Churchill Ward Labour Action Report - Late April 2018

News from your Churchill Labour Action Team – Councillors Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams and Andrea Mann.

Churchill Gardens

We have written to CityWest Homes calling for a rebate on residents parking permits in Churchill Gardens. Parking on the estate was previously managed by Wings Parking, but this contract ended on 30 September 2016. We lobbied CityWest Homes and the Council’s Head of Parking to begin enforcement patrols on the road immediately.

While warning letters were placed on cars we flagged up as being parked without a permit, no full-scale monitoring of parking has taken place until the recent CityWest Homes consultation on a Traffic Management Order (TMO) for the estate. This is due to come in force this spring, which will allow WCC Traffic Marshals to enforce parking rules on the estate.

Councillor Jason Williams said:

“It is unfair that during this period between the end of the Wings Parking contract and the introduction of the TMO later this year that residents have had to pay for a permit. During that time there has been no monitoring and others have been able to park on the estate without paying. We are asking for a rebate on all residents parking permits for this period.

“Residents have often had problems finding a parking place despite having a permit. In addition, the resulting congested roads could have caused issues for emergency vehicles trying to access the estate.” 

Ebury Bridge Estate

It was a pleasure to attend the hustings on Ebury Bridge Estate and answer residents’ questions about issues such as the police cuts, council tax, and of course the regeneration of the estate.

We reiterated Labour’s promise to give Ebury Bridge residents a full referendum on any final scheme before it goes ahead. It is *your* estate, they are *your* homes – so we think it is only fair that you are given a real say on any final plan, as you were in 2013.

Many thanks to the Ebury Bridge Estate Residents’ Association for hosting the hustings, to Rachel Reilly for chairing, and to all the residents who came (especially on such a sunny afternoon!)

You can read Westminster Labour’s housing pledges in full in our manifesto: Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our position on this or any other topic.

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. Any assistance that you can provide would be gratefully appreciated.”

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:…/…/mayor-provides-additional-60m-for-policing

Darwin House

We have urged City West Homes to get the lift at Darwin House repaired as a matter of urgency. The lift has been out of order since January and is causing great difficulties for many residents. 

Fountain Court, Ebury Bridge Road

We have asked City West Homes to investigate this issue: 

“Went in a block today that had its heating constantly on (which in this heat is ridiculous) and despite many calls for Westminster Council to fix it nothing has happened for months!! Multiple bulbs were flashing in the corridors as well”  

City West Homes say:

“There was an incident at the weekend where the plant had to be reset following a power spike. 4 out of the 6 boilers are now back in operation and we are continuing to investigate the 2 off line boilers. This does not affect the service into the residents’ homes as they are back-up boilers.

We are also aware of a local issue at a specific flat where the resident was unable to turn her heating down. The contractor attended yesterday and has identified the cause of the problem as a lack of control over the heating system. The radiators are either stuck on or off causing uncomfortable conditions. The existing valves are in excess of 20 years old and are extremely stiff and virtually seized in one position. The contractor freed and applied grease to the existing valves where possible but has recommended an upgrade to energy saving thermostatic valves, which are very easy to use. They will arrange for this work to be completed. 

We have raised a job order for the flickering lights on the ground floor.”

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

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.

Find out what we’re doing in your part of Churchill Ward

Check out the new Your Area section of our website to find out more about the work we have been doing, and the projects we’ve helped fund, in your part of Churchill Ward.

What you say 

Many thanks for your updates, they are very informative.”

Please let us know if there are any matters on which we can be of help.


Councillors Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams and Andrea Mann

Your Churchill Ward Labour Action Team – Here to Help


Promoted by Robin McGhee on behalf of Andrea Mann, Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY