Crime and anti-social behaviour is by far the biggest issue in Dudden Hill on the doorstep. The situation is not helped by the cuts in our local dedicated Safer Neighbourhood Team.
In 2011/2012, we invested £2,449 in the Safer Neighbourhood Team to provide crime reasurance and prevention equipment.
In addition £3,816was provided to Elders Voice who provided home security improvements and advice to vulnerable residents aged over 60. £180 worth of safety equipment was also funded to the newly formed Ashcombe Park Neighbourhood Watch.
Imagine if you had to live near this………
Well this is what residents who lived off the North Circular Road near Neasden and on Avondale Avenue had to put up with since 2007! Letters had even been sent to the Prime Minister Tony Blair and a written response had been received from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott on this issue. Yet nothing had been done by the Lib Dem led Council. Through Ward Working, an alleyway clear up project was undertaken and this dump I am glad to say is no more.
Safer Neighbourhood Teams provide an essential role in following up and reassuring victims of crime at what could be a traumatic time for people. Unfortunately, they are not always well resourced, especially under this Tory Mayor of London. Through Ward Working, I have provided £1,224 worth of funding to the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team to purchase crime prevention and reassurance equipment so that they have the tools to carry out doing the splendid job they do effectively.
In all our Council indicators, crime is the most important issue to people in Brent and it is right that the Council works with the Police to make Brent a safer place for all.
Dudden Hill Ward has two schools. Northview Primary School and Gladstone Park Primary School. Through Ward Working, I have funded for the Brent FA to work with pupils in these two schools to develop footballing skills.
Many may be aware that the Church End part of Dudden Hill Ward is statistically one of the most deprived areas not only in Brent, but also perhaps in London and the wider Country.
NEETs is the term applied to people who are Not in Education Employment or Training. In a joint venture with Labour Councillors in Harlesden Ward, we decided to provide funds to AFC Wembley to work with young people in the area to provide guidance and involve them in whatever aspect attracted their tastes with the club. If they were interested in developing a career in marketing, or music, or IT, or whatever, AFC Wembley would find a role and accommodate and provide life mentoring and guidance and support also.
It seems as though these two alley-gating schemes will be the last for the forseeable future as good Council staff who worked in this area are no longer working for Brent Council. The two schemes funded were behind the Subway fast food store and behind the Santander Bank (was tempted to write Abbey National!) by Birse Crescent.
Both of these had been requested by the local residents living in flats above these shops and by local businesses but had limited success. One scheme had gone as far as forming a committee to manage the upkeep of the gates, only to be denied at the final hurdle.
Street drinking has gotten worse in behind these alleyways. This can be really intimidating,especially for people who live in the flats above these shops.
I regularly walk the alleyways with the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team who recommended that gates in these alleyways would be ideal. They had witnessed dumped rubbish, and even human excrement. One member had tripped on a greasy liquid and seen a rat of enormous size. Something had to be done.
I was pleased that I was able to take advantage of the final alleygating schemes for Dudden Hill ward and it was a real struggle to achieve this. I was able to successfully argue that proceedings had gone so far that it would be barmy to refuse installation of these gates now.
The gates have already been installed and the anti-social behaviour that occured in these alley areas are no more.
Every year, Councillors have an opportunity to fund one off projects in their ward under a scheme called Ward Working. I have not yet taken the opportunity to blog about what I have funded for the financial year 2011 / 2012, in what is my first opportunity to use the Ward Working fund to improve the local area.
I will use this opportunity over the next couple of weeks to blog about the ward working projects that I have funded.