‘Make Bayswater great again!’ Residents debate Deliveroo, Airbnb and recycling
SEBRA chairman John Zamit donned a mask of the tanned, blond US President-elect
28 November, 2016 — By Alina Polianskaya
The SEBRA top table
IN a nod to Donald Trump, calls to “Make Bayswater great again” rang out in Porchester Hall on Wednesday night at an annual residents’ meeting that was full of irreverent shenanigans.
South East Bayswater Residents’ Association (SEBRA) chairman John Zamit donned a mask of the tanned, blond US President-elect while handing out prizes in the annual raffle.
“He was going to fly over to present it, so I thought I would do it on his behalf,” he joked as he handed over the voucher for two nights in a luxury hotel in London, Paris, Madrid or Barcelona to winner Coral Hughes.
Joining Mr Zamit and SEBRA president John Walton on the panel, were a number of Westminster councillors including Heather Acton and Tony Devenish, as well as MPs Karen Buck and Mark Field. While council leader Baroness Couttie made a late entrance as she returned from the House of Lords, Mr Zamit invited Cllr Nickie Aiken to the top table, who is understood to be front-runner to take over the position of council leader.
Holiday winner Coral Hughes
A big rubber duck was ready on the top table, ready to be presented to anyone “ducking” a question.
It was a packed room as SEBRA members took their seats, but two “lanes” of chairs were “reserved” for “cyclists only” representing a cycle superhighway “running through Bayswater”.
In a heated question-and-answer session, the conversation turned to Airbnb renters with residents speaking of their displeasure at living next to houses that were being used as hotels for short-lets.
The regeneration of Queensway was also discussed, which one resident described as “probably the most disgusting street in London”.
Missing recycling bins, the plans for the “Paddington Quarter”, Deliveroo drivers and the lack of super-fast broadband in the area were other hot topics on the agenda.
After the meeting everyone tucked in to canapés and drinks.
Representatives from Whiteleys shopping centre were on hand to share new plans to reduce the height in parts of the building. And across the room, new images were unveiled for a proposed floating garden in Paddington Basin.
To top it all of, the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ were handed out to all.
£10,000 charity bid: Aliyah Carrim and Lauren Levy for the Wishing Tree appeal
A WISHING Tree appeal was launched by the Imperial College Healthcare charity at the SEBRA meeting in a bid to raise money for children with long-term illnesses – and spread some festive cheer too.
People can “buy a wish”, which is placed on a “wishing tree” at St Mary’s, where staff and children can read the messages of goodwill.
Money will also go towards supporting families whose children are in hospital, helping with travel and accommodation costs. They are hoping to raise £10,000 for the appeal throughout December.To donate see: www.imperialcharity. org.uk/wishing-tree-appeal