4 May 2018

Willesden and Neasden jobcentre closures, written parliamentary answer

(acknowledgements to Alan Wheatley and Kilburn Unemployed Workers' Group)
Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department plans to assess the effect of closing Willesden and Kilburn Job Centre Plus in Brent; and if he will make a statement.
·         Hansard source(Citation: HC Deb, 3 April 2018, cW)
In March 2018, the 20-year contract covering the majority of DWPs current estate of over 900 sites came to an end. This presented an opportunity to re-evaluate what we needed from our estate. The increased use of our online services in recent years, coupled with reductions in unemployment and improved efficiency, meant that 20% of the rent being paid by DWP was going toward space we were not using. In response, we have sought to redesign our estate in a way that delivers value for the taxpayer. We would stress that this is not about reducing services, but about taking the opportunity to stop spending money on empty space so we can spend more on supporting those in need.
The face-to-face support our work coaches offer at jobcentres will continue to be a core part of the service we deliver. The Department has a number of co-located colleagues working to support the community in Brent. These include:
·         Troubled families advisers co-located within Brent Local Authority alongside social workers, providing employment and skills support.
·         Work coaches working with the care leaver team within Brent Local Authority providing employment and skills support to care leavers, including appropriate access to relevant benefits.
·         A Work Coach providing employment and skills support on an outreach basis in St. Raphael’s Estate in Brent. This is one of the most deprived estates in the borough. The Work Coach is based in the community hub alongside other local authority service providers.
DWP will also explore with Brent Local Authority jointly funding an employment team to deliver employment advice and guidance through community hubs, which will be located in Willesden, Kilburn, Harlesden and St. Raphael’s Estate. DWP will provide employment and skills support alongside the Employment Team managed by the council, with the aim of having a more holistic support offer working in partnership with Housing, Health and Financial Inclusion advice and support.

2 May 2018

Divest Brent 'Keep it in the Ground' joint meeting with FoE May 8th

Dear Friends 
Thank you again for signing the Divest Brent petition - this is an exciting time for the campaign!
Once the dust settles after this week's council elections, we can start putting pressure on the them again to move on divestment.
In preparation for this we are running, jointly with Brent Friends of the Earth, an event on May 8th called Keep it in the Ground. We're aiming to recruit new supporters who can help grow the petition, build up relationships with councillors and more generally campaign on climate change issues.
If you are interested, full details of the event, which will be at 7:30pm at a meeting room near Kilburn station, can be found on Eventbrite, at the link above. Although the event is free, capacity is limited so please do register.
You can also forward this email on to your friends and family who might be interested - particularly if you do not yourself live in Brent.
Best wishes,
Simon - Co-ordinator - Divest Brent

Simon Erskine started this petition on Fossil Free. If there's an issue close to your heart that you'd like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.

You are receiving this message because you signed the petition "Divest Brent Council from Fossil Fuels". If you don't want to receive emails from the "Divest Brent Council from Fossil Fuels" campaign in the future, please unsubscribe.

1 May 2018

Lesley Jones, former Mayor of Brent has died. Willesden Green election will take place at later date.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Cllr Tom Miller, has announced the death of his Willesden Green ward colleague Lesley Jones. Cllr Jones is a former Mayor of Brent.

On Twitter Cllr Miller said:
So very sad to hear of the passing of my comrade, ward colleague and partner in crime, Lesley Jones MBE. A beatnik in her youth, she was a warm person who took duty seriously - as a ward Cllr, a cabinet member, and as Mayor. Someone to look up to. Thinking of her family.
Lesley Jones was a candidate in Thursday's election. The Willesden Green ward election will now take place within 35 working days of the scheduled May 3rd election. There will be no need for nominations to be resubmitted. The decision was made by Brent Electoral officers in line with Electoral Commission guidelines:
If proof of the death of a validly nominated candidate at a contested election is received before the opening of the poll, the notice of poll is countermanded and the poll does not take place. The PARO must hold a new election.
Brent Labour Party has suspended all campaigning for the rest of the day as a mark of respect to Lesley Jones.

(acknowledgements to

Green message to friends and neighbours from a Wembley resident

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

I would never normally try to influence you on how to vote on Thursday, but desperate times call for desperate measures!

Who can best represent us on the contentious issues of the Regeneration of Wembley? The GREEN PARTY are fielding candidates and in other wards, hopefully an INDEPENDENT.  These may be the very best people to represent us.

I am certainly not against progress and the Regeneration will hopefully bring jobs and prosperity to Brent, but there has to be a sensible balance! This has not happened. Do we really want to see the future of Wembley to be entirely covered in concrete with multi-storey buildings? It would be a nightmare with all the extra congestion,  but that is the way it appears to be going.   Does the Council not think anything is worth preserving of the existing houses, bungalows and flats in Wembley?  I appreciate that the Regeneration of the Stadium and Wembley High Road areas are a "done deal", but we must do better in preserving the other areas of Wembley, which do not fall within the Regeneration.  These could soon also be under threat, so this is why we must act now.

Once they start knocking down a building on a residential  street to build something higher, do you really think they will stop there? It just sets a dangerous precedent for other smaller construction companies to also apply for permission to do the same. Brook Avenue is a case in point. I am sure it will not be long before all the houses with their gardens will be converted to concrete buildings.

The residents fought long and hard to try and stop Heron House on Wembley Hill Road from being turned into a much higher building, but despite all our efforts they received planning permission. Once built, this will certainly start to change the residential character  of Wembley Hill Road. Where will it end?

Quintain promised the residents that they would not only replace every tree which was destroyed, but plant many others around the tall buildings.  This has not happened either.  They will be building a small park, but that is not the same, as it is amongst the very dense high rises that we need more trees and bushes to combat the increased pollution.

Trees do not only enhance an area, they are vital for our good health and well being.  Pollution levels will rise due to the density of the new buildings and this will adversely affect everyone.  We desperately need cleaner air and amongst other things, the best way is to plant as many trees as possible.  I strongly feel that the GREEN PARTY would be the very best party to achieve this and to help us preserve the areas of Wembley we want to continue to live in.

The future of what Wembley will look like in the next 4 years is down to us. Vote wisely!

Warmest wishes,