Archive by Author

TFL confirms planting around trees can remain!

6 Jul

We have received a confirmation from TFL that planting around trees can remain. The condition is that the flower beds/ soil should not be highly raised, because high soil can damage the bark of the tree. they say.

This means if there are more volunteers happy to plant and water in Swinton Place or Acton Street, you can plant within those conditions.

Another condition, by the way, is that no bricks should be used for wall-creation or fencing around the plants.

The email by TFL is held by Daniel.

Acton Street is all flowers again!

2 May

At the corner of Acton Street / Swinton place members of the neighbourhood put up a flower bed again. Such a flower-bed existed already in 2015, but TFL opposed the fencing with then bricks.

The plants are the community’s plants, and if you have a spare flower or plant to put in, please go ahead. Also if you can help watering the plants or remove weeds, it would be much appreciated.

Residents that live near other trees are welcome to copy this and transform our street. As said, to TFL the main issue is that it has to be done in an orderly way that does not cause obstacle to visually impaired people (such as when there are lots of pots), and not with the use of bricks.

Also, a big call to all neighbours to guard the flower-beds. There have been flower-and plant-thieves in the area in the past. If we work together, these flowers and plants should stay and make us all happier and proud of our neighbourhood and the people who live in it.

Search for the Dirty Harry of the neighbourhood is on again.

26 Apr

Rubbish dumping has come back again on Acton Street and Swinton Place. Rubbish is only to be placed on Tuesday night outside, or neatly in front of entrance doors… Having gotten rid of rats, once again some in the neighbourhood are desperate for their return.

Council has been notified again.

Rats. Pest Control finds several nests, check your gardens! Keep dogs and cats safe!

1 Feb


In some of the communal gardens between Acton Street and Swinton Street numerous rat nests have been discovered. There may be more in other areas, please check, Pest control has now begun to place fast acting poison. It may be a good idea to pay attention to your four legged pets, if they roam the garden.

Pest control will be back to do more work

Absolutely do not feed birds, if possible keep garbage with food rests safely indoors until collection day (Wednesday), or inside a bin. they can bite through refuse sacks. Also make sure your brown food waste boxes are locked by pulling the handle over it.

Fire at former Motorbike Garage

15 Jan

A fire broke out in the early hours of 15th of January 2021 on the site of the former Motorbike Garage Motoserve, 18 Acton Street. Bewildered residents awoken by shouting of “neighbours, neighbours” and “fire,” congregated on Acton Street to watch five fire engine crews battle flames and thick smoke.

Some of the current occupiers, who are known to be operators of several London bike-taxis reported to have escaped through the back windows into the garden.

The london fire brigade states, the fire was caused by a battery, as used in some of the electric bikes. The interior structure, a once 19th century workshop, had wooden interior mezzanine inside that provided for a workshop downstairs and administrative quarters above these.

At the time when it was still a motorbike garage, the then owner of the motor-bike garage was known to have installed various fire safety features, as a legal requirement, although it is not known if these features were still operational nowadays.

The landlord of the property is thought to have ended the rental agreement of the motorbike garage some years ago, for redevelopment of the property into flats, causing much frustration at the the time to the garage owner who had been there for over a decade or more and who was forced to relocate.

The property then stood empty for some time, before it became a storage for bicycle taxi drivers and their bikes, some of whom thought to be originally from Brazil, some of whom slept at times inside the garage.


Rat Alert II – Visible Rat population increased!

17 Dec
Click image for Ham and High article on soaring rat populations in Camden

Dear Residents,

if you have not acted or done anything on rats in the past, it is time to take action now.

Residents in basement flats are spotting hords / families rats daily now.

Contact your landlord if you see them, e.g,. Clarion Housing or Camden Council.

Only put household waste that contains discarded food outdoors on the evening before collection day. P

Collection Day is Wednesday!

Try to speak to your neighbours who may not be aware when collection day is.

If you must put waste outdoors before, it should be dry non food items only. If possible use a waste-bin that animals can not enter.

Rats are able to bite through plastic and bin-liner bags!

If populations keep growing, they will eventually enter your home!

Do not, or try to talk to elderly relatives to please stop “feeding pigeons” or putting old food on soil. Rats have been seen to eat that too.

If you are a private land owner check for nests and set traps.

Restaurants in the area, please discard food-waste safely, so that animals can not access them!

Wishing You all a good rat-free winter!

Rat Alert!

16 Nov
Photo by Denitsa Kireva on

The lockdown is said to encourage rats spreading and becoming more daring, less er people are also encouraging these shy animals to be more adventurous, experts say (see this Evening Standard Article).

Sightings of rats were made at the following locations:

Acton Street, Swinton Place & Swinton Street

  • communal gardens, especially underneath sheds
  • on the pavement, feeding from discarded food and sacks put out on non collection days (they feed from incisions made into the sacks)

Pest control (Clarion) has been alerted, as well as Camden Street Environment

We should only put outside household waste on teh collection day Wednesday, and if not possible store securely somewhere where raths can not have access.

Feeding pigeons is said to help vermin to.

Composting should be only done, if containers can be secured, so rats can not enter,

Some neighbours have said investing in extra containers and bins, to do their bid to help the problem.

End of Racing and Speeding on Kings Cross Gyratory Roads

3 Nov

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given the go ahead for slower speeds for 20 Miles an Hour speed reductions and other changes to make the roads less dangerous.

This assurance was made on a question raised by AM Andrew Dismore to to the mayor on behalf of Daniel Zylbersztajn-Lewandowski. Labour councillors from Camden and Islington agreed with the request.

The promises are on the basis that there was already a consultation back in 2016, which has so far not been implemented, and that most surrounding roads are already 20 Miles an hour (e.g, on Gray’s Inn Road and parts of Kings Cross Road).

Kings Cross was omitted in big changes around London after the first lockdown, which was why it was felt necessary to remind TFL of the changes that had been in the pipeline for the gyratory. The omission occurred, wrote a TFL officer, because the Kings Cross schema was managed by a different team which was furloughed. In the past delays too part, due some roads being suggested as HS2 lorry parking.

Thankfully, we are now moving towards the implementation of changes, though, they are still subject to funding.

Clr. Adam Harrison of Camden was assured by TFL that Acton and Swinton Street are going to be slowed down as part if their Vison Zero road safety plan.

See more here

Speeding Accident on Acton Street at 2017

Camden considering waste collection twice a week at Kings Cross streets

29 Sep

Notes from our wonderful neighbour Jenny of Acton Street:

Meeting 14th Sept. 2020

Four residents met up with Frazer Valdez and the Manager of the Collection service at 11.00 a.m.The meeting took about 3/4 of an hour.
I have to say that the street looked better than usual!  However, this didn’t stop us and the following discussions took place.
The dumping of rubbish in Swinton Place – the collection service will be informed about making sure rubbish/recycling is always collected from the side walk ways, as it is often missed. A van came and actually removed rubbish whilst we were talking..There was also much discussion about the lack of rubbish facilities for those flats that have nowhere to store their rubbish, especially as the landings have to be kept clear due to fire and safety regulations.  This led on to the rodent problems caused by bags being left out on the pavements, around lamp posts and trees and the Manager of the collection service advised that he stores his rubbish in a black bag in his kitchen until pick up time but that didn’t meet with approval.

Mr Valdez has written on a few occasions to the residents in the blocks of flats further up the street where rubbish is a huge problem and he has now established that these flats are owned by Clarion and he will contact them.

His job is to educate residents and provide an investigative service but the Council’s legal team do not wish to impose fines.  There are also areas where wheelie bins and dust bins could be placed so that will also be looked into.

That however, can’t happen in our area on Acton Street as there is no space, so they will look into a collection happening twice a week, which everyone agreed would help.  

Mr Valdez will report back to Daniel Z directly with a response, which will be posted on the blog here.

Mice Alert! Mice spotted again in Acton Street Homes

9 Sep
Photo by David Bartus on

Photo by Alex Smith on

Residents between 32 and 26 Acton Street reported again mice on Wednesday 9th of September 2020. About a month ago rats were also spotted between 52 and 62 Acton Street.

There could be a connection between the rodents and the waste on the streets, although it is known that some of the structures have suffered from gnawing over years.

Camden Pest control can be contacted here. Camden Housing tenants may get a free service, There is a charge for anyone else needing the services.

Clarion Housing does not remove pests and rodents see

However, there are cases where landlords and the council have responsibilities beyond the obvious: Read


Here is a Which Magazine article on effective Mouse Control.