Extra neighbourhood policing welcomed by Westminster Labour Councillors

Westminster Labour Councillors have welcomed the news that every council ward in London will get a second dedicated police officer patrolling their streets under plans announced by Mayor Sadiq Khan. It means each of Westminster’s 20 local wards will have two devoted officers and a police community support officer by the end of next year.

Queen’s Park Councillor Patricia McAllister, Deputy Leader of Opposition, said:

“Local communities will welcome the news about an increased police presence in the streets. Having a visible Police presence is not only reassuring for the general public but will hopefully reduce crime.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan said:

“Our local officers should be known both to the community and by the community. Their local knowledge helps to prevent and detect crime, and they are the local eyes and ears of our security services. They are essential to improving trust and confidence in our police and keeping our communities safe.”



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Welcome for Low Emission Neighbourhood for Marylebone

Westminster Labour Councillors have welcomed the Mayor’s announcement of a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) for Marylebone.

The LEN was one of eight announced by the Mayor and is funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund with match funding with the relevant Borough. The application was developed with local amenity societies, Business Improvement Districts, neighbourhood forums and property estates.

Councillor Jason Williams, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for City Management and Sustainability said:

“We very much welcome the Mayor’s announcement of the Low Emission Network for Marylebone. The Mayor has made air quality a key priority in his Mayoralty and we also welcome that he has increased the number of LENs from two to five across London.

Marylebone suffers from very poor air quality and the LEN can play an important part in dealing with the air quality issues residents face. We have requested a meeting with the Mayor and Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, to ensure further issues both in Marylebone and Oxford Street are addressed.”

Posted in Air pollution, Labour Councillors, Low Emission Neighbourhood, Marylebone, Mayor of London, Oxford Street | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Westminster Labour Councillors raise residents’ concerns about Oxford Street pedestrianisation plans

Westminster Labour Councillors have called for a meeting with Mayor Sadiq Khan and Valerie Shawcross, Deputy mayor for Transport to raise concerns expressed by residents of Fitzrovia, Soho, north Mayfair and Marylebone about the local impact of plans  to pedestrianise Oxford Street by 2020.

Labour say that there are over 10,000 residents living in the busy and bustling streets north and south of Oxford Street. The population is primarily ordinary working people, many of whom have lived in the area for years, whose children attend the local schools and who work in local businesses. Many people live in social housing, or housing for the elderly and they cannot choose to move out of the area if it becomes even more congested and polluted by increased bus and taxi traffic.

Councillor Jason Williams, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for City Management and Sustainability said:

“While we believe there could be benefits from plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street, it is vital this is done in conjunction with a review of bus routes so as not to move traffic and pollution onto residential streets north and south of Oxford Street.”

“Real consultation with local residents needs to be an integral part of any plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street”

Posted in Fitzrovia, Labour Councillors, Marylebone, Mayfair, Mayor of London, Oxford Street, Soho, West End | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Carlton Tavern victory for residents as planning appeal is dismissed

Carlton Tavern 2Maida Vale residents are celebrating as the planning inspector has dismissed the developer’s appeal against Westminster Council’s decision to insist on the rebuilding of the Carlton Tavern ‘brick-by-brick’ following its unauthorised demolition last April.

Councillor Rita Begum, Labour Councillor for Maida Vale, said:

“This is a great victory for the local community which has campaigned ceaselessly for the Carlton Tavern to be rebuilt. We must now ensure that the Carlton Tavern is rebuilt brick-by-brick so that it can continue to serve the local community.”

The inspector’s decision is here https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3130605&CoID=0

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Labour call on Westminster Council and City West Homes to take action to protect Kemp House residents living above ‘nightmare’ building site in Soho

Kemp House fireLabour Councillors are calling for immediate action from Westminster City Council and City West Homes to help beleaguered residents of Kemp House in Berwick Street, Soho, whose lives are being made a misery by ‘nightmare’ demolition and building works beneath their flats at 90-104 Berwick Street. Residents say that conditions around Kemp House are appalling with no regard for residents. On Tuesday night there was a fire at the building site at the back door of Kemp House which, according to residents, destroyed a wooden hoarding put up by the demolition contractors and melted half the door panel.

Residents say:

“Despite previous reassurances from the developers that the building would be waterproofed where demolition has taken place, we have continued to have further flooding into our entrance halls in Kemp House. In addition to this there has now been serious flooding into our storage sheds area through the ceiling. There have been numerous complaints about the disgusting state of the bin area on Hopkins Street. The situation has now got so bad that the lock has been stolen from the gate and two homeless people seem to have taken up residence. The rubbish does not appear to have been regularly collected for several weeks – certainly, the bins appear to be overflowing and surrounded by fly-tipped items. Residents have requested over and over again for many months that the arrangement of the caged area containing our recyling bins, general waste bins and our only current access point to our storage sheds be rethought and redesigned. As the bin area is still regularly used as a public toilet with plies of excrement and urine all around we have felt the health and safety risks were too high for our family. “

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour’s Built Environment spokesperson said:

“The Council and City West Homes must act quickly to ensure that residents’ lives and their environment are protected from the actions of the developers and their demolition contractors. Kemp House residents are City West Homes tenants and leaseholders and they expect City West Homes to take all action necessary to safeguard their homes. The land at 90-104 Berwick Street is owned by the Council and the development work should comply with all the Council’s regulations. So far, it looks as if the developers and their contractors are doing a very poor job and the Council and City West Homes have been slow to take action. This cannot go on like this and Labour Councillors are demanding action now”.

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London Mayor says any Nine Elms Bridge requires support from all

In a written answer to a question from Labour Assembly Member Andrew Dismore, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London said “I understand that residents in the Pimlico area have concerns about the proposal and the impact it could have on the local area. No further work is being undertaken by TfL at this time and it is clear that any scheme requires support from all affected authorities.”

The bridge is proposed by Wandsworth Council and Churchill Labour Councillors have been putting forward their objections to the scheme and the views of local residents to both Wandsworth and Westminster Councils. Labour Councillors are continuing to work closely with local residents to oppose Wandsworth Council’s proposed Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge

Churchill Labour Councillors Murad Gassanly, Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams have welcomed the Mayor’s recognition of the concerns Pimlico residents feel about the bridge and welcome his commitment that any plans would have to have the support of all authorities.

“We call upon Wandsworth Council to stop the current project and genuinely engage with the local community. Wandsworth could have consulted and worked with local people but from their behaviour it’s obvious they’ve never really wanted to work with communities in Pimlico, but want to force through a bridge which will have a major impact on Pimlico without even genuinely consulting them first.” 

Wandsworth Council’s proposals for a Nine Elms bridge

Question No: 2016/2112

Andrew Dismore

Are you aware of the opposition to this proposal from the residents of Pimlico on the Westminster side of the river and their Councillors, who do not see any need for a bridge and see it as a highly expensive vanity project as Chelsea Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge are nearby, and two new tube stations are being built. Will you indicate to Wandsworth Council that this proposal does not have your support?

Written response from the Mayor

I understand that residents in the Pimlico area have concerns about the proposal and the impact it could have on the local area. No further work is being undertaken by TfL at this time and it is clear that any scheme requires support from all affected authorities.

A TfL study completed in 2013 found that a pedestrian and cyclist bridge connecting Pimlico and Nine Elms was feasible and could have a strong transport case, but significant environmental and planning issues would first need to be resolved if the bridge was to progress.

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Labour calls for Council action to protect Westminster residents from damage from EU withdrawal

Westminster’s Labour Councillors are calling on the City Council to protect residents from the negative impact of withdrawal from the European Union following the result of the EU referendum.

Nearly 70% of Westminster residents voted in favour of remaining in the EU, with just over 30% voting to leave.

Labour Councillors have submitted the following motion to be debated at the Council meeting on Wednesday 13th July at Porchester Hall, starting at 7.00pm

“Following from the result of the EU Referendum this Council seeks to ensure that the impact of this has a minimal impact on our residents. To that end we will:

  • Ensure that public services are protected from any further cuts
  • Reassure EU citizens who have chosen to work and live in Westminster of the important contribution they make to our City and their place in our future, noting the important planned work of the Community Cohesion Commission. We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society. Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our city.  We will ensure council bodies and local groups are supported to fight and prevent any upsurge in racism and xenophobia. 
  • Commit to an ever greater house building programme, particularly for those who cannot meet the financial commitments of existing opportunities.
  • Work with contractors and service providers to develop employment and career opportunities for younger people who live in the City.
  • Support calls for greater devolution of powers to London and local authorities.”

The motion will be moved by Councillor Adam Hug, Labour Group Leader, and seconded by Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg.

Posted in Council cuts, EU Referendum, House building, Labour Councillors, Westminster City Council | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment