News from Councillor Rita Begum and the Labour Action Team in Maida Vale – Geoff Barraclough and Nafsika Butler-Thalassis.
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.
We attended a packed residents meeting at Dibdin House. Parking controls outside Milad supermarket on Maida Vale are a major issue. Also, Councillor Rita Begum introduced a new recycling incentive.
Following representations from Karen Buck MP and Councillor Rita Begum, City West Homes has agreed to waive all cleaning service charge costs and backdate them to when the regeneration works started on the estate. Karen told City West Homes:
“When I visited the site the communal areas were by no means clean and residents explained how it is currently very difficult to prevent dust from entering their homes. I’m sure you can see why some residents resent paying any charges at all at the moment.”
Several residents have also expressed their concern over the future of those who have been displaced by the development, as well as current tenants in housing need. Westminster Council have clarified that priority will first be given to those residents who were displaced and then tenants in housing need before the social housing in the new development is opened to Westminster’s general register.
We are assisting residents in Dundee House who have been without heating and hot water.
Maida Vale/Hall Road traffic lights
We have asked the Council and TfL to investigate the traffic light timings at the junction of Hall Road crossing Maida Vale. Residents say:
“There is an inevitable build up of cars at this traffic light coming from Warrington Crescent, Sutherland Avenue, Lauderdale Road, Randolph Avenue, Lanark Road and the petrol station, such that a seven-second green light doesn’t even begin to cover it!”
Essendine Mansions – update
Following our enquiries about the removal of satellite dishes, City West Homes tells us:
“I am happy to report that CWH will be removing the dish from the incorrect position at Essendine Mansions and installing a communal system in line with the planning restrictions to the block. The residents affected have been informed and we hope to be able to start works within the next month depending on the contractors lead in period.”
We have asked the Road Safety Team to investigate this issue:
“I live on Sutherland Avenue and have noticed increasing road rage and speeding down this road recently. My guess is that the 20mile an hour on the side streets have had a knock on effect on the main road. Given that there are several schools and plenty of families with small children in this neighbourhood, would the council please consider making this 20 mile an hour too. This would reduce the angry motorists who want to use this as a thoroughfare. Twice now I have pulled over to park in front of my flat and have been victim to two incidents of harassment from motorists. The speed signs don’t do anything to reduce the speeding, the cars and vans just drive past at frightening speeds. The zebra crossings on this road as also hazardous as the motorists don’t want to stop at them.”
We have also made enquiries with Network homes about re-pollarding two Lime trees located within the front garden of 89 Sutherland Avenue.
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
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.
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 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
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