Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News for December 2014

Ofwat announced it will order Thames Water to slash Londoners’ bills

After months of campaigning, the water regulator Ofwat announced it will order Thames Water to slash Londoners’ bills by 5% over the next 5 years.

For the many Londoners struggling to cope with years of stagnating wages and rising living costs that announcement will be a great relief. Water isn’t one of those bills you can avoid, nor do we have a choice about our supplier. For too long water companies have had customers over a barrel – there was nowhere to turn when prices rose.

The 5% reduction will, on average, mean a £17 cut to bills in Brent and Harrow. Whilst that’s encouraging water companies are still allowed to increase their overall prices with inflation. That will mean people could quite quickly end up paying more.

The Mayor of London has taken his eye off the ball in not taking on the utility companies that are squeezing Londoners’ pockets, we on the Assembly will continue to be vigilant to ensure Londoners get their very best value from their water and energy bills.

Thames Water was one of the only water companies in the country to propose price rises, in part it said to fund the new Thames Tideway Tunnel. Whilst the so called super-sewer is important, Ofwat rightly recognised that the project cannot be funded by squeezing yet more out of Londoners' pockets – something I totally endorse.

Navin Shah AM

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22nd December 2014

Demonstration to save small shops at Alperton Station

As the ‘Small Business Saturday’ was promoted and celebrated in Brent and the rest  of the Country, demonstrators gathered outside the Alperton Station to save the much loved local shops who are threatened with permanent closure by Transport for London (TfL). The demonstration was organised by the shopkeepers and I supported this, along with the local Councillors and Barry Gardiner MP.  

On Saturday a large number of local customers, commuters and shopkeepers gathered outside the 4 shop units to demonstrate against the action of TfL who have served notice to the shopkeepers terminating their leases on 19th of December. This will enable TfL to enlarge the units, remove the clutter and refurbish the station. TfL plans to invite tenders in open market when the proposed works are competed sometime in spring next year. 

Alperton Demo .jpg

The plan coincides Brent Councils proposals for regeneration of the area and will see improvement of the forecourt of the station.

It is understandable that TfL wishes to refurbish the station and improve the condition and make it visually attractive by removing the clutter. But the controversy is about their proposal to convert the shop units from existing four small shops to two large shop units. The controversy is also about the entire process and in the way TfL has treated the shop keepers - some of whom have been running their businesses well over twenty years.

The process by TfL to promote refurbishment has been seriously flawed from day one. Shopkeepers have been treated shabbily by keeping them in the dark until very recently. TfL claims that the shopkeepers will have an opportunity to compete and submit tenders but the new large unit will be beyond the reach of these small businesses who would not be able to compete with large ‘Brand’ operators. In their effort to generate more profitable leases TfL is destroying small businesses. I made a last minute pleato Mike Brown, Managing Director of TfL to save these small businesses going under.

Whilst activities are taking place on this Saturday in Brent and in the rest of the Country to celebrate, inspire and promote small businesses, our local small businesses on Alperton Station are threatened with extinction by Transport for London. Ealing Road, like the rest of Brent, provides rich mix of businesses including small family run businesses. I welcome TfL’s proposed efforts to remove the clutter to make the station attractive and improve the forecourt but conversion of small shops to larger units will be the end of the existing small, family run businesses who’ve been serving the local community for decades and acting almost as an extension of customer services of TfL because of their local knowledge. Closing down these businesses makes no sense at all, in fact it’s dangerous, when TfL will soon be closing ticket offices at train stations across London. If TfL goes ahead with their threat, not only this will be the end of small local shops at Alperton station, it would also be death nail to small businesses across London if TfL were to replicate such policies at other stations. I hope TfL will respond positively to my plea to review their plans and withdraw their notices terminating leases of these much loved and valued small businesses.

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8th December 2014

Please complete my survey and forward to people you know

As your London Assembly Member it’s my job to hold the Mayor of London to account and to do that I need your help.

Over the last year London has seen drastic policing cuts, soaring housing costs and transport fares continuing to rise.

 

Your views help me to illustrate the impact of the Mayor’s policies and to ensure the Mayor doesn't get away with more broken promises, that is why I have today launched this year’s Living In London survey. The survey not only gives you the opportunity to have your say on the key issues in the capital but it gives my colleagues and I the vital information we need to help shape our policies for the coming year.

Complete the short survey by clicking here to have your say on how we can improve life for all Londoners.

Sincerely

Navin Shah AM

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3rd December 2014