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 will be of benefit to the area.
However, the Queen's Park ward councillors and I, along with many local residents who have been in touch, do not believe that concerns have been properly addressed.
• The central objection to the re-location of the swimming pool. Most local people we have spoken to believe that the Jubilee is a better location for the pool, and that the Moberly site is less convenient
• Access to synthetic-pitch football, which will be lost from Moberly, and is to be re-located onto Queen's Park Gardens, in turn, reducing capacity for open-access play.
• The loss of the open-access basketball court in Lancefield Street, which provides for young people from the Mozart estate and elsewhere.
Whether the Council's projections for the increased use of the new sports centre will reflect the wishes and needs of local people, as well as draw in more users from across the borough, Brent and further afield. We know that the Council is projecting a 65% rise in attendance at the New Moberly, compared with existing facilities, but no-one has satisfactorily explained how they come to that figure, nor why local people NOT using Jubilee/Moberly now will start using the New Moberly.
• The poor quality of the consultation process, which meant many local people had no idea about what was being suggested.
• The absence of any ‘affordable' homes out of the 120 to be built on the Moberly and Jubilee sites.
Westminster will now go ahead with seeking planning permission to re-build the Moberly Centre and to build new homes on the Jubilee site, so there will be further opportunities to raise concerns during the planning process.
In the meantime, your councillors and I are also pressing Westminster on:
• How they intend to fund the security and activities at the replacement facility proposed for Caird Street. The worst possible situation would be to have a sports hall on this site which was closed more often than not, and not meeting local needs or not affordable to local people.
• The need to include an open-access outdoor play/activity area, to replace the well-used basketball court in Lancefield Street.
• Whether the financial plans under-estimate the value of the homes being built for open market sale, and whether there is, thefore, scope to insist on some affordable housing to meet local needs within the new development.
Your views continue to be welcome so please keep on contacting me.
Major changes to hospital services and health care in North West London
NHS North West London is recommending changes to the way healthcare is provided to hospitals across the area. Radically reducing the number of Accident and Emergency units, and affecting some services at the Chelsea and Westminster, Central Middlesex, Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith, Hillingdon, Northwick Park, St. Mary's and West Middlesex hospitals
Although neither St Mary's nor Chelsea and Westminster are on the list of hospitals likely to lose their Accident and Emergency units, there will be knock-on effects locally as demand will increase for services locally, and investment will be needed to cope. Will there be the funding, and the capacity, to manage with rising pressures at a much smaller number of Accident and Emergency units?
The consultation ends on the 8th October 2012.
Local people need to make their views known, and to ask questions about what the changes will mean before the consultation ends on October 8th.
You may want to attend the public meeting on this issue, which is taking place on October 1st, between 6 and 8pm, at Westminster Academy, The Naim Dangoor Centre, 255 Harrow Road, London, W2 5EZ (Paddington or Royal Oak stations or 18 and 36 buses).
There is also a consultation event on Saturday 6th October. Drop-in between 10am and 4pm at Hinde Street Methodist Church, 19 Thayer Street, London, W1U 2QJ.
Other ways to find out what is being proposed:
Call: 0800 881 5209
See the NHS North West London consultation document for details of the proposals.
Key consultation areas
• Which five hospitals should become Major Hospitals with A&E, Obstetrics and Pediatrics, and which should be Local Hospitals with a 24/7 Urgent Care Department (but without a full Accident and Emergency unit)
• Changes being proposed by Imperial College Health Trust to transfer eye services from Western Eye Hospital and the Hyperacute Stroke Unit from Charing Cross to St Mary's Hospital.
• How services can be improved within a community setting to reduce the need for hospital admissions- what they might look like and how they will be funded.
Even though St Mary's Accident and Emergency unit is not listed for closure, It is still important to have your say as the consultation extends across is across North West London, and it remains possible that the NHS may change their plans in the light of responses elsewhere!
Karen Buck MP