The ‘Evening Standard’ reports:
“Westminster Council came under fire for spending tens of thousands of pounds on chauffeur-driven cars as it prepares to slash funded childcare for primary pupils.
The council was criticised as figures revealed the “unjustifiable” spend on a Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph and Audi A8L. The Lord Mayor, six former Lord Mayors and five Alderman of the City have access to the vehicles for hundreds of “engagements” every year.
Westminster spent nearly £30,000 leasing the Audi over the last three years.
It spent a further £11,800 running it along with the Rolls-Royce, which it bought for £90,000, last year alone.
Thousands more were spent on fuel, congestion charges, insurance and repairs and maintenance on running both in the previous two years.
The Freedom of Information figures came as it emerged last month that nearly 50 play workers and support staff were set to be axed as part of plans to cut youth services.
The staff, who provide after-school and holiday play sessions for hundreds of children at schools and community centres across the borough, look set to lose their jobs as part of plans to save £152,000 this year, and £170,000 next (2016/17), from the Children’s Centres, Youth Provision and Play Provision budgets.
The local authority is cutting £1.3 million overall, meaning spending on subsidies to help working parents pay for childcare looks set to be slashed.
A spokesman today confirmed that subsidies for parents will no longer be offered “universally”.”
The story is also in the ‘Mirror’
The ‘Evening Standard’ reports: “Westminster Council came under fire for spending tens of thousands of pounds on chauffeur-driven cars as it prepares to slash funded childcare for primary pupils. The...
Churchill Ward’s three Labour Councillors have reaffirmed their opposition to the proposed Nine Elms bridge. At the Environment Scrutiny Committee on 18th January, Councillor Murad Gassanly, speaking on behalf of all three Churchill Ward Councillors, said:
Churchill Ward’s three Labour Councillors have reaffirmed their opposition to the proposed Nine Elms bridge. At the Environment Scrutiny Committee on 18th January, Councillor Murad Gassanly, speaking on behalf of... Read more
Vauxhall Bridge Road/Causten Street, adjacent to the White Swan.
We have again asked Transport for London to investigate this very serious issue:
“There is a concern about the potential clash between cyclists and pedestrians at the intersection of VBR and Causten Street, adjacent to the White Swan. This is a heavy footfall pedestrian crossing used by people going to and from Pimlico tube station. Although the pavement colouring and texture clearly indicate this is a pedestrian right of way, cyclists are habitually claiming it as their own, continuing without breaking their speed through the pedestrians. There needs to be a sign well in advance of the intersection advising cyclists that they do not have right of way and may even have to dismount.”
“We are getting seriously concerned about the pedestrian crossing created at Vauxhall Bridge Road/White Swan by the reckless layout of the new bicycle lanes. Unaware Tate tourists and foreign students from Chelsea Arts walk on it with their backs to the speeding bicycles. Several incidents involving locals and commuters within days of opening should trigger swift action.”
“The Vauxhall Bridge Rd/White Swan bicycle pedestrian situation is very concerning. I get reports almost daily and can obviously observe incidents personally. One with a group of Chelsea Arts Students just last Saturday. It is really careless planning.”
Great Minster House, Marsham Street
We are making further enquiries on behalf of residents on the latest up-to-date situation on the Sainsbury’s planning application following the Planning appeal submitted by Sainsbury’s.
The Council says:
“We have just recently received the appeal decision and the Inspectorate has resolved to allow the appeal and grant planning permission. The owners also applied for costs but this was turned down. The application was recommended for approval and the Planning Committee decided to refuse consent so the appeal was fought on the basis the application was unacceptable.”
We have asked the Council to again investigate this issue:
“We are still experiencing bins being used as an area for dumping unwanted household items. The bins were not there when we bought our flats do why are we now expected to overlook a rubbish dump in the middle of Westminster? There are at least four such sites within walking distance of Douglas Street. The bins need to be removed or re-sited where somebody is responsible for monitoring them.”
Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge
We are continuing to work closely with local residents to voice our strong opposition to Wandsworth Council’s proposal:
“I'm writing to you regarding the new bridge planned on the Pimlico side of SW1. We do not want to loose any further public accessible green spaces in SW1. St George's Square and indeed the garden and Westminster Boating Base are a valuable community asset used by many families, caring dog owners and professionals to escape cramped housing conditions in Central London.”
“Presumably it is for the benefit of all those new flats going up at Battersea, so that they can get to Pimlico and Sloane Square to shop! I dread the consequences for the latter. We shall be swamped. And where are they going to put their bikes when they get there? “
“I am so pleased that the Labour councillors are backing us against this bridge.”
City West Homes tell us that stock condition surveys have identified that some of the water tanks are now aged and have reached the end of their useful life expectancy in a number of blocks. It has therefore become necessary to replace the water tanks to prevent further deterioration, and to comply with current water regulations. The works are scheduled to start in August 2016.
Blocks involved include:
Millbank Estate - Gainsborough, Hogarth, Landseer, Lawrence, Leighton, Maclise, Millais, Morland, Mulready, Reynolds, Rossetti, Ruskin, Stubbs, Wilkie and Turner Houses
Grosvenor Estate – Rogers House
City West Homes say:
“Shortly before work starts individual notices will be put into each block receiving work. These will have clear contact details. We will provide 7 days’ written notice to residents before any disruption to service.”
South Westminster Centre for Health, Vincent Square
We are making enquiries about this issue
“Worrying news is that 82 Vincent Square, housing South Westminster Centre for Health is being decamped to be sold. It is vital that this building continues to be used for the community. It is sad that many buildings serving the local community are being sold to private developers. More properties are being developed which would be great if it helps even a single family living in overcrowded accommodation, a huge issue in the area but they are usually beyond anything that many family can afford to buy.
We understand that there is a feasibility study about selling it off. This should be resisted at all cost. There are not many buildings that can be used for community activities in the area. This will then make it impossible to do anything that will help to boost community spirit in the area as everything will be sold to the highest bidder without taking into account the damage to community spirit. Sadly by the time people fully appreciate the situation, it will be too late.”
We were pleased to get this response from the NHS:
“We do not own South Westminster Health centre, it is owned by NHS Property Services Ltd. We are one of a number of health providers who run services from the site as tenants. As far as we are aware
NHS Property Services have no plans to dispose of this building. CLCH have no plans to withdraw from this facility, which we see as a key part of our estate serving South Westminster. We continually review the provision of our services however and the specific mix of services provided from any particular facility is subject to change from time to time.
We are aware, from recent comments made by the Central London CCG as part of a strategic estates workshop, that South Westminster Health centre is seen by the CCG as a key strategic asset for the provision of primary and community healthcare in Westminster. “
Vauxhall Bridge Road/Causten Street, adjacent to the White Swan. We have again asked Transport for London to investigate this very serious issue: “There is a concern about the...
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