Call for Moxon Street car park sale to be reviewed as ‘Made in Chelsea’
Conservative Councillor is sacked by Westminster leader
Labour Councillors have called for all the recent decisions made by former Westminster Housing Cabinet member Jonathan Glanz to be reviewed, including his decision to sell the Moxon Street car park in Marylebone to Ridgeford Properties and Concord Pacific for a £250m development of luxury apartments, following his sacking this weekend after his comments on the Conservative Home website where he compared social housing tenants in the West End with “the Made in Chelsea brigade, the young people portrayed in the ITV television series who spend their days dining out and sipping champagne on London’s King’s Road” because of “the benefits enjoyed by social housing tenants in some of country’s most expensive areas”.
On Friday Westminster Council leader Councillor Philippa Roe said; “These comments are the views of an individual and do not represent the views of the council. We understand that many social housing tenants face significant financial and other pressures and are in no way comparable with those portrayed in ‘Made in Chelsea’.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group said;
“Councillor Glanz’s sacking will be welcomed by many West End residents who were insulted by his recent comments and his general lack of awareness or understanding of the West End community. He knows a lot about property values, but being a Councillor is about more than selling Council assets. Now that he has gone it makes sense to look again at the decision he made last week to sell the Moxon Street car park to see if all the relevant aspects were looked in to before the decision was made”.
The Moxon Street site was compulsorily purchased by the ILEA from the Howard de Walden Estate in 1966 in order to develop a new school. When the ILEA was abolished in 1990 the land was transferred to Westminster. Under the terms of the transfer, if the land was sold within 21 years the proceeds of the sale had to be shared between the 12 former ILEA boroughs. In 2011 Westminster declared the school site surplus and started the sales process.
Earlier this year, it was reported, more than £800,000 of government money that was intended to help families facing eviction because of benefit caps was unused by Westminster Council in the last financial year.
The council was given £3.7million to stop people becoming homeless when they can no longer afford to pay their rent. But despite an 86 per cent increase in homelessness among Westminster families, the council did not spend £826,552 of the fund – more than any other local authority.