Westminster Tories Slash Rough Sleeping Budget

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Westminster Conservatives have slashed the Council budget for rough sleeping and supported housing just weeks after the Council’s own figures showed the number of those out on the streets had more than doubled. At last week’s full Council Westminster Conservatives passed the annual budget including cuts of over £800,000 to the rough sleeping budget. The cuts were opposed by Labour Councillors who were sceptical of Conservative claims the cuts could be delivered through ‘efficiencies’ without effecting front line services. 30 bed spaces have already been lost in 2015 with the closure of the Bayswater hostel.

Labour Housing spokesperson Councillor Tim Roca said:

“It’s scarcely believable at a time when rough sleeping is the worst it’s been for decades, that Westminster Tories would choose now to slash funding. Saying that the cuts can be delivered without effecting front line services misses the point that more money not less is needed, in…

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Harrow Road Fire

As many will know, a significant fire broke out on Friday morning (24th February) on the Harrow Road. Ten fire engines and over seventy firefighters were involved in bringing the blaze under control. Thankfully there were no reported injuries.

Unconfirmed reports are that it started in a Lebanese restaurant but London Fire Brigade are investigating and this has not, repeat, not, been confirmed.

The block is managed by Westway’s Letting Agents and there were eight flats affected, although we are unsure how many residents in total occupied them. Westway’s and their insurers are supporting those affected.

A hoarding has been erected to protect the public from any possible collapse of the building, which will likely need demolishing. In the meantime, a contra-flow system has been put in place to allow some movement of traffic along Harrow Road.

Karen Buck MP and local Councillors have praised the emergency services for their response to the fire. However, they remain concerned that in the aftermath traffic is not being properly managed in the area and have called on the Council and Police to help improve the situation.

Please see the latest photo from the site. It is hoped that the scaffolding construction works at the scene will be complete this evening (28th February). The missing signage at Elgin Avenue has been replaced and traffic is not turning into Harrow Road.

Before the road can be partially reopened they will need the traffic control measures (contra-flow controlled by traffic lights) put in place – this is still not sorted.