Local residents have set up a collaborative blog, Keep Willesden Green, in response to mounting concerns amongst residents about the regeneration plans for the area, in particular, redevelopment of Willesden Green Library Centre.
In a nutshell, the Council Executive of 16 January 2012 has already given the go-ahead for the modern Library Centre (fronted by the old Willesden Central Library pictured above) to be demolished and replaced by a new building, made viable only because the favoured contractor has been permitted to build residential housing on a substantial part of the land. I heard impassioned speeches against the project by local residents both at the Executive meeting and the subsequent Willesden area consultative forum of 18 January. At that forum, Leader Ann John dismissed appeals to save the historical old building, answering that it was right to have a "clear out" instead.
The decision is now to be examined by the Call-in and Overview Scrutiny Committee of Brent Council at the request of the Lib Dems. The meeting is on Wednesday February 1st (7.30pm Committee Room 1, Brent Town Hall). A detailed submission of criticisms against the original paper signed off by the Executive is available here.
Judging from past performance of this Council, the stronger the arguments the more likely they are to be ignored. Yet this submission comes from within the recall mechanism of the Council - maybe it has more leverage than impassioned speeches from members of the public?
Let's not resign ourselves to bad decision making in Brent Council. It does not have to be this way.