At last night's Full Council Meeting (8 November) Churchill Conservative Councillor Murad Gassanly submitted petition to the Lord Mayor from the residents of Ebury Bridge Estate. The petition expresses support for the renewal of the estate but calls on Westminster Council to tackle overcrowding and to build more social and affordable housing as part of any future scheme. In her speech to the Council, Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Rachael Robathan commented on the Ebury Bridge estate:
"This administration is committed to working with all residents to identify proposals for its renewal which will not only provide many more desperately needed affordable homes, but will provide a community infrastructure fit for the future. I say to all those overcrowded tenants, evidenced by the petition presented by Cllr Gassanly, and all those waiting for homes that this Council is absolutely determined to keep its commitment to deliver more affordable homes."
The Council has set out these commitments, guaranteeing full right of return to new properties for existing social tenants and leaseholders as well as a significantly more affordable housing on Ebury Bridge. It is disappointing that the Labour Party has chosen to play politics rather than to work with residents and the council. At the last Full Council meeting in July Labour attempted to scupper the Ebury Bridge project, calling for it to be "set aside" and for a private-public partnership to take it over. Labour Churchill ward councillors have been actively campaigning against the project instead of championing the interests of residents, especially those in most need in overcrowded conditions. However, Labour has now changed its position again. Having spent months scaremongering and spreading untruths about Council's plans, Labour now claims "to support any scheme for Ebury Bridge Estate that both benefits local residents and helps tackle Westminster’s housing crisis". This goes to show that Labour are playing politics with people's lives and homes and cannot be trusted.
Speaking about Labour's opposition to Ebury Bridge, Cllr Robathan said: "I am confused as to why the Labour Party, is supporting a campaign opposed to any options for wider Regeneration and the delivery of more affordable homes. How can the Labour Party call for more affordable homes and then oppose us when we try to deliver them?"
Churchill Conservatives will continue to work with residents of Ebury Bridge estate and the Council to ensure our community gets the best deal possible - more, better and truly affordable homes for those on waiting lists and working families on low and middle incomes. Westminster Conservatives believe in spreading opportunity and building a City For All.