Keeping Council Tax Low
Keeping Council Tax Low


News from your Westminster Labour Councillors and Rachel Blake, Labour Candidate for Cities of London and Westminster

Dear Resident

We thought we would let you know of some of the local issues we have been tackling over recent times.

We attended the ceremony to mark the installation of Edgware Road’s first ever Ramadan light installation organised by Marble Arch BID and the Portman Estate

We launched a petition calling 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.

We are pleased that 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 residents will continue to pay one of the lowest Council Tax in the country next year as part of Labour’s ‘Fairer Westminster’ programme

The Mayor, Sadiq Khan has announced that pay-as-you-go bus and tube fares will be frozen until March 2025

Please let us know if we can help with any issues in your street, block, mews or square. Please email and we will do our very best to help.


Molyneux Street

As you may have noticed, the 32 new flats at One Molyneux Street are empty and have been for many years.

We asked Council officers to make investigations and they found out the following:

  • Electoral Services have checked historical records for the 32 flats, and between the time they were first added to the electoral register at the start of 2020, and today, there have been no registered electors for any of the 32 properties.
  • The whole property is under a single freehold ownership, Elliot House Guernsey Limited and is registered in Guernsey.
  • Council Tax appears to have been paid for all units, however it does not appear that a premium is being applied. We asked for the empty property Council Tax premium to be applied and backdated. The Council Tax premium has now been applied to the property which means that the balance for all 32 flats has now changed from £10,242.00 to £121,805.48.

The block is now said to be up for sale.

Luxborough Street

The new affordable homes being built by the Council in Luxborough Street were ‘topped out’ recently. This project will provide:

  • 7 council homes for social rent
  • 7 homes for intermediate rent
  • a mix of 1 and 2-bedroom homes, offered to local people first through a Local Lettings Plan
  • landscaping improvements to Luxborough Tower Gardens
  • a new nursery

Edgware Road listed phone boxes

The Grade II Listed K2 phone boxes outside 64 and 138 Edgware Road are in poor condition with glass windowpanes missing on the doors. We asked BT to replace the missing windowpanes as well as to clean and repaint the phone box.

BT say, “The engineer visited the kiosks and replaced all the missing panes of glass and removed the stickers. We will place these kiosks on our next repaint programme.”

Edgware Road side streets

We did a walkabout on Edgware Road to investigate street lighting levels in the side streets to see if any streetlights need to be upgraded. We identified lighting in Crawford Place, Cato Street, Nutford Place, Seymour Place (around Sylvia Young Theatre School) for investigation by the Street Lighting Team. 

Newman Street

We told the e-bike operators to ensure that excess e-bikes are removed from the parking bay outside the Mandrake Hotel and that bikes are kept tidy and off the pavement.

Homer Row

We asked the Housing Department to clearly mark one of the parking bays in the Homer Row flats courtyard for use by trades vehicles so that residents can arrange for repairs and deliveries.

Hampden Gurney School

We are supporting Hampden Gurney School’s bid to have air-filters fitted in the school. Parents say, “the school is in very close proximity to Edgware Road which is a TFL red route and as such carries a lot of heavy vehicles across central London.”

The Council’s Schools” Clean Air Fund is also open again for applications.

Wigmore Street

We urged Thames Water to complete their repair works in Wigmore Street and elsewhere in the area much quicker than currently. Residents say, “Thames Water treats the streets as if they owned them, leaving unmanaged sub-contractors to decide as and when to do work.  The losers are local businesses and traffic (including several bus routes) on diversion.”

Thayer Street 

The Highways Team in undertaking a project to improve the pavement outside the frontage of 17 Thayer Street. Additionally, works being carried out opposite the property to renew the footway.

Chiltern Street

We told the e-bike operators to ensure that excess e-bikes are removed from the parking bay in Chiltern Street and that bikes are kept tidy and off the pavement.

We told all operators they need to ensure no bikes/scooters are parked in residential bays and it is their responsibility to ensure their fleets are parked appropriately and politely.

Upper Berkeley Street/Cumberland Place

We asked the Highways Team to investigate improving pedestrian safety at the junction of Upper Berkeley Street and Cumberland Place.

Seymour Place/George Street

We asked the Highways Team to investigate improving pedestrian safety at the junction of George Street and Seymour Place.

Harcourt Street

We asked the Highways Team to fix a broken bollard at the corner of Harcourt Street and Old Marylebone Road.

Seymour Leisure Centre

The Seymour Leisure Centre is now closed for a major refurbishment, including a new library. Following the unexpected late night sub-contractor activity a few weeks ago, we impressed upon the Council the importance of tight control over the works and regular communication with residents. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions

  • The contractor will protect the site and the public by installing hoarding around the site. The hoarding will have contact information for the site manager and emergencies.
  • There will be some car parking suspension to enable deliveries and waste removal. The Parking Team will work with residents to develop a practical plan for alternative provision.
  • A demolition break will be formed to the party wall using non-percussive cutting tools. These will be wet cut which also reduces dust and particular attention will be paid where the conveyor exits onto Bryanston Place.
  • The site entrance will be from Shouldham Street.
  • Residents will be kept updated via regular newsletters, updating the Council webpages, email bulletins, regular drop in sessions, phone numbers and email addresses for key contractor staff etc. The contractor proposes to establish a formal Seymour Leisure Futures Group to update the local community.

For further information see

Rodmarton Street

We told the e-bike operators to ensure that excess e-bikes are removed from the parking bay in Rodmarton Street and that bikes are kept tidy and off the pavement. We also raised the issue of the bike baskets being used as rubbish bins. The operators’ rangers should ensure that the baskets are cleaned and the rubbish disposed of properly.

Mortimer Street

Works on Mortimer Street have started as part of the Oxford Street project. These works will extend from Regent Street to Great Titchfield Street in the east. Works on Wigmore Street will commence 11 March and extend west from Regent Street to the junction with Wimpole Street. All works are expected to be completed in early 2025.

The works will:

  • Establish two-way traffic movement along Wigmore Street and Mortimer Street between Wimpole Street and Great Titchfield Street, which will improve traffic flow throughout the highway network,
  • Reverses one-way traffic on Great Titchfield Street between Mortimer and Margaret Street to northbound traffic,
  • Improve pedestrian crossing provisions at Wimpole Street, Harley Street, Chandos Street, Langham Place, and Great Titchfield Street,
  • Rationalise parking and loading provision in the area, and
  • Reduce street clutter.

Construction will take place during the hours of 08:00 – 18:00, Monday – Friday, and 08:00 – midday on Saturdays (when necessary).

Manchester Square

We told the e-bike operators to ensure that excess e-bikes are removed from the parking bay in Manchester Square and that bikes are kept tidy and off the pavement.

Marylebone Road

TfL will be removing a plane tree outside The Landmark Hotel Which has suffered from some vehicle impact strikes. TfL had hoped to replace the tree this season, in a position set back slightly from the kerbside, but trial excavations have uncovered services which may preclude replanting in the specified location and so it may be necessary to replace the tree in the next planting season (October 2024-March 2025).  TfL say that if the identified site is confirmed as unsuitable then another planting site will be found on the same stretch of the road, as close as possible to the removed tree.

A second, smaller London plane outside Marathon House, has already been removed for the same reason. This smaller tree will be replaced this planting season with another London plane and in the same location.  TfL consider that through appropriate management they can prevent the same problem from occurring in the future.  

Rachel Blake, Labour Candidate for Cities of London and Westminster

Rachel Blake is the Labour Candidate for Cities of London and Westminster at the next General Election Rachel says,

  • Campaign to save homes“Residents tell me about the impact of short term lets on local communities. It is not just noise and additional waste, it is the loss of homes which should be for local residents. Westminster is seeing a rapid growth in these short term lets and it is reducing the number of homes available and damaging communities. I regularly speak to landlords and residents who are affected and report that they struggle to tackle the issue. I know that Westminster City Council is doing what it can to stop these, but they need more powers and resource to do this. That’s why I am campaigning to save our homes. The Government has finally published its plans for a short term lets registration scheme. But it does not go far enough. I am calling on the Government to introduce a compulsory registration scheme; introduce powers for local councils to prosecute the hosts for anti-social and illegal activity; revise the current bureaucratic and slow mechanisms proposed so that local councils can restrict the number of short term lets in an area.”
  • Supporting private renters“The Conservatives have been promising to end no-fault eviction for years but failed to deliver on their promises. Thousands more families who the government promised to protect, now face the prospect of being threatened with homelessness or kicked out of their homes by bailiffs. Labour will bring in Private Renters Charter.”
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