Jeremy Vine on cycling safely around the Broadway

vinepicAn update to yesterday report. The bike ride with BBC presenter and the Council’s Head of Transport Policy and Network Management was a success:

Mr Vine writes:

I will write properly, but just wanted to pass on a huge, Broadway-sized thank-you for taking the time this afternoon to show me a safe way around the Hammersmith roundabout. I think I have got it and I hope it will keep me (and others) a little better protected, so thanks to you and Harry and all who made this possible. Stay safe out there! Jeremy

Now we need to help get the message across to more cyclists.


Clearing up the Ravenscourt Park rubbish yard off Paddenswick Road

Over on Hammersmith Today, Madalyn Roker writes:

“Why can’t the “recycling”‘ be collected from the yard off Paddenswick Road on a regular basis?

“The problem is worse when the weather is good as more people use the park but the recycling bags (which are obviously not just full of
recycling but actually mixed rubbish) are just piled up and not collected.

“This mountain is a few metres from the kitchens of the cafe and is attracting rats and insects as well as being an eyesore.

“I have sent regular reports via the” report it” app but they don’t appear to have had any effect. I also have a series of photos but don’t know how to add them to my post.”

I have raised this matter and had the following reply:

Apologies that you have had to get in touch regarding this issue.

Serco visited the depot this morning and all the bags have been collected and removed from site.

There was a massive increase in the amount of the recycling that the street sweepers collected last week, which is good news in one sense.
They filled all their allocated containers and about another 2 bins’ worth. However, black bag waste was fly tipped which exacerbated the situation.

The majority of this excess was cleared on Sunday with a cage vehicle, and the containers and the balance of excess from the weekend collections was cleared this morning.

Serco are increasing their collection of these bins to prevent reoccurrences of this type of incident. Officers are also discussing the matter of anticipation and prevention with Serco, so that situations such as this can be avoided in the first place and to prevent the need for reporting.

I note the attempt to log these issues through the ‘Report It’ app without much success. This is being investigated separately and we will report back to you with the findings.

Thank you once again for bringing this to our attention.

Kind regards

Kathy May
Bi-borough Head of Waste and Street Enforcement Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham

Let’s see if the situation improves.

On your bike, Jeremy

Recently the BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, asked me, via Twitter:

How do I get from the cycle path (left, in red) to the red on Hammersmith Road?

bikemapI asked Chris Bainbridge, the Council’s Head of Transport Policy and Network Management to respond:

“If you’re cycling along the shared use cycle/footway alongside the A4, you’ll come to a signal controlled crossing which goes under the flyover. Keep going straight past that crossing to the next one. Cross here, then head under the flyover into Sussex Place.

“Then cross Queen Caroline Street, and into the road with the Apollo on the right. Cross the north end of Fulham Palace Road (northbound) on the crossing, but don’t cross towards the tube station entrance, rather, keep underneath the flyunder, crossing at the lights the entrance and exit lanes to Hammersmith Bus Station and then the southbound entrance to Fulham Palace Road. Take the shared use cycle/footway parallel to the flyover, over the tube lines and then cross under the flyover at the first set of signals you come to. Once over the two crossings, you’ll see a red segregated cycle track on the right, alongside the Novotel.

“Follow this to its end, then turn left into Shortlands, where an advisory cycle lane will take you to Hammersmith Road.

“Unfortunately, the width of the parts of this route which are under the flyover is currently very constrained due to the flyover renovation works being undertaken by TfL.

“As you may know, the Council would like to see the flyover replaced by a tunnel, which would give, among other things, opportunities for greatly improved cycle and pedestrian routes. In the shorter term, TfL have announced that Hammersmith Broadway is one of the top priority junctions across London for improvements to cyclists safety, but we don’t know yet when funds will become available or the work will be done.

I would be happy to meet you on site and show you the route and possible  alternatives if you would like to suggest a date and time that is convenient for you.”

It’s going to happen! Messrs Vine and Bainbridge are going on a cycling tour together – assuming Mr Vine manages to keep up.

I will let you know how they get on.

Local CAB reported for hosting Labour Party propaganda event

cabOn Monday the Hammersmith and Fulham Citizen’s Advice Bureau hosted a Labour Party propaganda even with the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves. It was attacking the piloting in this borough of Universal credit. In fact, the programme is proving a great success in helping to reduce unemployment – as Miss Reeves could  have discovered had she troubled to visit the Hammersmith Job Centre and talked to some of the claimants.

But, whatever your political view may be, it should not be for a charity to use its resources for a political party. This charity has Labour councillors on it board. It is also heavily dependent on council funding – which leaves the Labour council with a huge conflict of interest.

The Charity Commission rules state:

“Charities which enlist the support of politicians, however, must be conscious of the importance of their independence, and wherever possible seek cross-party representation in order to stay politically neutral. The Charity Commission would be concerned if a particular charity consistently enlisted the support of politicians from only one political party.”

I asked Simi Ryatt, the charity’s chief executive to clarify:

1. Which of the Avonmore and Brook Green Ward councillors were invited to attend yesterday and what was the criteria used for inviting some but not all of them?

2. Which of the Addison Ward councillors were invited to attend yesterday and what was the criteria used for inviting some but not all of them?

3. Is it true that HAFCAB has expressed opposition to Universal Credit, the piloting of Universal Credit in our borough or  any of the Government’s other welfare reforms? The difficulty is not merely that you hosted a Labour Party event but that they then claimed your endorsement for their stance.

However she was unable or unwilling to provide clear answers. Or even any reassurance that such a future lapse will not occur you.

This left me with no alternative than logging a formal complaint with the Charity Commission regarding their decision to become involved with party political activity.

I have also raised separately with the council the unfortunate conflict of interest that now arises for the new administration regarding decisions about your funding from the council.

This has been a huge mistake for H&F CAB. A terrible misjudgment for their reputation – which they still don’t seem to appreciate.


Labour hold Council taxpayer funded victory bash

lbhfbuffetThe Labour Party had a lavish victory reception for their supporters after taking control of the council.

That’s fair enough. Except that I was the Council Taxpayer – rather than the Labour Party, who picked up the bill.

This was the same evening that Labour voted through 16 per cent hike in the amount spent of  “Special Responsibility Allowances” – extra pay for councillors on top of their basic allowance. Of the 26 Labour councillors no fewer than 22 are being paid an SRA.

Only three of the 20 Conservative councillors are paid an SRA – and the conservatives have agreed to a 10 per cent cut in Opposition SRA spending compared to under Labour.

I am trying to find out how much Council taxpayers much went on wining and dining the Labour activists, who were already in rowdy mood at the council meeting before hand.


The cost was £1,400.86p.


Award for Hammersmith Business for their work on the flyunder

Flyunder image(6)Hats off to the Hammersmith BID – Business Improvement District. They have won the award for BID of the year.

The awards celebrate valuable programmes and projects being delivered by town centres up and down the country to improve our high streets, town and city centres in the face of many challenges.

The BID had been nominated for its work on the Hammersmith Flyunder project, which it has been lobbying for since 2012 and this year culminated in the publication and submission of the HammersmithLondon
economic study to Transport for London as part of a feasibility study and the subsequent backing of the scheme by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

HammersmithLondon were up against four other BIDS for the title, all of which promoted a specific project from each area.

I very much hope that the Labour-run Hammersmith and Fulham Council will continue the serious work the council put in under the Conservatives – together with Boris Johnson and the Hammermsith BID – for a flyunder.

There was very strong support for this among the residents I spoke to. In their manifesto Labour promised to “deliver it.” In fact it is not something that Hammersmith and Fulham Council can deliver on its own. The Flyover and that stetch of the A4 come under the remit of Transport for London and thus the Mayor of London.

But I will certainly be pushing the council to continue its work on the feasibility of the project.