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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Library Decline

The Guardian reports continuing decline is usage in public libraries across the UK.  As I have pointed out before, Brent's record is markedly better. Once again, Wembley Library comes out as the UK's third most visited (after Norwich and Manchester). 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Small Business Saturday Not Coming to Brent

Yesterday was Small Business Saturday.  At least was in most places.  Brent did not seem to have any promotional events despite it being marked across the rest of the UK.  This seems a shame when areas like Harlesden Town Centre and Ealing Road are particularly notable for the ir independent shops.. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Kilburn Regeneration Finally Under Scrutiny

I have been worried by the lack of public engagement in the South Kilburn regeneration before, so it is good to see that the public are at last demanding a say.  But why has it taken so long?  Possibly the Scrutiny Committee, who have this as an upcoming item, might have some answers.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Butt Sticks out on NHS

In a recent dialogue with Cllr Muhammed Butt, I discovered a reason why Brent Council is apparently so relaxed about the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).  In his view, it is going to enhance service at Central Middlesex Hospital.  

This is, to put it mildly, not a commonly held belief.  Even the STP's defenders think it is being driven partly by expenditure cuts and involves shifting resources away from Central Middlesex, Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals in particular.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP)

It always strikes me as remarkable what attracts controversy and what does not.  Brent Council normally has enormous rows over buildings that, whatever there merits often affect fairly small numbers of users.  By contrast, big policies that affect thousands of people like taking BHP properties back in house get little comment. 

An even more striking example is the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan for North West London.  The Cabinet minutes show little concern over this.  Yet, it is likely to see a substantial downgrading of Central Middlesex and Charing Cross Hospitals, which affects a large part of the southern part of Brent.  Why the reticent response?

Monday, 21 November 2016

Brent Council Finally Updating Air Quality Plan

I am glad to see that the most recent Forward Plan for Brent Council finally includes an update of the Air Quality Action Plan.  I must say it does seem to come rather late in the day.  The last one became due for an update some years ago.  As I have pointed out before, Brent Council's main influence on air quality is through reducing transport emissions.  Its parking policies are not always consistent in this.  Let us hope they sharpen up.