Church Street Councillors Matt Noble, Aicha Less and Aziz Toki
Church Street Councillors Matt Noble, Aicha Less and Aziz Toki

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Church Street Library

At the last Council meeting, Councillor Aicha Less called on the Cabinet member to give a binding commitment that, as part of the regeneration plans, Church Street Library will be rebuilt and located at the heart of the local community. We were disappointed to get the response that the current activities that are currently housed in Church Street Library may be split up and located in a number of buildings.

We think this is a bad idea and we will continue to press for a new Library located at the heart of the community as it is now. Church Street Library is the busiest library in Westminster and we want to ensure its continued success for local residents.

New Housing

A contractor has been selected by the Council to build 77 new homes on three sites in Cosway, Ashbridge and Ashmill Streets as part of the Church Street masterplan. The project was given planning approval in August 2018. The site in Cosway Street includes the former North Westminster school building. The Ashmill Street site is currently used as a car park and the Ashbridge Street site was a former BT site. We hope the works start soon.

Lisson Grove 

We have asked the Council to investigate reports of unauthorised short-term letting at a house in Lisson Grove. 

Marylebone Road 

We asked the Council to fix a dangerous pothole on the corner of Marylebone Road and Lisson Grove. The pothole has now been fixed. 

Cherwell House, Church Street

We have asked the Environmental Health team to investigate reports from residents that “white vans are now delivering meat carcasses late at night and stripping them in our courtyard letting all the blood drain into the two drain outlets” 

Refuse collection and Recycling collection times

You can check when refuse and recycling is collected from your street here http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/env/streetsearch.aspx

Recycling

Many people have asked where Westminster’s recycling is sent for processing. Virtually all of what is collected is reprocessed within the UK.  Further details can be found at:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/where-does-all-my-household-recycling-go

Policing report from Karen Buck MP 

“There has been a marked increase in levels of community concern about crime recently, ranging from burglary and robbery to serious youth violence and anti social behaviour, and it is deeply worrying.I naturally liaise with the local police and the Council’s enforcement teams about individual issues, which have recently included concerns about Anti social behaviour in the Church Street area.

I pushed for a meeting with Westminster Council and senior police in June and was disturbed to hear that we are down by another 200 police over the last two years, coming on top of a reduction of one third in police strength after 2011 when the cuts to the Met budget began. As I have reported before we are also now dealing with the consequences of the complete withdrawal of funding for youth, after-school and holiday services by Westminster Council in 2016.

On the positive side, Westminster Council has now recognised the consequences of that awful decision and will now be restoring some of that money for youth work. This may not be enough but it is nonetheless welcome.

Recently, I was very pleased to have Mayor Sadiq Khan come down to meet with me and to hear first hand about these issues. He confirmed that he has raised his Council Tax precept to the maximum possible and raised Business rates to put some additional police back, and I was also able to introduce him to some of our inspiration youth workers as we lobby for support from the Young Londoners Fund.

As I know that many people are not quite sure about how police funding works, and what the balance is between the responsibility of the Mayor and the Home Office, this is helpful from the independent fact-checking charity, Full Fact linkhere. “

Fraud Warning from the Police

Online Dating Fraud happens when a person thinks they have met the perfect partner through an online dating website, app, or through social media, but in fact a fraudster is using a fake profile to form a relationship with them. They will gain the person’s trust and ask for money or enough personal information to steal the victim’s identity.

  • Don’t rush into an online relationship – get to know the person, not the profile and ask plenty of questions
  • Analyse their profile and check the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly used phrases and the term ‘dating scam’ into your search engine.
  • Talk to your friends and family about your dating choices. Be wary of anyone who tells you not to tell others about them.
  • Evade scammers by never sending money to, or sharing your bank details with, someone you’ve met online, no matter what reason they give or how long you’ve been speaking to them.
  • Stay on the dating site messenger service until you’re confident the person is who they say they are. If you do decide to meet in person, make sure the first meeting is in a public place and let someone else know where you’re going to be.

Computer Software frauds are all very similar, with fraudsters phoning the victims and claiming that they were internet providers, (E.g. Talktalk, BT, EE) and getting the victim to install “team viewer” a program which gives the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer. So remember

  • Your service provider will never contact you out of the blue because of unusual activity on your computer.
  • Never give someone remote access to your computer.

Your bank, the police, or tax office will never ask you to attend your bank, withdraw, transfer or pay money over the phone or send couriers to collect your card or cash. Nor would they ask you to buy goods or vouchers. This is a scam. 

  • Hang up – Never give details or money following a cold call
  • Take 5 – Seek a second opinion, tell someone what has happened
  • Verify– if concerned, contact the company via a pre-confirmed method

Police videos and electronic leaflets can be found on the following link; www.met.police.uk/littlemedia

London Living Wage

We are delighted that after years of Labour campaigning, Westminster City Council is finally adopting the London Living Wage (£10.55 per hour) for all its contractors and apprentices. The Council adopted a policy that would see it work to achieve accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation and see future contracts adopt the London Living Wage for those based in London (and the Living Wage Foundation’s nationwide rate of £9 per hour for contractors based outside London). At present only the council’s directly employed staff are paid at or over the London Living Wage.

Requiring the Council to adopt the Living Wage for all its staff and contractors has been something Westminster Labour Group has supported for many years, being a pledge in our 2014 and 2018 manifestos.  After campaigning from Labour in 2014 the Council adopted the London Living Wage for its Home Care Workers but as recently as May this year the council was claiming it would be illegal to set a policy that contractors would receive the Living Wage.

Climate Emergency  

We are calling on the Council to declare a Climate Emergency and have launched a petition to present to the Council at its next meeting on 18thSeptember. The petition reads:

“We the undersigned support the call by Westminster Labour for Westminster City Council to declare a Climate Emergency at the Council Meeting on 18 September 2019. The Council must set out a Plan of Action which is both ambitious and deliverable to show how our City can make a real difference in the urgent fight against climate change. 

Cutting carbon emissions must be at the heart of the decisions the Council makes including on planning, house building, energy supply, procurement, freight consolidation, investments, transport and green spaces.” 

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