Tuesday, 25 September 2012

New Charges at Abbey Road Re-use and Recycling Centre

The West London Waste Authority (WLWA) will apply new charges at the Abbey Road Re-use and Recycling Centre from October.

These will be for large items/materials derived from house-building, major renovations, landscaping, etc. These types of waste are not classed as household waste and are typically as follows:

•           Rubble
•           Hardcore
•           Large building materials such as plasterboard, plaster, wall tiles, roofing materials, windows, doors, timber/wood, flooring (not carpets).
•           Bathroom suites
•           Kitchen units
•           Soil including turf
•           Garden materials including fencing, sheds, paving (slabs, asphalt, tarmac etc.) and the like (but not green garden waste).
•           Commercial and industrial waste, including pallets
•           Asbestos cement based products

These are the types of items that would not usually be transported in the backs of cars but typically delivered by builders in vans. It is unlikely to have any impact on most users of the site. Its main purpose will be to ensure all commercial and non-household waste is paid for. Traders professing to be residents, or using their Brent residency, in order to avoid commercial waste charges is a growing problem.

WLWA have indicated they will take a pragmatic view on very small quantities.  All other waste items remain free of charge for residents.

This is a WLWA site, not a Brent Council site. With the repeal from 1st April 2012 of Section 1 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act, WLWA are now responsible for making arrangements in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act. A consequence of this change in law is that there is now only a statutory duty to accept deposits of household waste free of charge. These charges bring the site in line with others in west London.

The average householder delivering his usual waste items in his own car will be largely unaffected.

How to Avoid Loan Sharks-Liverpool Labour Launches Credit Union Scheme

Labour led Liverpool City Council has awarded £1 million to a consortium of seven Credit Unions to help more than 20,000 families and hundreds of small businesses.
The aim is to prevent people taking out unaffordable loans at extortionate interest rates, running the risk of falling prey to loan sharks.
Some companies offer loans with massive interest rates of up to 16,000% APR– driving desperate people even further into poverty.
But Liverpool Labour is standing up to these loan sharks, and providing help for vulnerable people through the city’s credit untions.
It is estimated that over a three year period the scheme will support over 23,000 people on Merseyside. 
And it is estimated that the £1 million investment will lead to around £3 million of money being lent. This is because the Credit Unions will be able to recycle the money once loans start to be repaid.
Labour’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Brant, said: “This is a pioneering initiative which will help and support the most vulnerable in our communities who are being hit by a triple whammy of rising unemployment, increased costs for food and fuel and cuts in welfare benefits.
“The banks have also toughened up their lending criteria and this means many people and small businesses are unable to get affordable credit.
“All of this means that the temptation to go to a loan shark or pay day lender is higher than ever, and people are increasingly resorting to them out of desperation.
“We want to provide a support route for vulnerable people to help them out of crisis and get their finances back on an even keel.
“I am delighted that seven of the city’s Credit Unions have come together to put together a bid for this funding.
“They are based in the heart of communities and so are well placed to provide funds and advice to those who are most in need.”
“They are going to be making a massive difference to people’s lives and will prevent some on the breadline from going under.”
The seven Credit Unions are:
·         Riverside Credit Union
·         Enterprise Credit Union
·         Knowsley Mutual Credit Union
·         Partners Credit Union
·         Lodge Lane Credit Union
·         Central Liverpool Credit Union
·         Norris Green Credit Union


Monday, 24 September 2012

Chalkhill Netball Awards Dec11

Cllr Shafique Choudhary with Councillor Roxanne Mashari
At Netball Certificate distribution ceremony

The tournament was organised with help of  Barnhill and Welsh Harp ward working funds by  Ms. L. Xavier, who is truly a motivating resident of Chalkhill and is full of energy and ideas for helping local kids. She works closely with Chalkhill Centre where netball is usual played and practiced. I will explain below what is Netball  
 Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960, international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball (later renamed the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA)) was formed. As of 2011, IFNA comprises more than 60 national teams organised into five global regions.
Games are played on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end. Each team attempts to score goals by passing a ball down the court and shooting it through its goal ring. Players are assigned specific positions, which define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain areas of the court. During general play, a player with the ball can hold onto it for only three seconds before shooting for a goal or passing to another player. The winning team is the one that scores the most goals. Netball games are 60 minutes long. Variations have been developed to increase the game's pace and appeal to a wider audience.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Councils lead the way

Local authorities are taking a prominent role in cutting pay gaps by promoting living wages and cutting chief executive salaries, research has revealed. Campaign group One Society analysed pay policy statements from 173 of the 174 local authorities in England and Wales and submitted freedom of information requests. It found more than 20% of councils are committed to ensuring staff are paid a living wage. Some 12.5% have taken steps to cut chief executive salaries, while more than 10% also plan to enforce fixed ratios between the worst and best paid.
Source: Yorkshire Post,

The Reality of the LIB DEMS is a shameful Record In Government & Broken Promises

Nick Clegg’s phoney apology on the eve of his Party conference was neither genuine nor heartfelt. It is nothing more than a cynical attempt to protect his perilous and weak leadership. 
People have made their mind up about him, the weak Liberal Democrats, and their broken promises. This is their Government and they should take responsibility for it. 
The Lib Dems have not been a brake on this Government. Whatever their claims, they can’t avoid their responsibility for their weakness and this Tory-led Government's failures: 
  • The longest double-dip recession since the Second  World War. 
  • Tax cuts for millionaires while millions pay more. 
  • A wasteful, top-down reorganisation of the NHS.
None of these would have happened without Liberal Democrat support. And they are responsible for their broken promises: 
  • The trebling of tuition fees, that they said they would scrap. 
  • The rise in VAT they said they would stop. 
  • The 15,000 cut to police numbers, that they promised  would be a 3,000 increase

Friday, 21 September 2012

Audit findings

A report by Brent Council has revealed of the boroughs 44 schools audited by the council since September 2010, not one received a completely clean bill of health. Four primary schools are of serious concern, while 22 were given "limited assurance" after their audits. Auditors found that schools are paying head teachers too much, not keeping proper financial records, not checking debit cards used by head teachers and not getting their annual budgets approved.
Source: Evening Standard,

Legal review sought

Schools and councils are taking legal action against exam chiefs over their refusal to regrade thousands of this summer's GCSEs. A group of about 150 schools, councils and education bodies have written to Ofqual and two exam boards, announcing they will seek a judicial review. They want revised grade boundaries for June's exams to be brought into line with those imposed in January. The challenge is thought to be being led by Lewisham Council.
Source: The Independent,

Planning Regulations - Buildings /Flag Flying

Eric Pickles has announced that planning regulations which require express consent for flag flying will be scrapped in England from October 12. Mr Pickles said he was “looking forward” to seeing more flags flying around the country following the change in the rules.

Source: The Daily Telegraph,

Borrowing reaches record high in August 2012

Public sector net borrowing hit a record £14.41bn in August, the Office for National Statistics revealed today, compared with £14.37bn at the same time last year.
According to the Public sector finances bulletin, borrowing by central government rose by £700m to £13.5bn as spending increased faster than income. Expenditure rose by 2.5% and receipts by 1.8%. In the same period, local government borrowing fell by around £1bn, while public corporations borrowed around £400m more.

courtesy of Public Finance210912

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Transport Next Six Months In Brent

Except Piccadilly Line all  other lines in Brent are planned for closures on certain dates for the next six months. Please check with your station before hand.

It is good news that the introduction of the new trains on the Metropolitan line is now virtually complete; but the upgrade of the line will continue for some time with track renewal and a new signalling system to be installed. This will inevitably require some closures, although Brent is promised far fewer disrupted weekends than with the recent Jubilee line upgrade.

House prices

In its monthly survey of house prices, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has reported that a balance of 19% more of those surveyed said that property values were falling rather than rising, compared to 23% in July. The only part of the country showing a rise in house prices is London.

Care cuts

The Guardian reports that new research has revealed that Labour-run councils in some of England’s poorest areas have cut services for vulnerable older people far more deeply than Conservative authorities during the Coalition’s time in power. The study, conducted by management consultancy Candesic, claims that Liverpool has made cuts of 16.6% on personal social services since 2010. It was followed by Manchester (16.4%), Hackney (16.3%), Newham (16.1%) and Tower Hamlets (15.8%). The smallest declines were in Dorset, which cut 1.2% of services, Surrey (2.1%) and West Sussex (2.6%). A spokesman for the consultancy commented: “Local authorities have preferred to defend services to children, the disabled and the mentally ill. Therefore older people's services have been allocated a significantly reduced portion of the personal social services 'pie' over the last three years”.
Source: The Guardian, Page

Reform council tax

A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has called on the Government to revalue council tax bands to help prevent another housing market crash. The 2011 Tackling housing market volatility report suggests that bands are reorganised to reflect house prices and act as a brake on house price inflation. It makes the point that currently, a family living in a £320,000 house has to pay only twice as much council tax as a family living in a house costing £68,000, even though their home is worth more than four times the amount. The Foundation’s Kathleen Kelly said: “We need radical tax reform that would reduce volatility and offer a better deal to millions of households”.
Source: The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

School places shortage to hit 90,000

As pupils returned to school this week, London Councils warned that the shortage of school places could hit 90, 000 by 2016. Long-term demand for places will continue to grow across the capital, with the cost of meeting this expected to reach £2.3 billion within the next four years, according to our analysis. Meanwhile, councils have been working hard to provide a total of 241 new classrooms across London to meet the demand for pupils beginning reception class in the next week. Cllr Steve Reed, London Councils’ lead member for children and young people, said: “Today’s figures confirm what councils across the capital have been saying for months. Many of our schools are full and we are running out of spaces where children can be taught. The government needs to continue investing in long term investment of the capital’s schools to create more places and ensure that every child has access to primary and secondary school education

Monday, 3 September 2012

Output to fall by 1.5%

The latest quarterly survey of 369 manufacturing businesses by BDO and the EEF has found that manufacturing output is likely to shrink by 1.5% this year, a worsening of its previous 0.3% forecasted fall. The manufacturers revealed that their UK order books have turned negative for the first time in ten quarters.  Tom Lawton of BDO commented: “With this extremely testing global backdrop it is crucial that manufacturers remain not only lean but also nimble enough to respond to future opportunities as and when they arise. Larger companies that have the ability to invest are continuing to do so and smaller companies are wary of not suffering a skill shortage by ensuring that they employ the best talent."  Elsewhere, BDO has reported that the British success at the Olympics had little impact on high street sales. Last month’s like-for-like sales at mid-range retailers fell by 0.5% compared to the same period last year with fashion sales 1.3% lower and homewares down 8.7%. Meanwhile, the latest Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets Business Barometer has shown that businesses are more optimistic about their own prospects as well as the economy’s.
Source: Financial Times,

Remuneration figures

The Daily Express claims that up to 450 council bosses have been handed “golden goodbyes” of at least £100,000 in the last year. It says the biggest pay-off went to the former managing director of Kent County Council, while Lancashire County Council is said to have awarded remuneration packages of more than £100,000 to 36 members of its staff. Bob Neill, the minister for local government, and the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s Matthew Sinclair provide opinions.
Source: Daily Star

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Above the shop

Shopkeepers who want to convert the storage space above their shop into more than one flat are to be allowed to do it without asking for planning permission. The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, is hoping that a relaxation of the rules will ease the housing shortage and help bring a bit more life into some of the country's high streets, which become deserted when the shops close.
Source: The Independent, Page: 10

Odour Issues in Wembley and Neasden Area

I am reproducing an email on the subject matter. Please ring at the telephone mentioned below to report if the odour is still comming from the waste transfer station.( this is for local residents only)

"I am writing to update you on the odour issue at the waste transfer station at Unit 2, Hannah Close, Neasden.

As of last Friday, all of the operators at the site have complied with the enforcement notice that was served on Friday 3 August 2012. This was significantly outside of the timeframe that we had required, but it means that all of the odorous waste has now been removed from the site and a deep clean has taken place.

As a result, the site was allowed to start taking waste in again on Tuesday 28 August. We have agreed with the site that they will operate at a limited capacity of 200 tonnes per day, rather than their full capacity of 600 tonnes per day. Since then, we have received one complaint of odour in the area. We were not able to substantiate this complaint and cannot at this time say with any certainty that it came from this site. As a result, we believe that the operators are managing to contain odour.

Whilst we have allowed the company to begin limited operations again, we are continuing to evaluate all our options in line with our Enforcement and Sanctions Statement. This will help us ensure that we are in position to respond both quickly and robustly if odour becomes an issue at the site again.

We are continuing to devote significant resources to this site and are closely monitoring the issue. Our officers will again be on standby over the weekend to respond if any further issues arise. If the odour situation deteriorates, we strongly urge the local community to contact our 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60."