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 LDF@Westminster.gov.uk.
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.
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 http://www.westminster.gov.uk/).
If you would like to let us know about something which could be of interest locally, please email the website team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.