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Help Westminster Labour make history by helping in our campaign on polling day to enable us to encourage Labour voters to go to the polls on May 3rd to win the Council for Labour.
On polling day we are running 11 campaign centres. If you are able to come along, any time between 10am and 10pm on the 3rd May, please do! If you've never campaigned before we will pair you up with somebody who has, so please don't worry about that.
Bayswater: 1 St Stephen's Mews, London W2 5QZ
Little Venice: 16 Hall Tower, Hall Place, London W2 1LN
Regent's Park: 25 Hamilton Gardens, London NW8 9PT
St James: 13 Barton Street, London SW1P 3NE
West End: 68 Dean Street, London W1D 4QJ
Vincent Square: 1 Marysmith House, Causton Street, SW1P 4AT and 43 Ashley Gardens, Ambrosden Avenue, SW1P 1QF
Tachbrook: 19 Bessborough Street, LONDON, SW1V 2JD
Churchill: 5 Hallam House, Churchill Gardens, SW1V 3ET
Westminster North Labour: Email Danny Sweeney on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02089644848
Cities of London and Westminster Labour: Email Kirsty Archer on email@example.com or phone 07860271735
HELP US WIN IN WESTMINSTER
We can make history in Westminster on Thursday 3rd May 2018! But we need your help to do this. We need to speak to residents across Westminster to make sure they go out and vote.
In Westminster North we are running 5 campaign centres. If you are able to come along, any time between 10am and 10pm on the 3rd May, please do!
If you've never campaigned before we will pair you up with somebody who has, so please don't worry about that.
BAYSWATER: 1 St Stephen's Mews, London W2 5QZ
LANCASTER GATE: Flat A Devonshire Court, 101-103 Gloucester Terrace, London W2 3HB
LITTLE VENICE: 16 Hall Tower, Hall Place, London W2 1LN
MAIDA VALE: 44 Delaware Mansions, Delaware Road, London W9 2LH
REGENT'S PARK: 25 Hamilton Gardens, London NW8 9PT, UK
Even more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes – another 20 more stories and only a change of control at Westminster Council will make a difference
When we launched our first set of 20 ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’ in January 2018 we thought that this would spur Conservative Councillors and City West staff in to action. But all we heard was first, a denial that there was a problem and then, ‘warm words’ that action would be taken.Read more
Council Tax is always an emotive issue in Westminster politics but residents can be confident that Labour will keep Council Tax low.
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’s current total council tax collection brings in around £52m per year- only around 6% of the Council's income.
Despite this due to the impact of crippling Conservative Government cuts to local council funding Westminster Conservatives have raised the Council Tax (the general rate and the adult social care precept) every year since 2016. The Conservatives raised Council Tax by 4% in 2016/17, 4% in 2017/18 and now by 2% in 2018/19.
This is set against cuts forced by the Conservative Government of £38 million in 2018/19 that saw a further £3 million from services for children and young people and £2 million from rough sleeping and supported housing.
If elected in May Westminster Labour pledges to keep Council Tax low. Labour is making a clear commitment that if elected we will not raise the council tax and adult social care precept by any more than the Tories have over recent years. Not only is Council Tax not the main way the Council raises money, a 2% rise brings in less than £1m per year, it is an unfair tax that hits those on low incomes hardest. Councils are also prevented in law from raising the general Council Tax rate or the Adult Social Care precept by more than 3% each (6% total) without holding a referendum of residents- something that has never happened.
Labour will continue to push the Government for fairer funding for local government but will also work to find new ways to support local services, including new ways to earn commercial income. A central part of Labour’s approach will be a ‘zero-based’ review of all existing council expenditure, assessing every pound the council spends to ensure the spend is justified and think how it might be reduced. The review will be backed up by an external ‘critical friends’ board in order to find further efficiencies, including big cuts to spending on temporary and agency worker costs, scrapping the Westminster Reporter, making savings in the Lord Mayor's Office and cutting payments to Deputy Cabinet Members.
Labour's recent budget plans were fully costed and approved by Council Officers and would enable money to be invested to met our ambitious but deliverable manifesto commitments. We will also protect current services residents value such as twice weekly bin collections.
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance David Boothroyd said “Westminster Conservatives keep claiming their council tax levels are because they’re efficient – but people who have actually seen inside the council know the truth. Under Conservative management the council has managed to suppress the full story coming about some of their capers, such as the Managed Services Programme contract, which have led to massive waste of taxpayer’s money. Labour will make sure the council spends efficiently and on the priorities of residents.”
Labour's promise to Westminster residents is that if we win the Council on May 3rd we will keep Council Tax low. We will not raise it by any more than the Conservatives have.
NEWS FROM WESTMINSTER’S LABOUR COUNCILLORS.
We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:
“As you will know, Burne Street has had the exit blocked to Marylebone Road. This is fine but it makes Burne Street even more negative in the sense it goes nowhere. It is also impossible for Deliveries or Taxis to find us even though we give Bell Street and Penfold Street are andmarks. Is there anyway that Burne Street cane have some greater indication other that the two Street names on either side of the road which are not immediately visible? I would also mention that with the regeneration of the area the BT Building is a disgrace and looks like an abandoned slum dwelling building no matter from which angle it is viewed.”
The Council say:
“We have instructed our service provider to move the nameplate on Burne House down half a metre so that it is more visible. Concerning the nameplate opposite, this is located in line with the Bell Street nameplate which is located on the same corner, in a commonly agreed location, and we do not propose to move this street nameplate.”
Lavendon House, Lisson Green
We have urged City West Homes to take urgent action to restore water to Lavendon House. City West say:
“Thames Water were doing some planned work at Lavendon House which has affected the drinking water. No drinking water since Friday the 20 April. Gem attended yesterday and confirms the roof tanks were full. Morgan Sindall are currently on site to try and diagnose the fault. Bottled Water has been delivered to the homes and we are investigating currently.”
We have asked the local Inspector to investigate this issue:
“We live opposite a prolific ‘dumper’. They dump their street food business rubbish amongst other things (a large mattress earlier in the week) just outside the property. If I complain to the Council, they come along and take it away. This just encourages them to carry on dumping if they are not being spoken to about the issue. Currently they have a few more boxes of rubbish including a large blackboard outside on the street and consequently it encourages more ad hoc dumping by passers by.”
Several residents have contacted us worried about the signs indicating some sort of demolition works at the site of the former Chippenham Hotel. We haveasked the City Inspector to make an urgent visit to the site which is happening to ascertain precisely what is going on.
Maida Hill Piazza
The property at number 4 has been empty for a while so it’s good to see a cafe opening soon on Maida Hill Piazza.
The Stowe Centre
Now would be a good time for Westminster Council to reverse its axing of youth services. We could have the Stowe reopened in time for the summer holidays.
The planning application to convert the upper floors of the Metropolitan Pub to flats is in: go to http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application …and type in 18/02488/FULL to see it and comment.
Woodfield Road has been blocked for some weeks and we think residents should know why. It is connected to the excessively tall Hathaway House development, which ward councillors opposed but the current majority on the council gave permission. The construction team excavating the site damaged one of the sewers in the area, so Thames Water have been forced to carry out emergency works. The worksite is in the middle of the road and so it has closed.
Westminster’s Roads team tell us: “The current work on street by Cappagh (on behalf of TW) is to repair the sewer which was damaged by the building works. It is planned that the street will be open by 9th May at the latest on completion of these works. One of my Officers has been on site and he has spoken to the contractor. They have confirmed there are no other problems with the sewer along the length of the street. The area where they are working is the location of the only damage.
There are areas of failing setts and depression in the street. Some of this is already identified for repair (the rest has been picked up now) and none of it is thought to be due to any damage to the sewer. My guys are arranging for anything that can be done by our contractors while the road is already shut to be completed at the same time so we minimise the pain for the residents.”
As residents know, Woodfield Road is one-way, so blocking it would mean people can’t drive in to the eastern part of Woodfield Road or access the eastern part of Elmfield Way (including Athlone Care Home). We have been told that “usually if a street is one way and closed then it becomes two-way for access.” Officers are checking that action has been taken. The ‘No Entry’ sign from Harrow Road may be covered over for the time being so it’s clear.
Cleaning up the Canal
We have been chasing the Canal & River Trust about rubbish issues along and in the canal and have received the below update:
“The reason for the high level of floating litter and noticeably more litter on the canals in general at this time of year, is ‘spring turnover’. Essentially, as the water warms up in spring, litter, debris and other detritus that has been lying on the bottom of the canal all winter floats to the surface. The warmer water temperature means this happens pretty well everywhere at the same time, making the canals thick with floating rubbish, especially at obstructions like lock gates or where the canals narrow, like at bridges.
We’ve got teams working along the Grand Union Canal to get this litter cleared as soon as possible, and have also had help from teams of volunteers. It’s massively frustrating that this litter makes its way into the canal in the first place, as it gets blown in by the wind or thrown into the canal deliberately.
Please see this report on litter on BBC London, featuring the Trust (forward to 10m30s) https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09x06sb/london-news-evening-news-27032018”
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.
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:
Carlton Tavern – what you say
“Concerned about the Carlton Tavern and the delaying tactics from the architects and developer. Please don’t let them get away with flagrant disregard for conservation and planning laws generally.”
What you say
“Thank you for April Westminster North Action Report. To me. everything Karen Buck MP and our Labour Councillors do is amazing. The Action Reports show how much detail you follow persistently to get results from the Council. I am hoping Westminster will be Labour from May.”
“Renewed appreciation for the remarkable and most useful work you conduct.”
“The free-of-charge public toilets of Maida Hill Piazza (top of Fernhead Road) have re-opened, which must be due to your intervention. This situation does not affect me but, on behalf of stall holders, we should thank you for this success.”
“Happy to leave the flat this morning and see a contractor starting on the ponding areas at the corner of Penfold Street and Broadley Street”
“Yet again I will be voting Labour. I know you have our best interests at heart”
“Many thanks for your interesting and informative report Good luck and fingers and toes crossed for the 3rd May”
“Huge thanks for this and all your hard work fighting the good fight. Here’s to turning Westminster RED on May 3rd”
“Good luck in the upcoming elections and thank you for being such helpful representatives.”
“Thank you for your manifesto. Though what the council does matters so much to our daily lives and I am grateful for the work of our Labour councilors”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson
Promoted by Andrew Whitley on behalf of Westminster Labour Councillors and Candidates at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY
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.Read more
Westminster Labour have set out ambitious plans to build many more homes for social rent and for people on average incomes or less .We would also radically reform or scrap the poorly performing CityWest Homes.
Westminster Council rearranged the production of its usually quarterly local propaganda magazine ‘The Westminster Reporter’ so that three editions were delivered to local residents in the four months prior to ‘purdah’ ban on election advertising at the cost to the tax payer of £180,000.Read more