After a nail biting night on 3rd May Richard Elcho and Emily Payne were thrilled to be elected as your councillors. There was a surge in turnout this year and with seven votes between the three elected councillors it was a close run race. It was with sadness that we lost Richard Holloway after four years of exemplary service to the ward. We would like to thank everyone who turned out to support us, every vote really did matter.
As we start to think about what we hope to achieve and how best to represent residents we reflect on the feedback we received on the doorstep. There was an ongoing concern about affordable housing as families are being geographically separated with the next generation unable to afford to buy where they grow up or rent. This is an issue that resonates strongly with Richard and Emily having both grown up in the area and understand personally the struggles to remain, in a climate of rising property prices and rent. We are pleased to confirm the council are on track to deliver nearly 2000 more homes by 2023.
We also heard a number of concerns about City West Housing (CWH) and Genesis Housing Association (Genesis) from residents and we will be picking up the mantle on ensuring housing providers maintain a suitable standard of property upkeep for residents. There are a number of residents associations who have made sterling successes on this front and we look forward to working closely with them in the future. We have already met with a number of residents from both CWH and Genesis and have been advocating on their behalf.
Other concerns that arose on the doorstep were the environment, recycling and air pollution. One thing about canvassing is that it exposes you to all the vagaries of the weather as we were experienced all four seasons in the month of April alone, with climate change an indisputable inevitability we pledge to do what we can to make Bayswater green. We’re investigating options but whilst we do, we continue to support the no idling campaign (encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when pulled over) and supporting Westminster City Council’s Schools’ Clean Air Fund. We’re interested in hearing from residents who would like to install 20 mph restrictions in their streets and we want to assess pollution levels and possible remedies. We’re liaising with Westminster’s arborist to discuss the possibility of planting more trees and continue to support the introduction of electric charging points across the ward. We are also open to ideas so please do get in touch.
Residents also shared their concern about businesses closing down on the high street; fly tipping, facilities for young families, children and teenagers, delivery moped drivers congregating in residential streets, planning concerns, the future of Whiteley’s and people not clearing up after their dogs. We will continue to work on these issues.
A repeated concern we heard on the doorstep was about local crime and anti-social behaviour. We are consulting with local police officers and other experts on what we can do to combat this. We strongly support neighbourhood watch and if you are interested in learning more or being put in touch with your local group please do get in touch. We will be working closely with the police to identify ways we can combat crime on our streets. Our local police officers are hosting a drop in surgery from 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm on Wednesday, 20th June at Porchester Town Hall for one on one consultations or an opportunity to introduce themselves. If you need to report a local crime or suspicious activity the police can be contacted at the following email address: Bayswater.SNT@met.police.uk
As we approach the Notting Hill carnival our attention will also focus on how we can decrease the inconvenience to residents and are speaking to the organisers to ensure Carnival passes as smoothly as possible.
Meanwhile, Richard Elcho and Emily Payne made representations on behalf of residents in Hereford Road at the WCC planning committee meeting on the 19th regarding alarm boxes. We strongly advocated that the requirement to relocate the alarm boxes is draconian and strongly support our residents on this matter.
It has been an exciting first couple of weeks as councillors where we have elected the new Lord Mayor of Westminster and supported the Westminster Mile, an initiative to promote school children to exercise regularly. We have been out and about meeting many residents and look forward to meeting more of you over the coming weeks, months and years.
We’re looking forward to holding our first surgery at Porchester Hall, at 6.30pm on the 16th July. Whether you’d like help with an issue or would just like to introduce yourself please do come by. Meanwhile we can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@BayswaterBlues).