First St John's Wood and Marylebone police counters have closed: Now Harrow Road station in the firing line
To no-one's surprise, the issue of police station and counter closures failed to feature in Boris Johnson's election manifesto last year. Neither did the fact that there will be fundamental changes to Safer Neighbourhood Policing, nor the fact that there have already been significant cuts in local police numbers already. Westminster's total policing strength is, for example, down by 202 since 2012, a 12% fall.
But a few months on, the next wave of cuts to hit the Metropolitan Police are… » Read more
Boris Johnson and Met Police consulting on massive programme of police station closures
The Metropolitan Police service is under huge financial pressure, and must save £500 million out of its £3.6 billion base budget by 2014.
The suggestion is to get rid of around one-third of the buildings/space the Met occupies. Many boroughs are being advised that there will only be 1 24-hour station in each area, althoughWestminster is expected to keep more than one.
The Deputy Commissioner has said:
We are considering reducing up to 65 front counters and replacing them with over 200 contact points in popular locations… » Read more
Work Programme has failed local job-seekers
The Government flagship Work Programme has so far failed to deliver access to jobs for Britain's long term unemployed- in fact, so bad have the outcomes been that better results would have been achieved by doing nothing.
Here in Westminster, which should benefit from access to the huge labour market in Central London, only 3.6% of those referred have been found work by the private contractors paid to deliver. This leaves Westminster at position 216 out of 379 local authority areas in the country.
The Coalition government… » Read more
This week, a tiny minority of those entitled to do so will exercise their right to vote for elected police commissioners. These elections will cost around £100m- at a time when the police service nationally is being expected to cut its budget by £1 in every £5 that it spends. London won't be voting- Boris Johnson fulfils that role in the capital- but the challenges are the same. The 20% funding cut is leading to decisions such as the selling off of New Scotland Yard, the loss of 891 Police Community Support Officers be and the closure of up to… » Read more
Energy bills are one of the biggest costs facing families. But only 20 per cent of people are on the cheapest deal. With so many confusing tariffs on the market, people find switching energy supplier difficult, or give up trying because all the companies seem to put their prices up. That's why Labour has organised our www.switchtogether.org.uk scheme.
THE LABOUR PARTY DOES NOT MAKE ANY MONEY FROM THE SCHEME
How does the scheme work?
1. Sign up free and with no obligation to tell us you are interested in switching suppliers to save money
2. You can sign… » Read more
The national debate about welfare has taken on a distinctly harsher tone of late. Perhaps it is not accidental that the hard line emerging from the government to accompany announcements of a further £10 billion in cuts ( on top of the £18 billion beginning to work their way through the system now) is wrapped in ever tougher language. For if the public perception is that social security really is excessively generous, traps people in dependency, and is mostly claimed by shirkers and fraudsters, then cutting a few more holes in the safety net is just that bit easier. The… » Read more
Westminster Council to go ahead with closure of the Jubilee Sports Centre and replacement of the Moberly Centre
As expected. Westminster City Council has now formally approved the decision to close the Jubilee Sports Centre and build a new, larger centre on the Moberly site on Kilburn Lane.
It is not in dispute that the new centre will upgrade and improve sports facilities locally. Westminster has also agreed to provide a new sports hall on the re-built Jubilee site in recognition of the widespread opposition to their plans. Some people are strongly in support of the proposals, and feel they… » Read more
The recent suggestion from the Policy Exchange think-tank that social housing in valuable areas should be sold and the profits used to build more homes in cheaper places, re-hashes an old argument but predictably grabbed the headlines.
Doesn't it make sense, with 4.5 million people in housing need, to boost supply? Surely those in need and on low incomes should not expect to be housed centrally anyway (the myth-makers like to refer to ‘Mayfair' or 'near Harrods' as if these neighbourhoods of the global mega-rich are stuffed with council estates).
Well, not this way it doesn't. I'll start and finish… » Read more
It was my great pleasure to host an event on the 10th of July aimed at young people not in employment, education or training. With the support of CH2MHill, we worked together with HR professionals to deliver a couple of really productive sessions to the 50 or so young people from the area who attended. The first session focused on CVs and how best to communicate your skills clearly and effectively to potential employers. It is always amazing how even a few changes will make a difference to your CV… » Read more
Some of you may know about Westminster City Council's plans to close the Jubilee Sports Centre, build housing on the site and re-develop the Moberley Centre on Kilburn Lane instead. However, although Westminster claims to have ‘leafleted all homes within 2 miles of the Jubilee', very few people actually seem to be aware of the plans and most of those people who have heard are worried about them.
The Council say:
* ‘Both centres are very dated and in need of significant investment'
* ‘The cost of running both existing sports facilities, which are very close to each other (0.6… » Read more
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