Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
Labour Party Londonwide

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Navin's News for July 2013

Go home or face arrest says the Home Office

The Home Office plans to drive vans through Brent and five more boroughs in London with adverts calling on illegal immigrants to leave.

The adverts on the vans say: "In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. Text HOME to 78070 for free advice, and help with travel documents. We can help you to return home voluntarily without fear of arrest or detention."

The areas that have been targeted by the Home Office is Brent, Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Ealing, Hounslow and Redbridge because they have had either significantly higher or below average numbers of voluntary returns.

I know that immigration in the UK needs to be tackled, but I am shocked to see plans to drive vans around Brent and five other boroughs in London. This will have a detrimental impact on the hugely diverse and harmonious community in Brent. The problem of illegal immigration has to be tackled properly and a campaign like this will only divide and discriminate communities.

We have worked very hard to have a borough which is an outstanding example of a multi-cultural community and this discriminatory propaganda by the Home Office will cause serious harm and raise tension in the community.

Pressure on Boris to stop cuts to Fire Service

Local London Assembly Member Navin Shah today voted for a motion urging the Mayor of London to fully fund the London Fire Brigade to stop the closure of 10 fire stations. The London Assembly voted to call on Boris to reconsider his proposals to close 10 fire stations and cut 14 fire engines and draw up measures that avoid the need for cuts to the fire service in London.

Last week the Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) voted down the Mayor of London’s cuts agenda and put forward an amendment that the Mayor should fully fund the London Fire Brigade to keep the current provision of fire stations and engines. The Mayor is seeking advice as to whether he direct LFEPA to implement his cuts and disregard LFEPA’s decision.

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The Mayor must reconsider his position, drop his plans to close 10 fire stations and fully fund the London Fire Brigade. We have seen an unprecedented level of engagement and response against Boris’s cuts to the London Fire Brigade. If he wants to, let the Mayor play with the fire but we are not prepared to sign up for this reckless plan.

 

Ends

 

Notes

  1. London Fire Brigade Cuts Motion, 24 July 2013:

Motion in the name of Fiona Twycross AM seconded by Valerie Shawcross AM:

This Assembly condemns the financial constraints being imposed on the London Fire Brigade by the Mayor that led to proposals to close fire stations and cut fire engines.

This Assembly therefore supports the decision by the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to reject the proposed cuts to the London Fire Brigade.  These cuts were rejected by:

  • Over 1,300 Londoners who attended the 24 meetings
  • The 21,770 Londoners who signed 13 petitions opposing the plans
  • And 94% of the online consultation responses received by the London Fire Brigade

We call on the Mayor to provide the necessary funding to enable the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to maintain the front line response service that the population of this city demand.

 

Barnet Council pushes through the Welsh Harp Planning Application for demolition and redevelopment of West Hendon Estate

Barnet Council yesterday (on Tuesday 23 July 2013) ignored strong objections from local residents to refuse the Welsh Harp planning application for demolition and redevelopment of West Hendon Estate.

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The committee room was packed with residents and representatives of stakeholder organisations objecting to the ill-conceived and harmful planning scheme which would destroy this key site of major local, Londonand National importance. Prior to the meeting demonstrators gathered outside the Town Hall for a rally.

I spoke for Brent residents when I addressed the planning committee and conveyed his strong objection to the application.

The application will now go to London Mayor Boris Johnson, who can either wave through the scheme or direct Barnet Council to refuse it on planning rounds.

This shocking decision by Barnet Council will obliterate the beautiful landscape, tranquillity and ecological values of a site which is supposed to be protected for its scientific interest.

On every single key issue like the density, urban design (height of blocks), housing, community facilities and transport and traffic, the application is seriously flawed and does not comply with Barnet nor the London Mayor planning policies. 29 Storey tower block may be fine for Manhattan but spells a disaster for Welsh Harp.

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Overdevelopment with four-fold increase of population and tower blocks on this site is a solution from hell – one that will vandalise this site of exceptional beauty and importance.

It is dreadful that Barnet Council has failed to listen to the local communities in Brent and Barnet and it’s equally disgraceful that the Mayor of London has failed to raise concerns about this seriously flawed application during his Stage 1 examination. The Mayor will now have a final say on this application and I will be lobbying him to reject this application. I urge residents and campaigners to press Mayor Johnson for refusal and save this significant spot of natural beauty from permanent destruction.

Boris forces through fire cuts

It was revealed today that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will continue to force through his cuts to the London Fire Brigade. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) will meet next week to vote on the Mayor’s plans. The documents for that meeting – which were published this afternoon – show that the Mayor has backed down and will not close Clapham and New Cross Fire Stations. However, he will continue to try and force the rest of fire cuts through.

The Mayor wanted to close 12 fire stations, cut 18 fire engines and axe 520 firefighters. The updated plans released today show that Clapham will stay open, but will lose one of its two fire engines; Chelsea Fire Station will keep both of its fire engines; East Greenwich Fire Station will receive a second fire engine; and New Cross Fire Station will remain. This now means that 10 fire stations will still close with the total loss of 14 fire engines.

The stations that are now planned to close are Belsize, Bow, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich.

The stations that will still lose a fire engine are: Chingford, Hayes, Leyton, Leytonstone, Peckham and Whitechapel.

I’m pleased that the Mayor has listened to local residents and has scrapped his reckless plans to close Clapham and New Cross Fire Stations. However, he needs to keep open the other 10 fire stations and 14 fire engines that he is trying to cut. At public meetings Londoners spoke with one voice against these cuts. Why has Boris not listened to Londoners fully and saved the other stations and engines as well? This looks like he is trying to divert attention from his other cuts, but we will keep fighting them as they are totally unnecessary.

We all know that savings have to be made, but the London Fire Brigade has already saved £66million from the back office. Boris is cutting too far and all to fund his penny a day council tax cut. What would you prefer, a penny a day or a fully funded fire service that can respond to incidents more quickly?

Public meetings have shown that Londoners are fearful for the safety of the areas where they live and work. They are understandably worried about injuries and fatalities from fire. I am deeply disappointed that Boris has failed to protect London’s fire brigade by scrapping his plans. He has let Londoners down with his plan to close 10 fire stations and axe 14 fire engines, after all this is about the protection of the whole of London.

65 years of the National Health Service

This week the world celebrates 65 years of the National Health Service. I’m immensely proud of our NHS – it touches all our lives at some point. Admittedly, there are times when it makes us frustrated, but there are more occasions when we realise how lucky we are to have our NHS and the high class care and treatment it provides.

The majority of us were born in an NHS hospital, we’ll have our babies in an NHS hospital and in our old age, the chances are they’ll provide care for us of the best quality. We are all aware of the challenges the NHS faces in the future and the problems it is confronted with now - trolley waits in A&E, waiting times for operations and pressure from emergency admissions.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the NHS a “60-year-old mistake” but a poll this year revealed the truth to be the opposite. 37 per cent of our community are most proud of the NHS above all other institutions. Across London, eight A&Es are earmarked for closure. This includes Central Middlesex Hospital. As a local resident and from own experience as a patient I can vouch for the excellent quality of service this hospital provides. I’m also seriously worried that the closure of A & E at Central Middlesex Hospital would mean extraordinary pressure on the A & E at Northwick Park Hospital which is already facing sever crisis with over 4 hours waiting times. If there was a time to fight to keep the NHS, this is it.

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I’ve celebrated 65th Birthday of the NHS by participating in a demonstration with the Nurses and members of our community outside the Department of Health. I’d also be marking this momentous occasion by engaging with our local communities in our High Streets in Brent and Harrow over the next weekends. Happy 65th Birthday, here’s to the next 65! Let us do everything we can to preserve and enhance our valuable asset that the NHS is.