St James Ward Labour Action Report - April 2018

News from the Labour Action Team in Covent Garden, St James’s and Victoria – Zayna Ali, Dorothy Edwin and Georgina Newson.

Bedfordbury

We are making enquiries about this issue:

I live on Bedfordbury opposite what was Scotts the sandwich shop (corner of Bedfordbury and New Row) which has now closed and is being turned into The Flying Pie. Please could you tell me how to oppose any licensing applications that they may be making? Scotts used to close at tea time and if they intended to stay open in the evening it would not be good news”

Huguenot House

We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate a number of flats being used for Airbnb short let flats which it is believed are not authorised for short lets. We have also asked City West Homes to investigate. Residents say:

“A few months ago, I emailed on behalf of some of my neighbours at Huguenot House regarding short-lets of council-owned properties. You were able to direct that to the right place for some attention. I am glad to say that we seem to have had some slow-down in those. Unfortunately, some seem to be up and running again. I write today about two council-owned flats which are let out by CWH, and had been on our list earlier. 

This is a secured block owned by the council. We have fob-entry and a caretaker on site, and these fobs have to be handed out to the ‘guests’, some seemingly mailed in advance.  We have had problems in past with ‘guests’ letting in less-desirable elements as well as verbally abusing our own residents.”

John Adam Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“As a resident in John Adam Street, I am continually concerned as to the condition of the south pavement. The street is narrow and used by commercial vehicles for deliveries. This causes vehicles to straddle the pavement to pass parked vehicles, resulting in considerable damage. These often get attention, (I suspect to avoid compensation claims) but not properly and remedial works are soon dislodged and broken. This is a significant danger for pedestrians. The answer should be to make the narrow area a no parking / delivery area. There is ample parking and delivery options 50 m further up the road, which are currently used for this purpose.”

The Roadhouse, Covent Garden

A month long campaign has been launched to save Covent Garden’s live music venue the Roadhouse, which is hosting a series of free live events as part of its #SaveRoadhouse campaign, raising awareness of its risk of closure by welcoming up and coming talent to perform. More than 11,000 people have signed a petition urging Westminster City Council to save the venue, which faces eviction later this year. The Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman and London’s Night Czar Amy Lame have given their support. The Roadhouse has entertained music fans from its premises in the basement of Jubilee Hall on The Piazza for 25 years.

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/bars/campaign-launched-to-save-covent-garden-live-music-venue-the-roadhouse-a3800521.html

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 Conservative 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

Litter

We have welcomed the increased on-the-spot fines of up to £150 for dropping litter, including from vehicles.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43609325

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:

www.westminstercab.org.uk/advice/online-enquiry.

Key worker housing – what you say

“I think the keyworker scheme for housing allocation would be a very good idea. Many of the firefighters working from Soho Fire Station live in Bridgend. Accommodating the police has two problems. They tend to feel uncomfortable living in an area where they police because it can cause conflict of interest problems. Often the police are reticent to engage with people outside the force. When I was asked to suggest suitable people for keyworker housing in Covent Garden I approached a police housing association giving them my full contact details but they never got back to me. It is probably hospital cleaners, porters, catering staff and similar who are essential and amongst the lowest paid that need to be those considered.”

What you say

“Thank you for the action report.”

If you know anybody who would like to receive this report please ask them to email pdimoldenberg@hotmail.co.uk and we will add them to the list.

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Regards

Zayna Ali, Dorothy Edwin and Georgina Newson

Your St James’s Ward Labour Action Team

stjameswardlabour@gmail.com

Twitter @StJamesLabour

Promoted by Robin McGhee on behalf of Zayna Ali, Dorothy Edwin and Georgina Newson at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY