Saturday, 26 May 2018

Neighbourhood CIL awards published at last

Following pressure from Wembley Matters, the outcome of applications for Round 2 Neighbourhood CIL has been published. The largest single award is £268,000 for fitting out Preston Community Library and Cricklewood Library gets an additional £30,000 folloing the £64,000 awarded in Round 1. Some amounts seem high such as the £45,000 for community wifi claimed by the South Kilburn Trust which also gets £9,000 for street signage.

The Young Brent Foundation which was set up to fund raise for youth projects after the Council closed youth clubs gets £30,000 for a 'Brent Young Peoples Hub'.  It would be useful for the Council to publish the applications in full along with business plans where applicable for the sake of transparency and accountability.

A significant number of the grants awarded are actually to Brent Council rather than community groups including grants to Regeneration, Landscaping and Town Centres as well as for electric car charging points. The Neighbourhood CIL guidelines (1.17) state budgets can't be spent on 'anything that the council or its partners should be doing.'

The majority of the fund goes to projects in Wembley in line with the distribution priorties agreed by the Council which in January 2017 (Round 1) were:

CIL Neighbourhood Fund                                       (nearest £) - as at January 2017
Harlesden                                                                   78,000
Kilburn and Kensal                                                      574,000
Kingsbury and Kenton                                                 402,000
Wembley                                                                     1,796,000
Willesden                                                                    190,000
Sudbury Town                                                             15,000
(Neighbourhood Forum with adopted Plan)  

Total                                                                          £3,000,000 (Rounding)

Fuller information on each area HERE

Click bottom left corner for full size PDF.

The Council's consultation on the Neighbourhood CIL now closes on May 30th. Readers may wish to comment on some of these issues. LINK

Friday, 25 May 2018

'Radical action needed to protect Brent's children from air pollution,' says Clean Air for Brent

Poster from Green Action Centre
From Clean Air for Brent

The Mayor of London has published his long-awaited School Air Quality Audits, and they include two Brent primary schools which are situated next to busy roads, where the pupils are routinely exposed to illegal levels of air pollution. (1)

Clean Air for Brent is calling for urgent action from Brent Council and Transport for London which will deliver an immediate and positive impact on the air being breathed by children at John Keble, Ark Franklin and other Brent schools. 

We strongly urge that all such heavily trafficked roads in Brent become Low Emission Bus Zones – where only the cleanest buses are permitted during school travel times - and emission levels are monitored and acted upon where found to be consistently in breach of legal limits deemed fit for humans.

We also want to see other big polluters such as construction lorries banned from these routes during the start and end of school days.

And the number of children currently transported to and from schools by car must be halved. We have to call time on the ‘school run’.

While we welcome all schools having travel plans and joining TfL’s STARS scheme, we call on Brent Council to end its bizarre and perverse policy of giving teachers more car parking permits if the school has a ‘greener’ travel plan.

Finally we wish to see the Kensal Corridor traffic scheme - which is partly intended to tackle pollution - suspended until it can be fully and successfully integrated with the Ark Franklin Primary air quality improvement proposals. Both schemes need drastic strengthening before being taken forward.

“It is time to stop playing God with children’s lives” said Fiona Mulaisho, Chair of Clean Air for Brent. 

  1. The Mayor’s School Air Quality Audit for Ark Franklin Primary Academy in Kensal Rise can be found here: and the equivalent report for John Keble C of E Primary School in Harlesden can be found here:
Editor's note:  Parents may be interested in joining the Clean Air Parents' Network HERE

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Tulip Siddiq's parliamentary assistant chosen to fight Willesden Green for Labour

Elliot Chappell, a parliamentary assistant to Tulip Siddiq MP (Hampstead and Kilburn) has been selected to be the third candidate on the Labour slate for the Willesden Green council election, following the death of Lesley Jones, whose funeral is on Tuesday next week.

Chappell, aged 26, who, despite appearances is not in a boy band, defeated Nyela Reid, Rajan Sellan, Iftekhar Ahmed, Conchita Varicak and James Powney who were also short-listed. He has previously worked on campaigns for David Lammy and Keir Starmer. His MSc (Democracy and Comparative Politics) thesis was on the 'European Union and the promotion of good governance'.

The election will be held on June 21st. Green candidates are Shaka Lish, who IS a singer, William Relton and Peter Murry.

Half-term outdoor activities for children at Welsh Harp Centre next week

Quintain announce new theatre on site of Fountain Studios

Press release from Quintain (Wembley Park)
Quintain (Wembley Park) has  announced an exciting new theatre venture. The flexible 1,000-2,000 seat capacity Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is being created inside the former Fountain Studios by award-winning Troubadour Theatres. 

Troubadour Theatres will run the brand-new theatre in Wembley Park, and will work with well-known and emerging production companies and artists to stage world-class entertainment within a flexible space unmatched by other London theatres.

In addition to a flexible performance space, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre will also house a modern state of the art restaurant and a fun, sociable bar space.

Located within the former Fountain Studios, which are best known for being the venue of live televised shows including The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Pop Idol, the new theatre will be in the heart of Wembley Park, an area which is fast becoming one of London’s most exciting destinations. As a new cultural hub for London, the 85 acre redevelopment will benefit from the new theatre, 27 affordable artist studios, 7,000 new homes, London Designer Outlet, new retail districts and offices, as well as the largest Boxpark to date, Boxpark Wembley (set to open later this year) and the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre will be a fully flexible theatre; a space that can be transformed to suit the requirements for every show - traditional proscenium arch theatre, in-the-round theatrical experiences, or immersive shows. It will encourage theatrical producers to think big, offering them an affordable alternative space to present bold and ambitious shows.
The Troubadour team has extensive experience of running spectacular theatres including the King’s Cross Theatre which consisted of two 1,000 seat theatres and one 450 seat studio housing the Olivier Award-winning production of The Railway Children, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, David Bowie’s Lazarus and the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy.  This will be the first theatre to open in Wembley Park and first venture between Quintain, the developers behind the transformation of Wembley Park, and Troubadour Theatres, providing a new cultural offering for those living, working and visiting Wembley Park.

Speaking about the announcement Tristan Baker and Oliver Royds of Troubadour Theatres said:

We are delighted to be creating a state-of-the-art theatre in Wembley Park, in the heart of one of Europe’s largest regeneration areas. Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre will be a modern venue for modern audiences: comfortable seating, increased leg room, a spacious and welcoming bar, a seasonal and innovative restaurant. And for theatre makers, we offer a flexible, dynamic and exciting performance space which can be designed around the shows. 
We see theatre audiences increasing year on year and we are excited, once again, to break the mould of traditional theatres and bring new innovative spaces to audiences and producers alike.

Speaking about the deal, James Saunders, Chief Operating Officer of Quintain (delivering Wembley Park), said:
We are thrilled to welcome Troubadour Theatres to Wembley Park and can’t wait to see the iconic Fountain Studios given a new lease of life, as it’s transformed into a brand-new theatre for those living, working and visiting Wembley Park. This new theatre opens as London is seeing a decline in live venues across the capital and is a further example of how Wembley Park is growing in stature as a cultural destination.
Troubadour Theatre Wembley Park is set to open in the Autumn of 2018. Details of the first production will be announced in the coming months alongside information on ticket sales.


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

FURTHER UPDATE 06.15 Burst water main affecting NW2, NW4 and NW11 water pressure and disrupting local traffic

  1. Pictures from London 999

    UPDATE 06.15 May 24 from Thames Water

    Water supplies have now returned to your area.

    We are working with TFL and have reopened one lane on the southbound carriage of Hendon Way to minimise any traffic disruption.

    We will update this message when there is further information to provide.

    UPDATE 21.00 May 23 from Thames Water

    Our engineers are on site and we're working to restore the water as soon as we can. Then we can begin work on repairing the broken pipe.

    Bottled water is currently being arranged and will be heading to the area. We'll confirm the bottled water locations once they have been confirmed.

    We'll provide an update on our progress as soon as we have further information.

    Update 18.30 from Thames Water

    We've arrived on Hendon Way NW4 and are currently looking into stopping the flow of water so we can carry out a repair.

    We'll keep this page updated with the latest information and should soon be able to let you know how long this repair will take.
    A41 Hendon Way is blocked southbound at j/w Renters Avenue (by Brent Cross Jcn/ ) due to a v.large Burst Water Main. Traffic is stationary on approach with Qs beyond j/w Queen's Road (by Hendon Central LU Stn), are on scene and are on way.
  2. We're aware of a burst pipe on Hendon Way causing no water/low pressure to , and . We're on our way to investigate this now and we'll update you as soon as we have more info

    Update expected by 7pm LINK

Brent's Neighbourhood CIL consultation extended by one week - Deadline now May 30th

Further to my story below and representations to the Council about the failure to publish the results of Round 2 of Neighbourhood CIL, the consultation has been extended by one week. Round 2 results are still not available on the Council website LINK

Received from Brent Council this afternoon:
Thank you to all who have completed the survey so far.

We have decided to extend the online survey for the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Review for one more week. The survey will be closed on the 30th May 2018.

More information about the Community Infrastructure Levy in Brent can be found here.

Completing the survey gives you the opportunity to tell us your views, experiences and suggestions for improvement.

Neighbourhood CIL consultation closes today with key information unavailable

Brent Council's Neighbourhood CIL consultation closes today without the publication of the results of the Round 2 of Neighbourhood CIL allocations.

Consultation should be based on the easy availability of information on the subject and so this non-publication undermines the credibility of the process. The delay in publication was blamed by Cllr Shama Tatler on one organisation not completing the final paper work although if some of the allocations are controversial non-publication may be convenient.

I have asked, without success, that the deadline be extended to allow for consideration of the outcome of Round 2 before completing the survey.

This is from Brent's email system:

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge, introduced by the Planning Act (2008) to provide a fair and transparent means for ensuring that any new planned development contributes to the cost of the surrounding infrastructure.

The Council must spend some CIL funds on priorities that are agreed in consultation with the local community. This is known as ‘Neighbourhood CIL’.  At least 15% of CIL funds will be spent on Neighbourhood projects, or at least 25% where there is an adopted Neighbourhood Plan, such as in Sudbury Town.

Brent’s Neighbourhood CIL Programme was launched in July 2017.  As it has now been in operation for almost one year, Brent Council would be keen to hear your views, learn about your experience of the programme and receive any suggestions for improvement through the survey below.

This survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.  If you have any questions or would like further information please do not hesitate to contact us via