Little Venice Matters October 2016

Asking for your local feedback

All three of your Little Venice ward members, Councillors Barbara Arzymanow, Melvyn Caplan and Ian Adams (pictured) recently met with local residents at the Little Venice Sports Centre. 

As part of the Council's revamped resident engagement programme, the councillors spent time asking users of the sports centre for feedback on services provided locally by Westminster Council, including refuse collection, planning, and sports and leisure.  "You can't beat engaging with residents face-to-face," commented Ian Adams afterwards.  "It's a great way to really understand the views of local residents and shows how the council wants to engage directly with local people."  

Warrington Crescent tree planting

We know how important the local environment is to residents in Little Venice, which is why we are always keen to find out your views about ideas for further improvement.  We are currently interested in what you think of tree-planting in Warrington Crescent, in particular whether some of the existing plane trees should be moved to locations elsewhere are replaced with a wider variety of species.  Options suggested by the council’s horticulture experts are:

  • Alaskan Birch (Betula Kenaica) – an open canopy with a larger leaf than our native birch. They are a fairly recent introduction and we have found that as a species it establishes well.  
  • Prunus Sunset Boulevard – another fairly recent introduction that has proved to grow well in the urban environment.  Features spring flowers and good autumn colour. 
  • Pyrus Chanticleer – the council have planted hundreds of these over the years and they always grow very well. Features spring flowers and autumn colour.

Councillor Melvyn Caplan commented: ‘Trees are so important to the Little Venice area, and bringing a wider mix of trees would add to the vibrancy and feel of the area.’  

Let there be (more) light

Your local Conservative Councillors have been working behind the scenes with representatives from St Mary's Church, Paddington Green, to improve public lighting in the area.  The pedestrian route adjacent to St Mary's Churchyard is a busy connection between Paddington Green and St Mary's Terrace, and councillors and the church are keen to see better lighting there.
 
Commented Councillor Barbara Arzymanow, ‘ These improvements will be of benefit to everyone who walks this route and the new lighting will also help to illuminate St Mary's Church, a real historic gem in the heart of Little Venice.’

Improvements around Warwick Avenue Tube

Your Councillors have given much thought to the area around Warwick Avenue tube station because of the number of people using the station every day.   We have reported the need for the railings adjacent to the tube entrance to be repaired as some are bent out of shape. We are also acting over rubbish dumping outside the bins by Warwick Avenue tube and the removal of unused and surplus newspaper dispensers.   Residents seeking advice about recycling should remember there is a stand manned by the council at Warwick Avenue every Saturday.

Last year the station won a first prize in London’s Underground ‘In Bloom’ competition. This year we are hoping for further success.

Councillor Barbara Arzymanow said: ‘Warwick Avenue Tube is a gateway into Little Venice. Your councillors are keen that residents returning home should be greeted by the presence of well-maintained plants and trees, which should also make a good first impression on visitors.” 

Conservatives planning to pilot 20mph roads

 

 

Westminster Council has announced that it plans to introduce 20MPH speed limits in a number of pilot areas.  These will be implemented in streets in close proximity to schools or where there has been a history of speed related accidents.   We will also put up vehicle activated signs to collect data on traffic speeds on these roads.
Westminster Conservatives have been studying the evidence and refusing to jump on the 20mph bandwagon.  Many Labour council’s have designated all of their roads 20 mph and as a result have seen negligible impact from such a policy. Many motorists have not been made aware of which roads required more caution and as a result have ignored the reduced speed limits.

We have always said that such measures need to be part of a package of interventions and areas need to be clearly designated.   The overall evidence remains mixed and that is why we believe that the time is right to test whether these restrictions can work on Westminster streets.
The average speed in many streets in Westminster is very low and significantly below 20mph and so we recognise that other measures are required in many parts of the city.  We will continue to use other interventions on our roads as in many cases, a change in the road layout remains the most effective way of reducing traffic speeds.

Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Cabinet Member for City Management commented ‘Westminster Conservatives recognise that the city is complex place and that a variety of solutions are needed to keep it a safe place for all its residents and visitors.  We believe that piloting 20mph roads in specific, carefully selected areas is an additional way in which we can alert motorists for the need to drive more carefully and slowly on those roads’.