Major works restart across Westminster Housing as lockdown restrictions ease
As Westminster City Council continues to reopen the city, major works are able to restart this week with new Covid-19 safety measures.
Work restarted on seven projects across five sites on 2 July.
To mark this milestone, the Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Cllr David Harvey, visited Little Venice Towers to witness the restart of the final stages of work to install safe and sustainable insulation to the buildings, replacing old cladding.
The new insulation, called External Wall Insulation (EWI), was chosen following consultation with residents. Residents have been kept up to date on the progress and restarting of works, using online technology such as video calls, allowing the council to reach a wide audience.
The new energy-efficient material is low maintenance and will help prolong the life of the high-rise buildings. Innovations are important in helping the council achieve its objective to create a greener and cleaner city.
Westminster was one of the first councils to remove old cladding in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy. Westminster Council received government funding of £6.7 million for the works, so it could be carried out at no cost to residents.
To ensure safety on these sites, extensive risk assessments have been carried out, with residents advised on the full details of safety measures implemented. Some essential works have continued throughout the lockdown period, on sites away from residents with strict social distancing measures in place.
Cllr David Harvey, said:
“The safety of our residents is paramount and following the Grenfell tragedy, we were among the very first to remove the cladding from our buildings. Our residents are always at the forefront of our decision making, and that’s why we consult with them regarding major works. We hope residents will be reassured by the measures we have taken following our recent consultation with them.
“The schemes we’re now restarting will help to protect employment, the local economy, and allow us continue to provide good, quality housing for our residents.”
To help support the quality of life of residents, the council has invested over £46 million this financial year to improve the local environment on estates and improve homes, including improving its green credentials by installing energy efficient boilers, updating some of the estates with LED type lighting and spending £1 million each year on reducing dampness and condensation. Over £2 million alone this financial year is being spent specifically on Little Venice Towers.
Throughout the lockdown period, Westminster council also deployed a volunteer service called Westminster Connects, which helped the most vulnerable residents to cope. Thousands of registered volunteers have so far managed to support over 40,000 resident needs cumulatively, through telephone befriending, food shopping assistance and deliveries.