Cairnfield Avenue bend

The Harrow Observer has published a story about an issue in Dudden Hill ward where I am supporting a call from residents to stop cars from parking on a small section of Cairnfield Avenue in the Neasden part of my ward.

The section is on a very sharp bend. When cars or vans park here, visibility is low for drivers and often, because the spaces in between driveways is too small for a standard sized car, residents often find themselves blocked off from leaving their own home in their car.

I have led a site visit from Transport Officers at Brent Council at the location so that they can see what the issue is in person and I have instructed them to go back to the drawing board in working up a scheme for this small section of the road.

More police cuts in Dudden Hill

Last week, Dudden Hill lost yet another dedicated Police Community Support Officer. There is no plan to replace Community Support Officers in Brent. Dudden Hill are set to lose another in the next few months, meaning that in total, we will be down to three Safer Neighbourhood Team members working the whole ward.

This will mean that Dudden Hill has one Sergeant, one PC and one PCSO, when we should have one Sergeant, two PCs and three PCSOs. This means that Dudden Hill has lost 6,240 hours worth of frontline policing because of Tory Liberal cuts.

Dudden Hill Labour Councillors are working together to combat the challenges we both face and working in partnership, doing more with less for our residents.

Labour’s candidate for the London Mayoral election, Ken Livingstone has pledged to reverse police cuts in London – LINK

 

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!

 

**Update on traffic in Brent following major gas leak in Neasden

There are a number of large gas mains below that section of Neasden Lane. The gas board identified a heavy leak to one of them and met with officers here (and the Police and bus operators) to decide what to do.

It was agreed that the leak needed to be repaired urgently and that the most appropriate solution was to install one-way working along a section of Neasden Lane (with traffic in the other direction following a diversion). Any restrictions on roads such as Neasden Lane are disruptive but it was decided that one way working would be safer and less disruptive. In this particular case the leaking mains presented a genuine hazard and there was no choice but to make arrangements to undertake the repair straight-away.

At the time when the arrangements were being made the extent and precise location of the leak was not known and it was envisaged that the repair might take a maximum of 10 days. The forecast repair time was based on limited knowledge about the size, location and condition of the gas mains in the area.

The repair proved easier to identify and repair than anyone envisaged. I am told that the repair will be completed today and that it is likely that the road will be completely open to traffic later today or tomorrow.

Emergency Works on Neasden Lane following Major Gas Leak

National Grid Gas is undertaking emergency roadworks on Neasden Lane NW10 to repair a major gas leak.

Works are due to commence at 10am on 21 February 2012 and will last for ten days.

During the works Neasden Lane will be closed to southbound traffic between the A4088 Neasden Lane Roundabout and Bermans Way.

Southbound traffic affected by the closure should go via Dudden Hill Lane and Bermans Way.

For more information contact National Grid Gas on 01455 232822 or Brent Council on 020 937 5133/5145.

View the area on a map

(Source: Brent Council)

EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dem stooge planted as concerned resident in local papers

A quick search has revealed that Alison Hopkins, a “local resident” on the front page of The Brent and Kilburn Times condemning the change to waste and recycling in Brent as “rubbish” is a well known Party Political Brent Liberal Democrat activist and was a candidate for the Party in the May 2010 local elections in the Stonebridge Ward.

LINK: Lib Dem anti-recycling front page coverage

The story was printed on Thursday 13th October,  around a week into the new bin system coming into Brent.

Figures for January 2012 show that the recycling rate with the new in the Borough is at 43%. This is up from 23% in January 2011. A whopping increase of 20%! With the Government shifting landfill tax increases to Councils, it means that less money is being use by Brent Council to bury trash in the ground.

In addition, the absent Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues who lives in Brighton also speaks out against the bin system.

David Cameron is right to raise the issue of binge drinking

Despite the rank hypocrisy highlighted by the Political Scrapbook here (LINK), which describes how David Cameron profited £84,000 from a “binge drinking” bar chain, The Prime Minister is right to raise the issue of binge drinking.

Although the issue in Dudden Hill ward is in a slightly different context compared to what David Cameron is talking about, some of the issues are experienced in my ward, particularly in the Neasden area.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.
WikiImage

The Government talk of the soaring costs to the NHS because of excessive drinking. In Neasden, street drinking has an impact on the Council’s resources as people are drinking and throwing cans away on the streets rather than recycling.

In addition, individuals off their heads on alcohol are taking part in anti-social behaviour in surrounding streets and can appear intimidating hanging around in groups in front of people’s houses.

The additional time that the Police have to spend in these hotspot drinking areas is also having a drain on Police resources. In Neasden, I am working with Sergeant Matthew Howard and the Safer Neighbourhood Team along with the Neasden Action Group. Last week I also took the opportunity to raise it with Brent Borough Commander Matthew Gardner.

The Council also has a role to play through licensing. Alcohol is too readily available. It does not help that one in four premises in the Neasden shopping centre sells alcohol; and in some cases, as cheap as £1 a 500ml can of beer.

At the same time, there are underlying issues of jobs and unemployment that have to be addressed on a national scale.

Extremely proud of a Dudden Hill resident

I am extremely proud of a Cobbold Road resident from Dudden Hill Ward who I recently spoke to on the doorstep recently.

I have been encouraging local residents to note down details of anyone they see dumping and to send these straight through to me. This morning, a resident texted me through number plate details for a vehicle who dumped rubbish. I will be following this up.

English: Cobbled Road Willesden NW10 Cobbold R...
Cobbold Road, Dudden Hill Ward, Image via Wikipedia

Dudden Hill Lib Dem Councillor moves to Brighton, but it’s business as usual for Dudden Hill Labour

The Willesden and Brent Times has reported that one of my co-Dudden Hill Councillors, David Clues is living in Brighton.

A statement from Cllr Clues can be found here (LINK). If he is genuinely moving in transition and moving to and from Dudden Hill and Brighton, making appointments to see residents and available to contact through phone email and post and can make it work, then fair play to him.

After coming a miserable fourth in the Kenton by-election (behind even an independent candidate) and seeing their vote collapse in the marginal Wembley Central by-election less than a month ago, I’d be surprised if the Brent Liberal Democrats called a by-election. Instead they will be sweating away if it gets close to six months and Dudden Hill Lib Dem Councillor, David Clues has not attended a Council meeting, which is the minimum requirement for him to keep his seat.

Residents have been raising this to me for a while but I was personally uncertain of his whereabouts. I’ve just gone about my own business in representing my people in the way that I best see fit and not bothered to worry about the Brent Liberal Democrats and I will continue to do so. Calling a by-election is in the hands of Lib Dem hierarchy and Cllr Clues, so Aslam and I will go about our own business.

In October 2011, a Dudden Hill resident approached me and said “Looks like we’ll have a by-election in the area soon”. “No I said”. He was shocked when I told him, as long as he turns up to a Council meeting every six months, he can keep his seat.

Dudden Hill residents on Twitter said:

“This is ridiculous. Where are his loyalties?”

“This is disgusting. What, if anything, can be done to oust him?”

“I think it’s shocking to be honest”

Another tweeted:

“He’s pocketing 7K which he will of course pay back… #Git”

I recently spoke to an ex-Councillor who once represented the Neasden area who said that David is a ‘left’ thinker and will probably in the inside be dismayed at what the Liberals are doing in Government. I predict that after he ceases to be a Brent Councillor (that is if he doesn’t run for election again in 2014), he will not be renewing his Liberal Democrat membership in Brighton.

Neasden street drinking

Street drinking is a huge issue in the Neasden area. The amount of cans left behind by drinkers and the anti-social behaviour that residents and businesses suffer from drunk people is horrific.

At the last Dudden Hill Ward Panel meeting, I supported the resident’s and businesses’ plea to have it as a priority issue for the Safer Neighbourhood Team to tackle.

Today I will be going around Neasden with the Neasden Action Group to further investigate the issue and talk to residents about what they can practically do when they see someone drinking openly around their area.

Anyone is more than welcome to join us. We will be starting off where Cairnfield Avenue meets with Chartley Avenue at 1PM.