Archive for March, 2014

Police activity against EU rough sleepers

I had the opportunity for a quick word yesterday with Superintendent Liam Harrington about the removals of EU aggressive beggars and rough sleepers over the last couple of months. The new regulations allowing removal and a 12 month re-entry ban for EU nationals not exercising their treaty rights to look for work or study are being used, along with the Vagrancy Act. However, these powers are not a complete solution. Morning patrols are still taking place around Park Lane with Home Office Immigration Enforcement and UK Border Agency officials. Residents and businesses are encouraged to email Sgt Ken Taylor or phone 101 if they see any of the problem group, particularly as the weather gets warmer.

Short lets – get your voice heard

Sometimes the right hand in government doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. That’s what’s happening on short lets. While we in Westminster are tackling a problem that blights our neighbourhood and can drive out long term residents, central government (the Department of Communities and Local Government) is considering scrapping the legislation against short letting. It’s the same department which is in charge of the Planning Inspectorate, whose judgements have sided with Westminster Council against the greedy short let landlords!
If you have a moment to write to Kris Hopkins, the Housing Minister, to tell him how short letting has impacted on your quality of life, and that the controls on it must be maintained, drop him a line at kris.hopkins.mp@parliament.uk. You can read about the discussion paper (consultation) entitled “Review of Property Conditions in the Private Rented Sector” on the DCLG website – question 22 on p19 is the relevant bit.

Antonia Cox

Westminster City Hall,
64 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QP

0207 641 3411

acox@westminster.gov.uk

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