Westminster looks to move residents to Derby and Nottingham

15:55 24 April 2012

Westminster residents could soon be living in Nottingham or Derby

Westminster residents could soon be living in Nottingham or Derby

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Westminster Council is considering moving hundreds of families 130 miles away to live in Nottingham or Derby.

The council has asked temporary accommodation provider Smart Housing Group to look at options outside Westminster to accommodate homeless housing benefit claimants.

The government has introduced weekly housing benefit caps of between £250 for a one-bedroom flat and £400 for a four-bedroom property – sums that would not cover private rent in large sections of Westminster.

The Smart Housing Group document states that by looking at a number of factors including property availability, accessibility from London, and employment opportunities, “the most viable area… would be Nottingham and Derby”.

The company suggests re-housing “150 properties within the next 12 months or so” with an option to “increase this number to closer to perhaps 500 properties”.

Opposition Westminster Labour leader Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg said: “There is absolutely no doubt that thousands of families from across London will find the only option they have of a home is to move hundreds of miles from London to a town or city with which they have no connection and where they have little prospect of a job.”

Westminster housing boss Cllr Ben Denton said vulnerable residents would be treated as a priority to live within the borough.

He said: “As hard working families are squeezed out of the housing market and with the demand for social housing vastly outstripping supply, the council is looking at providing fair and realistic options for applicants wishing to live in central London.

“To address this rising demand we and many other London local authorities are looking at temporary housing alternatives outside of the city both in neighbouring boroughs and elsewhere, particularly for those applicants with minimal connections to Westminster.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “There is absolutely no reason for people to be moved far away from their communities - apart from the very expensive areas in central London around a third of private rented properties are still affordable to benefit claimants.

“Even with our reforms, housing benefit will meet rents of up to £21,000 a year and we have a discretionary fund of £190 million to help families in difficult situations.

“Our reforms restore fairness to a system that was left to spiral out of control.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Lord Sewel resigns from the House of Lords (Picture: PA Images)

Lord Sewel has quit the House of Lords after video footage emerged of him allegedly taking cocaine with two prostitutes in his London flat, even snorting a line off one woman’s breasts.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Commons Speaker John Bercow spent nearly £400 on a chauffeur-driven journey to speak about restoring reputation after the expenses scandal (Picture: PA Images)

Commons Speaker John Bercow took a chauffeur-driven car to a conference 0.7 miles from Parliament which cost the taxpayer a staggering £172.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Fleet Primary School. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A counter-terrorism agency has intervened at a Hampstead primary school where a child was deemed at risk of being drawn into Islamic extremism.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
New late-night club licences will be harder to get under Hackney Council's plans (Picture: Dalston Superstore)

Plans by Hackney Council to curtail late night licences in the popular clubbing spots of Shoreditch and Dalston will threaten the area’s “star power”, according to campaigners fighting the proposals.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Police clashed with disabled protesters in the lobby of the House of Commons (Photo: Debbie Jolly/PA Wire)

Police have been accused of “heavy handed tactics” as they blocked disabled protesters, many in wheelchairs, from entering the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions today.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more