This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.
We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to Save our estate offices. More details
Petition update from the council, 31 July 2017Dear Councillor Hug,
Re: Petition against estate office closures
We write to acknowledge receipt of the petition. Please see below our response.
Our proposals to close estate offices were based on the ways in which most customers contact us, which is by phone and email. We have therefore changed our customer service model to focus on a new, larger and more efficient contact centre. It offers 27 more staff, to a total of 42, with the aim of resolving the majority of queries on the first call. The contact centre continues to be based in Westminster and staffed by existing CityWest Homes staff to ensure that local knowledge is retained.
We understand that some people prefer face-to-face contact. We have therefore worked with local residents to identify the best venues and times for community drop-in sessions to retain this. These local sessions are delivered by Housing Management Services, who continue to offer their extensive local knowledge.
Face-to-face contact will also continue through monthly building visits carried out by the estate services team to ensure high standards of cleaning, grounds maintenance and health and safety. Housing services teams will also continue to regularly visit estates and residents are invited to let us know if they would like to join an estate inspection.
We are offering more home visits or regular telephone calls for vulnerable residents who may be unable to get out of the house or have access to the internet.
Whilst we believe that the majority of services will be better delivered by our new customer services, face-to-face services will also continue from our four Area Service Centres.
I believe that these changes will deliver a more efficient service in line with the requirements of the majority of residents whilst also making provision for those who prefer face-to-face contact.
Executive Director, Customer Services
More details from petition creator
CityWest Homes, the organisation that manages Westminster Council’s 21,000 council and leasehold homes is planning massive cuts to its network of estate offices in local communities across the city. Estate Offices at Church Street, St John’s Wood, Little Venice, Westbourne Park, Paddington Green and Charlwood Street. These changes could significantly reduce face-to-face access for residents to their housing officers, causing particular problems for more vulnerable residents, the significant proportion of tenants without regular internet access and for residents not fluent in English. Under the CityWest and Council plans staff will be based out of the existing area service centres, further from the communities they are supposed to serve. We believe CityWest and Westminster Council should think again about their planned cuts to estate offices and if some offices are shut they must commit to having permanent bases in local community buildings so that staff remain in the local area available to meet with residents.