News, Views and Events around the Pembridge Conservation Area
Dear Friends and Members of the Pembridge Association,
We are fast heading towards the end of another year and now the first really cold days of winter have arrived we realise Christmas is on the horizon again. Our beautiful Conservation Area is already looking very festive especially the seasonal shop windows in Westbourne Grove and Ledbury Road and the forest of Christmas trees which has sprung up in Portobello market.
Christmas Cheer for NHG
This year for the first time in many years we are delighted that there will be a large Christmas tree brightening up Notting Hill Gate organised by our Pembridge Ward Councillors Come and join us at 2.30 on Wednesday 13th December outside Marks & Spencer for songs and carols with children from Fox School and get into the festive spirit.
Carnival 2023 and 2024
The Carnival this year and its subsequent clean up operation led a record number of members to contact the Association regarding issues ranging from graffiti, lack of lavatories, difficulty in returning to homes after the event to serious concerns about public safety relating to knife crime and anti-social behaviour. Many of you reported the targeting of the Turquoise Island which was particularly badly tagged. We have now met with RBKC officers, Ward Councillors and Deputy Leader Kim Taylor-Smith together with representatives from other community organisations in what we hope will be the first of several meetings to try to improve arrangements for next year.
We would like to hear from you about your experiences as residents, and particularly any positive suggestions or ideas which will preserve the spirit of carnival whilst making it a safe and happy occasion for everyone. No one knows your street like you do so we want to hear what you think should be done for Carnival 2024! Please email: email@example.com or you can speak to us at our forthcoming AGM (date and details to follow shortly)
Flooding is a risky business
The 2021 flood which saw sewer discharges and rainwater fill the basements of some unfortunate homes and shops in the Conservation Area has left many painful memories for those affected. Nor was the bad news over once properties were cleaned up. The tripling of building insurance premiums or difficulty in finding an insurer to take on the risk at all have remained ongoing issues for flood victims long after the repairs concluded.
The Association has worked closely with RBKC, Thames Water staff and other industry bodies over the past 30 months. to address a wide range of issues in order to improve the flood resilience of our area. We therefore welcome the latest Borough consultation which closes 21st December: The draft Flood Risk Management Strategy sets the agenda for what can be done in the future and you can read and comment on it at: https://planningconsult.rbkc.gov.uk/FloodingStrategy/consultationHome
The Draft Strategy is a detailed document so a quicker read is provided by the associated Draft Action Plan which outlines the activities which the Borough proposes to undertake. To make the Strategy and Plan really relevant and useful to residents the Council needs your input so we hope you can help with this. RBKC has also created a dedicated flood page on its website which draws together a lot of essential information and important documents. This will be continually updated and should be the first place to search for local information and sources of help before, after and during a flood. https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/search?query=Flood
Overcrowding on the Tube at NHG
Anyone travelling at peak hours from NHG station may have noticed some mornings are now extremely busy leading to overcrowded platforms. This is usually due to the sudden closure of either Holland Park or Lancaster Gate stations which TfL tell us is due to staff shortages. This is very inconvenient if you arrive to find the station is closed without notice and uncomfortable if your subsequent train station is over full. You can complain to TfL about this, and any other issues you encounter with the tube or buses: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kensington MP Felicity Buchan has also started a petition to the Mayor of London to “Keep our stations open”. Here is the link if you would like to sign it: https://www.felicitybuchan.com/KeepOurStationsOpen
It’s a time for helping
We are regularly reminded that Pembridge Association members are a generous community but sadly many of us know of friends, neighbours or family who are struggling with poor mental health. It can be difficult to know where to turn to for advice and help but our local NHS Trust runs a remarkable Community Living Well scheme which hosts a wide range of events, specialist resources and care providers which could really improve and support the life of someone experiencing difficult times. You can find out more here: or access help directly without a GP referral by completing this self-refer form
Many of us like to make a charitable donation at Christmas. Two excellent local organisations which would be very grateful to receive your support are: The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation which is running its annual Winter Appeal Support our Winter Appeal | The Kensington + Chelsea Foundation (thekandcfoundation.com) and our local Foodbank, based at the Notting Hill Methodist Church, 240 Lancaster Road is urgently seeking volunteers, food and financial donations Give Help | Kensington & Chelsea Foodbank
It only remains for me to say on behalf of your Committee a big “thank you” for being a member of the Pembridge Association. And to wish you and those dear to you a very happy, peaceful Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
With warm good wishes,