Regent's Park Labour Action Report - Late March 2018

News from Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart, your local Labour candidates for the Council elections on May 3rd.

 

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.

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/labourclp250/pages/1096/attachments/original/1521622381/Westminster_Labour_2018_Manifesto.pdf?1521622381

Wellington Road public toilets

We have asked the Council why the public toilets on Wellington Road, nest to the St John’s Wood Church playground, have been closed for so long.

Allitsen Road

We have asked the Council to investigate this recurring issue:

“On Sunday morning there were 30-40 nitreous oxide canisters in the layby by the New Inn.  This situation with such clearly blatant drug dealing going on in NW8 is appalling.  This is a main route for children walking to school at St Christina’s and Robinsfield.  Please can we try and do something more to tackle this.  There needs to be more of a police presence in the evening to catch these people.  It is horrible that our children keep having to see this sort of detritus.”

Scott Ellis Gardens

We are continuing to take up individual problems on behalf of residents. We have also asked City West Homes to check the lifts and improve rubbish collection services. City West Homes say:

“We think there has been problems with the cold weather, as these are Hydraulic lifts and the oil gets too cold and thickens up, which tries to resolve itself, with the lift repeatedly trying to start, which heats the oil. We asked the contractor to attend site last week to ensure the heaters in the tank were sufficient, before the cold spell returned. 

We have been finding a number of rubbish bags next to the recycling bins located next to block 1 and 12. At present the cleaners are moving the bags into the bins on a daily basis meaning that there is often insufficient space to store the refuse in the bins. The bins are currently emptied on a weekly basis and we will certainly look into increasing that to twice a week as that may also help resolve the issue.”

Hamilton Close

Following our enquiries about the state of the cobbles, Gustavo the local Inspector, tells us:

“I have just spoken to the local highways inspector who has raised a job in relation to the broken cobbles outside number 8 Hamilton Close.”

St John’s Wood Post Office

We started this petition to Save the St John’s Wood Post Office petition a year ago and you can still sign up to add your voice

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-the-st-john-s-wood-post-office-open

Labour’s pledge on Cleaner Streets

Mattresses and other household objects dumped on our street corners have become an all too common a sight. A Labour council will rigorously focus on fly-tipping and bulky waste dumping and we have made a number of commitments that will 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 will improve the information provided to landlords, letting agents and tenants.
  • We will 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.

Building genuinely affordable homes

If Labour win the Council, we will create a new type of affordable housing –  Westminster Key Worker Homes. We will commit that, in addition to social housing, all new affordable housing built on council land will be at rents that are affordable to residents on average and below average incomes. We will ensure that these homes are focused on providing opportunities for long-standing residents of Westminster and key workers such as nurses, teachers, firefighters and the police.

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

https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/labour-launch-further-report-on-25-more-nightmare-stories-from-city-west-homes/

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.

Cleaning up the planning system – what you say

“As you rightly say, it is inequitable of Westminster Council to forbid residents from speaking out at planning meetings and to have to rely on Councillors who may not share the views of objectors.”

Hamilton Close – what you say

“I was glad to see the comment about the state of the cobbles in Hamilton Close. The bad state of the cobbles is largely due to damage caused by heavy vehicles delivering building materials or to skips taking away spoil from excavations. The rot began with the basement excavations for 14 Hamilton Close and 22 Hamilton Terrace. Since then work on 20 Hamilton Terrace has involved much disruption and further damage to the cobbles because 13 Hamilton Terrace has been used for deliveries and removal of rubbish in connection with the major refurbishment of of 20 Hamilton Terrace.”

What you say

“I admire what you are all doing for the ward and thank you”

“I read with much interest the News from Regent’s Park Ward Labour action team”

“Thank you so much for this quick response. My goodness, don’t you even take Sunday off?”

Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.

Regards

 

Hussain Ahmed, Janet Seale and Liam Taggart,

Your Regent’s Park Ward Labour Action Team

regentsparklabour@gmail.com