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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Friday, 27 November 2015

Treetops Nursery Closure

Treetops is threatened with being closed by Ofsted.  I remember when the current arrangements were set up.  Indeed I helped shaped them after some constituents contacted me.  To close the whole operation down over one unpaid invoice seems a massive over reaction.  I assume that there is a back story that has yet to be made public.

If Treetops does close, it will leave the Council the headache of an empty building for which there is no alternative use.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Desperate Liberal Democrat Bar Chart

I have mentioned before the notorious subject of Liberal Democrat bar charts.  The Liberal Democrats have made an art of distorting election results to mislead the voters.  Following the Kensal Green by election announcement, their first leaflet has an especially desperate example of the genre:

Whereas generally they show their opponents as way behind or about to be overtaken.  Here, they are reduced to pretending that their opponents don't exist.  I guess that they felt they still had to have some sort of bar chart in that place in their standard template, but the 2015 Brent Central General Election result just wouldn't do.  Nor would their dismal 2014 Kensal Green showing

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Where is the New Brent Library Strategy?

Curious to see that Brent Council's Forward Plan still has no item on libraries.  The Libraries Transformation Project, which was effectively the Council's strategy from 2011 until now, has been completed with the opening of Willesden Library.  Officers should be given political direction on the long term future of the service so that they can plan service development, including whatever cuts councillors decide to make to the libraries budget.

The omission is curious, as the Budget included proposals to spin off libraries in some sort of undefined form.  Full scale privatisation would probably be politically controversial, and possibly technically difficult.  Certainly I think separating out the co-located libraries at Harlesden, Willesden and Wembley strikes me as a tricky issue.

The whole design of these three libraries is based on blurring the distinction between the library and the co-located service.  For example at Willesden Library, you have to go through the library to reach the Musuem, archives, one stop shop, art gallery and meeting rooms.  A new arms length arrangement goes in the opposite direction of trying to separate everything out again.

It reads to me as a line put in the budget by someone for financial reasons without really understanding how Brent Library services work. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Brawl in Tubbs Road

Reports of a massive night time brawl in Tubbs Road.  Boris Johnson's massive cuts to local police in Brent and across London are hardly going to help deal with this sort of thing.  Andy Burnham has written to Theresa May to think again on the police cuts.  Lets hope she listens. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Kensal Green By Election

Kensal Green is now gearing up for a by election following the sad death of Cllr Dan Filson.  There are five candidates standing, including what I think is the first ever UKIP candidate to stand in Kensal Green.  Only two candidates _ Labour and Liberal Democrat _ actually live in the ward.  Polling Day will be 17 December.