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Countryside Alliance marches left the streets of London cleaner than when they started. But the anti cuts demo on Saturday has left a terrible mess. Not just litter, of course, but broken glass and graffiti. The bill for Westminster Council in cleaning it up will be over £50,000. 

Ultimately this is a cost for the Council Taxpayer - a cost which is rather more of a burden proportionately for low paid worker living around Harrow Road than for the plutocrats of Mayfair and Belgravia. Westminster has the second lowest Council Tax in the country - keeping the Council Tax down is not helped by Saturday's yobbery.

Perhaps if Westminster are looking to recoup the cost they might have a look at the £218,000 a year they spend on paying staff to have time off working for trade unions.


The clean up costs for local businesses and the losses from theft and customers being deterred will be much higher. In the case of Fortnum and Mason this means less revenue for the Garfield Weston Fouundation to give to charities – including groups in Westminster such as Westminster Befriend a Family, to which they have given £10,000, The Catholic Children's Society (£5,000) and the Westminster Muslim Welfare Trust to which they have given £2,000. There is also the Maryleone Project which helps vulnerable homeless women (£10,000).

I wonder what Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, the Labour Group leader on Westminster Council, feels about raising funds for these groups being disrupted. He was at a rally with UK Uncut as part of the "widest possible alliance" for Ken Livingstone. Cllr Stephen Cowan, the Labour Group leader on my council, not only went along but lists UK Uncut under the "activities and interests" section of his Facebook page.

Among Labour MPs I see that Sir Gerald Kaufman is now disowning UK Uncut while John McDonnell is sticking by them.

17 comments for: Westminster Council faces bill of over £50,000 to clear up demo mess

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