James Denselow's Councillor Blog
Commentary on politics and local matters in Queens Park, Brent

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Ken Livingstone's Manifesto for London

At a time when people are being squeezed by higher fares, rents, and heating bills, Londoners need a Mayor who is in touch and understand the pressures that they face every day. They need a Mayor who will make them better off.


Kensal Rise Library Reverts to All Souls

A press release from Brent Council announced today:

Cricklewood and Kensal Rise land reverts to All Souls College

On Tuesday, 10 April, Brent Council wrote to All Souls College, Oxford requesting the transfer documents to revert the land which formerly housed Cricklewood and Kensal Rise libraries.

The land at Cricklewood and Kensal Rise was given to the Council by All Souls College under the Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854. In both cases the land was used, in agreement with the Act, to provide libraries for residents.

With the closure of the two libraries as part of the Council's libraries transformation programme, the purpose for use has ceased and consequently All Souls College has asserted its legal right and requested that the land is returned.

Although the libraries were closed in October 2011 there has been a delay in the land reverting back to All Souls College to allow for litigation to be considered by the courts. With litigation complete there is now no obstacle to the land reverting to All Souls College.

There was some confusion as those looking to keep the library as a reading room were under the impression that All Souls was supporting their business plan. In fact the Executive Member response, Cllr James Powney, has made clear that:

"The All Souls College solicitor has been writing demanding the building back since 8 Feb 2012. They know that this is incompatible with the FKRL plans, but seem to have ignored this in their communications"

I am following up with meetings with various council and community members to see how we can proceed from here.

Waste Updates

(Brent Council) On the waste front, 2011/12 was a year of fundamental change. The drive to remodel our services and to achieve savings has been relentless.


Keeping streets clean is no longer straightforward. Implementing and sustaining a radically new waste collection system has not been straightforward.


Admittedly, some areas have adapted better than others. Nevertheless, the overall effect is clear.


·         The total waste treatment cost for 2011/12 was £6.8million against a budget of £7.5m. The cleansing reductions have provided a further £2m annual saving.


We have seen a step change in recycling performance.  The green box (April/Sep) v blue bin (Oct/March) comparison, i.e. (old system v new) shows a 55% increase in recycling tonnage collected.


·         The same comparison (April/Sep v Oct/March) for all waste streams shows an 18% drop in landfilled waste, a 36% rise in dry recycling, an 18% decrease in organic waste (seasonal) and a 10% drop in total waste.


·         The full comparison with last year shows a 9% drop in landfilled waste, a 20% rise in recycling and a 3% drop in organic waste.

Kilburn Lane/Harrow Road/Ladbroke Grove junction

Question from Murad Qureshi - What progress if any has been made on the works TfL were going to undertake at this dangerous junction for pedestrians?

Written response from the Mayor

These are not TfL works. The junction of Harrow Road, Ladbroke Grove, and Kilburn Lane is on the boundary of three London boroughs – Westminster City Council (WCC), the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBK&C) and the London Borough of Brent (LB). This junction is therefore not part of the Transport for London Road Network and any scheme proposed here will be borough led.

The junction does however form part of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and consequently any works require TfL’s approval in accordance with the Traffic Management Act (2004).

A meeting was held on 17 October 2011 at Portcullis House which was attended by Glenda Jackson MP, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, officers from WCC, RBK&C, LB, Transport for London (TfL), and a representative of the Kensal Triangle Residents Association to discuss options of improving pedestrian crossing facilities at this junction.

It was agreed at the meeting that subject to approval from LB, RBK&C and TfL, Westminster would implement a scheme to widened the pedestrian islands for a trial period of three months. At the time it was anticipated that the trial scheme could be implemented before Christmas.

Since the meeting on 17 October 2011, Westminster officers have been liaising with TfL and the other authorities to agree the proposed layout of the new islands and the methodology for monitoring the scheme. This has taken longer than originally anticipated, however, we understand that WCC now expect to be in a position to make a formal application to TfL in March 2012 to introduce the scheme.

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