Category Archives: News

When were Lewisham & Streatham in Central London?

14 constituencies proposed for London Labour Party members reps on Board

Out of all the motions submitted to the Labour London Regional Conference the one that is likely to draw least attention is the one increasing the representation of members on the Regional Board after the huge increase in the London membership of the Labour Party over the past two years by Rule Change 1: A more representative Regional Board but be in no doubt its a critical one.

It is an understatement to say we have major anolomies in the boundaries of the members seats in the Regional Board for historical reasons. For example the Central London board member is elected from 17 CLP’s including all the following:

  • Bethnal Green & Bow
  • Bermondsey & Old Southwark
  • Camberwell & Peckham
  • Cities of London & Westminster
  • Dulwich & West Norwood
  • Hampstead & Kilburn
  • Holborn & St Prancas
  • Islington North
  • Islington South
  • Kensington
  • Lewisham Deptford
  • Lewisham East
  • Lewisham West & Penge
  • Poplar & Limehouse
  • Streatham
  • Vauxhall
  • Westminster North

Only in the London Labour Party Regional Board could you have such a definition of Central London. Its time to change it, so members in Central London, Lewisham and Streatham are better represented.

One must ask when were the three seats in Lewisham and Streatham ever in Central London? l certainly don’t know anyone who lives in those seats who considers themselves in Central London let alone in TfL travel zone one! Furthermore having such huge geographical areas to cover in these Regional seats does not help those seats being represented well on the Board. 

The suggestion to make the Regional Board seats for the members represent the 14 GLA constituencies instead makes a lot of sense certainly for GLA election campaigns. After all there has been a lot of working across our local authority boundaries in GLA elections already since 2000, so having the Regional Board members constituencies coterminus with them makes a lot of sense. It respect local authority boundaries and thus most parliamentary seat boundaries at this moment in time.

So lets have the members of Lewisham and Streatham better represented in their respective Regional Board seats for Greenwich & Lewisham and Lambeth & Southwark. While those in Central London are better represented in a West Central Board constituency incorporating the boroughs of the City Westminster, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Only in the London Labour Party Regional Board could you have such a definition of Central London. Its time to change it, so members in Central London, Lewisham and Streatham are better represented.

Crime hotspot in Little Venice need urgent measures

The old bells on the main doors to the blocks in Fleming Court!

After the tragedy of the murder of Abdul Samad on the doorstep of his home for his mobile along St Mary’s Terrace, W2 in Paddington, its clear that this part of neglected Little Venice needs security measures for all those who live and work there and pass through here regularly. It can often be dark and creepy as you cut through the St Marys churchyard passage to Little Venice proper from Paddington Green.  

It clearly needs better lighting and CCTV coverage, as we have had a number of increased attack incidents leading up to the passage from both sides.  It appears lighting and CCTV coverage were not given much of an emphasis on the last works to St Mary’s Square to help cyclists and walkers cross under the Westway at street level on the Harrow Road.  This needs addressing straight away and a major oversight.

And finally Fleming Court is long over due a decent intercom system rather than a collection of bells  as shown in the above photo unlike almost all other council block of flats l know in the City of Westminster. Residents already pay a lot of service charges and such a basic services should be covered within their contributions already. 

The new pathway created at St Mary’s Square without additional lighting or security


Urgent Care for £100 min!

urgent care advertised in a flyer at a price!

While Labour call for the failing Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at St Mary’s Hospital to be brought back into direct NHS control after the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated it inadequately run by the private healthcare firm Vocare Limited, we have another developed.  

Local private hospital like the Wellington in St John’s Wood offering the services of their UCC with flyers dropped at local homes for a minimum of initial consultation fee of £100. Please see photo of the flyer above. It states “Our UCC provides immediate care with no appointment needed for injuries and illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening, such as: …..” 

So not only are some hell bent to privatise our emergency health services even when there are not up to the mark but they also face the competition of private hospitals charging a minimum of £100. It sounds very much like a two tier health service, with those with insurance cover and disposal income having both options while the NHS fall back is asked to privatise these very services.

This is the brave new world of our emergency health services in London.  

Forgotten Tollgate House


Works all around Tollgate House going up

With all the talk of regeneration or not on the Ebury Bridge Estate and Church St in the City of Westminster, spare a thought for the residents of Tollgate House in the regeneration of their Estate by the Council.

At this very moment, its residents feel stranded in the middle of a building site where their air and light easement that they normally enjoy is being blocked by the works happening right under their nose. The building works have come out of the ground on all three sides of Tollgate House, to the front and back of them as well as their side, casting a shadow over them. This apart from the usual noise and air pollution that comes from a building site.  This is no doubt causing great stress to many residents in Tollgate House, trying to go about their daily lives.

Living on a building site from your front door!

Getting into Tollgate House is no fun at all!


One has to wonder how this proposal ever got the go ahead without highlighting what it would mean to the remaining residents in Tollgate House during the building works? It certainly appears to have been a major oversight by the council and the developers of the regeneration, Noma. They should be compensated at least by being put up in alternative accommodation during the building works by the developers in the hotel opposite. If not at least, not having to pay service charges during the whole period of the works for the stress and strain of living in a building site. So while Noma sell sophisticated living on their website, it has not taken on board the poor conditions many are having to endure while their development comes up around them for residents of Tollgate House. 

It adds further prove that these regeneration proposals on old council estates in London should have a ballot of residents, before they are handed over to the developers. Then the developers and council would have to satisfy the residents of all their concerns and make undertakings that reassure the residents at least during the works themselves. So there are clearly lessons to be learnt for further regeneration proposals in City of Westminster, particularly for residents who could find themselves living in the middle of a building site.

Living in a Building site on your doorstep

Chinese electric vehicles push already on our shores.

Chinese electric vehicles ready for export.

Not only is China making a big push for electric cars ( FT Big Read – Electric Cars – 13th October ) domestically as one plank of Beijing’s plan to transform China into a high tech industrial power which is target driven through its next 5 year plan but the Chinese are also assisting in sorting out bottlenecks in electric vehicle supply aboard.
A few cases in London illustrate the point well with the first double deck electric bus on our streets provided by BYD and also electric black cabs provided by Geely following a £ 300 m investment in a West Midlands plant. Showing well how Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers are helping to plug the gaps in our public transport infrastructure provision. So the Chinese know how of electric vehicles is already being exported and will no doubt make a contribution in reducing air pollution from our streets as well when we start buying their vehicles. 


We may be mature enough to distinguish between the man and the present office he holds ( Editorial of the 11th of October in Evening Standard ) but l am not sure Donald Trump himself is able too.

His bigoted warmongering since in office at the beginning of the year is evidence enough. As it is not just his Muslim travel ban proposal; “build the wall” rhetoric aimed at the Latino community particularly the Mexicans and his verbal attacks against black NFL players for “taking the knee” which highlights his bigotry best but his flirting with white supremacists that illustrates it best.

On the war front it is even more clearer with his nuclear brinksmanship in North Korea; issuing vague threats of military action in Venezuela; u-turning on his policy of not increasing US troop numbers in Afghanistan and finally his threat to undo the Iranian nuclear deal which makes him a warmonger. All this while being the commando-in-chief of the largest military force the world has ever seen!

The man is completely self-absorbed and totally unconcerned about what he is doing to the reputation of office of the Presidency of the US.  It is not so much America First but himself first.

Ugly buildings in City of Westminster?

The Xtra Diary in Westminster Extra recently highlighted the scooping of the national award for ugliest building by the Nova Building, SW1 in the City of Westminster. It is even more embarrassing for the borough as it advertises the building in its new HQ along the Strand in the reception area.  It must also be embarrassing for Land Securities who both own the Nova Building in Victoria and the new premises of Westminster City Council on the Strand. 

This is not the only ugly building the borough has permitted to be built. The one that most annoy’s me is Burne House, NW1 owned by BT which casts a shadow over Bell Street. There are plenty of others to mention including those going up like Brunel House and its impact on skyline of Warwick Avenue and of course the Pole and Cube proposals for the Post Office site on London St, Paddington.  
Maybe we should have a competition to find the ugliest building in the City of Westminster?  I am sure we will have plenty of entries from residents. 

Back to the future with utilities

In light of your recent excellent coverage in the Big Read on Thames Water: the murky structure of a utility company  l find your editorial on Corbyn’s misguided bid to turn the clock back (12th of May) out of line with your tone of your reporting of private utilities like Thames Water who’s fines over river sewage were dwarfed by £ 1billion plus payment to owners. 
Most of the private utilities are monopolies by their very nature and making them private has not bode well for the customers of water, energy and transport. You say quite clearly “….. privatisation was designed to bring greater efficiency into the management of utilities. But in the case of Thames Water, it has become an experiment in complex financial engineering.” And add ex-OFWAT Head Regulator, Sir Ian Byatt saying  “The public interest is so easily forgotten and consumers are paying more for their water bills because of it.”
Indeed many of those bidding and taking a stake in our utilities are state owned monopolies from aboard, so incredibly the profits go to public utilities aboard. Its not something the market consensus since Thatcher has much to say about? In the case of Thames Water its China & Abu Dhabi and we have a similar pattern in the rail industry. 
Moreover with the Tories advocating also for the energy company prices to be capped in a not too dissimilar manner to what Ed Milliband had proposed in GE2015, if anything the thinking has shifted greatly on how to manage the future of these private utilities. 
So there may well be a case of “back to the future” with private utilities in our economy more so than your editorial will let on. 

“We are all Rohingya’s” now

Myanmar Generals are only good for attacking their own  civilians.

The plight of the Rohinya’s will rightly get a lot of attention on the floor of the UN General Assembly this week at the United Nations this week. 
The ethnic cleansing is such that over 400,000 Rohingya’s have walked into neighbouring Bangladesh and it is probably already hosting half a million Rohinya’s in the densely packed country from previous occasions when they have had to flee. The last major occasion was when Burmese army attacked them in their villages in 1991/92 and the two countries almost went to war on the matter. 
We also need to remind the Buddhist hate preachers of Myanmar, Buddhism and Hinduism spread to Arakan from ancient Bengal and that the Arakan and south eastern part of Bengal ( now Chittagong Division in Bangladesh) were often ruled by the same dynasties. So clearly using “Bengalis” as a derogatory remark is a denial of their religious origins.  
More over for those of us who are Bengali, we have become Rohingya’s now in the eye’s of the authorities in Myanmar particularly their military. Like most Asian military establishments, they give themselves medals for beating up their own civilians then actually defending the territory integrity of their countries. One useful thing the General Assembly could do for the Rohinya’s is to bad arms exports to the Myanmar military establishment, taking the means of this destruction away from them on their ethnic cleansing operations.  While most of the world is aiming fire at Suu Kyi, lets not forget who is actually doing the burning down and killing of Myanmar’s civilians.  
Lets also learn not to see all Buddhists in the rosy imagination that Hollywood gives the faith. These Buddhist hate preachers not only exist in Myanmar but also in Sri Lanka. Just ask any Muslims from Sri Lanka about their activities as l found out yesterday with their demonstration outside the Myanmar Embassy in London.  Such rosy imagery just does not hold if you ask Rohingya’s and Sri Lanka’s Muslims under attack by their hate preachers in South Asia. Hollywood’s output needs to better reflect this reality.  

What’s the ugliest building in Westminster?

Nova Building, Victoria, SW1

As the Nova Building, Victoria, SW1 scoops the national award for ugliest building in the UK for 2017, what is your ugliest building in City of Westminster for you? 

For myself it has to be Burne House, Bell Street, NW1 owned by BT behind the Edgware Rd (Bakerloo line) tube station. It is easily the ugliest building in my neighbourhood. Please see below. 

Burne House, Bell Street, NW1

If you have a building you think is ugly, do tell me ( with a photo ) and lets compile the top 10 ugliest buildings in Westminster.