Saturday 24 February 2024

LETTER: South Kilburn residents have a right to know what is going on with regeneration

 Dear Editor,

In August last year, South Kilburn residents received issue 1 of South Kilburn Regeneration News. A welcome sign that we might be kept informed of progress, despite the fact that `issue 1' came after regeneration has been going on for nearly 20 years, and in those preceding years there has been no attempt to let us know what is happening.

Rumours abound that the regeneration has hit the rocks and is stalling. Nothing seems to have happened with the Carlton Vale Boulevard scheme.. The medical centre promised for 2015 has yet to materialise, and in the meantime the building in which the Kilburn Park surgery was based has been declared unfit for use and then sold off. Rumours say the new medical centre will be opened early next year, but no information has been circulated, no explanation for the lateness or whether this medical centre will actually be up to the standard originally promised. A further rumour is that developers are pushing for an even smaller proportion of social housing than in earlier stages, with a preference for expensive market flats, would, if true, mean that any idea that this addresses the housing crisis is a bad joke.

Wembley Matters has carried several reports on the disgusting state of some of the blocks which tenants have been decanted to while waiting for new flats. Word has it that the stalling of regeneration means that many who have been promised new flats in South Kilburn will not be able to move into them for years.

South Kilburn regeneration has been plagued with problems throughout, with new blocks having to have scaffold up for years while cladding is removed, heating and mould issues in many new blocks and, most notorious of all, Granville New Homes blocks costing more to put right than the original cost. And the company that botched Granville New Homes given new contracts by Brent Council! On top of which many moved into new blocks find their rents and especially their service charges rising considerably. Many of the problems associated with new blocks have been denied by Brent, and there certainly haven't been issues of Regeneration News to tell us what is going on.

No-one attempts to give South Kilburn residents a truthful account of what is happening. Raising these issues at Brent Connects doesn't get any answers, let alone a commitment to inform residents. South Kilburn Trust, supposedly overseeing the  regeneration of the Carlton/Granville site never reaches out to South Kilburn residents and appears to be totally unaccountable, despite claiming to represent the interests of South Kilburn residents.. Even those few who have time and ability to trawl through - often impenetrable - Council documents are often none the wiser.

Having endured 20 years of living in a building site, compounded by Brent Council persuading HS2 to build their vent shaft in the middle of the estate (with the support of South Kilburn Trust) rather than on a empty car park near Queens Park station, and facing probably another 15 years on a building site, residents really do have a right to clear, truthful information.

Pete Firmin, chair of Alpha, Gorefield and Canterbury Tenants and Residents Association, South Kilburn


Monday 12 February 2024

Greens call for scaling up actions against Israel, accusing UK government of complicity in killing

From the Green Party 

As Israel appears to be on the brink of an all out assault on Rafah, despite warnings against such action by the UN, Red Crescent and others, Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer is demanding the UK scale up actions against the Israeli government until the killing stops. Greens are calling for an end to all arms sales to Israel, prosecutions of war criminals and targeted sanctions on Israel’s leaders. 

 Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer said: 

It is clear that the Israeli government is refusing to heed warnings about the catastrophic implications of an all-out attack on Rafah. The UK government must now demand that Israel stop the killing, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Hamas must also agree to this ceasefire of course, and release all hostages.  

Decisions made by the UK government - above all its failure, month after month, to call for an immediate ceasefire - have made them complicit in the killing of almost 28,000 people to date, 12,000 of whom are children [1]. 

Israel relies on certain weapon parts manufactured in the UK, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter whose essential components are made here [2]. A Dutch court has today ordered the state to cease the export of F-35 spare parts to Israel. We call on the UK government to follow suit, and suspend all arms export licences to Israel until the killing stops. The UK must also cease all military collaboration with Israel, including allowing Israeli use of British bases and RAF intelligence flights over Gaza.

Greens would also implement the requirements of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign across the UK economy. This would include excluding Israel from international sporting and music events; withdrawing all public money from funds with investments in Israel; and ending beneficial trade arrangements with Israel [3]. 

It is clear that only outside pressure will make Israel stop its mass killing. We can increase the pressure on Israeli leaders by introducing targeted sanctions against key individuals. This would include travel bans and asset freezes on Israel's leadership and cabinet members, in particular those calling for new settlements in Gaza and the annexation of the West Bank. 

Finally, we would encourage UK authorities including the Metropolitan Police and Director of Public Prosecutions to pursue perpetrators of war crimes committed where UK citizens are the victims or where UK citizens are potential perpetrators. 

There are many steps the UK government could take to pressure Israel to stop the killing. Its refusal to do so means that they are implicitly condoning the appalling carnage in Gaza. 



  1. Israel-Gaza war in maps and charts: Live tracker | Israel War on Gaza News | Al Jazeera 
  2. Who Arms Israel? (
  3. This is consistent with the Green Party’s non-violent approach to demonstrating its opposition to breaches of human rights and international law. It is parallel to calls we have made for boycotts of a number of different countries in the past including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, China, and Qatar.

Brent Tories: Disrespectful to site children's home in a conservation area - call-in meeting tonight

A special Scrutiny Committee tonight will discuss the call-in by Brent Conservatives of the Cabinet decision to site a children's home in the Barn Hill Conservation area. In their call-in the group say:

This area is in the Barn Hill Conservation area. It should be treated with respect.

Alternative course of action recommended.. To refer the decision back to Cabinet for reconsideration in order to find a cheaper alternative property in a different area

The call-in is unfortunately timed when the Liberal Democrat group are opposing, with a petition, a potential proposal to double the number of councillors needed to request a call in from 5 to 10. At present there are 5 Tories and 3 Liberal Democrats. A requirement for 10 signatures means that neither Tories on their own nor the combined opposition could request a call-in without support from at least two Labour councillors.

Cllr Butt's argument would probably be that the increase would save money on meetings as   politically motivated call-ins would no longer take place.

Certainly Brent Labour moved speedily on social media to denounce the call-in.

 The call-in will be heard at 6pm tonight. Livestream HERE

Brent Tories do not exist on social media so I cannot post a response.



Cabinet (15 January 2024) received a report from the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources and Corporate Director of Children and Young People which, in line with the Brent Children’s Residential Home Business Case that had been approved by Cabinet in May 2023, sought approval for the acquisition of a property for renovation to deliver a four bedded children’s care home for young people by March 2025 which would provide four placements, three permanent and one emergency for the Council to deliver and operate a children’s residential home.


Having considered the report, Cabinet agreed to approve the acquisition with the minute recording the decision as follows:


Councillor Grahl (Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools) introduced the report, which set out the Council’s plans to acquire a property as part of the Children’s Residential Home Project.


In considering the report Cabinet noted the way in which the proposed acquisition aligned with the objectives within the Brent Children’s Residential Home Business Case approved by Cabinet in May 2023. This included not only supporting the Council in seeking to address the increasing cost of child residential placements for looked after children, with the scheme projected to save the Council approx. £290,000 on an annual basis once operational, but also in delivering the benefits associated with the additional capacity to reduce the need for out of borough placements and enabling more children and young people to receive care closer to home with access to local services and support.


Members welcomed the way in which the insourcing of this scheme would enhance service delivery and in recognising the benefits that the proposal would bring to both young people and the Council, Cabinet RESOLVED:


(1) To approve the acquisition of the property (address detailed in the exempt appendix of the report) in Wembley HA9 with vacant possession to meet the needs of young people as outlined in the Brent Residential Home Business Case approved by Cabinet in May 2023.


(2) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Children and Young People, to agree the terms of the purchase and acquire the property subject to financial and legal due diligence, vacant possession and contract.


(3) To note that the completion of the property needs to take place by the end of January 2024 in order to allow sufficient time to renovate the property within the timescales permitted in the grant agreement with the Department for Education (DfE).




a) We are very concerned at the price being paid for this property which is over £1M. We feel that this is not the best use of the limited Council funds.


(b) This area is in the Barn Hill Conservation area. It should be treated with respect.


(c) There has been no consultation with the residents living in and around the site of the property or the Residents Association. This is preventing residents from voicing their opinions and objections. There has been absolutely no democracy or transparency in the matter, residents feel they have been railroaded into accepting any decision the Council makes.


(d) Neither of the two local ward councillors (Cllr Robert Johnson & Cllr Kathleen Fraser) received any notification of this until immediately prior to the Cabinet meeting on 15th January.


(e) It appears that no Planning Permission was applied for or granted. If this is the case, then what is the rationale taken as to why Planning Permission was not applied for? No statement appears to have been given.


(f) The Council is not acting in the interests of the residents in this matter. A similar care home was opened in Barn Hill which caused untold problems for those living in the area. It was only shut down when the local MP (Barry Gardiner) intervened. The residents do not want to have to deal with a similar occurrence.


Action Requested:


To refer the decision back to Cabinet for reconsideration in order to find a cheaper alternative property in a different area.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Some history events in Brent which may be of interest!

Guest post by local historian Philip Grant 


Passport of Lotte Rosendahl, issued in 1939. [The Jawne Team / Courtesy of Yael Nemenoff]


There is a variety of history events taking place locally over the next month or so, which you may not have heard or read about. Martin has kindly agreed that I can share the details with you, so that you can make the most of what is on offer, if they are of interest to you.


Already on, in the family space at Willesden Green Library, is a small exhibition which opened on Holocaust Memorial Day called "Kindertransport Children in Willesden". It tells the stories of some of the around 10,000 unaccompanied children who were brought to this country to escape the growing Nazi threat to Jews in German-controlled lands in 1938-39. The passport pictured above was issued to one of them. This exhibition is only available to view until 28 February.



Also taking place at Willesden Green Library, in the Exhibition Gallery on the second floor from Monday 19 February, is a major Brent Museum / Learning through the Arts exhibition: “The Road to Freedom – Ending Slavery in Britain”. This free exhibition will be on until the beginning of September (but if you go in the opening week, you can also see the Kindertransport exhibition in the same visit!).


It is only 190 years ago that slavery was finally abolished throughout the British Empire. I wrote about the inhuman stain of slavery (and the indentured labour which followed it) on our history, in an article last month about why we should commemorate the centenary of the British Empire Exhibition


The title of Nabil Al-Kinani’s talk on Friday 16 February.


As part of that commemoration, Wembley History Society is welcoming Nabil Al-Kinani, to share a different perspective at its meeting on Friday 16 February at 7.30pm. Nabil’s talk, on “Decolonising Wembley” will explore the legacy of the 1924 Exhibition, examining the attitudes of the time, and asking whether the 21st Century developments in the Wembley Park area reflect a more modern and sensitive take on our post-colonial world. Visitors are welcome, for a small charge, at the Society’s meetings, which take place at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 8RZ.


Liam MacCarthy, and the Liam MacCarthy Cup.


One country which had recently been given semi-independent Dominion status, within the British Empire, in the early 1920s was the Irish Free State. Two men, whose names are now remembered through sporting trophies, for hurling and Gaelic football, are the subject of a much-anticipated talk at Willesden Green Library, on Thursday 14 March at 6.30pm. One was born in London, to Irish parents, while the other came to work here as a Civil Servant, and both were heavily involved in the capital’s branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Marcus Howard’s talk on “Liam MacCarthy and Sam Maguire: The Forgotten Sons of Ireland” will look at their political, as well as their sporting activities. You can find more details and reserve your free place for this talk on this Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage Eventbrite page.


Sam Maguire (centre, with ball), captain of the London Hibernians Gaelic football team, 1903.


If you missed the premier of the film “Brent Women of Renown” last November, there is another chance to see it at a Willesden Local History Society meeting on Wednesday 20 March at 7.30pm. The three women featured are Kilburn suffragette Violet Doudney, aviator Amy Johnson and Dame Stephanie Shirley, who came to Britain as a five-year old Kindertransport child, and grew up to become a mathematician and pioneer computer engineer at the Post Office Research Station in Dollis Hill.


Amy Johnson working at Stag Lane Aerodrome, early 1930.


The film will be presented by its producer Angela Payne, and director Amanda Epe, who will also talk about the Cricklewood Town Team project which led to its creation. The meeting takes place at St Mary's Parish Centre, Neasden Lane, NW10 2TS. Non-members of the Society will be welcome to attend, for a small charge.


Car bodies under construction at Kingsbury Works in 1924.


The last event I will mention is a free illustrated local history talk which I will be giving myself, at a Kingsbury Library coffee morning on Tuesday 26 March at 11am. Kingsbury is now seen as a mainly residential area, but during the First World War its rural fields provided space for several aircraft factories. “Kingsbury Works, 1915 to 1980” tells the story of one of these (with lots of pictures!), and how the buildings there developed after they were taken over by Vanden Plas coachbuilders in 1923.


A 1935 Kingsbury-built Bentley limousine, which went on a sales tour around India.


Since I first gave this talk online during lockdown, I’ve found out even more about Kingsbury Works, and gathered many more illustrations, so I am looking forward to sharing this version at a Brent Libraries event. The most recent addition to my information is the site’s association with vampires (but no need to send for Buffy)! You can find more details, and book your free place for this talk, on the Eventbrite page for it.


Philip Grant.







Friday 9 February 2024

The Judgment in the case of Shahrar Ali versus the Green Party

The legal case Shahrar Ali, former deputy leader of the Green Party and previously Green Party candidate for Brent Central, brought against the Green Party resulted in a judgment today. In papers submitted to the court, lawyers acting for Dr Ali claim that officials in the Green Party "collaborated" to remove him from his post  as spokesperson on policing and public safety because of his beliefs about gender, which include the view that "biology is real and immutable". 

The judgment found that Shahrar Ali was discriminated against procedurally in an unfair way because of his protected beliefs but did not find in his favour in other aspects of the case. He was awarded £9,100 in damages. Costs will be decided later.


Outside the court Ali said:


I see this as my gift to the Green Part y and wider politics, particularly in the left, where there has been an extraordinary toxicity preventing us from speaking freely.


Parties are not beyond the law when it comes to seeking to discipline their representatives in accordance with their own rules for alleged misconduct


He called for the  Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the Green Party over how it handles trans rights debates.


The Chair of the Green Party executive, Jon Nott, said: 


We are pleased that the court has recognised that a democratic political party has the right to select those who speak for it on the basis that they can and will communicate and support party policy publicly.  

We welcome the findings in the judgment that members of political parties have ‘fundamental party rights’ which include the right to disagree, to advocate for and against policies and positions adopted or proposed in the party, and to organise for those who agree with them and against those who do not, and that the Equality Act is not intended to interfere with those rights. 


The party acknowledges that there were procedural shortfalls in how we deselected one of our spokespeople. We apologise for failing in this instance to live up to the standards that both we and the court expect.


 Both sides of the case claimed to have won aspects of the case. I can't post the 61 page judgment for space reasons but here are their statements.


didlaw who acted for Shahrar Ali said:


didlaw is delighted to announce the successful judgment for its client Dr Shahrar Ali in his discrimination claims against the Green Party of England & Wales. 


Dr Ali pursued discrimination claims against the Green Party on the basis that he was subjected to a co-ordinated campaign by the Party to see him removed as a Party spokesperson, because of his gender critical beliefs. These beliefs, that sex is real and immutable are protected under section 10 of the Equality Act 2010. 


It was Dr Ali’s case that when the Party Executive Committee failed to secure enough votes to remove him as Spokesperson at a meeting in June 2021, a new process was devised so as to ensure he was removed. In October 2021, a newly formed Spokesperson Support and Monitoring Group asked Dr Ali to address concerns about ‘trans rights’. Unbeknown to Dr Ali, one of the Group’s key aims was to censure him. 


On 5 February 2022 a majority of the Party’s Executive voted to remove Dr Ali from his Spokesperson role. The Party did not formally inform him of the removal and nor was he provided with any specific reason for the removal save for a public announcement made on Twitter which alleged that he had breached the Spokespeople Code of Conduct. 


In a 61-page judgment HHJ Hellman clearly describes the treatment of Dr Ali’s case and upholds his claim that the Green Party Executive Committee, by removing Dr Ali from his role of Spokesperson in a procedurally unfair way, ‘discriminated against Dr Ali because of his protected belief contrary to section 101 of the Equality Act.’ 

The judgment concludes ‘I have upheld in part Dr Ali’s claim that he was unlawfully discriminated against’ and states ‘Dr Ali also seeks a declaration that he has been subjected to unlawful discrimination. I grant the declaration sought, although it does not obviate the need for damages.’ In addition to a declaration of unlawful discrimination Dr Ali has also been awarded £9,100 as an award for injury to feelings. 


This is a landmark case and the first protected belief case against a political party. It is also the first case in which the court has had to consider the protection of those with gender critical beliefs in a political party. The key factor for consideration in any protected belief case is the balance between the reasonable manifestation of a belief and the limitations imposed by Articles 9 and 10 of the ECHR in the context in which those beliefs are expressed. This is a tricky balancing act. One thing is clear, the Equality Act 2010 and the obligation to protect members from discrimination applies to all political parties. 


Bates Well who acted for the Green Party said:


The County Court has given judgment in the case of Ali v representatives of the Green Party of England and Wales. In doing so, it has set out novel and timely principles on the interaction between the prohibition on discrimination by associations in the Equality Act 2010 and the fundamental rights of members of political parties under the European Convention on Human Rights, in a decision which will be of great interest to political parties and campaigners of all kinds.


Giving judgment, HHJ Hellman agreed with the Claimant on one matter: that his removal had been procedurally unfair, and that he could not rule out the possibility (which had been the Party’s to disprove) that this procedural unfairness had been due to the Claimant’s protected beliefs. To that limited extent, the Claimant had been discriminated against. He was awarded £9,100 for injury to feelings. However, HHJ Hellman was careful to specify that it is explicitly not discriminatory for a political party merely to remove a spokesperson on the grounds of (in this case, gender critical) belief, provided it follows a fair procedure in doing so. He stated “The Green Party could not, in any event, have been compelled to maintain Dr Ali as a spokesperson if (outside of a party election period) he expressed beliefs that were inconsistent with Party policy, or if they reasonably concluded that he would do so, as this would infringe their article 9(1) rights by obliging them to manifest a belief which they did not hold” (243).


The reason for this finding concerned the interaction between the EqA and the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the ECHR into domestic law. HHJ Hellman considered the meaning of three articles of the ECHR: Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association). Taken together, he held that these Articles guarantee (amongst other things) the rights of members of political parties to:

  • advocate for or against policies and positions adopted or proposed to be adopted by their party;
  • criticise the beliefs or conduct of other members which are inconsistent with the policies and positions they advocate, including using language which their opponents might find offensive; and
  • advocate and organise within the party in support of members who support their favoured policies and positions and against members who do not.  


Importantly, HHJ Hellman held that these rights, which he termed “fundamental party rights”, are so core to democratic society that Parliament cannot have intended to restrict them under the prohibition in the EqA against discrimination by associations. Section 101 of the EqA, which contains the prohibition on discriminatory “detriment”, must therefore be construed to exclude the exercise of those rights, as any curtailment of these rights pursuant to s.101 could not be justified in accordance with Higgs [see 207]. Several of the claims made by the Claimant were dismissed on this ground.


The remainder of the Claimants’ complaints were also dismissed in their entirety. Some of them were made out of time, and concerned events so clearly separate from the later events complained of that they could not constitute a ‘single act’. Others related to the Party’s local branches, separate organisations within the Party such as the Young Greens, or candidates in internal Party elections; the Claimant failed to establish that those named had been acting as agents of the Party.



It is now beyond dispute that those with gender critical beliefs enjoy protection under the Equality Act. While those beliefs are protected, however, the issues with which they are concerned are a long way from being uncontentious. Rather, they remain a matter of heated and ill-tempered political debate, not least within political parties themselves. This claim effectively asked the court to direct a political party as to how to conduct that debate. It is to be welcomed that the court would not do so.


The principles established in this judgment mean that political parties remain free to debate these and other issues, even in terms which might be considered offensive. If this debate rubs up against protected beliefs, then so be it: some degree of discrimination on the grounds of belief is part of the essence of democratic politics; indeed, as HHJ Hellman observed, every five years voters perpetrate “an act of mass direct discrimination against other persons on grounds of the protected characteristic of belief” simply by voting in a general election.


Where key role-holders are being appointed or removed, parties should bear in mind the court’s warning that it will not infringe the fundamental party rights to hold them to requirements of procedural fairness. Provided those requirements are met, however, the field of political debate remains an area into which the courts will not easily be led.



Brent Lib Dems launch epetition to defend democratic decision making

 From the current Kilburn Times


 Brent Liberal Democrats have launched an epetition on the Brent Council website LINK opposing changes in the number of councillors required to call-in key decisions by Brent Cabinet (or senior officers) for further consideration.

The proposal for 'close to '10 signatories is 2 more than the number of opposition councillors thereby requiring Labour backbenchers to also sign. Given Labour members are whipped this is is unlikely although any group of backbenchers can officially sign for a call-in.



We the undersigned petition the council to Oppose any changes to the required number of signatures to initiate a call-in (review) of Cabinet decisions and to support the continuation of democratic scrutiny in Brent.


Scrutiny is an important part of the democratic process.


When Brent's Cabinet is only made up of Labour Councillors, it is important that democratic scrutiny is possible by Opposition Councillors to request a review of Cabinet decisions.


The suggestion by the Labour Leader of Brent Council (Cllr Butt) that the number of Councillors required to initiate a review (call-in) should be raised to close to 10 would make democratic scrutiny in Brent impossible.


Started by: Councillor Anton Georgiou (Brent Liberal Democrat Council Group)

This ePetition runs from 07/02/2024 to 20/03/2024.



Let's go Wild at the Welsh Harp Half-Term activities



From Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre


Let’s Go Wild at Welsh Harp!

Come join us and explore the Welsh Harp Reservoir this February half term for FREE activities at the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre. These activities are part of the Community Roots Project (Brent) who are working in partnership with Thames21, Action for Silk Stream and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The Community Roots project (Brent) focuses on engaging with the local community (specifically non-users) living within 1km of our waterways and improving their perceptions of the water to feel safer, happier and healthier by the water. We champion the many benefits that our waterways offer and encourage more people to use and enjoy them by offering them free wellbeing activities in the area.

Let’s Go Wild at Welsh Harp! | Eventbrite

We have 3 different activities to have a go at – take a look at the booking link to see details.

Reservoir Explorers

Join us at the Education Centre for a guided walk to the Welsh Harp Reservoir to explore different plants and animals. Invite the tree spirits to play by making a clay face on a tree and create other woodland friends in our woodland craft activities. Ages 5-12.

Wonderful Water

Discover what lives beneath in the wondrous water environments at the Education Centre. View creatures living in our little brook then dip your net into the ponds to find out what swims below in our pond dipping adventure. Ages 5-12.

Shelter building and marshmallow roasting

Gather round a camp fire in the woods to roast marshmallows. Build a forest shelter and see if you can make it water proof! Ages 7+.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Brent Library Events - Things can improve if the Council will listen

 Guest post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity


Last month I wrote about “Some Great Library Events – but where can you find them online?” I commented underneath that post: 


‘As regular readers of articles and comments will know, I'm a great believer in letting those in power at Brent Council know if there is something I feel strongly about. 


It is not just to complain or criticise, but to try to help them to "get things right", for the benefit of the local community, and Brent Council itself. I'm sure they would do a better job if more people took the trouble to let them know about things that don't seem right (although whether they will listen is often a problem!).’


I sent a copy of my article, with some suggestions for how things could be improved, to the Cabinet Lead Member for Customers, Communities, and Culture, Cllr. Fleur Donnelly- Jackson, and asked her ‘to forward it to the Council Officers whose action is required to sort out the problems.’ She replied to my email a few days later, and I’m glad to say that there have already been some improvements, with more to come.


I will set out, at the bottom of this post, for everyone’s information, the text of the email I received on 7 February from Brent’s Head of Libraries, Collections and Heritage Services. First, though, let me tell you how you can now easily get details on Brent Libraries events, and book places on them, on the Council’s website.


From the home page of Brent Council’s website ( ), look under the heading “Find the service you need” and “click” on the box that says “Libraries, arts and heritage”. On that page, “click” on the box that says “Libraries”, and when that page comes up, scroll down to this brightly coloured section:



As you will see, that section now contains two “links”. The first, “View our booklet to see what’s on at your local library”, will take you to an online version of the booklet you can pick up from your regular Brent Council Library. The second, “Book for selected events on our Eventbrite page”, takes you to the site with details of all the forthcoming events, and each one includes a box you can “click” on to reserve your place at it. Here is an example:


It just goes to show, and I hope Brent Council and its councillor members will take note, that things can improve if they listen to what residents make the effort to tell them. [I must add a special thank you to Jayne, whose comment under my previous post about her personal experience of trying to find details of a library event online was passed on to Brent Libraries - I’m sure that it helped to make things happen!] 


When I wrote my guest post last month, the new Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage Eventbrite website had only 48 followers. I’d like to think that “Wembley Matters” readers have helped to boost that number, which has now almost doubled. Spread the word, because there are plenty of great, free, local events which we can enjoy!



As mentioned above, this is the text of the email I received (copied to Cllr. Donnelly-Jackson, who had asked for action, in response to my contacting her) on 7 February:


Dear Philip,


Thank you for drawing the subject of Eventbrite publicity for Brent Libraries Arts and Heritage to our attention.


Thank you for alerting us to the issue concerning programme publicity as it is very important to inform Brent residents and indeed people living outside of Brent about the wonderful range of free programming on offer. Our aim has always been to offer culture on residents’ doorstep.


In order to improve Council wide publicity for all events it was agreed to bring all programming under one Eventbrite website umbrella last Autumn. This resulted in a rebranded name for Brent Culture which is as you have highlighted now called Libraries, Arts and Heritage which actually provides more clarity and better reflects the range of events we offer.


Work is still being done to update customers about this change. We signpost residents to the popular What's On guides from the Libraries section of our website and in line with your suggestion, we have also now added the Eventbrite link (see below image). In addition, we included the link to the new Eventbrite page in the latest Spring What’s On guide and will also refer people to the new page in future editions.


As well as our What’s On guides, we do also publicise our libraries events across our social media channels and through our popular Libraries and Culture e-newsletter.


I agree with you that we do need to ensure publicity is accessible for all, including those who may not be as familiar with QR codes or use digital channels to access information. That is why we make our What’s On guides available in all our libraries and will also look at further ways of helping spread the word about our events programme amongst those who may not be digitally enabled.


Lastly, we do agree that ideally all Brent Libraries events should be featured on the webpage and will look to introduce a new process so that this becomes more routine moving forward.


Thank you also for your continuing support of Libraries, Arts and Heritage programming and indeed publicising our upcoming events in Wembley Matters.  





Head of Libraries, Collections and Heritage Services


So that’s more improvements to look forward to – well worth the effort of letting the Council know (this time).

Philip Grant.