Monday 11 March 2019

Bellowing Butt loses his cool and sees red over South Kilburn

David Kaye of Kilburn Labour Party clearly hit  raw nerve when he began his speech at tonight's Cabinet Meeting. He had begun to say that a problem with the Brent Cabinet (all Labour Party members) was that they didn't, on the South Kilburn issue and others follow Labour Party policy.

Hardly were the words out of his mouth then Muhammed Butt bellowed across the room, 'THIS IS NOT A PARTY POLITICAL MEETING!' When Kaye tried to elaborate a furious Butt continued to shout him down.  Eventually Kaye made his contribution moving on to the details of the South Kilburn Carlton/Granville scheme and the feeling of the local community that their views hadn't been taken into account ,and the role of the South Kilburn Trust (Watch video below)

However, in apparent contradiction of his earlier claim, at the end of the contributions from the public Cllr Butt did allow Cllr Miller to make a speech about Labour Party policy in reply to what David Kaye was not allowed to say!

In a nutshell the community wanted the Cabinet to approve Option 4 for the Carlton-Granville site which would contain community space and no housing. The Cabinet were  recommending Option 3 which would build 23 social housing homes on the site. Leslie Barson thought that the combination wasn't practical and that complaints about noise from the community centre by the new neighbours would curtail its activities and make in unviable. There was less community space in the proposals then there had been before and the new developments on the estate already did not provide enough community space.

Not for the first time the issue of the South Kilburn Trust came up. Pete Firmin for the local tenants' association put it succinctly: 'The problem with the South Kilburn Trust is that South Kilburn residents don't trust it.' It had no elected representatives on its board and was not truly independent of the Council. Contrary to the views of residents it had supported the installation of an HS2 vent in Canterbury Road.

A speaker from South Kilburn Trust claimed that of the 8 trustees three were local residents and one was the former tenant of South Kilburn Studios. After the Cabinet had, inevitably, approved Option 3 there was an altercation in the public gallery when residents challenged the Trust on this claim - they were appointed, not elected, and not representative. This conflict has arisen elsewhere in the borough when such organisation appear to be a non-elected buffer between residents and councillors.

Lesley Benson, head of Granville Nursery Plus, said that the school had eventually accepted demolition of its prize winning extension as part of the development plans. She said that she was no cheer leader for the Council but they had been involved with other stake holders in an innovative way of working where 'robust' conversations had taken place.

As with the Kings Drive 'residents garages replaced by home's controversy there was a tension between the need to build new homes  for those on Brent's massive waiting list and the impact of the new homes on existing residents and their facilities. Such conflicts are likely to increase as Brent Council continues its policy of in-filling on estates.

Cabinet members said they had taken notice of residents' concerns by discarding a proposal for a denser build of 63 homes on the site. Residents asked why they had not ensured that the hundreds of other homes being built on South Kilburn were not  let at social rent.

As we left the Civic Centre we were surrounded by the huge blocks and towers of Quintain's unaffordable Tipi 'built for private rent' development advertised by pseudo Russian Revolution style posters...

1 comment:

Pete Firmin said...

Perhaps worst of all was the attempt by Cabinet members to portray those objecting to homes being built on the green space in front of the Granville/Carlton centre as opponents of regeneration and the building of social housing. They know full well that many of those protesting have been the biggest critics of the policy of Brent in South Kilburn to build homes for market rents and for sale rather than social housing. Hypocrisy of the first order.