Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

Elections 2017

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Westbourne Forum Committee Meeting

Westbourne Forum exists to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Westbourne and to influence planning and development of the neighbourhood.

We strive to be representative and accountable to everyone who lives, works, studies or has an active interest in Westbourne.

On the 7th October we will be holding elections for the management committee.

If you are interested in applying to become a Forum committee member please download the .pdf, fill out the application form, then send it to us by the 31st August 2017.

The Westbourne Forum has served Westbourne for 12 years

People from across different parts of the ward have engaged with each other on common issues and in building a stronger sense of community, including organising the annual Westbourne Summer Festival.

Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 1 Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 2 Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 3 Image from Westbourne Forum Election leaflet / form 4

Under the Localism Act 2012, local communities are encouraged to have a Forum designated by the local Council, to enter into dialogue with the Council, particularly for matters of local planning.

Westbourne Forum gained its’ designation from Westminster City Council in 2015.

Over the last year we have been continuing to consult with local people to develop a neighbourhood plan in line with the needs of local people. The plan will set out principles and criteria to inform planning and development in order to promote:

  • a good mix of facilities and amenities, including those that bring people together and foster community
  • an attractive character and identity
  • a more healthy environment
  • a good quality physical environment
  • a low carbon footprint
  • local employment and enterprise
  • good place to live for people of different ages, ethnic & cultural groups

The plan will need to be agreed by a public vote, to be recognised by Westminster City Council, which we aim to do in 2018.

So we are looking for local people who are committed to supporting the work of the forum in building a stronger community and with influencing local planning and development.

Is that you?

If so, please download and fill out the form, then send it to.

Westbourne Forum, Stowe Centre,
258 Harrow Rd, London, W2 5ES

by the 31st August.

Alternatively email the requested details ( or scan the form and send the file ) to the Forum Secretary.

We will not be able to accept any applications after this date.

The elections will be held at the Stowe Centre
from 2-5pm on 7th October 2017.

A New Community Resource at Westbourne Park Baptist Church

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Westbourne Park Baptist Church - Architect's Visualisation

The building work is progressing well at Westbourne Park Baptist Church and we are so looking forward to returning to the new building (illustrated above) in the Autumn of 2018.

We are also looking forward to welcoming back many of the previous people and organisations who used the building before and hope to welcome many new people and groups.

Paddington children’s library will be re-provided in an attractive, and well-lit space. Westbourne Park Family Centre will return from its dispersed venues and continue to run early years stay and play, children’s out of school clubs and youth projects. With the new income generated by bookings we also hope to expand this charity work to address some of the growing social needs.

The building will have a large reception area where people can meet and have refreshments before or after attending activities, meetings or the children’s library.

In the building, there will be a large hall that can seat 300 people with full PA and Video projection support, a sports hall that can seat 150 with a large kitchen to serve both areas. There will also be 4 offices, and 4 other rooms seating 15-50 people. There will be different rates of booking for business, community and partners.

The new building is funded through our partnership with Dolphin Living who will provide 32 ( 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats ) that will be rented out at an affordable rate see www.dolphinliving.com for details.

If you have any questions please contact Geoff Biggs, email: geoffbiggs@westbourneparkfamilycentre.org.uk or come and visit us when we are open and find out more.

Free Childcare!

Monday, 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

Westbourne Green regeneration vote

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The result the public vote in June on the Westbourne Green regeneration proposals was:

Yes: 414 (48.6%)
No: 438 (51.4%)

Westminster Council has stated that the proposals will not now go ahead.

Based on discussion at its July meeting, Westbourne Forum has written to the council about the result, stating its disappointment. The scheme had its weaknesses, and certainly needed more work. But in the Forum’s view it was a lot better than nothing, and if done well, with the involvement of local people, it would have brought many improvements that the neighbourhood needs.

The Forum believes that the scheme was closer to the aspirations of the local community than a ‘no change’ option. This view is based on:

  1. the Forum’s years of experience of working with residents from right across the Westbourne Green community on a host of issues;
  2. the community consultation carried out during 2011-2012, which identified a majority of roughly two-to-one who felt that change was needed.

However, the end result was ‘no’. According to the Forum this was because:

  1. The benefits of the scheme were not explained well enough.
  2. A number of known concerns were left unanswered, or at least the message that they would get serious attention after the vote was easy to miss.
  3. Community engagement in the year up to the vote was not as skilful or effective as it needed to be.

The Forum’s concern now is that the area should not suffer neglect in the years to come.

Regardless of the vote there are pressures for change which will only increase with time. In terms of population the wider Westbourne ward is one of the largest and youngest in Westminster. With wellbeing measured at 612th out of 625 wards in London it inevitably remains a focus for public services.

Meanwhile its location adjacent to Paddington – at the knot where Westway, railway, canal, and the Harrow Road meet – creates a dynamic for development. Given these social and economic realities, it is important that Westbourne remains at the heart of the council’s programmes.

In the immediate future any impetus for change and improvements may depend more on the community, and the continuing work of local organisations like the Forum. But the council has a key part to play, and the Forum’s letter to the council stressed that notwithstanding the vote, its involvement in Westbourne Green is needed as much as ever.

A new era for the Forum

Monday, July 28th, 2014

These are exciting times for Westbourne Forum… through years Westbourne Forum has continued to reflect on the future of the community and to work with local people and organisations to improve the quality of life in Westbourne, but new things are to come.

The Localism Act 2012 provides for local communities to create their own Forums, with recognised planning competences which will make sure that local people always have a strong say in any building work, renovation or public realm changes that require planning.

The first step towards the birth of our new Westbourne Forum was taken in March, when our neighbourhood area was defined and recognised by Westminster City Council. The second step took place in April, when a group of local residents and representatives of local community organisations accepted to become founding members of the new Forum

A Constitution was drafted and, together with a mission statement explaining what the founders proposed the new Forum to be in the community, was sent to the Council, and our accreditation as the new Neighbourhood Forum for Westbourne was officially announced on 25 July. The next step is for the new Forum to prepare a neighbourhood plan to be submitted to the local community for approval as a statutory document which will inform all future planning procedures.

In the autumn, all members of the existing Board will step down, and there will be a call for candidates to stand for election to the new steering body, the Forum Committee. This is planned to happen at a Community event, and preparations for that will begin presently.

We hope to have as many candidates as possible, and we wish to have a diversity of backgrounds represented, to reflect the multicultural character of our area and ensure that the Forum continues to work effectively for greater community cohesion.

Preparations will soon be on their way. So… watch this space!

West Works – 800 more people now in work

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Are you looking for a job? Or do you know someone who is? Well help to find a good opportunity is right at hand.

The Westminster Works project has helped more than 800 Westminster residents find jobs over the last two years, and this service has just relocated to the Westbourne area!

You can find the team at the Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Rd.

There is a programme for adults (any age) to help find work and a separate scheme for young people to get into jobs and apprenticeships.

The scheme employs personal advisers to help sort out CVs and interview nerves etc and jobs borkers who talk to local employers about what staff they are looking for.

Just call 0203 603 2301 for an appointment or drop into the The Stowe Centre.

Cornelius

Cornelius had been out of work for quite a while and was worried that his age was counting against him when he tried to get jobs.

A West Works adviser found a good job for him with a company that needed a responsible person to deliver sensitive documents to the Passport Office.

Westbourne designated as a Neighbourhood Area

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Westbourne has now been officially designated as a new Neighbourhood Area within the City of Westminster.

In January Westminster Council’s cabinet approved the application made in 2012 by Westbourne Forum.

This is the first step of three in line with new powers provided by government for local people to play an active and formal role in shaping planning priorities for their neighbourhoods.

Step two involves recognition as the official Neighbourhood Forum for the area. Over the last 10 years working on behalf of local people, Westbourne Forum has built up knowledge and a track record, and is now seeking support to add this new responsibility to its established role in the community. It plans to submit an application to the council before the summer. Signatories to the Forum’s application will be recognised as founding members of the new neighbourhood forum.

Then comes the third and most important step – the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for the area.

The boundary of the new Westbourne neighbourhood area, shown on the map below, largely follows the boundary of the ward, though it does not include Westbourne Terrace Road (in the east), or Wessex Gardens Estate (in the west).

If you are interested in finding out more about Westbourne Forum’s application, please get in touch

Westbourne Designation Map