The Sudbury Matters Forum Friends of Barham Park 'official' website
The Sudbury Matters Forum made a presentation to the Brent Council meeting on Monday in which they announced,because of the feasibility plans being explored for Barham Park by Brent Council, they had set up a Friends of Barham Park.
On September 15th I had received first notification from Francis Henry, of Barham Community Lbrary that a Friends of Barham park had been set up to protect the park.
The Sudbury Matters presentation emphasised that their FoBP would be 'independent, inclusive, non-partisan and representative of the diverse communities that make up Brent' perhaps hinting that they felt the other FoBBwas none of these things. However, it appears that some current and former Brent Labour councillors have been involved in setting up the second Friends.
Sudbury Matters revealed that they had already engaged with the Trustees and council officers and said, 'We are committed to ensuring this (their oral emphasis) Friends Group is managed by residents whose sole aim is to preserve the integrity of this inheritance for current and future generations.'
Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, could not have been more effusive (in stark contrast to how he later reacted to the presentation by Liberal Democrat Paul Lorber of the 1,000 Save Our Parks petition) welcoming the 'hand of friendship', the 'positive' initiative' and 'embracing the culture of collaboration'.
He swiftly tweeted his gratitude:Although, the Sudbury Matters FoBP styled themselves 'official' it is unclear what this means and whether there is any established procedure regarding recognition by the council or other relevant organisations.
As I suggested to people from both FoFB groups outside of the meeting, it is really important that they work together to avoid classic divide and rule tactics by the council.
A Wembley Matters reader contacted me to ask me to add these questions to any piece I was writing about the situation.
- Has the Sudbury Town Residents' Association, which was effectively the neighbourhood forum for that area, ceased to exist?
- If not, what do they think about it?
- Is Brent Council, and its leadership, trying to sideline STRA, and replace it with a more compliant body?
- Is the name, Sudbury Matters, an acknowledgement that residents have come to trust what they read on Wembley Matters, rather than anything issued by Brent Council, and attempt to hijack that trust for itself?