Monday, 19 September 2016

Brent Council challenged on pavements policy

Extract from Brent Council document
Following the 'pavement' meeting of Council officres, councillors and residents LINK to discuss the repaving of Brent streets with asphalt rather than paving slabs, local resident Simon Campbell has written to councillors:
Thank you for taking the time last week to meet with residents regarding Brent Councils new tarmac policy.
When the meeting had finished, rather than being left re-assured as was promised by Chris Whyte, I (along with many other residents) was left with the distinct impression that this policy seems to have been adopted with little or no consideration to either the planning or environmental impact and Transport seems to operate in isolation from the rest of the Council.
I found it quite incredible that Chris Whyte would attempt to portray Geary Road as a positive example to the residents of Chandos and Cranhurst, given that Dawn Butler MP has already been involved because of the anger many residents there have expressed with what has been done by the Transport Department and their contractors.
I am still waiting to hear what precisely this new lighter material is that Brent Council are supposed to be using on Geary Road, perhaps you will have more success in getting this specific information?
As councillors, you are supposed to represent constituency representatives and it was very apparent how disconnected your standpoint on this issue was, when compared to the views expressed by the majority of residents in both of the streets that were consulted. Please find attached the stats for both Chandos and Cranhurst.
Instead of Tony Kennedy repeating his obviously biased views, I would like to hear from the department heads of both Planning and the Environment about the basis on which this policy was decided and approved.
I have noted that Brent Council likes to portray itself as a “green” Council, but I along with many other residents found it impossible to reconcile quotes from Brent Councils own website regarding its supposed green credentials and its responsibility to protect and enhance the local character of Brent.
Unfortunately, Brent Council have proven form on this subject, the original plan to demolish the old Library and destroy the adjacent Plane tree touted by the Council made all the more outrageous by the fact that it is supposed to be at the centre of a conservation area.
Many locals actually do care about their area, their history and local character – something the Council soon found out. It should have been promoting and enhancing – not undermining this important aspect. This casual disregard for the areas architectural heritage seems to have surfaced again with this policy.
Both Local and Central government are supposed to be working together to reducing the amount of rain water being channelled into the sewers and maximising the amount of runoff absorbed at a local level.
This important responsibility is not going to be answered by applying a huge amount of water impermeable, petroleum based product (that continually leaches solvent and oils into the earth and onto people and animal’s feet) and decreasing further the amount of moisture onto the clay subsoil on which most of London is built - thereby increasing issues of subsidence as the clay is further isolated from moisture.
You may wish to reflect on one of Brent Councils own policies as regards water impermeable surfaces and the negative impact they have and the reason this measure has been put in place by virtually every local authority in the UK.
I have also noted that there will be a substantial increase in solar gain by installing a huge amount of matt black surface that will attract the heat, whereas the concrete pavers because of their colour/finish, help to reflect much of this solar energy and that this important negative aspect seems to have been ignored.
I look forward to your detailed responses to the above.


Simon Campbell.


  1. I entirely agree with your views on the aesthetic deficiencies of tarmac and the water permeability concerns.

    However, to play devil's advocate: what service or budget would you cut / plunder to fund the cost difference between tarmac and paving slabs?

    Would you prefer to spend same budget but on shorter total distance with slabs? (Net effect being even lower standard before resurfacing)

    If we can articulate what council service we value less than slab paved pavements, then this may be a start for contributing to future budget consultations

  2. Paving slabs are reusable. Relaying with existing ones costs about the same as tarmac.

  3. I think that we also need to pursue more robustly people who damage the pavements by driving up over them and parking on them, especially heavy lorries. The amount of pavements damaged in this way by non-caring skip lorries,delivery lorries and grab lorries during the never ending process of small and large developers who couldn't care a damn is quite horrifying. Are pavements such as these to be tarmacked over (at our expense) affecting the look of the neighbourhood even more.

  4. Brent Council do not need to replace these pavements. They should repair them.

    But they are only interested in big Capital products that are agreed with the contractors without consulting the people affected because basically the council decision makers don't give a toss about the character of the place or the opinions of the residents. . . .