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Monday, 20 March 2017

The Return of Wembley Stadium's Transport Blight

The proposed increase in matches at Wembley Stadium due for consideration at Brent's Planning Committee on Thursday has rightly raised disquiet. 

The increased number of full scale events plus an unknown number of smaller events are bound to lead to more congestion in the Wembley area.  Last time I used the Jubilee line when a weekday match was on the overcrowding stretched from Westminster all the way to Wembley Park.  Dozens more events will impose significant extra burdens on residents in terms of littering, ASB and so on. 

What gets mentioned less often is the possibility of economic blight for businesses.  Constantly impassable roads will make it very hard for non-Stadium related businesses to operate near the Stadium.  There is a real risk that, rather than brave the congestion, the customers of the LDO and other outlets will simply go elsewhere.  The effect might be to create the monoculture around the old Stadium of gross overcrowding whenever a match is on, combined with dereliction outside those hours.  That would be a real step backwards.

I hope therefore, the Planning Committee defers the decision until they have had a chance to analyse the transport impacts thoroughly.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Willesden Jewish Cemetery Lottery Award

No one locally appears to have picked up the good news about Willesden Jewish Cemetery.  It has been awarded a more than £300k grant for improvements.  It is hoped that this might be augmented by further grants.  The plans sound ambitious:

"The ‘House of Life’ project will restore the eight hectare graveyard and create a new visitor centre, cafĂ©, learning centre and permanent exhibition about the cemetery’s history."

It also sounds like there could be a natural tie in with the Brent Museum to work upon some educational projects celebrating Willesden's rich Jewish history.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Willesden Library Cafe Finally Arrives

Willesden Library has finally got a cafe, or at least some one has signed a contract to rent the space.  The tenant is called Delipod, and tends to do "pop up" cafes.  I notice it is locally based, very close to the Library.  Finally seeing something open there will be a great thing to see after so many false starts.  The advantage lies not much in the rent as the sense of extra activity that would be brought to the whole centre.