Archive for April, 2014

Report it!

I’ve just used the Report it button on the redesigned council website to report the broken kerb at the junction of Connaught Street and Titchbourne Row. It is even quicker to use than before.
And another thing – Cllr Acton and I called 101 yesterday about abandoned sleeping bags on Edgware Road, as one of the shopkeepers said they belonged to an aggressive beggar. I was reminded today by the rough sleeping experts that it can be more effective to call environmental health on 0207 641 2000. If the bags have been abandoned, the council’s contractors are entitled to remove them, and will aim to do so within the day. There is extensive hostel provision in Westminster, aiming to ensure that no-one need spend a second night on the streets. The experience of the officers dealing with the problem locally is that the Edgware Road beggars are not genuinely homeless, but have come from other EU countries to London with the intention of begging rather than working. Strange though it seems, they choose to sleep close to their most lucrative sites. There is no reason for us to accommodate this line of business. Local shops and restaurants in my experience are increasingly fed up with their customers being pestered, and with having to clear up overnight detritus.

Crime down in The Royal Parks

Parks chief inspector Simon Davis says crime across the Royal Parks is down by 13% on last year. That means about 140 fewer victims of crime in the year to March 2014 than in the previous year – on a day when newspapers are reporting falls in violent crime across the country. The Cannabis 420 illegal event on April 20th had involved some arrests but the organisers are now ready to engage with police, which bodes well for next year.
There are some dark warnings about planned cuts in park police numbers. However, at today’s meeting of local residents and other stakeholders, the Royal Park’s chief executive Linda Lennon said she was already making the case to the Home Office and GLA that the parks need proper policing – especially as tourist numbers are rising. She also assured us that she is trying to keep events to the minimum necessary consistent with raising the £18m+ that TRP has to generate. The parks receive about 5,000 requests a year for events, and find it hard to say no to those that count as public protest. Be warned – there is a TUC rally planned for Saturday October 18. I’ll post the latest events timetable as soon as I get it.

The Oxo Cubes and St John’s quiz

Cllr Adams, Chris, Simon and I were the Oxo Cubes team for last night’s quiz at St John’s, if only because it sounded better than the “Oxford Squares”…. We did OK on 20th century Conservative prime ministers beginning with “C” but not so well on celebrities! It was a great evening though and thanks to Steve and to Chris from the Victoria for MC-ing. Congrats too to the winners the Finchley All Stars!

Postal votes – an easy way to have your say

I’ve been dropping off postal vote application forms to some residents who have asked for them. If you are likely to be pushed for time on May 22nd (and who isn’t!), a postal vote is a convenient alternative to going to the polling station. Email me via councilloracox@gmail.com and I can drop off an application form.

St George’s Fields concerns

Out canvassing this morning with fellow councillors JP and Heather, I heard from residents how noise from the Hyde Park concerts can bounce from wall to wall in this complex. We will bear that in mind in relation to the licence conditions. Last summer did seem better in terms of noise and litter levels. But it is still worth calling the noise team on 0207 641 2000 so that complaints can be logged and a pattern built up. The same goes for calling 101 to report aggressive begging and rough sleeping – raised by several residents today.

Antonia Cox

Westminster City Hall,
64 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QP

0207 641 3411

acox@westminster.gov.uk

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