Minutes of BRAT Committee Meeting 20th January 2015
David Evans (chair) Jane Clist (secretary) Al Forsyth
Mary Loughnan, Jenny Morgan
Councillor Rita Coneelly
Apologies: Franceska Brown, Fiona Finlay, Brian Glasser, Annette Morreau, Mary O’Connor, Celia Purcell, Jacqui Heywood, Cathy Ricketts, Daniel Paul Schulte, Annaliese Richards, Councillor John Duffy
- Minutes of meeting held on 11th November 2014
The minutes were confirmed.
- Jack Quigley-Nicholson
Noted that a card had been received from Carmel Quigley Nicholson, the widow of Jack, thanking BRAT for the floral tribute which had been sent to his funeral.
Noted that the BEST Chair, Alastair Honeyman, intended to hold hustings for the May elections at the Charteris Sports Centre. David would keep BRAT informed.
- Kilburn Neighbourhood Forum
Noted that the next meeting of the Kilburn Neighbourhood Forum would be on 29th January.
The next meeting of the Kilburn and Kensal Neighbourhood Forum, when forthcoming cuts were to be discussed, would be on 21st January and Al would attend.
- Proposed cuts by the London Borough of Brent and the BRAT response
Councillor Connelly explained that there was to be a reduction in local authority spending of £54million over the next 2 years and that the Council was trying to identify its priorities. Children in care and young people with learning difficulties had been identified as priorities.
The first tier of cuts would have to happen straight away, with new funding streams running services with other organisations. The next tier of cuts involved more difficult choices which could result in risks to individuals, such as reducing the services of youth offending teams and reducing adult social care home visits to 15 minutes.
Noted that there was a penalty-free opportunity for Brent to raise the Council Tax, but it had remained fixed at the same monetary level. Agreed that it would be preferable to
raise the Council Tax and maintain services as long as there was an appropriate scheme to protect those who could not afford to pay.
A consultation on the proposed abandoning of the cleaning of residential streets would end on 4th February. The document was 278 pages long. David would circulate BRAT members, possibly with a precis, by email and discuss it with Al after the meeting prior to putting forward an objection. The Council Tax issue would also be mentioned. A leaflet about revised refuse arrangements had been delivered to residents, but it contained no citizens’ action plan, such as the possibility of asking for bulky waste to be removed, regardless of who it belonged to. Noted that the Council had a statutory duty to clean the streets and that the ends of residential streets nearest commercial streets were supposed to be preferentially cleaned. Councillor Coneelly would find out what length of residential street this applied to. Noted also that the gutters needed to be kept clear to avoid the risk of flooding. Noted that London Councils were lobbying for the ability to use business rates from fast food businesses to pay for street cleaning and the policing of street drinking. Noted that fast food businesses required licenses, which had to be renewed periodically and this provided an opportunity to introduce conditions for license renewal.
6. Attendance at House of Commons for events arranged by Glenda Jackson MP
Noted that several BRAT members were going to the event on 2nd February to honour Mary Arnold for her long service as aWard Councillor. David and possibly Al and Anna would be attending an event for residents’ groups on 22nd January, representing BRAT.
Matt was happy to give one to one sessions of webmaster training for the BRAT website to any members willing to do this. David would ask Celia, Judy and Wendy to contact Matt about this. Al would meet with Matt to discuss raising the awareness of BRAT’s activities.
8. Willesden Lane
The time-banded rubbish collections had improved the situation. Agreed that the evening collections should be earlier, so that they happened while the businesses were open. There was problem on the corner of Calcott Road and Willesden Lane where a blue bin belonging to a Chinese restaurant encouraged the dumping of other rubbish. Agreed that it should be moved onto the business’s premises, but that the authorities should be allowed to focus on Waterloo Passage in this regard for the time being before extending the ruling more widely.
The street works had not begun on time, on 19th January, and so would not be finished within this financial year. Al and Brian Glasser would monitor the progress of the works in Willesden Lane. Rita would find out what plans there were for traffic management during the works.
9. Dyne Road
The Council was proposing to develop two sites in Dyne Road, north and south of the road. A preliminary consultation for a pre-planning application had been sent to Dyne Road residents. On the south side, four three-bedroomed houses were proposed, and on the north side, three four-bedroomed houses were proposed. Noted that the eventual tenants of these properties would end up with the right to buy them and they would then be owned privately. David would look into whether it was legally possible to make the properties remain as ‘affordable housing’ in perpetuity. The proposal included the
preservation of car parking spaces, which was not in line with Brent’s policy of zero car parking in new developments.
Noted that there were single storey buildings and Albion Mews near the north site, which should be included in any regeneration plan. Agreed that anything built should be retained as social housing and that these sites would be ideal for small units of accommodation for elderly people. Rita would find out what other options had been considered by the Council. Noted that it might be possible for the Council to work with Transport for London, who had recently refurbished Brondesbury Station, to make the best use of the sites. Al and Rita would have a site visit, possibly on Thursday, and then there would be another site visit arranged with key people from the Council.
Noted that graffiti had appeared on vans and the gable ends of houses in Clarence Road. The Council would remove this if the property owner reported it.
11. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting would be held on 3rd March and the one after that on 5th May.