Another huge casework win is still a hit on the doorstep today

Our team is out regardless of whether there is an election or not and when we visited residents in October 2010, we were able to show residents the real difference that Labour Councillors are making in the area.

What the Bermans Way / Leeland Way intersection used to look like
What the Bermans Way / Leeland Way intersection used to look like

On Leeland Way and Bermans Way, there was a huge dump that had been left there for years. It was an awful eyesore. We managed to get it boarded up and secured as soon as we were elected.

Residents were shocked to see Councillors actually delivering as they were used to the lack of any contact from Lib Dem Councillors in the ward before 2010.

Site boarded up

The Brent Lib Dems attempt to delay the scrapping of the £25 charge for bulky item collection

Labour plans to abolish the Dumpers’ Charter on 1st October 2010 despite the fact that the Lib Dems are attempting to pettily call-in the decision.

The Labour executive will ignore Lib Dem delaying tactics and we will keep our promise to abolish the £25 charge for bulky refuse collection. The abolition of the charge was our number one pledge in our local Brent Labour manifesto and the Council’s ruling Executive voted to implement the abolition from 1st October 2010.

However, the Liberal Democrat Opposition has now pettily ‘called in’ the Executive’s decision in an attempt to delay implementation.

The Labour Leader of Brent Council, Councillor Ann John, has lambasted the Lib Dems’ delaying tactics and she is determined to abolish the charge. Cllr John said:

“Unlike the Lib Dems who have betrayed every principle they ever had in return for ministerial limousines, we believe in keeping our promises and we will not be deflected by childish delaying tactics.

This was our number one pledge and we have a clear mandate to implement it. The people of Brent have spoken and if the Lib Dems had any respect for the democratic process at all they would accept the electorate’s decision. The fact that they are still trying to overturn the policy shows that they are neither liberal nor democratic”.

What the Bermans Way / Leeland Way intersection used to look like
What the Bermans Way / Leeland Way intersection used to look like

The £25 charge was introduced by the previous Liberal Democrat administration. It quickly led to an epidemic of illegal dumping and became widely known as the ‘Dumpers’ Charter’.

In Dudden Hill, the infamous Bermans and Leeland Way dump developed which infuriated residents for over a year. Within a week of being elected, the site was cleared after Lib Dem Councillors neglected and ignored residents LINK

The scrapping of the charge will help make scenes like this a thing of the past and shows commitment from the Brent Labour administration to improve services for our residents despite the wave of cuts that are being dished out by Sarah Teather’s Lib Dem / Tory Coalition Government.

Residents ecstatic at change on Bermans Way and Leeland Way

During the election campaign, I sent the following letter out to residents of Bermans Way and Leeland Way – (Letter to residents of Bermans Way and Leeland Way).

It was regarding this eyesore that had residents angry for years. My predecessors did nothing about it. It was ignored by the people who should by the duty of their role care about issues like this that residents are rightly furious about. I would hate to live with a dump like that on my road.

The Lib Dem introduction of a £25 for bulky item collection had made it easier to dump and unfortunately for residents on Bermans Way and Leeland Way, they had become victims of Lib Dem policy.

A week into my tenure as a Councillor and skips were around to deal with the dump. This is what it looks like now after the clear up.

The scrapping of the £25 bulky items charge will mean that scenes like this will become a thing of the past.

Brent Labour Manifesto for 2010 Local Elections

On a day where Gordon Brown announced the key battle themes that Labour will be campaigning on for the general election, here is what Labour will do if we regain control of Brent Council:

We Will:

  • Repeal the £25 charge for bulky refuse collection.
  • Keep Council Tax levels at or below the London average and introduce a discount for eligible over 75 year olds.
  • Introduce FREE parking for the first hour in Council car parks to encourage local shopping for local people.
  • Rebuild our secondary schools and ensure that school facilities are fully available to the wider community, especially young people
  • Crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Introduce a Green Charter in consultation with local residents and other stakeholders.

OTHER HIGH PRIORITIES:

  • Introducing 20mph speed restrictions in areas where residents want them.
  • Introducing fairer care charges for elderly and disabled people.
  • Making Brent a Fairtrade borough.
  • Provide multi use games areas in every suitable open space.
  • Provide a safer environment for our young people.
  • Work with other local authorities and central government to change legislation to allow the Council to restrict the growth of betting shops and fast food outlets near schools.

In the next few weeks leading up to the elections, I will blog on these pledges and priorities in greater detail, giving plenty of reasons to Bring Labour Back in Brent.

Brent Labour Group in Stonebridge after working on developing the Local Election manifesto

Brent Labour’s Budget Proposals

On Monday 1st March Brent Council met to determine its budget for 2010-11. Labour opposed the package of cuts and redundancies proposed by the Lib Dem/Tory administration. Labour also re-affirmed its promise to scrap the £25 charge for bulky refuse collection, which has led to an epidemic of dumping across the Borough Other proposals included:

FREE PARKING TO ENCOURAGE LOCAL SHOPPING FOR LOCAL PEOPLE

Labour will be proposing free parking for the first hour in council car parks (all of which are close to local shopping centres) in order to discourage local people from driving to ‘out of town’ shopping centres like Brent Cross, where parking is free, to encourage people to shop locally. This would have the effect of reducing carbon emissions and also have the effect of boosting local businesses with local people using local shops.

Labour’s Transport Spokesperson, Cllr Lena Ahmed, said:

“We believe that parking restrictions and charges in local shopping centres are bad for business and we want to encourage local shopping for local people so that local people use local shops. The cost in lost revenue is a mere £96,840, which is a small price to pay for a significant boost to the local economy during the world economic downturn”.

Labour is also calling for residents’ parking charges to be linked to carbon emissions with higher charges for vehicles which cause the most pollution.

These measures will form part of a ‘Green Charter’, which Labour will present to the electorate as part of its manifesto.

AN END TO THE LIB DEMS’ CARE CHARGE RIP-OFF

Having promised free personal care for the elderly before the last election, The Brent Lib Dems have increase some home care charges by nearly 300%. Labour voted against these increases and is pledged to review the charges. However, the government has now introduced the Personal Care at Home Bill, which will eliminate many of these charges.

Labour’s Spokesperson for Adults, Health & social Care, Cllr Ruth Moher, said:

“Those who receive home care are amongst the most vulnerable people in our borough and we will protect them”.

NO TO HOUSING ON PUBLIC OPEN SPACE

Labour’s budget proposals contain a specific pledge to reverse the Lib Dems’ plans for housing development in Barham Park and to protect all public open space from rapacious developers. In December, the Lib Dem controlled Executive agreed the sale of 776-778 Harrow Road, Wembley, which is in Barham Park, for housing development and Labour fears that a tower block may be built there.

Labour’s Environment and Planning Spokesperson, Cllr James Powney, said:

“The Lib Dems sneaked this report through the Executive just before Christmas and entitled it ‘Disposal of 776-778 Harrow Road’ in the hope that nobody would notice that the site is in fact IN Barham Park. The report allows for housing development on the site. Labour is opposed to any housing being built on public open space and we will fight this proposal all the way”.

Labour’s budget proposals also sought to reverse the sale of the scout hut at Oliver Goldsmith School.

ACTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

With Brent South Labour MP, Dawn Butler, being Minister for Young People, it is no surprise that Labour’s budget proposals seek to improve services for teenagers and young people. The party proposes a multi use games area in every suitable open space and regrets the Lib Dems’ decision to remove years 2 & 3 funding from the budget for improvements to Kingsbury’s Roe Green Park. Labour is also committed to restoring the cut in funding for the ‘Positive Activities for Young People’ programme, which is a Youth Service project working with young people at risk of social exclusion engaging them in constructive activity programmes in order to assist their progress into education or employment.

Labour’s spokesperson for Children and Families, Cllr Mary Arnold, said:

“It’s a false economy to cut youth spending because with nothing better to do, young people can sometimes drift into trouble, become a nuisance to everybody else and miss out on educational and employment opportunities, which will affect their life chances. Given the opportunity for positive activities, young people generally develop their talents and skills and they will thrive”.

SUPPORT FOR ADVICE AGENCIES

Labour will maintain the £22,000 one off increase in funding for advice agencies and seek to develop innovative ways to link advice, debt management and job seeking support services.

Kilburn ward Councillor Mary Arnold, who has campaigned against the closure of Brent In2 Work and cuts to advice services, said:

“Brent is slowly emerging from the world wide recession but the recovery is fragile and will be put at risk if the Tories or Liberals are in power. It is therefore important to retain the extra funding for advice agencies and to link advice, debt management and job seeking support services.

REPAIR POT HOLES BEFORE PAYING CONSULTANTS

Labour Councillors will slash spending on consultants by £1.5 million and use the money saved to repair pot holes and broken pavements. The Council’s own budget report shows that the cost of claims for injuries sustained on broken pavements has risen by over 30%. The Lib Dem and Tory council is also proposing to cut spending on street cleaning.

Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Cllr James Powney, said:

“There are more pot holes in Brent’s roads than there are in the Yorkshire Dales and they are a danger to motorists in general and especially to cyclists. Meanwhile, broken pavements are an ever present danger to disabled residents and others with impaired mobility. Instead of wasting money on consultants who tell us nothing new we should repair our roads and pavements”.

Labour will also be seeking to reduce the grossly excessive spending of £16 million a year on temporary and agency staff.

Labour’s Deputy Leader and Finance Spokesperson, Cllr Muhammed Butt, said:

“How can the Lib Dems and Tories justify employing nearly 600 temporary and agency staff at a cost in excess of £16 million a year when we are sacking 250 permanent staff?”

Denzil Road residents demand better

Another day, another Liberal let down. Once again, local Dudden Hill residents have vented their anger at the Council at dealing with fly-tipping, dumping and road surfaces. This is what I came across today on the corner of Selbie Avenue where it meets Denzil Road.

Also left on Denzil Road was a dumped sofa set.

The Brent Labour Group has pledged to remove the £25 bulky items charge introduced by the Lib Dems if we regain control of the Council in May. Undoubtedly, we believe that this will lead to a significant reduction of dumping on our roads. This problem was not so widescale in Brent until the Liberal Democrats introduced a charge for the service.

Another point stressed by a local resident who works for Brent Council was the lack of care shown to the road. “Other parts of Brent are immaculately clean” she said. “These Lib Dems don’t give a **** about us on Denzil Road” and plenty more that if you want to find out, drop me an email on krupesh@bclabour.org.uk

No resources to keep Dudden Hill clean

On 15th November I blogged on the following regarding Dewsbury Road – LINK

I continue to see rubbish dumped on the corner of this particular road regularly. See photo evidence below:

15th November
15th November
15th November
5th December 2009
5th December

11th December

As you can see the level of neglect is atrocious. Residents vented their anger on the issue and I wrote to the Council’s StreetCare team looking for clarification on the issue:

Dear Sir / Madam,

I have received complaints from residents in Dewsbury Road, Dollis Hill that their street is not being looked after properly in comparison to adjacent roads. Residents were having to sweep the pavements of leaves falling from trees planted on the pavement.

Last Sunday, on the corner of the road itself by the road sign was a dreadful heap of tree waste by which it would be impossible to get a pushchair, wheelchair or pavement vehicle past (see attached photograph).

Can this issue be looked into?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,

Krupesh Hirani

Dudden Hill Ward
Labour Party Action Team


krupesh@bclabour.org.uk

Below is the response I received:

Dear Krupesh,

With regards to your email, please be advised  that on my inspections the Fly tip was observed and  issued  on 19th /11/09 : Contender number 1014686.  Upon request for removal further items had been  added to the fly tip.  It would appear that at that particular location as well as various locations in the Dudden Hill Ward, items are being dumped on the public footway.

With regards to the street cleansing, there has been several  issues  raised relating to the cleansing standard  of the area. The fact that we also have leafing issues is  further affecting cleansing standards. Please rest assured I am trying to arrange additional cleansing services for the area as the roads are very long and I don’t believe that there  is adequate resources to ensure for effecting maintenance throughout Dewsbury Road and the surrounding roads.

Thanking you for  your time in this matter.

Kind Regards,

StreetCare Ward Officer (Dollis Hill and Dudden Hill)

Another example of Lib Dem hypocrisy with them admitting there are inadequate resources to keep our streets clean and yet the Council spends £2.3 million on communications and over a million pounds on external consultants to tell them how to save money!

Dumping in the Church End Area

More wreckless dumping on the streets in Dudden Hill. This time on Cobbold Road and Franklyn Road.

Cobbold Road
Franklyn Road

The Brent Labour Group has pledged to remove the £25 bulky items charge introduced by the Lib Dems if we regain control of the Council next year.

Where are our Lib Dem Councillors to deal with these issues?

£25 Charge really is a ‘Dumpers Charter’

12 day delay on bulky items collection

but illegal dumps removed within 48 hours

As soon as they came to power, the Lib Dem and Tory coalition, which governs Brent scrapped Labour’s free bulky refuse collection service in favour of a £25.00 charge. Since then dumping has reached epidemic proportions as local residents dump items rather than pay the £25.00 charge.

Local residents long ago christened the charge ‘the Dumpers’ Charter’ and the experience of Willesden Green Labour Councillor Lesley Jones, proves that it really is a ‘dumpers charter’ as dumped items are moved more quickly than items paid for by responsible local residents.

Councillor Jones booked a bulky item collection (for a mattress) online on 27 November and paid for the mattress to be cleared but she has been told that she will have to wait until 8 December before the Council comes to collect the mattress – a delay of TWELVE days. Councillor Jones has since received confirmation from the Council that illegal dumps are cleared within 48 hours. In other words, irresponsible residents who dump rubbish illegally to avoid the £25.00 charge have their bulky items removed within 48 hours whilst responsible residents who pay the charge can expect to wait for up to TWELVE days.

Councillor Jones said:

“The £25.00 charge really is a ‘Dumpers Charter’ as it encourages people to dump rubbish to avoid the charges then rewards them by collecting their items more quickly than those which are being disposed of legally. It doesn’t make any sense at all and thank goodness the Labour Party is pledged to abolish the charge as soon as we return to power”.

Read more from Lesley on the issue on her site: LINK