KNIGHTSBRIDGE & BELGRAVIA WARD ACTION REPORT – Late April 2018
News from Peter Heap, James Thomson and Marini Thorne, your Knightsbridge & Belgravia Ward Labour Action Team
Wilton Place/Lowndes Square
We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:
“Over the past 18 months, the works carried out to completely knock down the whole block of buildings (excluding the facade) from the corner of Wilton Place to the corner of Lowndes Square is rapidly making my house unliveable.When they start piling, it’s as if I’m living in an earthquake zone.And the dust- I literally hoover and wash the terrace daily.But it’s unthinkable to go and sit out there, opposite an open building site under clouds and clouds of dust.
The air quality is beyond appalling.It’s truly toxic. I can’t rent or sell under these circumstances.Surely, builders aren’t allowed to create this much filthy pollution in a residential area?It’s truly disgraceful.We are used to a bit of pollution and noise but this is at a whole other level.”
Ebury Bridge Road/Saint Barnabas Street
We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:
“I’d like to raise the issue of the nuisance caused by the Belgravia Garage on the corner of Ebury Bridge Road/St Barnabas street. The site is used as a hand car wash and all the dirt from washing the cars is allowed to flow from the garage forecourt on to the road and pavement on St Barnabas street, none of the water is recycled or collected. Furthermore, the employees throw the litter from inside the cars that they valet on to the forecourt floor and allow this then to be the blown away by the wind to litter the general area. If you walk along the pavement you will often receive a light spraying of dirty water coming the noisy hand jet washers that they are using to spray the cars.”
Belgravia Police Station
The Conservatives are trying to blame the Mayor for the threatened closure of Belgravia Police Station. But the reason is that the Mayor’s funding for the police has been slashed by the Tory government – forcing the Met Police to find more than £600m of savings.
By contrast, the Mayor has committed an extra £60m to help reduce the impact of these cuts. And Westminster Labour is committed to protecting residents against crime and antisocial behaviour by fighting Tory police cuts and investing in the Council’s community protection work.
Don’t be fooled by the Westminster Conservatives. When it comes to Belgravia Police Station, the people they should be pointing a finger at is their own government.
You can read more about the government cuts to the Met Police and the Mayor’s response here: london.gov.uk/…/…/mayor-provides-additional-60m-for-policing
And another 25 more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’
We have issued a new dossier of another 25 more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’ this year, following our first report in January 2018, which included 20 Nightmare Stories, and our second report in March with details of 25 more Nightmare Stories.
Once again, we have had reports from tenants and leaseholders living right across Westminster – from Pimlico to Paddington, from the West End to Westbourne – all expressing anger at the incompetent and heartless way in which City West Homes treats its 22,000 tenants and leaseholders.
Service standards have deteriorated badly following Conservative council cuts to the housing management budget, the closure of local estate offices and the bungled introduction of a new call centre and repairs contract.
In 2018, it is hard to believe the almost Dickensian situation some people have to live in and which is summed up by this report about a 70 year old woman in Dowland Street, Queen’s Park who “has been without electricity for 6 weeks. Contractors turn up and never finish the job. She is now lighting her flat with candles.”
We will immediately put CityWest on notice so that if its performance does not rapidly improve it will be stopped from managing the council’s properties. We have set out our plans for change if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd.
Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes
- From day one, Labour will take action to end the repairs crisis and improve the way CityWest treats residents. If it doesn’t urgently improve Labour will scrap it.
- We will re-establish local estate offices.
- We will urgently look at further ways to improve the failing call centre system.
- We will give residents a greater say over how their homes are managed.
- We will introduce a new leaseholders’ charter to improve support to resident leaseholders and look to limit huge major works bills
Standing up for our EU residents
In the EU referendum in 2016, Westminster voted overwhelmingly to Remain.
If elected in May, Westminster Labour will fight to support our EU residents at this difficult time by expanding EU residents’ access to specialist legal advice and support services.
We will also play an active role in challenging the Government’s attempts to weaken EU citizens’ rights and demand that all existing rights are retained in the future.
We will appoint a Council Champion for the issues facing EU nationals and create a working group of local residents from the EU27 to help address future issues.
EU citizens are eligible to vote in the Council Elections on Thursday 3rd May.
Labour’s Manifesto for the 2018 Council Elections
After decades of the Conservatives taking Westminster for granted, residents have a real chance to change the future of this city. Years of cuts have taken their toll on local services, particularly for the most vulnerable.
The Conservatives have put the needs of developers above the needs of the vast majority of local residents. For generations they have failed to build the Council (social rent) and lower (intermediate) rent homes that Westminster needs to give the City a viable future.
Labour has a credible alternative plan that can be delivered today despite the damage being done by the current government. Our communities are calling out for change, and in this manifesto Labour sets out a vision for how things could be run differently, how we will deliver a Westminster for the many not the few if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd 2018.
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any matters
Peter Heap, James Thomson and Marini Thorne
Your Knightsbridge & Belgravia Ward Labour Action Team
Promoted by Robin McGhee on behalf of Peter Heap, James Thomson and Marini Thorne, all at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY