Churchill Ward Labour Councillors Shamim Talukder and Jason Williams have written to Cllr Rachael Robathan, Westminster Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, for clarification on the recent Tory leaflet distributed in Churchill Gardens about the Balmoral Castle pub site.
The leaflet claims that there are plans by the Council to turn the site into homes for older people.
Cllr Jason Williams said: “Westminster Tories have been responsible for keeping the pub in scaffolding for 13 years – running up a bill of over £200,000, a huge waste of public funds – and failing to come up with any plans for the site.
“We are therefore very surprised to see them now running a campaign to build on the site, when they themselves run the Council and have been the ones who have kept it in scaffolding for so long.
Cllr Shamim Talukder said: “Rather than trying to tackle the issue – which they have had the full power to do so for 13 years – Westminster Tories are instead seeking to play party politics and blame Labour for the Tories’ own failure to develop a disused site.”
The Labour Councillors also strongly deny claims by Westminster Tories that they have rejected any ideas for the site.
Cllr Williams said: “The Tory leaflet claims we rejected their plans – which is simply not true. Our response has always been that the community must be involved in any resolution to the issue and any plans for the site should involve full, genuine consultation with local residents.
Cllr Talukder added: “Residents won’t be fooled by this rather desperate, blatantly political stunt by a Westminster Tory party which is only now, just ahead of an election, looking into an issue they have had 13 years to fix.”
Letter to Cllr Rachael Robathan:
Dear Cllr Robathan,
We are writing to seek clarification on the recent Westminster Conservatives leaflet which claims there are plans for older people housing on the site of the former Balmoral Castle Public House.
This leaflet has caused a great deal of concern and confusion and we would be grateful if you could outline the background to the claim that there have been plans put forward.
Could you please outline what the Council’s plans are and the timescales for their consultation with residents?
Our policy is that any plans for the site should involve full, genuine consultation with local residents.