Barbara Pitruzzella wins Kilburn by-election

Barbara Pitruzzella has won the Kilburn by-election. The by-election took place on the same day as the vote for the Mayor of London and was called following the sad and early death of Cllr Tayo Oladapo.

I met Barbara a couple of years ago when she showed a keen interested in health and social care issues. She is an incredible addition to the Labour Group and will make Kilburn proud. Barbara polled more than all the other parties and candidates combined in the by-election.

Kilburn by-election result:

Tilly Boulter, Liberal Democrats, 452
Elcena Jeffers, Independent, 35
Peter Murry, Green Party, 452
Janice North, UK Independence Party, 232
Barbara Pitruzzella, Labour Party, 2,841
Calvin Robinson, The Conservative Party Candidate, 802
Spoiled ballots, 77 

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Boundary changes to Brent

The Coalition Government is proposing to cut the number of Parliamentary constituencies from 650 to 600. In London, it is proposed to cut the number of Parliamentary Constituencies by 5, from 73 to 68. Brent is going to be affected by these boundary changes.

At the moment, the London Borough of Brent lies in three Parliamentary constituency boundaries: Brent Central, Brent North and Hampstead and Kilburn. Boundary changes will see wards in the London Borough of Brent in five different Parliamentary constituencies; Harrow, Stanmore, Wembley and Perivale, Willesden and Hampstead and Kilburn.

Changes:

  • At the moment, Brondesbury Park Ward lies in Hampstead and Kilburn Parliamentary constituency. It is proposed that this Ward comes over to Brent Central. Kilburn Ward and Queens Park Ward are to remain in Hampstead and Kilburn.
  • College Park and Old Oak Ward, which is in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is to come over to Brent Central Parliamentary constituency.
  • Tokyngton Ward is to move over from Brent Central to the Brent North Parliamentary seat.
  • Brent Central is to be renamed Willesden.
  • Perivale Ward is to move from the Ealing North Parliamentary seat to Brent North
  • Brent North is to be renamed Wembley and Perivale.
  • Fryent Ward and Queensbury Ward are to move over to what is now known as Harrow East in a new Parliamentary constituency that will be named Stanmore.
  • Kenton Ward in Brent is to move from Brent North to what is now Harrow West in a Parliamentary Constituency called Harrow.

Below are web links to the new proposed constituencies:

It is worth noting that the Government are consulting on these proposals for a 12-week period, from 13 September 2011 to 5 December 2011 so these are not finalised proposals. You can contribute your comments here: LINK

The Commission will be holding public hearings across all the English regions. There will be one hosted at Brent Town Hall on Thursday 20th October from 11am to 8pm and Friday 21st October from 9am to 5pm. For more details and to register, click here: LINK

Crackdown on serial graffiti vandal

An ASBO has been given to a graffitist who has been the culprit of eyesores in Dudden Hill, Willesden and Kilburn – as well as on the tube and rail networks. His graffiti damage has cost Brent Council more than £1,800 to clean up.

If any residents have issues regarding anti-social behaviour they should call the Brent Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0300 123 1212 or Brent Anti Social Behaviour Team on 0208 733 3932 or 0208 733 3940.

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?”

Area Consultation Forums

Following a summer break, Brent Council now has upcoming Area Consultation Forums (ACFs) in areas around Brent.

There are five Area Consultative Forums to give local people a say about the issues which matter to them. At each meeting, residents, businesses and community representatives are able to raise questions about services provided by the council and other agencies in Brent. Chaired by a Councillor, each area forum meeting is open to the public and is held during a weekday evening in an accessible venue.

At each meeting, there is also a ‘Soapbox slot‘ for residents to express their views and concerns about issues that affects them directly or indirectly. You may attend any forum meeting of your choice.

More information on the five forums

Take a look at each area forum page for more information including: venue, minutes from previous meetings plus dates & times of future meetings.

source: Brent Council

Whilst there is still room for improvement when it comes to actual public input for implementation, the forum still provides a useful avenue in which to collect information and know about what is happening in your area.