The PR sell
One of the costs to residents of living in the Wembley Park development is of course disruption during events as experienced at an extreme level over the Bank Holiday weekend. Critics argue that by choosing to live on top of the national stadium residents could expect no different - but what about other costs?
The Wembley Park Residents' Association has been in talks with Cllr Butt, Quintain and housing associations over rapidly rising service charges at two of the first buildings in what was orginally named Wembley City. Residents of Quadrant Court and Forum House have seen service charges rise from £90 per calendar month to £200 pcm.
It appears that residents are being asked to contribute to the costs associated with the Wembley Park Estate, which is a form of private 'public realm' as well as maintenance etc of their own blocks. The WPRA has requested Audit Reports, the Asset Management Report and detailed breakdown of the changes from First Port, the management agents. They have also asked for Quintain to provide detailed maps of how the money is being apportioned on the estate.
Residents claimed that they were being double-charged: Service Charge and Council Tax. Cllr Butt undertook to look at the case for a Council Tax rebate which would subsidise Wembley Park Estate costs.
Clearly we must await details of any such scheme but there is bound to be opposition if that is seen, following the Wembley steps affair, as another example of Brent Council in effect handing money over to Quintain.