Local news

20 is Plenty in Church Street

Posted: 20/07/11

Westminster Labour Councillors are calling on Westminster Council to address road safety concerns across Church Street by introducing 20 mph zones in traffic “hotspots” in the ward.

Streets on the Lisson Green estate would greatly benefit from reducing the speed motorists can travel, as would Frampton Street, Penfold Street and Broadley Street.

But any changes must come with a full consultation with residents. We believe that no-one knows their local area better than the people who live there, and they should be the ones who help inform where the Council should change the speed limit.

The Conservative-controlled council rejected our call to introduce 20 mph zones last year, but the Coalition Government believes that such restrictions would help improve safety. To that end, it has said that Council’s can introduce 20 mph zones as long as it produces a “cost-benefit” analysis of any scheme.

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Westminster Conservatives give ‘slap in the face’ to voluntary groups

Posted: 11/03/10

Westminster Conservatives have delivered another ‘slap in the face' to Westminster's voluntary organisations by throwing them off the main board of the Westminster City Partnership and relegating them to a toothless ‘advisory board'.

The decision to end a decade of positive contributions from Westminster's voluntary sector was taken at the WCP meeting on 4th March when Labour Councillor Guthrie McKie voted against the proposal but was outvoted by the Conservatives who forced through the proposals. Following the vote, voluntary sector representatives Drew Stevenson, Jackie Rosenberg and Voluntary Action Westminster Chief Executive Bernard Collier walked out of the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, Chair of the Paddington Development Trust, Drew Stevenson, wrote to WCP board members to say;

"My main concern is the proposal to destroy the cross sector partnership that the current WCP has been, and to replace it with a one-sector Board. I do not believe that this is in the interest of consensual working (that has dominated constructive developments in regeneration across the country for the past decade or more) nor in the interests of those whom we are all trying to serve - the residents and businesses of Westminster."

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group,… » Read more


Karen Buck congratulates Westminster schools on continuing improvements

Posted: 14/01/10

Today, 73 children in a hundred leave primary school at the expected standard for English and Maths, compared with 54 in a hundred in 1997. In other words, the proportion of children leaving primary school at the expected standard has risen from half to three quarters. At secondary school, performance has been even better, with 53% getting at least 5 good GCSEs compared with a shocking 22% in 1997- the performance of our secondary schools has more than doubled.

Our heads, staff and pupils are to be warmly congratulated for their achievements. This gives the lie to those who complain about 'lowering' levels of literacy, who should stop talking down our schools and concentrate on supporting them, not least with the resources they need to do their job.

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Karen launches local campaign with Oxfam for a global deal on climate change

Posted: 12/10/09

Climate change is a big deal I thought I'd make a big deal with residents of Westminster to tackle it.

That's why I am spearheading a new local campaign with Oxfam to build public support in the run up to Copenhagen.

The campaign kicked off on Monday at Oxfam in St. John's Wood High Street. We held a 'Big Deal' on the day with local residents. The idea was that residents help us fight climate change by buying items provided by Oxfam, but that they could also get those items for free by signing the local petition which Oxfam and myself will present to the Rt Hon Joan Ruddock MP, Minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in November. Oxfam and I will also be collecting signatures for the petition over the next month at various spots in the constituency.

We need to make sure that the Government campaigns for a global deal on climate change in Copenhagen. Popular grassroots pressure is essential if we are to emerge from Copenhagen in December with a strong global deal to meet the threat of climate change. We all need to do our bit and Oxfam's Big Deal initiative and the… » Read more


Labour Councillors call for action to tackle overcrowding

Posted: 28/08/09

Labour Councillors have called on Westminster City Council to provide more larger flats in order to meet the needs of over 860 families who are registered by the Council for a transfer because they need a larger property. The latest figures from the Council show that 867 families are registered by the Council for a transfer because they need a larger property. Of these, 66 have been assessed by the Council as statutorily overcrowded 835 households need a move to a property at least one bedroom larger but are not classified as statutorily overcrowded. Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said; "Overcrowding is a major problem in Westminster and the Council should be providing more larger properties so that those families who need an extra bedroom have the opportunity for a transfer. Building only 1 and 2 bed room flats will not help those families where teenagers are have to share a bedroom or where adults are forced to sleep in the living room." » Read more

Route from Queen’s Park Station to Fernhead Road

Posted: 29/06/09

Local Labour Councillors have asked the Council to liaise with Brent Council so that the existing dangerous route from the station across to Fernhead Road can be improved. As a resident told us:

'My concern, and that for the majority of residents in this area, is the appallingly dangerous route from Queen's Park station to Fernhead Road. A roundabout (surrounding the Falcon pub) with traffic flowing at high speed in several different directions, and with a fast route entering from Carlton Vale, has no zebra crossing, indeed there are no pedestrian crossings of any kind. It is dangerous in the extreme'

At the request of residents local Councillors asked for information about safety at this roundabout. In the three years ending 31 December 2008 there have been eight reported injury accidents (seven slight injury, one serious injury) at this roundabout. Four of these accidents involved pedestrians, although these are distributed around the roundabout, and were not concentrated in anyone area of the roundabout. The roundabout is the responsibility of the London Borough of Brent, and they have confirmed that they will be looking at this roundabout as part of a Local Safety scheme later this year.


» Read more

Fernhead Road

Posted: 26/06/09

Local Labour Councillors continued to raise the issue of speeding cars along Fernhead Road. As one resident told us:

"I write having yet again witnessed the sickening screech of tyres and thud of metal contacting as two vehicles impact each other at the Marban Road junction. Thankfully no one was injured but if this problem continues to go unchecked then sooner rather than later the sickening screech and thud is going to involve not just metal making contact."


» Read more

Westbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team

Posted: 26/06/09

Thanks to previous campaigning by local Labour Councillors, Westbourne Ward's Safer Neighbourhoods Team, led by Sgt Ken Taylor until last year and Sgt Wasim Sarfraz until recently, now by Sgt Martin Quinn, has become one of the largest teams of police dedicated to a single ward. They are backed up by the ordinary police teams operating out of Harrow Road station. The SNT has been willing to vary their shift patterns so that they are available when the problems are actually happening.

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Brunel and Wessex Gardens Estates

Posted: 25/06/09

Local Labour Councillors fear that much of the prostitution problem on Westbourne Park Road is connected to drug misuse. With this in mind we have met Estate office staff on the Brunel Estate who have agreed to a scheme to open up the bin stores on the estate, which are secluded areas known to be used for drugs. There are some flats on the Brunel and on Wessex Gardens which are used for long-term drug misuse, and closing them down is a matter on which City West Homes has our support. Tackling the drug problem on the Brunel and Wessex Gardens estate is also a priority for the Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

» Read more

Tackling Prostitution

Posted: 24/06/09

Local Labour Councillors have been working closely with the police based at Harrow Road police station and pressing Westminster council to help solve the problem of prostitution which have bedevilled the Westbourne Park Road area for many years. They have heard from local residents that police operations have been successful in keeping prostitutes largely away from the streets during the daytime, but that later at night they are present in large numbers - sometimes up to 6 AM. Residents have told local councillors that the aggressive behaviour by prostitutes has stopped, but that their controllers can still be confrontational.


Local Labour Councillors understand the police are bringing in a specialist team from the Clubs and Vice squad who have experience in other areas of London. They are also beginning an action on the kerb crawlers who use prostitutes. The Harrow Road police have already been increasing their street… » Read more


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