Wembley parking restrictions in force today

The Wembley Stadium parking zone is in operation today as England play Ghana in an International friendly at the Wembley National Stadium. For more information see here – LINK


Brent Councillors March for the Alternative

Brent Labour Party Councillors participated in Saturday’s demonstration in support for the argument that there is an alternative way to address the deficit without needing to make cuts so fast and so deep.


Labour Councillors across the country, as well as Tory and Lib Dem have had to make difficult choices to balance budgets because of front-loaded cut targets imposed on them due to the Government’s deficit reduction plan. I marched sporting my London Young Labour T-shirt under the Brent Central Labour Party banner along with members of the Dudden Hill Labour Party and other Brent Labour members and Councillors because we disagree with the Government’s method of reducing the deficit which goes too deep and is too fast.

Building Schools for the Future was part of Brent’s future cultural strategy – From Lib Dem Leader Paul Lorber!

The Cultural Strategy for 2010 – 2015 which was signed off by the previous Lib Dem leader of Brent Council Paul Lorber very much incorporated the costed and Treasury approved Building Schools for the Future programme as part of the Borough’s Cultural strategy.

The document signed off by Brent Liberal Democrat leader Paul Lorber states “Building Schools for the Future is one such funding stream which provides an opportunity for co-location of cultural facilities, provision of new exhibition and performance spaces and public art within the design of schools.”

Now that the Liberal Democrats in Government have scrapped the programme, the Brent Liberal Demorcats have changed their tune on the issue. I have blogged on this before here  – LINK

Census Day

Today is Census Day and you should have already received your 2011 Census form through the post.

The census is very important to Brent Council and our partner organisations such as the NHS, as much of the funding we receive from central government is directly dependent on how many people are counted in the census.

It helps us understand the needs of our residents and we use this information to ensure that we are providing the best possible service.  Put simply, the higher the population count, the more funding we will receive and the less services we will need to cut. The better we can also ensure that we can plan for school places in the future and be properly funded by Government and our children do not lose out on resources. It is in everyone’s interest to help.

All the information you give is confidential and protected by law. This means your answers will only be used for the census survey and no other reason. Personal information is not shared with anyone. There are no questions on sexuality or income, and the question on religion is voluntary.

You can fill in the forms online or by post. If you have any questions or need help filling in your form call Office for National Statistics on 0300 0201 101 or go to www.census.gov.uk


Brent Labour protects Sure Start Children Centres from Liberal Tory Cuts

Sarah Teather has wrongly claimed with the headline on her website that ‘Labour Council chooses to close Sure Start centres’.

Firstly ALL OF BRENT’S SEVENTEEN SURE START CENTRES have been protected in this years budget contrary to Lib Dem promotional material. This is in the backdrop of 20% cuts to Sure Start funding from £10 million to £8 million from… wait for it… the Minister for Children and Brent Central MP Sarah Teather.

The Brent Lib Dems continue to claim that they are giving more money for Sure Start.

However, the coalition has not protected the Sure Start budget as David Cameron has said. It has amalgamated funding for the centres into a new “early intervention grant” (EIG), which also includes funding for programmes related to teenage pregnancy, mental health and youth crime. So Brent has to use the money we spend in this area and put it all into one pot of spending to include Sure Start. A bit underhand from Sarah Teather and the Brent Lib Dems but we expect it.

Cllr Mary Arnold, Brent’s Lead Member for Children and Families, said:

“Sure Start is one of the greatest achievements of the last Labour Government. Labour investment in Sure Start recognised that investing in children yields returns for all of us in society.

The coalition’s cuts to Sure Start funding are a tragic mistake. This decision follows cuts to BSF, trebling of tuition fees, and the abolition of EMA. As usual young people are the victims of right-wing slash and burn attitudes to the welfare state.

I’m proud that my Council colleagues have found a way to protect all our centres. Let’s hope there’s a new Government soon which recognises that Brent’s children all deserve a sure start in life.”

Cairnfield Avenue Area- Public Consultation on proposed 20 mph zone

A consultation document should have by now gone out to all residents in The Circle, Chartley Avenue, Avondale Avenue, Ashcombe Park and Cairnfield Avenue on a proposed 20 mile per hour zone.

My View

With the proposal presented as it is at the moment, I will be voting no. I think having these roads operating in a 20 mph zone would be a good thing, but I am unhappy with the sheer amount of speed bumps that are proposed to be implemented (SEE PLAN HERE). It should be a 20 mile per hour zone that is better enforced without bumps because the roads are too narrow for cars to be travelling and speeds any higher.

Cairnfield Avenue does already have bumps on a section of the road after a sharp bend. I think this is sufficient. I think residents will eventually be unhappy with the sound of cars bumping up and down as they drive past.

The consultation would have also gone out to residents living in Dollis Hill Ward. I think they have other issues and residents there may have differing views because there are additional safety concerns due to there being two schools with large pupil numbers in and around the roads that surround the area where this scheme is proposed.

Residents have until 4th April 2011 to respond to the consultation. For more details see here (LINK)

March With Ken for the alternative – 26th March 2011

A Brent Labour delegation will be going to he March on 26th March 2011. The march is to show the Tory Liberal Government that there is an alternative to the drastic fast and deep cuts which are too fast and too deep.

For more information see here – LINK

Dumped vehicles on Avondale Avenue removed

My Safer Neighbourhood Team flagged up an issue that they had limited luck in resolving and asked for me to intervene. This was mainly due to the vehicle having its number plate totally removed making it unidentifiable and causing issues with reporting.

A yellow van had been left dumped outside the alleygate on Avondale Avenue close to the Kenwyn Drive junction. The yellow van was of particular concern as knives had been found inside the vehicle. Other items of rubbish had also been dumped into the van.

Items in alleyways are frustrating for local residents and also Councillors as there is often little that can be done by the Council due to ownership issues. In the Neasden area, alleyways are usually considered private property, owned by residents whose properties back on to the alleyway.

Residents are now delighted that the yellow van and another car which was also in front of the has now been cleared up.