Westminster North Labour Action Reports - Late April 2018

NEWS FROM WESTMINSTER’S LABOUR COUNCILLORS.

Burne Street

We have asked the Council to investigate this issue:

“As you will know, Burne Street has had the exit blocked to Marylebone Road. This is fine but it makes Burne Street even more negative in the sense it goes nowhere. It is also impossible for Deliveries or Taxis to find us even though we give Bell Street and Penfold Street are andmarks.  Is there anyway that Burne Street cane have some greater indication other that the two Street names on either side of the road which are not immediately visible?  I would also mention that with the regeneration of the area the BT Building is a disgrace and looks like an abandoned slum dwelling building no matter from which angle it is viewed.”

The Council say:

“We have instructed our service provider to move the nameplate on Burne House down half a metre so that it is more visible. Concerning the nameplate opposite, this is located in line with the Bell Street nameplate which is located on the same corner, in a commonly agreed location, and we do not propose to move this street nameplate.”

Lavendon House, Lisson Green

We have urged City West Homes to take urgent action to restore water to Lavendon House. City West say:

“Thames Water were doing some planned work at Lavendon House which has affected the drinking water. No drinking water since Friday the 20 April. Gem attended yesterday and confirms the roof tanks were full. Morgan Sindall are currently on site to try and diagnose the fault. Bottled Water has been delivered to the homes and we are investigating currently.” 

Elgin Avenue

We have asked the local Inspector to investigate this issue:

“We live opposite a prolific ‘dumper’. They dump their street food business rubbish amongst other things (a large mattress earlier in the week) just outside the property. If I complain to the Council, they come along and take it away. This just encourages them to carry on dumping if they are not being spoken to about the issue. Currently they have a few more boxes of rubbish including a large blackboard outside on the street and consequently it encourages more ad hoc dumping by passers by.” 

The Chippenham

Several residents have contacted us worried about the signs indicating some sort of demolition works at the site of the former Chippenham Hotel. We haveasked the City Inspector to make an urgent visit to the site which is happening to ascertain precisely what is going on.

Maida Hill Piazza

The property at number 4 has been empty for a while so it’s good to see a cafe opening soon on Maida Hill Piazza. 

The Stowe Centre

Now would be a good time for Westminster Council to reverse its axing of youth services. We could have the Stowe reopened in time for the summer holidays.

Metropolitan pub

The planning application to convert the upper floors of the Metropolitan Pub to flats is in: go to http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application …and type in 18/02488/FULL to see it and comment.

Woodfield Road

Woodfield Road has been blocked for some weeks and we think residents should know why. It is connected to the excessively tall Hathaway House development, which ward councillors opposed but the current majority on the council gave permission. The construction team excavating the site damaged one of the sewers in the area, so Thames Water have been forced to carry out emergency works. The worksite is in the middle of the road and so it has closed.

Westminster’s Roads team tell us: “The current work on street by Cappagh (on behalf of TW) is to repair the sewer which was damaged by the building works. It is planned that the street will be open by 9th May at the latest on completion of these works. One of my Officers has been on site and he has spoken to the contractor. They have confirmed there are no other problems with the sewer along the length of the street. The area where they are working is the location of the only damage.

There are areas of failing setts and depression in the street. Some of this is already identified for repair (the rest has been picked up now) and none of it is thought to be due to any damage to the sewer. My guys are arranging for anything that can be done by our contractors while the road is already shut to be completed at the same time so we minimise the pain for the residents.”

As residents know, Woodfield Road is one-way, so blocking it would mean people can’t drive in to the eastern part of Woodfield Road or access the eastern part of Elmfield Way (including Athlone Care Home). We have been told that “usually if a street is one way and closed then it becomes two-way for access.” Officers are checking that action has been taken. The ‘No Entry’ sign from Harrow Road may be covered over for the time being so it’s clear.

Cleaning up the Canal

We have been chasing the Canal & River Trust about rubbish issues along and in the canal and have received the below update:

“The reason for the high level of floating litter and noticeably more litter on the canals in general at this time of year, is ‘spring turnover’. Essentially, as the water warms up in spring, litter, debris and other detritus that has been lying on the bottom of the canal all winter floats to the surface. The warmer water temperature means this happens pretty well everywhere at the same time, making the canals thick with floating rubbish, especially at obstructions like lock gates or where the canals narrow, like at bridges.  

We’ve got teams working along the Grand Union Canal to get this litter cleared as soon as possible, and have also had help from teams of volunteers. It’s massively frustrating that this litter makes its way into the canal in the first place, as it gets blown in by the wind or thrown into the canal deliberately.

Please see this report on litter on BBC London, featuring the Trust (forward to 10m30s) https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09x06sb/london-news-evening-news-27032018

And another 25 more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’

We have issued a new dossier of another 25 more ‘Nightmare Stories from City West Homes’ this year, following our first report in January 2018, which included 20 Nightmare Stories, and our second report in March with details of 25 more Nightmare Stories.

Once again, we have had reports from tenants and leaseholders living right across Westminster – from Pimlico to Paddington, from the West End to Westbourne – all expressing anger at the incompetent and heartless way in which City West Homes treats its 22,000 tenants and leaseholders.

Service standards have deteriorated badly following Conservative council cuts to the housing management budget, the closure of local estate offices and the bungled introduction of a new call centre and repairs contract.

In 2018, it is hard to believe the almost Dickensian situation some people have to live in and which is summed up by this report about a 70 year old woman in Dowland Street, Queen’s Park who “has been without electricity for 6 weeks. Contractors turn up and never finish the job. She is now lighting her flat with candles.”

We will immediately put CityWest on notice so that if its performance does not rapidly improve it will be stopped from managing the council’s properties. We have set out our plans for change if we are elected to run the council on May 3rd.

Labour’s Five Point Plan for CityWest Homes

  • From day one, Labour will take action to end the repairs crisis and improve the way CityWest treats residents. If it doesn’t urgently improve Labour will scrap it.
  • We will re-establish local estate offices.
  • We will urgently look at further ways to improve the failing call centre system.
  • We will give residents a greater say over how their homes are managed.
  • We will introduce a new leaseholders’ charter to improve support to resident leaseholders and look to limit huge major works bills

https://labourwestminster.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/and-another-25-more-nightmare-stories-from-city-west-homes/

Standing up for our EU residents

In the EU referendum in 2016, Westminster voted overwhelmingly to Remain.

If elected in May, Westminster Labour will fight to support our EU residents at this difficult time by expanding EU residents’ access to specialist legal advice and support services.

We will also play an active role in challenging the Government’s attempts to weaken EU citizens’ rights and demand that all existing rights are retained in the future.

We will appoint a Council Champion for the issues facing EU nationals and create a working group of local residents from the EU27 to help address future issues.

EU citizens are eligible to vote in the Council Elections on Thursday 3rd May.

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

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. 

Carlton Tavern – what you say

“Concerned about the Carlton Tavern and the delaying tactics from the architects and developer. Please don’t let them get away with flagrant disregard for conservation and planning laws generally.”

What you say

Thank you for April Westminster North Action Report. To me. everything Karen Buck MP and our Labour Councillors do is amazing. The Action Reports show how much detail you follow persistently to get results from the Council. I am hoping Westminster will be Labour from May.” 

“Renewed appreciation for the remarkable and most useful work you conduct.” 

“The free-of-charge public toilets of Maida Hill Piazza (top of Fernhead Road) have re-opened, which must be due to your intervention. This situation does not affect me but, on behalf of stall holders, we should thank you for this success.” 

“Happy to leave the flat this morning and see a contractor starting on the ponding areas at the corner of Penfold Street and Broadley Street” 

“Yet again I will be voting Labour. I know you have our best interests at heart”

“Many thanks for your interesting and informative report Good luck and fingers and toes crossed for the 3rd May”

“Huge thanks for this and all your hard work fighting the good fight. Here’s to turning Westminster RED on May 3rd

“Good luck in the upcoming elections and thank you for being such helpful representatives.”

“Thank you for your manifesto. Though what the council does matters so much to our daily lives and I am grateful for the work of our Labour councilors”

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

Regards

 

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour Business and Public Realm spokesperson

 

Promoted by Andrew Whitley on behalf of Westminster Labour Councillors and Candidates at 4G Shirland Mews, London W9 3DY