Archive for the ‘The Canal’ 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.

St Mary Mags project gets planning permission

Friday, 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.

St Mary Magdalene Church Refurbishment Project

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Creative work in the churchIt’s time to stand up and be counted about one of the most exciting developments in Westbourne. Most local people will have heard of the plan to refurbish St Mary Magdalene Church (the one with the tall red and white stripy spire by the canal) and to build a new Heritage and Learning Centre in the small gap between this church and St Mary Magdalene School.

Now, after four years of design and consultation managed by Paddington Development Trust, architects’ plans are finally lodged with the Planning Department at Westminster Council. So, if planning permission is granted, the Mary Mags Project will be able to bid for significant sums from Heritage Lottery, who have backed the development so far. The central idea behind the scheme is to restore the church to its former important position in Paddington life, but in a way which will benefit all local communities, regardless of faith.

There are plans for a new classroom, a cafe, training schemes, apprenticeships and cultural and artistic programmes. With Lottery funding the Church can be restored (did you know it houses famous works of art by artists like William Morris?) and, with the addition of a new Heritage Centre, start to act as a social and cultural hub for Westbourne, thus helping to bring together our many communities.

Creative work in the churchReaders of this site are encouraged to make their views on this development known to the Council before the deadline date of 4th November. To do this:

Go to the Westminster City Council website: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/

  1. Click on ‘Planning applications and decisions’
  2. Click on ‘Search now’
  3. Enter the case reference number: 15/07195/FULL
  4. Click on ‘Make a Comment’, and follow the instructions

Westbourne Festival 2015 – the biggest one in the history !

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Westbourne Summer Festival took place on 7th June and was attended by over 2,000 people, which is over twice as many as in the previous years!

People of all ages came together to enjoy all that the festival had to offer – and there was plenty to choose from.

Once again the petting zoo and the bouncy castle were a huge success. The drumming circle which featured fifteen drums which festival-goers played with the guidance of teachers was a hugely popular activity and created a lovely beat as people were entering. Acrobats and balloon artists helped entertain the children and there was a range of activities that also took place on the Electrical Barge.

The visitors could also find out about local projects and services at the information stalls, and unwind in the holistic marquee with some yoga and massages. What a day it was!

We can’t wait for the next year!

Spirit of volunteering at Westbourne Festival

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Sunday 7 June saw the Westbourne Festival take place in beautiful sunshine. The festival is an annual event for Westbourne residents, and Westminster Academy has always worked closely with the organisers. This year was no exception; Ashleigh Williams and Roy Prasetyo have been involved in planning the event since the start of the year.

On the day, WA provided 15 Sixth Form volunteers who gave up their Sunday to help promote the Westbourne Forum, run the raffle, help set up and tidy away the stands, direct guests, perform live music, police the bouncy castle – and more besides!

Volunteering is a key part of our Sixth Form, and all of our students regularly give up their time to help the community, either in school or locally. I was very impressed by the enthusiasm with which students attacked their tasks, even when it came to picking up litter at the end! Though some of them were a little shy at first, they all grew in confidence as the afternoon progressed, and the organisers were very impressed and grateful for their help.

We are already looking forward to next year!

Mr Farmbrough, Senior Leader – Sixth Form

People Show 128: The Crypt Project

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

People Show presents show number 128: The Crypt Project in collaboration with The Paddington Development Trust, ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) and The University of Roehampton featuring a choral sound piece created by Phil Minton.

Created and performed in and around the beautiful crypt of St Mary Magdalene Church in Paddington, the piece will explore how rituals define our modern sense of community, and will feature contributions from local residents.

The Crypt Project promises to be a very special promenade site-specific show in a magical space that is shortly due for redevelopment.

Due to the nature of the space, please be aware that it is not accessible for people who struggle with mobility nor is it disabled friendly. Audiences must be aware that there are no toilets in the venue and are encouraged to visit a nearby cafe, pub or restaurant prior to or after the performance.

Duration: 45-60 minutes

Dates: 20, 21, 22 May 2015

TICKETS ONLY £5 ARE NOW ON SALE: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/peopleshow128

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.

Student Review of the 2014 Westbourne Festival

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Co-ordinated by Westbourne Forum the annual Westbourne Festival took place on Sunday 22nd July, and Westminster Academy was very proud to support the event. We were lucky enough to enjoy glorious sunshine for the whole day, and it was a wonderful event for the local community.

There was live music (including Ionie Johnson, Zakri Zulkurnain and Joanna Charafeddine-Akar; all Year 12 students), several food stalls, lots of information stands and community groups, and even a zoo and a bouncy castle!

All the stall holders were extremely friendly, and the canal side venue created a very laid back and relaxed atmosphere. There were lots of families attending, and it was lovely to see people from such an incredibly diverse range of families mixing and sitting together on the grass.

I spent the day interviewing guests and stall holders with the WA Camera Crew, and every single person commented on what a great day it was, and how many friendly faces there were (even the ones painted to look like tigers!).

A big thank you has to go to the absolutely wonderful stewards (ten of which were WA students) for running the event so smoothly and ensuring that everyone was having a good time. And especially to those involved in the planning and organisation, particularly Sara and Geoff. Overall, it was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed being involved in it. Bring on 2015!

Noumeira Bettache

Year 12 student, Westminster Academy