Lancaster Gate Matters December 2016

Tackling waste all year round

Refuse collection and dumping around Lancaster Gate has been a hot topic over recent weeks. 

In Westminster we have a minimum of twice weekly doorstep rubbish collections and a weekly recycling collection. Some streets have collections even more frequently than that. Times and details can be found on the lamp column in your street or online 

When some councils have moved to weekly or fortnightly collections we have protected our service because we recognise that with most people living in flats they don’t have room to store rubbish. In addition, we have Big Black Bins allowing residents to get rid of rubbish when its suits them. 

Some of the sites have faced problems of dumping because some individuals and business are using our bins as a way to avoid paying for bulk waste collections. 

Sometimes people do not use the bins properly by making sure that their rubbish is put inside the bins rather than by the side. In a busy area like ours one bag left by the side of the bin can lead to dozens in a very short time. This kind of dumping leads to unsightly piles of waste and extra costs to clean it up.

We have taken action to deal with this problem, including:

  • Letter drops to ensure that people understand the options for waste disposal, including doorstep collections as well as the Big Black Bins
  • Warning letters to those who have been found not to be using the bins properly and putting their rubbish inside.
  • Fixed penalty fines for those caught flouting the rules
  • Trial relocations of bins that face particular problems of dumping.
  •  As well as ensuring that your rubbish and recycling goes inside the bins, there are things that you can do to help, for example flattening cardboard boxes put in the recycling,  letting us know if bins in your area are frequently over flowing so we can see if the need more frequent emptying or reporting dumped waste on your street.

We also need to ensure that business do their bit. Which means not putting rubbish out for more than 30 minutes before a collection is due - so if you see rubbish left out for a long time please report it.

Planning updates

New development, for example plans for Queensway have the potential to significantly improve the area. Development in such a densely populated area will always be controversial but we want to deliver development that works for our residents. We want more residents to become engaged by sharing their views through the consultation process. 

As well as the revised plans for Whiteley’s which were changed in response to residents' concerns, there are other schemes on Queensway seeking planning permission soon and we want to work with residents to ensure that they work for our area.

Tea Show success

We had our third afternoon tea show in The Lancaster Hotel supported by SEBRA and Fairstock Consulting. A big thanks to them and those who helped. It was a great success and we hope to do it again next year. We do try to invite all those living on their own to come along and join us and make friends - it is a fun afternoon out. 

Hanging baskets still in bloom

Our handing baskets full of red pelargoniums still look good so we have requested we keep them up just a little bit longer see how they manage the cooler weather.

9,000 and Growing as Westminster Plants More Trees

The number of trees planted by Conservative-run Westminster Council is up by more than a third in a decade, helping to make our city greener every year.
Over the last three years an annual average of 200 extra trees have been planted, going well beyond just replacing the 40 or so which die or have to be taken down for safety reasons. Councillor Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking said: “Westminster Conservatives know that trees are vital to our city and help contribute to the physical and mental health of our residents and visitors. As well as this, they help to reduce on-street flooding.”

Under London’s previous Conservative Mayor, Boris Johnson, Westminster received assistance with its tree planting programme. Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, by contrast, does not plan to keep his promise to plant 2 million trees by 2020, having reduced the commitment to a 5% increase by 2025.

Trees on urban streets provide shade in hot weather and contribute to better air quality. They improve the beauty and liveability of our neighbourhoods. Research shows people prefer to live in areas with more trees and greenery and are prepared to pay more to do so.

Westminster now has 9,000 trees on its streets, from the magnificent planes of The Mall to smaller fruit trees and dogwoods in residential areas and the Council continues to plant more.  

Westminster Council Wins Award for Animal Welfare

For the fourth year running Westminster has won the Gold Stray Dog Footprint Award from the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

This award recognises councils for professionalism and excellence in providing good customer service that enhances animal welfare. The council also received a bronze award for its work promoting responsible pet ownership on its estates.

Councillor Jacqui Wilkinson, Westminster City Council's Animal Welfare Champion, said: "The awards are well-deserved. I am delighted that the work of our dedicated animal wardens has been recognised by the RSPCA.

“Westminster City Council is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and works closely with local and national animal charities. We are currently arranging free microchipping events which I know will prove popular with our residents. It’s all a part of our efforts to create a greener and safer city for all.”

Animal wardens regularly deal with stray or lost dogs, complaints about other people's dogs, barking, fouling and other nuisances in Westminster. To contact them, go to www.westminster.gov.uk/animal-warden-service. The service is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5pm. Animal cruelty should be reported to the RSPCA.

Nine Million Investment in Westminster’s Sports Centres Underway

Westminster’s sports centres are benefitting from a £9 million investment thanks to an innovative contract. The Queen Mother Sports Centre in Pimlico will receive £1.6 million to refurbish the spa, add a new yoga studio in addition to the recently refurbished changing rooms already delivered. Funds will also go towards a new entrance and a refurbished state-of-the-art gym, with work starting in December.

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure, said: “Investing in the future of sport and leisure centres across Westminster will help to more people to keep healthy and active. More people than ever before are taking part in physical activity and it’s vital we offer the facilities and opportunities they need.”

Money will also go towards improvements at Marshall Street Leisure Centre and the Porchester Centre. Little Venice Sports Centre on Edgware Road and Jubilee Sports Centre in Queen’s Park have already reopened their new gyms following refurbishment earlier in the year.

A consultation on a plan for the upper Vauxhall Bridge Road area, which includes the Queen Mother Sport’s Centre, is currently taking place. This work aims to ensure that future developments in the area involve local people and are in keeping with the character of the area.

Councillor David Harvey said: “Despite what the Labour Party have been trying to insinuate, we are committed to retaining and improving the much loved and popular Queen Mother Sports Centre, which will remain at the heart of the area and any future developments.”