Thursday, 18 April 2019

Euston station closed over Easter weekend - details

Start date
19/04/2019  00:00
End date
22/04/2019 
Route affected
Caledonian Sleeper between London Euston and Edinburgh / Glasgow Central / Aberdeen / Inverness / Fort William
London Northwestern Railway between London Euston and Northampton / Birmingham New Street / Crewe
London Overground between London Euston and Watford Junction
Southern between East Croydon and Milton Keynes Central
Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street / Chester / Holyhead / Manchester Piccadilly / Liverpool Lime Street / Glasgow Central / Edinburgh
 
TOC(s) affected
Caledonian SleeperLondon Northwestern RailwayLondon OvergroundSouthernVirgin Trains
Description
Major engineering work is affecting journeys to and from London Euston on the West Coast main line, and London Euston station is closed.
Travel either side of the Easter and Early May bank holiday, plan ahead for easier journeys and check the best days to travel:
  • Up to Thursday 18 April
  • From Tuesday 23 April up to Friday 3 May
  • From Tuesday 7 May

Caledonian Sleeper:
Caledonian Sleeper services will be diverted away from the usual route along the West Coast Mainline onto the East Coast Mainline and will be starting and terminating at London Kings Cross. Trains will not be calling at Watford Junction, Crewe, Preston and Carlisle in both directions.
On Friday. the Glasgow Sleepers will be diverted and will not call at Carstairs and Motherwell, with the sleeper from Glasgow towards London on Sunday doing the same.

London Northwestern Railway:
Friday 19 April
Trains between London Euston and Tring / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton / Birmingham New Street will not run. Trains between London Euston and Crewe will run between Northampton and Crewe only.
A half-hourly train service will operate between Harrow & Wealdstone and Rugby for the majority of the day.
Some late night / early morning services will run between Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes Central / Northampton only, with buses running between Stanmore London Underground station and Hemel Hempstead / Watford Junction, to allow customers to connect with London Underground services from / to London.
Customers may use London Underground on reasonable routes between London and Harrow & Wealdstone.
Saturday 20 April
Trains between London Euston and Tring / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton / Birmingham New Street will not run. Trains between London Euston and Crewe will run between Northampton and Crewe only.
A half hourly train service will run between Bletchley and Rugby.
Replacement buses will run between Stanmore London Underground station and Watford Junction / Milton Keynes Central, to allow customers to connect with London Underground services to / from London. These replacement buses will not call at Cheddington between 07:30 and 22:30, when replacement buses will run between Cheddington and Leighton Buzzard.
Sunday 21 April
Trains between London Euston and Tring / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton / Birmingham New Street will not run. Trains between London Euston and Crewe will run between Northampton and Crewe only.
Rail replacement buses will run between Rugby and Birmingham International. A train service will also run approximately every half hour between Bletchley and Northampton / Rugby.
Replacement buses will run between Stanmore London Underground station and Watford Junction / Milton Keynes Central, to allow customers to connect with London Underground services to / from London. These replacement buses will not call at Cheddington between 08:00 and 22:00, when replacement buses will run between Cheddington and Leighton Buzzard.
Monday 22 April
Trains between London Euston and Tring / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton will not run. Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street / Crewe will run between Northampton and Birmingham New Street / Crewe only.
A half hourly train service will run between Harrow & Wealdstone and Northampton.
Customers may use London Underground on reasonable routes between London and Harrow & Wealdstone.

London Overground:
On Friday and Monday, trains will run to amended timings with three trains per hour between Kilburn High Road and Watford Junction.
On Saturday and Sunday, trains will run to a normal timetable between Kilburn High Road and Watford Junction.
On all days, customers should use London Underground Bakerloo Line services to / from Queens Park and central London.

Southern
As a result of this engineering work, Southern trains will not run between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes Central.
Customers may use tickets on London Overground trains between Willesden Junction and Watford Junction and on London Northwestern Railway trains and replacement buses between Watford Junction and Milton Keynes Central.

Virgin Trains:
Friday 19 April and Monday 22 April
Virgin Trains services will start / terminate at Harrow & Wealdstone. Your ticket will include free travel on London Underground Bakerloo Line services between Harrow & Wealdstone and London Paddington. If you require onward travel beyond London Paddington on London Underground, please purchase your London Underground travel ticket before you travel, or at London Paddington.
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April
Trains will start / terminate at Milton Keynes Central, and will not run between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central. Customers travelling into, and out from central London can use the Journey Planner to obtain alternative routes.

Check before you travel:
You can plan your journey using the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner
You can find the location of your bus replacement by checking station signs or by searching for your station on our station information pages
Replacement Bus Travel Advice:
Bicycles are not allowed on rail replacement bus services at any time, unless fully folded. More travel advice for your replacement bus journey is available by selecting the Train Operating Company you are travelling with here.
 

Brent ward boundaries consultation extended to April 30th





From the Local Government Boundary Commission

Have your say on our draft recommendations for Brent Council.

Due to a small number of files on our review site being unavailable to visitors during part of the consultation, The Commission has decided to extend the consultation on draft recommendations for Brent Council until 30 April 2019.

We have proposed new wards, ward boundaries and ward names for Brent Council.

Check out our proposals through the buttons below:

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Octavia to make 'Important and Compulsory' fire safety visits to Elizabeth House residents pending cladding removal

Elizabeth House, Wembley

Octavia Housing have written to residents of Elizabeth House, Wembley High Road,  informing them that they will make  'important and compulsory' fire visits to their properties pending the cladding being removed.  Elizabeth House, like Merle Court in South Kilburn, was built by Willmott Dixon.

Important and Compulsory Fire Safety Visits

You may remember from previous visits and correspondence that Octavia Housing is required to periodically visit every property in Elizabeth House to complete fire safety checks until the cladding has been replaced. 

The instruction from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is that we need to repeat these visits regularly and I am writing to inform you that Octavia Housing is required to visit you again now. 

These visits will enable us to: 

      Check balconies and flat entrance doors to ensure they are safe and free from fire hazards and flammable materials.
      Ensure all residents know how to check their smoke and heat alarms.

Each visit takes approximately 5 -10 minutes.  As this is an instruction from Government, we have no alternative but to advise that it is a condition of your lease or tenancy agreement to provide access for the visit.

Please be reminded that the Fire Safety procedure is a stay put policy.

We will be carrying out visits on the following dates and would require you to be available on one of the dates:
·         Tuesday 23rd April 2019 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm
·         Wednesday 24th April 2019 from 1:00pm - 6:00pm
·         Thursday 25th April 2019 from 8:30am - 1:00pm
·         Friday 26th April 2019 from 8:30am - 1:00pm

If you are unable to be at home when we visit or would prefer to confirm an appointment with us, you can do so by contacting our Customer Contact Team on 020 8354 5608 or by email to sylvie.haman@octavia.org.uk

I do hope you understand the importance of the visit to you and/or members of your household.

Easter holiday children's outdoor activity at the Welsh Harp tomorrow (Wednesday 17th April)



From Thames21

Join us at the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre for Holiday Activities! Hunt for mini-beasts to find what creatures live in the woodland and make a bug hotel. Come for a walk through our woodland to see how many different trees grow and build yourself a shelter in the woodland.

Wednesday 17th April:
10.30am – 12pm Woodland Mini-beast Hunt
1pm – 2.30pm Tree Walk and Shelter Building

Activities suitable for children aged 5-11 years.
£3 per child.
Limited spaces so book now!
  
To book, contact Marian Rastelli on:

Phone: 07905 848 510
Email: welshharpcentre@thames21.org.uk

What you need to know for this activity:

An adult must attend & supervise children throughout activities.

Places are limited and booking is essential, please contact us to book and also let us know if you need to cancel your booking.

Please pay in cash on the day. £3 per child.

All activities are suitable for ages 5 and over. Children aged 4 and under who are not participating in activities are free of charge.

Children and adults should wear comfortable outdoor clothing that may get dirty.


The Centre is at the end of Birchen Grove, Kingsbury, NW9. Go through the big green gates and the Centre is the brown building on the left before you get to the Garden Centre

Monday, 15 April 2019

Cabinet approves most of Scrutiny recommendations on Carlton-Granville but activists fail to win more community space

Brent Cabinet tonight approved the Scrutiny's recommendations on the Carlton-Granville development with just one amendment. Cabinet agreed to alter 'ensure' to 'explore' in point 'a' about the provision of 3 or 4 bedroomed houses:


A series of speakers made the community's case for more community space in the development with the proposed housing built elsewhere. This would maximise the available space when tenants' halls have been closed and the population of the estate is increasing as the result of regeneration.

Their contributions were politely acknowledged but the new housing build on the site will go ahead and community space not increased.  Noise reduction will be addressed at the planning stage but local people are fearful that accommodating homes and a late night community venue on the site will lead to conflict.  There is likely to be some broadening of the Key Stakeholders Group but whether that will satisfy the community remains to be seen.

Matt Kelcher, chair of Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee was unable to attend Cabinet and no one else from the Committee came forward to replace him - so the voice of Scrutiny was missing apart from the written report.

This is a video of community representations made at the Cabinet meeting:



Reaction this morning from the South Kilburn Trust which was criticised last night for being undemocratic and representing the Council rather than the community:


VIDEO: Butt lashed over Brent Labour Council's decision to set up a Free School




Brent Cabinet faced angry criticism tonight when it approved the setting up of a Free School offering 'alternative provision' for children rejected by local secondary schools.

Local Labour Party member Graham Durham lambasted Cllr Muhammed Butt, Labour leader of Brent Council, for not following Labour Party policy which he claimed is against the creation of any more free schools.

Cllr Mili Patel read a statement in a barely audible voice about the proposal but rather than focusing on the creation of a free school focused on the youth provision that would be offered outside of school hours by the voluntary sector.  There will be no directly employed Brent Council youth workers but building maintance costs and school hours running  costs will be paid by the Free School.

Durham said that rather than a Free School the Council could have asked a local mainstream secondary school to run the facility for out of school children. All Brent former local authority secondary schools are now academies as are all but one special school. The majority of Brent's academies are stand-alone rather than part of a chain.

Guardian on Labour Party education policy LINK

Later Graham Durham claimed on Facebook that the Brent CEO left the meeting to accost him after the item was discussed:
What made the event unusual was that as I was outside and walking away from the meeting outside in a corridor,  I was cornered by the Chief Executive ( supposedly non-political) who called me ‘ a vile little man’. I had never met her before but she clearly does not like ‘her’ councillors receiving independent socialist advice. Odd.

The economic impact of Wembley Stadium events 2017-18 - locally, London-wide and nationally

Tonight's Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee will be discussing the following report on the economic impact of Wembley Stadium with a particular emphasis on Spurs' stay at the stadium. There is a short section about the views of local people on the impact of event days on their lives.

Click bottom right corner for full-page view.


Catalyst statement: All Merle Court residents will be rehoused over next 12-18 months, looking at possible financial payments


Merle Court, named after local activist and Granville Kitchen cook Merle Barriteau, was opened with great fanfare in 2012. LINK The block was built via a Catalyst Housing, Brent Council and Willmott Dixon partnership.  The block was used to decant residents from Brent Council properties that were being demolished. Tenancies were transferred from the council to Catalyst Housing.

After the Grenfell fire concerns were raised over the cladding of the block. The BBC reported the fears of resident Issa Kaingu whose flat in Merle Court os enclosed in a polyethylene-based shell. LINK

He said,
I am really worried. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I am at the top and if there's a fire it would be difficult to get down. I am really shaken and feel like I can't even stay here.
At the time Catalyst was advised that additional safety measures, including 24 hour wardens, would ensure it was safe for residents to continue living there until cladding was removed.

When fears were at their height post-Grenfell, a special meeting was convened in South Kilburn that included residents, councillors, the fire brigade and various housing associations. The absence of Catalyst Housing was noted at the time.

In December 2018 building regulations changed for walled systems over 18 metres high and were applied retrospectively. These applied to Merle Court but investigations by Catalyst Housing found other faults in the 7 year old building which will involve removal of brick work as well as cladding.

Now a considerable amount of work needs to be done which will involve Catalyst rehousing the residents and buying back leasehold properties in the block.

UPDATE:

A spokeperson for Catalyst Housing supplied the following statement to Wembley Matters:

We are unable to say what we expect the repairs to cost at the moment.

All Merle Court residents will need to be re-housed and Catalyst will support everyone throughout this process. We expect this will take between 12 and 18 months to complete. 

Outline of Residents’ Offer (April 2019)

Catalyst’s offer to residents is currently being developed for approval by Catalyst’s Board in May. Once it has been approved we’ll be able to share the full residents’ offer with those living at Merle Court. In the meantime, we felt it was important to let residents know that they will need to move out of Merle Court and share what we can with them now, in terms of the likely timescales and the support and financial payments they will receive. 

An outline of the offer is summarised below:

Assessing residents’ needs and developing individual packages of support
Catalyst will arrange one to one meetings with every household to discuss their individual circumstances and support needs, and where needed, develop individual packages of support. We want to understand each household’s needs and establish how we can help.

Our offer to tenants

Catalyst will offer tenants assistance and support throughout the re-housing process by providing a dedicated member of staff for Merle Court. We will spend time talking to every tenant to understand their housing needs and their preferences for a move. We will also offer additional support to older and vulnerable residents, and signpost to other support services, where needed.

Catalyst will make direct offers to tenants where we can, of properties that meet their housing need and take into account their preferences as far as possible (about location, type of property and so on).

If possible, Catalyst will give tenants the right to return to Merle Court, once the major works have been completed. This will be considered as part of the residents’ offer which we will share with them at the end of May.

We are looking at what financial payments we can give residents as well as covering reasonable “disturbance” costs for moving home.

Our offer to shared owners’ and home owners

Catalyst will meet all home owners to discuss their individual circumstances and the options available. We will have a dedicated member of staff for home owners to speak to throughout the process. 

Catalyst will offer to buy back of all the shared/home owners’ homes. This will include the option to buy another Catalyst property (with an equity loan depending on financial circumstances). 

We will buy back properties at the current market value and residents may also qualify for additional financial payments and a disturbance allowance. More information will be available towards the end of May, once our Board approves the residents’ offer for Merle Court. In the meantime, we would like to meet everyone to understand their individual circumstances and discuss options and next steps.