Wednesday 1 December 2021

LETTER: Money spent on Wembley High Road fancy paving could have been better used to tackle dangerous pavements elsewhere

 Dear Wembley Matters Editor

The pavements in Wembley High Road were last upgraded at large cost when Ken Livingstone was Mayor of London just before one of his re-elections.

Over time many areas were driven over and damaged. I have been calling for proper repairs for some time. Instead of timely and effective repairs the Council patched up the slabs with ineffective shovels of asphalt.

During some developments the section of pavement between the square and Ealing Road was relayed with asphalt. This is in perfectly good and safe condition. More recently the developer of the Uncle building on corner with Park Lane provided new slab pavements outside their building. Many of the pavements behind railings in the High Road are also perfectly good condition requiring just minor repairs.

When money is short and pavements in residential roads requiring improvements are ignored is not the time for the Labour run Brent Council to waste money. Sadly this is exactly what Labour Councillors have decided to do - just 6 months before the local elections.

Magically (actually taxpayers money provided by the Government) Brent Council stashed away £17 million from Covid Grants and a staggering £3.5 million has been allocated to Wembley High Road.

Instead of cost effective repairs Labour Councillors decided that all the existing paving (including the completely new pavements next to Park Lane, the asphalt paving and good slabs) replaced with extremely expensive small paving stones.

All this is happening in the run up to Christmas when the High Road is busy with people trying to access the shops. Very disruptive for shoppers and local businesses. 

I estimate that the pavement repairs and the other improvements (new seating etc) should have cost around £1million - which means that at least £2 million is being wasted  - could have been used to upgrade and make safe pavements in many dangerous streets across Brent which actually need it.

The same Labour Councillors who decided to waste this money have also just announced their proposals for another 3% Council Tax Rise on top of all the rises in previous years.

The tragedy for local democracy is that these kind of bad decisions in Brent are made by a handful of people without any effective scrutiny. The Cabinet is made up of Labour Councillors only and there is no effective or independent scrutiny as these Committees are also chaired by Labour Councillors.

A change in the way Brent Council is run is desperately needed. We need both a Fair Voting System (and return to Committees) to end the scandal of one party getting almost all the Councillors on just half the votes.

All the best
Paul Lorber 


Anonymous said...

We as residents don't want our High Road to be patchwork, which is what it has become. We'd been told asphalt has had to be used because the foundations of the slabs were faulty and replacing like for like slabs would've resulted in the same issues arising, which we've seen to be true time and time again. We're glad that this road has finally been given some decent investment, it's been in the shadow of Wembley Park for all too long. If we must have members of other parties in the council then let it be the Greens. The coalitions have left the lib dems under the thumb of the tories and achieved nothing good for any of us.

Anonymous said...

Please stop playing politics!!!

The majority of the pavements in Wembley High Road were perfectly fine - proper repairs and proper maintenance would have been sufficient. All these pavements works are creating pollution and traffic chaos with busy bus stops closed too.

Anonymous said...

The High Road will remain a 'patchwork' as so far the forecourts of businesses such as Halifax and Shoe Zone haven't had their forecourts re-done in the same material as the pavements even though the council offered to do them for free - there are serious trip hazards between the different areas, assume these will be rectified or that the council will insist the businesses re-do their forecourts to make them safe?