Gladstone Park licensing hours significantly reduced after feedback from residents

Dudden Hill 3 at Park noticeboardLast night I spoke at the Alcohol and Licensing committee meeting which was packed with local residents. It is pleasing to say that common sense has prevailed and the hours of the proposed licensed were significantly changed.

The revisions mean that alcohol has been completely withdrawn from the application and the hours have been severely restricted to Saturdays and Sundays up to 8pm only. It has also been stipulated that there will only be a maximum of five events at the park per year too.

It is a positive thing that these hours amended as totally scrapping and rejecting the license would have meant that Gladstonebury would have had to be cancelled.

Despite the scare mongering leaflets that went out to households from the Brent Liberal Democrats, no Brent Lib Dem Councillors turned up to make representations to the Committee.

There may be further news forthcoming due to the factual inaccuracies in a leaflet from the Brent Liberal Democrats on this issue.

It was also surprising that there was no Brent Liberal Democrat petition submitted at the Committee hearing given that residents have reported that Lib Dem activists had been around trying to collect signatures. It remains to be known what the Lib Dems have done with people’s personal details.

 

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Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on the Lords’ amendments tells a different story

Much has been made about Sarah Teather’s now public opposition against the Government’s flagship Welfare Reforms. It featured prominently in the Guardian as a lead story over the weekend where she claimed that what the Government, which she was a part of, was immoral and divisive – LINK.

When it came to the vote for the Welfare Reform Bill, the Brent Central MP was a notable absentee. However, her voting record on the amendments from the Lords paints a different picture.

She voted loyally with her Tory Liberal pals on the Welfare Reform Bill Clause 11 about Housing costs – LINK

3B Page 5, line 21, at end insert—

In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this section shall not permit the housing cost element of the universal credit to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 19;

(b) the claimant, or a child or a young person for whom either or both the claimants is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required; or

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant routinely provides foster care placements.

(3B) In subsection (3A), “claimant” means a single claimant or joint claimant.””

Clause 68

26B Page 52, line 36, at end insert—

“( ) In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this Welfare Reform Bill 3 section shall not permit the AMHB to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work-related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 11D of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;

(b) the claimant, their partner or a child or a young person for whom the claimant (or their partner) is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required;

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant or their partner routinely provides foster care placements.”

Lords Amendment 3B and 26B that was voted down by Sarah Teather

In short, disabled people who have had their properties adapted or live in accessible accommodation face the prospect of being penalised for having an extra room. This will have a detrimental impact on people who have had their own property made accessible for their individual needs and could lead to people having to move and make their new property accessible! In addition, people who are wheelchair users and may need the extra room for storing equipment such as mobility scooters and standing frames also will be adversely affected by this Government’s damaging policy. This Lords amendment on the Welfare Reform Bill, which Sarah Teather voted down would have protected the most vulnerable in our society from what is being called the ‘Bedroom Tax.’

On reading the New Clause 2 on Childcare (Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2)) she voted loyally with Government (LINK) She voted with Government on (Programme) (No. 2) Schedule 1 Universal credit: supplementary regulation-making powers (LINK) and also on (Programme) (No. 2) on Financial conditions (LINK)

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on clauses and amendments tells a different story. To coin a phrase that London Assembly Member Tom Copley used, Teather’s crocodile tears on the Government’s welfare reforms is pure Lib-Demmery at its worst.

Sarah Teather makes Brent pay double!

Data compiled by the Guardian has exposed the Tory Liberal cuts to Councils – LINK

It shows that Brent people have been disproportionately affected by the cuts to local Councils.

New data reveals that Brent’s budget has been cut at £120.21 per resident whereas the national average is £60.90 per person. Extraordinarily, North Dorset, a Tory controlled Local Authority has had its Budget cut by £2.70 per person. This is absolutely outrageous.

Why have Sarah Teather and her pals forced Brent to have to cut more than others? If Brent Tory Liberal Councillors do blame Labour for creating the deficit as they have done at Council meetings and the Coalition Government are holier than thou, are they still defending the level of cuts to Brent compared to others and supporting the damage made to Brent while other Councils are being given much more generous settlements?

Is it right that Brent residents have to pay more for paying back the budget deficit? Did they create the crisis? Was it Gordon Brown who created deficits in nearly every major country in the Western world by building and refurbishing schools and hospitals? or was there a global economic crisis?

Sarah Teather must explain why she chose to cut money away from Brent services more than services in other areas. Why does she feel it is right to make cuts to Brent Council of £120 per person and to North Dorset a measly £2.70 per person.

These are questions that all the Brent Tory Liberals are yet to answer.

 

What Planet is Gove Living On?

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove is receiving widespread criticism for having a bit of “things used to be a lot better in my day” syndrome, with his plans to overhaul the Education system.

Silent in all of this so far, surprise surprise is Education Minister Sarah Teather.

In other news, the International Olympic Committee are considering changing the format of the 100 metre race on the basis that people are running it faster. I mean Usain Bolt running it it 9.78 seconds…. It took me 10 seconds just to watch it!

The Spanish Football Association are also considering using smaller goals and footballs made from cast iron metal on the basis that Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi are scoring 50 plus goals a season.

Just another day in Tory Liberal Britain.

Lib Dem membership collapse in Brent Central

Membership for the Liberal Democrats in Brent has fallen by 42%. More than in any part of the country. This is in Education Minister Sarah Teather’s constituency.

Source: LabourList

Indeed we have seen the actual effects of this in terms of campaign methods. The Liberals are nowhere to be seen in wards such as Dudden Hill with even their elected ‘serving’ Councillor living in Brighton. Instead, with a slump in activists and members they seem to be using their increase in income from huge donors (her Register of Interests shows that £33,000 has come to Sarah Teather since she became a Government Minister) to pay for mass leaflet campaigns. Leaflets such as this – LINK.

They are even having to pay for deliverers. People I’ve spoken to in Dudden Hill who used to deliver for the Brent Liberal Democrats no longer want anything to do with them.

Liberal activists that are left in the Party may justify their existence in the Party by consoling in the belief that the actions of their Party are Tory inspired. However, this is simply not true. This article points out that the Tories in Parliament are more rebellious than the Liberals!

A by-election in Dudden Hill imminent?

Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues has been living in Brighton since 8th December 2011 LINK

In a show of contempt to the Brent Council Taxpayer, the Liberals look like they will be holding a Council by-election sometime in the next couple of months in Dudden Hill, when they had the choice to hold it on the same day as the London Mayoral elections.

By-election costs come out of the Council’s general fund.

There was a flurry of activity in Dudden Hill today for the first time since May 2010. I was out on the doorstep, as I am every Saturday, when I even spied Sarah Teather. A couple of people living near Gladstone Park have mentioned that they have been canvassed by the Liberals.

Interestingly, I spoke to a Lib Dem activist who had come over from Kensington to help out the Lib Dems in Dudden Hill. He first of all looked surprised and was impressed with seeing a young Councillor. He vented his disappointment at the way in which the Government was handling the economy and that the richest landowners in society had the means to pay off debt with a one off payment rather than targeting welfare and disability benefits. I asked that you can raise that with the MP that is there today. He said I’ve seen her briefly today – but this sort of thing is “too advanced” for her. At which point we exchanged contact details. Says a lot when Lib Dem activists feel more comfortable talking to Labour Councillors than Lib Dem MPs, Councillors and Government Ministers!

This level of activity from the Liberals is unprecedented in my tenure as a local Councillor, which suggests to me that a by-election in Dudden Hill is coming soon.

Sarah Teather Caught Yellow Handed

Last Friday, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman launched the ‘caught yellow handed’ document to tie in with the local election campaigns happening around the country.

The document exposes the Liberal Democrat MPs in Government for being responsible for imposing the cuts but hypocritically opposing them locally.

Brent Central MP Sarah Teather gets a starring role in the document on page 4 with the hypocrisy of their campaign in Dollis Hill Ward that I highlighted in March 2012 featuring strongly.

You can read the document highlighting the two-facedness of the Lib Dems here – LINK

Sarah Teather and the Brent Liberal Democrats slammed in Parliament for being hypocritics

Following my blogpost here LINK – covered by the brilliant Political Scrapbook website here LINK the issue of the Brent Central Liberal Democrats political communications during Lib Dem Alison Hopkin’s Dollis Hill Ward by-election campaign has been raised to the Leader of the House of Commons Sir George Young.

In a Parliamentary debate, Angela Eagle MP said:

May I wish everyone a happy international women’s day and welcome the debate later today, for which I thank my hon. Friend the Member for North East Derbyshire (Natascha Engel)? Does the Leader of the House agree that the Justice Secretary should clear his diary to attend it? The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will halve the number of women entitled to legal aid in domestic violence cases. The Opposition have set out proposals to reduce the legal aid bill without penalising the most vulnerable. Will the Leader of the House explain how the Government’s proposals are fair?

One person who does not think it fair is the junior Education Minister, the hon. Member for Brent Central (Sarah Teather), who spends her day voting for Government cuts and then goes delivering leaflets in the evening asking, “Who can you trust to stop the cuts?” The answer is clearly not the Liberal Democrats. Will the Leader of the House arrange for an urgent debate on Government communications to the electorate to enable her to explain herself?

This was picked up by a number of MPs on Twitter who highlighted the level of Lib Dem hypocrisy on the social networking site:

More MPs commented and people around the country condemned the hypocritical approach of the Brent Liberal Democrats. Brent deserves better than this sort of shameful and shameless set of individuals.

EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dem Hypocrisy Reaches New Low in Brent

While cutting Brent’s budget by £104 million, reducing the Brent Police budget by 20%, spending money on top down reorganisation of the NHS, trebling tuition fees, scrapping EMA and much more, the Liberal Democrats have reached a new hypercritical low in Brent. They have distributed an attack leaflet on the Labour Party in Dollis Hill Ward which asks the question, “who can you trust to stop the cuts?” All this while Lib Dem Sarah Teather, MP for Brent Central is a Minister in the Tory Liberal Coalition Government and is responsible for not only cutting too far too fast, but disproportionately harming and damaging our community in Brent with front-loaded cuts and more cuts to us compared to other Boroughs and areas in the country.

On the inside of the leaflet….

Using red text, no mention of any Lib Dem candidate or the MP Sarah Teather and nowhere in the leaflet is it admitted that it is from the Brent Liberal Democrats apart from in very small text, size 6 (or perhaps even size 4!!!!), where it says Printed by xxx (address in Brent) Published and Promoted by R Wharton on behalf of A Hopkins (Liberal Democrat) both at xxx (address in Brent). In an additional twist, the address provided is the address of none other than leader of the Brent Council Liberal Democrats Cllr Paul Lorber.

This sort of campaigning, which if anything is more likely to turn people away from the ballot box altogether rather than using persuasive, genuine arguments to inspire people to support your party is something we are used to from the Liberal Democrats in Brent. The politics of hatred and negative campaigning is very much embedded into their ethos here.

Labour calls on Sarah Teather and the Brent Liberal Democrats to Drop The Bill

The Brent Labour Party was joined by Shadow Minister for Public Health Diane Abbott MP on Thursday 23rd February in a campaign to Save The NHS. Hundreds signed the Labour petition to save the NHS in Willesden Green. Doctors, nurses and patients all around the country have called for the Government’s flagship Health and Social Care Bill to be dropped.

The Bill would allow provision for 49% of public facilities to be used by the private sector and would allow services to be delivered by “any willing provider”. This means that hospitals will be able use around half their hospital beds and theatre time for private patients and could lead to waiting lists going up as NHS beds are being used by private patients.

Instead of wasting billions on this damaging reorganisation, Labour would save this money and protect the jobs of 6,000 nurses. Diane Abbott come to Brent to personally hand in a letter to Government Minister Sarah Teather MP and called on her to use her influence to do the right thing for patients in this country and Drop the Bill.

There is overwhelming anger and opposition in Brent to the Tory Liberal Government’s top down reorganisation of the NHS. This is exactly what David Cameron said he wouldn’t do before he became Prime Minister. People don’t want a health service that puts profit before patients. They want to know that in their time of need, the NHS will be there for them.