Saturday 8 January 2022

'There's a sense the Council is not acknowledging its responsibility in the chaotic implementation and subsequent failure of this programme' - Brent Cycling Campaign on Healthy Neighbourhood schemes

 Reacting to the news that Brent Council officers are recommending the withdrawal of some of the Healthy Neighbourhood schemes in the borough, Brent Cycling Campaign said:


We are still reading through all the reports (19!), and we will have a better clarity on the overall picture soon. The first impression, however, is that there's a sense the Council is not acknowledging its responsibility in the chaotic implementation and subsequent failure of this programme. These interventions were never fully implemented, operational (beyond a couple of weeks in places) or even enforced but this has been completely omitted in the decision making process.  This is a rather large caveat to ignore.

As a result, it's difficult to draw meaningful, evidence led conclusions from them.  There also seems to be a stark difference, a contradiction even, between insights drawn from the engagement process and the result from quantitative data via the online consultation. Without knowing the unique responses numbers - as you could respond more than once, or what is the modal split among respondents, it is hard to tell whether or not the online consultation is genuinely representative of residents' views. This is an important point, given that seems to be the main basis on which officers made their recommendation. As evidence shows, after the introduction of such measures, people start thinking whether or not some driven trips could be made differently as more choices become available to them. Driving is no longer seen as the default option for short local trips and people feel supported by a new enabling environment. But this happens gradually so it is expected that they may not be agreeable at first because they are the ones asked to make the biggest change.

The schemes were meant, and indeed funded, to be live trials with engagement and modifications during the consultation period. Instead, rather than engage with the process, many councillors either remained silent, not communicating about the trials or vocally encouraged residents to petition against them straight from the start.

We have no doubt that future schemes will be proposed, because the council knows they will have to tackle the many negative impacts of a car-centric environment, as part of the response to the climate emergency they declared.  Residents want safe, healthy, quiet streets as well as clean air and low traffic neighbourhoods achieve that when done right alongside other supporting measures to enable people to switch to more sustainable modes of transport.

All in all, the way things have gone, this feels like a waste of public money, a waste of people's time and hopes for a better future.





Tussyisme said...

'Smart council officers outsmart attempts to game consultations' - would be helpful for Brent transport officers to evaluate responses to local schemes:

Anonymous said...

Online Consultations avoid public scrutiny and are an obstacle to communities uniting, as there can be no collective response, only the individual.

Without public scrutiny, results can be manipulated to support unpopular council schemes. This leaves the online consultation method open to abuse by councils.

Anonymous said...

No matter what one thinks of these low traffic neighbourhoods it is obvious that they were very, very badly implemented with no warning and no discussion, again ignoring the views of residents. Yes, they were to be trials and experimental, unfortunately because the Cabinet member responsible, yes that Tatler again, and supported by Cllr Butt and his cabinet cronies and sycophantic supporters, the schemes were bound to be disliked and the entire scheme falling to absolute ridicule throughout the borough.

The current report before cabinet tries its best to recover from an awful position for Brent Labour caused by Tatler's ill thought out decision and her following intransigence and hubris which was fully supported by her fellow cabinet members. It is surprising that Cllr. Mclennon hasn't tried to hang the blame on the opposition councillors YET.

One of Brent's councillors, the steadfast and likeable Cllr. Daniel Kennelly stood up against the schemes for residents along with other free thinking councillors to have open discussions starting with a special Council meeting, unfortunately few of the affected ward councillors who were bleeding support thought to discuss the problems at that meeting. Yes, Cllr. Kennelly should be proud of speaking up and was the only affected ward councillor to do so.

Cllr. Kennelly has posted a Tweet as below which is substantially accurate, even if it doesn't point the finger at his fellow Brent councillors who caused the problem:

From Twitter - "The views of Preston Park Residents and Labour Councillors views have been listened too. Brent Council will no longer recommend the continued operation of the Preston Healthy Neighbourhood. This has been a great example of the community making its voice heard. You said, We acted"

This has been followed by a tweet from one of Butt's sycophants posting a response on Twitter, yes, Cllr Dar who for some reason never spoke up against the schemes in his ward! Yes, it acknowledges Cllr. Kennelly's work in getting some of the worst of the schemes removed, however, to go on and thank the very people who caused the problem in the first place, Cllr. Tatler and Butt, just shows the blind sycophantic obedience and stupidity of some of our Brent councillors. See Cllr Dar's Tweeted response below:

From Twitter - "You led from the front Cllr, thanks.our sincere thanks to Leader Brent Mo Butt , Cllr Tatler and the Officers for listening to the residents Brent . Best Brent"

Yes, what an amazing Tweet by Cllr Dar. It just goes to show that it is time to get rid of some of these appalling Brent councilors so that the borough can be administered for the residents and not Labour councilor's hubris and ambition.

Alison Hopkins said...

Brent Cyclists are as cuplable. They hectored local people, told them they didn't understand their own lives or area, and tried to bully them into submission. Having a spokesperson who doesn't even live in Brent and who repeatedly told us we were lying alienated the very people they ought to have been trying to engage with. All that was trotted out, repeatedly, was biased statistics. Being hectored is not helpful.

If basleine data had been taken, if proper engagement had happened and if Brent had LISTENED to what we here know are the real problems and acted years ago, then the outcome might have been different.

Anonymous said...

Any good odds on cllr. Tariq Dar being the next mayor of Brent?

Philip Grant said...

Dear Anonymous (9 January at 17:04),

I know that your comment may have been "tongue in cheek", but I am giving this answer for information of anyone who is interested.

Brent's "next Mayor" is usually the current Deputy Mayor, who will have gained some experience of the role by deputising at a few events the Mayor is not available to attend, during their year in that office.

The current Deputy Mayor is Cllr. Abdi Aden, of Stonebridge Ward.

However, Brent's Mayor for 2022/23 will be chosen after the local elections in May 2022, so the next holder of that office will need to be one of the councillors elected then. And it will be the newly-elected councillors who decide who that Mayor will be.

Whether Abdi Aden (or Tariq Dar) are still available to be the next Mayor of Brent depends on YOU - the voters of Brent, as does which party has the majority of seats, and therefore the power to chose who should hold that distinguished office.

Please use your votes in May, and use them wisely.

Anonymous said...

Where have Brent Cyclists been for the past 11 years?
‘ a waste of public money, a waste of peoples time and hopes for a better future’ = life in Brent under this Council.