Westminster Council has long argued that rough sleeping Roma travellers are affecting businesses in the capital. Today it began another mission to move them on. They say the action's vital because soon they might not have the law behind them. To explain here's Dan Hewitt.
Mayor Boris Johnson has responded to new figures which show that two-thirds of electric car recharging posts in the capital are not being used. He called on electric car manufacturers to reduce their prices, and said the technology was vital for reducing emissions.
Westminster City Council says that putting in electric charging points is the only way to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for the long term. It says:
· There are 42 on-street recharging bays within the City of Westminster. At the start of 2013, there were approximately 150 recharging stations in the public car parks in Westminster
· The first on-street recharging point was installed in 2006 as a trial with local users. Westminster has spent and budgeted approx £140,000 per year on electric vehicle recharging infrastructure to deliver recharging bays in line with local demand.
· Usage data shows that the established on-street recharging points (which cover a two year period) are used at least twice / three times a day and the average length of stay at the post is 4.5 hours.
Westminster Council says immigration rules need toughening up to help deal with the growing number of homeless migrant workers sleeping rough on the streets.
Many of the travellers have moved into an area around Marble Arch. But even when they are forced to return home - immigration rules don't stop them coming back. Ronke Phillips reports.
Westminster Council has called for a change in immigration rules to deal with the problem of Roma travellers who are sleeping rough in Central London.
The council says that when they leave the UK, the rules don't stop them coming back. Ronke Phillips sent this report.
Thousands of residents in central London have given the green light to a multi-million pound regeneration programme in Westminster. The programme will see over one thousand new homes built to help address overcrowding and also deliver new jobs, enterprise and public realm improvements.
12,000 carers in central London are unaware they could be claiming support from their local authority.
Westminster City Council say almost 16,000 people care for a relative, partner or friend in the borough. Less than a quarter (22%) have asked for help.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Westminster City Council’s portfolio holder for community protection, who is meeting the Metropolitan Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe this afternoon when he visits a Westminster Council run anti-gang programme, said:
"Our thoughts are with the family of this teenager and we will offer whatever help we can.
“Westminster City Council is committed to keeping the streets safe – including tackling gang culture - and we will work over the coming days and weeks to reassure the community of that."
Westminster Council topped the list making nearly £38 million on parking after expenditure last year. The figure is an annual increase of nearly 9%.
Second highest was Kensington and Chelsea which made £27.5 million - representing a 30% increase on the year before.
Camden was third, earning £25 million in profit from motorists - up 18% on the previous year.
Westminster Council is believed to be the first to use a new anti-squatting law brought in earlier this month.
The legislation makes squatting a criminal offence, thereby allowing local authorities to call in the police to arrest unauthorised occupants, instead of having to pursue lengthy civil eviction proceedings through the courts.
Within days of the law coming into force on the1st of September Westminster City Council's housing management provider, CityWest Homes, contacted the police about a squatted flat on the Lisson Green estate.
Police asked for the squatter to be given prior warning before they arrived at the property.
When they did so, the occupant had already left with all his belongings - said to include furniture and a flat-screen TV.
Jonathan Glanz, Westminster's cabinet member for housing, said: "Councils and ordinary hard-working people across London have for too long faced lengthy legal battles to get their homes back from squatters.
"With these new powers, we have been able to recover a property from a squatter who was depriving a family in desperate need of a home, in a much quicker time than was previously possible.
"We will not tolerate the illegal occupation of our homes and will work with CityHomes and the police to take action where we need to."