Burlington Close, Elgin Avenue
We have asked the Council to investigate these issues:
“Some of the paving stones outside the pedestrian entrance to Burlington Close are uneven and could cause pedestrians to fall or trip over. Also when it rains water tends to gather there too. In the far corner of the railings beside that entrance I noticed that a motorcycle has been dumped. This is where staff access the rear entrance to the pharmacy on Elgin Avenue.”
We have again asked the Council to remove dumped rubbish by the black bins on Hormead Road. Residents say:
“There are really two problems here. The first is the vast quantity of waste generated by home deliveries from Amazon etc. The bins are simply not adequate for the volume. The second is that black bins are a magnet for illegal dumping, because they are the easiest option for disposal. If the council was half as vigilant about trying to catch the culprits, the problem would shrink a lot. It is hard to believe that the council cannot have powers that allow them to cover such hot spots with CCTV. After all, the large quantities of waste that are dumped there will often be brought in a van!”
We have asked the Planning Enforcement Team to investigate allegations of unauthorized building works in Chippenham Mews.
Canalside rubbish dumping
We have asked the Council and the Canal & River Trust to investigate this issue:
“There is a pile if festering rubbish which has been on the tow path under the bridge on Great Western Road for weeks. It’s unbelievable that no one takes responsibility for the rubbish left by boaters”
Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations
We have called for Westminster Council to formally recognize the Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations representing tenants and leaseholders on Council estates as part of the current consultations on the future management of the Council’s housing stock following the decision to scrap City West Homes. Recent Freedom of Information requests have revealed that the number of Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations recognized by City West Homes has almost halved from 42 in 2010 to just 22 in 2018.
City West Homes – Getting worse, not better
It is now nearly 4 months since Westminster Conservatives decided, belatedly, to follow Labour’s pre-election promise to scrap City West Homes. We warned that this would not be a ‘quick-fix’, such are the deep-seated problems which have rendered City West Homes a totally failing organisation.
But we did expect some small improvements. Sadly, as the 40 cases in our latest report demonstrate, City West Homes’ performance has actually got worse, not better.
On top of the usual catalogue of botched repairs, phones not answered, emails ignored and other failures, we now have a major car-parking fiasco on Council estates all across Westminster. Residents bought parking permits in the expectation that those without permits will not be able to park on their estates. The opposite has turned out to be the case, with non-residents who have paid nothing parking all over, including on double yellow lines, clogging up the estate roads and blocking the path of emergency vehicles. There is no effective parking enforcement. City West Homes has failed totally.
Westminster Conservatives appear to have no ‘plan of action’ to deal with the depths to which City West Homes has sunk. Senior staff have left, interim managers have been brought in an attempt to ‘trouble-shoot’ solutions. But there is no sense of direction to City West Homes’ and the City Council’s efforts.
Too many tenants and leaseholders continue to receive a third-rate service. Basic service delivery remains a serious issue. Communications continue to be sub-standard. Consultation appears to be tokenistic. And political will looks paper-thin.
We welcomed the Council’s U-turn in scrapping City West Homes. But simply borrowing Labour’s ideas will not fix the problem. The Council needs long-term political commitment to improve housing services for Westminster’s 22,000 tenants and leaseholders.
Here is the latest on Karen Buck MP’s campaign to control Airbnb short term lettings. She said the short-lets industry had “become an extension of the hospitality industry but without the safeguards and management operated by hotels. Communities are bearing the brunt in terms of noise, nuisance and excessive rubbish”
“Both Westminster Council and I agree that one way to do this is to simply require people to let the council know if they are doing a short let – a simple online registration process, for example.”
“This would allow local authorities to know which properties are being let and make it far easier to make sure that owners are not breaching the legal requirement not to do so for more than 90 days a year. This would require almost no effort from the genuine home sharers, but would mean that councils are not left chasing law-breakers with one hand tied behind their backs, as at present.”
If you’re one of the 30,000 EU citizens living in Westminster and you’re worried about your rights after Brexit, Westminster CAB, the Migrants Resource Centre and Westminster City Council continue to run a helpful advice project.
The Dedicated Westminster Residents’ Advice Service and helpline is an advice service and helpline that has been set up to help EU nationals living in Westminster who are worried about their status in the run up to Brexit. You can call 0300 330 9011 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 2pm). Or visit www.westminstercab.org.uk/advice/eu-nationals-advice-project.
You can also visit eucitizensrights.campaign.gov.uk to find out more about your rights, whether you qualify for settled status and a step-by-step guide to help you through the application process.
Harrow Road/Sutherland Avenue – what you say
“I see they have started clearing up the unfinished works here.Thank you for your help with this.”