Warwick Ward

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – August 2018

News from your Warwick Ward Labour Action Team

 

 

 

 

 

Denbigh Place

We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate suspected unauthorised Airbnb lettings in Denbigh Place.

Sanctuary Housing

We have written to Sanctuary Housing about:

  • Long-standing repair issues in flats in Charlwood Street and Denbigh Place
  • Empty flats in Denbigh Street, Denbigh Place, Gloucester Street and St Georges Drive.
  • Anti-social behaviour from flats in Denbigh Place.

 

 

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – April 2018

News from Bren Albiston, Shelly Asquith and Andrew Taylor, your Warwick Ward Labour Action Team

 

 

 

 

 

Charlwood Street

We have contacted Sanctuary Housing about this issue:

“I am a Sanctuary Housing Association tenant, and for some time (some years on and off) we have been having problems with raw sewage bubbling back into our toilet sink, and sometimes the toilet itself. This sewage is a mixture of kitchen sink effluent, washing machine content, and sometimes smells of toilet sewage. I rang Sanctuary maintenance on 28 March 2018 and impressed upon the call operator that this was an environmental health issue. I was finally told that I would be given an appointment by closing time tonight, but nothing has happened. It does seem to me that raw sewage poses a health threat, especially as the bedrooms are in the semi basement, at the same level as the toilet.”

Sanctuary told us:

“I can confirm that one of my colleagues has spoken with both Southern Drains and the tenant; an appointment has been agreed”

Residents comment:

“Thank you so very much for your help in getting our drains sorted. Less than 15 minutes after we received your email we had an appointment, with a choice of days and the main work was done today. As we thought the stack up to flats above was severely clogged and badly needed attention. As far as we remember, no such work has been carried out in the 37 years of my tenancy. We are sorry to have to rely on you on occasion for help with Sanctuary, but would like to tell you how grateful we are for your on-going support, and the care you provide to public housing tenants in Westminster.”

Winchester Street/Lupus Street

We have made enquiries with the Planning Department about this issue:

“Would Westminster Council give an update on this building that has been shrouded in grey boards for a number of years. The work for which, no doubt, planning permission was granted should have been completed and boarding dismantled some time ago. It is a disgrace and an eyesore and the pavement is largely obstructed. Could Westminster provide information on what issues are outstanding and when it is anticipated they will be resolved?”

The Planners say:

“There is an ongoing enforcement investigation open with regards to untidy land at 74 Lupus Street and the condition of the hoarding at this property. The existing hoarding was erected in 2012. The works on site has seen very little progress over the last few years but the owners have been making enquiries to the planning department regarding other proposals for the basement area. We have issued warning letters to the owners of the site of our intention to issue a Section 215 Notice requiring the land to be tidied-up.  I am also liaising with the Highways Department in order to seek the removal of the existing hoarding from the public highway.”

Hugh Street

We have asked the Environmental Health team to inspect a house in Hugh Street where the tenants have reported mice infestation.

Victoria Library

We have received this enquiry:

“I have been trying to track the progress of the promised Library in Victoria Street/Bressenden Place but only seem to see reasons for delays.  When I first viewed the plans I was more than sceptical that this part of the development would go ahead and still think that the council will opt for the payment once the plan has timed out.  I see it as highly unlikely that a public library and social housing will be welcome on such a ‘cash cow’ of a site and we will be fobbed off with more housing in the North of the borough and an ‘upgrade’ of a current library. “

Following our enquiries about the proposed new Victoria library as part of the Nova development, the Council has told us:

“Land Securities has until 30 September 2019 to implement the revised version of Permission 2 (which is three years from when the applicant took back the land from the Victoria Upgrade Scheme). The default position set out in the legal agreement is that the council would receive a payment in lieu of £6.92m (index linked) if the revised Permission 2 was not implemented and the library not provided.”

Litter

We have welcomed the increased on-the-spot fines of up to £150 for dropping litter, including from vehicles.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43609325

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.

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/labourclp250/pages/1096/attachments/original/1521622381/Westminster_Labour_2018_Manifesto.pdf?1521622381

Problems paying Water Rates?

Thames Water is running a project with Citizens Advice Westminster to help people who are having problems paying their Water Rates. They can help to access hardship funds and apply for grants to pay off water rate debts. They will provide budgeting advice and negotiate regarding other household debts.

Contact the Gateway helpline 03003301191.

There is also an on-line enquiry form at:

www.westminstercab.org.uk/advice/online-enquiry.

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any matters

 

Regards

Bren Albiston, Shelly Asquith and Andrew Taylor

Your Warwick Ward Labour Action Team

 

Promoted by Robin McGhee on behalf of Bren Albiston, Shelly Asquith and Andrew Taylor all at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY

 

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – March 2018

News from the Warwick Ward Labour Action Team

 

 

 

 

 

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.

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/labourclp250/pages/1096/attachments/original/1521622381/Westminster_Labour_2018_Manifesto.pdf?1521622381

Hugh Street/Cambridge Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue: 

“I would also like to bring to your attention drug dealing taking place at the corner of Hugh Street and the north end of Cambridge Street. I walk by this corner on my way to Victoria Station each morning and regularly observe a man in his mid to late forties being approached by people. It may be unrelated to the issues expressed by the Hugh Mews residents but it seems unlikely given the proximity.” 

Queen Mother Sports Centre

Following our earlier enquiries about recycling facilities, the Council tells us: 

“Officers are reviewing the arrangements for the temporary recycling bins with the site team at the Queen Mother Sports Centre.  We’re also expecting the planned delivery of the new permanent bins (which will include improved signage) over the next few weeks.”

Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes

Residents are angry with the very poor performance of CityWest Homes. Service standards have clearly deteriorated after 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.

A Labour Council would immediately put CityWest on notice so that if its performance does not rapidly improve it will be stopped from managing the council’s properties.

  • From day one, Labour will take action to end the repairs crisis and improve the way CityWest treats residents.
  • 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.

25 more ‘Nightmare Stories’ from City West Homes

In January 2018, we unveiled a dossier of ’20 Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’. The reaction to this from tenants and leaseholders was overwhelming, with many more ‘nightmare stories’ coming to light from all over Westminster. Residents are angry with the very poor performance of City West Homes, particularly following the recent debacles over the new call centre and the repairs contract.

We have followed this up with ‘25 More Nightmare stories from City West Homes’ with details of:

  • Continued long waits on the telephone to report problems to the CWH call centre
  • Failure to deal with emergencies quickly
  • Lack of communication between CWH and its tenants and leaseholders
  • Poor communications between CWH and its contractors
  • Failure of CWH to return calls from tenants and leaseholders
  • Broken appointments by CWH contractors

https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/labour-launch-further-report-on-25-more-nightmare-stories-from-city-west-homes/

Welcome for extra police on the beat

We have welcomed welcomed the Mayor’s decision to invest an additional £59m annually to support an extra 1,000 police officers by using income raised from business rates. This will help avoid falling police numbers due to Government cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

We have also welcomed the Mayor’s announcement that he is creating a brand new £45million fund to help young Londoners who are at risk of getting caught up in crime. The Mayor’s new Young Londoners Fund will see £15m invested in each of the next three years, beginning from April. Of the total new funding, £10million a year will make up a new fund into which local communities, charities and schools will be able to bid for funds, and £5million a year will be invested to scale up existing projects funded from City Hall that are already supporting young Londoners.

In addition, over 1,800 people have signed Westminster Labour’s petition to halt the Government’s further £400 million cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget.

The petition to Parliament, https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543, runs until 27th April.

Building genuinely affordable homes

If Labour win the Council we will create a new type of affordable housing –  Westminster Key Worker Homes. We will commit that, in addition to social housing, all new affordable housing built on council land will be at rents that are affordable to residents on average and below average incomes. We will ensure that these homes are focused on providing opportunities for long-standing residents of Westminster and key workers such as nurses, teachers, firefighters and the police.

Keeping the Council Tax low

If elected in May Westminster, Labour will keep Council Tax low. Labour will support the current proposals by the Council for a freeze in the Council Tax rate and a 2% rise in the adult social care precept in 2018/19. If elected, we will not raise the council tax and adult social care precept by any more than the Conservatives have over recent years.

Council Tax is always an emotive issue. Westminster Council receives the highest levels of parking revenue (£73.2m) in the country as well as substantial commercial income from its large Central London property portfolio (£42.8m) that help prop up its finances far more than in other boroughs. Westminster also has a long-track record of under-investing in its public services and its upcoming budget plans to cut over £3 million from services for children and young people and £2 million from rough sleeping and supported housing.

Due the impact of crippling Conservative Government cuts to local council funding, Westminster Conservatives have raised the Council Tax (including the adult social care precept) every year since 2016.

Cleaning up Westminster’s Planning system

We have pledged to clean up Westminster’s Planning system if we are elected at the Council elections on 3rd May.

There is a clear perception that senior Conservative Councillors have very close relationships with developers. For example, the Conservative Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Robert Davis, has disclosed that since the start of 2015 he has received hospitality related to his role as a City Councillor from developers, big business and other interests a record 514 times. This equates to a staggering 14 cases of declarable hospitality a month, peaking at 47 cases in December 2016. We believe that such an approach does not help build public trust that the Council will put the needs of residents before those of property developers and business interests.

If elected to run the Council in May, Labour will engage with industry representatives in open settings to share views and push for residents’ priorities, but we will do so whilst working to achieve the highest standards. Labour commits that:

  • Labour Cabinet Members and Councillors will not accept hospitality from individual developers and their agents.
  • Labour will require the Council to formally record all meetings between Cabinet Members and developers when discussing individual schemes. There will always be an officer present.
  • A record of these meetings will be posted on the Council website within two weeks.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/19/westminster-councillor-received-gifts-and-hospitality-514-times-in-three-years?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=264724&subid=12834692&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2 

Labour’s pledge on Cleaner Streets

Mattresses and other household objects dumped on our street corners have become an all too common a sight. A Labour council will rigorously focus on fly-tipping and bulky waste dumping and we have made a number of commitments that will help tackle the problem. If elected in May 2018:

  • Labour will urgently reform the fees and charges for bulky waste collection, restoring a ‘first time free’collection and reducing costs for standard collections.
  • We will develop a new ‘express collection’bulky waste removal service.
  • We will look further at the use of mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping hotspots and at ways to increase fines for dumping.
  • As part of our support for a new Private Renters Charter we will improve the information provided to landlords, letting agents and tenants.
  • We will provide a smartphone App to make it easier for residents to make use of the Council’s ‘report it’ service, helping further target the worst affected areas.

Register to vote

The local Westminster City Council elections are on Thursday 3 May.

If you aren’t already registered to vote, you need to do so to vote in this local election.  The deadline to register at gov.uk/register-to-vote is Wednesday 17 April. It only takes a few minutes. Anyone who is already registered to vote does not need to re-register. If you have moved home in the last few months and have not registered to vote at your new address you still have time to register at this new location.

The other key dates are the postal vote application deadline which is 5pm, on Wednesday 18 April and the proxy vote application deadline is 5pm, Wednesday 25 April.

EU citizens are able to vote in these local elections.

You can get more information by visiting www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-city-council-election-2018

Rubbish dumping – what you say

“I feel quite strongly about dumping and littering. It beggars belief when you see litter dropped a few metres from a bin. I would support all of your proposals. On the first, it seems to me that the Council ultimately has to collect dumped rubbish anyway, so why not reinstate free pick-ups and encourage some responsibility.”

What you say

“I am in awe of all you manage to do you are just. Brilliant and most appreciated. “

“Many thanks for your work.” 

“Thank you once again for following up. I find it incredible that they’ve contrived to make this so complicated. I will be voting Labour in the local elections.”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any matters

Regards

 

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council 

Promoted by and on behalf of Westminster Labour Party at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY

 

 

 

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – February 2018

News from the Warwick Ward Labour Action Team

Hugh Mews

Residents have raised with us their concerns about drug dealing in Hugh Mews. Residents say:

“Over the past week, on a nightly basis, there are 2-3 “regulars” who come to the Mews in the late afternoon and evening and deal drugs amongst themselves.  It is very uncomfortable for residents.  Could you step up patrols of the Community/Safer Neighbourhoods Team as well as ask the local police “on the beat” to be more visible in the Mews?  If the drug people saw you with such frequency, they would move elsewhere.”

St George’s Drive

We asked the Street Lighting Department if they could reduce the glare from a street light that is pointing directly in to a resident’s bedroom window and we received the following reply:

“I can confirm we have instructed our service provider to install a shield to the lamp which will reduce the glare from the street light, hopefully this will resolve the issue, but please do not hesitate to contact us should there be any further issues.”

Residents say:

“That has been the bane of my life and sleep for the 10 years I lived there. Little things make a big difference in people’s lives.” 

Queen Mother Sports Centre 

We have raised this issue with the Council: 

“For 18 or more months I’ve been trying to get Everyone Active to introduce recycling facilities at the Queen Mother Sports Centre, where I swim three times each week. The managers at QMSC seem unwilling or unable to perform this task. The excuses are endless, changes in staff too. WCC should not be contracting suppliers who don’t take their environmental responsibilities seriously.”

The Council say:

“As part of the mobilisation of the contract, Everyone Active were asked to use Veolia as it was a main contractor of Westminster. This meant ditching their national contractual relationship with Biffa and having to pay for additional waste services with Veolia. During this process, Everyone Active have been closely liaising with the council’s recycling team to carry out audits of two of the main centres (Queen Mother and Porchester) in order to then replicate this across all the sites. The audits have taken place and the number of recycling bins have been identified and are being costed. I appreciate that the contract has been in place for quite some time, but please be assured that this matter is in progress and we are working alongside Everyone Active to ensure implementation as soon as possible.”

Policing 

There is a new Chief Superintendent in charge of Westminster Police and we hope to meet with him soon to discuss his plans. We will keep arguing for more police to keep our streets safe and for the Government to halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget. In particular:

  1. There have been huge real-terms cuts to policing budgets across the country. In London alone, £700 million has been cut from the Met Police’s budget.
  2. These cuts mean that in London, we’ve lost 2,495 Police officers and 3,261 Police Community Support Officers.
  3. The Met Police still needs to find a further £370 million of savings by 2022 – meaning police numbers could fall below 27,500 by 2021 – the lowest level since 2002.

We have started a petition to stop the police cuts https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543

Rubbish Dumping

In response to the regular concerns expressed by residents, we have put forward the following ideas:

  • Reinstate a free service for standard household bulky refuse collections and introduce a paid-for service for express bulky refuse collections
  • Use mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping ‘hotspots’.
  •  Increase fines for dumping.
  • Consult residents to decide where extra bins might be of assistance and improve signage and communication with residents
  • Offer residents the chance to report dumping via Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
  • Target Council inspections and waste collection to the worst-affected areas to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping.

What do you think?

City West Homes ‘Nightmare Stories’

We have published a dossier of ’20 nightmare stories’ from City West Homes’, based on the experiences of CWH tenants and leaseholders over the past few months across Westminster. All have been reported to CWH for action and some problems have now been resolved – but only after a Labour Councillor had intervened. This is not the way to run an organisation responsible for 12,500 tenants and 10,000 leaseholders. How many more similar stories of incompetence and neglect go unreported because the tenant or leaseholder has not been able escalate the problem by reporting it to a Labour Councillor? City West Homes is in need of a radical overhaul and Labour is pledged to do this following the May Council elections.

To see the report go to https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/westminster-labour-launches-dossier-of-20-nightmare-stories-from-city-west-homes/

Please let us know if you are having problems with City West Homes.

Warwick Ward Profile

The latest Warwick Ward profile is here with lots of interesting local facts and figures https://www.westminster.gov.uk/sites/www.westminster.gov.uk/files/warwick-ward-profile.pdf

Warwick Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team

The latest update from the Safer Neighbourhood Team is here https://www.met.police.uk/your-area/westminster/warwick/

Listed Buildings in Warwick Ward

There are over 50 Listed Buildings in Warwick Ward – you can get the details here https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/england/warwick-ward-westminster#.WnGjHKhl-Uk

Council housing

Inside Housing magazine has published details of the number of former council homes now being let by private landlords, after analysing statistics from two-thirds of councils in England. The research reveals that on average more than 40 percent of property bought under Right to Buy is now in the hands of private landlords. The figures for Westminster show that out of the 8,988 leaseholds sold to council tenants, 3,363 — 37.42 percent — are now owned as buy-to-let.  Inside Housing says that the average weekly council rent in London is £108 while for private flats it is £359.

City Council elections, May 2018 

An interesting article looking forward to the May Council elections by Dave Hill which quotes Andrew Murray’s State of Soho blog

http://www.onlondon.co.uk/could-the-conservatives-lose-westminster-council/

Tesco Bags of Help – Community Grant Scheme

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the 10p Bag for Life charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund community projects that benefit the local community. Following a public vote, three projects in each Tesco region will receive an award every two months, with first place receiving up to £4,000, second place up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.

  • Who can apply? Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organisations, schools, Parish Councils, local authorities and social housing providers.
  • What kind of projects will Bags of Help fund? Projects that benefit the local community are eligible for funding – from improving community buildings and developing outdoor spaces to buying new kit or equipment, training coaches or volunteers, and hosting community events or activities.
  • How to Apply – For more information and to apply visit the website: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/tescocommunityscheme

If you need any further advice or support – including talking through some project ideas or finding out how to make a project eligible – contact Paige Matthews, Community Project Officer, Groundwork London Phone: 020 8762 0321 E-mail: paige.matthews@groundwork.org.uk

The Blitz in Westminster

This website shows where bombs were dropped during the Blitz. You can find out how close they got to your home

http://bombsight.org/explore/greater-london/westminster/

 

What you say

“Thank you.  Very informative.” 

“Thanks for taking action on my behalf – much appreciated”

“Thank you for your hard work on our behalf.”

 “I cannot thank you enough for your intervention with City West Homes. Finally, after eight years of trying, there are actually people outside – as we speak – putting the scaffolding up which is the start of the repair to my roof.  I hope this time that their work will be successful. What a shame that it took your City West Homes ‘20 Nightmare Stories’ to push them into action. I thought their inefficiency in make case was outrageous but it didn’t even make the 20!”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.

Regards

 

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council

 

 

 

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – December 2017

 News from the Labour Action Team in Warwick Ward

Eccleston Square Mews

We are taking up this issue with Transport for London:

I live in Eccleston Square Mews in a basement flat. We too suffer from excessive noise from the underground. This has been reported on a regular basis and, last year, the noise did diminish for a while. Over the past few months, though, the noise and vibration levels have risen appreciably. I would be grateful if you could add this to your list of underground noise complaints to raise with TFL. “ 

Transport for London say: 

“TfL has installed vibration resilient rail supports on the northbound Victoria line. This was completed in response to another complaint at Eccleston Square and has addressed that issue. TfL officers have asked that the resident contact them directly via TfL’s Customer Services team. This will allow TfL to log the issue properly with the track team, investigate and keep the resident informed.” 

Gloucester Street

We have asked City West Homes to deal with this issue:

“I own a flat in Gloucester Street and City West Homes is my freeholder. I have been trying to get a roof leak fixed for all of the seven years I’ve lived here. I call them endlessly, they come eventually, it doesn’t get fixed, the job goes cold and I start all over again. “

Glastonbury House area 

We are concerned that the current road works in the Glastonbury House area are causing difficulties for the less mobile, particularly those with mobility scooters who are forced off the pavement. We have asked the Highways Department if these road works be speeded up.

Dumped rubbish

We have asked the Refuse Department to investigate this issue:

“On the embankment under the railway bridge (the one east of Chelsea Bridge), rubbish is continually dumped over the fence and piles of it build up on the river bank. I am worried that this will be falling into the river. I think the people who camp under the bridge dump it there. Could there be a regular collection?”

We are also concerned about the number of overflowing black bins at Sussex Street, Gloucester Street and Abbot’s Manor which suggests a wider problem. We have asked the Council’s Refuse Team to look in to this.

City West Homes call centre

We have written to CityWest Homes (CWH) to call for an urgent review of their call centre operations. We are getting continual reports of residents who can’t get through to the call centre – and not getting an adequate response if they do make contact. When the local estate offices were closed and the call centre was proposed we were promised a more efficient service, with officers being freed up to go out and talk to residents and deal with problems. The reality is that there has been a real reduction in service, leaving residents feeling cut off and neglected. Our concern is that vulnerable tenants will be especially affected – and the continued lack of response from the call centre may lead them to give up trying to contact CWH to deal with urgent repairs.

Nine Elms Bridge proposal

We are continuing to oppose the London Borough of Wandsworth’s plans for a pedestrian bridge at Nine Elms. The Deputy Mayor from Transport, Val Shawcross has issued the following statement to provide clarity on the Mayor’s position.

“This scheme is being developed by the London Borough of Wandsworth and the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership. It will require the support of the London Borough of Westminster and residents on both sides of the river if it is to be taken forward. This is not a TfL or City Hall scheme and TfL is not currently undertaking any work on the project. Any scheme would require support from all affected local residents and authorities before being progressed. Also, just to add further clarity, there is currently no money assigned in the TfL budget for this project, nor are there any plans to provide financial support from TfL or the GLA.”

Call for halt to further Metropolitan Police cuts

We have launched a petition calling on the Government to halt its cuts in the Metropolitan Police budget immediately. Further police cuts will make it more difficult for the police to keep neighbourhoods in Westminster safe and secure, as well as dealing with the increase in everyday violence and the constant terrorist threat.

The petition to the Government says:

“Halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police budget. Having lost £600 million in real terms over the past 7 years, the Metropolitan Police face a further £400 million cut over the next 4 years. 70 per cent of all police spending in London comes from the Home Office, meaning that any change in that funding has a disproportionate effect.”

You can sign the petition here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/203543

Fast food takeaways

We are pleased that the Mayor is intruding new planning policies to ban fast-food takeaways from opening within 400 metres of schools in a bid to tackle the capital’s child obesity epidemic. In addition, all new chicken, fish and chip and pizza outlets will have to sign up to minimum healthy food standards before getting planning permission. The Mayor said the move would help deal with the “ticking time bomb” of childhood obesity in London, where almost 40 per cent of children are obese or overweight by the time they finish primary school, the highest proportion in England.

What you say

“Thank you for your newsletter. Much appreciated.”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.

Regards

Paul Heasman, Warwick Ward Labour Action Team 

paul.d.heasman@gmail.com

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business, Planning and Public Realm spokesperson

Westminster City Council

 

WARWICK WARD NEWS – April 2017

Pimlico cafes

We have been listening to Pimlico residents who are worried about the future of popular local eateries and pubs. We have written in opposition to the plans to convert the popular My Cafe at 93 Charlwood Street into luxury flats. Incredibly this is something the Council’s planners are currently supporting, despite the Council’s protestations that they try to prevent such damaging proposals to residential conversions. Similarly, after listening to local people we are supporting efforts by the Cambridge Street Kitchen at 52 Charlwood Street to have greater flexibility in its license to allow locals to pop in for a drink without having to order food. Across Westminster much loved local restaurants, cafés and pubs are being lost to luxury residential conversions (that do not provide any social or genuinely affordable housing) and we believe the Council isn’t doing enough to protect them.

Kirkstall House

We have helped residents with getting assistance from City West Homes for flooding in the basement of Kirkstall House. The first leak has been addressed and now City West Homes are working on dealing with the impact of a second leak.

Alderney Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“I write regarding an issue on Alderney Street, where moped drivers displaying the Deliveroo logo spend all evening using the road outside as a starting base for their work. When they receive an order on their mobile phone, they rev up their engine and accelerate away causing a loud noise. When they have delivered their order, they return to the same spot, turn off the engine and wait. This pattern repeats 15 or 20 times in one evening, causing distress for local residents. This then repeats for most evenings of the week.

I appreciate the nature of our current government means we live in a country which prefers to prioritise the profit interests of global ‘tech’ companies such as Deliveroo above and beyond the local interests of Pimlico residents who would like to have some semblance of peace in their evenings, but the disturbance is very distressing. Should the driver be parked specifically in the designated motorcycle bays dotted around the area rather than just parked in a residents parking bay?”

 

 

WARWICK WARD NEWS – February 2017

Pimlico Clean Air Petition

Westminster was recently named one of its worst three boroughs for killer pollution. And within Westminster, one of the worst air pollution blackspots is Vauxhall Bridge Road.

Local residents have been telling us how air pollution from this busy road is affecting their lives on an almost daily basis. Vauxhall Bridge Road has exceptional levels of traffic, as it’s part of the London ring road and a boundary to the congestion charge zone. It is also a high-density residential area where many vulnerable people live – including children and the elderly – and numerous schools are within half a mile of the road. Families live overlooking major areas of traffic congestion, while other local residents cross it regularly throughout the day to access shops, schools and local buses and Tubes.

We are calling on Mayor Sadiq Khan and Westminster City Council to put Vauxhall Bridge Road at the top of their air pollution hit lists. Please join us and sign the petition below.

http://www.westminsterlabour.co.uk/cleanair

 

WARWICK WARD NEWS – December 2016

Plans to build a 50 metre swimming pool in the redeveloped Queen Mother Sports Centre would send the cost soaring to £35 million

Plans to build a 50 metre Olympic-size swimming pool and diving area in the redeveloped Queen Mother Sports Centre would send the cost of rebuilding the new Sports Centre soaring to £35 million and lead to the development of a huge towering building on the site, in order to pay for the costs of the new facilities, Labour Councillors have warned.

Labour also warn that if the development above the Sports Centre is residential then there would likely be no affordable homes as all the ‘community benefit’ would go towards paying for the new Olympic size pool and sports centre. Labour Councillors say that it is very likely that the Council would want the new £35 million sports centre to be built at no cost to the Council, as in the case of the new Moberly Sports Centre in Queen’s Park where two large luxury residential developments are being built to pay for the new Sports Centre.

In a letter to Richard Barker, the Council’s Head of Community Services, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg says:

“Why is a 50m pool needed and will it be accompanied by spectator facilities? Such extensive facilities would take it from being a local facility to being a major London water sports location with local residents competing with users and clubs from all over London and the South East. While this will be welcomed by the enthusiasts from far and wide and will make more money, it could well ‘crowd out’ the local community.”

“I am also concerned that such an extensive facility costing in excess of £35m will also require a very large commercial component to pay for it, creating an oversized building which dominates the area. The Victoria area is already full of very large commercial buildings which are unpopular locally and this could add another. We can already see the new Willmott Dixon building at the back of the Jubilee Centre towering over everything else in the area as the price the Queen’s Park community has to pay for the new Moberly development. If this is the way forward for how the new Queen Mother Sports Centre will paid for I can envisage another big local campaign to oppose it and am disappointed that the Council has learnt nothing from the Jubilee/Moberly fiasco. The
Planning system offers few safeguards with the Council responsible for giving itself planning permission for a development that it is promoting.”

Labour say that a 50 metre Olympic size swimming pool with diving facilities is not mentioned in the consultation documents.

A petition to protect the existing sports and health facilities at Queen Mother Sports Centre has already attracted 275 signatures from local residents http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/QueenMother/

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – JULY 2016

Greyhound pub, Hugh Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Sadly last week the pub was shut and the bailiffs called in. As there are some picnic bench-tables outside the pub, these are now being used by groups of men to hang out and drink. They often leave their rubbish (empty cans of beer etc) in the street. The men change from day to day but don’t seem to be locals. My guess is that they are in the area because of the coach station.  Is there anything the council might be able to do about this? Simply arranging for be picnic bench-tables to be taken inside the pub or removed would probably make a big difference.”

Following our enquiry, a satisfied resident told us:

“The tables and benches have now been removed, which is a huge improvement. Thank you!”

Ebury Bridge College building

We have asked the Council to take action on the problems being caused by the construction of the Ebury Bridge new college building. Residents say:

“I’m having a terrible time with the construction of Ebury Bridge College and 11 storey residential apartment. They did not consult the level of disruption. Bus stops often suspended. All is parking suspended. Parking suspension was supposed to be temporary but now they built their offices on the pavement and half the road so parking will be suspended during the whole construction. My son’s motorbike was damaged and my neighbour’s motorbike was stolen because they can no longer park there due to suspension. The noise and dust is horrendous. The smell of diesel is strong from all this heavy machinery and they have convoys of trucks parked outside my building with their engines running. I have to keep windows closed.”

The Council says:

“We have put in place the following measures to mitigate the impact on residents in this area:

  • We monitor the site regularly on a daily basis and lorries are moved if the parking on street. The site is also aware that they have to turn their engines off.  Since more than two weeks we have increased the monitoring to twice a day and the situation has improved substantially
  • The Noise Team visited the site proactively several times shortly after 6pm, but so far didn’t witness that the site is working beyond the allowed hours.
  • There are parking suspension agreed with the development, as they need to provide welfare facilities and the Council as Highways Authority has to accommodate this.

We strongly recommend that the complainant contacts the Environmental Action Line (020 7641 2000) to log her complaint as the officers can go out immediately and react if they witness any wrongdoing. “ 

Residents say:

“Thank you for your help. They are actually behaving themselves this week!! After daily complaints to Council, Planning dept complaints, complaints to the construction company and associates, finally getting some attention after raising the issue with you.”

 

WARWICK WARD ACTION REPORT – MARCH 2016

Warwick Way

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“Black cabs are queuing for Victoria station down to Warwick Way, leaving their engines running constantly, also in front of the GP surgery. The smells and the fumes are bad and there is no reason for such waste. Is there no way of stopping them? Was I misguided by thinking that Westminster City Council had acted upon idling engines in our area? “

Ebury Bridge Estate – Police action to tackle drug dealing

The police have reported the following:

“Officers conducted a planned operation to crack down on class A drugs on Wednesday 10 February. Acting on concerns raised by the community, officers carried out a series of dawn raids on 10 addresses on the Ebury Bridge Estate. The warrants are part of a multi agency initiative to stamp out drug dealing and the associated violent crime that accompanies it. So far 7 individuals have been arrested for various offences and remain is Police custody pending further enquiries. Updates will follow in due course.”

Proposed Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge – what you say

“Like you and other residents of Pimlico, we are opposed to this bridge being built. However, the matter cannot just rest there. The local authorities together with the press, should be made aware of the weight of public opinion is against this project. Thank you for your support in opposing this white elephant.”

“I’m delighted your opposed to this vanity project. Please keep me advised of your progress and any support I can give as a Pimlico resident, many thanks.”

“The Belgravia Residents Association have written strongly objecting to our local MP over this proposed bridge as per your news letter. We wholeheartedly support the stance adopted by Murad on behalf of his constituents.”

“What excellent work you have been doing and especially for us at Dolphin Square over the unwanted Bridge!!”

Warwick Ward Action Report – January 2016

Proposed Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge

We have reaffirmed our opposition to the proposed Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge. At the Environment Scrutiny Committee on 18th January, Labour Councillor Murad Gassanly, said:

“We have raised strong objections to the proposed bridge and ensured local residents views have been made clear to Westminster and Wandsworth Councils. We need the Council to be the voice of local residents – we need the council to reject the bridge at any landing point in Pimlico. The campaign against the bridge has been led by the Pimlico Alliance, a resident led campaign who have done sterling work in raising public awareness of the impact of the bridge. It is residents who have led this campaign and they who have said time and time again – no to the bridge.”

“Wandsworth Council’s disrespect for local opinion can be seen by their much repeated claim that the bridge will enable Pimlico residents to visit the Nine Elms Waitrose as if this was the clinching argument. This says a lot about how they view Pimlico, as well as their lack of insight to how Pimlico people feel about the bridge.”

We are continuing to work closely with local residents to voice our strong opposition to Wandsworth Council’s proposal. Residents say:

“I’m writing to you regarding the new bridge planned on the Pimlico side of SW1. We do not want to loose any further public accessible green spaces in SW1. St George’s Square and indeed the garden and Westminster Boating Base are a valuable community asset used by many families, caring dog owners and professionals to escape cramped housing conditions in Central London.”

“Presumably it is for the benefit of all those new flats going up at Battersea, so that they can get to Pimlico and Sloane Square to shop! I dread the consequences for the latter. We shall be swamped. And where are they going to put their bikes when they get there? “

“I am so pleased that the Labour councillors are backing us against this bridge.”

Warwick Ward Action Report – October 2015

Warwick Way

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this suggestion:

“Please could you look into crossing Warwick Way while walking down Cambridge Street. This crossing point is very dangerous – Warwick Way is very busy at rush hour with cars often speeding up to catch the traffic lights (which have no pedestrian crossing) at the junction between Warwick Way and St George’s Drive. This route down Cambridge Street is an important thoroughfare for pedestrians and is particularly used in both directions by pedestrians for school/nursery runs. A zebra or some other pedestrian crossing would make this route much safer – perhaps move the zebra crossing between Warwick Way and Winchester St (which is under-utilised) to this crossing instead?”

Denbigh Street

We have asked Sanctuary Housing Association to tell us when a number of long-standing empty properties will be let to tenants in order to ease the housing crisis.

Warwick Ward Action Report – September 2015

Winchester StreetWarwick 1

Is this the most blatant dumping yet? You could furnish your flat from stuff dumped on the street tonight – two beds, two chairs, cupboards, a wardrobe and more!

Which landlord is responsible for this latest anti-social behaviour?

Unbelievable!!

 

Warwick Ward Action Report – August 2015

Ebury University Technical College

We are working closely with residents to oppose the current plans for the proposed UTC:

“What started as an acceptable, indeed worthy idea to redevelop the former Victorian school into a Technical College in memory of Sir Simon Milton, has become a vast vanity project, considerably denser than first proposed. We feel it is a missed opportunity to create a modern equivalent of the elegant and harmonious Victorian houses within the Conservation area of the Pimlico Grid. Not only would the massive building of low-grade architectural worth which is proposed be completely out of proportion and character for the area, it would be a gross overdevelopment of the site.

The building should be no higher than the original 6 storeys and the jarring triangular design of the unwarranted addition of 47 flats, with just 23 parking spaces provided and one on the road lost – does not even have the justification of providing affordable housing. The impact on local residents of up to 600 students and staff arriving and leaving every day by bus, bicycle or on foot will already be huge, but the additional flats and the inadequate underground parking will completely overwhelm the area, one of mixed private and social housing.”

Warwick Way

We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this suggestion:

“Please could you look into crossing Warwick Way while walking down Cambridge Street. This crossing point is very dangerous – Warwick Way is very busy at rush hour with cars often speeding up to catch the traffic lights (which have no pedestrian crossing) at the junction between Warwick Way and St George’s Drive. This route down Cambridge Street is an important thoroughfare for pedestrians and is particularly used in both directions by pedestrians for school/nursery runs. A zebra or some other pedestrian crossing would make this route much safer – perhaps move the zebra crossing between Warwick Way and Winchester St (which is under-utilised) to this crossing instead?”

Prudential Ride London 2nd August – what you say

“On Sunday mornings every few weeks I drive a minibus with elderly residents, housebound for the rest of the week, to mass at Holy Apostles Church in Pimlico. I believe they very much look forward to it, for some, it being the only social interaction they have. This Sunday, many roads hundreds of metres from the route, were blocked off due to the Prudential Ride London Event, preventing access to properties where these residents live.

I’m all for cycling, I average fifty miles a week and rely on my cycle to get about in preference to all other modes of transport. I encourage others to take up cycling – it is a healthy, freeing, economical and ecological mode of transport. However, I believe the Prudential Ride London Sunday event is only accessible to a small lycra clad elite and does nothing to facilitate non-cyclists to start and does everything to fuel bitter resentment amongst the rest of the population.”

Sophia Eglin secured over 1,200 votes for Labour

Sophia Eglin received 1,216 votes on 7th May.

The full result is:

Conservative – 2,397
Sophia Eglin – Labour – 1,216
UKIP – 207

This was one of Labour’s best ever results in Warwick Ward.

Sophia Eglin promises to put local residents and local issues first

Sophia Eglin, the Labour candidate for Warwick Ward in the Westminster Council by-election on 7th May has said her main focus is to be accountable to local residents and fight for local issues.

Sophia said “unlike Tory Councillors who often don’t hold regular surgeries, I will be holding regular Councillor surgeries and engaging with local residents groups and the wider community.”

“Warwick ward has returned Tory councillors since 1964 and it’s not clear what benefit that has brought to the ward. The Tory-controlled Westminster Council remains out of touch and have taken this area for granted for too long.”

“Only Labour can defeat the Tories in this by-election and you can send a very clear message to City Hall that Warwick residents deserve better by voting Labour on Thursday.”

Since her selection Sophia has spoken to very many residents across the ward and carried out ‘ward walks’ where she identified problems such as fly tipping and issues with broken and uneven pavements which she called on the Council to resolve.

Published & Promoted by Jason Williams on behalf of Two Cities CLP, P.O. Box 72086, London EC2P 2NL

Sophia Eglin calls for more social housing in Warwick Ward

Sophia Eglin, the Labour candidate for Warwick Ward in the forthcoming by-election on 7th May has called on Westminster Council to build more homes for local people following news that the Tory Council have spent £20 million on buying back homes they sold at a discount and on further increasing social housing rents.

Sophia said

“Pimlico is a great community and one which should be cherished; as your Councillor I will speak up for more social housing and against inflation busting rises in rent. The Council’s latest project in Sutherland Street to build private flats behind the proposed University Technical College which will dwarf Glastonbury Tower shows they are not putting the local community’s interests first. I will fight for more social housing and for a fairer deal for tenants and leasees.”

Published & Promoted by Jason Williams on behalf of Two Cities CLP, P.O. Box 72086, London EC2P 2NL

Concerns over fly tipping in Warwick ward – Labour’ Sophia Eglin calls for Council action

Warwick dumping
Sophia Eglin, the Labour candidate for Warwick in the forthcoming by-election on 7th May has called on Westminster Council to take firm action on the problem of fly tipping in the ward.

Sophia said:

“The increase in fly tipping across the Pimlico ‘grid’ area is very concerning and the Council need to take firmer action in sorting this issue out, rather than relying on individual residents to call the environmental helpline after the event. I want the Council to take a proactive approach and install cameras at well-known fly tipping areas and ensure this anti-social behaviour is stopped.”

Published & Promoted by Jason Williams on behalf of Two Cities CLP, P.O. Box 72086, London EC2P 2NL

Sophia Eglin – a fresh voice for Warwick ward

Sophia
Sopha Eglin is Labour’s candidate in the forthcoming Warwick ward by-election which is taking place the same day as the General Election on 7th May.

Sophia won the Labour Party’s selection contest held last month and has been busy campaigning and talking to local people about the issues in the ward.

Sophia said:

“I’m determined to be a fresh voice for Warwick ward and to speak up for local people by ensuring that their views are heard within the Council. The Tories have taken this ward for granted and I am very concerned about the effect of recent cuts by the Tory council including on Children’s and Youth services.”

Churchill Labour Councillor Jason Williams said:

“Sophia is a great candidate with fantastic energy who will be a determined voice for Warwick ward. We need someone like Sophia who will speak up for local people and really engage with the local community.”

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group. said:

“Warwick Ward residents need an active and energetic candidate like Sophia who will represent them and their views at City Hall and take up local issues on behalf of all residents. Sophia will make an excellent Councillor and would be a great addition to the Labour team”

Published & Promoted by Jason Williams on behalf of Two Cities CLP, P.O. Box 72086, London EC2P 2NL

Warwick Ward Labour Action Team Report – April 2015

Abbots Manor Estate

We are making enquiries with the Council and City West Homes about these issues raised by residents:

“Abbots Manor is seeing more and more of residential community areas being given to companies. Linbrook was given basement areas of Kirkstall and Melrose House to store their building materials. Workmen come in and out of this residential building at all hours. No residents were consulted and we have not been told about what the deal is. What happens to that money? It has caused a lot of disruption to residents, in the mornings there are many vehicles filling up supplies taking up parking spaces.
Westminster Council took gardens on Abbots Manor to put a nursery into a temporary shed type of premise. This is against Westminster Council planning as this is a residential estate not for any business or companies. “


Gloucester Street/Winchester Street

We are supporting residents’ suggestions that CCTV cameras should be located at this junction to take pictures of those who are dumping rubbish here.

Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge proposal – what you say

“This is a Wandsworth/TfL adventure with the Nine Elms consortium. WCC have said in writing that they don’t want anything to do with it. We are keeping in touch with it via the design competition, but fear that TfL will bulldozer the proposal through (they have the power). St Georges Square and Dolphin Square will fight hard, but will need all the help we can get to avoid the predictable disaster of the bridge.”

“I just wanted to express my concern about the new pedestrian bridge from Nine Elms to Pimlico. I don’t know if this has already been approved and I seriously hope it hasn’t. First of all, I don’t understand the need for such an expensive project since Vauxhall Bridge is only a 5 minutes’ walk away. Secondly, I have concerns that it will ruin the tranquil setting of the only square in London bordering the Thames. I saw to my despair the four selected designs in the press and I cannot imagine who would want this and secondly why this is necessary. Wandsworth seem to be running the show but Westminster must have a word to say in this and I strongly hope Westminster will not allow it. It’s a pure waste of money.”

“This is a great opportunity to support a new and exciting architectural feature in London. Agreed, it needs to go through the appropriate consultation but this will give Pimlico better access to the exciting development on Nine Elms and will perhaps provide more passing trade for some of our shops, more and more of which are closing down and being converted to flats.”

Ebury Bridge development – what you say

“I went to exhibition yesterday regarding building of Ebury Bridge College and 10 storey planned luxury tower block. The Council sent the most disinterested member of staff, hardly any residents there, most don’t even know about the plans. They say they need to build 10 storey luxury flats building to pay for college. Well if they don’t have the funds for the college then they shouldn’t be destroying the community to pay for it”

What you say

“Thank you so much for sorting out the crossing at the Queen Mother Sports Centre, Vauxhall Bridge Road. So glad to know we will have a Pedestrian Countdown facility later in the year.”

For the most recent Warwick Ward profile see https://www.westminster.gov.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/workspace/assets/publications/Warwick-2013-Ward-Profile-1375694312.pdf

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