News from Councillor Rita Begum and the Labour Action Team in Maida Vale and Little Venice – Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis
Scottish Towers, Maida Vale
We have again contacted City West Homes about the situation at the Scottish Towers on Maida Vale where:
- The intercom on the entry system in Falkirk House is still not working. It’s been out of action for months. As a result, the doors are left unlocked allowing anyone to walk into the block. People complain of anti-social behavior
- Some people in Glasgow House are still relying on temporary boilers and heaters as the gas has not been reconnected.
St Augustine’s Primary School
Councillor Rita Begun was happy to help the School with preparing their Travel Plan and very pleased that the Parking Department received this letter:
“I am writing on behalf of the Parents, Staff and Goveronors to thank you for the support given by your department in ensuring the safety of our pupils and their families as they make their way to and from the school. This takes the form of assisting in the preparation of our School Travel Plan, with Carla Lowe being especially mentioned, and of course the regular attendance of the Marshals who ensure compliane with the regulations on Kilburn Park Road and the adjacent streets.”
We are delighted that the new lighting has been installed in Paddington Rec – a very good way to spend some of the Ward Budget.
Maida Vale replacement bus stop
Following our enquiries with the Council and TfL over many months, we have been told: “The new stop is being proposed immediately south of the junction with Vale Close for the southbound bus service.”
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.
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:
- 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.
- These cuts mean that in London, we’ve lost 2,495 Police officers and 3,261 Police Community Support Officers.
- 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