Thursday 30 November 2017

Stop and Fix Universal Credit - demonstration Neasden Parade on Saturday

From Unite Community

This year Christmas will be cancelled for thousands of families claiming the government’s new all-in-one benefit, Universal Credit. 

Unite is calling on the government to stop and fix Universal Credit before even more families will be forced to use food banks and struggle to heat their homes this Christmas.

The government has also admitted that the Universal Credit helpline for claimants will be closed for the majority of the Christmas period, making life even more difficult for claimants needing advice and emergency help. 

Unite Community members and campaigners will be holding street stalls in 70 towns and city centres across the UK on Saturday 2 December to help raise awareness of who will be affected by Universal Credit.The Brent event, with Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group,  will be at Noon until 2pm on Saturday at Neasden Parade, Neasden Shopping Centre. Other demonstrations listed HERE

As well as the long waits for the benefit there are other problems with Universal Credit such as the complex online-only application process and the housing benefit element not being paid direct to landlords causing rent arrears and in some cases eviction.  

Liane Groves, Head of Unite Community says:
Despite knowing that Universal Credit causes serious problems for those claiming it the government is ploughing ahead regardless while claimants are descending into debt, relying on food banks and getting into rent arrears and in many cases are being evicted from their homes. 

In order to claim Universal Credit claimants need an internet connection which many simply can’t afford. 

Unite is demanding a cut in the long waits to receive money, for people to be able to apply in job centres not just online, better help for people when the system fails, landlords to be paid directly to avoid people getting into rent arrears and losing their homes, and an end to benefit sanctions for people in and out of work. 
In Britain there are currently 505,549 households receiving Universal Credit but a further 1,513,970 will be put on this winter and this figure is expected to reach 5,915,290 once the government has finished rolling it out fully by March 2022. 

Over 1.2 million low paid part-time workers will also be affected by Universal Credit and for the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. 

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest foodbank, says demand in areas where Universal Credit has already been rolled out has increased by an average of 30 per cent and landlords report a huge increase in rent arrears.  

Community members will be handing out leaflets with information and getting people to sign a petition to call on the government to stop the roll out of Universal Credit and fix the problems with it. 

Thames still investigating who blocked the main sewer on Wembley High Road

A Thames Water spokesman said today regarding the sewer works on Wembley High Road:
The removal of the concrete in the sewer is more complicated than first thought, and we’ve had to extend our finish date to allow us to remove it entirely. We’re still investigating the cause of the blockage and who poured it down there, and we’ll be taking further action once we know who it is.
The spokesman confirmed that Thames have extended their permit for the sewer works on the High Road until December 22nd.

Imperial CEO Ian Dalton resigns to go to NHS Improvment with NW London NHS in turmoil

Sir Richard Sykes, Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare Trust, shocked those attending the Imperial Board meeting yesterday when he announced that CEO, Ian Dalton, was leaving his post after less than 5 months in the job. Imperial, which runs west London hospitals, will now have to begin the long and costly process of finding yet another CEO.

Ian Dalton has now moved to NHS Improvement as their new CEO. NHSI is the body that, only last month, knocked back capital investment plans to reconfigure health delivery in outer NW London on the grounds that there was not sufficient evidence that these plans would work. This was the initial bid for capital funds to develop services which, local health bosses claim, would enable the safe closure of Ealing Hospital.

Dalton’s resignation followed almost immediately the well-attended and highly successful open event organised by Imperial management at Charing Cross Hospital. At that event Dalton outlined the excellent work being carried out at the hospital and gave an assurance that Charing Cross could not be closed in the foreseeable future without damaging public health. However, long-term closure plans have not been withdrawn by the CCGs in NW London: what we have is a ‘pause’, not a guarantee of the long-term future of Charing Cross as a major acute hospital.

The resignation occurs at a time of particular turbulence in upper management levels of the NW London NHS. Several key managers have left in recent months and other posts remain unfilled. Managers are caught between a government demand to cut costs even further and, among health professionals, a recognition of the growing need for better funded health services for a fast expanding population.

Merril Hammer, Chair of SOH, said she was stunned by the sudden departure of Ian Dalton. At the Imperial AGM held at St Pauls Church Hammersmith in September, he had outlined ambitious plans for engaging with the local health community.

Ms Hammer said:
I am, of course, pleased that Imperial has now declared a ‘pause’ on the closure but given the unprecedented pressure on the facilities at Charing Cross and the highly skilled committed staff there, health bosses need to stop long-term closure plans and not just ‘pause’ them.

Please support Sufra NW London Winter Appeal - without your help where will Khalil sleep tonight?

From Sufra NW London
Last Friday, Haseena called me asking if we could help 19-year-old Khalil who had been sleeping rough for the past two weeks. A friend of a friend who worked at McDonald's had got in touch with her after noticing him picking leftovers from customer trays. I told her to send him over immediately.

Khalil tells his story in a short film here.

When I first set eyes on Khalil he was slumped against a table, his head buried in his arms. What made it worse was that he didn’t look like a 19-year-old - I wouldn't be surprised if he were actually much younger. Pulling out a chair, I sat down opposite him and asked what had happened.

Khalil is a refugee from Afghanistan, who came to this country 3 years ago with his younger brother. The siblings were orphaned when they were 4 and 6 years old. On arrival they were granted humanitarian leave and had been living with a man who was apparently their 'uncle'.

Following a dispute, the 'uncle' kicked them out of the house. His brother was taken into care, while Khalil was left to fend for himself. For the past two weeks he has been sleeping on a bench in the park, not far away from Sufra NW London.

"I sleep in the day", he said to me.

"It is too cold at night and it's dangerous." When I probed him further he told me that he was regularly propositioned for sex by seedy characters who roam the park at night.

"You have to watch carefully", he continued.

Today, we launch our #WinterAppeal to help Khalil - and others -  find refuge during these cold nights, whilst we arrange permanent accommodation. The winter months are the busiest time at Sufra NW London. Last Friday, over 70 people attended the Community Kitchen and we ran out of food!

But it isn't just rough sleepers at risk; countless families must choose between putting food on the table or heating their homes. Even a winter coat is unaffordable.

This winter, we don't want to turn anyone away. But to ensure that we can support every individual and family during the festive period and beyond, we need to raise £10,000 to maintain our emergency front-line services.

You can donate here.

Khalil was a drama student before he became homeless. He has an amazing sense of humour despite his misfortune. And he definitely doesn’t fit the (rather unfair) stereotype of a homeless guy begging for money to buy drugs or alcohol. He's desperate to work and has downloaded the Deliveroo app, but he can’t get a job until he has a roof over his head.

Without your help, where will Khalil sleep tonight?

Please open your heart and donate generously towards our #WinterAppeal here.

And finally...

If you're doing your Christmas shopping online, please use this link to direct you to your favourite retailer. A percentage of your shop will be donated to Sufra NW London. At no cost to you.

Infant school objects to Barnet siting waste facility close by

From The View from Dollis Hill facebook

On behalf of Our Lady of Grace Infant School, we write to formally register our strong objection to the proposed siting of a Waste Transfer Station (WTS) on the Edgware Road within very close proximity to our school. Our children range from 3-7 years and our playground backs onto the Edgware Road. We are gravely concerned about the inevitable impact on air quality which our children will be exposed to. We are also concerned about the impact on the local infrastructure, traffic and adjacent land uses, including other environmental stressors that might already exist.

We believe that the very close proximity of this WTS to an Infant School of very young children is of grave concern. Its proposed site will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on the health and well being of the children. We are under an obligation to provide a safe environment for our children and strongly believe that the WTS would jeopardise this. It is our understanding that the pollution levels on this stretch of the Edgware Road already exceed European guidelines, any further contributing factor to the local area would be unacceptable.

We believe that a decision to site the WTS in its proposed site will impose a disproportionate burden upon low-income and minority communities who live in this local area and attend our school. The overburden on this community will have a negative impact on this community creating health, environmental and quality of living concerns.

As we have not been consulted in any way, which is not in keeping with the regulations for proposed new sites, we question whether the consequences of siting this WTS on the local community and local infant school have been weighed.

Patricia Geraghty - Acting Headtreacher
Lee-Ann Frampton-Anderson, Chair of Governors
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School
Dolls Hill Avenue, London NW2 6EU

Brent CCG are looking for Patient Representatives - deadline noon tomorrow

Brent CCG are now recruiting for exciting opportunities for people to get involved in shaping their local NHS and supporting the work within Brent by becoming a non-clinical patient representative.
We are therefore seeking to recruit individuals from Brent, particularly those who have not worked with the CCG before, to become patient representatives on committees.

To apply and download the Patient Representatives Recruitment Information Pack click here.
Please contact Ian Niven by emailing or call him on 020 8912 5830 if you have any queries.

Please return the completed application form to Sian Avery by emailing her on or post it to Healthwatch Brent, 3 Rutherford Way, Wembley, MIDDX HA9 0BP

The deadline for all applications is 1 December 2017 at 12.00 noon

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Alice and Amy at Barham Community Library later this month

Kilburn Lane/Salusbury Road/Carlton Vale gyratory system to be replaced by lights following road closure

Brent General Purposes Committee will be asked at its next meeting LINK to approve the stopping up of the un-named road(hatched above) also known as Premier Corner which runs between Kilburn Lane and Salusbury Road, close to Queens Park Bakerloo/Overground station.

The stopping up is to enable the development taking place which involves the demolition of Keniston Press, Premier House, Cullen House and the Falcon pub.

The gyratory system will be replaced by a signalled junction at Kilburn Lane/Salusbury Road/Carlton Vale. Westminster City Council withdrew their initial objection based on safety concerns at Fernhead Road )bottom right on satellite view) after assurances from Brent Council. The report says that the council intends to 'retain' the service for cyclists using the Carlton Vale cycle route.

Can any WM readers offer Brent Advocacy Concerns any advice? Councillors, Brent CCG, Brent CVS, Brent Healthwatch not responding.

From Brent Advocacy Concerns

Dear Martin,

I was informed today that our office (in Willesden Centre for Health and Care) has been designated as 'a clinical waste dispersal site'.  The building work to convert it is due to begin on the 2nd Jan. 2018.

I have contacted Brent CCG, councillors, Brent Healthwatch & Brent CVS, so far no one has replied.  We have not been informed about any of this but it looks like we will be evicted before Christmas.

Could you ask your readers if that is the way to treat a disability charity that has been providing services for free, for the last 30 years in Brent. 

Just today I had to turn down a business from NW10 who had asked us to represent one of their clients in an ESA benefit appeal next week.  They wanted to know who would be able to help them but there is no one.  I did suggest Brent CAB but they normally require a lot of notice, whereas we could have helped them now.


The background to this distressing issue can be found HERE

Tulip Siddiq in media storm after Channel 4 News report last night

Hampstead and Kilburn MP, Tulip Siddiq, finds herself amidst a media storm today after her interview on Channel 4 News last night. Labour supporters have joined in condemnation of both her defensive reaction to questions and her parting comment to the pregnant Channel 4 News producer, although others have come to her defence. (See the comments by clicking on her tweet)

Greens award a FAIL to Sadiq Khan's 'affordable' housing definition in London Plan

The Mayor has failed to fix the definition of an affordable home in London in his new draft London Plan, leaving average families stuck paying over the odds for so-called ‘affordable’ new homes, says Sian Berry Green Assembly Member for London.

Sian Berry said:
The Mayor’s affordable housing policies in this plan are a real let down for the average Londoner – they look set to let developers off the hook again and won’t deliver what Londoners need. 
Evidence accompanying the plan shows that so-called ‘intermediate’ housing, at only slightly less extortionate rents, will simply not do. The assessment of London’s housing needs, summarised in the plan, says that nearly half of all new housing must be at low cost social rent levels. However, in the plan the Mayor is only asking for these kinds of homes to be 30 per cent of the affordable housing provided.

With overall affordable home targets set at 35 per cent of homes, this means developers can make just one in ten homes available at social rent.

This is nowhere near what London needs. I’ve already challenged the Mayor about why he has included a definition of ‘affordable housing’ at up to 80 per cent of market rates in his draft housing strategy and yet we see this again here.

He has added a household income limit of £60,000 a year and said that affordable rents should be at 40 per cent of net income for people earning this salary, but this will leave families earning much less than this paying over £1500 a month in rent to live in what is still defined as an ‘affordable home’.

The Mayor needs to change the definition of affordable and set proper targets for homes at social rents too. Developers will always opt for the least costly option for them, and I fear this means high rents for ‘affordable’ homes will continue to be the norm under this Mayor’s plans.

Londoners can’t afford to be failed on housing by two Mayors in a row. These plans are in draft and Londoners will be able to have their say. I hope that everyone affected by high housing costs tells the Mayor that his targets for developers and his definition of affordable housing needs to change to meet their needs.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Brent Council confirm Dec 22nd extension for Wembley High Road works

Brent Council have confirmed that the Thames Water sewer works on Wembley High Road will be extended up to December 22nd. Certainly the works, which were due to be finished at the end of this week, look nowhere near completion. I understand that the concrete blockage extends further eastwards than first thought and clearing it will require further excavation.

Business on the affected closed road seeking compensation from Thames Water should follow this LINK

The final bill for the works and compensation could run into hundreds of thousands and despite their denials, Henley Homes, who are developing the  Brent House site adjacent to the sewer works, are still being suggested by locals as the most likely blockage culprit. Watch this space!

Sufra Foodbank launch Christmas Giving Calendar for children

From Sufra NW London Foodbank

Do you want to teach your children how to give and experience charity?

This year, we are publishing our Xmas Giving Calendar that is perfect for parents to encourage their children to give regularly to charity during this festive period.

Download a copy here after completing the form.

Before December, prepare a large cardboard box for your children.

Throughout the festive period, fill the box with the food items, clothing and toiletries listed on the calendar. At the end of the month, deliver your box of donations to Sufra NW London’s food bank.

We will send a certificate and present to every child who fills a collection box!

London Labour adopts radical resolutions on housing - will local Labour led councils respond?

It has been clear for some time that there is a divergence between what Jeremy Corbyn said about housing and local estate regeneration at the national Labour Party Conference and what actually is happening in London councils controlled by Labour.  Clearly national policy change is also required but councils do have some room for  action and the ability to put pressure on the government through the LGA and other bodies.

At the weekend two detailed motions on housing were passed overwhelmingly at the London Labour Party Regional  Conference which should cause some rethinking of Brent Council policy. Whether it will or not is of course a matter for the rank and file members of the Brent Labour Party and the attitude of theLabour Group on the council.

Motion 1
End the freeze to local housing allowances (LHA) which is making London increasingly unaffordable to people on low incomes. Shelter’s research shows that the LHA rates have already fallen behind actual rents in nearly 70% of England, meaning families are chasing an ever smaller number of properties at the bottom of the market covered by housing benefit, or are having to make up the difference by cutting back on essential spending elsewhere. The freeze will simply exacerbate this.

Shelter’s model suggests that after two years nearly all of the country will be unaffordable and the bottom third of the market will be affordable in just 20 local authorities.

Shelter defines an area as very unaffordable to benefit claimants when LHA rates fall below the 10th percentile. Their research shows that by 2019 60 local authorities will be very unaffordable, including most of London and large parts of the Home Counties, as well as towns like Reading.

Conference supports the following actions in the Private Rented Sector:

·       Introduce controls on future rent increases, extending or a ‘system of rent caps’ to limit rent increases and ensure predictable rents.

·       Increase security through longer term tenancies and strengthening tenants’ rights not to be automatically evicted.

·       Improve standards through measures that include borough-wide licensing schemes, landlord accreditation and guaranteed minimum standards for private tenants.

·       Councils could be encouraged to introduce voluntary Rent Stabilisation Schemes, such as Camden Council’s scheme, to control rents and make them more affordable.

·       Improve industry practices through a ban on letting agents’ fees and consider the creation of council run letting agencies to promote best practice.

·       London Labour Conference will work and campaign with our Branches, forums, Affiliates, MPs, Assembly members and Councillors to achieve these aims. 

Motion 2

The London Labour Party Conference demands access to decent housing as a human right and believes that the housing needs and aspirations of Londoners should have priority over a market approach.

Conference welcomes the overwhelming support for Composite 5 at our Party’s National Conference. We also note the bold and unequivocal statements by our Party Leader on estate regeneration where he made two clear points:

·       …people who live on an estate that is redeveloped must get a home on the same site and on the same terms as before

·       …councils will have to win a ballot of existing tenants and leaseholders before any redevelopment scheme can take place

This conference supports full binding – ballot rights for estate residents in future regeneration projects in London and calls for current regeneration schemes to be stayed until councils have held ballots of all those affected.

Conference notes Shelter’s investigation, released on 28th September 2017, where it raised concerns that Housing developers are using viability assessments to build fewer social/council homes that they had initially promised.

Conference calls upon the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority and Labour controlled borough councils in London to maintain the existing stock of council and Housing Association housing and to work to increase it by:

·       Retaining full ownership and control of available public land

·       Increasing publicly led and controlled investment in new and existing Council and other commonly owned housing, including housing bonds alongside other direct investment.

·       Directly delivering construction and maintenance services and to commit to a training scheme for direct labour to build and maintain council housing with guaranteed jobs within the council workforce upon successful completion.

·       We need high quality council and Housing Association housing with secure lifetime tenancies and genuinely affordable rent (i.e. council target rents or Mayor of London living rent). All future developments should ensure levels of accessibility, adaptable and lifetime homes for disabled people that are all based on a clearly evidenced understanding of disabled people’s needs in each London Housing authority.

·       Exploring and promoting, where appropriate, the use and development of 100% council-owned development vehicles to build and provide at council (target) rents.

·       Supporting communities by requiring at least 1:1 advance replacement, within the same neighbourhood of council homes sold or demolished under regeneration schemes, with a minimum of 50% of any additional housing for council rents.

·       Ceasing and prevent the transfer of land to either private developers or joint venture development vehicles which cede an ownership and /or control to property developers

·       Ensure complete transparency of viability assessments – the Government’s planning guidance should make clear that viability assessments will be considered public documents.

·       The Mayor of London, in his London Plan, London Boroughs, in their local planning polices, should include residents’ consultation, and any subsequent Ballot Process in new regeneration of Council/Housing Association stock. Residents should be given full financial information on all possible options at the “appraisal” stage, not just those assessed as “viable”.

·       Promoting Co-operative housing managed by residents; development of new co-operative and mutually owned housing where supported by local communities.

·       Campaigning for a Land Value Tax for vacant or underutilised land and seeking to end the “Right to Buy”.

We further call on the Mayor of London, the GLA and councils to ensure that brownfield land, including that owned by TfL, is made available to councils for council housing development and is not sold or transferred to private developers.

This Conference:

·       Urges CLPs to campaign on estates around the capital explaining Labour Policy to support tenants’ rights when confronted with regeneration and calls on the London Labour Party to support such campaigns through any practical means.

·       Calls for all Labour Councillors to support and campaign around our Party’s policy on estate regeneration.

·       Demands the policies outlined above be prioritised in Labour’s Manifesto for London and Borough Manifestos for the 2018 Council Elections.

Quintain award Sisk £211m Wembley Park 'build to rent' contract

I reproduce below a press release from Quintain and will note only that the homes will be 'no more than 80% of market rent' - 80% is not of course affordable for those on the Council waiting list and it would be useful to know how many, if any, will be let at a significantly lower rent.

--> Quintain, the developer behind the transformation of Wembley Park, has awarded its largest ever construction contract to Sisk. The £211m contract will deliver Canada Gardens, which comprises 743 new Build to Rent homes across seven buildings and will be Sisk’s ninth project at Wembley Park.

Canada Gardens is Quintain’s latest scheme at Wembley Park and is entirely designed and purpose built for rent. Of the 743 new homes delivered, 303 of these will be London Housing Bank equivalent units and will be rented at no more than 80% of market value, including service charges, which is consistent with the London Plan thresholds for intermediate affordable housing.

These new homes – which will all be managed by Quintain’s build to rent business, Tipi – will widen Wembley Park’s family appeal with over 300 of the homes provided as two and three bed units. Shared facilities include a podium level play area and a spectacular new park with a number of activities for children. Meanwhile pet owners will be well catered for with a special dog walking area and pet garden.

The shared roof terrace will provide views of London and Wembley Stadium and residents will also have access to a club house, BBQ area, allotments and a one acre podium garden. Access to all the homes will provided via a super lobby which will also be home to a new centralised Tipi HQ and marketing suite.

This will be Sisk’s ninth project at Wembley Park in a productive 12 year history of working with Quintain in transforming the area.  During this period they have successfully delivered the 475 home Emerald Garden development, London Designer Outlet, the Hilton London Wembley Hotel and the reconfiguration and refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed Wembley Arena now the SSE Arena, Wembley.  

Angus Dodd, Chief Executive of Quintain commented:

“Sisk has delivered eight successful projects to date at Wembley Park and has been a trusted partner for 12 years. I am delighted to continue our partnership with Sisk by awarding them our biggest ever construction contract. All contractors on Quintain’s main framework are valued partners and members of a team working together to bring London property and places to life.

“The Canada Gardens development will be a fantastic new collection of purpose built rental homes which will appeal to families, couples, sharers and single people both young and old, demonstrating that Wembley Park really is a place for everyone.”

Stephen Bowcott, CEO of John Sisk & Son said:

 “At Sisk we are very proud to celebrate another milestone in the important relationship between ourselves and Quintain, who are an immensely valued client for us. We have used our previous experience over the last 12 years working with the design teams to drive efficiencies in to the project. We always look to add value to the design process with our early input and we will continue to work closely with Quintain as our trusted partner on this latest phase of the development at Wembley Park.

“It is important to us that we maintain the highest standards of project delivery and quality with a health & safety record that makes both organisations proud. We also look forward to maintaining our excellent relationship with the design team and with the community here in Brent.  Our recent “Pride of Brent” Award recognised that we are contributing to the local community by employing 40% of local labour on site.  We are delighted to give back to the local economy in this, and many other ways, with our joint engagement programmes.”

Sisk is a member of Quintain’s main contractor framework and based on its experience and long standing relationship with Quintain it was selected as the preferred main contractor to deliver Canada Gardens.  Quintain’s other contractors on site are Wates, McAleer & Rushe, McLaren and O’Keefe.

Monday 27 November 2017

Stronger commitment to tree replacement needed in Brent's tree policy

Far sighted planners ensured that many of Brent's Council council housing estates retained mature trees or had new trees planted but under BHP's management trees were felled and not replaced leaving stumps as shown in the video above.

Brent Council has now taken back control of the estates so I was disappointed to see that in the proposed Tree Management Policy, although there is a promise to consult tenants and lease holders and to publish the arbiculture programme on the council website, there is no clear commitment to replacing felled trees or even removing the stumps. Limited budgets are behind this of course but lack of replacement contradicts the arguments in the Policy about the importance of trees in terms of clean air and improving the environment.

The proposed Policy will be discussed at the Public Realm and Resources Committee tonight LINK before going to Cabinet and I hope members will suggest that the Council have a clear costed action plan on tree replanting on its estates as well in parks and on Brent streets.

The Policy states that the Council would: 
Maintain the managed tree stock on the public highway, housing estates, parks, cemeteries and allotments; on a proactive cyclical maintenance regime to ensure that trees are in a safe and healthy condition, and minimising the risk they may pose to property, residents or the public highway.
Limit the felling of trees to those circumstances where it is essential or clearly advisable.
Undertake pruning works following best arboriculture practice, and where possible for this to be undertaken on a scheduled basis. In addition, the council will also carry out reactive and emergency inspections as and when they are deemed necessary.
Manage residents’ expectations by listing circumstances in which the Council will not intervene, to provide clarity on an impartial basis to all residents. 
Enhance the role of street trees in mitigating and adapting to climate change by maintaining and, where possible, increasing tree cover across the Borough.
Encourage tree adoption and sponsorship to support planting schemes on council land.  
Consider replacement, where appropriate, of specific mature lime trees to mitigate against the concerns they may pose.
Provide public information in advance of planned tree works, including new planting or removal schemes.
Work closely with services to identify areas to plant new trees, in particular during regeneration and major resurfacing works.
Use current planning legislation to protect threatened trees, and those of particular value such as those in conservation areas or protected by Tree Preservation Orders
There is much more detail in the Policy itself which I publish below

Sunday 26 November 2017

Brent CEO asked to raise the Cricklewood dump with her Barnet counterpart tomorrow

Alison Hopkins has written the following letter today:

Dear Ms Downs

I understand that you are meeting with the chief executive of Barnet Council tomorrow.

I would like to ask that, as a matter of the greatest urgency, you raise the planning application submitted to Barnet for a waste transfer facility on the A5.

I and other residents have been fighting these plans for well over a decade. Indeed, we formed a cross party and all party alliance to oppose the dump and the disastrous road layouts associated with the Brent Cross Regeneration. It is a matter of huge disappointment to local people that Brent now support the road changes: we would urge you NOT to do the same with regard to the WTF.

The current WTF is on the eastern side of the railway lines. Barnet wish to move it to facilitate the building of expensive apartments as part of the “regeneration” plans. Originally, the North London Waste Alliance opposed the move on the grounds of proximity to houses and schools, environmental aspects and the fact that they could not guarantee that HGVs would not rat run in Dollis Hill and the rest of Brent. I attach a copy of their objections: these were withdrawn at the last moment, despite all the comments still being valid. Their reasons for doing so are the subject of an FOI request which has not, as yet, been answered. The NLWA also stated that the proposed site was too small.

The current WTF causes huge nuisance from smells and emissions. It’s only saving grace is that in traffic terms it is in an industrial area although the stink carries to most of Cricklewood. The proposed WTF is RIGHT opposite thousands  of Dollis Hill homes, and an infants school which is already suffering from traffic emissions and air pollution.

The Brent Cross road layout changes, as supported by Brent Council, including those to Geron Way, Oxgate Gardens, Dollis Hill Lane and Humber Road will only encourage more rat running by the thousands of HGVs which are forecast to use the WTF each week.

I urge you to support the best interests of your council tax paying residents in Dollis Hill and Brent. These proposals are in no way in our best interests and must be opposed.

best regards

Alison Hopkins