Berwick Street market
Berwick Street market


News from your Westminster Labour Councillors



Abbots Manor

Residents in Abbots Manor are concerned about the prevalence of anti-social behaviour around the communal stairs on the estate. We have asked the Housing Department to investigate and take the necessary action.

Flaxley House, Abbotts Manor

We are continuing to press the Housing Team to install an automatic door to Flaxley House so that elderly residents can get in and out more easily.

Longleat House

We have asked the Housing Department to investigate and fix water leaking into flats from the walkway above in Longleat House.

Hugh Street

Following our enquiries on behalf of resident with Blue Cross Animal Hospital about the need to clean blood stains off the pavement on a daily basis, the Hospital says:

“Our hospital management team have asked me to thank you very much for raising this matter with us and to let you know that we have reviewed our processes and will be implementing an improved cleaning and inspecting regime in the near future. We’re in the process of purchasing replacement cleaning equipment and we will put the new process in place as soon as we have the resource.”


Westminster Cathedral and St Vincent De Paul Catholic primary schools

We are seeking urgent answers in response to the proposed merger of the Westminster Cathedral and St Vincent De Paul Catholic primary schools. We also share the concerns of parents, residents, and staff when it comes to the handling of the ongoing consultation and the impact any merger could have on children.

Westminster Cathedral School is exploring a merger because, with an average class size of 22, it is under-subscribed and runs a large financial deficit. With government funding linked to student numbers, schools like Westminster Cathedral face pressure to merge and cut staffing levels. 

Huguenot House 

We have again called on Westminster City Council to pull the plug on its plans to redevelop Huguenot House, which it owns near Leicester Square, into a £100 million casino complex. The £100 million scheme is equivalent to £800 from each household in Westminster and involves the demolition of the building and it replacement with a high-rise mega-casino complex.

Strand/Aldwych pedestrianisation 

We are demanding to know why Westminster Council went ahead with the £32m Strand/Aldwych pedestrianisation scheme despite receiving no financial contributions from the private sector. This project creates a car-free plaza in front of King’s College on the Strand with a budgeted cost of £32m. This is a significant capital investment. £32m represents 50% of a typical year’s Council Tax receipts for Westminster or sixty years of its youth services budget.

The Strand/Aldywch scheme was designed in partnership with high-profile local organisations including King’s College London, London School of Economics, Somerset House, The Courtauld Institute, High Commissions, theatres, restaurateurs and hoteliers. King’s College, Britain’s fourth richest University, will get a new pedestrian plaza outside its front door and has already used this for its fresher’s fayre. Yet neither King’s nor any of the other local organisations will be making any financial contribution.

Temple Station

Temple tube station’s grey concrete roof terrace has been given a kaleidoscopic makeover by artist Lakwena Maciver. Titled ‘Back in the Air: A Meditation on Higher Ground,’ Maciver’s rooftop art installation features a series of interlocking geometric patterns inspired by her Ugandan heritage.

Covent Garden

Vic Keegan writes about Saxon London which was centred around the site of the Royal Opera house. 


Dean Street

The Council has given planning permission for a new nine storey ‘mega-hostel- in Dean Street despite strong opposition from residents. The nine-storey hostel includes 775 beds with a huge roof terrace. The current hostel on the site can host up to 295 visitors and is currently also home to Soho Coffee Club. Labour Councillor Geoff Barraclough voted against the plans.

Berwick Street

We have asked the Council to explain the state of chaos in Berwick Street with multiple road and construction projects happening together. One local business says:

“What has happened to Berwick Street? I’ve had to move contractors barriers so that the pavement on the West Side can be used. The pavement is blocked at the corner of D’Arblay Street junction on the East Side. A scaffold lorry is unable to move from Berwick Street as the street in front and behind have been dug up. You have licensed too many contractors to work all at once on a street that is already struggling to cope. I cannot understand the logic in allowing this chaos to happen.”

And a resident says:

“There seems to be no system for advising residents if a crucial access route is closed for work like this. Shouldn’t residents be advised of such matters?”

Dufour’s Place

Tenants at 1-6 Dufour’s Place, Soho, which is owned by Westminster City Council, say they are worried about their health as they wait for someone to sort a leak that has attracted flies and caused their walls and ceilings to bubble. Sam Taylor has been living with damp ceilings and walls in his kitchen and bathroom since late August. Sam said he has since reported the issue three times to Westminster City Council and various plumbers have looked at the property but he is still waiting for it to be fixed. “I just want them to stop the water coming in. It’s gone on a bit too long.”

Foubert’s Place

The Council has approved an application for a two-storey roof extension to an office building at 45 Foubert’s Place. This followed on from an approved but not yet implemented application for a single-storey extension to the building. Objections had been received from local residents on grounds of daylight impact and disturbance from the terracing. Councillors voted three-to-one to approve the application, with Labour Councillor Butler-Thalassis objecting to the daylight impact and lack of guarantee that the whole building would be subject to renovation.

Women in 60s Soho

Rachel Cooke writes about women who were at the heart of Soho in the 1960s

Soho in the movies

Kim Newman leads a tour round 15 memorable movie locations in Soho and surrounds.


Riding House Street

Linus Rees writes about the ‘nightmare on Riding House Street’ as Westminster Council plans to re-open the street to motor vehicles. 

Hanson Street 

We have urged the Council to improve its system of sending recycling bags to residents after it has taken well over a month for a Hanson Street resident to receive the recycling bags they ordered, despite filling in the on-line request form a number of times. The Council spends £50 million a year on its refuse collection system so this sort of issue should not be a problem.

Holcroft Court

We are continuing to help Holcroft Court residents with assistance on a range of housing issues.

IKEA, Oxford Street

The former Topshop store on Oxford Street has been purchased by Ikea for £378 million. The Swedish furniture says it will open a store here by Autumn 2023 which will include 5,000 products on show (out of its total range of 10,000). Ikea’s presence at Oxford Street is a major confidence boost for area which currentlyhas a 13.5% vacancy rate.

The announcement also comes at a time when a string of Oxford Street department stores are seeking, or have been granted permission, to refurbish themselves into mixed-use buildings, with small retail outfits on the ground floor complemented by office, restaurant, bar, cafe, and leisure activities above.


Conduit Street

A proposal to extend the Westbury Hotel on Conduit Street by the re-construction of the sixth and seventh floors, the erection of two additional storeys at roof level, and a full-height rear extension has been refused. Planning Officers recommended the application for refusal noting that the proposals would have an ‘adverse impact on the appearance of the building, the character and appearance of the Mayfair conservation area and the setting of neighbouring listed buildings.’ The Design Officer was particularly stinging in his assessment noting that the extension ‘was elephantine, that was completely unacceptable.’ The application was unanimously refused.

Park Lane

Dave Hill writes about the temporary cycle lane on Park Lane


Blandford Estate

We have urged the Council to take action to deal with problems with rats on the Blandford Estate. Residents say:

“We informed the council of how we have rats running all over the estate all day. They sent the rat people and he told me that we will never be rid of the rat problem until they repair all the bin cupboards by putting a steel protector across the bottom of all the bin cupboards and repair the holes at the bottom of the doors. The rat man told me that a job would be put out. That was two months ago and nothing has been done.”

Duke Street

We have asked the Parking Team to investigate this issue:

“Some time ago, road and pavement works changed drastically the pavement areas in front of Selfridges on Duke Street and have also affected the flow of traffic. The pavement has been widened substantially and a couple of lay-by areas have been marked onto the pavement, in addition to smaller lay-by areas for taxis and disabled vehicles.

These lay-bys (including disabled) have essentially become free car-park areas for luxury private-hire vehicles and privately owned vehicles that drop off customers at Selfridges. In spite of the double yellow lines, I have noticed that routinely and throughout the day drivers park in these lay-bys for long periods of time, sometimes waiting in their cars with engines idling. Traffic wardens, in general, are nowhere to be seen.”

Marylebone High Street

At the request of residents, we have asked the Noise Team to investigate the situation at the Home pub at 79 Marylebone High Street. Residents say:

“They are open till 12 midnight, 6 nights a week. The customers coming in and out to smoke. Congregating round the 2 telephone boxes outside. Laughing, screaming and of course getting more drunk as the evening wears on. After Midnight customers leave at different times. This lasts to at least 12.45 am. The noise in the street is not acceptable. The Management pay no attention to what’s happening.”

£6 Million Marble Arch Mound

Westminster Council has released its internal review of the £6 Million Marble Arch fiasco which saw costs escalate from £2 million to £6.6 million in a matter of months. As the report finds, “despite clear and repeated warnings”, the Mound was left unfinished and plans to recoup costs with entry charges had to be scrapped. The review has found:

“There was a breakdown of project management of the Mound which, amongst other issues, led to confusion over roles and responsibilities, a lack of communication between staff and contractors working on different elements of the Marble Arch Mound project and a basic lack of project coordination and documentation.” 

The Council rejected Labour’s call for a full independent inquiry of how and why the costs had increased and why there was a basic lack of financial control. The subsequent ‘internal review’ has failed to ask key questions about the Council’s failure to apply basic financial controls on this high-profile project. The ‘internal review’, as expected, also fails to ask questions about the involvement of the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members in making decisions regarding the cost increases.

For a report on the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 27th October, see


Bathurst Street/Westbourne Street

We have continued to urge the Council to issue fines to those responsible for the illegal rubbish dumping by the tree at the Bathurst Street/Westbourne Street junction. We have called on the local inspectors to search through dumped rubbish to find evidence of where the illegal dumpers live. The Council says:

“A letter drop has been sent to each property in Bathurst and Westbourne Street regarding the waste issues at this location and have spoken to each business premises in this area. The serviced apartments have offered the City Inspector their CCTV if required.”

“The City Inspectors visit every day for monitoring and enforcement purposes. We have not recently served any Fixed Penalty Notices on commercial premises as we have not found any evidence to enable officers to do this; however in the last week we have issued 3 residential warning letters for waste outside collection time.”

Southwick Street

The two potholes in Southwick Street, outside the Monkey Puzzle pub and outside The Quadrangle, which we reported a few weeks ago have now been fixed.

Hyde Park Crescent

There are three tree pits covered with what looks like some sort of hard material outside 3 and 4 Hyde Park Crescent. The material has expanded and cracked creating trip hazards for pedestrians. We have asked the Highways Team if these tree pits can be be investigated and the hard material replaced.

Kendal Street

We have asked the Highways Team to repair a loose set of paving stones in Kendal Street, close to lamppost 10, at the junction of Edgware Road. Also, the 20mph sign on lamppost 10 is facing the wrong way – towards the buildings rather than oncoming traffic – and we have asked for this to be turned the right way.

St Michael’s Street/Star Street – Notting Hill Genesis

We have been contacted by Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) tenants in St Michael’s Street and Star Street who say:

“A lot of us who live in the area are the tenants of Notting Hill Genesis. They do not reply to our complaints of our homes falling to pieces i.e. boilers that are in dire need to be changed, constant leaks, damp, the cheap material they use for our floors and kitchens are crumbling, holes in the wooden windows”

We sent a letter to NHG tenants in both streets and have been contacted with details of outstanding repairs. As a result, we have asked NHG to take action to speed up repairs and take action to improve the state of properties for a number of tenants. Please let us know if we can help with any problems you might be having with NHG.

Star Street

We are continuing to urge the Council to relocate the big black bins from the corner of Star Street and Sale Place. The bins are attracting huge amounts of rubbish, sometimes making it impossible to use the pavement. The Council should also be issuing immediate fines to those responsible for the illegal rubbish dumping.

Praed Street

We have asked the Highways Team to remove or relocate the large signs on the pavement on Praed Street and London Street. Residents say:

“Two large notices have been on the pavement of the corner of the old London Street and Praed Street for more than a year. Given the flow of pedestrians in this area, they make walking on Praed Street quite perilous, let alone make any kind of social distancing possible. Removing those two large notices from the pavement would at least free up a bit of very needed space for pedestrians at the entrance of Paddington station.”

The Highways Team say:

“We have investigated the information signs on Praed Street near the junction with London Street in reference to Tanner Lane. We have today removed them as the new layout has been in place for over a year.”

Cambridge Court

The scaffolding around Cambridge Court, at the corner of Edgware Road and Star Street, has now gone! The scaffolding had been in place since January 2016 and we are delighted that our emails to the developers and to the Council helped to secure the removal of the scaffolding.

Sheldon Square

We have continued to press Notting Hill Genesis on the installation of the promised air conditioning to their apartments in Sheldon Square.

We have also asked Paddington Central to let us know how security measures will be increased to ensure that there is no repeat of the situation earlier this year when three apartments in Sheldon Square were let to a gang undertaking criminal activities, involving drugs and prostitution.

Dudley House

We have asked the Environmental Health Team to investigate this issue and take the appropriate action to reduce the noise from the building opposite:

“The neighbours facing Brunel Building are having to suffer an unbearable noise every time they test the sprinklers pump, which happens at least once a week for about two hours. They only do it on working hours, but it is nevertheless nerve-wracking. Even with the windows closed and the music on, we can still feel the vibration.

Many of us have contacted the building manager and we have only received a very flimsy excuse. It is very hard to believe that this is the way the infrastructure is supposed to sound, or that this complies with any environmental noise regulations. None of the multiple buildings in the area emits a similar noise and I am sure they also have to test their sprinklers regularly.”

Montgomery House

We have again asked the Parking Team if residents’ parking can be increased in the Montgomery House area.


Council leaseholders face higher charges 

In their latest example of overspending and failing to deliver what they promised, Westminster Council has admitted their costs have gone massively over budget for their day-to-day services for leaseholders, leading service charges to hit an average cost of £1,631.41 per household. This is a massive 8.6% over the Council’s original estimates to leaseholders for 2020/21.

Cladding scandal

Labour MPs have accused the government of a “toothless” approach to enforcing building owners’ failures to fix unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding.

E-Scooter hire trial

Transport for London is holding an e-scooter hire trial over the coming months. If you have any comments on the trial, please contact TfL by email at

Westminster Foodbank

The Westminster Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network of Foodbanks. The foodbank provides nutritionally balanced non-perishable food to residents in Westminster experiencing financial crisis through a referral system. The foodbank is currently operating an Appointment Only Collection Service. Clients can be referred by one of the following agencies:

  • Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau:  0300 330 1191 (freephone – 0808 278 7834)
  • The Cardinal Hume Centre, (Pimlico): Tel: 020 7227 1673
  • Local Support Payments: Tel: 020 7745 6464.

Grants available for people affected by flooding

Some good news. People whose homes are not habitable due to flooding may not be obliged to pay Council Tax. This would apply for the period you are not living in the property. Affected residents should email Rehana Hannan at the Council with details of your property, reasons it is not habitable and some indication of how long it will be vacant.

We are assured that Westminster will treat the flooding victims fairly but please let us know if you have any problems claiming this exemption.

One Westminster has raised funds to support Westminster residents affected by the floods. Grants of up to £200 are available. If you have been affected by the floods and want to apply for a grant contact

Voting by post

It is much easier, quicker and safer to vote by post. You can use this form to apply for a postal vote

You can email your completed form to    or post it to Electoral Services, Westminster City Council, 14th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.

Refuse collection and Recycling collection times

Recycling bags can be ordered from Bags will be delivered within approximately 10 days of order. You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here

You can listen to actress Olivia Williams’ recycling ‘Confessional’ on a recent BBC radio programme (11 minutes in)

Report It

You can report dumped rubbish, broken pavements, defective street lights and more on the Report It service.

Electric Car charging points

Charging points have been installed in lamp columns across the area and you can register your interest in having a lamp post charger installed near you by completing the form below. You can also register an interest in having stand-alone charging posts installed in your local area.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) UPDATE

Interactive Map

You can see the latest data for your area here

‘Westminster Extra’

You can read the ‘Westminster Extra’ on-line

What you say

“Thank you for your constant support. We have so many issues with WCC from rats to rubbish to ASB and they just don’t listen! Thank you for being there for us!”

“Thank you for the action report. Thank you also for campaigning for less helicopter noise. I live in Charing Cross Road. It is the greatest anti-social problem we encounter. Of course, I am not against police helicopters on principle, but their use is excessive. I also support the campaign for more public toilets in the West End. The ones by Oxford Circus Underground Station closed after Westminster Council spent a huge sum renovating them”

“If they must survey us from the air, why can’t they use the much quieter drones? It’s even worse in Pimlico as we not only get police and military helicopters, we also have private helicopters coming and going from the Battersea heliport. The helicopter noise is very deleterious to mental health. There was one particular day this summer which caused me agonizing distress. There is no way to escape from the noise.”

“Thank you for a super quick response! Much appreciated.”

“I was, as always, so impressed by and grateful for all the hard work revealed in the latest Action Report.  Thank God for the Labour Team!”

“Thank you so much for your very fast response to my email”

“Pancho had been very helpful in negotiating repairs to our building’s lift.”

“Thank you again so much for leaning into the issue at the time (it clearly had an impact!) and also following up after so long.  It really is appreciated.”

“Always good to receive your email newsletters, which I have passed on to my friends to sign up for. Thank you all for the efforts you put into trying to keep improve things in the area. It doesn’t go unnoticed.”

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

Please feel free to pass this report to your neighbours. If you know of anyone else who might like to receive this report, please send them this sign-up link

Please keep safe, stay well and look after yourself and your neighbours.



Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg

Labour City Management spokesperson

Westminster City Council


Your Labour Councillors can be contacted as follows

Churchill Ward – For details of ways to contact Councillor Liza Begum and Councillor Shamim Talukder, please see the Churchill Labour website

West End Ward – You can contact Councillor Pancho Lewis by email or telephone.

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