Willesden Mini Mela – Saturday 15th July – 12PM – 4PM

Willesden mini mela

This weekend will see the first ever Willesden Mini Mela at the Library at Willesden Green. The day will be filled with activities throughout. The event is in partnership with Brent Council, Lottery, Arts Council England, Willesden Temple and the British Museum who have loaned a 800 year idol of Ganesha at the Exhibition space.

Fire safety in housing blocks in Brent

Following the tragedy in Grenfell, residents are rightfully concerned about fire safety, particularly in blocks of flats.

Brent has been in regular contact with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) to offer assistance.

So far Brent has provided staff to assist RBKC at their Borough Emergency Control Centre at Kensington Town Hall. Our local authority liaison officers and rest centre managers are also on standby and are ready to respond should they be required. We have also offered our employee assistance programme to London Fire Brigade staff to help support them through personal mental health issues they will inevitably be experiencing following the tragedy.

As part of the recovery operation we have asked whether housing in Brent with be required by Grenfell Tower residents. We understand that RBKC’s strong preference is to rehouse Grenfell Tower residents within their borough wherever possible but have said they will be in touch with us next week to discuss this further.

The support from people across London in donating clothes and essentials has been fantastic and RBKC have now advised us that the best way to support those affected is through financial donations rather than goods. The details for the website which has been set up have been promoted by us locally and further details are here LINK

The Leader has also made a statement about fire safety which is available here LINK

A ‘Talkback’ event was held with tenants and leaseholders on Wednesday evening (June 14) where officers from BHP and the council were also able to directly answer questions from tenants and leaseholders about fire safety.

Understandably, some Brent residents living in high rise blocks have been contacting BHP and the Council for information and reassurance regarding their homes. BHP has been responding to these queries and information is available on the BHP website. Any members who have specific questions from themselves or from residents should email them tobhp.compliance@bhphousing.co.uk who will respond as soon as possible.

The facts in Brent are:

– We have 37 high-rise (5 storeys or more) blocks in Brent, all of which are 100% fire risk assessment compliant.

– We have never directly used Rydon Limited or Harley Facades Limited, the contractors who worked on Grenfell Tower. We do not yet know about other registered providers and we are seeking this information from them.

– Since the incident began the Compliance and Risk team at Brent Housing Partnership have been responding to questions about fire management policies and processes and the steps that have been taken over recent years to reduce the risk of fires in council run blocks.

– More than £10million has been spent over the past 4 years on measures to reduce the risk of fires in council run properties.

Estate inspectors and compliance experts have been mobilised to provide additional re-checks of communal areas and exit routes to remove any remaining rubbish, bicycles and other hazards which could hinder access and exit in an emergency. They are also doing extra checks of the blocks with cladding to ensure all remedial works, which form part of business as usual, are actioned as a priority, ahead of the prescribed schedule.

Finally, it was announced yesterday (June 15) that there will be a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire to get a full understanding of went so wrong and how similar tragedies can be prevented in the future.

The Government has also announced an emergency review into fire safety in tower blocks. Once the findings are known we will of-course review and, if needed, amend our fire management processes and strategy accordingly.

Brent family set to have their support for their disabled child removed by the Government

A Brent family are set to lose support for their disabled child after receiving a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions stating that their daughter no longer meets the criteria for Disability Living Allowance.

rnoh statement

A letter from their Specialist NHS Consultant confirms that the child has a neuromuscular problem which leaves her unable to open her hands from a closed position. Her condition has not improved and will not get better in the future. To be told that she is no longer disabled enough for support is an absolute insult to the family who strive day in day out to support their daughter on top of their full time jobs.

The family, of Gujarat origin, have come to me for support and given me full permission to highlight their case and show how cold the Government’s policies are and how people who should be getting support are being crushed. They personally wanted it highlighted how this Government was treating disabled people and in particular with this circumstance, cutting support for their disabled child.

I am supporting them through tribunal now with Citizens Advice but if unsuccessful, their entitlement will be completely stopped at the end of this year. The way that we treat disabled people as a society needs to change completely. The policies of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats between 2010 and now has caused and is causing real hardship to families that deserve better treatment.

Celebrating Ganesha at Willesden Library

Brent Museum and Archives is hosting an ancient statue of the Lord Ganesha. The idol is on loan from the British Museum. The beautiful sculpture is over 800 years old and originates from India.

Come and see the statue and our wider exhibition celebrating many aspects of Indian culture at Willesden Library. The exhibition has been created in partnership with Shree Swaminarayan Temple Willesden, Mahogany Arts and the artists Kirsty Harris. There will also be a celebration event on 17th May.

Brent issues call for sites

Are there any sites in your local area which are vacant, rundown or underused? Through redevelopment could they make a more positive contribution to your area?

To assist the development of local plans, the Council is carrying out a ‘call for sites’ exercise to identify sites within Brent that may have potential for development. The ‘call for sites’ is an early opportunity for individuals and organisations to suggest sites within the borough for development. This could be development for uses such as:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Retail
  • Leisure/Sport/Recreation/Open Space
  • Community uses including education/potential schools
  • Art/cultural uses
  • Mixed use development
  • Strategic Infrastructure

You can submit sites online.

The deadline for submitting sites is 6th April 2017.

Consultation on how you’d like money to be spent in your local area

When developers receive planning permission for some larger, new developments, they’re required to make a payment to the council. This helps fund local infrastructure improvements. This payment is called Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Of this, between 15-25% of the funds has to be allocated by the Council as Neighbourhood CIL.

On the basis of feedback received from this consultation, the council will decide how to prioritise spending on particular Neighbourhood CIL funded projects. Too feed in, click on this LINK

Get rid of your unwanted gadgets at Willesden Library

Mobile phones, digital cameras, tablets, headphones, battery-operated toys – were all high on wish lists this past Christmas.

As a large proportion of those shiny, new gadgets will be replacing yesterday’s models, the question facing their owners is what to do with the old ones?

Local residents have opportunity to declutter their homes of broken or unwanted small electrical items such as alarm clocks, toys, kettles and hair dryers.

In February, Willesden Library will be hosting electrical recycling events, where residents can drop by and get rid of any unwanted electronic items, in a safe and environmentally friendly way on the following dates

  • 6 February – 12 February
  • 13 February – 19 February

By recycling their unwanted items the owners are helping to protect the environment as fewer raw materials need to be mined for use in the manufacture of new products.

International Day for Disabled People – 1st December 2016

Brent is celebrating the International Day for Disabled People on 1st December 2016. Marked across the globe, this day has been celebrated by the United Nations since 1992.
The day aims to increase understanding of the barriers facing people with disabilities and promote participation and inclusion. The event will incorporate a Job Fair and a Health and Well-being Zone  The theme for 2016 is “Achieving the Goals for the future we want”

The event on  1st  December 2016   will be held at the Brent Civic Centre from 10am to 3pm and is an opportunity to engage with residents, carers and colleagues.

Please contact
equality@brent.gov.uk if you wish to register early for this event.