Warwick Ward Labour Action Report - Feb 18

News from the Warwick Ward Labour Action Team

Hugh Mews

Residents have raised with us their concerns about drug dealing in Hugh Mews. Residents say:

“Over the past week, on a nightly basis, there are 2-3 “regulars” who come to the Mews in the late afternoon and evening and deal drugs amongst themselves.  It is very uncomfortable for residents.  Could you step up patrols of the Community/Safer Neighbourhoods Team as well as ask the local police “on the beat” to be more visible in the Mews?  If the drug people saw you with such frequency, they would move elsewhere.”

St George’s Drive

We asked the Street Lighting Department if they could reduce the glare from a street light that is pointing directly in to a resident’s bedroom window and we received the following reply:

“I can confirm we have instructed our service provider to install a shield to the lamp which will reduce the glare from the street light, hopefully this will resolve the issue, but please do not hesitate to contact us should there be any further issues.”

Residents say:

“That has been the bane of my life and sleep for the 10 years I lived there. Little things make a big difference in people’s lives.” 

Queen Mother Sports Centre 

We have raised this issue with the Council: 

“For 18 or more months I’ve been trying to get Everyone Active to introduce recycling facilities at the Queen Mother Sports Centre, where I swim three times each week. The managers at QMSC seem unwilling or unable to perform this task. The excuses are endless, changes in staff too. WCC should not be contracting suppliers who don’t take their environmental responsibilities seriously.”

The Council say:

“As part of the mobilisation of the contract, Everyone Active were asked to use Veolia as it was a main contractor of Westminster. This meant ditching their national contractual relationship with Biffa and having to pay for additional waste services with Veolia. During this process, Everyone Active have been closely liaising with the council’s recycling team to carry out audits of two of the main centres (Queen Mother and Porchester) in order to then replicate this across all the sites. The audits have taken place and the number of recycling bins have been identified and are being costed. I appreciate that the contract has been in place for quite some time, but please be assured that this matter is in progress and we are working alongside Everyone Active to ensure implementation as soon as possible.”

Policing 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. These cuts mean that in London, we’ve lost 2,495 Police officers and 3,261 Police Community Support Officers.
  3. 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

Rubbish Dumping

In response to the regular concerns expressed by residents, we have put forward the following ideas:

  • Reinstate a free service for standard household bulky refuse collections and introduce a paid-for service for express bulky refuse collections
  • Use mobile cameras to help enforcement at fly-tipping ‘hotspots’.
  •  Increase fines for dumping.
  • Consult residents to decide where extra bins might be of assistance and improve signage and communication with residents
  • Offer residents the chance to report dumping via Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
  • Target Council inspections and waste collection to the worst-affected areas to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping.

What do you think?

City West Homes ‘Nightmare Stories’

We have published a dossier of ’20 nightmare stories’ from City West Homes’, based on the experiences of CWH tenants and leaseholders over the past few months across Westminster. All have been reported to CWH for action and some problems have now been resolved – but only after a Labour Councillor had intervened. This is not the way to run an organisation responsible for 12,500 tenants and 10,000 leaseholders. How many more similar stories of incompetence and neglect go unreported because the tenant or leaseholder has not been able escalate the problem by reporting it to a Labour Councillor? City West Homes is in need of a radical overhaul and Labour is pledged to do this following the May Council elections.

To see the report go to https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/westminster-labour-launches-dossier-of-20-nightmare-stories-from-city-west-homes/

Please let us know if you are having problems with City West Homes.

Warwick Ward Profile

The latest Warwick Ward profile is here with lots of interesting local facts and figures https://www.westminster.gov.uk/sites/www.westminster.gov.uk/files/warwick-ward-profile.pdf

Warwick Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team

The latest update from the Safer Neighbourhood Team is here https://www.met.police.uk/your-area/westminster/warwick/

Listed Buildings in Warwick Ward

There are over 50 Listed Buildings in Warwick Ward – you can get the details here https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/england/warwick-ward-westminster#.WnGjHKhl-Uk

Council housing

Inside Housing magazine has published details of the number of former council homes now being let by private landlords, after analysing statistics from two-thirds of councils in England. The research reveals that on average more than 40 percent of property bought under Right to Buy is now in the hands of private landlords. The figures for Westminster show that out of the 8,988 leaseholds sold to council tenants, 3,363 — 37.42 percent — are now owned as buy-to-let.  Inside Housing says that the average weekly council rent in London is £108 while for private flats it is £359.

City Council elections, May 2018 

An interesting article looking forward to the May Council elections by Dave Hill which quotes Andrew Murray’s State of Soho blog

http://www.onlondon.co.uk/could-the-conservatives-lose-westminster-council/

Tesco Bags of Help – Community Grant Scheme

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the 10p Bag for Life charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund community projects that benefit the local community. Following a public vote, three projects in each Tesco region will receive an award every two months, with first place receiving up to £4,000, second place up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.

  • Who can apply? Grants will be awarded to voluntary or community organisations, schools, Parish Councils, local authorities and social housing providers.
  • What kind of projects will Bags of Help fund? Projects that benefit the local community are eligible for funding – from improving community buildings and developing outdoor spaces to buying new kit or equipment, training coaches or volunteers, and hosting community events or activities.
  • How to Apply – For more information and to apply visit the website: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/tescocommunityscheme

If you need any further advice or support – including talking through some project ideas or finding out how to make a project eligible – contact Paige Matthews, Community Project Officer, Groundwork London Phone: 020 8762 0321 E-mail: paige.matthews@groundwork.org.uk

The Blitz in Westminster

This website shows where bombs were dropped during the Blitz. You can find out how close they got to your home

http://bombsight.org/explore/greater-london/westminster/

 

What you say

“Thank you.  Very informative.” 

“Thanks for taking action on my behalf – much appreciated”

“Thank you for your hard work on our behalf.”

 “I cannot thank you enough for your intervention with City West Homes. Finally, after eight years of trying, there are actually people outside – as we speak – putting the scaffolding up which is the start of the repair to my roof.  I hope this time that their work will be successful. What a shame that it took your City West Homes ‘20 Nightmare Stories’ to push them into action. I thought their inefficiency in make case was outrageous but it didn’t even make the 20!”