Published and promoted by Martin Francis on behalf of Brent Green Party c/o 23 Saltcroft Close, Wembley, HA9 9JJ



22 Dec 2013

Controversy over Council, Police, UKBA action in Cricklewood: the bad side of localism?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Controversy over Council, Police, UKBA action in Cricklewood

Combined action by the UK Border Agency, the police and Brent Council on migrant workers
has created controversy in Cricklewood which has spilled over intolively debate on the
Streetlife forum of the Kilburn Times LINK

The local streets have long been a traditional picking up point for casual building labour in the
early morning. It used to be mainly Irish workers but is now generally more recent migrants.

Mapesbury Safer Neighbourhood Team have cuiculated this notice via email, letters and the
NW2 Residents' Association:


Some see this crackdown as partly a result of media hostility towards Eastern Europeans and point
out that it was not raised as an issue in the past. It appears to reinforce prejudice and increase
 division when Brent Council was critical of the way UKBA raids on stations and the 'racist van'
campaign did just that. Nevertheless the Council are cooperating with UKBA in this case seeing it
merely in terms of 'anti-social behaviour'.

A further point made is that while migrants are being attacked for living off  benefits they are also
attacked when trying to get work.

Asking the public to note down vehicle registration numbers and pass them on to the police is
likely to cause considerable controversy. 

17 Dec 2013

NHS/Care Bill/Clause 118 demo.(16/12/2013)

Video of yesterday's demo by Dave Plummer, newly elected London Fed
Campaigns Officer

This is the film from yesterday's NHS/Care Bill/Clause 118 demo.(16/12/2013)

http://youtu.be/abritFBRs-0

acknowledgements to Noel Lynch

7 Dec 2013

Greens condemn Dawn Butler's wrong and muddled record

Dawn Butler and Shahrar Ali Foe Hustings 2010
Reacting to today's news that Brent Labour Party had selected Dawn Butler to fight Brent Central in 2015, Shahrar Ali, The Green's candidate in  2010, said:
Labour's selection of Dawn Butler to fight the Brent Central seat is as if they are proposing a blast from Blair's New Labour past. Let voters be reminded where Butler stood on a whole raft of hugely consequential issues.

In 2007, Butler voted against a motion calling for a new sense of urgency on climate change, and, in 2009, against our becoming a signatory to the 10:10 climate change campaign. On Nuclear deterrence, Butler voted ambiguously on the renewal of a Trident system (2007). On anti-terror legislation, Butler voted reliably with her Government throughout, and, in 2009, voted to keep the maximum period of detention without charge for terrorist suspects at 28 days (instead of a lower period).

On such fundamental political issues of the day, Butler's priorities were wrong or muddled. Labour Party members may be prepared to forgive her past mistakes but I doubt if the electorate will be quite as tolerant. Greens stand for a radical break from the barely distinguishable politics of the three main parties and we shall fight the General Election on that basis.

26 Nov 2013

HANDS OFF COPLAND SCHOOL

Hands off Copland School - Public Meeting Thursday

The Copland Action Committee, supported by ATL, GMB, NASUWT and NUT have organised the
public meeting below as Copland faces forced academisation. This will leave NO local authority
secondary schools in the London Borough of Brent.

STOP GOVE'S PRIVATISATION OF
 SCHOOLS FOR PROFIT

HANDS OFF COPLAND SCHOOL

 THURSDAY DECEMBER 28TH 7PM

 Holiday Inn, Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 8DS

Map LINK

A public meeting for staff, parents, pupils 
and the community

Age UK London Older People's Manifesto for the 2014 Local Elections Consultation Event.

the Age UK London Older People's Manifesto for the 2014 Local Elections Consultation Event.

The details are as follows:

Date: Thursday 28th November
Time: 11.00am (10.30am registration)
Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, Shaftesbury Avenue,  235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP
Transport: Nearest Tube Stations - Tottenham Court Road(Central Line, Northern Line) 0.2 miles walk OR Holborn (Central Line, Piccadilly Line) 0.3 miles.
Bus: Number 134 stops right outside the church. Many other buses stop on New Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road including numbers 7, 8, 10, 25, 55, 73 and 98. 

Free lunch is provided. Registration is from 10.30am and the event will start promptly at 11.00am.

Also, as a reminder, this event is for a manifesto covering the 2014 Local Elections and only policy and issues dealt with by local councils will be relevant to the discussion.

Some areas of discussion will be: 

Social Care and Health
Learning and Leisure Services
Housing
Local Economy
Other Local Council Services

If you would like to discuss one of these issues predominately, please could you reply to me as soon as possible and we will endeavour to meet your request.

The bottom of this email has a link to print or download tickets: YOU CAN IGNORE THIS. I have all of your details and you will NOT need a ticket to gain entry to the event.

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Kind Regards

Danny Elliott
Communications and Campaigns Officer
Age UK London

E: delliott@ageuklondon.org.uk
T: 020 7820 6778

Older People's Manifesto for Local Elections 2014: Consultation

Hosted by Age UK London

Thursday, 28 November 2013 from 11:00 to 14:00 (GMT)

Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, Gt Lon WC2H 8EP  | Directions

24 Nov 2013

Councillors Against Cuts' statement

New statement for a fighting policy against all local government cuts

We issue a new statement below in the lead up to the 2014 budget discussion calling for a refusal by Labour councils to implement cuts. Printable statement from this link
If you are a councillor elected on a Labour ticket, please give it your support.
If you are a Labour Party, trade union or other anti-cuts activist please challenge your local councillors to sign and add your support this statement (email councillorsagainstcuts@gmail.com).

The cuts that will be demanded of local government over the next 2 years will be “the end of local government as we know it.” says Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council. Sir Merrick Cockell, Tory Chairman of the Local Government Association, reveals that the latest round of budget cuts would lead to some councils going bankrupt. But what do the proposed cuts mean in human terms?
They mean:
  • Misery for the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost or are losing their jobs.
  • Anguish for the elderly, children and their carers, the poor, the undernourished, the educationally deprived who will lose the right to a dignified life.
  • The loss of democratically accountable services run for the public good to private institutions overwhelmingly motivated by profit-making.
We believe that what the government is doing to our communities is immoral. But we cannot denounce their actions without doing our utmost to stop them.
For years councils have claimed that if they didn’t implement cuts then Pickles’ underlings would come in and take control of the council services. But it is compliance with government cuts and the under resourcing of staff in Birmingham that is giving the Tories the excuse to take control of the Council’s child care services.
We do not accept that the local government cuts are necessary. Not in this era of increasing inequalities of wealth, low tax rates on the super-rich and huge profits for the banking sector and their senior staff.
We cannot simply wait for the general election. Implementing cuts will not help Labour beat the Tories. Instead it will make it harder to mobilise working class votes if Labour-led councils are:
  • handing out masses of redundancy notices and
  • cutting services or implementing charges that make it even harder for ordinary people to make ends meet.
We pledge
  • To fight the cuts demanded by the Tories and not just criticise them
  • To campaign alongside unions and the rank and file of local government workers in explaining to the public why these cuts are unjustified and to mobilise in opposition to them.
  • To support local government workers in their fight for jobs and for the protection of local government services.
  • To defend the living standards of working class communities by refusing increased charges or taxes.
  • To refuse to vote for budgets that will lead to an attack on jobs or reduce services.
We call on trade unions and the Labour Party nationally to support both councillors in the council chamber or workers in the workplace that oppose these cuts.
We call on the Labour Party to pledge that if successful at the next general election they will restore local government funding so that councils can do the job that was expected from them – providing care, education, housing, and other services for our people regardless of income and outside the grasping hands of companies driven by profit.
Cllr Kevin Bennett, Warrington Council
Cllr Greg Marshall, Broxtowe Borough Council
Cllr Gill Kennett, Hull City Council
Cllr George Barratt, Barking and Dagenham Council
Cllr Waida Forman, Harlow District Council

Fuel Poverty Action protest Tuesday 26/11/13 at 11:30am

Fuel Poverty Action's photo.

Tuesday 26/11/13 at 11:30am
Outside the Royal Exchange, by Bank Station, to march to NPower offices together


23 Nov 2013

Brent Greens condemn UKBA raids in Willesden Green

Reacting to this week's raids and stops in Willesden Green by the UK Border Agency, Shahrar Ali, the Green's 2010 parliamentary candidate for Brent Central said:
This is the week when a sign stationed in Willesden Green read, 'How safe is your home or business, Think burglar,'

To the contrary, local residents and shopkeepers have suffered the shocking tactics of random interrogation and smashed in doors:
'Think UKBA'
The people of Brent will not stand for it.


22 Nov 2013

UK-BA, Willesden wants you to go away!

Giving out 'bust cards' at Willesden Green station earlier today

Brent Council may have targeted Willesden Green this week for probably (I hope!) good reasons, but I didn't expect the UK Border Agency's officers to join in.

UKBA officers were spotted in a Willesden Green cafe this lunchtime and told a customer they were due to do an 'intelligence led' stop operation in cooperation with local police at the station later. They disappeared into the SNT 'shop' which is close to Sarah Teather's office.

Immediately Brent anti-racists organised a group to give out 'bust cards' which advise people of their rights if stopped by the immigration police.

It soon became clear that this was not the first UKBA visit this week. We were told by local shopkeepers of a raid two days ago when shops were the target. Officers blocked shop doorways while officers went inside to question staff on their immigration status and take photographs. Customers were put off by the heavily built officers with their all black uniforms and taciturn manner. Shopkeepers found their presence threatening and one said that he had lost 2 hours of custom as result of the raid.  We were told that there had been at least one arrest.

A young man, seeing what we were doing,  hovered near us and eventually plucked up the courage to speak to us.

He told us about a 6am raid, at his nearby address, by what sounded like combined a UKBA/local police unit. He and his friends were woken by police who had come through the front door and were battering on their door. The police said if the door was not opened they would break it down and then proceeded to do so.

The flatmates, all Italian and in their early 20s, were terrified as anyone would be in such circumstances. Their papers were demanded and checked.  They were told that intelligence had suggested there were illegal  immigrants in the flat.  The tenants are hoping that the landlord will repair the smashed door. Meanwhile they are extremely nervous and shocked by the experience.

As we were giving out the cards several people came up to express concern about what they saw as 'police state' tactics.

In the event, perhaps because of our presence, by 5pm no UKBA officers had turned up.

A reader has added the following worrying comment:

A further update: The immigration operation in Willesden today (Friday) was carried out on Willesden Lane. Motorists were stopped by the police using the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system and then handed over to immigration officers to have their identities checked. The legality of this is questionable - immigration officers MUST have intelligence indicating an immigration crime has been committed otherwise they do not have the power make anyone answer questions - people have the right to walk away and not answer their questions. Were the people being questioned told that they were not required to answer questions?

On speaking to some of the shopkeepers in Willesden today it appears that some Council officials were present during these operations. After Councillor Butt's outspoken (and welcome) criticism of the racist van a few months ago it would be very disappointing to hear that Brent Council is colluding with the Home Office in these highly dubious and possibly illegal activities.

Is this all part of Brent Council's Willesden Week of Action? If so, it is far more sinister than we thought.


The People's Assembly: Hands off our Unions


Hands off our Unions

Defend the right to resist


The People's Assembly has launched a new statement in today's Guardian in defense of our trade unions following recent attacks from the government. Please ask everyone to sign this statement, share on facebook and twitter and forward this email to your collegues, friends, family etc.

"The government’s announcement of an inquiry into trade union tactics is further proof of its determination to undermine the right to protest against its austerity programme.
David Cameron’s speech at the recent Lord Mayor’s banquet has revealed the government is determined that there will be no end to austerity.
The trade union’s customary right to strike and the right to protest are fundamental liberties that have already been significantly restricted by anti-union laws and other legislation. This inquiry is a new Tory-Lib Dem assault on the unions, demonstrated by the fact that the appointed chairman is the former QC for British Airways who led the attack on Unite the Union during the previous dispute between Unite and BA in 2011.
As millions of people face falling real wages, unemployment, part time or casualised low paid work, and the rapid destruction or privatisation of the welfare state they stand in need of trade union organisation and the right to protest more than ever.
We pledge ourselves to resist this attack. The right to protest is a fundamental civil liberty. The right to join an effective trade union is the product of generations of working class resistance. We have no intention of relinquishing it to a Government with no interests in the needs of working people."

Initial signatories:

Len McCluskey, Unite the Union, Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services Union, Christine Blower, National Union of Teachers, Michelle Stanistreet, National Union of Journalists, Manuel Cortes, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, Billy Hayes, Communication Workers Union, Matt Wrack, Firebrigades Union, Mick Whelan, Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, Ian Lawrence, NAPO, Tony BennMaxine Peake, Actress, Sam Fairbairn, Secretary, The People’s Assembly, Steve Turner, Unite the Union & Chair, The People’s Assembly, Romayne Phoenix, Co-chair, The People’s Assembly, Owen Jones, Journalist & The People’s Assembly, Jeremy Corbyn MPJohn McDonnell MPCaroline Lucas MPMurad Qureshi, London Assembly Member, Cllr Rania KhanMark Steel, Comedian,Francesca Martinez, Comedian, Roger Lloyd Pack, Actor, Carolyn Jones, Institute of Employment Rights, Andrew Murray, Unite the Union, Dave Smith, Blacklist Support Group, Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary, Zita Holborne, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition, Kate Hudson, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Lee Jasper, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Aaron Keily, Black Students Officer, NUS, Alex Kenny, NUT national executive, John Rees, Counterfire, Paul Mackney, former General Secretary, UCU,Salma YaqoobJames Meadway, Senior Economist, New Economics Foundation,John Hilary, War on Want, Rob Griffiths, Communist Party of Britain, Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper, Andrew Burgin, Left Unity, Roy Bailey, singer / songwriter,Mark Barratt, Occupy campaigner, Clare Solomon, former president, ULU, Fred Le-Plat, Socialist Resistance

Appeal from Owen Jones


Dear People’s Assembly supporter,
What a fortnight it’s been! Hopefully you enjoyed reclaiming Guy Fawke’s night on the 5 November, and seeing the reports of actions taking place up and down the country, from occupations of banks and Jobcentres to roadblocks and protests targeting privatisers and tax evaders. On Westminster Bridge, people fed up with choosing between eating and heating burnt their energy bills alongside guys of Cameron and Clegg. Thousands of new people are participating in the anti-austerity movement; the historic-sized rallies, meetings and actions in many towns and cities are testament to that.
It’s clear: the People’s Assembly founding conference in June launched a new movement. The 4,000 people who attended agreed to spread the People’s Asssembly movement across Britain; since then, over 80 local People’s Assembly groups have been set up with more springing up each day. This really is a fantastic achievement;  our local groups were instrumental in mobilising for the massive 29 September demonstration at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.
But we’re up against a government addicted to austerity, forcing millions into poverty while the wealthiest get richer. We have started to challenge this but if we want real change, we need to build a movement that mobilises millions of people.
So, we’re are organising a re-call People’s Assembly conference for early next year to help make this happen. We’ll be working with the unions and the TUC for a national demonstration in London this spring. We’ll continue supporting the growth of local groups, with a whole series of national initiatives including further days of action. And most crucially, we’ll work hard to engage with new organisations and individuals, and bring them into the People’s Assembly!
This means we urgently need to set up a functioning national office. So we’re asking every supporter of the People’s Assembly to set up a regular monthly donation. No amount is too big or small – if everyone on this list gave just £3 a month we’d have the resources we need to properly support our local groups and national campaigns.
Please help us build a movement impossible to ignore. Set up a monthly donation here:
Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to working with everyone in the coming months.
Owen Jones

21 Nov 2013

Caroline's comment on 'Green Crap'

From: steve.harman@greenparty.org.uk
Subject: [GPMediaNet] Caroline's comment on 'Green Crap' - please send to your local media contacts
CC: gpmedianet@lists.greenparty.org.uk
To: wallddd@hotmail.com

 Lucas: PM’s attitude to green levies shows his contempt for the most 
 vulnerable

Commenting on reports that the Prime Minister has dismissed fuel bill 
 levies that fund energy efficiency measures, as “green crap”, Caroline 
 Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:

 “These levies include funding for energy efficiency measures which help 
 low income households cope with soaring energy prices.

 “Whatever language the Prime Minister has used to describe them, his 
 determination to roll them back says everything about his contempt for 
 the most vulnerable, and his lack of interest in serious action to 
 tackle climate change, or to bring down fuel prices in the long term

 “By focusing the debate on green levies, which represent only a 
 fraction of energy bills, the Government is obscuring the real reason 
 for rising costs – which is the increasing wholesale price of gas, and 
 the profits of the Big Six energy companies.

 “If the Prime Minister really wanted to help families with their fuel 
 bills, he’d be investing in a major energy efficiency programme to 
 super-insulate the country’s housing stock. This would bring nine out 
 of ten homes out of fuel poverty, quadruple carbon savings, and create 
 up to 200,000 jobs.”

20 Nov 2013

Inaugural Meeting for Green Seniors

The details for the Inaugural Meeting for the Green Seniors are:

Friday 29th November 2013  7pm  Development House.Leonard Street, near Old Street Station.

Please bring along your ideas for this new group and list of issues you feel we should address.

I look forward to meeting you all.
 
Maureen Childs MBCS BSc CITP FRSA
Tower Hamlets Green Party
Press Officer
mobile 07979 386683

17 Nov 2013

GIVING AN EMPTY CRISP PACKET A GOOD KICKING.

Although I am a poet of sorts and enjoy and use metaphor, I don’t like the rhetorical use of the word “fight”, as in “We will fight global warming”. Obviously this example isn't brilliant because it literally advocates impossible actions but it would be possible to, say, “fight to defend the NHS”, but in the contemporary UK (or most of it, most of the time), this kind of exhortation, is, so far, purely rhetorical, and most of those who use such slogans know it.

Strict pacifists sometimes object, that you shouldn't even metaphorically call for violence, and I have some sympathy with this, because as the example of jihadis from Britain going to wars like the one in Syria illustrates, sometimes some people will take it seriously. However my main objection is that it can easily make sensible political demands look ridiculous; something which the headline writers of Socialist Worker often do and even of the second edition of the Eco-Socialist is also in danger of.

Perhaps in the context of British leftie politics “fight” has become so usual that its hardly noticed by some seasoned protesters but when a local Lib-dem ward newsletter* states under the sub head “FIGHTING TO KEEP OUR STREETS CLEAN”, that LD councillors and the Brent Central MP are “…fighting to keep our streets free from litter, fly-tips and dumping.” I get worried.

I get worried because they know where I live, they have access to the electoral register, and they just put their ward newsletter through my letterbox. I know the ward newsletter to be the first snowflake in an impending avalanche of electoral piffle in the run up to local and euro elections in May 2014 and so I will carefully place it in the appropriate recycling bin, in case a “FIGHTING” Lib-dem litter vigilante beats me up. Who knows, on the way out to the bin, I may spot Sara Teather MP or Councillor Alison Hopkins engaged in mortal combat with an errant bin liner or giving an empty crisp packet a good kicking.

(*ward newsletter for Dollis Hill, Neasden and Cricklewood published pp  Brent Liberal-Democrats delivered in Dollis Hill 17/11/2013)

Cricklewood Winterfest 23rd November 2013 (1- 6pm)


Cricklewood Winterfest 23rd November 2013 (1- 6pm)

by creativecricklewood
Cricklewood will usher in the festive season with Winterfest onSaturday 23 November 2013.  St Michael's and All Angels Steel Band will get the party started.
The event will see the day's activities themed around light, with a hand-made gift market, hot food stalls, street theatre, a laser-light show, arts and crafts, mulled wine, stage entertainment and carols.
The festivities will last from 1 pm to 6pm outside the Crown Moran Hotel and on Yew Grove, which will be closed to traffic.
*  Cricklewood Winterfest - Laser Light Show
Cricklewood Winterfest will have a spectacular finale of a laser light show from 5 pm till 6 pm outside the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood Broadway.
World-renowned industrial designers and makers Haberdashery London have designed bespoke festive lights for the town centre. The lights are not only unique to Cricklewood, but will also offer reduced maintenance and running costs. The lights will be switched on at 5:30pm.
Laser Light Show by ER Productions - www.er-productions.com
*  Candlelight Lantern Procession
Banish those dark evening blues and join the candle lit procession at next Saturday's Cricklewood Winterfest.
Creative Cricklewood FREE Lantern workshop at 1 pm on 23 November - make your lantern for the lantern procession at 3 pm at Beacon Bingo.
*  A chance to be a celebrity for an evening!
Every child in taking part in the lantern procession will be entered in a draw to switch on the Cricklewood Festive lights.  All children under 11 years are invited to take part in the procession and the draw.
Meet at Beacon Bingo at 3 pm on Saturday 23 November and children are encouraged to dress up festively whether it's angels, faires, elves, mini santas or baby baubles - or any dressing up outfit is fine.  ALL CHILDREN IN THE LANTERN PROCESSION MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT.
It promises to be a magical affair, hope you will join in. The procession route will be from Beacon Bingo, up Cricklewood Lane, into the Groves and back to the Crown Moran.  We are looking for adult volunteers to line the route so let us know if you can help.
For more details on the lantern procession and the Winterfest take a look www.cricklewood.net
*  Winterfest - Street Theatre
Fire Poi from Poi Passion at the Winterfest on Cricklewood Broadway
*  Peforming at the Cricklewood Winterfest - Monooka's Caravan
Award winning Romanian singer-songwriter Monooka who founded Monooka's Caravan
*  Reminder - Spot the Oddity Competition
Join in Cricklewood's new competition: Spot the Oddityhttps://t.co/SuMu2M3ea
When you have found all the oddities, take your completed form back to Rudolph in the Christmas Grotto on Saturday 23 November from 2 - 5 pm.  Each entrant will receive a goody bag and they will be entered into a draw to win our giant polar bear!
*  Winterfest Programme
2 - 4 pm (with intervals) - St Michaels Steel Band on Yew Grove
2.30 pm - Alistair Hughes and group
3 pm for 3.15 pm - Lantern procession from Beacon Bingo, via Cricklewood Lane / Yew Grove, to the Crown Moran Hotel.
4 - 6 pm - Poi Show performances on Yew Grove and outside the Crown
4.05 pm - Mora Road School Choir singing outside the Crown Moran Hotel by the Christmas Tree
4.15 pm - Monooka Romanian Band
4.45 pm - Poi fire show outside the Crown
5.00 pm - Laser Light Show
5.30 pm - Switch on of Christmas lights in Cricklewood
5.40 pm - Laser Light Show
6.00 pm - End

16 Nov 2013

Build a people's park in Cricklewood

Brent Greens joined, local residents, members of the Brent Cross Coalition and even Brent Labour Party members, today in a lively protest against plans to build on Cricklewood's only green space. Brent Greens' demand was for the creation of a People's Park. For  more details of the campaign see the previous post on this blog and for more pictures see Martin Francis' blogpost at http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/dinosaur-and-developer-join-protest.html.

nb: The area concerned is in the borough of Barnet, but it is very close to Brent and parts of Camden, people from all three boroughs frequently use the local shops.

15 Nov 2013

Demonstrate to save Cricklewood's only green space

Demonstrate tomorrow to save Cricklewood's only green space from developers

Outside B&Q :

Unit 1, Broadway Retail Park Cricklewood Lane Cricklewood, London LONDON NW2 

11am Saturday 
November 16th

Brent X Coalition LINK

14 Nov 2013

BRENT ARTS/creativecricklewood ARTS NETWORKING EVENING 21st November 6.30pm-9pm

ARTS NETWORKING EVENING in Association with BRENT ARTS – 21st November 6.30pm-9pm

by creativecricklewood
networking_1
Join us for a celebratory Arts Networking Evening in association with Brent Arts at The Sala Room, Crown Moran Hotel, 21 November 18.30-21.00
Meet like minded creative professionals, share ideas and celebrate the arts in Brent in 2013 with the Arts team. *Includes film screening of Willesden Green Memories Project, a complimentary glass of wine and nibbles.
BRENT_Arts_logo_2_10170a
creativecricklewood | November 14, 2013 at 11:59 am | Tags: Brent Artsthe crown | Categories: Creative CricklewoodEvents | URL: http://wp.me/p1S3oF-gz
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6 Nov 2013

Mass Council Tax Summons in Brent


Tuesday, 5 November 2013


Mass Council Tax Summons

 in Brent



BBC London TV News was out at Willesden Magistrates Court
 today, covering reaction to Brent Council's mass summons
 of 512 people over  Council Tax matters — where only 22 
turned up! The protest was organised largely by Unite 
Community and anti-debt charity Zacchaeus 2000, with
support from Brent Fightback, Brent Housing Action and 
Kilburn Unemployed Workers  Group -- one of whose 
members was part of the early warning system for the
mass summons.The vast majority who did not turn 
up will be subject to liability orders that will deduct
'money owed' directly from their pay or benefits and 
make them subject to court costs. Will anyone
responsible for this policy take the time or 
trouble to investigate why the 490 who did not turn up 
did not turn  up? Perhaps they were too ill, or out at 
work. As someone recently  tweeted, perhaps the
only part of government in the UK that is really
listening to us is GCHQ?I spoke to the BBC 
cameraman outside  while most of the 
campaigners who remained were in court. He
told me that he had done the filming of the Friday 18 
October  Camberwell Green Magistrates Court mass
summons over  Council Tax. He observed that 
Camberwell Green was a much better site for open
 air filming and perhaps the best bit of his
filming outside Willesden Magistrates Court in the
rain today as campaigners haranguing Brent 
Labour Council Leader Mohammud Butt. I had 
soon bored with the Butt-baiting,having heard it 
all before, and told Butt that he was leading
 people into quicksand with his 'only following 
orders' line. The cameraman took consolation 
in that his colleague was covering proceedings
inside Willesden Magistrates  Court, and people 
would later be coming out so he could  do 
more filming.

Morning Star reporter Ryan Fletcher was also 
present, interviewing people present.

Alan Wheatley
Secretary of Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group