The Council has announced locations of the first 15 cycle hangars to be installed in Westminster. One is proposed in Little Venice ward at Clarendon Gardens, on the southern side near the junction with Randolph Avenue,
We have written to TfL Senior Management about the proposed Bakerloo line closure from 4th-6th May 2019 which will impact on the Canalside Cavalcade festival. We are pleased that TfL has responded positively:
“We have met with the Cavalcade event organisers and we have agreed to facilitate and widely publicise a good range of alternative travel options on our Journey Planner and Twitter. The team will also make use of posters and announcements at Bakerloo line stations, as well as our stations that interface with those of National Rail. If possible, we will also be looking to have a short piece about the event in the Metro’s travel page on the Friday prior to the event. In addition, we’re going to promote a walking route from Paddington station to the event. The event organisers are happy with our response and we will continue to work closely with them.”
We are making enquiries to find out if the trees to be cut down in the Parson’s House Car Park along Edgware Road will be replaced as part of the new housing development.
Potholes in Little Venice
We have asked the Highways Team to inspect a number of potholes in Warwick Avenue and at the corner of Maida Vale/Clifton Road.
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.
Labour Councillors 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.
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.
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.
What you say
“Interesting newsletter, good work.”
“Many thanks again for all the work and information about it.”
Please let us know if we can be of help or assistance on any local issues.
Iman Less, Murad Qureshi and Sue Wolff
Your Little Venice Labour Action Team