It’s Time to Talk About Hate Crime, Thursday 21 July

Hate crime is the initial focus of a new series of public meetings which aim to tackle difficult issues in our community.

Taking place on 21 July, the hate crime event is part of the Council’s wider ‘It’s Time to Talk’ campaign which aims to empower residents and community leaders to talk about difficult issues and work together with the authorities to tackle them. Important challenges such as hate crime, child sexual exploitation, extremism, gang culture, domestic abuse and harmful practices are all expected to be discussed at separate events throughout the year.

The event on 21 July has a number of high-profile speakers attending, including Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy – Centre for Hate Studies, Stephen Brooks MBE – Coordinator of the Disabled Hate Crime Network and special guest keynote speaker – creative pioneer Samuell Benta. Topics such as what exactly a hate crime is, how big the problem is in Brent and the role of social media in the context of hate crime, will be discussed.

Please do come along. To book a free ticket, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/its-time-to-talk-hate-crime-tickets-25991098074.

Neasden Community Festival on Saturday 9th July 11am to 4pm at St Catherine’s Church

Untitled-1 copy

We have been busy working with the Church and Daniel’s Estate Agent to put together this community festival event. We have stage performances lined up for the day and stalls so feel free to come along and celebrate with us.

Chalkhill Primary School join the Slash Sugar campaign

Chalkhill Primary School has recently introduced ‘Sugar Free Tuesdays’ whereby all food, drinks and snacks eaten on Tuesdays should be free of refined sugar.

Our Public Health team recently visited the school in Wembley to witness the campaign in action and got the chance to speak to a range of pupils from year 2 to year 6 about Sugar Free Tuesdays and other healthy lifestyle initiatives.

Pupils explained that on Tuesdays they swap sugar found in sweets and fizzy drinks for natural sugar from fruits instead. For example desserts such as custard and cake have been swapped for fruit salad. ‘The Crunch’ (the school’s canteen) make their own tomato ketchup as branded versions can contain more than one teaspoon of sugar per teaspoon portion.

As well as Sugar Free Tuesdays, the pupils are given healthy lifestyle tips at weekly assembly, educated about portion control and the tuck shop only sells healthy snacks such as fruit, homemade banana cake, fruit cups and crackers on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The money made from the tuck shop goes towards free healthy snacks for Key Stage 2 pupils as currently the government only funds free healthy snacks for Key Stage 1 pupils and the school believes that no one should miss out.

When asked what was important for a healthy diet pupil’s responded with the following answers: 60 minutes of exercise a day; swap sugar for healthier options instead; drink more water; eat a balanced diet; eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day; and check the labels of food for any hidden nasty’s.Slash Sugar

Karima Peerwani, Assistant Head Teacher said:

“As a healthy school we engage with both the pupils and parents because it is important that the hard work we do at school continues at home. We host healthy packed lunch workshops and give out prizes for children who pack healthy options. We display information about the risks of eating too many sugary snacks on our notice boards and our elected etiquette inspectors promote making healthy food choices and drinking plenty of water.”

Well done to all the pupils and staff at Chalkhill for embracing Sugar Free Tuesdays. It’s a scheme that I hope all schools across Brent will consider.

Brazil to Brent exhibition opens up at Willesden Library

The Olympic Games open in the Brazilian city, Rio de Janeiro this summer, and at home in Brent, an exciting new exhibition called Brazil to Brent opens in the Exhibition Space on the second floor at The Library at Willesden Green.brazil flag

The exhibition asks what it means to be Brazilian in Brent. Julia Evangelista, is an artist working with Brent Museum and Archives to develop the exhibition:

“Well, the whole point of this project was to give Brazilians a chance to celebrate themselves, and to say in their own words what it means to be Brazilian.

“One of the most important things that the people we talked to stressed was the diversity of Brazil, many emphasised that there are numerous sub-cultures, and much more to the country than just samba and carnival.

“A theme that came up again and again was the importance of community. In Brazil, people spend a lot of time together. It’s a very inclusive society, from the many games and sports that we play, that involve the young and the old, to the music, and the food we eat, we do things with other people and build ties this way. Relationships are very important.

“I would encourage everyone to come along and have a look at what’s going on at this exhibition. It is very much a collaborative project, which will grow from people’s input.

“Between July and September this year there will be a chance to try dance, music, listen to stories, and attend a family workshop and even puppetry. Everyone is welcome and we really hope to see many people taking part, getting to know the people they live and work amongst.”

Brazil to Brent is being developed by Brent’s Heritage team, in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and Brazilian artist, Julia Evangelista, from Seethrough Theatre.

The exhibition and workshops run from 1 July to 18 September 2016.

Email museum.archives@brent.gov.uk for more information.

Community Roadwatch scheme sees residents tackle speeding cars with local police teams

Road-safe residents donned high-vis jackets and learnt to use hand-held speed cameras as part of a scheme designed to deter drivers from speeding in Brent.

On Thursday, a handful of safety-conscious residents were met by Police Community Support Officers outside Fryent Primary School, Church Lane, for the launch of the road safety initiative in the borough.

Roadwatch

The Community Roadwatch scheme has been developed by The Metropolitan Police and Transport for London (TfL), and gives local residents the opportunity to work side by side with their local police teams to reduce speeding in residential areas.

John Govier, 70, from Elthorne Road in Kingsbury said:

“I often see cars speeding in this area, and with the school over the road and a park next door, I am really concerned for the safety of the young children.

“I think that this scheme will make a real difference in slowing down the cars driving on the roads around here and will hopefully make drivers think twice before ignoring the speed limit.

“If this can even stop one accident from happening, then it’s absolutely worth all the time and effort being put in to the initiative by the police and local residents.”

This initiative will be rolled out in areas identified as being hot spots for speeding and road traffic accidents, and we welcome suggestions of potential locations from local residents, schools and community groups.

By encouraging residents to get actively involved in monitoring the speeds of vehicles travelling through their neighbourhoods, the scheme aims to encourage positive behaviours by educating drivers about the dangers of speeding, rather than prosecuting them for speeding offences in the first instance.

Motorists recorded breaking the speed limit will be issued with a warning letter, although those travelling at speeds that well exceed the limit could face a home visit or immediate action from the police. This information will help the local police teams and Transport for London assess future traffic and policing strategies in the area.

Cllr Ellie Southwood, Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

“This is a brilliant way of empowering residents to do something about speeding traffic where they live and help make the roads in Brent safer for everyone.

“This initiative is about education, not enforcement, and we hope that by working with the local community to encourage drivers to watch their speed, we will see fewer accidents and speeding offences in the borough.

“Improving road safety is a high priority for residents and especially for parents of young children. This is a great example of partnership working between residents, the police and the council that I hope will make a real difference.”

If you would like to take part in Community Roadwatch, or to suggest a residential area where there are community concerns around speeding, email transportation@brent.gov.uk.

Brent Response to Brexit

The Leader of Brent Council has moved to reassure European Union Citizens, local businesses and investors in West London following the referendum result which was announced earlier today (June 24).
 
Across the UK nearly 52 percent of people voted to leave the European Union (EU) while in London and Brent the majority wanted to remain. 72,523 Brent residents voted for the UK to Remain in the EU, while 48,881 voted to leave.
 
The vote to leave has caused turbulence in stock markets across the world and raised fears of what a ‘Brexit’ could mean – in particular for workers and families from Europe.
 
Brent Council has vowed to work closely with local businesses, public sector partners and local communities following the nationwide result.
 
Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said the consequences of the result will be discussed at a meeting of the West London Alliance (WLA) on Monday. He said: “Brent is the most diverse place in the UK and a place where people from all over the world come together to work, live and play. This is one of the things I am most proud of about Brent and one of our key strengths.
 
“My message to our neighbours and co-workers who are EU citizens and also to investors and employers in West London is not to panic. Nothing will change instantly overnight.
 
“European nationals will continue to enjoy the same rights as they have now and any changes will be publicised well in advance.”
 
The Confederation of British Industry has called for “strong and calm leadership to reassure the markets” and the Governor of the Bank of England has also moved to reassure the markets.
 
Cllr Roxanne Mashari, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills, said: “The council has received many calls from EU citizens concerned about the possible impact of the referendum result and about their right to stay in the UK.
 
“The council’s message is clear: Brent is open for business and investment. We value the hard work of EU citizens and the positive contribution they make to Brent. In the short-term the UK remains a member of the EU with existing laws and treaty obligations in place. Rules on tariffs, movement of goods and individuals will not change until any renegotiation is complete. We will work hard with other local councils, local business leaders and the West London Alliance to provide the information and support needed at this time.”
 
Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business, said: “West London remains one of the best places in the world to do business. West London is exceptionally well connected by air, road and rail. We have a highly skilled workforce that is the most productive in London. We are also home to some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and Higher Education institutions.
 
“In the weeks ahead we will work with the local business community and our West London Alliance partner local authorities to ensure that the specific business implications arising from Brexit, and any support needed, is fully understood to ensure long term economic growth is sustained.”

Gladstone Park Tree walk 16th June

Thursday 16th June, Gladstone Park Tree Walk, Gladstone Park Wildlife Group, 6.30pm
Lawrence Usherwood, Brent’s Principal Tree Officer will give a fascinating walk around Gladstone Park to discover some of the huge variety of trees there.  He is a mine of information on when they were first introduced into Britain, the uses of their timber, their rarity and benefits to wildlife.
To join the walk email gladstonewildlife@gmail.com