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



24 Mar 2017

Clean Air for Brent

Clean Air for Brent is a coalition of local residents' groups, Transition Towns, Friends of the Earth and the Council to improve air quality in the borough.  We met earlier this week, and are keen to involve people in having their say on air quality in Brent and also on diesel vehicles, especially in view of the results from our pollution monitoring in October.

Last October we carried out air pollution monitoring in Willesden, Dollis Hill and Cricklewood, and found 7 out of 10 sites were above the EU legal limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), with Cricklewood Broadway being well over twice the limit (see maps here and here).  For more about the project see our online group.

Brent Council
 is consulting residents and businesses on its Air Quality Action Plan for the next 5 years.  You have until Thursday 30th March to add your comments. Please take a little time to read the plan and respond to the survey online here.  You can also email feedback to ens.monitoring@brent.gov.uk

If you have less time, please sign one or more of these petitions against diesel.  It is largely the increase in diesel vehicles that is having such an impact on the air we breathe:

-Ditch diesel in the UK by Friends of the Earth
-One directed at car companies from Greenpeace.
-You can also write to MEPs asking them to clean up vehicle testing.  They will be voting on this issue on 5th April.
And feel free to pass on this email to your friends and family.
Many thanks,
Viv
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Transition Willesden
Making Willesden Green

Universal Credit: Claimants ‘stealing food’ to eat due to benefit delays

Universal Credit: Claimants ‘stealing food’ to eat due to benefit delays

Alan Wheatley

Notes


At Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group's weekly business meeting on Thursday 23 March, though we warmed to the page 2 prominence given to your news story 'Universal Credit: Claimants "stealing food" to eat due to benefit delays: Finance chief warns people are being forced into new debt',(1) we were very concerned at what to us seems a fundamental error in one sentence of your report.

That error concerns the length of wait for Universal Credit payments to be processed. You report, 'In some cases, people are waiting up to six weeks before claims are processed.' Waits as long as six weeks for benefit claims to be processed and "unacceptable" telephone helpline service standards are nothing new and pre-date Universal Credit and even the 2010 General Election. In November 2006 Community Care magazine reported: "MPs slammed Jobcentre Plus for leaving 21 million calls unanswered. Despite government claims of improvements, stories of poor service continue to mount."(2)

Where our 'experts by experience' would disagree with your report is that we believe your report should state, 'People wait a minimum of six weeks for claims to be processed.' Those delays are exacerbated by the income fluctuations caused by processing of Universal Credit claims in zero hours economies; and the DWP's deepening reliance on 'pay-as-you-go' call-centre service delivery that  penalises economically vulnerable people for their vulnerability.

Now, as you report, 'Telephone calls [to the Universal Credit helpline] can cost up to 55p a minute from pay-as-you-go mobile phones, which are commonly used by people with lower incomes. Wait times to speak with an adviser can be very long – one claimant in Camden has reported that their phone bill for a month was over £140, used almost entirely on calls to the DWP.”' That is an all-too-common experience, leading in many cases to rent arrears and subsequent evictions.

This sickening system leads more and more people to sickness and suicide, while the DWP refuses to take lessons from coroners courts and insists instead that disability benefit claimants be reassessed every six months as standard.(3) Against that backdrop, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group will be highlighting local benefits-related suicides on Monday 3 April as follows:

12 Noon: Assemble outside Kilburn Jobcentre, Cambridge Avenue, NW6 5AH for rally with local Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, PCS (jobcentre workers union) National Executive Officer Zita Holbourne and Brent Trades Council Executive Committee.
12:45: Black Flag march to Paddington Cemetry via Kilburn High Road.
13:30: Address at Leon Burmont graveside by Dawn Butler MP and RMT Political Officer Cat Cray.

14:00: Prince of Wales PH, Willesden Lane NW6 for Tea & Sandwiches

14 Mar 2017

A message from Grunwick 40 and mural artist Anna Ferrie



News from Grunwick 40
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A message from Grunwick 40 and mural artist Anna Ferrie


Hello, especially to those who came to our mural workshops in Willesden last year.

We wanted to let you know about progress with the Grunwick 40 commemorative mural as many of you have been asking for an update. We had hoped to have the mural up by now but issues with site permissions and bureaucracy have meant that we can't yet move forward to install the panels. However, the mural composite designs are done and incorporate all of the artwork that was produced in the workshops. We are working hard to speed up the process to ensure the mural can be installed and unveiled within the next few months and we hope be able to bring you a firm date soon. In the meantime, you may be interested in The Art of Protest event later this month where we'll be discussing the different ways that art can be used to remember radical histories. We hope to see you either there or when we launch the mural!


Anna Ferrie and the Grunwick 40 team

10 Mar 2017

Eddie Dempsey, RMT Executive member, is the guest speaker at Brent Trades Council AGM on Wednesday 22nd March.

Eddie Dempsey, RMT Executive member, is the guest speaker at Brent Trades Council AGM on Wednesday 22nd March.

Eddie will speak about the ongoing dispute on Southern Rail over management's attempts to bring in Driver Only Operation, as well as other ongoing disputes, trade union law and other issues affecting trades unionists.

All are welcome to participate in this discussion, which will be followed by our Annual General Meeting, which everyone is welcome to stay for, but only delegates will be entitled to vote.

All welcome, Wednesday 22nd March, 7.30 p.m. at Brent Trades and Labour Hall (`Apollo Club', 375 High Road, NW10 2JR

Please pass this on to others who might be interested

Pete Firmin, chair, Brent Trades Council

6 Mar 2017

"Together" Maria Kaleta private view is taking place this Thursday 9th March 6-9pm



























I kindly invite you to the private view of my latest exhibition opening this week. "Together" is a follow up to my 2015 exhibition "Identity & Coexistence” and concludes my reflections on life at the meeting point of different cultures and traditions.
The private view is taking place this Thursday 9th March 6-9pm at the Gallery at the Library at Willesden Green. Around 7.30pm there will be a short concert by Zosia Bernad - a young traditional voice singer. 
I'm very excited to share these new works with you. See you on Thursday!

Regards,
Maria

About this exhibition
"Together" is a follow up to my 2015 exhibition "Identity & Coexistence” and concludes my reflections on life at the meeting point of different cultures and traditions. In "Identity & Coexistence" I focused on our identities and indissoluble need to understand one’s own place in today’s increasingly complex world. The works presented this year are a summary of my experience of living in London’s multicultural society and the resulting belief that a happy, peaceful future can only be achieved by coming together.
How to build ourselves a better future is a hot topic. The last 12 months have witnessed the breaking down of communities and an increase in protectionism. Perhaps they show that tolerance and acceptance for new cultures must be mutual and changes to how our society functions should be scrutinised in the context of its own history and tradition.
Yet change is inevitable and while it is natural to fear the unknown, it is ignorant to reject something you know little about and refuse to investigate. It is disappointing that the increased virtualisation of our lives and corresponding access to any and all information is instead creating the "filter bubble" and "fake news" phenomena.
Improving the interconnected and globalised world of today for future generations will require cooperation with others. We ought to get better at identifying and learning from each other’s strengths and concentrating on what unites us, not on what divides us.
The artworks utilise an array of printing techniques - some are prints on acrylic, others on 100% cotton paper with the use of pigment ink, drawing blocks and others. A few works from "Identity & Coexistence" make a deliberate reappearance, albeit in a different spatial arrangement.
The exhibition is accompanied by two catalogues - "Identity & Coexistence" and "Together".

Private view
Thursday 9th March6-9pm
- Gallery at the Library at Willesden Green
- 95 High Rd, London, NW10 2SF

Opening times
Gallery at the Library at Willesden Green
7th through 18th March 2017
- Mon to Fri 9am - 8pm
- Sat and Sun 10am - 5pm

Patrons of the "Together " exhibition
- International Print Triennial Society in Krakow / Kaercher
- Borderlant Of Arts, Cultures and Nations Centre–Sejny
- "Muzyka Kresów" Fundation
- Nowy Czas (New Time) London cultural magazine
- Brent Council

Maria Kaleta
Painter and graphic artist, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, Department of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture in 1988 and the National College of Arts – Exposition and Display. Maria’s work includes oil and acrylic paintings on canvas, drawings, pastels, traditional printmaking, computer graphics and installations.
Her art works have been exhibited all over Europe, as well as Russia and Latin America. She lives and works in London where she exhibited at The Mall Gallery, La Galleria Pall Mall, The Menier Gallery, The Espacio Gallery, Chelsea Old Town Hall, along with The Montage and others. She took part in about No170 group and solo exhibitions and has received several awards. Her pencil sketches of London architecture are regularly published in “Nowy Czas” (New Time) London cultural magazine.

Zosia Bernad
Member of the International School of Traditional Music, from 2003 she has concentrated on singing traditional Polish songs.
She has taken part in many festivals in Poland and abroad such as KODY, The Oldest Songs of Europe, Warszawska Jesień, Phil Grobi in Clermont – Ferrand and the Umlaut Festival in Paris. She took part in many musical projects including traditional and experimental music and released her first album last year, Traditional Songs of the Lublin Area.
In the programme there will be traditional songs from the Lublin area, as well as ritualistic songs of Christmas, christenings and weddings. There will also be lyrical songs about unhappy love. The main aspect of these songs is the extent of their scale and rhythm.ale.

"Together" Maria Kaleta  private view is taking place this Thursday 9th March 6-9pm