Gladstone Park licensing hours significantly reduced after feedback from residents

Dudden Hill 3 at Park noticeboardLast night I spoke at the Alcohol and Licensing committee meeting which was packed with local residents. It is pleasing to say that common sense has prevailed and the hours of the proposed licensed were significantly changed.

The revisions mean that alcohol has been completely withdrawn from the application and the hours have been severely restricted to Saturdays and Sundays up to 8pm only. It has also been stipulated that there will only be a maximum of five events at the park per year too.

It is a positive thing that these hours amended as totally scrapping and rejecting the license would have meant that Gladstonebury would have had to be cancelled.

Despite the scare mongering leaflets that went out to households from the Brent Liberal Democrats, no Brent Lib Dem Councillors turned up to make representations to the Committee.

There may be further news forthcoming due to the factual inaccuracies in a leaflet from the Brent Liberal Democrats on this issue.

It was also surprising that there was no Brent Liberal Democrat petition submitted at the Committee hearing given that residents have reported that Lib Dem activists had been around trying to collect signatures. It remains to be known what the Lib Dems have done with people’s personal details.

 

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Brent to be targeted again by Coalition Government

The BBC is reporting that Councils in England face a 10% cut in funding from central government as part of the coalition’s spending plans for 2015/16 – LINK

The article quotes a Local Government Association (LGA) estimate that a 10% cut in spending would mean an average council having to find another £30m of savings on top of existing cuts. As we know, Brent is usually disproportionately impacted from Coalition Government cuts – LINK

10% savings on top of the 30% cuts to Council Budgets will simply mean that in Brent, we will have to simply stop doing some things and make some unpalatable decisions.   Council Leaders including Cllr Muhammed Butt of Brent signed a statement agreeing that the cuts to local councils “simply cannot go on” – LINK

Furthermore, US President Barack Obama has rejected Osbornomics, saying that “we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity” LINK

Globally, the opposition against the Tory and Liberal Democrat approach is growing. But the approach from Nick Clegg and George Osborne and company is not changing.

I hope that the Brent’s three MPs Barry Gardiner, Sarah Teather and Glenda Jackson vote against this unfair budget on Wednesday.

Brent Liberal Democrat Meltdown

bird downThe Willesden and Brent Times is reporting that a whopping seven out of their 16 Councillors plan to step down at the next local elections – LINK

The Party locally looks to be in complete meltdown as the Independent reported  in their article titled “Lib Dems suffer plunge in party membership” (LINK) that the largest drop in membership of the Liberal Democrats came in Brent where they “saw 42 per cent of activists quit in the space of 12 months.”

The Times article also says that my Co Councillor of the Liberal Democrats, David Clues, who has been living in Brighton since December 2011 will not be putting himself up for election in 2014 in Brent. He still refuses to resign despite this scandal!

EXCLUSIVE: Teather Stupidises Brent Residents

In an extraordinary leaflet delivered to residents in Brent today, Brent Central Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather really insults the intelligence of the people of Brent.

The leaflet in newspaper format is produced by the Liberal Democrats and is called Brent News. The imprint is barely visible. On the front page of the leaflet, the main story attacks Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the proposed Police Station closures at Harlesden and Willesden. This is despite the fact that Sarah Teather voted to cut police numbers LINK 

In addition, it is claimed that “Brent News is fully behind Sarah’s campaign to save our stations”. Wait a minute….. a Sarah Teather publication is behind Sarah Teather’s campaign????

Does Sarah Teather think that people in Brent are stupid and would think this is a Brent non-party political neutral publication?

The Liberal Democrat published ‘Brent News’ also claims to have an exclusive interview with Sarah Teather MP.

Teather Brent News April 2013

This is from the same party that produced this LINK

Expect more gutter politics leaflets from the Brent Liberal Democrats over the next two years as they aim to hold on to their seats over the next two years.

 

Brent’s graph of doom

The graph below looks quite complicated but is the result of some sophisticated modelling in studying adult social care pressures in Brent. It looks at the impact on Brent Council’s budget because of adult social care pressures.

 

Brent GOD

The headline bars that provide concern are the sky blue trend line and the green trend line. It shows the actual budget gap as we move towards 2020.

Brent is impacted more than other boroughs through central Government funding cuts because 80% of our funding is sourced from them. The sky blue line projects the spending gap if the next Comprehensive Spending Review is as harsh to Brent Council as the one supported and voted for by Sarah Teather in 2010.

The green line predicates the budget gap without central government cuts and just  looking at demand and other cost changes.

The sky blue trend line shows that rising demand for care along with budgets cuts could create a gap of £45 million in Brent Council’s budget by 2020.

Without fundamental change in the way social care services are delivered and how Councils are funded, local authorities will be finding themselves calling on Government to remove statutory obligations from them so that we can stop providing certain services altogether. The Local Government Association says that funding for services such as libraries and leisure centres will fall by 90% as a result of rising adult social care and other compulsory costs, meaning many could disappear by the end of the decade.

Yesterday I blogged about Labour’s landmark process for health and social care reform introducing Whole Person Care  – LINK

Labour is working on practical solutions to the care ticking bomb crisis.

 

 

 

Image of the Day: Brent Liberal Democrats – No Left Turn

This picture of Sarah Teather’s old office found on the Political Scrapbook’s website ironically features a red traffic light with a no left turn symbol outside the now empty office. In the words of Alanis Morissette, “Isn’t it Ironic?”

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on the Lords’ amendments tells a different story

Much has been made about Sarah Teather’s now public opposition against the Government’s flagship Welfare Reforms. It featured prominently in the Guardian as a lead story over the weekend where she claimed that what the Government, which she was a part of, was immoral and divisive – LINK.

When it came to the vote for the Welfare Reform Bill, the Brent Central MP was a notable absentee. However, her voting record on the amendments from the Lords paints a different picture.

She voted loyally with her Tory Liberal pals on the Welfare Reform Bill Clause 11 about Housing costs – LINK

3B Page 5, line 21, at end insert—

In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this section shall not permit the housing cost element of the universal credit to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 19;

(b) the claimant, or a child or a young person for whom either or both the claimants is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required; or

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant routinely provides foster care placements.

(3B) In subsection (3A), “claimant” means a single claimant or joint claimant.””

Clause 68

26B Page 52, line 36, at end insert—

“( ) In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this Welfare Reform Bill 3 section shall not permit the AMHB to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work-related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 11D of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;

(b) the claimant, their partner or a child or a young person for whom the claimant (or their partner) is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required;

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant or their partner routinely provides foster care placements.”

Lords Amendment 3B and 26B that was voted down by Sarah Teather

In short, disabled people who have had their properties adapted or live in accessible accommodation face the prospect of being penalised for having an extra room. This will have a detrimental impact on people who have had their own property made accessible for their individual needs and could lead to people having to move and make their new property accessible! In addition, people who are wheelchair users and may need the extra room for storing equipment such as mobility scooters and standing frames also will be adversely affected by this Government’s damaging policy. This Lords amendment on the Welfare Reform Bill, which Sarah Teather voted down would have protected the most vulnerable in our society from what is being called the ‘Bedroom Tax.’

On reading the New Clause 2 on Childcare (Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2)) she voted loyally with Government (LINK) She voted with Government on (Programme) (No. 2) Schedule 1 Universal credit: supplementary regulation-making powers (LINK) and also on (Programme) (No. 2) on Financial conditions (LINK)

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on clauses and amendments tells a different story. To coin a phrase that London Assembly Member Tom Copley used, Teather’s crocodile tears on the Government’s welfare reforms is pure Lib-Demmery at its worst.

Sarah Teather makes Brent pay double!

Data compiled by the Guardian has exposed the Tory Liberal cuts to Councils – LINK

It shows that Brent people have been disproportionately affected by the cuts to local Councils.

New data reveals that Brent’s budget has been cut at £120.21 per resident whereas the national average is £60.90 per person. Extraordinarily, North Dorset, a Tory controlled Local Authority has had its Budget cut by £2.70 per person. This is absolutely outrageous.

Why have Sarah Teather and her pals forced Brent to have to cut more than others? If Brent Tory Liberal Councillors do blame Labour for creating the deficit as they have done at Council meetings and the Coalition Government are holier than thou, are they still defending the level of cuts to Brent compared to others and supporting the damage made to Brent while other Councils are being given much more generous settlements?

Is it right that Brent residents have to pay more for paying back the budget deficit? Did they create the crisis? Was it Gordon Brown who created deficits in nearly every major country in the Western world by building and refurbishing schools and hospitals? or was there a global economic crisis?

Sarah Teather must explain why she chose to cut money away from Brent services more than services in other areas. Why does she feel it is right to make cuts to Brent Council of £120 per person and to North Dorset a measly £2.70 per person.

These are questions that all the Brent Tory Liberals are yet to answer.

 

Interesting Articles

Here are some interesting articles I have tweeted about this week (in order of latest tweets first)

Interesting Articles

I do tend to tweet a lot (follow @Krupesh4Brent!). Now and again, I retweet interesting articles I’ve read on the web. Here are the last 10 [politically relevant] articles I have linked;

  • Cuts will bleed Council reserves dry in 5 years says Senior Tory – LINK – Brent has traditionally had low levels of reserves. That it is why it is financially important that in an era of increased risks to Brent Council, we keep sufficient reserves to cover those risks.
  • Disability rights groups protest at DWP against Paralympics sponsor Atos – LINK – Atos is a French IT company that carry out Work Capability Assessments with disabled people. Unfortunately, the Labour Party is not innocent in all of this as we did as award the original contract to Atos, but pressure to attack benefits from the current Government has exacerbated things. The Coalition has gone even further by naming Atos as a main contractor for carrying assessments for disabled people’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) entitlement. PIP is the benefit that will replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Mark Ferguson on LabourList on a Lab / Lib Coalition being a non-starter – LINK
  • Save Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E – LINK – The Brent Labour Party has provided campaign materials for people to join in on the campaign against the current proposal that will permanently close the A&E Department serving the most deprived part of the Borough.
  • Fleet Street Fox’s article on tax and cuts to disabled people – LINK
  • Lib Dem Peer says their Party should consider disposing Nick Clegg – LINK
  • Mark Steel on Atos – LINK
  • Retiring Andrew Strauss may bat for the Conservatives at the next election – LINK – after quitting cricket for good, the ex-England captain is being touted as a future Tory MP.
  • Welsh health survey: One in three take no exercise – LINK – This is an article related to Wales, but it is a trend I am very worried about. The positive effects of regular physical exercise are well documented.
  • Caught Yellow Handed – LINK – I was reminded last week about this document highlighting Lib Dem Hypocrisy through their actions in Parliament and their leaflets and campaign work in their constituencies. Brent Central Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather has a starring role.
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP (Photo credit: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)