Dudden Hill to be considered to pilot selected license landlord scheme

Plans for selective licensing for properties in Brent have been revised to consider the inclusion of Dudden Hill Ward and Mapesbury Ward. Original plans suggested Wembley Central, Harlesden and Willesden Green for piloting.

As part of Tuesday night’s decision, additional licensing will be rolled out across the entire borough.

Currently, all local authorities are obliged to run a licensing scheme covering Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more people. A scheme has been in operation in Brent since 2006.

We will roll out additional licensing in the whole Borough from 1st January 2015. This will cover HMOs not covered by mandatory licensing; defined as properties containing 3 or more separate households in a property of no more than 2 floors.

The third type of license is selective licensing and that will focus on improving the management of privately rented properties accommodating single households as well as HMOs. This is for consultation in the five wards mentioned above.

There is now more private rented housing in Brent than Council Social Housing. It is a highly unregulated market which is causing problems of anti-social behaviour in Brent. Especially in relation to fly-tipping, street drinking and poor upkeep of properties. It really leads to eyesores to many quiet residential roads.

The scheme was attacked by Lib Dem Councillors on the night who showed themselves to be on the wrong side of the argument on this issue. They have failed to grasp the issues in Brent revolving around the private rented sector.

Many of the flytipping issues and waste from overflowing bins can be attributed to private rented properties and rogue landlords. The Brent Labour Group is the only party hat is addressing the root cause of the problem. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have gained a notorious reputation of blaming Labour cuts to streetcare for fly tipping from individuals (quite ironic after their party are cutting Council funding around the country by 50% in some cases).

They then go on to blame the Council as if it is the Council that is physically putting the rubbish out on the streets. With this sort of attitude, they will always lack the ideas, creativity and energy needed to make fundamental long term changes that we need.

It is a massive innovative step in the right direction to drive up standards for all residents and tackle issues of anti-social behaviour.

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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?

Another Day Another Mattress

This time it’s Ashcombe Park in Neasden. These problems are being experienced all across Brent and have been since the Lib Dems introduced a £25 to take bulky items from residents. Labour have pledged to scrap this charge should we regain control of the Council in May 2010.

There was also a mini fridge left by a tree on this road recently.

The state of out alleyways are also horrific. See what I found in the alleyway between Chartley Avenue and Ashcombe Park below.

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

Council admits failure of Dumper’s charter

At the October Council meeting, Labour Councillor Jim Moher (Fryent ward) asked the following question:

What are the monthly rates for special collections since April 2006, and what reasons can the Administration give for the sudden decline in such collections in July/August 2007?

Councillor Moher has received a reply from the Lead Member for Environment, Planning and Culture, Cllr Irwin Van Colle, which confirms the decline and baldy states that the reason for the decline is the introduction of the charge for special collections. If you would like to see the full figures, email me on krupesh@bclabour.org.uk

Labour’s spokesperson for Environment, Planning & Culture, Councillor James Powney, welcomed Cllr Van Colle’s honesty, which is in sharp contrast to the Lib Dem refusal to admit that the £25.00 charge for bulky refuse – the ‘Dumpers Charter’ –  has caused an epidemic in dumping.

Councillor Powney said:

“I am grateful to Cllr Van Colle for admitting that the number of special collections has fallen as a result of the introduction of the ‘Dumpers’ Charter’. That is what I have been saying all along. Now perhaps he will change the policy he admits has failed”.

Fly-tipping on Yewfield Road

I’ve just come back from talking to residents on Yewfield Road where crime was an issue that featured prominantly on residents’ minds. Also apparant were the issue of dumping and fly-tipping which was visible on the road today with a mattress that had been left there on the pavement for days.

What is even more alarming is that a Liberal Democrat Councillor lives on this road!

Yewfield Road Mattress

Problems of fly-tipping have been horrific in Brent since the Lib Dems introduced the bulky items charge of £25. The Brent Labour Group have already pledged to remove this charge if we regain control of the Council next year.