Monday, 17 November 2014

Brent Council removes compromising Stonebridge Playground funding proposal from its website

At the weekend I published an item from the Brent Forward Plan which showed that despite the consultation about the future of Stonebridge, including the closure of the Adventure Playground, not ending until today, the Council was intending to cut its funding.

Muhammed Butt had assured residents and their children (recorded on video) that nothing had been decided ahead of the outcome  consultatiopn on the expansion of Stonebridge Primary school and the building of new housing that necessitated  the Playground's demolition.  He did go on at length about needing to save money so presumably it was the funding cut he had in mind.

The  Council's  Forward Plan published at the weekend including a proposal for the December 15th  Cabinet that funding for the Stonebridge Adventure Playground be 'terminated'.

Now that item has been removed from the Forward Planning section of the Council website, If you follow the link I published this is what you get:

Luckily I had copied the item on Sunday.  For those of you denied access by the Council, this is what it said (original format):
Revenue funding to Brent Play Association which supports the running costs of Stonebridge Adventure Playground


To terminate the funding to Brent Play Association (BPA) at the end of the 2014-15 financial year.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Signficant expenditure/savings > 30% of budget for the function in question;

Decision status: For Determination

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 14/11/2014

Decision due: 15 Dec 2014 by Cabinet

Lead member: Lead Member for Children and Young People

Lead director: Strategic Director, Children and Young People
Department: Children and Young People

Contact: Sara Williams, Operational Director, Early Help and Education Email: Tel: 020 8937 3510.


Revenue funding to Brent Play Association which supports the running costs of Stonebridge Adventure Playground 
Other items on the Forward Plan sent out at the same time  are still accessible.

Now what possible motive could Brent Council have for removing something that should be publicly accessible and clearly has major repercussions for the parents, carers and children of Stonebridge?


Anonymous said...

Martin, please continue to shine a light on the lies and deception we are subject to as Brent residents. It's not said enough, but thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can see Brent council having a very bad time of it if Stonebridge adventure playground is closed and the developers having a lot of trouble from the surrounding residents .......
I wouldn't want to be in their shoes..........

Anonymous said...

To the right of 'Access denied' on the website page you've reproduced it suggests some 'Things to do online'.
Shouldn't this now include: 'Piss off and mind your own business'?

Mike Hine

Martin Francis said...

Sarah Cox sent this comment via Facebook:

7:22pm Nov 17
Tried to comment on the blog to continue the point made by another contributor to the thread, but I still haven't mistressed the art. Anyway, in my opinion, even if closing the playground doesn't result in an immediate increase in vandalism and crime, that will certainly be a long term effect. However, the real crime will be committed by the Council and the developers, robbing the children of one of the most deprived wards in the country of one of the very, very few facilities available to them, robbing the children of Stonebridge, including those children with disabilities and special needs of opportunities to enjoy themselves and to develop through play in a safe environment supervised by skilled, experienced, caring adults.

Anonymous said...

They cannot be trusted, the more people who read about what's going on, the better, it's about time people stop voting blindly and start vote sensibly. Brent Council is the biggest joke, imagine knowing that you need to make savings in your team yet you are still recruiting people to permanent posts and for the new recruits to be going through a restructure soon after they start, you cannot make it up. Any mug would know that if you need to cut staff you don't go taking on new people in a permanent position - that's money wasted on advertising, recruiting and once they go through a restructure you will need to pay them off. Dumb asses. The new name for these managers should be mis-managers, flipping laughable.

Nan Tewari said...

There is obviously real evidence that Stonebridge Adventure playground would be a waste of public funds. At least I think that's what the following extract from the Brent Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is trying to say.

Right and left hands and joined-up working come forcibly to mind!

Draft version: Brent JSNA Highlight summary report, November 2014
NHS Brent CCG and LB Brent

Access to parks and open spaces

Brent has the lowest proportion of green space of all outer London boroughs. As cited by the
Marmot Review, green spaces and green infrastructure improve mental and physical health
and have been shown to reduce health inequalities.

To help improve the mental and physical health of residents, the council faces a key challenge in making what space it does have as welcoming and accessible to all borough residents as possible.

Between March 2012 and February 2013, only 8.8% of people in Brent aged 16 and over utilised outdoor space for either exercise or health reasons. This is lower than both the London (10.5%) and England (15.3%) averages

Brent’s 74 parks, ranging in size from Fryent County Park (115ha) to numerous small pocket parks throughout the borough, are used for many different activities. Outdoor gyms were installed in 6 parks in July 2013. These are free to use and have led to an increase in the physical activity levels of many users. Free guided health walks are another popular activity, with 119 people taking part in guided health walks in March 2014. Similarly, Park Run, a free-to-attend 5km run held every Saturday morning in Gladstone Park attracts around 100 weekly participants. Brent’s parks and open space provide access to various other sporting facilities, including multi-use game areas, tennis courts, and football, rugby and cricket pitches. Brent’s parks and open spaces also contain 23 allotment sites.

Anonymous said...

It is ironic the Unisys site just down the road was deemed to be flood prone and not suitable for a school, but this would be perfect site for a new school rather than taking away a valuable resource of Stonebridge Adventure Play.

A gun now seems to be pointed at the head of Brent Play and this is totally unacceptable using funding as a weapon.

Has the ACV been granted ?

Martin Francis said...

Yes the ACV was granted.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that two members of staff at the playground stood in front of the queen of England and received medals for their contribution to the local area this year but the council decide it's time to close the playground because the school next door needs more space ! the school I went to my siblings my parents my uncles and aunts ...... Didn't need expanding before , 1899 the school opened 115 years ago.
Seems to me it's like most of the politics of this country , Backhanders.......
I started going to the playground when i was 5 years old and i'm now 43 my childhood was a safe one because of Doug patrick and Glynis......

Anonymous said...

'The animals now also learned that Snowball had never, as many of them had believed hitherto, received the order of `Animal Hero, First Class.' This was merely a legend which had
been spread some time after the Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball himself. So
far from being decorated, he had been censured for showing cowardice in the
battle and spending hardworking families' council tax on 'playgrounds' for undeserving children who didn't even pay a membership charge or admission fees. No wonder these 'playgrounds' never made a profit! '

Anonymous said...

So very accurate!