Saturday, 31 December 2011

CRAWFORD AVENUE- Centre for Disabled

The parents of seven disabled children have failed in their legal bid to stop the closure of a council-run respite centre.
Campaigners mounted a judicial review challenge of Brent Council’s decision to close its Short Breaks Unit, in Crawford Avenue, Wembley, which the parents claim will leave a gaping hole in the provision of respite care.

The unit is one of only two such centers run by the council which offers short-term respite care for disabled children. 
The council’s decision was a result of having to make £104 million of cuts over four years.
There are plans to relocate both respite care units at the Village School but this wont be until 2012.

Read more on this:-

Mary Portas warns high streets could 'disappear forever'

Retail expert Mary Portas has set out her vision for Britain's high streets, warning  that "after many years of erosion, neglect and mismanagement" they will "disappear forever" unless urgent action is taken.

She has recommended a range of planning policy incentives along with free parking in town centres to lure shoppers back to the high street and a parking league table that ranks car parks by how much they charge.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

First-time buyers may be the losers in shared equity scheme

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) claims that thousands of homeowners may have overpaid for a new flats bought using government shared equity schemes.

Under the HomeBuy Direct scheme, the government and a housing developer jointly fund a loan of 30% of the cost of a property, so that the purchaser only needs to pay a mortgage on 70% of the value.

But the IPPR says the biggest beneficiaries have been large housebuilders, which have used the scheme to sell an oversupply of properties, particularly one- and two-bedroom city centre apartments, at a time when house prices have been falling. The result is that the government has in effect propped up weak housebuilders.

In 1997, according to the Office of National Statistics, the national average wage was £16,666.
According to the Nationwide Building Society the Average House price in 1997 was £55k.
£16,666/£55,000 = 3.3x INDIVIDUAL salary [mortgage]

The Average First Timer Buyer mortgage multiple in 1997 was just £41.5k [Council Mortgage Lenders]
And the Average FTB mortgage multiple in 1997 was in a range of 2.3x - 2.5x Salary [Firstrung]
By 2007, at the peak of the boom [according to the Office of National Statistics] the national average wage had risen to £23.5k
The Average House Price in 2007 was £185k. [Nationwide Figures. Halifax had estimated AHP higher than £185k]
£185,000/£23.5k = 7.8x INDIVIDUAL salary [mortgage]

2011 Average House Price £166,764 [Nationwide]
2011 Average Wage £25k
£166,764/£25k = £6.6x INDIVIDUAL salary [mortgage]


The average house Price rose by 300% in a decade, from 1996 - 2006 as the median UK wage rose by just £6.5k.
And even if the average house price lost over 50% of its massively overinflated price tag, to take it back to its long term measure of affordability, [and the Base Rate returned to its long term average of 5%] Utilities have trebled, and Council Tax doubled under Labour, not to
mention rising inflation in other staples like food. And its only going to get worse over the next ten years.
There are literally millions of 'priced out' people, who have watched house prices rise year after year, and worked HARD for ten years, and whom have nothing to show for it.
No Capital. The ability to work for something you can call your own, 'private property' is a cornerstone of democracy.

I agree, no one ever got rich by borrowing money.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Wembley By Election- Labour Won


Labour won Wembley Central by election with a substantially increased share of the vote and Krupa Sheth is now the youngest Brent councillor ever and one of the youngest in London.

Surprisingly Lib Dems held their share of the vote. However, the combined coalition vote fell from 54.1% last year to just 47.1% this year, and Krupa had a majority over the Lib Dems and Tories combined.

The result with last year's shares in brackets was as follows:

KRUPA SHETH (LAB)        1401    48.1% (42.8%)
Afifa Pervez (Lib Dem)    1022    35.1% (35.4%)
Madhuri Davda (Con)       349    12.0% (18.7%)
Martin Francis (Green)     138      4.8% (  3.1%)

Swing from Lib Dem to Lab 2.8%
Swing from Coalition to Lab 6.2%

Labour's share of the vote in Wembley Central has increased from 32.2% in the 2009 by-election to 42.8% in 2010 and up to 48.1% last night. This is Labour's highest share of the vote in Wembley Central since May 1994.

Labour's comeback is in sight

Monday, 19 December 2011

'Transport for London': Orbital and Crossrail studies for Old Oak rail connections


(Click to enlarge)

(Southern is presumably diverted as well, but TfL cannot say that)

(Wembley Central, Watford Junction, and wherever)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

We must revive Bridge Road and Forty Lane shops

Link to Evening Standard

"The state of the UK's high streets has been laid bare, after a government-commissioned report described some town centres as 'dead', with huge increases in the number of empty shops.

"Ms Portas, presenter of the BBC programme Mary Queen Of Shops, said the high street had been 'displaced' by out-of-town shopping centres, without anyone considering the impact of such a huge change. Community had been sacrificed for convenience, and there was now no sense of 'belonging' to a local high street, she added."

Link to The Portas Review

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Chalkhill Netball team

Pictures of the Chalkhill Netball team:
the only Junior Netball Club in Brent.
(Thanks go to Luiza Xavier, Chalkhill Hero.)

The High 5s and U14s were hosting their first mini tournament. I was very pleased to attend!

There was the Jack Petchey Award Presentation, at 12.30pm, with Dawn Butler.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Ed Balls is right on the economy

Below is an excellent article to read ...

This article claims the Con-Lib Dem coalition is doing better just now, planting a message in the public's mind that Labour "all ways messes up" with economy.

The public will eventually realize it is Cons who are doing what they are blaming Labour for. 

Labour is currently letting them to get away with this, due to poor PR. Labour should pull itself up without any regrets and argue.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Scotland commits to high-speed rail extension

The Scottish Government today earmarked up to £9bn of capital spending to extend England’s planned high-speed rail link into Scotland.
The announcement came just as UK Transport Secretary Justine Greening was telling MPs that a decision on the highly controversial High Speed 2 route had been put back to next year. Greening said she needed more time to consider her options.
Scotland’s high-speed rail commitment was included in a £60bn capital investment plan, running to the year 2030, set out by Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil.