Saturday 30 April 2022

Kingfisher Way mother sentenced following sad death of her 11-month old daughter - Brent Council statement

Following the jailing  of Fartun Jamal of Kinhfisher Way, Brent,  for causing the death of her 11-month old baby, Wembley Matters asked Brent Council if Brent Social Services or Health visitors were involved with the family and whether there would be a Serious Cse Review.

Brent Council responded:

Brent Council is deeply saddened at the death of baby Nafahat due to the lack of appropriate care provided by her mother, who has now been convicted.


All agencies involved with the family reviewed their practice within a short period of time following Nafahat’s death in 2019. Brent Council’s social workers had acted appropriately when concerns about the care provided to her were first raised. When the criminal proceedings concluded recently, multi-agency safeguarding partners met to review learning from 2019. All safeguarding partners continue to work together to understand, learn and address the issue of parental neglect in the local area.

Metropolitan Police statement:

A mother has been jailed for causing the death of her 11-month-old baby daughter after she housed her in squalor and failed to seek medical treatment for her when she became ill.

Fartun Jamal, 25 (10.09.96), of Kingfisher Way, Brent, was jailed for five years and six months at Harrow Crown Court on Friday, 29 April.

She was found guilty at the same court on Friday, 4 March of causing the death of Nafahat Diini as well as three counts of child cruelty following a trial.

Detective Chief Inspector Madeline Ryder, the senior investigating officer, said: 

This is an absolutely tragic case that resulted in the needless death of an innocent baby.

The death of a child is an investigation that no police officer ever wishes to undertake. All of the officers and staff who were involved in the investigation have been left deeply affected by it. The investigation team, led by Detective Sergeant John Martin, worked tirelessly to get justice for Nafahat.

No child should ever have to suffer in this manner. Baby Nafahat was only 11 months old when she died in squalid conditions, surrounded by walls covered in faeces. She died of an illness that was very treatable if Jamal had bothered to seek medical attention. What is even more harrowing, is that her GP’s surgery was less than 70 metres away from where she died and could be seen from Nafahat’s bedroom window, so help was within very easy reach.

For the vast majority of parents, to care for, protect and nurture their children is their main priority. However, Jamal was out partying just days before Nafahat’s death and had clearly placed her social life above that of the basic needs of her baby.

There is no sentence long enough to justify the taking of a baby’s life, however I am pleased with the outcome of today’s sentencing. We hope that in some small way, this offers some comfort to Nafahat’s remaining family.

The court heard that police were called on 13 March 2019 by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) who requested assistance to a call made by Jamal stating that her daughter was not breathing.

Officers and the LAS attended and carried out first aid, but despite their best efforts Nafahat was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a respiratory tract infection (bronchitis complicated with pneumonia).

Upon opening the front door to the property, the officers commented on a strong smell of urine coming from inside.

In the bedroom where Nafahat was found, there was human faeces smeared on the walls and window. Nafahat’s cot had a broken and collapsed side and contained several blankets and duvets. The cot and bedding were all soaked in urine. The cot itself was a travel cot and was not a suitable bed for a child of Nafahat’s age.

In Jamal’s bedroom, officers found mouse droppings on her mattress and human faeces on the walls.

Several of the rooms contained carrier bags full of dirty nappies and plates of rotting food.

Officers searched the kitchen and found hardly any food. The only items in the fridge were two bottles of milk that were nearly empty. In the broken freezer was a melted carton of ice cream. On the windowsill was a container of cooked and congealed pasta that was being used as an ash tray.

Jamal told officers that she had offered Nafahat formula milk earlier that morning but she had refused it. However, officers found no formula milk in the flat.

There were no photos of Nafahat in the property and no toys were found.

The doctor who pronounced Nafahat dead told officers it was a case of neglect.

Jamal was arrested on suspicion of neglect and answered no comment to all questions. Detectives spent months working around the clock to secure evidence against Jamal and as a result she was charged on 17 December 2020 and convicted as above.


At last a shop in Quintain's Wembley Park that reflects Brent's diversity - only a 'pop up' but a start


On Tuesday 3rd May, the Book & Kulture Pop Up Shop opens its doors to the public in the heart of Wembley Park. Located a stone’s throw away from the iconic Wembley Stadium, Book & Kulture will extend their online offering of diverse books and crafts to those living/working locally in the Wembley Park area. 



Founder, Vanessa La Rose comments: 


Working with Quintain has been amazing and I’m really pleased to be creating an opportunity for Brent residents to access diverse books and crafts. As one of the most diverse boroughs in London, it’s astounding that we will be one of only three independent bookshops in the borough. We hope that by opening our doors we will encourage people to take more of an interest in reading and look at books that feature more reflective characters.


Book & Kulture Pop Up Shop 22 Olympic Way
Wembley Park

Opening hours;
Mon: Closed
Tues & Wed: 11am – 7pm Thurs, Fri & Sat: 11am – 8pm Sun: 12pm – 6pm

Friday 29 April 2022

Preston Library Quiz Night IN PERSON! - Monday at the Preston Pub


Book a table HERE

From Preston Community Library:

After a very long absence, we have decided it's time to take the Preston Library quiz back to The Preston.  The pub have very kindly offered to let us use their own quizmaster, so the format will be slightly different, but all of the proceeds will go to the library and I'm sure the quiz will be the same hugely enjoyable evening as before. The library quiz will now be at 8pm on the first Monday of every month, starting this coming Monday, 2nd May. If you wish, you can book a table on the pub's website (see link below).  Tickets are £5 [with £3 concessions], pay on the night.  


Thursday 28 April 2022

1 Morland Gardens – is proposed Stopping-Up Order another mistake?

 Guest post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity

1.Brent Council notice on display at Morland Gardens. (Photo by Margaret Pratt)


In June 2021, Martin published a guest blog I had written, Brent’s development delayed, about the Council’s failure to obtain the Stopping-Up Order needed before they could proceed with their proposed development at 1 Morland Gardens. They’d been told in December 2018 that they would need such an order, if they wanted to build over the footpath and community garden in front of the heritage Victorian villa. They could have applied for it at any time after they received full planning consent on 30 October 2020.


Now, finally, they have started the process, by giving notice of a proposed Stopping-Up Order. But already they’ve added to their long catalogue of mistakes over 1 Morland Gardens! The Legal Notice published in the “Brent & Kilburn Times” on 14 April failed to mention Morland Gardens when describing the highway to be stopped-up, only giving its grid references:



Under the Legal Notice, the only way to inspect or request copies of the draft order and plan was in person at Brent Customer Services, where they would be available for ‘a period of 28 days from the 14th April 2022.’ I went to the Civic Centre on Tuesday 19 April, and the documents were not available to inspect or get copies of. I reported this, and the Senior Officer concerned has just let me know that they will be publishing a new Legal Notice in our local newspaper on 28 April.


These were procedural mistakes, but they are not the biggest error. Right from the start, when Council Officers greedily thought they could add the Council-owned “highway” to the 1 Morland Gardens site, in order to build more housing as part of the redevelopment of the Brent Start college, they failed to consider what the effect of a stopping-up would be.


3.Part of the Morland Gardens “highway” between the college and community garden.
(Photo by Margaret Pratt)


At the moment, pedestrians walking to and from Hillside to the homes further along Morland Gardens, and the Five Precious Wounds R.C. Church in Brentfield Road, can take the path alongside the low front wall of the college, and be shielded from the traffic fumes and noise by the trees of the community garden. If these routes (in green on the plan below) are stopped-up, they will have to walk alongside the busy roads, right up to the road junction.


4.Brent’s “stopping-up” plan, with before and after routes added.


The additional walking distances involved are not great, but pedestrians would now be exposed to the pollutants emitted by the heavy traffic, especially when it is tailed back along Hillside because of the traffic lights. This junction is in what has been designated an Air Quality Management Area (“AQMA”), because of its poor air quality, and in fact is one of the most polluted road junctions in Brent.


Because the site is in an AQMA, the planning application for Brent’s Morland Gardens redevelopment had to include an Air Quality Assessment (“AQA”). This was prepared for the Council by a specialist company (Gem Air Quality Ltd), but the scope of what they were asked to report on was just ‘the potential impacts of existing and future traffic levels on a proposed mixed-use development located at Morland Gardens.’ 


In short, the assessment only considered the effects of traffic pollution on residents and users inside the planned new building! It did not assess what the plans would mean for pedestrians and others, and did not look at the difference between pollution levels along the paths that would need to be stopped-up and those on the pavements beside the main roads here.


In fact, no actual air pollution readings were taken at Morland Gardens, Hillside or Brentfield Road as part of the assessment. It was a desk-based modelling exercise, but it did use an accepted technique described as a “comprehensive tool for investigating air pollution problems due to small networks of roads”. This was applied to a number of “receptor” points around the planned new building:-


5.Main part of Figure 3 from the Morland Gardens AQA report.


The AQA looked at the “before” and “after” predicted annual mean levels of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. It can be seen that the receptor locations R1 and R3 are the equivalent to points B and C on the stopping-up order plan, so the predictions for those do provide at least an indication of the likely levels of the traffic pollutants harmful to health. These are the tables of results prepared by Gem Air Quality Ltd and included in their AQA:-



6.Tables of predicted mean annual values from the AQA. (Gem Air Quality Ltd, October 2019)


It will be seen that the predicted level of Nitrogen Dioxide at ground level (especially at the corner of the building nearest the traffic lights – R3 = 51.0) is above the permitted “safe” limit. For particulate matter, the table appears to show levels at around half of the “objective”, but the World Health Organisation guideline value is 20, not 40 µg/m3, and the AQA only looks at PM10 concentrations, not the more harmful PM2.5 particulates (present in vehicle emissions).


Added to that, the AQA only contains mean annual predictions. The document admits: ‘that the short-term impacts of NO2 and PM10 emissions have not been modelled as dispersion models are inevitably poor at predicting short-term peaks in pollutant concentrations, which are highly variable from year to year, and from site to site.’  Pedestrians would have to walk closer to the traffic that the “receptor locations”, and the report also admits that: ‘street canyons have not been modelled as part of this assessment.’


Having Brent’s proposed nine-storey building at the corner of Hillside and Brentfield Road would contribute to a “street canyon” effect. The report says: ‘Street canyons may result in elevated pollutant concentrations from road traffic emissions due to a reduced likelihood of the pollutants becoming dispersed in the atmosphere.’


Taking all of these facts together, the levels of harmful pollutants which pedestrians would have to face when walking along the “red route” shown on the stopping-up plan above would cause a much higher risk to health than the existing “green routes” which the Council plans to stop-up. Did Brent’s planners consider this, when recommending the scheme for approval? NO!


7.The Air Quality section of the Officer Report to Planning Committee, 12 August 2020.


The Planning Officers report, and the advice from Brent’s Environmental Health Officer on which it was based, only looked at the AQA, which was just about the air quality inside the proposed building. But para.175 above includes this important sentence:


‘Officers acknowledge that there is the potential for high levels of nitrous oxide associated with pollution from adjoining streets to impact on the lower floors of the building (lower ground to second floor).’


To deal with this, a condition was included in the planning consent, requiring that the mitigation measures recommended in the AQA must be implemented, and proved to have been implemented, before the new building could be occupied. Those measures can be summed up in this extract from the “Building Mitigation” section of the AQA’s conclusions:


‘A mechanical ventilation system that draws air in from the roof may be considered acceptable as predicted NO2 concentrations on the fourth floor and above are below the relevant air quality objectives. However, the inlets should be placed as high as possible (roof level) and as far away from the local roads as possible.’


If the air quality at the corner of Hillside and Brentfield Road is only considered to be safe four floors above street level, then surely pedestrians need to be kept safe from the pollution as well! Deliberately forcing them to use the pavement by the busy junction, rather than the existing paths, shielded from the worst of the traffic pollution by the community garden, must surely be wrong!


8.The proposed Morland Gardens redevelopment site, as currently pictured on Google Streetview.


There is a variety of additional health risks to pedestrians from exposure to high levels of traffic pollution. I’m especially concerned about the increased risks of asthma to children which the proposed stopping-up could cause. 


One of my children has suffered from asthma since the 1980s (with more than a dozen childhood hospitalisations, and one almost fatal attack), caused by the traffic fumes encountered on a 50-metre stretch of Kingsbury Road, on the way to school. The reality of such risks was finally confirmed in the 2020 inquest verdict, following the tragic death of 9-year old Ella Kissi-Debrah, which found that she: ‘died of asthma contributed to by exposure to excessive air pollution.’


But there is a way that the stopping-up order can be prevented. Para. 4 of the Legal Notice (as it will be reissued) sets out how anyone can object to it:


'Persons desiring to object to the making of proposed order should send a statement in writing of their objection and the grounds thereof, to the Head of Healthy Streets and Parking, Regeneration and Environment, 5th Floor North Wing, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 0FJ, or via email to , quoting the reference TO/23/031/NP, within the period of 28 days from the 28th April 2022.' 


And there is a final irony. The person who is responsible for Brent’s proposed Morland Gardens stopping-up order is the Council’s Head of Healthy Streets!


Result from the Address Pollution website, 29 April 2022


Philip Grant.

If you were affected by sewer flooding on July 12th 2021 fill in this form for protection measures

 From Thames Water

We’re supporting our customers in London affected by sewer flooding in July 2021. The storms that caused this are rare, but we want to reduce the impact they could have on homes and businesses.

We’re planning to survey the sewers of the properties that reported flooding using our sewer flooding questionnaire. If the survey shows the risk of sewer flooding is higher, we'll install devices, such as one-way valves, to help protect these properties.

If you flooded on 12 July 2021 and haven't yet submitted a form to us, you can complete it now to be included. 

 Newspaper coverage of July 12th 2021 floods



Wednesday 27 April 2022

Brent Green Party's Election Manifesto for the May 5th Council Election


LETTER: Could the South Kilburn HS2 Vent serve as a wartime bunker for the estate?

 Dear Editor

I am unhappy about the HS2 pollution vent and escape staircase being forced on us in South Kilburn without any mitigation for the estate from HS2.



The Vent (Photo: Ian Visits)


I tried to get HS2 to invest some of its vast local mitigation funds in the South Kilburn Public Open Space (Kilburn Park), Brent Kilburn's only park sized park open to all Londoners 24/7 - an ideal sizable open area worthy of investment and protection, perfect open space to use in any HS2 tunnel emergency. Yet pretty much as a Local Green Space Designation in the  new Brent Local Plan application was rejected, HS2 and the redevelopers had zero interest in this local compensation investment funding proposal.


However thinking about full scale war in Europe happening in 2022, maybe      'being Londongrad makes us safe' could be lazy government party think?  In WW2 South Kilburn was bombed from Europe's mainland, so in WW3 why not again, or have modern weapons delivery systems regressed since 1939? Countries like Ukraine, Slovakia and Germany all  have a defence emergency forward plan and major taxpayer money is invested in bunkersbecause of the bombing risk, so why not the UK?   


South Kilburn Stations Growth Area has a massive population density with towered car free housing the only infrastructure (and a re-developer sideline business in underground car parks/ extra access vehicle roads for surrounding de-growth protected zones customers). The possible risk of an HS2 tunnel fire and train passengers needing to escape from the HS2 tunnel is predicted and designed for. But what about looking at this design in reverse? Instead of rail passengers escaping up the staircase, South Kilburn residents could escape down the same staircase into this massive tunnel system to survive London being bombed. The HS2 vent/ staircase would finally have its local plus value. (In Kharkiv people have been living on underground trains in tunnels for 61 days so far a predicted emergency defence planned for in advance by Ukraine government).


This on site HS2 vent/ emergency staircase is a London emergency defence infrastructure near ready-made asset (would need an up-graded door and to be urban disguised). And such a bunker as key London emergency infrastructure may even attract people to live in South Kilburn (Hampstead and Belsize Park already have cold war era bunkers). My thinking is also that this emergency amenity could lead to a new footpath and cycle bridge being built over the electrified railway to this tunnels entrance point from Kilburn conservation 'village' north side, better connecting Brent Kilburn Town and shortening active travel journey time's in Kilburn everyday life.


Who knows this new HS2 built defence infrastructure bunker for South Kilburn might even lead to social infrastructure investment for this mega population density revenue raising project being allowed?


David Walton

Flood Local Action South Kilburn



Tuesday 26 April 2022

Fryent Country Park – Our green and pleasant land (but other green spaces matter too)

 Guest post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity

A few weeks ago, I was able to write an article about horse racing on what is now Fryent Country Park in Victorian times, thanks to research by the author William Morgan. William was able to visit Kingsbury last week, as part of a research trip, and has shared two photographs with me, taken from a drone, for local interest.


Barn Hill, and the south-west corner of the Country Park. (Courtesy of William Morgan)


We only have the beautiful green spaces shown in these photographs because of the good sense of our local Councils in the 1920s and 1930s. Haymills Ltd had bought the former Wembley Golf Course (which covered the southern slopes and top of Barn Hill) to develop for housing. Wembley Council realised that the area’s new residents would need space for outdoor recreation, so purchased land from Haymills in 1927 to create the Barn Hill Open Space.


Haymills built the original Barn Hill Estate, closer to Wembley Park Station, before selling the rest of their land to George Wimpey & Co. That firm then built further west along the slopes, including the homes you can see to the right of the wooded hill top in the photo above. Wimpey applied for planning permission to put roads for housing development across the fields in that picture. However, as part of their new “Green Belt” powers, Middlesex County Council put a compulsory purchase order on this land in 1936.


On the opposite side of a new road, Fryent Way, Salmon Estates Ltd had outline planning permission to extend their major suburban housing development. However, Wembley Council blocked their full application in 1936, on the grounds that the land was now reserved for public open space. This allowed Middlesex C.C. to buy the fields, seen in the photograph below, to create the Fryent Way Regional Open Space in 1938. You can read more details about this in Part 4 of The Fryent Country Park Story.


Looking east across Fryent Country Park, 22 April 2022. (Courtesy of William Morgan)


I am lucky enough to be within a few minutes walk of both Fryent Country Park and Roe Green Park. I am also fortunate to live in a house with a garden. I know how important it is to be able to spend time in green open spaces, especially at when the pressures of life build up on you. 


I also know that there are other parts of Brent which are much less fortunate in terms of green space and which have significant “open space deficiency”. This has been recognised for many decades, as shown by Willesden Borough Council’s “The Willesden Survey, 1949”:


A map comparing then existing and actual open space per resident. (Source: The Willesden Survey, 1949)


This was in the heyday of Post-War town and country planning. A paragraph from the Survey’s section on Open Space Standards reads:


‘The open space standards recommended in the Greater London Plan vary between 7 and 10 acres per 1,000 of the population, depending upon the residential density of the district. Thus it is quite evident that the standard of existing open space in Willesden falls far short of the suggested standards of the Greater London Plan. This deficiency will continue even if the proposed decentralisation of some 48,000 of Willesden’s population to New Towns has been achieved and the population of the Borough reduced to approximately 140,000.’


[It is perhaps interesting to note that 7 acres is the size of Quintain’s Union Park, to be provided as the main open space for the Wembley Park development, which will be home to many times more than 1,000 people!]


While it could not completely remedy the shortage of open space, Willesden Council was taking steps to improve the position. These are the paragraphs from the Survey on the two most open space deficient areas in the borough in 1949, Kilburn and Carlton (South Kilburn):


From the “Open Space” chapter of The Willesden Survey, 1949.


Willesden Council expected that the clearance of some overcrowded Victorian housing in Kilburn would ‘be turned into open space’. Yet 70 years later, Brent Council is proposing to take away much of the green space and trees on its Kilburn Square estate, in order to build 144 more homes. This would add to the area’s already high open space deficiency, and local residents are right to resist such bad planning (which actually goes against the Council’s policies!).


Willesden Council did create a ‘large open space’ adjoining its Granville Road baths in South Kilburn. Sadly, Brent Council now plans to build on the remnants of that green space, as part of its New Council Homes programme.


These are not the only green spaces under threat. Brent’s plans for the St Raphael’s Estate will mean building homes on part of Brent River Park. Other plans for “infill” developments on existing (and well-designed) Wembley Borough Council post-war housing estates are likely to see existing green spaces lost at several sites in Kingsbury, and at Gauntlett Court in Sudbury.


Green spaces and trees at Gauntlett Court, Harrow Road, Sudbury.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against Brent Council building genuinely affordable homes for local residents in housing need. [I think I have demonstrated that in my efforts to get Cabinet members and Council Officers to rethink their plans to allow a developer to sell 152 of the 250 homes they will build at Cecil Avenue in Wembley for profit, with only 37 of the 250 for affordable rent to Council tenants.]


People need decent homes, but they also need decent green spaces close to their homes. As well as being necessary for their health and wellbeing, these also provide places where children can play together. Those caring for them can sit and start conversations with others, discovering how much they have in common, despite differences in appearance, so helping to build community cohesion.


We do have some great large natural areas and parks in Brent, like Fryent Country Park, but we also need to value the smaller, local green spaces. This should be an important consideration in the forthcoming local elections, because if the balance of power at the Civic Centre stays the same, we are likely to lose a number of those local green spaces within the next four years.


Philip Grant



Who closed off a Wembley Public Right of Way?


Nearly two weeks ago I took the above photograph at the entrance to PROW (Public Right of Way) Number 87 on High Road Wembley. It goes between Elizabeth House and Wembley Place and around the former Copland Fields (now the grounds of Ark Elvin Academy) and joins footpaths to the south to Tokyngton Way (also a safe cycle route from close to Stonebridge Park Station)  and north to London Road and Lyon Park Avenue.

The footpath was the source of controversy as it had previously allowed Wembley residents to use the Copland Fields as open space but now has 6 ft fencing either side of the tarmacx path. An enclosure of former public land according to some campaigners.

Follow the right of way as it is now on video LINK.

Local resident Jaine Lunn got on to Brent Council when I contacted her about the blocking up. I said that I could see absolutely no work in progress and wondered what work could be taking place.

Yesterday Jaine received this somewhat surprising reply from Brent Highways Management:


Dear Jaine Lunn,


Thank you for bringing this to my attention, unfortunately we have found no records on our system of any contractor applying for a works permit or Temporary Traffic Order to close footpath PROW 87 leading from High Road to London Road, which is what should have been done legally.


However since we have no information regarding the closure or whom to contact, what we can do in the meantime is to get someone from our Enforcement Department to go to site and re-open the path to the public.


I will also suggest that the footpath in question is monitored for any unforeseen works activity, furthermore just in case whomever is responsible decides to return again.


You will be updated as soon as it gets done.


This was followed up by a further message this morning:

 IRC-16547-Q0N6D2 Closed Public Footpath between Elizabeth House and Wembley Place around Coplands Fields


Thank you for your enquiry regarding the closure of the above foot path.


I requested that our Public Rights of Way officer attend the location recorded as PROW 87 regarding your enquiry.


The foot path leading from  High Road to London Road was found to be closed at both ends with Heras Fencing. It has been closed for over 2 weeks without public notice, permit or Temporary Traffic Order and currently we have no idea who is responsible as there are no signage attached to the fencing.


As this is an unauthorised closure, we have passed this onto our Highways Enforcement Team to investigate further and take any action they deem as necessary.


Our urban public rights of way are as important as those jealously guarded by the Ramblers Association in more rural areas.  As we move towards prioritising walking and cycling as part of much needed reduction in car journeys, and for the sake of clean air and healthy exercise, we need to protect these routes which are often of ancient origin.  A map of of Brent's 16km of public rights of way is available here: