Three of the most polluted streets in London are in Westminster. Data from King’s College London put the Strand, Marylebone Road and Oxford Street in the top 10 for N02 air pollution, a toxic gas which is estimated to kill thousands each year and air quality is an important health and wellbeing issue for residents across Westminster. If Westminster Labour wins on May 3rd we are determined create a cleaner, greener city with action to improve air quality central to our plans.
It has been an ongoing struggle for local residents to get Westminster Council to listen to their demands for safer streets, with Westminster Conservatives rejecting pleas for the introduction of 20mph zones on residential streets for many years, while our neighbouring boroughs all took this important step.
After decades of the Conservatives taking Westminster for granted, residents have a real chance to change the future of this city. Years of Conservative 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.
Following the announcement of the latest consultation returns on the Oxford Street project, Labour’s Business and Public Realm spokesperson, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said:
“The consultation results show that TfL and Westminster City Council still have a big job to do to demonstrate that the proposals will have local benefits. Around half of local residents are opposed to the proposals, with the other half in support (with or without concerns). We have four major concerns and call on TfL and Westminster Council to show ((a) how any additional vehicular traffic will be kept out of residential streets; (b) how air pollution levels will be reduced in residential streets; (c) how the needs of the disabled and elderly will be provided for and (d) how Oxford Street will be managed 24/7 to ensure the safety and security of residents, shoppers and visitors”
“We will keep campaigning to get the best deal for local residents and businesses”
Labour’s candidates for the West End Ward, Patrick Lilley, Pancho Lewis and Caroline Saville said:
“As West End ward candidates, we’ve spoken to many residents on the doorstep about plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street. It is clear there are very strong concerns about the proposals. TfL and Westminster Council would do well not to underestimate the real anxieties and concerns that residents have expressed. The well-being of residents needs to be at the absolute forefront of any plans put forward – otherwise we will not support pedestrianisation.”
Labour will create a cleaner, greener city with action on air quality, tree planting, support for cycling and a focus on fly-tipping.
Mattresses and other household objects dumped on our street corners have become an all too common a sight in too many parts of Westminster. A combination of changes in the local housing market with an increase in private rented flats and HMOs with regularly changing residents, cuts to council services and the introduction of council charges for bulky waste collection have led to a surge in dumping and fly-tipping in recent years.
A Labour-led council would rigorously focus on fly-tipping and bulky waste dumping. Labour is making a number of major commitments that would 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 would improve the information provided to landlords, letting agents and tenants .
- A Labour Council would finally 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.
For such a vibrant city as Westminster ensuring waste is swiftly removed is a vital part of protecting our quality of life. Labour is committed to maintaining and improving the twice weekly residential rubbish collection service provided by Westminster Council.
A Labour Council would also work with local businesses to find ways to improve the commercial waste collection services provided by Westminster. A Labour Council will explore new opportunities to boost recycling, including where appropriate to support community composting and the recycling of food waste.
Westminster Labour Group Leader Cllr Adam Hug said “While we can’t promise to prevent all dumping, Labour will finally ensure the Council is doing all it can to clean up our streets from the fly-tipping of bulky waste. We will do this while protecting and improving our twice-weekly bin collections.”
For such a vibrant city as Westminster ensuring waste is swiftly removed is a vital part of protecting our quality of life.
Conservative Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has used a major speech at the think tank Policy Exchange to attack a bill put forward by Westminster North Labour MP Karen Buck that seeks to restrict the spread of homes in Westminster being used permanently by Airbnb and other short let operators.
Labour have hit out at Tory delays to plans to roll-out secure cycle hangars across Westminster. Secure bike storage is an essential part of supporting cyclists in an area where living space is at a premium and Westminster lags far behind many neighbouring boroughs who have installed hundreds of secure hangers to support their residents.