Willesden Area Consultative Forum tonight!

Tonight I will be chairing the Willesden Area Forum at the College of North West London (Willesden Campus). Join us from 7.30pm tonight where we will be discussing Brent’s Household Waste Strategy, proposals for changes to an emissions based Parking Charges and the Crest Girls Academy.

The Willesden Area Forum covers Dollis Hill, Dudden Hill, Welsh Harp, Willesden Green and during the break, you will have the opportunity to speak to your ward councillors, the Safer Neighbourhood Team, speakers and council officers.

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Councillors fighting to keep local GP Practise

Battling Labour Councillors, led by Cllr Lesley Jones member for Willesden Green ward have been fighting to keep a local GP practice and avoid patients being dispersed. Lesley has been working with my co-Dudden Hill fellow Labour councillor Aslam Choudry and myself and a cross party alliance with Liberal Democrat councillors has been formed on this particular issue.

The surgery, originally in Burnley Road near Dollis Hill tube station closed without warning in 2001. Patients were transferred to a Pound Lane practice with the promise of a return to a surgery in the Burnley Road area. The practice was eventually relocated again to the Willesden Centre for Health and Care, but the inferred intention has always been to find more local premises. Having settled into the facilities at the Willesden Centre, patients now find their surgery is at risk yet again, in spite of PCT assurances over the years to resolve concerns.

This is a community rather than a party political issue, so the Councillors for Willesden Green and Dudden Hill Wards have sent a letter of objection to the PCT Director. We supported a meeting last week with PCT staff and patients. This was a good meeting where patients could express their concerns and could feel they were listened to. As a result, a further look at options for the Burnley Practice and further meetings are expected.

Cllr Lesley Jones said:

“It is really important for councillors to take up issues like this and I am grateful to Labour councillors, Aslam Choudry and Krupesh Hirani (Dudden Hill) and Lib Dem councillors for Willesden and Dudden Hill. for their involvement.  This could be a good example of a council working with residents and health services to resolve problems in an area where there are fewer GP’s per 100,000 population than other areas of the borough.”

What a last few days it has been

It was a horrible morning as we learnt the result of the Brent Central Parliamentary vote. We were absolutely distraught at losing such an inspiring MP in Dawn. Barry Gardiner and Glenda Jackson’s result did soften the blow as Hampstead and Kilburn elected Glenda, and Brent North elected Barry.

Yesterday at 4PM the Council results for Dudden Hill Ward was announced. It was the second result announced after the Willesden Green Ward announcement where there was no change from 2006. At the Dudden Hill Count table, the Labour pile looked marginally bigger than the Lib Dem stack.

Before they’re announced, the Candidates and our Agents already know the results. We were called behind the count table to look at the ballot papers that were sorted into the pile where the ballots were disputable.

I looked at the results sheets… I was ahead of two of my Lib Dem opponents! After we had all agreed where the disputed papers should go, the result was finalised. I had got in by 50 votes.

But the day wasn’t over. As the results were announced Ward by Ward, we were making gains all across Brent. The final result was astonishing. Brent Labour now have 40 Councillors in Brent to 17 Lib Dems and 6 Conservatives.

Commiserations to all my fellow Dudden Hill candidates of all parties who were unsuccessful on this occasion and congratulations to Aslam Choudry and David Clues for also being elected as Dudden Hill Councillors.  This has been a hard fought campaign and many had no sleep for two days. The actual campaign was exhausting. I’m sure all candidates are sporting a ‘campaign calf’ from being on their feet constantly, knocking on doors, talking to people, canvassing for support.

Lastly, thank you for all your support, to every voter, to every leaflet deliverer, to every donater, to my fellow candidates, to the A-Team, to Dawn & her team, to volunteers, everyone else that helped and to you.

I look forward to the challenges that the next four years will bring – and I look forward to serving Dudden Hill and Brent.