|Regeneration: The Peel Project on South Kilburn Estate|
Many Kilburn residents will never go the Civil Centre, They just pay their rents and council tax and get ignored by an out of touch administration who are seemingly unaware of the problems deprived areas like Kilburn face. Like every other part of Brent, Kilburn is affected by the failure of the council to develop and improve basic services.
However I will not stand back and say that Brent do everything wrong as that is not the truth. I believe the council performs well in many difficult areas like Adult Care, Housing Allocation and other stress areas but over the last few years we have failed miserably in Environment and Regeneration policy.
For some reason Environmental Improvements are not a high priority and are never co-ordinated. Brent is second from bottom in West London on recycling. The Labour cabinet wasted the last four years, failing to introduce any School Environmental Education programme for schools concerning littering /dumping rubbish/ recycling or other anti social behaviour. The cabinet preferred to squander valuable resource on a private company who took them to the cleaners.
They continue to increase environmental taxes on green bins and bulky waste collections. Recently the Lead Member put up the cost of the permits for NHS Health visitors from £140 PA to £330 PA, which is a staggering increase of 137 % ,when inflation is 3% (The NHS has enough financial problems without the Brent Labour Group putting the boot-in) at the same time they allowed contractors a Brent style diplomatic immunity parking permit allowing them to park on any road in Brent for £8 per week.
The cabinet are also planning to put up daily visitors permits from £1-50 to £3 per visit knowing this will isolate many vulnerable people particularly the elderly. I often feel because of bad policy making by the Cabinet Kilburn is the pothole and uneven pavement centre of London. On Friday I saw Brent were putting speed bumps on Willesden Lane next to potholes as big as footballs , without any attempt to repair them at the same time…… that’s what I mean by no co-ordination.
However as much as I have concerns about environmental policy, by far the worst policy being promote by the Labour Party is the regeneration of South Kilburn. The Labour Party have used every piece of land (some of it sold on the cheap) in South Kilburn, to build houses many for the private sector, which are worth up to £1million pound each. Local residents have given up green space, had to withstand thousands of lorries careering up and down their roads with the obvious air and noise pollution, while they got on with lives. The reward for putting up with these hardships was the promised a Health Centre that has not appeared and community investment. Instead the Labour Party in the Civic Centre tried to close the Granville and Carlton Centre together with Granville Plus Nursery School to build more private housing without any local consultation.
The residents have now been told that £1.2 million Pounds the residents were promised from developers Via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), will not be ringed fenced for Kilburn Ward instead will be used outside of Kilburn. The money from the levy is legitimately owed to Kilburn for the hardship they endured and should be ringed fenced for Kilburn. It is illegitimate for the Labour Party to try and take it away from a deprived area to spend on less deprived areas who have not suffer the hardship of Kilburn.
At the same time the local Kilburn Labour Party (at nearly every meeting) are completely disconnected to residents everyday concerns. They are busy either passing resolutions about expelling Israeli diplomats, homeopathic medicine being on the NHS or paying women for housework. Many of these issues can be important, but NOT at the cost of ignoring the residents of Kilburn. That should have stood -up to the council.
Those who know Kilburn, know the legend that the famous highwayman Dick Turpin used to drink in a local pub after robbing stagecoaches. So Kilburn is well used of dealing with robbers. Of course the different between “ Dick “ and Brent Council is at least “Dick” wore a mask.
I am standing (up) for Kilburn and hope people will support me. I will be updating during the campaign on Kilburn -Calling web-site.