Thursday, 29 June 2017

Public sector pay cap to remain

Downing Street has moved to stress that the 1% cap on public sector salary increases will not be scrapped, despite suggestions from Tory ministers to the contrary. A Labour attempt to scrap the wage cap was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday, but earlier in the day Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the Government should consider pay rises “right across the public sector”, and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said ministers would “have to think through” changes to spending plans. An unnamed Conservative source had also indicated that a review of the cap would be made at the next Budget, but No10 issued a statement before the Parliamentary vote that “the Government policy has not changed.”
The Times, 

PM promises building safety review

 Theresa May has confirmed the cladding on Grenfell Tower did not comply with building regulations, as she promised a root and branch review of building safety. Addressing MPs during PMQs, Mrs May also announced that 120 tower blocks in 37 local authority areas had now failed fire safety tests. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the disaster should be a "wake up call" and blamed failures in tower block safety on Tory council cuts. “When you cut local authority expenditure by 40% you end up with fewer building control inspectors. When you cut local authority budgets by 40% we all pay a price in public safety," he said.

It has also been revealed that retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick has been chosen to lead the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.
with courtesy of "The Guardian", 

Councils facing cladding bills


Theresa May has ordered a “major national investigation” into the use of potentially flammable cladding on high-rise towers after every piece of cladding so far tested for fire resistance in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has failed to meet the necessary standard.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hackney Launches a new Cycle Taxi Service for Older People

A new cycle taxi service is launching in Hackney next week to help older people and those with mobility issues make short trips by bike for free.
The new ‘Ride Side by Side’ service is run by Cycle Training UK with funding from Hackney Council, TfL and the Department for Transport. Described as ‘unique’, the service is designed to help residents who use Dial-a-Ride to attend appointments, go shopping or visit friends.
The four wheeled taxi bikes are custom-made and allow the ‘trainer’ and passenger to sit side-by-side. Passengers can choose whether they want to join in and pedal, or sit back and enjoy the ride.
78-year-old George Capon, who recently trialed the new service on a shopping run (pictured below), said: “I think it’s an excellent idea. I hope it’ll catch on for lots of older people. It’ll give people that little bit of exercise and would be lovely to do in the summer months.”

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Funding needed to address potted roads



According to an annual report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), 17% of local and rural roads are in drastic need of maintenance for potholes or risk full resurfacing or closure in the next five years. The survey based on responses from 63% of councils in England and Wales reported that local authorities would require £12bn in funding to clear a maintenance backlog. The number of potholes filled by councils in England last year fell by 19%, with London recording the biggest decline of 43%. Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The government needs to confront the funding shortfall head on and help to fund repairs and resurfacing work quicker.”

Monday, 13 March 2017

Council set to invest in CCTV and tackle street drinking to make Brent safer


10 March 2017

PLANS to make Brent safer are set to get the go-ahead next week, as Brent Council's Cabinet are asked back improvements to CCTV in the borough and a new proposal to curb street drinking.
The council's Cabinet will on Monday evening (March 13) be asked to back a report recommending the spending of around £2m on an overhaul of CCTV in the borough, which notes increasing operational costs of maintaining a 20-year-old system described in the report as "archaic" and requiring "an upgrade."
Instead, it is suggested that the council switch to a wireless CCTV system, which would allow for a more cost-efficient and flexible CCTV network, and enable the easy relocation of cameras to crime hotspot areas as required, without the need to hard-wire a camera in.
The proposed move to upgrade the borough's CCTV network comes as Brent was this week (March, 9) recognised by the Home Office's Surveillance Camera Commissioner for its work on CCTV, becoming one of only a handful of boroughs in London to be audited and certificated for following the twelve guiding principles, set out in the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.
Brent's Cabinet will also on Monday evening consider a proposal to better combat street drinking.
Even though the whole of the borough of Brent has been a controlled drinking zone since 2007, anti-social behaviour linked to prohibited street is still an issue in areas including Harlesden, Kilburn, Ealing Road, Neasden, Wembley Park and Sudbury.
In response, it is proposed that the Council introduces Public Spaces Protection Orders in these areas for six months to tackle the issue - a breach of which will be a criminal offence and carry a fine of up to £1,000.
Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said:
"Our proposals to improve our CCTV and tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour follow the recent work we have we been doing in getting more police on our streets, in tackling crime linked to rogue shisha outlets and underlines our commitment in making Brent safer.
"The investment in CCTV would not only replace a dated twentieth century system, but will mean we'll get a state-of-the-art, more flexible and cost-efficient system that ensures we can maintain a network that helps to keep residents safe.
"We are also considering measures to introduce Public Spaces Protection Orders for street drinking, demonstrating that while we will always help those vulnerable people battling addiction, we will always take a zero tolerance approach towards anti-social behaviour."

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Ban driving near schools


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan believes cars should be banned from roads near schools to reduce air pollution, calling on boroughs to follow the examples set by Camden and the City of London. He commented: “Forty or fifty years ago we thought smoking was bad and yet our forebears took no action. We know air quality is a killer, it makes you sick and no action has been taken. It's a health emergency.”

Saturday, 4 March 2017

World War II- Bomb

 A 500Ib World War II bomb, which was discovered in Brondesbury Park yesterday (March 2), has been safely removed by bomb disposal experts, the army has confirmed. The huge device was removed safely this evening (March 3) and hundreds of affected residents are returning to their homes within the 300 metre exclusion zone.
War is evil and I dislike them but for the same of own country there is no alternative but to stand up!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The best tree species for Barnhill

These are shown on plans below , we are going to have Purple Plum for historical context, a new Oak for Midholm Green and other varieties of Cherry as illustrated, wild Prunus avuim for wildlife benefits and some cultivated pink flowered types.We are also going to have  Birch on the hill and Turkish Hazel for yellow autumn colour.
Please see the location below.( I sorry for the quality of plan I will try to re-do it soon)




Saturday, 18 February 2017

Pigeon and Gulls in Barnhill

Cllr Sarah Marquis,Cllr Pavy and myself are complaining about ever increasing population of Pigeon and Gulls in Chalkhill especially around ASDA. We are not only one, there are lot others
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the amount spent by local authorities on ridding streets of pigeons and gulls has more than doubled in the past three years. The two-thirds of councils in England that provided information spent £452,000 on the problem in 2013-2014, and £830,000 in 2015-2016. Methods used by councils include spikes to discourage landing, hawks, and even marksmen to shoot the birds

£10 car charge for worst polluters

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed plans to press ahead with a £10 “T-charge” for older, more polluting cars wishing to enter central London from October. Around 10m vehicles are expected to be affected by the levy, which will be imposed alongside the congestion charge Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm. He said the move is necessary to protect people’s health, particularly children who are at increased risk of reduced lung function in adulthood if they live in highly polluted areas


Friday, 17 February 2017

Wembley Stadium planning application


                            
Please find attached here a letter in relation to the application by Tottenham Hotspur to use Wembley for their home fixtures next season.
The consultation involves approximately 41,000 properties, any comments / queries from Elected Members can be directed to Chris Heather, Principal Planning Officer – North Area Team,
chris.heather@brent.gov.uk.
The consultation period is beginning now and letters for residents are to be delivered this week.


During this period, until the application is heard, Members are advised not to accept any gifts or hospitality, such as tickets, for an events from the Stadium.

Courtesy of Brent Council


Have your say on priorities for local improvement


                                            
People who live or work in Brent are being asked to have their say on how £3 million – money collected from developers under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - could be spent in their area.  Please see flyer attached here.

On 13 February 2017, Brent Council’s Cabinet approved a process to manage the allocation of these funds, and following consultation, spending priorities for each local area (or CIL Neighbourhood)  will be set for the next three years.

The Consultation will be open from 15 February 2017 to 30 March 2017.
Members are being asked to encourage their constituents to take part in the consultation.

You can access the consultation via the following link:
www.brent.gov.uk/spend.
A Member development session covering CIL is also planned for 25 April 2017.

For further information please contact Nkechi Okeke-Aru, Principal Development Funds officer on:

020 8937 1824 -  nkechi.okeke-aru@brent.gov.uk.
courtesy of Brent Council

Special Meeting of Full Council 24 April 2017

.
The November Cabinet made the decision to consult on whether to bring BHP back in house. Information on the consultation can be viewed at www.brent.gov.uk/housingreview. This Council meeting will discuss the outputs from that consultation in order to that Cabinet can make a decision on 24 April.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Tree Plantation in Barnhill

Barnhill Residents Association members and Chair Mr John Wood
Tree 
Barnhill Resident Association and local councillor met Council Officers for planting 60 to 80 various type of trees in Barnhill. Barnhill Resident's chair Mr John Wood and myself have been pressing upon this nearly two years.
Roads Resurfacing
I am happy to say resurfacing of Alverstone  Road has now been completed.  I have already requested putting  Wykeham Hill and Wentworth  Hill into next year programme. Will continue pressing council.

Pocket Park at Chalkhill

Chalkhill Park Maintenance is very poor and uncleanliness cannot be described . Wrote to the Park Department. After inspection of the site I have been informed that Annual scheduled maintenance will be carried out during the month of February including removal of natural die back, thinning of root stock and replanting and replacing of dead or deceased plants. Sadly I have been informed that Spring, summer, Autumn and Winter annual Bedding plants such as Wallflowers Pansy's, Pollyanna's Germanium's Marigolds etc are no longer planted in Brent Parks and have been replaced with  Herbaceous Perennials.

Rubbish Bins

The Avenue-Rubbish Bin lying around on  footpaths and on grass verges have again been reported. Veolia will send officers to educate local residents yet again. Will come back on this.

Cllr Shafique Choudhary


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Greater funding for mental health needed

The Parliament Street think-tank has called for greater investment in mental health services after figures emerged showing police in England and Northern Ireland handled almost 240,000 incidents involving people with mental health issues during 2016. A Government spokesperson said: "We're investing £30m in providing more alternative places of safety, have more than halved the number of people detained under a mental health section in a police cell in the last year and are entirely banning the use of police stations for this purpose for under 18s."
BBC News

Labour backs council house initiative

Labour shadow housing minister John Healey has urged the Government to remove the cap on borrowing by councils in order to allow them to raise money against their existing housing stock to pay for new social housing. He estimated that the proposal could pave the way for 60,000 new council homes over five years, lowering rents and cutting housing benefit bills.
Independent i, Page: 6

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Funding cuts to prompt grammar schools to request money from parents

The Grammar School Heads Association has warned that grammar schools will soon need to ask parents for voluntary donations of between £30 and £40 each month in order to make up budget shortfalls caused by incoming changes to funding. The Government’s funding formula reforms will leave some schools better off but others will lose hundreds of thousands of pounds. Those to suffer cuts are expected to make the request of pupils’ parents in order to ensure teaching standards do not fall.
The Times   Daily Telegraph   The Guardian

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

More funding for apprenticeships in 2017

With the apprenticeship levy beginning this year, there will be more investment in apprenticeships from May 2017. Our Brent Works service already provides fantastic opportunities for local young people, and will continue to do throughout the year. See the current vacancies and encourage young people to sign up to our mailing list, so they are the first to know about upcoming opportunities.

courtesy of Brent Magazine 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Art and Literature for Children/Young peolpe/families

Brent Libraries have been successful in receiving a grant of £30K from the Arts Council in a joined up partnership bid with 12 other London Library Services and Apples and Snakes ( an Arts Bridge organisation). Brent was the lead library service and wrote the bid jointly with Apples and Snakes.

The funding will support the delivery of the SPINE Festival now in its 3rd year.  SPINE Festival is an innovative celebration of arts and literature for children, young people and families.  The ambition is for SPINE Festival to become a recognised brand with a strong emphasis on inclusion. The Festival runs annually February to March.  The funds will pay for two ‘artists in residents’ to provide workshops for children and families in Wembley Library.  

Full details of the events program will be available shortly

Weather forecast Mid January 2017

Below is official report on current weather forecast and measures taken by the Brent Officers.

Council officers check the weather forecast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have been doing so since the Winter Service commenced on 1 November.

With all 5 of our gritters fully serviced, more than 326 grit bins on the streets and filled with salt, and over 800 tonnes of salt in stock, the council is ready for any cold snaps.

On yesterday’s (12/1/2016) operation, all of the priority routes were treated from 10am due to a forecast of snow in the afternoon, grit bins were refilled, sweepers (with re-deployed parks staff) spread salt in town centres, outside transport hubs (train and tube), and in cemeteries where burials were taking place and also where needed and if necessary.  Full details of these can be found here.
   
Because of freezing temperatures from 22.00, gritting continued overnight.

The Borough was checked from 5.30am and the roads were in good condition - clear Tarmac showing on roads, no settling of snow from yesterday, and the gritting had stopped widespread ice formation.
   
On the latest 5 day information from our bespoke Brent forecaster, no snow is forecast but temperatures are expected to be below freezing on Friday night into Saturday and Saturday night into Sunday  and, if there is no change in the forecast, we will be gritting.
    
The gritters are loaded and ready to deal with any sudden change in the weather.








Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Annual Report – Barnhill Ward

31 December 2016


After going through more than 10,000 emails both directions, I feel it is important to let Labour Party members know in brief what have been achieved and fought for on their behalf in the Barnhill Ward during the year 2016.
Perhaps it will not wise to mention individuals names who have expressed  sincerely their gratitude and admiration the positive work being carried out which has changed  Barn hill ward  beyond recognition. This is being achieved because of hard working, unrelenting efforts and continuous push by councilor to bring the issue in the forefront in council.
Last year variety of cases and issues brought to the attention of the council such as in housing issue /repairs, housing provision for young and old, housing benefits issues, school admissions, flying tipping, rubbish collection and removal, raising issues about roads and foot paths , grass not being cut, safety, Planning . Seeking help for environment issues in the area and working with police regarding Anti Social behavior, issues with local ASDA store, planning applications so on and on. So please read this report it is for your read and digest.
Aim and Achievements,
My aim remains representing Barnhill Ward community and draw attention to the variety of issues to the Brent council and those who are involved in decision making process. Also get involved in decision making process and contribute for the good governance/ wellbeing of the area. Take part in activities and encouraged local community participation. Most importantly respond as quickly as possible to issues/enquiries and represent Brent/ Barn Hill Residents moderately, without prejudice and decisively whoever and wherever.
Chalk hill Park
Turned waste and derelict land, used to be used rubbish dumping into a park now called Chalk hill Park at Chalk hill Road. This is most visible achievement in the area. No doubt, this little beautiful park especially exercise section, has perhaps become the most popular and visited area Barnhill Ward since its opening to the public on 4 May 2013. The opening ceremony was participated and attended by many hundreds local residents. Because of non existence annual fanfare Events and importantly venue, this Park is now being used as venue for Chalk Hill Park original opening ceremony legacy under “LOVE CHALK HILL” an Event now has become annual events for Chalk hill, a wildly popular event being held on 16 May 2016 with massive success. This community day has support from Chalk hill Trust Fund as well. How nice it will be if this Event is adopted by Chalk hill Trust Fund for annual staging.
Brent "BMX" Track –First and only
Another  first and only new Park was created in the Brent with left over money from Chalk hill Park is Brent firsthand only BMX bicycle track which opened 2013also behind St.Davis Close along with football kick about ground, which is being used cycles enthusiastic.
 New Road Signs/Lighting
Numbers of old conventional roads signs have now been replaced either with new electronics or conventional signs. LED street lightings are being introduced from next year.
Employment.
Help/encourage local employers especially ASDA, to give preference when employing to local residents and youths. Brent is London Living Wages Borough which 9.40 per hrs. All local employers are asked to employ local residents. Brent has also help and encourages training courses to help improve job skills.
Traffic Management.
New Traffic management arrangement initiated with the help of the council, TFL, local Barnhill Residents association throughout the ward especially traffic on Bridge Road/Forty Avenue/Paddock. The choices by the Transport Department were 2 and represented to the local community for their views which was rejected and new Transport Department is now rethinking their options regarding traffic on Bridge Road/Forty Avenue/Forty Lane and Barnhill. Any new proposal will be reported to you.
Police Presence and Level.
Level of police presence was reduced dramatically during last few years but 2016 was worst, resulting crime of the ward started to climb up and up. Continuous pressure excreted upon authorities by the local councilors, especially Barnhill councilors and as a result police presence hopefully will go up soon. The total number of police officers will go back to 5. Definitely this will improve law and order situation in the ward positive way and towards the correct direction.
ASB
Tackling anti social behavior is key priority for Chalk Hall due to diversity of environment. In Barnhill ward with help of CCTV, police and other means, crime reductions have become our first priority this year. There were unfortunate homicides cases. Police is active in the area so we are. I have attended some meeting s organized by Prevent.  Police is fully aware of Gangs and we have discussed this SNT Safer Neighborhood meeting. My aim is to steer away youth from crime and help police curbing Anti Social Behavior
Infrastructure Repair.
Authorities in the council are fully well aware of up-to-date situation about state of affairs of all roads, footpaths and verges, in the ward. The councilors are also very keen to provide such information to the transport authorities. A named road list and footpaths need repair or resurfacing regularly being prepared annually by each councilor and send to Transport Department who then set the priority of repair Brent wise. Last year Brendon Gardens, Crossways and Barn rise were resurfaced on my initiative this year name of Alverstone road, Wentworth road and Wykeham Hill name has been forwarded besides others.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
You may have read in the press that Wembley Stadium has agreed that Tottenham Hotspur football Club may use Wembley Stadium while Tottenham’s own ground is being re-developed. In 2016-17 (August 2016 to May 2017) Tottenham will play their Champion League games at Wembley and these will be classified as Events Day. I do not have to remind that originally Wembley Stadium planning allows 37 Event days each year. There are currently 26 Events day arranged for the stadium for this year. So this leave three Games fall within this year allotted figures. Next season 2017-19 Tottenham are holding all their home games at the Wembley which could total up to 28 depending Tottenham progress in the competitions. Obviously this will increase Events Days during 2017-18. I have attended few meetings with Wembley Stadium, Council Officers and Tottenham management team. The residents views and possible difficulties were conveyed to both council as well as Wembley Stadium Authority regarding Parking, ASB, Rubbish and traffic arrangements.
Others Issues.
It is pleasure to say that Local Resident Associations are now using councillors for speedy resolution of their members’ issues with council. This is so big turned around which was not considered easy task few years ago due to multi nature of the residence ship. I am glad councilors efforts have now started giving positive results.
For example  Group representing residents of  Chalk hill House,, are having problem with ASDA, regarding noise, seagulls, late or off hours work, human shouting, flood lights, I am glad to say councilors pursued  this with such a  vigor hopefully result will be good.
Problems emerged from TFL, embankment work at the jubilee line has now resolved after number of meetings with TFL and residents as well as council.
Rough sleepers, a huge problems and issues at Fryent Park have an early come under control. Police and others Agencies use their resources to get rid of this problem. Veolia picked up day after day, time and time again weekly/daily loads of rubbish and households goods after dismantling huts and sheds which used to spring up every day on various locations in the Park. Dog poisoning was handled so swiftly surprises all of us. Lewd pictures display in the Fryent Park
Cases regarding Flying tipping, encroachments,   Planning applications, non-observation of conservation areas rules and regulations, dispute between two neighbors, School admission, multiple occupation houses, repairing cars in front gardens or roads without permission, all dealt with ultimate efficiency and quickness.
Suggestons are made on request of local residents to introduce yellow lines on dangerous location to avoid parking and possible accidents.
Keep carry on Full liaison with local associations, schools and other organizations.
Keep in touch with Chalk hill Residents Associations, local residents, watershed residents forum, constantly in touched with BHRA resident association on matters concern to them and such as:
Traffic / School / School Admission/Parking at ark academy/Traffic at Neasden /Run to the beat/Burglaries/Waste/Rats and environmental issues. /Green bins collection


Cllr.Shafique a Choudhary

Monday, 18 July 2016

Community Day at Chalkhill " Love Chalkhill"

Every Body enjoyed  very hot and cloudless day in Chalk Hill Park HA9 
16-07-2016