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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Delayed Reactions

I have suggested before that NHS plans in Brent just aren't getting the kind of scrutiny they need.  An example might be the proposals for a common NHS/Council estate strategy.  This has been seen by councillors, but I don't get a sense that there has been any real input as to what the priorities should be or what the strategy should be.  This is the kind of thing that gets pushed through in a committee meeting and suddenly explodes into controversy a long time afterward. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Brent Councillors Last to Know

Cllr Sharma Tatler was appointed to the Regeneration post vacated by Cllr Roxanne Mashari.  This appointment appears to have been made without even bothering to inform the Labour Group, a striking illustration of Cllr Butt's dictatorial style. 

Saturday, 17 December 2016

What is Affordable Housing?

A lot of controversy is generated by the term "affordable housing", since in London especially, it is often far from affordable.  Here is a quick summary of the main types of housing sent to me by a senior housing officer:

Affordable Rent- for family units are usually 60-65% of market rents or the LHA (whichever is the lower), whereas 1-2 bed units are up to 80% of market rent or LHA (whichever is the lower).
Social Rent - averages out at 50% of market rent, may be slightly higher (usually 5%) above Social Rent target rents.
Intermediate Rent- above both Affordable or Social Rent, but will be below the market value, approx. 90% of market rent.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Yet Another Brent Council Executive Change

I understand that yet another member of Brent's Council Cabinet has stood down.  This time it is Cllr Roxanne Mashari.  Prior to Cllr Keith Perrin in September 2014, it was highly unusual for councillors to step down from the Executive.  Now, Cllr Mike Pavey, Cllr Wilheimina Mitchell=Murray and Cllr Roxanne Mashari all appear to have stood down having only been elected in May this year.  What exactly is going on?

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 Birmingham 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..