MIL-OSI UK Cities: More social and properly affordable homes, help for cost of living and frozen council tax announced

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Source: City of Westminster

New council leader Adam Hug today vowed to tackle the housing crisis by ramping up the number of social and properly affordable homes being built in Westminster, cutting the 4,000-strong waiting list, and tackling the scourge of overcrowding.

Cllr Hug also took the unprecedented step of pledging to freeze council tax for 2023/24 as part of a raft of measures to tackle the looming cost of living crisis.

Other headlines include:

  • more help for foodbanks and other groups helping those in need across Westminster
  • retrofitting of housing stock to cut bills with a focus on double glazing and improved insulation
  • A “Future of Westminster” commission drawing on expert advice to undertake a root-and-branch review of how Westminster works
  • an urgent review of the proposed £150m redesign of Oxford Street
  • a commitment to deliver a Green New Deal for Westminster

Cllr Hug said:

Our incoming Labour administration is committed to governing for the whole of Westminster and putting the priorities of our residents first, but for too long many parts of our City have been overlooked by those in power. We are committed to tackling the massive inequality that has existed for too long in Westminster.

Housing is a crisis across London but it is particularly acute in Westminster. For decades the Council has not invested enough in the social housing that it desperately needs to tackle overcrowding and homelessness. We will take action too to support private renters who are facing spiralling rents and too often are not being treated fairly. We want to give new opportunities for families to build a life in our City.

The Future of Westminster Commission will help redefine the council’s priorities and is designed to ensure all parts of Westminster share in the City’s prosperity. It will be chaired by Neale Coleman, who led work on delivering the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Greater London Authority.

Cllr Hug said:

The West End is of course hugely important, both as an economic and cultural hub and a unique community, but our vision is for the whole city – ensuring that areas such as Harrow Road, Queensway, Edgware Road, Church Street and Lupus Street have the investment and opportunities they need to support their communities.

Many of the Council’s £150m Oxford Street plans have been long-delayed and it is essential that progress is urgently reviewed to ensure our residents are getting value for their money and that the scheme delivers the necessary improvements that benefit our residents, businesses and visitors to our City.

The new Commission will be chaired by Neale Coleman, who led work on delivering the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Greater London Authority amongst other senior roles.

Head of the housing review is Steve Hilditch, who brings 40 years of experience from the local authority, charity, and London Mayoral world to the Commission. Meanwhile the poverty and inequality review will be led by Westminster North MP Karen Buck. Former Walterton & Elgin Community Homes chief executive Andy Watson has just been confirmed and other major names will be announced over the coming days.

Cllr Hug said:

There are 260,000 people who call Westminster home, and they all need to feel they have a share in the City. My team and I are going to review every part of how the council works to ensure the needs of local people are at the heart of everything we do.

MIL OSI United Kingdom