Public meeting on the future of our fire service

Brent and Harrow residents have been urged to have their say over changes to their fire service.

Conference Hall, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley London HA9 0FJ at 7pm on Monday 11 January 2016

Local London Assembly Member Navin Shah AM made the call after the London Fire Brigade launched a consultation over proposals to meet £6.4m of budget cuts demanded by the Mayor. Local people are able to choose from two options, one which will see the permanent removal of 13 fire engines, and the other which will focus on back office efficiencies, allowing the 13 engines to be returned. A public meeting to discuss the future of fire services in North West, including Brent, will take place on 11th January.

Proposals set out in London Fire Brigade’s consultation include plans to permanently axe 13 fire engines, which could potentially see the removal of an engine at Willesden Fire station in Brent. However, Mr Shah warned that cutting more fire engines could exacerbate a recent rise in response times across the capital. 11 number of wards that have seen increases in Brent saw a rise in response times in 2014/15, when compared with the previous year, before Boris Johnson’s closure of 10 fire stations and scrapping of 14 engines.

Alternative proposals set out by Andrew Dismore AM, Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s Resource Committee, would meet the savings target through back office efficiencies and changing working patterns, enabling the 13 engines to be returned.

A public meeting to discuss both proposals and their impact for North West, including Brent, will take place at Conference Hall, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley London HA9 0FJ at 7pm on 11 January 2016.

Local London Assembly Member, Navin Shah AM, said:

“With our fire services facing uncertain times, and response times already rising significantly in Brent, it’s important that local people have their say over the future of London’s fire service.

“The Mayor’s cuts mean that there are very tough decisions ahead. If you take fire engines out of service then of course response times could rise and lives could be put at risk. Nobody wants to see that happen. With frontline services at stake, it hugely important that local people are given the opportunity to make their views known.”

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations at the Willesden Swaminarayan Temple

English: Shree Swaminarayan Temple This Hindu ...
English: Shree Swaminarayan Temple This Hindu Temple is on Willesden Lane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, I was delighted to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebration at the Willesden Swaminarayan Temple.

It was great to see members of the Gujarati community which I am a part of celebrate along side local residents and Brent’s elected representatives, including Councillors and our local Brent and Harrow London Assembly Member Navin Shah.

Photos of the event can be viewed here – LINK

Navin Shah storms to victory in Brent and Harrow

In Brent and Harrow, our Labour London Assembly Member Navin Shah stormed to victory, increasing his majority from 2008 to nearly a whopping 30,000 votes.

Candidate

Party

Votes

%

+/-

Navin Shah

Labour

70,400

48.5

11.3

Sachin Rajput

Conservative

40,604

28.0

-8.2

Charlotte Henry

Liberal Democrats

15,690

10.8

-1.6

Shahrar Ali

Green Party

10,546

7.3

0.7

Michael McGough

UKIP/Fresh Choice for London

7,830

5.4

3.4

TURNOUT: 145,070

 (Source: BBC)

However, the great Ken Livingstone who served as my MP in the old Brent East seat was unable to gain the London Mayoralty against Boris Johnson. Nonetheless, the result was closer than expected.

In his speech after the result, Ken stated his intention not to stand for elected office again. He has been an asset to London throughout the years and will be remembered for being a great political figure in London. Regardless of your view of Ken, he has had a revolutionary impact on the City and will be considered part of the political fabric of London for many years. 

Navin’s thumping re-election is great news for Labour in Brent and Harrow and I’m sure he will continue to be a formidable Brent and Harrow London Assembly Member.

VOTE LABOUR

Polling stations are now open all around the country. I am encouraging all to get out and vote… and vote well (by that I mean Labour of course!)

In London we have elections for the Mayor of London where Ken Livingstone is the Labour Party candidate. Those who want to give a first preference vote to a candidate other than Boris and Ken can still give Ken Livingstone their second preference vote and these will count towards the final result.

There are elections for the Greater London Assembly and Navin Shah is the Labour candidate for Brent and Harrow. In addition there is also a vote for a Party and I am also encouraging people to vote Labour on the list ballot paper.

Voters in Barnhill ward in the London Borough of Brent will also have an opportunity to vote in a Council by-election. Labour’s candidate for this election is Michael Pavey who will be a formidable colleague on Brent Council if elected on May 3rd.

Navin Shah’s new website

The Chamber of the Greater London Assembly
WikiImage

I would like to encourage all to visit Brent and Harrow’s representative on the London Assembly Navin Shah’s new website – LINK

Navin has produced a very informative newsletter since he has been elected to the London Assembly. I would recommend all to click on the newsletter tab and click to email and request for yourselves to be added to the distribution list.

Navin Shah AM slams worst Dial-A-Ride statistics in London

Navin Shah AM, The London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow today slammed new statistics revealing Brent and Harrow had the worst refusal rates for Dial-A-Ride journeys in London.

source: BBC

The statistics, released at the July Mayor’s Question Time, show the refusal rate – the percentage of journey requests turned down due to lack of capacity – in both boroughs are considerably above average. While the Londonwide average refusal rate is 7.5%, 13.8% of requests in Harrow, and 12.9% of requests in Brent were turned down.

Navin Shah said: “These statistics confirm the anecdotal evidence I hear regularly. While TfL tell us Dial-A-Ride is getting better, constituents continue experiencing problems booking a ride. I’ve written to TfL to ask for urgent targeted improvements in North West London and I’ll certainly be following this up when the Assembly next questions the Mayor.”

“Dial A Ride in North West London needs to be improved urgently. I would urge any dissatisfied customers to contact me at City Hall with their experiences and I will raise them with Transport for London.”

Last London Mayor’s Question Time of the Decade

A special thanks to oSource: london.gov.ukur London Assembly Member Navin Shah who asked a few questions to London Mayor Boris Johnson directly affecting Dudden Hill residents at the last Mayor’s Question Time of the decade. Navin was elected as Brent and Harrow’s Assembly Member in 2008.

See Below:

“Particularly Challenging Problems”

Question No: 3739 / 2009

Navin Shah

What are the “particularly challenging problems” Tube Lines are facing at Neasden and Wembley Park?

Answer from the Mayor:

The issues Tube Lines face at Neasden and Wembley Park are because the track and signalling layout in these areas is especially complex, largely as a result of the depot at Neasden.

In this area there are numerous points and crossings which control the movement of both Jubilee and Metropolitan line trains, and each line crosses the path of the other at regular points, especially towards the entrance to the Neasden depot.  The new Jubilee line signalling will need to interface with the Metropolitan line signalling in the area.

Neasden Station

Question No: 3740 / 2009

Navin Shah

What work is required to bring the Metropolitan Line platforms at Neasden station to a safe and useable level?

Answer from the Mayor:

Work would be required to repair the uneven platform surfaces and edges and remove vegetation.  Lighting, signage and CCTV would need to be installed.

Furthermore, because the former access route to/from the northbound Metropolitan line platform now forms part of the ticket office, customers would be required to exit via the Jubilee line platforms and a subway at the north end of the station, which is currently used by staff only.

The subway requires substantial work before customers can use it, as lighting, flooring and wall surfaces are below standard and in poor condition.  In addition, there is no information or safety signage.

Extending Bus Route

Question No: 3741 / 2009

Navin Shah

Brent Council installed a bus stand and toilet on Church Road, NW10, in the expectation that a bus route would be extended to this area, which has limited bus routes. When will the Mayor actually extend a bus route that will use this facility and improve transport for this deprived local community?

Answer from the Mayor:

The bus stand at Church Road was installed as part of a road scheme designed, in part, to enable increased housing provision in the area.  TfL was involved in the development of this scheme and welcomed the improved bus infrastructure provided.  However, no commitment was given for its immediate use as the area is currently well served by three high frequency services which are adequate for the existing level of demand and which provide good links to the surrounding area.  When additional housing is developed demand will increase and TfL will reassess any business case for service extensions at this time.

Track Inspections

Question No: 3742 / 2009

Navin Shah

How can the Mayor and Transport for London be sure that reducing the frequency of track inspections on the Jubilee line will not compromise passenger and staff safety? What advice was taken on the safety implications of this? Were staff and the unions consulted?

Answer from the Mayor:

The proposed reduction in the frequency of track inspections applies only to the newest section of the Line (the Jubilee Line Extension) and will only affect track patrolling.  All other track safety inspections will continue to be performed at the present frequency.

The London Underground standards currently require track patrolling to be undertaken at least twice per week. This compares to the track patrolling frequency of once per week mandated in the Network Rail standards for track with equivalent service duty (speed and tonnage). The primary reason for this difference in standards is the presence of the now obsolete Bullhead Track on much of the London Underground Network.

The Jubilee Line Extension was constructed with a modern track comprising continuously welded flat bottom rails on concrete sleepers. This track is identical to the track used on Network Rail and, as a result of its design, requires less maintenance and is less prone to defects and failures including broken rails.

The proposal to reduce the patrolling frequency on the Jubilee Line Extension is supported by a full safety analysis including risk assessment in accordance with the requirements of the London Underground Safety Management System. The safety justification was reviewed and approved by Tube Lines safety and engineering experts, in compliance with the full requirements of their Safety Review and Change Control procedure. Following approval within Tube Lines, a request for a concession to the London Underground Standard was submitted and reviewed by the LU Head of Track, our relevant engineering expert. The concession request was subsequently approved on the basis that there was adequate assurance that the proposed change would have no material detrimental effect on the safety of the railway service or staff.

A condition for the approval of the concession request was that Tube Lines ensured that staff and trade union representatives were adequately briefed about the proposed changes and the associated safety justification. Tube Lines have subsequently confirmed that this has been done.