Wednesday 28 February 2018

Dog units deployed at The Village School as governors meet to make academisation decision

The Village School in Kingsbury appear to have hired dog units which are on site now, allegedly to keep staff off the premises when tonight's governing body meeting makes a decision on whether to convert the school into an academy to form a Multi-Academy Trust with Woodfield School.

Brent North MP, Barry Gardiner, had previously urged the governing body to hold their decision making meeting in public.

Tonight's Wembley Central and Alperton Residents' Association meeting cancelled.

The meeting of the Wembley Central and Alperton Residents' Association that was to be held tonight LINK has been cancelled because of the cold and icy weather.

I will post details of the new date when I have them.

Brent Council answers Cllr Duffy's asbestos queries

Brent Council has responded further to Cllr Duffy's queries about the Paddington asbestos issue following the statement made at Monday's Full Council meeting:

The independent testing that was done confirmed that the level of asbestos at the site is below the scientific detection level at 0.001%. This is consistent with background levels for this substance in soil in urban areas. The asbestos that you refer to as having been removed in May was found in a total of 30kg of mixed soil that was taken for testing. This subsequently confirmed the presence of asbestos at that time. It would be very inaccurate and misleading to suggest the low levels that were subsequently recorded over the wider site had been engineered as a consequence of the removal of this 30kg of mixed soil in May.

The extended audit investigation that is underway is seeking to establish the pathway, if any, of the asbestos that has been detected in the soil at trace levels at Paddington Old Cemetery. This will also determine whether there were any operational failings with respect to the transfer of the soil from Carpender’s Park in 2015 and whether that is actually relevant.

Your reference to 60kg of asbestos having been found at Carpender’s Park must again be challenged. A total of 60kg of mixed soil was removed at that time. It was thought the soil might contain a piece of asbestos.

It would also be misleading and potentially very hurtful to suggest that customers have paid £3k to have their relatives buried in builders’ rubble at Paddington Old Cemetery. The re-opening of graves has been undertaken by specialist teams as a precaution until the facts of this matter have been firmly established. We are now clear that the level of asbestos in the soil at the graves is at background levels, similar to that likely to be found in any garden in Brent.

The council has committed to consulting with the school and the workers at the site and to concluding this matter in a measured and transparent way. Further decision making will be based on the facts that have been established and we will seek to implement pragmatic solutions that are agreed with the various stakeholders.

The council has no plans for compensating grave owners. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring substance which has been detected at the cemetery at levels that are below 0.001%, and which would not draw regulatory sanction or be of any interest to the HSE. Given the concentrations encountered are typical of urban background levels, the council will carefully consider what action is merited in this case and any other cases where the contamination is present at such low concentrations. This will be considered in the context of previous decisions where Local Authorities have, under their statutory powers (Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) determined that other sites including those with much higher concentrations of asbestos do not meet the threshold for definition as Contaminated Land.

Mili Patel accuses Cllr Warren of abusing his position, fueling fear and intimidating nursery

If the last Full Brent Council meeting was a curtain raiser was the May local elections it looks as if things are likely to get pretty nasty.

Cllr Mili Patel, lead member for children and families, is not well known for speaking at council meetings, but used the presentation of a petition about the College Green open space to launch an excoriating attack on Cllr John Warren, leader of the Conservative group.

College Green is, after all,  in Warren's ward and he had made a speech in support of residents after Jim Hogan had spoken to the petition. Cllr Warren said that residents felt they had welcomed the College Green Nursery School into the open space but it now seemed to them that the nursery was stabbing them in the back by wanting to erect a  screen around the open space. He said residents hadn't wanted to set up a petition but the nursery had refused to engage with them about the issue. The petition had been a last resort. In a conciliatory tone he asked for Mili Patel to agree to a meeting between the scouts who use the open space, the nursery and the College Green Preservation Society to resolve the issue as residents felt that this was a potential land grab. Residents didn't want a 'Berlin Wall' around the space. He asked that in her response Cllr Patel constructively engage so that residents fears could be put to rest.

Cllr Patel responded by justifying the fence on safeguarding grounds  and claiming that the council had engaged with residents but they and the Preservation Society had not attended the last meeting about the positioning of the fence. The issue was now that of the screening off of the area.

She then went on:
However the agenda for Cllr Warren was to bring it full Council rather than having a meeting outside. Brent Labour takes its responsibility for safeguarding very seriously. We know from previous comments that you see safeguarding as 'crumbs'. You are taking the opportunity to take advantage of the impending local elections, perhaps you're running scared. I ask you to stop abusing your position and fuelling the residents with fear and also the College Green Nursery with intimidation and actually working with your community and get the group together.
More calmly she agreed with Warren that they could get the group together and organise a meeting.

A somewhat stunned Cllr Warren pointed out that he had never said he regarded safeguarding as 'crumbs.'

Cllr Patel by concentrating her attack on Cllr Warren failed to address the issues that Jim Hogan of College Green Preservation Society had made in a cogent speech. He said the open space had been there for more than 100 years and enjoyed by the scouts for 50 years. In 1995 they had supported a nursery (now College Green Nursery School) moving on to the open space to preserve it. A 6ft 8inch fence had been erected around the open space by the nursery and they then fixed a screen around the perimeter of the fence - residents had got them to remove the screen.

Hogan said residents were vehemently opposed to any attempt to screen off the space and wanted the council to make an agreement that this would not be done. Hogan said that a screen would run counter to the council's own guidelines and cited:
  • reduction of the sight lines of pedestrians crossing the busy junction
  • impact of the loss of outlook by residents
  • traffic safety
  • effect on pedestrians
  • effect on the character of a protected area
  • effect on open spaces and nature conservation
The 1913 legal Covenant  made by All Souls college should be respected.  In the past there were real greens at Willesden Green, Kensal green and even Harlesden Green, that had been fenced, screened off and built on.  He went on:
Let's not let that happen at College Green.  The nursery refused to meet residents to discuss their concerns. Let College Green Nursery School show some respect for their neighbours. Let us enjoy the view of the open space which has never been part of their property. Let's get an agreement signed by Brent Council preventing the screening of the open space. It won;t cost the council a penny. We don't want to have to start another petition after waking up to find a screen has been put up around the open space.

There are very few open spaces left in Brent and they are constantly under attack. Most of our front gardens have disappeared as a result of off-street parking. Our open space contributes to the well-being of local residents.

We want to walk around College Green to enjoy looking at the sun going down behind the magnificent oak tree planted by the scouts in 1967. We want to watch the crows, foxes etc.

What is the meaning of community? We don't want College Green hidden from our view or stolen from us. We want to enjoy it. A simple agreement between the scouts, the nursery school and Brent Council.
 Let's hope that the upcoming election does not stop this issue being resolved.

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Brent Civic Centre's 'Vanity Road' cost £852,000 and an extra £2,777 so far to repair

Collapse of the 'Vanity Road'

Brent Council has admitted that the block paving road outside the Civic Centre  on Enginereers Way cost £852k which was funded through Section 106 money. The cost of repairs to date is £2,777. In a response to Paul Lorber the Council said it did not keep records on the cost of officer time dealing with individual matters such as this. They confirmed that no costs had been recovered from the contractors and other third parties for the defects and repairs.

Following up the issue Lorber said that the cost seemed high for such a short stretch of road and asked for the comparable cost in tarmac. In addition he asked if the Council intended to pursue the contractor for the cost of repairs.

Value for money? Brent councillors' attendance record

It is interesting to look at the attendance record of our councillors as recorded on the Brent Council website before last night's last last Full Council meeting of this administration.

Attendance is recorded as how many meetings each councillor was expected to attend, how many they actually attended, and how many they attended where they were not expected. The latter may be because the councillor has a particular interest in the topic or it is of relevance to their ward.

Expected attendance is as low as 3 (Full Council  meetings) for those councillors without any committee or other responsibility to 23 for the councillor with the most responsibilities.

The councillor with the highest attendance was Cllr Shafique Choudhary with 19 out of 19 expected attendances and 3 additional ones. Cllr Pat Harrison and Cllr Janice Long at 18/18 and 17/17 had 100% attendance with the latter also attending 2 additional meetings.

Bottom of the table were Cllr Sabina Khan with only 2 attendances out of an expected 9 and Cllr Aisha Hoda-Benn with 2 out of 8. This means that they pocketed over £5,000 for each meeting.

The councillor with the highest number of expected attendances at 23 was Cllr Mary Daly and it appears that workload was too much as she only managed to attend 12 meetings.

On the Tory side Cllr Reg Colwill had the best attendance at 11 out of 11 and 2 extra meetings and  Cllr Joel Davidson who made only 5 of the 12 meetings he was expected to attend.

Table of attendancee HERE

Monday 26 February 2018

Duffy puts forward his budget ideas for Brent

By Cllr Duffy

Over the last 10 years we have seen major cuts in government support. To a degree it is amazing how the council have successfully delivered services on many fronts particularly in Adult Social Care (indeed all social care) against the backdrop of an increasing demand. In my opinion we have also delivered improving services in our housing department, by taking the service in-house. Also the MetPatrol plus scheme seems worth while and should be affective once it fully operational , both of these without cutting workers wages.

However in my opinion the administration has made many mistakes, their first mistake was the failure to increase the Council Tax in 2014/15 to ensure we kept up with inflation and mitigated some of the government cuts. The first budget I was involved in 15/16 was frozen, while at the same time we were arguing the government had cut our grant to excessively. It is strange that the Leader of the council argued against raising the council tax with one member close to the leader saying they had to make "sandwiches for children at their school" and those pupils would suffer (they must have never heard of pupil premium ) if we put up the Council Tax by 25p a week.It very strange the same member  who is now a member of the cabinet is putting it up 84p a week tonight and says nothing now...I could never understand that argument as it lack any financial or intelligent basis and was a serious mistake. 

The mistake cost Brent Council over £4 million pound of income, over the last three years. If the Labour group had a financial and intelligent debate instead of the leadership steamrolling  the decision through, the council would be in a better financial position for the last 2 years and  would have more freedom on the level of council Tax tonight.

The administration somehow fail to understand because of government cuts it is important we produce policies that produce VFM,looked for additionally and even partnerships and above all  smart management to improved service outcomes. The Labour administration fail to understand their role is to instruct officers on the priorities of our residents and not for officers to instruct the administration on their priorities.The Cabinet continue to believe if their policies fail they can always make the resident pay via the council Tax to fund their failures.

For instances the attempted to privatise the Environment Enforcement Service employment by employing Kingdom Securities and cutting wages by 40% cost the council over £100k. So to make the money back the cabinet have decided to punish the residents for their own mistake.They have introduced a £35 charge for Household Bulky collections. The charged should be dropped because in the medium and long -term it will increase street dumping and residents should not be punished for failed policies.

The other problem remains that the cabinet have no co-ordinated approach to Environmental Enforcement, a schools environmental awareness programme or a street cleaning protocol and just rely on increasing costs to the residents. These issue are of low cost and should be funded by partnerships.

Green bins another service that the cabinet continue to increase charges to cover-up their lack of management. I have always believed the rule is  when you raise an Environmental Tax's they were based on the polluter pays. However this administration have change they rule into Environmental tax's means the recycler pays .I believe by cutting the cost to £25 a year for a bin and increasing participation to above 45% would make it cost neutral.  

It is now clear they over the last two years we having been burying many residents in builders rubble ( including Asbestos) while charging them for burial in earth The cost of that unethical behaviour will cost up to £900k in lost revenue and the removal of the contaminated waste. As usual the cabinet have come with a scheme to cover the costs by putting up burial charges for residents when that are at their most vulnerable. Again the cabinet making the residents pay for their own mistakes , they did not transport the contaminated waste to  Paddington Cemetery the council did. The increase in  burial  charges should be dropped .I believe the costs for the remedial works in Paddington Cemetery can still be managed within excising budgets over a three year period, with increase revenue for new burials once the contaminated waste has been removed. The council should not increase charges until they can guarantee the internal processes within the Cemetery service have improved.

The Conservative party argue that we should cut the reserves, in my view the reserves should stay and they are should be earmarked for the upgrading of fire prevention council housing blocks. Its approx.8 months since Grenfell fire disaster and all councillors should remember the council  took the decision that the cost would not fall on the Housing Revenue Account alone and would fall on the general rates , if the government refused to pay for the improvements .

Also remembering after the fallout from Grenfell senior politicians from all political parties said they have learn the lessons and communities like Grenfell  will not be ignored .Therefore it is important that the cabinet are not allowed to raid South Kilburn CIL which is due to the area following the regeneration works .This money was allocated to Kilburn because the residents have lived in a building site over the last few years  and is their money .The Kilburn CIL should not be used by the cabinet to cover up their inability to get additional [funding] and sponsorship and should be earmarked for Kilburn or other areas of deprivation. I hope the other 2 Kilburn councillors will argue for this and show empathy and solidarity with the residents of Kilburn and not allow much needed resources to be robbed from those in most need.

I will be voting for the 3.99% rise,  as I remain hopeful the Labour group will call the cabinet to account and stop them passing the costs of their failure onto the council taxpayer. 

Mayor of Brent to make statement on cemetery asbestos tonight

In response to Cllr Duffy's request Cllr Bhagwani Chohan, the Mayor of Brent, will make a statement on the Paddington Cemetery issue at tonight's Full Council Meeting. The statement will be made under Matters Arising from the Minutes and is expected early in the meeting around 7.10-7.15pm.

Cllr Chohan has asked officers to update him on any issues raised by Duffy's request.

Call for support for London Parks Manifesto 2018

From Parks for London

At Parks for London, we love London’s parks and green spaces, and work with the people that manage, maintain and enjoy them.  Our mission is to ensure that London has a strong network of parks and green spaces, that are of high quality, safe, accessible, thriving, stimulating and beautiful spaces.  

Our vision is a London that is a healthy and sustainable world city; a place where parks and green spaces make a major contribution to the health and wellbeing of Londoners and to the environment in which they live and work. 

As such, we are calling on all of London’s candidates for the 2018 Council elections to support parks and green spaces in their borough by:

1.    Protecting and safeguarding parks and green spaces from loss or unwanted development
2.   Managing and maintaining parks and greens spaces to best practice standards
3.    Committing adequate long-term resources for management, maintenance and improvements
4.    Encouraging community and volunteer engagement in all areas, with specific reference to the health and well-being agenda
5.   Collaborating and cooperating across all London Boroughs to protect and promote our parks and green spaces

We would be delighted if you were willing to support our calls for action as you campaign ahead of the Local Elections. Please look out for our tweets this week@parksforlondon and please do tweet and retweet  to show your support & get the message out.

Councillors to decide whether to increase their allowance tonight

Tonight's Full Council is the last meeting of this administration before the Local Elections in May. Apart from approving the Budget (you can see the Conservative amendment HERE) councillors will consider an officers' report on their allowance.

The Independent Remuneration Panel of London Councils  LINK is suggesting a basic allowance of £11,045 for 2018-19 this compares with the present allowance of £10,201.  Last year the allowance was uplifted by 1% rather than being set at the IRP's higher recommendation of £10,703.  If Full Council were to approve the IRP figure it would represent at increase of 8.27% on 2017-18.

In  addition to the basic allowance  councillors receive additional allowance for the roles they undertake. The Brent officers' report that  Brent pays an allowance to a higher proportion of councillors than the IRP's recommendations of 50%. 

Detailed decisions will be made after a review by the new administration but the report recommends the allowance for some committees to be paid only if the members take training and they recommend adoption of an additional travel allowance for councillors with disabilities.

The present Members Allowances can be seen in detail HERE

In addition to the basic  £10,201 the Leader of the Council, Cllr Muhammed Butt, gets another £39,748; Deputy Leader Margaret McLennan another £28,968 and Cabinet Members £19,087.


College Green petition to be heard tonight at Full Council

A petition organised by the College Green Preservation Society is on the agenda for tonight's meeting of Full Council. The petition objects to the fencing in of the Green. See my report HERE.

Duffy calls for statement on Paddington cemetery asbestos at tonight's Full Council meeting

Cllr John Duffy (Kilburn, Labour) has written to the Mayor of Brent requesting that Carolyn Downs (Brent CEO) or Cllr Tatler (Lead Member for Regeneration) make a statement on the Paddington Cemetery asbestos issue at the begining of tonight's Full Council meeting.  The meeting will be live streamed HERE.

This is Cllr Duffy's letter to Cllr Chohan:

 As you aware the issues of Paddington Cemetery has been highlighted by officers in this weeks Kilburn Times, saying the results of test for Asbestos is at a low level which is true, albeit he samples were taken after the Asbestos was removed and now only a trace of the Asbestos can be found. 

Whereas it true that tests now show a low level of Asbestos now, however the main issue has always been did the council knowingly dumped builders rubble in Paddington Cemetery. The truth remains the same once they found the 60 kgs of Asbestos in Carpenders Park, all consignment to section 3D in Paddington Cemetery should have been halted immediately .It was reckless for the council to continue to delivery waste without a full screening process being carried out to ensure no Asbestos or indeed builders rubble remained in the loads.

It is clear the council is fully responsible and the council in-house Audit Advisory Committee (AAC) Report clearly confirms this (now that it has been reluctantly released) when it states:
  "The Audit review report concluded that procurement procedures within the Cemeteries Service were inadequate at the time that work was undertaken at the cemetery ".
 In layman's terms this means the council had no procedures to ensure the so called London Clay (rubble), which was to be delivered to Paddington Cemetery, was screened and was safe to used for burials plots.

Mr Mayor, you may not be aware that at the moment residents pay approx. £3k for a burial plot, which is describe as being buried in Earth on the councils web-site. However what residents did not pay for or expect was their loved ones to be buried in builders’ rubble. Neither did they expect, that when a re-opening of a grave takes place the excavation has to be carried out by a specialist team in masks and protective clothing. This is clearly the legacy of the reckless mistake by Brent council of failing to   implemented adequate screening processes.

Mr Mayor I am the first to recognise and I am grateful that officers / Senior Councillors accept their past mistakes and have subsequently decided to publish the AAC report. I am also grateful to the officers for agreeing to interview all staff (which I assume is underway) that were present when the incidences took place in August 2015 and May 2017. This was a glaring omission from the AAC report and is ultimately the only way we can confirm how much Asbestos was discovered and indeed indicate how much asbestos remains. Hopefully this will also expose whether the workforce were instructed to work on the mound after the discovery of Asbestos on May 9th 2017 without protection. I furthermore believe the change in the council position to ensure that the council will now liaise with the school and local residents, before the removal of the rest of the contaminated waste takes place is welcomed by everybody concerned. This should ensure adequate safety measures are in place. However I believe it is important that the council continues to be transparent and does not revert to secret meetings where residents are banned from attending or even reading the report.

Therefore Mr Mayor I am hoping for the sake of clarity and transparency, you will grant time at the beginning of tonight’s Full Council meeting, to allow either the CEO or the Lead Member for the Environment to make a statement addressing the issues mentioned above concerning Paddington Cemetery. I am sure the statement will take less take less than 5 minutes and reassure residents/ grave owners of the transparency of the council. The statement should also include plans for compensation to the grave -owners who have buried love ones in section 3D who paid for soil /earth interment and ended -up with builders' rubble. I believe that head of finance should also give an estimate on the total cost to the council, which I believe will be somewhere around the 1 million pound mark.

Mr Mayor please replies to all people who have been copied in, as they have all indicated they are interested parties.

Sunday 25 February 2018

Brent's give away of £17,800,000 to Quintain and the FA won't go away as an issue

We're not celebrating Cllr Butt
Since people have woken up to the decision of the Cabinet made last July to the £17.8m allocation of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to Quintain and the Football Association/Wembley Stadium Limited to public realm improvements, including the steps that will replace the current ramps to the stadium, there have been plenty of critical comments on social media.

At its most basic level people cannot seen how Brent Council can repay a large lump of CIL money back to the developer for something that is not of direct benefit to local people when the borough's infrastructure is falling apart.

The lead member for regeneration, Cllr Tatler,  has claimed that people are just 'making mischief' about a decision made long ago.

Paul Lorber has written to Carolyn Downs
Dear Ms Downs

I am very concerned how the Council made the decision to hand over £17.8 million of public money to Quintain for the benefit of Wembley Stadium and the FA without any apparent regard to other important local priorities.

Have you walked down Wembley High Road recently? If you have have you will have noticed the dangerous condition of many of the pavements which represent a major trip hazards to the local pedestrians. The condition and appearance of Wembley High Road - also a major route to Wembley Stadium and surrounding facilities is a major Brent shame.

Local residential areas around Wembley are also starved of resources. Many streets have dangerous pavements, potholed roads, destroyed grass verges and vastly overgrown trees.

Yet the Officer report to Councillors about the £17.8 million makes no reference to other Brent wide priorities on which the £17.8 million could have been spent. There were no options presented to Councillors.

All of this suggests that there was some very effective lobbying by Quintain and the FA to convince officers and Councillors that they should become the main priority for these funds above all the other desperate needs across Brent. 

It seems ironic that while residents and local groups need to go through a rigorous bidding process to bid for any NCIL (Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy) money and then be assessed against competing bids a company such as Quintain (owned by investors via the Bermuda Tax haven) only seem to have to do some persuasion in secret to achieve a massive windfall of £17.8 million.

This decision exposes the Brent Council lie that there is no money to upgrade pavements or resurface roads in Brent. It sadly shows that both officers and Councillors in Brent are out of touch with local realities and are prepared to ignore the needs of local people by giving priorities to large developers operating from foreign Tax Havens.

I note that the agreement for the £17.8 million has not yet been signed. Since part of this is clearly a bribe for Quintain not to build next to the Civic Centre this decision should be reviewed and Councillors provided with other local projects the much needed money could be spent on rather than handed over for the benefit of the FA and a large private developer.

Friday 23 February 2018

London launches National Park City Week July 21st-29th 2018

A child's view of Fryent Country Park

The London Assembly are to hold a London National Park City Week  from July 21st to 29th July to 'explore London's amazing outdoors and help make the city greener this summer.'

Details from the website below. It would be great if Brent could play their part in organising events (it might even help to tackle the child obesity problem by demonstrating that open air physical activity is fun).

What is London National Park City Week?

From 21-29 July, the city will host the first ever London National Park City Week. There’ll be loads of fantastic events and activities all week long as we celebrate London’s unique green spaces, waterways and natural environment.

We’re working with the National Park City Foundation and our partners across London on the events programme. We want to give Londoners the chance to discover the city with walks, talks, explorations, and family activities, and to help make the city greener.

National Park City Week is part of the Mayor’s plan to help make London the world's first National Park City in 2019. Our ambition is to make more than half of London's area green and blue by 2050. To make this happen, we need your help.

We’ll publish details of the full London National Park City Week programme later this spring. In the meantime, why not get planting or explore some of our wonderful green spaces. Share your experiences using #NationalParkCity.

Host an event for London National Park City Week

Do you want to help us celebrate  London’s unique green spaces and outdoor opportunities, and showcase your contribution? We want to work with partners across London – community groups, environmental organisations, boroughs, businesses – to host events that:
  • help Londoners to explore London’s great outdoors, especially less well known green spaces, footpaths and waterways
  • offer new and creative ways of exploring London’s green spaces and landscapes
  • support Londoners who have limited access to green space, or visit the natural environment less often, to discover green spaces, trees and wildlife
  • create new green space, or help people to green their local neighbourhoods or improve habitats for wildlife
Whether your events are free, paid, big or small, they should be as accessible to all Londoners. We’re particularly keen to host family-friendly events. We will include your event or activity in the online programme. You’ll also benefit from a high-profile marketing campaign.

If you’d like to submit an event, please complete the form by 20 April 2018. To talk to us about your idea, please email

Brent's child obesity crisis worsens - nearly 1 in 3 obese on leaving primary school

A report to the Brent Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee lays out the stark facts. Graphs show the annual trend since 2013 (click on images to enlarge):

The most significant trend is the proportion of Year 6 children who are obese as they make the transition to secondary school. The figures are well above the London and England averages and the latest figure at 28.6% compares with 24.63% in 2013.

4 and 5 year olds in Reception classes have a lower level of overweight and obese children but there the proportion of overweight children has peaked at 14.8% (13.06% in 2013) and the proportion of obese children is almost back to 2013 levels at 13.8% (13.97%) despite a dip in the interim.

The report looks at the relationship between deprivation and obesity and found only a weak link in ward data:

Analysis by ethnic group shows the highest overweight and obese group is the Black group but the Asian increase in obesity rates from Reception to Year 6 is also worth noting.

The report LINK lists initiatives already underway to tackle the problem including promotion of breast feeding, adoption of Maternity Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting model, the Healthy Early Years Award introduced in 2012, Health Schools London award, Action on Sugar (includes sugar free Tuesdays), Allotment and Food growing Strategy, promotion of physical activity and action on takeaways near schools.

All this hasn't reduced child obesity although there is a slight reduction for 2016-17 in Year 6 overweight children. Clearly more needs to be done to tackle what is an urgent public health issue.

The report outlines what is proposed by the Brent Clinical Commissioning Group:

The proposed Service Delivery Improvement Plan would be:

1)  Review food provided by the Trust in line with guidance on reducing obesity and health weight by end of Quarter 1 (30 Jun 2018);

2)  Develop a local action plan to promote healthier options by end of Quarter 2 (30 Sep’18), and monitor in Quarter 3 (Oct-Dec 2018) and Quarter 4 (Jan-Mar 2019);

3)  Develop a plan for front-line staff to have ‘Make Every Contact Count’ training about reducing childhood obesity and local weight management services by end of Quarter 2 (30 Sep 2018), and monitor in Q4 (Jan-Mar 2019);

         4) Identify conditions where obesity is a risk factor (e.g.CHD, dementia,  diabetes), ensure family members are aware of ways to reduce their risks by being healthy weight, and ensure the family knows how to access weight management support, in Q3 (1 Oct 2018) onwards.

The treatment of childhood obesity

 The new 0-19 children’s public health service includes tier 1 and 2 weight management service. This is a preventive universal service with additional lifestyle weight management services for those children, and their families, who are overweight or obese. This is a new service within health visiting and school nursing and mobilisation has been delayed by difficulties recruiting to the new team. However, the full establishment has now been appointed.

The CCG commissions tier 3 services for those children who require specialist paediatrician or dietician clinical assessment and advice. A very small number of children will require drug treatment or surgery.

 The CCG and public heath secured funding from Health Education England which was used to provide tier 1 weight management training to front line staff working with children in Brent. 173 people have attended this training which should ensure a consistent high quality offer across the Borough.

Help clean up the Welsh Harp tomorrow

Saturday February 24th 11am-2pm

Help us clean up this special reservoir in north-west London, for the benefit of nature and wildlife.
Join Thames21, London Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Welsh Harp, Canal & River Trust and the Phoenix Canoe Club as we come together to tackle litter on the Brent Reservoir Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Meet us at the builders’ lot by Cool Oak Lane Bridge (closest postcode is NW9 7BH). All safety equipment and refreshments are provided. Please dress appropriately.

Ths is a free event but please let us know that you intend to join – email

Welsh Harp, also known as Brent Reservoir, is a SSSI noted for its breeding pairs of great crested grebe, overwintering waterfowl, and marginal vegetation. So you will be making a difference to wildlife by volunteering.