Wednesday 4 October 2023

LETTER: Brent Council is failing South Kilburn residents who are living in fear in with damp, mould, cold and debt

 Video created from photographs provided by the letter writer


I reported on last week’s Brent Renters meeting calling on Brent Council to take action on bad landlords, but what happens when it is the council itself that is the bad landlord?  Wembley Matters has received this letter.


Dear Editor,


South Kilburn is a lively and friendly community.


My neighbours are quiet but ever so respectful.


We look out for one another.


With a predominantly Black and African community the English language is not the first language of most residents however, it does not create a barrier.


In fact, it sometimes draws people together in support for each other, whether it be housing, schooling, benefits, or young people’s needs. We support each other where we can.


There is a great deal of deprivation and poverty.


With many temporary tenants living in council properties and being charged £440pw, the cost of living crisis, is nothing new to them. Many of them have been living in such conditions for 9+ years, hardly temporary?


They were promised that, should they vote for the regeneration bid, upon its succession, they would be placed in new-build properties with a choice of paint colour, kitchen fittings, flooring, and new white goods, some even a dish washer!


However, this has not been the case. The council carried out housing needs assessments for every individual to gain knowledge of exactly what was needed but, they failed to deliver many of their promises and continue to do so.


Many tenants have been forced to move to new areas outside South Kilburn despite being promised they could stay.


Not enough new-builds and not enough of the required bedroom sizes!


But didn’t the council carry out assessments? Yes they did?


What happened to the planning and the order of blocks to be-rehoused? After the succession of the bid, it all changed – it all fell apart and promises were broken.


So, the people moving to new-builds received the promises of flooring and paint etc. However, the others forced to take re-lets are being failed.


They must move urgently- within 1 week, to properties with no flooring down, an empty shell.


Where are they supposed to find the money to start all over again?


There are disruption payments to be had according to the council yet, many are refused and if they are lucky enough to be chosen to receive it, they must wait up to 3 months to receive it!


Some are reimbursed for their flooring and white goods, some even for their curtains but some are not, with the council picking and choosing who can and can not be reimbursed. It this discrimination?


But Countryside and the Mayor’s office are providing the council with this money to take care of the tenants. If it’s not going to tenants, where is it going?


They are not even following their own promises and despite the tenants complaining to heads of departments, they are simply passed from pillar to post with no answer.


The council have no fear of breaking the law as the tenants have no-one fighting for them. Even MP Tulip Siddiq is doing nothing to assist vulnerable tenants.


Is it because Labour can not fight itself?


The electricity bills in the blocks are huge and the saddest part is, regardless of how much they do spend on heating, the properties are ice cold.


The health risks to tenants living in damp and mould riddled flats are at an all time high.


One of the residents, a mother of 4 and 3 asthmatics had pneumonia three times in one winter and the year before 2 pneumonia and sepsis. Still, she was afraid to put the heating on because she could not afford the bills and was falling deeper and deeper into utility debt. How could she find a way to clear it when all avenues seemed to be closed?


They are left in thousands of pounds worth of debt because of the electricity bills. The properties are insufficient, no insulation and ineffective heating units.


Go and earn more money you say?


With the majority of residents having at least one person working, it’s impossible to up your income.


Why? As the wage increases the more hours you work, the council simply reduce the Housing Benefit top-up that is essential to pay the £440pw rent. They trap you into the Benefits system with no hope of getting out unless you become secure tenants paying council rents.


The more you earn, the less Housing Benefit you receive and the family’s chance of living better is diminished.


We have hard working families paying £440pw rent and £1000/£2000 pm electricity! That’s without council tax, water, food etc


What happens then?  The children suffer. Less food on the table, freezing cold mould and damp living conditions, parents constantly stressed because they can’t make ends meet and provide even essentials for their children or themselves.


No talks of holidays, new clothes, toys or even a day out!


We have knife, gun and gang crime around every corner - but it’s the norm.


The last three to four months have taken a turn for the worst, become more dangerous due to the high number of squatters living in the blocks.


All night long it’s screaming, fighting, cursing and break-ins.


Parents and children are fearful to step into the blocks and afraid to open their front door! Cannabis farms growing, pipes and boilers being stolen and sold for money resulting in tenants homes being flooded and their few positions ruined.


Whilst we are fearful, we are concerned with the amount of squatters who have nowhere to turn. They run their own rings, charging other squatters to live in abandoned houses in the blocks. When they can’t pay up, they beat them up and throw them out. It’s horrifying, the wails and screams, the sounds of blows to the bodies of desperate and destitute men and women.


Prostitution, it’s also included in the list, men coming and going all night because the women are being pimped out and beaten.


The council put two security guards outside for four days. Whilst they are in their car with no toilet or place to get a warm drink, the squatters are upstairs in the blocks and there’s no change.


Then we have the schools, they seem to run the same ethos as Brent Council, ignore complaints and carry-on?


Despite receiving petitions and concerns of safeguarding from parents, they simply choose to ignore it. The governors simply refuse to hold meetings with parents?


They take the case to Brent education and the same response?


They take it to Ofsted who agree based on information received, it needs to be investigated.  Ofsted write to Brent Council and raise concerns requesting investigation and Brent reply to Ofsted with ... No further investigation needed!!


What do we expect to produce in South Kilburn?


The next generation thriving and positively optimistic about a bright future?


Where would they ever get this impression from when all they see is doom and gloom?


Parents working hard but never having enough.


Parents, that when chidlren look at them, their faces are etched with pain and struggle.


From where are the young people given hope and is it the faults of the parents, or the people with whom the responsibilities and power is given to make a change?


Poor housing, poor  schools and poor finances.


No opportunities to thrive yet still, you see the smiling friendly faces of the South Kilburn tenants toward each other, while secretly, their hearts and hopes are broken.


I love living in South Kilburn, the residents are very special people who deserve more.


Ngozi Gemma Ijanboh


The Brent Council Promise in 2019





Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Hubris Butt and Towerblock Tatler are gentrifying the Borough of Bent. Given time they will force you out of the Borough completely.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant account. Thank you Ngozi! Hopefully things will change because its shameful to let people live like this.

Anonymous said...

What a dreadful revelation of life in regenerated South Kilburn! ! An appalling account.

Anonymous said...

Labour promise you everything but do not deliver!

Did Labour run Brent Council not learn anything from history? 1960s tower blocks had similar problems and were torn down in favour of lower level developments.

Butt worked at BT and Tower Block Tatler was as secondary school history teacher - what do they know about housing???

Pete Firmin said...

A horrendous story. This is part of the regeneration scandal that has been going on for years. All kinds of promises have been made, and so many broken. As this resident says, Brent won the last masterplan ballot by telling temporary residents that they would get rehoused if it was a `yes' vote but not if it went against Brent. Of course, the temporary tenants voted yes, and now what. As reported. Other scandals have been going on around South Kilburn regeneration for years, but no-one, especially not the Council leadership accepts any responsibility.

Martin Francis said...

Comment received by email:

I really feel for these SK tenants in temporary accommodation, as they clearly need to be rehoused as soon as possible but unfortunately there is nothing available for them in SK to move to

Some tenants at William Dunbar asked me recently when they would be decanted but I could not tell them but it is likely to be 3 or 4 years later than was planned back in 2017, as there are no homes available for them to move to, which is now probably around 2030 or even later.

All the allocations up to 2029 have already been announced which means that most of those living in temporary accommodation now will have to wait until at least 2029 but by then those in permanent housing waiting to be decanted at that time will be ahead of them in the queue.

Unfortunately, it is all down to supply & demand with the demand far exceeding the supply, which is even harder to achieve if larger families need bigger homes.

Maybe WM should ask the SK Regeneration team, or the council for a response about the SK allocation schedules from 2024 onwards.

The latest site named as the NWCC ((Neville, Winstanley) will provide 95 affordable homes but only for secure council tenants, due to open in the summer of 2029.

There are around 300-400 secure council tenants needing to be decanted after 2029 and when they have been allocated the Council will then allocate those in temporary accommodation , as identified in today's WM which will take several years for them to be built

Pete Firmin said...

Basically, Brent has been making wild promises which it can't fulfill, and probably knew they couldn't fulfill.

Martin Francis said...

St Raph's may have escaped the same fate?

Anonymous said...

Brent council wrote a new policy when they asked secure and temp tenants to vote for the regen.
It said temp tenants are part of the community and are now entitled to the same rights as secure tenants.
So how are temps being shoved to the back?
Some temps have been temp longer than some secure tenants.

The 3 new blocks only have 3 council properties available. All of the remaining flats are for sale?
They are not building enough social housing rather, selling land and properties instead.

Anonymous said...

Dear Residents of South Kilburn,

We understand that there are concerns expressed regarding the South Kilburn regeneration project. However, we would like to emphasise the positive aspects of this endeavor.

The South Kilburn regeneration has been a significant success for the community. While challenges exist, it's important to recognize the substantial progress that has been made. Many residents have benefited from new-build properties with modern amenities, allowing for personalisation of their homes.

While not all promises have been fulfilled, it's essential to understand that projects of this magnitude often encounter unforeseen challenges. I understand the council is actively working to address these issues and find solutions for those affected.

Regarding housing needs assessments and rehousing plans, these are complex processes that require careful consideration. The council's aim is to provide suitable housing for all residents, considering various factors, including available resources and property availability. Sometimes people do have to move away, but it is according to need.

We are sorry to see difficulties residents have managing their bills and it is my understanding in addition to these efforts, the council is planning to run budgeting and financial management courses for residents who may have faced challenges in paying their bills. These courses aim to empower individuals with valuable financial skills and knowledge to help them manage their expenses sensibly and effectively.

While our labour cllrs obviously acknowledge the challenges and grievances expressed in the letter, it's important to view the South Kilburn regeneration as a long-term project with the goal of improving the community's overall quality of life. Without us, you’d have tories in then think how bad things would be.

There is no other alternative for you, but we do the best with the resources we have got.

Your local labour member and supporter

Anonymous said...

Philip Grant said...

It appears from the letter that Brent Council is charging tenants in "temporary accommodation" Local Housing Allowance rent levels (currently £441 a week for a 3-bedroom flat in this area). This is more than double London Affordale Rent level, which the Council would charge a Tenant for a new flat of the same size, and the rent for an existing secure tenant would be lower still.

This may be legally permissable, but given the poor quality of the accommodation, and the fact that the Council knows the families will have to stay in those flats, or similar ones, for many years before they can be offered a permanent Council home, I think that Brent has a moral duty to charge them no more rent than a "secure" tenant would pay for the same accommodation.

Anonymous said...

This reply is so absurd, I can only believe you are a spoof writer!

It surely couldn't be possible for anyone to to overlook an abuse of failure to comply with policies and promises?

Promises which allowed the regen to become possible.
Failure to carryout those promises would be against the law and clearly be classed as a manipulation of the vote under false pretences?

I think you have failed to understand the plight of the community and evidence to show the huge failings behind the regeneration gor many families in South Kilburn.
The families were promised the would be re-housed in South Kilburn, only if they preferred, they would be moved out of the area.

I fail to see the evidence of an improvement to quality of life based on the letter?

Do you think everyone in the community is incapable of managing their finances or, is it possible there seems to clearly be a problem with the buildings and the electricity units for so many to endure the same difficulties?

Does an inability to control your finances suddenly cause a person's electricity bill to jump to £1000+ a month?

Should the families spoken of in the letter, who made the regen possible, be thankful for all they going through courtesy of Brent Council?

Yes, they owe it all to the labour party as you have rightly claimed.

Anonymous said...

Hello local labour member and supporter. How do you budget around £600 plus electricity bills a month?? Do you have an idea about what we are enduring? Aren't you supposed to advocate for residents and improve their lives? It is so disheartening to read comments like this. Suddenly, why we struggle so much to be heard and helped is crystal clear.

Philip Grant said...


This is the text of an email I have sent to Councillor Ketan Sheth, headed: "Will your Scrutiny Committee look into the wellbeing of the South Kilburn community?":

'Dear Councillor Sheth,

In case you have not seen it, I am writing to draw your attention to this letter from a Brent Council tenant in South Kilburn, written on behalf of herself and her neighbours:

As you will see, if you read the letter (as I hope you will), it raises very serious concerns about the health and wellbeing of residents in Brent Council properties awaiting regeneration in South Kilburn.

I would strongly suggest that this is a matter which needs urgent consideration by your Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee. Part of your Committee's remit is 'to probe into the impact of policy decisions on the Borough'. Various policy decisions over the South Kilburn Regeneration, and the apparent failure of Brent Council to deliver on the promises made, are involved in the conditions which some residents there are living under, as shown in the letter.

Although it is not the key problem residents are facing, one point I would highlight (and I have added a comment on this under the letter) is the level of rent which tenants in "temporary accommodation" are being charged by Brent Council. It appears that this is at Local Housing Allowance level. That may be appropriate if those paying rent at that level are in purpose-built temporary accommodation, for a relatively short period of time before they are permanently rehoused, but for Brent to charge them more than double what a normal Council tenant would pay, year after year, for a flat which is in poor condition, seems unfair and morally wrong.

I intend to publish the contents of this email, for information, and look forward to receiving your reply, which is also likely to be published. Best wishes,

Philip Grant.'

Anonymous said...

Oh wow!

Thank you so much for standing for us Philip.
May God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Labour Councillors taking their councillors allowances of £12K to £20K on top of their salaries don't need to budget especially when they get freebie tickets for football and concerts. Many of them are also landlords!

Pete Firmin said...

In response to Phillip Grant, I hope you succeed in getting scrutiny to look at South Kilburn regeneration. problem is, I remember when it went to scrutiny several years ago and detailed criticisms were shrugged off. Hopefully a better result second time round.

Pete Firmin said...

To the `local Labour member and supporter'. I don't know who you are, but I know many local Labour members who do not share your arrogant and patronising attitude to South Kilburn residents and the problems of regeneration. They have spent years trying to convince the various lead members for regeneration of the many problems associated with their plans. Your attitude seems to be that tenants like the one who wrote that letter should `suck it up' for the greater good. So they should brush off the fact that they are living in Council flats, previous rent half or less of what the Council is demanding of them now? They should simply accept bills of thousands for heating which you attribute to their lack of financial management?
If you think the regeneration of South Kilburn is so wonderful, please explain the following:
Why have so many new blocks had scaffold up for years while flammable cladding is removed?
Why is it going to cost more to put a block right than it cost in the first place? [And the company that built it have been given further contracts by brent]
Why have so many recently built blocks had to have their roofs repaired?
Why have so many recently-built blocks had repeated heating issues?
Why, when people were persuaded that demolition of their blocks was a great idea and they would get new flats, were people not warned that their rents would be higher, their service charges much higher, and the flats sometimes smaller?
Why is the medical centre which we were promised as the `flagship' of regeneration years late with no information to residents as to when it will be ready and whether it will meet the original specifications?
Why, when the whole of South Kilburn is a building site for 15 years already (with many more to come), did Brent go out of its way, against the wishes of residents, to persuade HS2 to site their vent shaft, with years of construction, in the middle of a housing estate and next to a school.
Now tell us again how South Kilburn residents should stop whingeing for the greater good.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your perspective, and it's important to recognise the complexities of political diversity. Expulsion from a political party often stems from differences in ideology, and your political persuasions, like Corbynism in general is not only n the interests of the Labour movement.

Labour understands the importance of supporting both development and business interests for the overall wellbeing of our community. Development projects can bring economic growth, job opportunities, and improved infrastructure. Cllr Butt and Keir Starmner have both shown the utmost integrity to manage these complexities.

When it comes to the South Kilburn development and the leadership of Cllr Butt, it's clear that these issues elicit passionate responses from different angles. While you view them as a negative change to our community, it's equally important to acknowledge that others may have alternative viewpoints shaped by knowledge of what it takes to win elections. You are of course welcome to put your money where your mouth is and see if anyone really does agree with you, all these people you claim to know who think differently to me. But I doubt I will really be expecting to call you councillor when the time comes.

A local labour member and supporter, who has never had a letter of expulsion.

Anonymous said...

Who were the building control officers signing off on these new buildings? Brent Council officers or did the developers appoint their own?

Anonymous said...

*is not in the interests of the Labour movement.

Martin Francis said...

To anonymous at 23.55 and October th 9.09 I much prefer people to use their names on blog comments as Pete Firmin has done and indeed the letter writer wrote under her own name. You claim to be speaking for Brent Labour Party or Brent Labour Group. If that is the case and in order to show readers that you are speaking with authority and not actually trying to undermine Labour councillors with your very unsocialist views, could you use your name in future comments. Thank you.

Pete Firmin said...

Nice one, anonymous 23.55. Don't bother addressing the concrete issues I listed (and could have listed far more). Just attack the person instead. Well done.

Anonymous said...

I've made it clear previously to you that I don't position myself as a spokesperson. My intention with this sign-off is to indicate who I am. I align with socialist principles, and I'm steadfast in that belief. I have reservations about characterising the political approaches of figures like Cllr Butt, Keir Starmer or myself as non-socialist; just because I am expressing views reflective of our approach locally, but outsider of your echo chamber. 'New Labour' socialism seems to be resurfacing strongly as we have seen in the recent election results and it's evident that we have the potential to gain support in Scotland, which Corbynism would not have achieved. The next goal could be the leadership of our country and it's important to recognise that engaging with business and supporting developments must be part of our (as in labour’s) strategy. The south kilburn development has been a remarkable turnaround and yes there have been some issues, but there is with anything.

Not a Labour spokesperson, a humble local member, proud of how our councillors are transforming Brent and making it great again.

Anonymous said...

It was not a personal attack Pete, it was abiut political differences. highlighting how despite Labour being a broad church; your politics no longer align. It is why you can’t see that this development and our wider relationships with Quintain has been a good thing for this borough.

Not a Labour spokesperson, a humble member and a big fan of Brent Labour. (Why is it hard to believe that many Labour members support this administration).,

Anonymous said...

PS you know we are not allowed to speak to you openly. I just wanted to correct some disinformation. From LS not a spokesperson.

Anonymous said...

Surely anyone can see that the Labour Victory in Scotland was because the Scottish people are fed up with the ‘corrupt’ SNP!!!

Pete Firmin said...

Dear anonymous. Your post was very much `go for the man, not the ball'. Otherwise why do you refuse to respond to the long list of problems with South Kilburn regeneration. Or do you believe they don't exist?

Anonymous said...

"... despite Labour being a broad church" "we are not allowed to speak to [Pete Firmin] openly".

What sort of political party is Keir Starmer's (or Muhammed Butt's) party???

It is certainly not a socialist party, and apart from the name it clings onto, not really a Labour Party!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Labour Member and Supporter,

To avoid any personal attack, I am not a member of any Political Party nor have I been ejected from any political Party so the comments I am making are not for political gain as I am not standing for election.
I am a resident of Kilburn and interacting daily with hundreds of Kilburn residents, unlike you it seems.
I am helping people instead of patronising them with lies.
So that is about me.
You have no idea about the plight of residents of South Kilburn. While I am not a natural supporter of Pete Firmin, what he claims about the regeneration of South Kilburn is very much what I witness and see on a daily basis!
The regeneration has been a failure on several fronts:
1. Promises made to existing secure tenants and temporary tenants have not been fulfilled. Many have been moved out of South Kilburn with no chance of return as the generation is years late.
Many are still in limbo living in semi derelict buildings with no understanding of when they can hope to have a decent home.

2. The quality of the new builds is extremely poor. Have you asked ex Council Tenants who were moved forcibly to Argo House, Bourne Place, Merle Court, Granville New Homes and the replacement of Wells Court what they think about the quality of the new accommodation that you are proud of? Let me tell you... This is a disaster for most of these residents with weeks without hot water or heating, leaky roofs, no electricity in some kitchens because of faulty plumbing, damp etc... And they are paying far more rent than they used to pay!!!

3: Living on a building site for more than 15 years and amongst decanted accommodation that attracts anti social behaviour. Have you seen the state of the Falcon Pub, that was at the heart of the Community? How many years has Cullen House been empty for? What about the shop precinct by Wordsworth, Blake and Austin and now almost fully decanted towers? Have you even walked in these areas? Would you fancy being rehoused from Exeter to Blake Court? I don't think so. They don't even have access to a decent GP surgery and now the Granville will fully close with no date for reopening.

The regeneration has been a failure for most residents of South Kilburn except possibly for those who were moved to Unity Place. It is about time you admitted that, don't you think?

Your patronising attitude that seeks to help residents with Finance management courses is just unacceptable!

Don't you think you should instead scrutinise the process of regeneration?

Brent made promises for the ballot that they knew they could not honour. And that is the real issue here.

Maybe you could ask M. Butt simple numbers like how many social units there were before regeneration and of what size. How many new social units and of what size have been delivered so far and when will the full delivery take place?
Maybe you should ask how many temporary tenants of South Kilburn have been given a permanent place to live in South Kilburn?

Dismissing the plight of the residents who wrote the letter as been a small price to pay for the greater good of South Kilburn is simply unacceptable. Looking forward to taking you around South Kilburn to meet affected residents.

And please have the courage to disclosed your name!


Anonymous said...

Dear Labour Supporter with no name.

If the right wing Brent Labour controlled council is so good, why are they shedding supporters in droves over so many issues?

As for New Labour, ie the New Tory Party, remember the Labour Party is supposedly the political wing of the Trade Union movement. If you are no longer thus, stop lying to us all and create another party for your right wing ideology.

Anonymous said...

Not a good look for anonymous 23.55.
People talking about the current squalor they live in and you gloat about perceived benefits on a general scale. Should we find solace in that? Any responsible party/ council would aim to take everyone with them. A life is a life. If you were the one living in damp, mould, crippling debt, freezing temperatures beside criminal gangs unable to do anything about it you would not be here minimising these failures and patting others' back for them. We are insignificant collateral damage it appears.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the cowardice of the labour member!!!

Anonymous said...

Majority of the public are happy with Labour in Brent and value the leadership Cllr Butt has shown which is why we all continue to vote to keep the tories and libdems out locally whilst nationally Starmer is taking us to a labour victory; you are either with us or a tory enabler. Choose a side.

From Labour supporter not a spokesperson

Anonymous said...

People can do things about mould and their finances. To help, we introduced the landlord licensing and are leading the way with improving the rental market in Brent. We have demolished bad housing stock are replacing them with new. Houses with better insulation will save people money and keep them warm. In years to come the development in south kilburn will be seen as a job well done and a flagship model of what labour can achieve. We are expanding affordable housing in the borough and created new social housing. What would you do instead?

From Labour supporter not a spokesperson

Anonymous said...

What’s the cowardice? Im being honest. Am I awakening you from an echo chamber.

From LS not a SP

Anonymous said...

Your points are about minor repairs that can be fixed. There is not a housing development in the country that is perfect. This is a wood/trees issue. From LS not a SP

Anonymous said...

Guess this is a Labour Councillor?

Anonymous said...

"Majority of the public are happy with Labour in Brent and value the leadership Cllr Butt".

Less than 20% of the Brent electorate voted Labour at the last Council elections. That was more than voted for the other parties, but suggests that the majority of the public are apathetic, and don't think their votes will change anything.

To extrapolate that less than 20%, and claim that most people in Brent value Mo Butt's leadership, is wishful thinking, Anonymous Labour supporter!!!

Anonymous said...

The tenants of Wordsworth House have now been given instructions to attend court on Thursday at 10am. This is for the closure of Wordsworth House.

Anonymous said...

The council have now stated that the policies and promises given to tenants in the Landlord offer to You booklet, that residents voted on, are no longer applicable!?

Philip Grant said...


A week ago I posted copies of emails I had sent to the Chairs of both Brent Council Scrutiny Committees.

The only response I've received came yesterday evening, from a backbench Labour councillor on one of the committees, who I'd "blind copied" into the relevant email.

The councillor asked whether I'd received a reply from Rita (Cllr. Conneely, Chair of the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee), or anyone else at Brent Council on her behalf.

I had to reply that I had not.

They may be looking forward to a Labour government, sometime in they next 15 months, but what about the problems that their own Brent residents in South Kilburn are facing now?

Philip Grant said...


Further to my FOR INFORMATION 3 comment yesterday [FOR INFORMATION 2, my email of 5 October to the Chair of the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee, appears to have got lost!], I have some news!

This is an exchange of emails I had today with Cllr. Rita Conneely:

'Dear Phillip

Thank you for your email. This an area of significant concern to myself and a number of Cllrs & residents too so your email is much appreciated.

I’m afraid I’ve had covid since the weekend and I’m still testing positive & unwell so I may have to respond to you more fully when I am better.

We do have plans to look at estate regeneration this municipal year within our current work plan -due to issues such as those you’ve raised, amongst others. Myself & the committee will continue to review our plans for scrutinising this area of concern.

Many thanks as always.

Cllr Rita Conneely
Chair, Resource and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee'

'Dear Councillor Conneely,

Thank you for your email. I'm sorry to hear that you have Covid, and hope you will soon be fully recovered. I've gone down with a nasty cold since writing to you, so you have my sympathy!

I note that your Scrutiny plan includes looking at estate regeneration during the current municipal year (so within the next six months), but would suggest that the problems in South Kilburn probably merit an urgent task group, lead by one of your committee members, which could report back as part of that more general subject.

Even if you do not take up that idea, I feel it is important that you include residents from South Kilburn (and other estate regeneration projects you are looking at) as part of your scrutiny of this subject.

It is equally important that you really do probe into estate regeneration, a key part of your remit. Too often, Officers try to give only a positive spin on what is happening (like the glossy South Kilburn regeneration success article in the latest "Your Brent" magazine). Don't let them cover-up, or gloss over the problem areas!

I look forward to seeing the action you take to address the problems in South Kilburn, and the recommendations you make (and insist on them being carried through) to improve matters for residents living there. Thank you. Best wishes,

Philip Grant.'

Pete Firmin said...

Well said Philip. As you say, most important in any task group will be to make sure the views of residents are heard. Too often Councillors and Council officers ignore them and the problems they report.