Dealing with fly tipping, street furniture damage and all the rest

Our City Inspector John Whelan does such a good job tackling black bin overflow, fly tipping hot spots, rough sleepers’ waste and the rest that I’d like to broadcast his report this month.

Here it is:
Norfolk Crescent- I have been monitoring the bin chambers on a regular basis checking to see if still being used for storage of foreign national bedding, clothing, cardboard etc.
Star Street- I have been monitoring the big black bins since they have been returned after the initial removal trial period. I reported only two incidents of dumping by the receptacles this month which consisted of a large carpet on the first occasion and then a double mattress, a boiler and a dismantled wardrobe.
Bouverie Place- I have been monitoring this hot spot area next to the big black bins on the junction with Praed Street. I have only had to report refuse dumped next to receptacles once which was metal shelving, a 4ft mirror and strips of wood. On a couple of occasions I found some black bags and boxes but no evidence found. I put these items in the respective bins.
Norfolk Place- Having carried out an educational letter drop to all residents and businesses regarding waste collection times and days I have been monitoring street and have issued a fixed penalty notice to a resident for not complying with time bands.
Westbourne Street- There is an on-going issue with waste being put out on the wrong days and times junction with Bathurst Street next to the tree base. I have been monitoring on a regular basis and have issued some fixed penalty notices.
Park West Place- Has become a bit of a hot spot for fly-tipping at both ends of the street. By the sweeper sack bins junction with Kendal Street on 3 separate occasions I have reported 6 X Kitchen chairs, a dismantled sofa and a small cupboard. A single mattress and finally 8 X Oil drums, a clothes horse and a broken mirror.
I have applied 2 X “Don’t dump” stickers to the sweeper sack bins at either end.
At the other end of the street I have reported a double bed frame, a dismantled large cupboard and a bag containing builders waste outside rear of 121 Edgware Road.
Sussex Mews East- I reported 6 X Christmas Trees dumped next to big black bins junction Clifton Place.
St Michael’s Street- Another location that has been of concern lately is outside 80-85 by the fire exit. I have reported a few issues regarding household waste in carrier bags and piles of cardboard left by homeless.

Graffiti, Fly-posting, Abandoned items:
I have removed a large amount of stickers and posters from numerous locations such as Sussex Gardens (See photos)

Gloucester Terrace and Edgware Road W2.

St Michael’s Street- I had a large fridge freezer removed from next to the Royal Exchange Public House having received a complaint from landlord of pub.
Sussex Gardens- I reported a bale of cardboard and 8 X Various coloured bags of household waste next to the big black bins junction Edgware Road.
Southwick Street- I reported a large television and 8 X Black bags (No evidence) next to the litter bin junction Star Street.
Harrow Road- I reported a dumped washing machine on the highway opposite the Veolia Depot.

Highways:

Seymour Street- I dealt with an issue of builders clearing out a property and a large pile of wood on the public highway. I spoke to the builders and they had already arranged for a vehicle to remove. (See photos below).

Sussex Gardens- I reported 2 X heavy duty bollards that had been knocked down by 104 which were obstructing highway.
Albion Street- I visited a building site at 15 having received a complaint that a hoarding was obstructing residents views. I spoke with the site agent who confirmed that the hoarding is licensed until April 2016. After contacting the highways officer he confirmed this was correct.
Junction Mews- I received a complaint from a local resident who raised concerns that approximately 20 boards/planks were overhanging highway on the junction with Sale Place. He had carried out his own investigation but unable to establish where boards emanated from. I managed to find out who owned the boards and contacted the planning department to see if they had permission to leave the boards on site. I was informed that the items had to be removed I informed the owner and he arranged to have them cleared. (See attached photos).

ASB

Edgware Road- I was informed by a business that Veolia waste contractors had damaged the roller shutter in the service road at the rear of property and rough sleepers had set up a camp. I informed the homeless team and they engaged with rough sleepers. This land falls under the Water Gardens and they arranged to have the area cleared of all abandoned items. The roller shutter has been repaired and area secured.
Along with colleagues from neighbouring wards we have started begging operations along Edgware Road and have issued warning notices as well as community protection notices.

Please feel free to contact myself with any issues.

Police report progress to ward panel

Joint working with Home Office enforcement officers and the council is the right approach to the vice problem in streets near Paddington station, the Safer Neighbourhood team reported to residents today. The majority of the prostitutes currently being cautioned are East European, with evidence that many are under duress. Because they are not exercising their treaty rights to work or study they can be required to leave, which is a quicker resolution than going through the courts. Where appropriate the women are referred to a national support network. This approach is yielding results though residents should still report descriptions and in particular, car number plates to the SNT email address. Longer term, better lighting and highways changes will be needed to make sure the problem stays away.

Paddington Pole axed

You spoke – we listened! It was very clear that while we want improvements around Paddington station, a 72 storey tower was no way to achieve that. After very clear signals from WCC Conservative councillors, Sellar Properties withdrew their plans for 72 stories at Paddington Place. Irvine Sellar is now promising something “meaningfully” smaller on the site. Quite right too.

Charities wasting money on high pay for top brass

Great to see the Charity Commission highlighting unreasonably high salaries for bosses of small charities. When I was working on the Review of the Charities Act for Lord Hodgson, I pointed out that these pay levels needed to be drawn to the attention of the public. Good to see that is now happening – see today’s Times story or find it here in Third Sector magazine: http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/third-sector-daily?utm_medium=EMAIL&utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&utm_source=20151217&utm_content=www_thirdsector_co_uk_third_se

AirBnB horror stories – protecting Hyde Park ward

Mark Field MP, Cllr Acton, WCC officers, residents’ representatives and I recently visited Brandon Lewis, the Housing Minister, to ask for protection against industrial-scale holiday letting in Westminster. Nobody minds homeowners earning a bit extra through AirBnB and other short letting websites. However, when this activity takes over a whole block on a regular basis, the turnover of people, noise and refuse disposal problems can be overwhelming for neighbours. They feel their neighbourhood has turned into a badly managed hotel district. The high rents short letters can charge drive out long term owners and tenants, making London’s housing shortage worse.

We would like AirBnB and the other letting platforms to notify WCC when short lets begin, so we can tell if the 90-day limit is being exceeded. WCC is also looking for other enforcement powers against those abusing short lets. Cllr Acton has followed up by letter and the minister is expected to discuss the proposals with his officials in the near future.
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Help on deterring vice

Hyde Park’s neighbourhood team have just publicised the 20 arrests, 35 cautions and 22 community protection notices they have made recently. The HPEA, Paddington BID and other stakeholders and residents were represented today at a meeting to discuss possible supplementary private patrols, with police training and co-operation. This could be a way forward.

Look out for Neighbourhood Link

After meeting Neighbourhood cluster officers this morning, I’m delighted that PC Kennedy-Hill has sent out the new email address for reports of vice in the ward, asking for descriptions, dates, times and locations of sightings and in particular, vehicle registration numbers. Sign up via hydepark.snt@met.police.uk

Proposals for Portsea Hall – on show tomorrow

I took  a look at the plans for 6 new flats on the roof at Portsea Hall in Portsea Place. The brick structures containing the lift motor and water tanks are being moved to the basement, creating space for new 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The flats are set back from the roof edge and have been given an Art Deco look matching the rest of this 1930s block. I think the effect is an improvement on the existing lift and water housing. Residents can judge for themselves on November 12 at the exhibition of the plans at the Amba Hotel Marble Arch, Bryanston St, London W1H 7EH from 4pm – 8pm.

Reaching out to London media

 

 

Kemi Badenoch AM, London region chairman Dr Ian Twinn, fellow Assembly candidates Tim Barnes, David Dean, Joy Morrissey, Gregory Stafford and I had the chance to meet some of my former colleagues at the Standard and other London media at a Downing Street reception this evening. Let’s hear it for Zac! DSC_0720

Noise and crime stats released for summer Hyde Park concerts

Parks officers have released the following: there were only 24 noise complaints, including those to the Parks’ 0800 number and to WCC, fewer than last year.

Crime also reduced significantly this year, with the Metropolitan Police recording 31 incidents, down from 66 in 2014.

As ever, the complaints email address is:  eventfeedback@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk .

Alternately, during events, if you would prefer to speak to someone, please call 0800 567 7079.

The Parks have to find two thirds of their budget themselves, rather than getting it from government. Given that these figures arose from around 300,000 visitors over 11 days,  bringing significant income, they seem tolerable.  Let’s make sure they stay that way.

Antonia Cox

Westminster City Hall,
64 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QP

0207 641 3411

acox@westminster.gov.uk

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