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Pages tagged "Council Services"
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.Read more
KEY PLEDGE: Westminster Labour will fight for fairness in our communities by supporting the London Living Wage and defending the rights of our EU Citizens
If elected on May 3rd Labour will commit the council to paying the London Living Wage not only to its directly employed staff but also to any future contractors. Under Labour Westminster would seek accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation to provide reassurance that our pledges had been met. We would also sign-up to sector specific agreements, such as the Unison Ethical Care Charter, to help improve working practices across the council and further enshrine our commitment to fair pay. Labour is committed to fair pay not only because it the right thing to do for our workers but because it can help to improve the quality of our public services that our staff deliver.Read more
Ahead of the council elections in May Westminster Labour are setting out their plans for further action on fire safety and calling for reassurance on fire doors.Read more
Covering the centre of London Westminster is home to rough sleepers from all over the country, many of whom have found themselves on the street due to the impact of the Conservative Government’s harsh housing and welfare policies across the UK. It is a rough sleeping challenge tougher than any other local authority.Read more
Labour will stand up to Conservative Government cuts and restore support for vital public services such as our youth clubs, children’s centres and support for the elderly and vulnerable. We will also protect our citizens against crime and anti-social behaviour by fighting Tory police cuts and investing the Council’s community protection work.
As Westminster Tories prepare to push through a further £38.5m in ‘savings’ for 2018/19 at the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 7th March, Westminster residents are fed up with the constant cuts to their services.
Much of the Tory focus will be on their voluntary council tax payments for the owners of large homes. Any money helps but, with this predicted to only raise £350k, it is little more than a distraction from the scale of cuts demanded by the Tory Government and cheered on by the Conservative council.
The election of a Labour Council for Westminster on May 3rd would itself be a massive repudiation of the Tory Government’s agenda. However if elected a Labour council would use its campaigning and communications expertise to highlight the huge impact of Tory cuts on ordinary families and push the Government to change its approach.
The Conservative Government’s current commitment to austerity means that whoever controls the council there will be tough decisions ahead around local public services. However using the ‘zero-based’ budget review and ideas set out in previous Labour budget amendments a Labour council would reallocate funding to the priorities of ordinary residents and protect the most vulnerable, while keeping council tax low.
In addition to protecting twice weekly bin collections and new action on bulky waste dumping Labour is committed to supporting vital public services. As examples of the priorities it would bring to running the council Labour would:
- restore council funding for local youth clubs
- protect children’s centre services, particularly stay and play schemes and early intervention
- improve support to the elderly and vulnerable by developing integrated health and wellbeing hubs, investing in home adaptations and improving care standards
Ahead of the election on May 3rd Westminster Labour is delighted to announce its first key election pledge:
- A Labour council will stand up to Conservative Government cuts and restore support for vital public services such as our youth clubs, children’s centres and support for the elderly and vulnerable
Westminster Labour has 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.
Since 2010-11, the Metropolitan Police’s general grant funding from the Government has fallen by more than £700 million, or nearly 40 per cent in real terms, on a like-for-like basis. In recent years, the Police have had to find more than £600m of savings. This has led to the loss of a third of police staff posts – down from 14,330 to 9,985, two-thirds of police community support officer posts – down from 4,607 to 1,591, as well as 114 police station front counters and 120 police buildings.
For such a vibrant city as Westminster ensuring waste is swiftly removed is a vital part of protecting our quality of life.Read more
Council Tax is always an emotive issue in Westminster politics. Westminster Council receives the highest levels of parking revenue (£73.2m) in the country as well as substantial commercial income from its large Central London property portfolio (£42.8m) that help prop up its finances far more than in other boroughs. Westminster also has a long-track record of under-investing in its public services and its upcoming budget plans to cut over £3 million from services for children and young people and £2 million from rough sleeping and supported housing.
Due the impact of crippling Conservative Government cuts to local council funding Westminster Conservatives have raised the Council Tax (including the adult social care precept) every year since 2016.
If elected in May Westminster Labour will keep Council Tax low. Labour will support the current proposals by the Council for a freeze in the Council Tax rate and a 2% rise in the adult social care precept in 2018/19. Labour is making a clear commitment that if elected we will not raise the council tax and adult social care precept by any more than the Tories have over recent years.
Labour will continue to push the Government for fairer funding for local government but will also work to find new ways to support local services, including new ways to earn commercial income. A central part of Labour’s approach will be a ‘zero-based’ review of all existing council expenditure, assessing every pound the council spends to ensure the spend is justified and think how it might be reduced. The review will be backed up by an external ‘critical friends’ board in order to find further efficiencies.
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance David Boothroyd said “Westminster Conservatives keep claiming their council tax levels are because they’re efficient – but people who have actually seen inside the council know the truth. Under Conservative management the council has managed to suppress the full story coming about some of their capers, such as the Managed Services Programme contract, which have led to massive waste of taxpayer’s money. Labour will make sure the council spends efficiently and on the priorities of residents.”
In total Westminster’s current total council tax collection brings in around £52m per year. The Council’s new voluntary scheme for owners of expensive properties is estimated to bring in £350k if people participate. The Council is having to find ‘gross savings’ of £38m in the 2018/19 budget.
Conservative threat to close Bayswater Children’s Centre after cruel cuts to children’s early help services
Westminster Labour are deeply concerned that the Conservative Council is considering closing the Bayswater Children’s Centre.
Westminster Conservatives have taken huge amounts of money out ‘early help’ services for young people and families in Westminster- £7.42 million pounds in early help cuts since 2015 (as part of more than £10m cuts to children’s services). These cuts have seen services both for the most vulnerable and the wider community hollowed out across many of Westminster’s Children’s Centres.
When traditional Children’s Centre Services and stay and play drop-in sessions were cut from Bayswater Children’s Centre in 2016 the Council promised that Government funded support for 2 year olds alongside maternity services, after-school services and other voluntary sector sessions would fill the gap. The Council have now confirmed that from summer 2018 the 2 year old provision will be moving to other facilities and the council is now ‘exploring options for the site’.
Without a Labour Government to reverse the Conservative slashing of local authority funding a Labour Council, if elected in May, could not commit to reversing all of their damaging cuts. However we believe that drop-in and outreach services for young children and their parents are hugely important. So if elected to run the council in May Labour is committed to keeping the Bayswater Children’s Centre open and providing services to all local families. This will include restoring the provision of stay and play drop-ins and outreach services from the site.
Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Adam Hug said “The cruel cuts to Children’s early help services have already had a damaging impact on the life chances of many young people in Westminster and restricted the options available to parents trying to navigate their way through their children’s early years. Labour will re-invest in both ‘stay and play’ drop-ins and vital outreach services across Westminster’s Children’s Centres. We will keep Bayswater Children’s Centre open to all.”