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Portsoken Issues

Housing Security Young People
Homelessness Rubbish Air Quality
Policing Clean Streets Mobile
City Construction Brexit Transport
Noise Pollution Office Space Transparency

HOUSING AND REGENERATION

Issue: Need to build new affordable homes in the area and ensure existing homes are maintained to a high standard
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘We need more homes in the area for our children’
  • ‘Housing officers need to be made more accountable. I’m often waiting for weeks for an update or reply from them.’
What I will do

  1. Work with residents and business in the community at all times and get their sign off on redevelopment projects first, rather than developers.
  2. Ensure the community always gets the best deal from its assets  resources, including from the Middlesex Street Car Park.
  3. Ensure that no excessive service charges are levied on leaseholders; leaseholders should always get value for money.
  4. Ensure that all council tenants who are moved or relocated due to regeneration will be able to move back paying similar rent.
  5. Empower residents to make their council officers more accountable for maintenance work so every home is liveable at all times.
  6. Require developers to provide on site affordable housing for all new housing projects.
  7. Improve the maintenance and refurbishment of all homes in Portsoken so it is of the standard of new developments.
  8. Lobby for further investment in the building of new social rented homes so the Corporation achieves its target of building 700 new homes for social rent before 2026,
  9. Investigate long-term leases which are being used for Airbnb type investments rather than for local residents.

SECURITY & PUBLIC SAFETY

Issue: Lack of CCTV and other technology to tackle anti-social behaviour
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘ We don’t know if the CCTV system is functional, When was the system last tested?’
  • ”Sometimes at night I don’t feel safe. Repairs and improvements are urgently needed in various areas of the estate.’
What I will do

  1. Set a target of repairing security doors within 24 hours of a fault being report and publish performance monthly
  2. Increase CCTV coverage and lighting in the areas where it is most needed to discourage anti-social behaviour and keep residents safe.
  3. Require courier cyclists to register and pass a safety test and collaborate with TfL.

YOUNG PEOPLE

Issue: Lack of jobs and opportunities for young people
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘No one is helping our children get their foot on the careers ladder. All they need is a chance.’
  • ’10 or 15 years ago, I could leave a job on a Friday and get another job on a Monday without having a degree. Now my kids can’t even get a job with a degree.’
What I will do

  1. Lobby the Corporation to take on more apprentices and expand its Apprenticeship Scheme to include a greater range of skills and a greater number of young people.
  2. Continue to have one-to-one mentoring sessions with young people from Portsoken.
  3. Work with and incentivise businesses, especially multinational companies, operating in the ward or neighbouring wards, to allocate at least 10% of their job vacancies and apprenticeships for local young people.
  4. Continue to work closely with John Cass Foundation Primary School to ensure our children have bright futures.
  5. Bring businesses, young people, local leaders, educators and job agencies together to form a local hub to ensure the right skills are being developed, needs are met, and jobs are being advertised and communicated effectively.
  6. Lead Jobs Fairs and networking events to build confidence and knowledge.

ROUGH SLEEPING AND HOMELESSNESS

Issue: Homeless people sleeping and begging outside businesses with little help from the City of London Corporation
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘ It is frustrating that homeless people are sleeping in the City. It is having a negative impact on our business and customers. The City of London Corporation need to do more to help or rehouse them.’
  • ‘We would not employ intimidating security personnel to move people on, but the issue of rough sleepers blocking our entrance or begging next to our entrance is a challenge.’
What I will do:

  1. Support City initiatives, including the No First Night Out (NFNO) project run in collaboration with St Mungo’s to help rough sleepers.
  2. Engage local charities, organisations and firms to find new solutions that tackle core of the problem.
  3. Work to open a shelter in the Square Mile for rough sleepers.

RUBBISH & WASTE

Issue: Not enough bins! Public bins are either overflowing with rubbish or are nowhere to be seen
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘There have been ongoing issues with rubbish as there aren’t a sufficient amount of bins in places where crowds gather, especially near parks and pubs.
  • ‘We need more bins and a better rubbish collection service.’
What I will do

  1. Work with the council to provide more bins and / or other solutions to tackle litter on the streets

AIR QUALITY

Issue: Lack of action taken to improve air quality in the City
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘I don’t think we’re taking air quality and pollution levels seriously enough.’
  • Poor air quality is especially damaging for our children and those with health conditions. We need action from the Corporation now.’
What I will do

  1. Support the Mayor of London’s strategy to extend Low Emission Neighbourhood Schemes and implement it in the area.
  2. Ensure more funding is directed to Portsoken to tackle high level pollution hotspots in the area.
  3. Support other schemes that encourage green travel, including dedicated and segregated cycle lanes and more electric vehicle charging points.

POLICING

Issue: More police to protect residents and businesses and ensure a safe environment for everyone
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘ When there are demonstrations, there isn’t a coordinated plan between the City and other boroughs to direct them away from estates like ours.’
What I will do:

  1. Work closely with neighbouring boroughs to ensure coordinated efforts to keep residents safe.
  2. Regular updates from local police officers and monitoring of all issues until they are resolved.

CLEAN STREETS & GREEN SPACES

Issue: A distinct lack of green spaces and parks in Bishopsgate to improve environmental health.
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘Streets used to be far cleaner in previous years. We need to find ways to stop public urination and deter people from vomiting in open spaces after drinking too much.’
  • ‘We need to keep our streets clean all year round.’
What I will do

  1. Encourage the greening of open spaces, particularly with pollution absorbing plants.
  2. Ensure that pedestrianised spaces are well designed and useful for residents and workers.
  3. Lobby the Corporation to provide more bins and / or provide other solutions to keep our streets clean.

MOBILE SIGNAL & BROADBAND

Issue: Weak mobile signal and slow broadband speed in the area, adversely affecting both businesses and residents.
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘The broadband speed is very slow and it is hurting the performance of small businesses like ours. Big businesses can afford to have their own dedicated servers or broadband connections.’
What I will do

  1. Ensure the new City wi-fi and broadband system is good enough for all flats in the area.
  2. Continue to find solutions after the launch of the ‘Wireless Concession’.

IMPACT OF CITY CONSTRUCTION

Issue: Employees and business impacted by year round construction starting in the early morning until the evening.
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘Year round construction is hurting our business and pushing customers away. We need the City to support small businesses like ours.’
What I will do

  1. Work with local trade associations to improve the business environment and increase footfall significantly.
  2. Set up better channels with Corporation officers so that business and residents can register complaints or updates about construction work.
  3. Ensure businesses and residents are kept updated regularly, Sufficient notice should be provided in advance of works which disrupt businesses and residents.

IMPACT OF BREXIT

Issue: Businesses and residents fearful about the stability of the UK economy and their livelihoods following the vote for Brexit
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘The business rates are killing us especially given the uncertain business environment after Brexit. The rates should be lowered now.’
What I will do

  1. Ensure that you are kept regularly updated on what the City are doing during Brexit. I will work hard to make sure your voice is heard.
  2. Lobby the Corporation to cut business rates.
  3. Lobby the Corporation to support our local SMEs by: (i) giving local SMEs priority for contracts under £75,00 (ii) setting a target of at least 25% spending to go through local companies – following the government’s example.
  4. Ensure businesses have 24/7 access to the Middlesez Street Estate Car Park.
  5. Provide business tax relief to companies that are owned by local residents and register a turnover of £75,000 or less
  6. Establish Social Enterprise Zones.

TRANSPORT

Issue: Poor traffic flow in the City, especially during rush hours, leading to stressful travel and a need for adequate transport in and out of the City.
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘We want better transport in the City to grow our businesses. Making tubes 24 hours every day would be a good start. What are we waiting for?!’
  • ‘There should be no stopping on any double yellow line for deliveries during the morning and evening rush hours. We must improve traffic flow in the City.’
What I will do

  1. Lobby for better deterrents to discourage curb-side deliveries and traffic code violations so that children are safe at all times.
  2. Consider banning delivery vehicles during peak hours or greatly reduce their numbers by issuing a limited number of daily permits.
  3. Ensure that once Crossrail at Liverpool Street is completed, workers and residents can enjoy the benefits of a new high quality public space and less congestion.

NOISE POLLUTION

Issue: Noise from year round construction works and anti-social behaviour
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘The noise can be unbearable. Living here is like living in hell sometimes.’
What I will do:

  1. Set up better channels with Corporation officers so that business and residents can register complaints or updates about construction work.
  2. Ensure businesses and residents are kept updated regularly, Sufficient notice should be provided in advance of works which disrupt businesses and residents.

OFFICE SPACE AND ACCOMMODATION SHORTAGE

Issue: Not enough adequate business space to accommodate growing businesses and start-ups, as well as lack of affordable residential accommodation.
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘The City needs to make sure that the developers who build residential accommodation help existing residents by planning for extra demand on local services.’
What I will do

  1. Provide office space rates, especially for small workshop and studio spaces, on flexible terms.

TRANSPARENCY & ENGAGEMENT

Issue: Businesses and residents are not kept abreast of the latest developments and policy changes in the City.
What People are Saying: 

  • ‘We have no idea what the City of London Corporation does. They need to develop effective ways of communicating with businesses and getting their feedback, especially from SMEs.’
What I will do

  1. Introduce better monitoring of its performance in managing projects that affect residents, including estate maintenance and refurbishment.
  2. Introduce an Amazon-style tracking system for residents so that they know the status of any issue lodged with the Corporation.
  3. Provide greater transparency to residents and business as to how the Corporation is run and spends its money
  4. Regularly ask questions in the Court of Common Council and Court of Alderman.