Westbourne Footbridge

July 19th, 2016

Proposal for the south side of the Westbourne footbridge

The Westbourne (or Hampden Street) footbridge over the railway runs between Alfred Road and Westbourne Park Villas. Dubbed ‘mugger’s bridge’, the footbridge has many faults and has long been the subject of complaints and criticisms.

As part of the Crossrail Act Crossrail is legally obliged to improve this crossing point. It has now submitted a Schedule 7 application – the equivalent of a planning application. The plans involve installing a ramp providing disabled access on the south side of the bridge. If approved the works will happen later this year.

A ramp will be an improvement on the current position, but it is widely recognised that the proper solution would be a new bridge. Instead, what is being offered is a poor quality bodged job.

Please give your views on the design. To do so online please go to:
http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=O7MY10RP02T00

Prince of Wales and Hathaway House (Woodfield Road) Property Developments

July 14th, 2016

The North West corner of Westbourne is still subject to development wrangles.

Prince of Wales with Scaffolding being removed - July 14th 2016The Prince of Wales had been expected to become yet another un-welcome betting office until residents of Westbourne and Maida Hill, which begins across the road from the pub, successfully fought to protect the community: with support from local councillors. The council originally refused licensing after a popular petition. Westbourne Forum also got it listed as an Asset of Community Value ( ACV ).

Since then a new developer has taken over. He has met with locals and tried to set their minds at rest about his intentions for the ground floor and basement. The ACV listing has been successfully appealed against, and the premises seem to still be available for a suitable tenant. Meanwhile some of the scaffolding has been removed.

LTDA Hired blimp floating 16 floors up above the Hathaway House site next to the canal.Just round the corner from the Prince of Wales is the Hathaway House site in Woodfield Road. There the problem is mainly due to the 16 floor skyscraper that will back directly onto the Licenced Taxi Drivers Association ( LTDA ) land and buildings, overshadow neighbours including an old people’s home, and tower over the neighbourhood.

To give us an idea of the impact on our skyline the LTDA hired a blimp ( hot air balloon ). This adequately demonstrated how high and where it will be, as can be seen by the photo. The community is also concerned that this development is in danger of setting a precedent that will help to enable more high-rise buildings nearby. This story was covered by London’s Evening Standard which mentions that residents are also worried that it will block access to the canal.

Westbourne and Maida Hill Forums have both submitted documents detailing why, in it’s current form, it is unsatisfactory and badly thought through. Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the Westminster Council planning page is still open for your comments.

Westbourne Summer Festival

May 28th, 2016

Come and celebrate HAPPINESS together!

Join us for this year’s Westbourne Festival by the canal. As always it will be an afternoon of entertainment run for the community by the community!

There will be something for everyone: LIVE STAGE with music & dance performances, drumming and juggling, children’s games and family activities like Petting zoo, Bouncy castle, the Floating showroom with the creepy crawlies shows, Paddle boarding and canoeing, Sports competitions, the Health area with free checks & treatments from 20 organisations, raffle prizes, barbecue and food stalls… and much more!

Last year festival was fantastic: join in to make this year festival even bigger and better!

Also if you can give a helping hand on the day, please contact Paola 07923379841 to volunteer a few hours, get time credits in return and free lunch!
https://www.facebook.com/events/804175886350791/

Free Childcare!

April 18th, 2016

Dear Parent,

Did you know that your two-year-old daughter/son could qualify for up to 15 hours of free childcare every week?

You are eligible if:
You have a child who has or is turning two-years-old

Plus receiving one of the following:
• A household income of less than £16,190 per year
• Job Seeker’s Allowance
• Income Support
• Employment and Support Allowance

Application forms are available online: www.westminster.gov.uk/information-childcare or you can request a paper copy. If you need help with your application, please contact your nearest Children’s Centre Outreach team:

Queen’s Park: 020 7641 5834/5848
Harrow Road: 020 7641 4850
Westbourne: 020 7641 4308/4312
Bayswater and Queensway: 020 7641 4882

St Mary Mags project gets planning permission

December 18th, 2015

St Mary Magdalene’s in Paddington with Father Henry and members of the community.The St Mary Magdalene Paddington’s Living Heritage project has now got planning permission. On Tuesday evening Westminster Council’s planning committee gave approval for a new building to adjoin St Mary Magdalene Church, which will allow it to operate as a centre for arts and heritage. ( Please click here for press release. )

Over 100 residents and local organisations wrote to the Council supporting the proposals. The whole Mary Mags team thanks everyone for their support and their efforts on behalf of the project. It’s been tremendous, and has helped get us to this stage.

Planning permission gives the green light to proceed to our next and most challenging task – raising another £2.5 million by next July, to match £4.3 million already identified from the Heritage Lottery Fund and others. This will fund the new building, works to repair and conserve the church, and a major programme of heritage and cultural activities. ( You can see a model of the new building in the photo. )

We’ll be updating the website and will keep you informed of progress as we head into 2016 ( see www.marymags.org ). Or do get in touch for more information – toby@pdt.org.uk.

WA alumnus honoured with Diana Award

December 18th, 2015

Mohammed Abdul Jalil has been honoured with the Diana AwardWestminster Academy is delighted to announce that Mohammed Abdul Jalil has been honoured with the Diana Award. The Diana Award, set up in memory of Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better, has Prime Minister David Cameron as Patron and the support of the HRH Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry.

Mohammed Abdul Jalil (AJ) received the Diana Award for being a Diana Champion Volunteer at Westminster Academy and the surrounding area.

As a Volunteer Police Cadet, AJ has been actively engaged in keeping communities safe for the past three years. He has also led younger cadets and has inspired them to have a positive impact on the local area. Additionally, AJ has supported older members of the community by volunteering with Open Age at Westminster Academy. As well as helping to organise events for the group, AJ has been involved in weekly sessions to help Open Age members with technology, giving them the confidence to use the internet and mobile phones.

Since 1999, the Diana Award has recognised over 44,000 young people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others and their communities.  The Diana Award believe that young people should be: encouraged for their contributions to society, empowered to reach their full potential and they should be engaged in social action as early in life as possible.

Acting Principal, Dr Rana, said,

“At Westminster Academy we place high value on active citizenship, and as such are extremely proud of AJ. The Diana Award will encourage him to continue his volunteer work and will inspire other young people to volunteer in their schools and communities.”

Tessy Ojo, CEO of the Diana Award, added,

“The Diana Award is proud to recognise young volunteers, like Mohammed, who have the confidence and courage to stand up for what they believe. The Diana Champion Volunteer Award is presented to inspirational young people who have made a positive difference in their communities. With a growing network of over 44,000 Award Holders, we are building a force of young people who are committed to take social action and improve our communities.”

AJ recently completed the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme at Westminster Academy and is now pursuing his passion for media at Bournemouth University.