Stop chasing Tory MPs, Labour tells Westminster council
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour group at Westminster City Council, has blasted the local authority for allegedly putting Tory MPs over local residents in finding suitable accommodation.
The row was triggered after Conservative MP Mark Simmonds resigned 10 days ago as Africa Minister, saying his annual allowances (£27,875) were not enough to maintain a family home in Westminster.
Dimoldenberg quoted a posting on the website of City West Homes Rental, which he called "the housing management arm of the city council". The website said the minister should have seen "what he could have through CWHR".
The website noted one suitable property in Pimlico was "24 minutes' walk from the Houses of Parliament" before adding that it was "alas recently let".
"It is beyond belief that Westminster Conservatives should be encouraging the buy-to-let market in Pimlico as this will further reduce the number of council homes available to families in housing need," Dimoldenberg said. "Of course Conservative MPs want to live in Pimlico to be close to parliament, but there are many private flats available for rent without the city council fuelling the already out-of control buy-to-let market. Westminster Council should be building more homes for local residents in housing need and not trying to fill former council flats with Conservative MPs."
A CityWest Homes spokesperson said: "This advertisement was placed on the website of our subsidiary CityWest Homes Residential, which is separate from CityWest Homes, and trades as an estate agency, lettings agency and property management service for private landlords. It has no bearing on the high quality housing management service CityWest Homes provides for Westminster’s tenants and leaseholders."