Dudden Hill community unites over Nazi graffiti

On Sunday, local residents sadly woke up to Nazi graffiti on our streets by the Dollis Hill tube station area. I was alerted to this on the day and joined local residents in scrubbing the horrific graffiti off in what was a great instant community response.

Last night we organised a vigil to get people together and show our unity against this abhorrent act of vandalism.

Local children placed positive messages at the location where the hateful graffiti had been sprayed.

before after bus stop

We were joined by the local Rabbi from the Brondesbury Synagogue.

It was humbling to see that attempts to create division had created a positive community response and united us.

Police have been informed as this is clearly a criminal act and the Council have been helpful in deep cleaning the graffiti to ensure no paint marks or signs of the red graffiti remain.

before after pavement

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Dudden Hill and the overnight storms

Trees
Trees (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Brent Council has put up a useful list of areas where trees have fallen down as a result of the overnight storms.

Some areas seem to be more heavily affected than others and Dudden Hill is in particular affected with quite a few trees having fallen down around the Gladstone Park Primary School area.

In the Neasden area, brick fences have come down and wooden fences too. I’m sure they have in other areas too. Tanfield Avenue which is a major travel and bus route for commuters and school children has also been affected by a fallen tree.

There were also morning disruptions on the Jubilee line with items on the track having to be cleared.

For more information please visit the Council page here: LINK

Calling on Gove to not make Gladstone Park Primary School a sponsored academy

Earlier this week, I met with a parents with children at Gladstone Park Primary School who are concerned with the approach that the Department for Education are taking in forcing it to become an academy.

I have written to the Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP on the issue. My letter can be found here – LINK1of2 LINK 2of2

 

Ward Working contributes to Gladstonebury Park Festival

English: Gladstone Park A gentleman enjoys the...
English: Gladstone Park A gentleman enjoys the autumn sun from the comfort of a bench beneath the Plane trees along the main avenue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not as attention grabbing on a global scale as Glastonbury but locally just as popular. This year, Dudden Hill contributed towards the hiring of the main stage, sound system as well as other set up costs for the Festival held at Gladstone Park.

It is an annual festival held at the Park in Dollis Hill.

Brent Party votes in London 2012 elections

There is no doubt that London election polling is different to local or Parliamentary elections. Nonetheless it is a fantastic indicator for elections. For example, the London 2008 vote in Brent North and Barnhill in particular showed us that it was possible for Labour to make substantial gains in Brent at the expense of the Tories. We were proven right and Mikey Pavey’s landslide victory on May 3rd 2012 in the Brent Barnhill by-election was an amazing triumph for Brent Labour.

Here are the results in percentages Ward by Ward. I will comment below the graph on certain key results that may have wider implications.

Alperton

In a ward where the Liberals currently have two Councillors and Labour has one, Labour polled first by miles (63.4% of the vote!). The Tories even beat the Lib Dems who came third in this seat. Labour is on course to take all three Council seats in Alperton in 2014.

Barnhill

In a usually straight Labour Tory battle, the Tory vote collapsed. The Lib Dems didn’t field a candidate in the Barnhill by-election at all but in the Party vote they polled 9.1%. My suspicion is that many Liberals who were deserted by the Brent Council Lib Dem Group voted for the Conservative Party candidate in the Council vote.

Brondesbury Park

In a ward which currently has three Lib Dem Councillors, the Liberals were battered into fourth place behind Labour, the Tories and the Greens. Well done to the greens who won 11% of the vote there.

Dollis Hill

Perhaps this was due to there being a fresh Council by-election victory for the Liberals in Dollis Hill Ward, but it the Liberals polled higher in Dollis Hill than in any other ward in Brent with 14.1% of the vote. However, they were still beaten by Labour (56%) and the Tories (16%). It is interesting though that in the Ward where the Liberal vote now appears to be the strongest in Brent, they only sneaked in a by-election victory in March 2012 by 37 votes!

Dudden Hill 

My Ward. I share this ward with one Labour Councillor and a Lib Dem. In this ward, Labour polled 54.4% and the Tories 14.8%. This means there are less Tory votes for the Liberals to prize away, as is their usual tactic.

Kensal Green

The Liberals polled well here in the last Council and general election, but came a miserable fourth in this Ward.

Kenton

In the only ward in Brent where there are three Tory Councillors, the Conservative Party did well here.

Mapesbury

The Lib Dems currently have three Councillors in this Ward but signs for a Labour gain in the future are positive. Labour membership in this Ward has spiked up since the Lib Dems entered Government and the Liberals polled third behind the Tories and Labour in this Ward.

Queensbury

In what is known as a Labour vs Tory marginal Ward, Labour won more than twice as many votes than the Tories in this Ward.

Stonebridge

This is our strongest Ward with Labour winning 78.9% of the vote. The Lib Dems were battered into fourth place behind us, the Tories and the Greens. There narrowly polled ahead of the Christian Party who won 2.9% of the vote in Stonebridge. This is 0.2% less than what the Liberals polled. This is bad news for Brent Central MP Sarah Teather who did poll better than expected in Labour heartlands in Brent in order to win the Brent Central seat in 2010.

Sudbury

Labour currently has one Councillor in this ward and these poll results show that Labour is on course to gain at least another in Sudbury. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Paul Lorber is in a very nervous position and it will go down to the wire for the Sudbury Council vote in 2014.

Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team down to three

Police numbers in Dudden Hill are simply too low. My ward currently has only one Sergeant, one PC and one PCSO as part of the dedicated Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team at the moment.

Last night, I was on a joint collaborative ward walkabout with Welsh Harp Ward to investigate cross-ward issues in the Neasden area. Residents are also welcome to join me this Sunday with the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team for a walkabout in the Neasden Shopping Centre area at 9.30am. The issues that we are trying to solve simply need more resources.

There are currently three different area with differing problems that we are trying to deal with at the moment. In Neasden, we have the street drinking and anti-social behaviour, in the Dollis Hill part of the Ward, I was informed last night that burglary has spiked up again and the Church Road area has one of the largest crime rates in Brent at the sub-ward level.

Given the lack of resources being afforded to our local police, I will ensure that ward working money is given to crime initiatives as I have done in previous years. The doubling of Ward Working funding will go a long way to help me, my remaining co-Councillor and the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team address specific crime and anti-social behavioural issues in Dudden Hill.

Lib Dems hold Dollis Hill Ward by-election by 37 votes but a lot to be proud of after increasing our share of the vote

The results of the Dollis Hill by-election on 22nd March 2012 are as follows.

Labour       1168        (45.1%)      up from 38.4% in 2010

Lib Dem    1205        (46.5%)      up from 40.8% in 2010

Tory            140      (5.4%)         down from 16.9% in 2010

Green          79            (3%)             down from 3.9% in 2010

Turnout was 29.8%.

As you can see, Labour put up a pretty good fight in our attempt to gain this seat from the Liberal Democrats. We fought a positive campaign and increased our share of the vote. Parvez was an excellent candidate and very personable, hard working and gracious in defeat. The Tory vote collapsed in Dollis Hill Ward and it seems the Lib Dems benefited from this.

Congratulations to Parvez and all the candidates for the hard work they put in and to the newly elected Councillor Alison Hopkins.

More Brent Liberal Democrat embarrassment

I’ve blogged before about the curious activities of the Brent Liberal Democrat conniving promotion tactics and the con tricks they use here LINK. This is becoming usual practice when it comes to the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Dollis Hill by-election Alison Hopkins.

Here I blogged about how the Lib Dems use her and plant her in stories in the local press as a “local resident” when she is a known activist for Nick Clegg’s Party as she even stood as a Council candidate in the 2010 Brent local elections as a Liberal Democrat candidate – LINK.

Well it seems a quote from the Lib Dem was planted as coming from a “resident” in late February, when leaflets were going around in Dollis Hill Ward promoting Alison Hopkins.

The Willesden and Brent Times have since realised this and pulled the quote from the online version of the article – but obviously it is impossible to amend printed versions of the article. They have sorrily explained that they did not know at the time she was a known local Lib Dem activist.

 

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.

A week in the life of Cllr Hirani

Being a Councillor takes a lot of commitment. Here is what I did last week to give you a flavour.

Monday

I spent Sunday evening going through the Council’s budget for 2012/2013 Budget. On Monday evening, the Labour Group were meeting at Brent Town Hall to discuss the Budget so I wanted to be ready with questions and raise any issues arising.

I do also work and have a full time job working for a national disability charity and with the changes that are happening in this sector it is a demanding role. Before I start work I go to the Swaminarayan Temple in Stanmore where my father is a trustee. My Labour Group meeting was at 7.30pm so I worked from 9am to 7pm. I managed to squeeze in a lunch time gym session as I do like to keep fit and the building I work in has a gym. After work, it was straight to the Town Hall and the meeting finished around 10pm.

Tuesday

Another day at work in the office. Squeezed in another gym session. I had no Council meetings in the evening so I took the opportunity to sit down in front of my computer and work until the late hours of the evening on casework. Most of the casework I pick up is from the doorstep. A constituent who lives nearby also came over to my house because she was flying out to India and wanted assistance in buying travel insurance. I was happy to help and hope her trip goes well!

Wednesday

I worked in the office until late afternoon. I had already worked more hours than I was required to by my employer so I took the opportunity to leave the office and meet with Council transport officers in the Neasden area of my ward. I wanted to point out a location where I believe there should be double yellow lines as the sharp bend coupled with cars parking in the spot makes visibility very poor and it is an accident waiting to happen.

In the evening, I went to the American Embassy. I was invited by the Ambassador to an event celebrating the 15 year anniversary of Operation Black Vote. I participated in the organisation’s Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme and shadowed David Lammy MP. He was also at the reception so it was great to have the chance to catch up and have a chat. I also met and spoke to Rushanara Ali MP, Diane Abbott MP (who I was to come to Brent the next day), Lee Jasper, Garth Crooks and Paul Elliott.  I had to rush back from the embassy to get back to Brent. My mates had booked a 930pm pitch at Alperton goals so I finished the evening with a night of 5-a-side football.

Thursday

I worked from home. As I had a work related meeting in central London to get to. I broke away for an hour as part of my break before my meeting to join Brent Labour’s campaign in the Willesden Green area to Save the NHS. We were joined by Diane Abbott MP who is the Shadow Public Health Minister, who handed in a letter calling on Sarah Teather to use her influence to Drop the Bill.

Friday

Again another day in the office. There are usually no Council meeting or Party meetings on Friday evenings so I got the opportunity to have a night out. That Tinseltown milkshake was well earned!

Saturday

After a work free Friday evening, the battery was charged for a weekend of campaign activity. I had time for breakfast with the family in the morning. I went on the doorstep in my Ward and knocked on doors from around 1pm as I do every Saturday. This week we went to the Willesden part of my ward and knocked on doors on Riffell Road and the Marley Walk estate. I had a member of the Party who lives in my ward and extra help is always welcome!

After I finished, I went to Dollis Hill Ward where there is a Council by-election to help with the campaign there. Parvez Ahmed is Labour’s candidate there and he will make a great colleague on the Council.

Sunday

I actioned the casework I collected on the doorstep on Saturday. I drew up an action plan and mapped out roads that I have not been out to since I was elected. I worked out that in 12 weeks time, the whole of Dudden Hill will have been canvassed since I was elected and some roads at least twice!

I then spent the afternoon, a good three hours, out with Parvez in Dollis Hill Ward knocking on doors. Afterwards, I paid home visits to two residents in the Neasden part of my ward regarding some casework. Sunday evening was again spent playing football at Alperton Goals. My mates were short one player for a 5-a-side game so I stepped in!

And so it was ready for another week. Bring on Monday!