Thursday 10 November 2016

Cllr Mashari rejects call for her resignation over Granville redevelopment

Kilburn Times story
Cllr John Duffy (Labour, Kilburn) took the unusual step yesterday of circulating an email to all councillors calling for the resignation of Cllr Roxanne Mashari (Labour, Welsh Harp) who is the Cabinet member leading on Regeneration and Employment.

Cllr Mashari promptly rejected the call which was based on alleged incompetence over the redevelopment of the Granville and Carlton Centres in South Kilburn.  After a campaign by residents and users new proposals are to be put to the Cabinet on Tuesday November 15th which include, in Phase 2, proposals for the Granville Kitchen, Granville Nursery Plus and Otherwise Club. These were covered in an earlier post on Wembley Matters LINK.

Duffy wrote after coverage of the issue in the Kilburn Times which reported Zadie Smith's support for campaigners LINK: (Duffy's email appear to have been written in some haste and I have corrected typos)
All Councillors, 

This scandal attached came about because the cabinet agree to knock down a school  in Kilburn  they did not know was there . I know that is hard to believe particularly because it is a Brent school. How could anybody miss a school is beyond me.

Cllr Mashari in true cabinet style, failed to consult the school , the local community centres or local Kilburn Councillors. Her incompetency  put £2million investment in local employment from the  Soth Kilburn Trust and £750k from the GLA at risk. The incompetency also put the school and community  through unnecessary anguish . During the cabinet meeting to knock down the school not one question was raised by the cabinet about the lack of communication and consultation with users of the community centres and Kilburn Councillors.

It was only after the intervention of the local Councillors Rita Conneely, Barbara (Pitruzzella) and myself , where we demanded  a meeting  with the Leader and the CEO, did the leader agree to reconsider change the decision and consider options to ensure the future of the user groups and school.

This is not the first time the cabinet have have put funding at risk , due to their previous incompetence  , they previous nearly gave the street cleansing contractor up to £400k by failing to notice the report said all extra revenue from the green bins should go to the contractor (Veolia) and not the Brent council.

I believe Cllr Mashari should apologies  to the residents of Kilburn for  her breathtaking incompetence and resign  from the regelation portfolio .
Cllr Mashari replied:

Thank you for your email.

The decision on the future use of Granville that went through cabinet earlier this year did not come from Regeneration, but rather through property, which now sits under the Leader's portfolio. I understand that this may be confusing, but I have taken the time to sit down with Cllr Conneely to explain the division of responsibility here.

I understand that the leader has met and spoken about this matter with you on a number of occasions.

As far as the future of the building is concerned, I am now taking forward a paper through regeneration which outlines the next phase of the project in the context of the South Kilburn Regeneration scheme and I assure you that the process will be collaborative going forward.  I am happy to further discuss the upcoming cabinet paper with you and your ward colleagues.

I had also asked that Richard Barrett from our Regeneration team meet individually with each of the tenants and local stakeholders to capture their feedback and concerns. This has been done in addition to several other consultative meetings and exercises.

While I agree that the original decision could have been undertaken more collaboratively with councillors and community stakeholders, you will appreciate that I was not the lead member on this and that myself and Regeneration staff are working hard to establish a more consultative approach to make this project a success now it has passed from Property to Regeneration.

With regards to your assertion that I should resign, I feel this is a wholly inappropriate response on the back of a Kilburn Times article and clearly before you had taken the trouble to check which cabinet member led on the original decision.  

Nonetheless, I am determined to find a way forward for Granville that means all local stakeholders are at the heart of the design and function of the new enterprise hub and I hope that you will continue to work closely with Richard Barrett and myself to ensure that happens.
Cllr Duffy responded thanking Cllr Mashari for her clarification but went on to list the reasons she should resign: (typos and minor corrections)
There are four reasons I think you should  resign and apologise.

(1) It is not about the issue of who made original decision, it's the fact you left the parents and governors of the school  and users of the community centre in limbo , not knowing if the school and community centre would  close.They were left not knowing for over 3 months.During that time  there were many meetings  concerning  the centres both in Kilburn and the CC  (Civic Centre) since the July 25th meeting. You have not even attempted  to visit the school you have not visited the community centre you have not attended SKT or to my knowledge you have not even set foot in Kilburn since you were elected or since the meeting of the 25 July.

(2)Your action to ignore my plea to start consultation put £2.75 million much needed  investment in Kilburn at risk and it was only the actions and pressure of the local community and Rita, Barbara and myself that secured the funding.

(3) You say you have asked officers from the generation team to meet with local stake holders,this is true. Unfortunately you only asked officers to meet with stakeholder this week which is 105 Days after the meeting of the July 25th and 115 Days after I sent you the email outlining the lack of consultation.I find it quite disingenuous for you to  pretend  you have taken actions , when you ignored Kilburn residents for over 3 months. 

(4) I do believe you even bother to read the reports (sic) on the demolition of the Granville and Carlton on the 25th May This is borne out  by your confusion with the dates and believing you were not the lead member at the time.

Cllr Mashari you can try and blame Cllr Butt and Cllr McLennan (Deputy Leader) , but both of those along with Cllr W. Mitchell- Murray  have come to Kilburn to reassure residents while you have ignored them.

I  say again you should resign  as I believe  the residents of Kilburn will not have any confidence in you to deliver regeneration which reflects the needs of their community. 


Anonymous said...

What a disaster - yet again!!!!!
The reaction of "it wasn't me. It was 'im" just shows up how incompetent and unworthy of being being lead members some of the lead members are. Perhaps they should put their hands up and say "it is time for me to go".

Alison Hopkins said...

I've long wondered how someone can be a lead member for a topic they've no experience of, or expertise in. Surely, for Regeneration and Employment, knowing a little about housing, the built environment and business ought to be a prerequisite?

A disgruntled Brent Resident said...

I do so agree. I have often wondered this when people have changed from one 'leadership" to another. How can they suddenly become experts in a completely different field overnight? I have worked alongside some very brilliant and extremely capable people and I can assure you they wouldn't even contemplate trying it. Perhaps this is why "our leadership" so often fail us and why they pass the buck as to whose to blame. The attitude of ignoring people who have put tremendous effort into their localities as they "are not important" leaves a very bitter taste in responsible residents mouths.These people have put much into the localities unlike what appears to be the case of some lead members. The attitude shown here is simply arrogant and unacceptable.

Confused of Kilburn said...

Am I being a bit thick? The July report is headed "Joint Report from Strategic Director Resources and Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment".... Agenda Item 8 25 July 2016.

Anonymous said...

But aren't they all just (paid) amateurs who happened to stand for public office. Unless they feel the need to learn something about their 'lead' field, why should they bother to learn more about it than your average punter? Plus, your average punter doesn't have distractions like internal council politics, keeping in with the boss and worrying about what their next lead 'role' will be.
To the shameless many, the game itself is always more important than its consequences.

Jaine Lunn said...

I agree with you 100% Alison, I also think when it comes to major developments, it should be mandatory that one or more of elected representatives for the particular Ward where it's taking place should also be on the planning committee and support the local residents whom are affected.

Alison Hopkins said...

I know at least one development in Dollis Hill which was vehemently opposed by the people affected by it, but then supported by a councillor who went on to speak in favour of it. That was despite going to residents consultation meetings and hearing the valid objections.

Philip Grant said...

Councillor Duffy's point is about people making decisions when they do not have clear knowledge of the facts, the views of the people their decisions will affect and about the part of Brent they are dealing with.

"Confused of Kilburn" is right that the report to Cabinet on 25 July 2016 was a Joint Report from two Strategic Directors. However, both of those Directors, Althea Loderick (Resources) and Amar Dave (Regeneration and Environment) were new to Brent, having taken up their posts in June 2016, having previously been in Waltham Forest and Essex respectively. So they probably knew very little about Kilburn, and may not even have visited the area from their new offices in the Civic Centre before they put their names to the report.

If it wasn't for the admirable example shown by another Lead Member, Councillor Southwood, I would be tempted to compare the situation here to the ..... leading the ..... .


Brent voter with a conscience said...

Well I hope these residents develop long memories and when it comes to the next election refuse en bloc to vote this councillor back in and let it be well known why people in the area should avoid voting them back in again.