and a commercial parade with a vast amount of pedestrian and local service/resident traffic. What is the speed limit? If it is 20mph then why is there now a sign encouraging motorists to speed up to 30mph as they approach a busy roundabout but continue at 20mph if they turn on Ashworth? Confused? I can assure you motorists are more so!”
The Council says:
“Lauderdale Road does form part of the Westminster 20mph speed limit trial, which can be viewed in more detail at https://www.westminster.gov.uk/20mph-trials, within this link is a plan showing all roads forming part of the 20mph speed trial. You will see that the area containing Lauderdale Road is large and as such the main 20mph entry signs will be at the extremities, however there are smaller repeater signs spaced intermittently throughout the area and within Lauderdale Road.
With reference to the 30mph sign being visible as you exit from Lauderdale Road into the roundabout , this is because Sutherland Avenue is a boundary road for the trial and we are required to post 30mph signage. When selecting 20mph locations for the trial, officers and engineers considered proximity to schools, historical speeding issues and the practicalities of boundaries. We do appreciate that there are locations where posting the current speed limit may appear counterintuitive but it is a legal requirement.
We are continuing to monitor all trial locations and welcome all feedback which will contribute review and subsequent report on the current trial which we anticipate completion this coming Autumn. “
We have reported this issue to the Street Lighting Team:
‘The pathway from Carlton Vale to St Augustine’s church needs light bulbs replacing – only one light working at Carlton Vale end and it very dark mornings and evenings when I going to and from work – lights been out for ages!! Quite scary walking thru when dark!”
We asked the Lighting Team to investigate this tweet:
“No lights on Elgin Avenue at 07:20 while rest of Maida Vale is well lit. Reported this 3x already. Come on @CityWestminster. Fix the timer before someone is hit on one of the zebras. Report It!”
Paddington Recreation Ground – toilets
Following our enquiries about the use of the new disabled toilets by young children, the Council tells us:
“Whilst the new facility was introduced primarily for those with disabilities and baby changing facility, the staff should allow a young child to use the facility. We’ve asked the team to allow young children (3 years and younger) to use the facility from now on.”
Paddington Recreation Ground – basketball court
We have also asked the Council to drain the ‘lake’ in the basketball court in Paddington Recreation Ground. The Council say:
“We have experienced some persistent problems with the drainage despite a number of interventions. The team have engaged contractors and the court will be drained within the next 3 weeks and a new surface installed by end February.”
Councillor Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Thalassis
Your Maida Vale Labour Action Team
News from Councillor Rita Begum and the Labour Action Team in Maida Vale – Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis. Councillor Rita Begum’s casework summary Kilburn Park Road –...
Brexit is still one of the most frequently raised issues on the doorstep; by British citizens as well as EU nationals. Most tell us that they are concerned about the impact of Brexit on them personally but also on their families and the communities in which they live and work.
People are rightly worried about the effect of Brexit on the economy, for businesses staffed by EU citizens and the consequences for our public services. Many are anxious about EU citizens’ rights in the UK (and those of UK nationals in the EU) particularly in the event of ‘No Deal’. For people who work in the healthcare sector, Brexit is an added worry as so many NHS staff come from the EU and there is evidence that they are leaving the UK in an unprecedented numbers. There is also unease that Britain may become a less welcoming country to people of all nations and ethnicities.
Westminster Labour Party campaigned very hard to Remain in the EU. Our MP Karen Buck has voted against Brexit at every opportunity and asked questions in parliament to the Prime Minister about EU citizens’ rights. She also wrote to every EU citizen in the North Westminster constituency to ask about the impact Brexit has been having on them. And the Labour Party nationally made a commitment from the start of this process to guarantee the rights of EU citizens.
London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, also strongly opposed Brexit. If elected in May, we look forward to working with him to safeguard the tolerant and open city we love.
EU citizens have the right to vote in local elections and to stand as candidates in local elections. We are proud that 3 EU citizens are standing as Labour candidates in the local election – Nafsika Butler-Thalassis in Maida Vale, Max Sullivan in Bayswater and Jonna Tuomola in Lancaster Gate. The election on May 3rd 2018 is an opportunity for EU citizens to make their voices heard and participate in the democratic process as local residents who want the best for their community.
Maida Vale Labour Action Team
Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Geoff Barraclough and Cllr Rita Begum
Brexit is still one of the most frequently raised issues on the doorstep; by British citizens as well as EU nationals. Most tell us that they are concerned about the...
St Mary's Urgent Care Centre, run by private healthcare provider Vocare Limited, was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission. Maida Vale Labour have launched a petition calling for the running of the service to be handed back to the NHS.
We’ve been asking Maida Vale residents about their experiences of the Urgent Care Centre.
Alexandra Pink said “I took my husband to A&E recently and we got referred to the Urgent Care Centre … it was a complete disaster. I tried to complain but they weren’t interested. Something needs to be done as the company running it is clearly not providing the service they are paid to”.
Jennifer Fee said: “My daughter was referred to the Urgent Care Centre by A&E … the doctor walked out of the room because my 2 yr old was crying and didn’t return. He told us in the waiting room that it was a soft tissue injury so we left. Five days later we took her to Royal Free where they confirmed she had a fracture”.
Our petition is calling for the management contract to be taken away from the failing private contractor and returned to the NHS.
Please sign our petition using this link.
St Mary's Urgent Care Centre, run by private healthcare provider Vocare Limited, was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission. Maida Vale Labour have launched a petition calling for the...
Cllr Rita Begum, alongside other Maida Vale councillors, has agreed to use the ward budget to upgrade the lighting in Paddington Recreation ground.
The old sodium lights are unreliable and expensive to repair leading to unacceptably dark pathways. New LED lights, uplighters and timers will be installed between January and March 2017. The contractors are promising 48 hour fixes on any faults with the new lights.
Cllr Rita Begum, alongside other Maida Vale councillors, has agreed to use the ward budget to upgrade the lighting in Paddington Recreation ground. The old sodium lights are unreliable and...
News from Councillor Rita Begum and the Maida Vale Labour Action Team in Maida Vale - Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis.
St Mary's Urgent Care Centre
St Mary’s Urgent Care Centre (UCC), run by private healthcare provider Vocare Limited in the Praed Street hospital, was rated inadequate in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published recently. We’ve been asking people about their experiences of the Urgent Care Centre. Please sign our petition to take the management contract away from the failing private contractor and return it to the NHS by clicking here.
Residents have contacted us about regular rubbish dumping by the black bins at the corner of Biddulph Road and Elgin Avenue. Residents say:
“This spot always has random bits of litter on the pavement which have either come out of the bin or never really made it into the bin in the first place. And often the bin is just not large enough to fit all of the trash that people deposit, so there are often bin bags set next to the bin itself. But today’s scene was the worst I’ve ever seen! The recycling truck had just passed by to collect the recycling out of the bins and the guys on the truck had to try and sort through to find the recycling. They shouldn’t have to do that as part of their job. I wish there were some way to improve the situation.”
In response 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.
Please get in touch and let us know what you think about our proposals.
Paddington Recreation ground
Councillor Rita Begum has agreed with her ward colleagues to allocate money from the Ward budget to improve the lighting in Paddington Rec.
We have urged City West Homes to repair the intercom at Falkirk House as a priority.
We have asked the Road Safety Team to take action to reduce speeds on Lauderdale Road:
A resident says: “Sports cars use this as a rat run and myself and my son were nearly run down by a car going over 50 miles per hour the other day. Will it take someone being killed before raised tables and/or speed cameras are installed?”
Carlton Tavern – update
We have received the following update from the Planning Department:
“The enforcement notice requires the public house to be rebuilt to match in facsimile the building as it existed immediately before its unauthorised demolition by 8 July 2018. An injunction is also in place preventing further unauthorised demolition and removal of rubble from the site.
There have been very lengthy discussions over the last few months with a firm of architects appointed by the company who own the freehold of the site since May 2017. An informal arrangement was reached whereby demolition rubble has been sorted on site, with items of potential interest stored and documented, and waste material removed from the site. Those works were largely completed by the end of the summer.
Discussions have now turned to the further demolition necessary to make the existing site safe for workers to examine the basement and foundations before it is concluded whether these can be relied upon for the replacement building. We are therefore currently considering varying the injunction to allow further demolition (with the exception of the flank wall), subject to receiving legal advice sought at the start of December. I hope to have an update for Members early in January once the legal advice has been received and considered.
The owner’s intention is still to commence proper building works on the site early in the new year and although this is outside the City Council’s control, we remain hopeful. Should the works not be completed by the July 2018 deadline or there not be substantial progress in the rebuilding of the public house we will have to consider prosecution action against the freeholder of the Property. That decision will have to be made after next July pending the progress and quality of any rebuilding works. In the meantime, officers are continuing to liaise with the freeholder’s representatives and encourage progress on the necessary works.”
We have asked the Road Safety Team to take action to reduce speeds on Elgin Avenue
“One our biggest concerns is the failure to do something effective about speeding on Elgin Avenue. Even though there is a trial 20 mph speed limit it is a total failure as the car and van drivers pay no attention. It is very badly signposted, no one knows about it and there is no apparent enforcement. Can you please try to get all of these dealt with before a death happens, health effects, air pollution and noise get even worse and all ignore this issue?”
We have reported the unsatisfactory building site at 92-94 Sutherland Avenue where the debris dumped in the basement/garden area was particularly worrying. The whole site looks unsafe and a fire hazard. The local Inspector told us:
“I have just visited site and the area is in appalling condition, I have emailed our Environmental Health Officer to get into this case as mater of urgency”
Following this action, the landlord agreed to send contractors and clear out the garden and make it safe
Got something that you don’t want any more? Post it on Freecycle and find someone in your community who can reuse it. Everything’s completely free! freecycle.org
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. Read it by clicking here.
Please get in touch if there is anything we can help with.
Maida Vale Labour Action Team
Councillor Rita Begum, Geoff Barraclough & Nafsika Butler-Thalassis
News from Councillor Rita Begum and the Maida Vale Labour Action Team in Maida Vale - Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis. St Mary's Urgent Care Centre St Mary’s Urgent...