Westminster Conservatives have launched a community initiative for the Churchill Ward but are providing no money to help residents improve life in the area.
The grandly titled ‘Better City, Better Lives’ Community Pilot project on the Churchill Gardens Estate aims to “support local residents and stakeholders to become more involved in the design and delivery of services in their local area”.
But the Council says “there are no additional financial resources to deliver the project” and that money will be sought from ‘philanthropic and charitable sources”.
Churchill Gardens Estate is an area of high need and high levels of deprivation. Over 50% of children living in households on the estate are classed as in poverty, with the median income on the estate being £24,000. This is below the median income for Westminster, which is £37,026. Approximately 27 families on the estate are included in the cohort for Troubled Families.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Launching an initiative to improve life on one of the most deprived estates in Westminster with no extra money to help is an empty gesture and a cruel hoax on local people. There are huge problems on the Churchill Gardens Estate and if the Council is serious about making changes that improve life for local people then extra resources are need to provide more opportunities for young people and to tackle anti-social behaviour. Whilst we welcome the Council’s belated acknowledgement of the serious issues at Churchill Gardens, relying on charity hand outs is no way to tackle deep-seated problems of poverty, unemployment and crime.”