March pub evening – Tuesday 19 March

Message from Susan Quinn

Dear Members and Friends

The next Hyde Park Estate Association pub evening will be held on Tuesday 19th March.  The topic for this evening has been chosen because the Committee has had numerous complaints about  the worrying incidents of crime on the Hyde Park Estate and the apparent inability of the police to deal with it, due to their own reductions in manpower. As a consequence, the HPEA is exploring the possibility of employing a private security firm to patrol the Estate, if we can find an appropriate mechanism to pay for it, and if enough residents are in favour.

At this meeting you, as members of the HPEA,  will have an opportunity to hear from one such security company. On this occasion we will be pleased to welcome Karen Connell and Jacob Hunter of Hunter Protection, a private security firm based in Westminster.  Karen and Jacob will tell us about the service that their company  provides and how it might benefit our area.  They will, I am sure, be able to answer any questions we may have in order to help us decide whether this is a route worth pursuing.  Our Chairman Allen Zimbler will host the evening. 

We will meet as usual in the upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria on the corner of Strathearn Place and Sussex Place from 6.15 – 8.00pm.  I hope that as many of you as possible will come along and please feel free to invite any of your neighbours who may be interested in these issues and in joining our association.  This should be a most interesting evening and I look forward to seeing you there.

Best regards
Susan Quinn
HPEA Committee

Pub evening Tuesday 19 April

At our next Pub Evening on Tuesday 19 April Nick Johnson, our HPEA Chairman, will be bringing you up to date with the proposals for the new Hyde Park and Paddington Neighbourhood Forum. You can also find out more on the website ––  It is hoped that the  formal application will soon be made to the council, following the next full public meeting on May 17th at the Victory Services Club.
This Pub Evening will be a chance for HPEA members to have our say about the priorities which should be set and the things which the Hyde Park Estate Association should be aiming to achieve from the new scheme.  We hope that you will come along with your views and ideas as to how to make the most of this important new project.
As usual we will be meeting in the Upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place from 6.30 – 8.30pm.  Nick will start to speak at 7pm but do come early to get a seat and have a drink and a chat with your friends and neighbours.

Supporting a Neighbourhood Area registration – call to action!

The HPEA, Paddington BID (Business Improvement District) and the Paddington Waterside Partnership have got together to apply to become a Neighbourhood Area under the Government’s new localism opportunities.

This means, if we are successful, that we can then set up a separate Neighbourhood Forum, giving you an independent say in local planning decisions and more control over how we spend the Community Infrastructure Levy – the special development tax charged when development takes place.

This could make a really important difference to some of our run down areas – and particularly in Praed Street and Edgware Road – where we want to see big improvements. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and could lead to a better, cleaner place to live and work, with more business choices, better shopping options and better investment.

We need your support to achieve this. Please have a look at this short information note Information on Neighbourhood Area, and give us your help by writing to the Council to get this agreed. We have until 28 June to let the Council know that this is what people in Hyde Park and Paddington want.

You can use one of the template letters we have prepared, or send your own letter to: Councillor Robert Davies DL, Planning Delivery Unit, Westminster City Council, 11th Floor West, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP, or by email to

BUSINESS LETTER Template June 2013

Pub evening Wednesday 12 June

Our final pub evening before the summer will be held on Wednesday 12 June and the subject is very important for the future of the Hyde Park Estate Association.  On this occasion Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of Paddington Waterways Partnership, Chris Peers, Manager of Paddington Business Improvement District and our Chairman Nick Johnson will be talking about our support for a Neighbourhood Area under the Government’s Localism Act.  Achieving this status could mean that we get much better control over local planning decisions and much more involvement in the Praed Street and Edgware Road town centres. Your support is needed if we are to convince the Council so please come along to find out more about the proposal and how it could help the future of our area.
We will meet as usual in the Upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place between 6.30 and 8.30pm.  Drinks will be available at the bar and this is always a good opportunity to meet up with friends and neighbours in a most convivial atmosphere. Do feel free to invite any neighbours who you think might be interested in hearing about this important subject.

Next pub evening is Wednesday 13 March

At our next pub evening we will be discussing the very current issue of short term lettings. As you may know, Westminster City Council does not allow short term lettings (less than 90 days) without planning permission. Such short term tenancies can lead to problems in neighbourhood areas, and in some cases may be linked to benefits fraud.

We are therefore very pleased that David Whitehouse-Hayes, Counter Fraud Manager at Westminster City Council, who deals with housing benefit fraud and illegal sublets, has agreed to attend our March pub evening and speak to us about this problem.

Please join us on Wednesday 13 March between 6.30 and 8.30pm in the Upstairs Theatre Bar of the Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place.


Information for members and local residents

In our area there is always a lot going on!  On our website we would like to give information to members and local residents on events, organisations and facilities which may be of interest – without wanting to duplicate what’s already available on places like the Westminster City Council website, for example. (That’s

If you would like to let us know about something which could be of interest locally, please email the website team at

Nuisance sub-letting in our area

The issue of nuisance sub-letting is a concern for a number of HPEA members. It is a complex issue, with many different groups and organisations involved, and responsibilities are not clear.

The Westminster City Council policy is that you need planning permission to let your property for less than 90 days. Without it you could be fined and have an enforcement notice registered as a legal charge on your property.

The requirement for planning permission exists so that the Council can control the amount of property which is for temporary accommodation, recognising that this can generate more nuisance than permanent residential property – for example: overcrowding, rubbish, comings and goings at unsocial hours, noise, and other issues caused by tenants being unfamiliar with local laws and customs.

In order for the HPEA to support members affected by this issue, and also to evaluate its effect on the area as a whole, the committee has arranged for a brief fact-finding report to be prepared. Research will include face to face meetings with a selection of campaigning and affected members, as well as representatives from key organisations. Sarah Clifford (communications committee member) will be drafting the report during early October. If you would like to input, please contact Sarah via the membership mailbox

BT number to report dirty phone boxes

At our pub evening last week, Jonathan Rowing of Westminster City Council let us know that there is a number to call to report dirty, damaged or defaced phone kiosks to BT.

The number is 0800 661 610 (option 1).

Here is the recommended information to provide:

  • clear location details (street location; ideally the phone number of the kiosk but this is not essential)
  • clear descriptions of the problems in the kiosk (broken windows, graffiti, waste or hazards, defective equipment, or excessive carding)

We need to remember not to over-report problems, in order to retain credibility (avoid “crying wolf”). Please also remember that this number only applies to kiosks owned by BT, and not New World Spectrum or Infocus. The HPEA will research these other companies to see whether equivalent arrangements exist.

Please give your feedback – have you called this number? Did BT come and clean the kiosk, and if so, how soon? Email