As a Church Street resident l have patiently waited for ballot papers to arrive on estate regeneration plans but have still not had them in the post even with the extended deadline. As the extended deadline passes l have been deprived of my vote in this matter.
It was rumoured that Ballot papers have not arrived at the homes of many Church Street residents three days after voting started on Westminster City Council’s Church Street estate regeneration proposals. That is voting started on Wednesday 8th May, and was open for a week till Tuesday 14th May. Over the weekend l had heard ballot papers have not arrived at Loddon, Cherwell, Wytham and Wey Houses, Old Church St Estate and other residents at Eastlake House and Lisson Green report not having received theirs either even though the vote has started.
It really is a great shame that things could not have been done to time, especially given the publicity beforehand. It does cast a shadow and raises questions over the whole voting process.
As Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg has said
“If the Council can’t even organise a simple Yes/No vote, how do they expect us to believe they can deliver a complicated regeneration project? After all the hard work and effort put into this project by so many Church Street residents it is scandalous that the Council has failed to get ballot papers to residents in time for the vote.”
I was most concerned about the loss of the Cosway St site. It had an existing educational use which would have been very helpful in accommodating the much needed additional primary school places need for the growing population of the ward. Both Gateway & Christ Church Primary Schools in the ward have expanded into their playgrounds to accommodate the new bigger intakes but we still more space is needed.
Moreover l think there were other more important estate regeneration priorities in the neighbourhood like getting rid of the 200 flats of slum housing in Miles Building, just off the Edgware Rd inside the Ward. This has been allowed to continue for far too long and has long been forgotten by the council. It is surprising that such housing still exists at the beginning of the 21st century.
But alas l have been deprived of my vote to register such concerns.
May 16, 2013
With Hounslow LCC at Market Place, Brentford
Last Saturday l joined a group of cyclists in Hounslow for a ride around Brentford, Isleworth & Old Deer Park. It not only gave me an appreciation of the roads of Brentford & Isleworth but also its history of maritime activities with its docks. Furthermore its place in Roman history with its claim to Julius Csear landing on its shores rather then some other part of West London!
l brought along a Brompton bike to do the tour. As Brentford is the home of the bike, l thought its the bike l should be seen on during this ride
So well done to London Cycling Campaign (LCC) in Hounslow for organising such an event and l look forward to other trips. As well as them promoting cycling for all across the borough; improving the cycling infrastucture in the borough; and promoting better relations between other road users as well.
May 16, 2013
Last week l was at Hammersmith Town Hall for an exhibition of the proposed tunnel to replace the Hammersmith flyover. This brochure illustrates well the tunnel vision derived from a collection of architectural practises in Hammersmith with contributions from the Halcrow Group & the local Business Improvement District (BID).
Interestingly the tunnelling will begin from the West in Chiswick, Hounslow (after the Hogarth roundabout). So Hounslow Council clearly need to take a view on the matter. I’m pretty sure the residents of Chiswick will have their own views as well. It will end East of the Hammersmith flyover in Earls Court, which falls in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, so clearly residents and the council there will also need to have a say. A major bonus is that it would open up the Thames again to residents of both Hammersmith & Chiswick, though this will need to be reflected in some way in any feasibility study undertaken as well as unlocking a substantial amount of land above the tunnel itself.
Once feasibility is actually undertaken by Hammersmith & Fulham council, l would like to see a session of the Transport Committee at the London Assembly examine the “Tunnel Vision for West London.” The plans will have implications for not just the replacement of the Hammersmith flyover but also the Westway in Paddington & North Kensington as well as the elevated M4 in Brentford. This will be the case even more if the effect of Cross rail, once operational, is to take off the road, traffic along the A4 & M4 particularly from Heathrow.
Sadly in the history of building transport infrastructure in London, West London during the 1950 & 60’s got lumbered with a number of flyovers and elevated highways dividing communities geographically, such as the ones in Paddington & Brentford built when other parts of London were saved from this fate! You can blame the cross party consensus in the GLC for this.
But, finally, what’s most relevant is what the Mayor thinks of all of this? I have asked him before and had this response. I thought it was rather a cold and bureaucratic reply. Methinks it is time to ask him again and try and get him to feel more enthusiastic about it all.
May 8, 2013
Petition against closure of Post Office in Lupus Street
Yesterday morning l started the day by joining campaigners trying to stop the closure of a Crown Post Office in Pimlico on Lupus Street. We got an amazing response to the petition from users of the post office itself and people passing by along Lupus St.
London is being hit disproportionately by the government’s decision to cut 20 per cent of the Crown Post Office network, as six of the seven Crown Post Offices identified for outright closure are located in London including Lupus St, Holloway Rd, Sutton High St, Kennington Park Road, Stockwell and Broadgate.
Despite only representing 3 per cent of the Postal Network, Crown Post Offices employ 5,000 people and are responsible for 20 per cent of all Post Office business. In London, not only do local residents like pensioners rely on them but these Post Offices also process 40 per cent of financial services mail and are therefore a crucial component of London’s economy.
Not surprisingly we are having a public meeting in Pimlico about the closure of the Crown Post Office on Lupus street on the 29th of May @6.30pm in Churchill Gardens Community Hall chaired by Sue Walsh, Chair of the Churchill Gardens Estates Residents Association. So, please, do come along and let us together, try and stop the proposed closure of the much loved and much used local Crown Post Office.
May 8, 2013
Poor air quality in the UK has led to the Supreme Court ruling last Wednesday that the Government is failing to meet EU air quality targets. This ruling came as no surprise as areas such as Heathrow and Central London suffer from an increase in poor air quality, particularly with Nitrogen Dioxide.
Environmental campaign group, ClientEarth took the Government to court over its failure to comply with EU air pollution limits of Nitrogen Dioxide. Poor air quality in London causes more than 4,000 deaths prematurely every year, that is early deaths. The Supreme Court ruled the Government has breached its EU air pollution limit and that the European Commission should be able to take legal action against the UK.
The decision should be a wakeup call for the government and the Mayor. It is unacceptable that while 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of air pollution, Boris Johnson’s response has been to kick serious action that would tackle the problem down the line for a future Mayor to deal with.
Around Heathrow, the two pollutants that are of particular concern are Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter with a diameter of ten microns or smaller (PM10 and PM2.5). NO2 is one of two main pollutants that make up oxides of nitrogen emissions (NOx) in London. The other is nitric oxide (NO). Of the two, NO2 is of most concern due to its impact on health. NO easily converts to NO2 in the air – so to reduce concentrations of NO2 it is essential to control emissions of NOx.
The latest reports on poor air quality around Heathrow can be seen in the London Heathrow Air Quality Group report and the London Assembly’s Environment Committee report on Heathrow Air & Noise Pollution.
Air pollution is the second biggest public health risk in the capital. That London will not meet legal limits on NO2 pollution until 2025 shows exactly how much of a priority the Mayor gave the issue during his first term.
May 5, 2013