Monday 4 September 2023

Barham Park Trustees (aka Brent Cabinet) to face barrage of protest and criticism tomorrow at Brent Civic Centre

Anger is building amongst residents and community organisations over the Barham Park Trustees management of the park and its assets, as more issues have emerged. The Cabinet members who make up the Trustees Committee are charged with what amounts to arrogance and disdain of the local community.

Despite the 1,000 signature petition calling for the Covenant that prevents building development of the park to be honoured in the spirit of the Titus Barham bequest, and Brent parks to be protected the Committee will be making decisions on:

1. Removal of the Covenant in order allow George Irvin to go ahead with building four three story houses on the site of the present modest pair of two storey houses. The amount to be paid for the removal of the covenant has been kept secret. The removal of the covenant has previously been opposed by ward councillors and Barry Gardiner MP. There have been questions about the influence on Brent councillors of the developer, fun fair owner George Irvin.

2.  Plans for major development of the present cluster of one and two storey buildings used by voluntary  community organisations to displace most of those those organisation in favour of a development that includes  a boutique hotel/AirB&B and four retail units. There has been absolutely no consultation about the plans which have come as a shock to those organisations. The £25,000 study is framed around the Trustees' briefing aimed at achieving commercial rents for the properties.

3. A review of Governance arrangements that keeps all power in the hands of the Cabinet and rejects any independent or community representation on the Trustees Commiuee.

4. Published accounts that includes errors and omissions, particularly around income from George Irvin's uses of Barham Park for fun fairs.

As a correspondent from elsewhere in the borough remarked in an email to Wembley Matters: 

Local people and community groups being disregarded and the possibility  of losing their meeting spaces—is shameful. 

Brent Council, to me have neglected Wembley High Road over the years in terms of design and the “shopping offer” and for them then to suggest to have hotels/ supermarket in a park which was bequeathed to locals,  is an obscene idea

Parks to me, belong to Brent residents and we need the green open spaces. I am very angry about what is being considered. Also the potential for this to be replicated 

My words don’t actually sum up all my concerns but it is more than well covered in your blog. 

Unfortunately the Brent and Kilburn Times has not picked up on this issue at all so do spread the word and get along to the meeting tomorrow (Tuesday September 5th) at 10am at the Civic Centre Conference Hall to show your concern or observe on-line HERE 


Anonymous said...

As Anon commented on the ‘Brent Council's Strategic CIL £4.5m spending plans for Alperton parks, Kilburn Medical Centre and Harlesden Picture Palace article…”

“Reading this piece I’m struck by the difference in how the community in Harlesden is being dealt by Brent Council compared to us residents in Wembley:

We are gifted Barham Park and its buildings for recreation and community use and the Barham Park Trust should be protecting Barham Park yet they are allowing development of the ex park keepers houses and they now want to turn the older buildings into commercial space with no consultation with us residents re what we actually want and they even won’t allow us residents to sit on the Barham Park Trust Committee.

The Harlesden Picture Palace which was a cinema and then had various commercial uses including as a pub is going to be done up for the community using our community infrastructure levy money and with the community fully involved - why is this so different to what we are experiencing here in Wembley???

Anonymous said...

I urge everyone reading this to attend the meeting tomorrow, if only to watch Butt & Co squirm and try riggle out of this one.

Anonymous said...

I've been following the discussions around the Barham Park Trustees closely, and I must say that while I respect the concerns raised by the community, I also believe it's crucial to consider a broader perspective.

The Trustees Committee is tasked with making decisions that are often challenging and require balancing various interests. Their willingness to consider development proposals, such as the removal of the Covenant or plans for a boutique hotel and retail units, might be seen as a way to generate revenue that can be reinvested into the park and community.

Moreover, governance arrangements are not always straightforward. While community representation is vital, we should also acknowledge that elected officials, like those in the Cabinet, are accountable to the residents who voted for them. Striking a balance between representation and efficient decision-making can be complex.

Regarding the published accounts, it's important to remember that errors and omissions can occur in any organisation's financial reporting. It doesn't necessarily imply wrongdoing. These issues can often be rectified through proper auditing and accountability processes.

We should recognise the need for responsible development and the challenges faced in managing public assets effectively. I believe Labour as ever, are doing their best and the trustees should be congratulated for safeguarding the future of this park; whilst offering mixed use to the community.

Anonymous said...

Does it still have to be agreed by the charity commission

Anonymous said...

Presumably at 10am and the Civic to stop people attending and of course they have security so can keep you out or throw you out. Democracy in Brent does not exist, King of Hubris Butt rules with his sycophants in this dystopian Borough where a shared bedspace cost upwards of £500 per month.

Anonymous said...

Why don't Brent Council and the Barham Park Trust talk to the residents of Wembley about what we want???