Comparison map showing that Band D tax local authority portion in Westminster is £501, while in Kensington it
Comparison map showing that Band D tax local authority portion in Westminster is £501, while in Kensington it's £1037

Free school meals for children aged 3-14.

Since January 2023 all primary school children in Westminster have received a free and nutritious hot meal thanks to investment provided by the new Labour administration. Thanks to further funding by the Mayor of London we were able to expand our support to cover children in our council run and a wide range of voluntary and private nurseries in Westminster and to support all Westminster children in Key Stage 4 (11-14) at our local Secondary Schools

Cllr Aicha Less, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Children and Public Protection said “ We are  proud we can now offer 14,000 Westminster children the chance of a nutritious lunch. We  want Westminster to be a place where children can sit down together in the canteen without the anxiety and stigma of who can afford to eat. We  know this is providing real help to families during the cost-of-living crisis.”

£20M of support with the cost of living.

Labour have put support for residents struggling with cost-of-living crisis at the heart of their programme for running the council since they were elected in May 2022. The Council has provided over 3200 people with financial advice to maximise the welfare support they are entitled to, delivered direct financial support to over 1000 households, given out 7000 supermarket vouchers, supported foodbanks, provided energy advice, opened up 67 ‘Winter in the City’ warm venues and provided 21,000 opportunities for free holiday activities and food for vulnerable young people. When set alongside the Free School Meals programme and the rent support fund the total help provided will now reach over £20m, thanks to a new £1m investment for 2024/25 to extend advice services, 

Support food banks and plug gaps left by uncertainty around the future of the Government’s Household Support Fund.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Adam Hug, said “All of our residents have felt the impact of the Conservative’s economic incompetence over recent years but in particular over 31,000 households in Westminster have felt the pain of the cost-of-living crisis most acutely. Westminster Labour has acted to put support for the most vulnerable at the heart of our mission to build a Fairer Westminster.”

£7M for local charities including youth clubs.

The Healthy communities fund has funded 40 local charities 4 million pounds over 3 years, to run activities to help residents improve their health and wellbeing. Activities include boxing sessions for girls by All Stars youth Club, activities for children with learning disabilities by Caxton Youth Club and dance classes for people with Dementia and their carers by Resonate Arts. The organisations are providing a wide range of activities focusing on healthy cooking and eating, exercise and sport, and reducing isolation and improving mental health. The council will also fund additional training for staff to expand their roles into other public health activities such as supporting people to quit smoking or teaching them to measure their blood pressure. 

The council is also providing £3 million pounds of core funding to local charities over 3 years to improve their capacity to deliver services and to fundraise. The decision about which organisations are successful will be announced in March 2024.

Cllr Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Voluntary Sector said “Westminster’s amazing voluntary sector is found at the beating heart of local communities across our city. Under Labour the Council better values their contributions and sees the sector as a vital partner in our ambition to build a Fairer Westminster.”

£1.2M to fund a pay rise for homecare workers.

Thanks to a recent decision by Westminster’s Labour run Council the agency staff who provide care for vulnerable people in their homes have received a pay increase of £1.50 per hour over and above the London Living Wage. This is nearly £3000 per year for full time staff, and it means that from April 2024 their pay will be £14.65 per hour or higher.  Westminster Council is the only council funding such a large payrise for care workers. 

Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Voluntary Sector said “Westminster Council is enormously grateful to our homecare workers who provide an incredibly important service to Westminster residents. Our homecare workers worked all through the pandemic and they are now working through the cost of living crisis. I am very happy that we can finally thank them with this increase in pay. I am also hopeful that this increase in pay will make it easier to recruit and retain homecare workers locally, giving our residents greater stability in their caring arrangements.”

Revamping Oxford Street and cracking down on dodgy candy shops.

Labour has revamped and refocused the previous, Conservative adminstration’s failing Oxford Street programme which delivered only the ill-fated £6m Marble Arch Mound.

We have agreed a joint programme of investment with the New West End Company (the association of retailers and landlords on Oxford Street) to widen pavements, install new lighting, trees, places to sit down and 64 new or improved pedestrian crossings. The plans were overwhelmingly endorsed in a recent public consultation. 

Councillor Geoff Barraclough, Westminster’s cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “It’s heartening to see local people and businesses have given their support for our plans to improve Oxford Street and its surrounding areas.”

Meanwhile, Labour Westminster has making life difficult for the  dodgy candy shops, with regular raids by Trading Standards to confiscate counterfeit and dangerous goods, enforcement on business rates evasion, pressure on landlords and collaboration with HMRC and other government agencies on enforcement. Today, only 2% of the retail floorspace on Oxford Street is candy shops and similar operators.

Introducing a new public CCTV network.

Labour are introducing a new public realm CCTV camera network for Westminster, with 100 new digital cameras that can be deployed to where anti-social behaviour and crime are causing most problems for local residents. The Tories scrapped Westminster’s previous public realm CCTV network in 2016, leaving it the only borough in inner London not to have one.

Cllr Adam Hug said ”This investment in a new local CCTV camera network will focus on ASB and crime hotspots at the heart of our local communities around Westminster, helping the police, providing reassurance and evidence for further action. The safety of our residents is of utmost importance, and we want to play our part in helping keep our streets safer and to ensure that residents feel more secure in their own homes.”

Protected regular bin collections.

All households continue to have at least two general waste collections every week, together with at least one recycling collection and one food waste recycling collection every week.

Westminster is in the top 10 of most improved recycling rates nationally and top in this category in London with a 3.7% increase in recycling compared to last year.

Westminster City Council and Veolia won the ‘Service Change at Local Authority Level’ Award for the borough-wide Food Waste rollout at this year’s Awards for Excellence. Since this service was rolled out, just one year ago, over 2,500 tonnes of food waste has been collected and the recycling rate has increased.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management at Westminster City Council, said:

“About a third of all waste we throw away is food waste, so I’m really pleased about the work we’ve done with Veolia to roll out food waste recycling across the whole of Westminster over the last year. The results speak for themselves; more than 2,500 tonnes of waste collected and an increase in recycling across all wards in the city. This award is a fantastic result for the team and represents all the hard work they do to make Westminster a greener place to live.”

More deep cleans for high streets.

We have increased the number of street washings along Westminster’s High Streets and busy commercial/residential areas from once a year to four times a year.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said:

“Keeping Westminster’s streets clean is a top priority for your Labour Council. That is why we have deployed an additional 3 ‘deep clean’ units. These ‘deep clean’ units wash down and clean the pavements of major footways. We have two of the deep clean units covering the area north of Oxford Street/Bayswater Road, one in the West End and one in south Westminster.  We can also change this around as needed.

This new initiative means that major footways, such as Queensway, Bayswater Road, St John’s Wood High Street, Edgware Road, Warwick Way, Lupus Street and Harrow Road now receive a deep clean four times a year, rather than once a year.”

£15M for pavement and pothole repairs.

Our Planned Preventive Maintenance programme spends about £15 million a year resurfacing roads and relaying pavements before they become dangerous for drivers, cyclists and pavements.

This year, the Council, in collaboration with FM Conway, successfully implemented a new road surface featuring 92% recycled materials. This is the first time such a high percentage of recycled material has been used on a road resurface in the UK. The recycled material comes from old roads.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said:

“The use of 92% recycled materials is remarkable and a huge step in the right direction as part of the council’s commitment to creating a Fairer Environment.”

“We’re not only reducing our carbon footprint but also promoting a cleaner, greener future for Westminster. This is only the start of more carbon saving initiatives we’ll be trialling in the city to get us one step closer to hitting our net-zero targets.”

The UK’s largest fleet of electric bin lorries.

Westminster City Council has rolled out the UK’s largest electric refuse collection fleet – fuelled by the waste they collect. The Council has invested £20m in the 45 new zero emission trucks that will benefit residents by reducing vehicle noise, cutting air pollution and drastically reducing carbon emissions.

The new electric waste vehicles are housed at the new fully electric depot at Landmann Way where the electric vehicles charge their batteries by drawing electric power from the adjacent energy recovery facility which uses the waste collected from homes and businesses in Westminster.

Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said: 

“The trailblazing electrification delivers an essential service that is quieter for residents, improves air quality and reduces our fleet emissions by 50 per cent, or over 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is a significant moment in the evolution of sustainable council services and we look forward to further expanding our zero-emission vehicle fleet in the future.”


Tackling badly parked e-bikes.

The new electric hire bikes are a very convenient and sustainable way to travel around Westminster. With over 3,000 dockless bikes in the city at any time, it’s becoming a challenge to keep our pavements free from dumped bikes. Too many riders leave the bikes in a way that obstructs the pavement and causes dangers for pedestrians and those with disabilities.

To tackle this, Westminster City Council has launched a network of over 300 parking bays for cyclists using hire e-bikes. Riders using TIER, Lime or Forest bikes will now have to park their bikes in the designated bays to end their journeys, or they could face fines and even a ban.

As part of an 18-month trial, the council has provided 200 physical parking bays and more than 100 geofenced virtual bays. This means users need to end their trips in one of our designated bays. These new parking bays are spread across Westminster, with more bays in the areas where demand is highest. 

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said:

 “Despite the Council providing over 300 e-bike parking bay locations, many of these bays are overcrowded and spill out onto the pavement and roadway.

At present, the Council cannot issue fines to e-bike riders and the private e-bike operating companies for bad and inconsiderate e-bike parking because there is no legislation giving the Council the power to issue fines. So, we have called on the Government to pass a new law that will allow the Council to fine e-bike riders and the e-bike operating companies when e-bikes are parked outside designated e-bike parking bays.”

New TfL cycle hire stations.

New Tfl Santander cycle hire stations have been located at Maida Hill and at 300 Harrow Road with three more expected in other parts of north Paddington

Top UK city council for climate action.

The Labour administration were proud to see Westminster City Council recently ranked as the number one city council in the UK for climate action by Climate Emergency UK. In the first year under Labour leadership, the council reduced its carbon emissions by 17% against the previous year, compared to the 1% in change in the final year under the Conservatives.

We have done this through delivering on our manifesto promises. Convening the first Citizens’ Climate Assembly, launching the Westminster Green Investment to allow residents to invest alongside us in local climate action, retrofitting 100s of council homes to reduce residents’ energy bills and launching our award-winning Environmental Justice Measure, among many other measures. Our recently launched emissions dashboard meets our commitment for the council to increase transparency and accountability.    

Cllr Ryan Jude, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology and Culture said: “We are committed to playing our role in fighting climate change, by meeting our 2030 council net-zero targets and wider 2040 city net-zero targets. These were key parts of our election manifesto, and I am proud to see the complete contrast in delivery and importance compared to the previous administration. Even with our recent leading ranking, we have more to do, and I look forward to working with residents, businesses and more to achieve our targets.”

Re-opened housing estate offices.

As part of Labour’s mission to improve housing services in Westminster and bring services closer to local people the Council are opening 4 new housing service centres across the City, after the Conservatives scrapped so many of them in 2016. Three have opened so far at Queen’s Park, Pimlico North and Bayswater/Westbourne, with a new office in Soho opening later this year.

Cllr Liza Begum, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, said “ We want to make it as easy as possible for our residents to access the help they need. Having a familiar, friendly face on hand locally will reassure residents, providing a caring and human service, ensuring we know what issues matter most to local people.”

Building hundreds of new council homes.

Westminster Labour are building hundreds of new council homes for social rent across Westminster, thanks to our Genuinely Affordable Housing Strategy that has seen 337 extra homes in new developments planned by the Tories flipped from private sale and high cost intermediate to Council Homes for Social Rent. A key example of this is 300 Harrow Road that opened in December 2023, originally planned to 50% private/ 50% affordable under the Tories (of which only 20% would be for social rent to now delivering 77 Council Homes for Social Rent and 35 Key Worker homes at London Living Rent (a 100% affordable scheme)

Labour is also reforming the planning rules to ensure private developments deliver more social housing than before and to lower rents on new intermediate rent affordable housing to better meet local needs.  

Cllr Matt Noble, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Renters, said “For decades Westminster Conservatives failed to deliver the new Council Homes for social rent we need to tackle the chronic housing crisis. Labour has taken bold action to meet the challenge and is building council homes again in Westminster.”

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