Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News for May 2012

Respect For All Faiths And Communities

By Navin Shah AM

RESPECT FOR ALL FAITHS

AND COMMUNITIES

During the GLA election campaign and since I’ve read with concern, dismay and hurt, the comments on the issue of Islam attributed to Ken Livingstone. Let me put the record straight.

Ken did not at any point say "I will make London a beacon of Islam". His comments were taken out of context and were completely misrepresented in the Daily Torygraph. I firmly believe that comments condemning Islamaphobia should not and must not be taken as ‘giving one community preference over another’. Ken Livingstone has always stood for the principle that all faiths and cultures contribute to the prosperity and attraction of London.  

Ken made a commitment to Londoners during the election campaign stating: “If I am elected my policy will not be to promote one faith or community over another, as has been suggested, but to promote interfaith and inter-community dialogue. I want my mayoralty to be at the forefront of encouraging dialogue.”

Any suggestion which propaganda from one politically-motivated smear campaign sought to promote was that somehow the Labour Party and Ken Livingstone are not interested in Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. This is total rubbish. The facts, if one is prepared to consider them objectively, are as follows:

The Labour Party is a true champion of justice, fairness and equality for ALL. The same is true for Ken Livingstone. I’m proud of Labour’s record which is second to none.

It was Ken, during his eight years of Mayoralty, that established the celebration of London’s diversity and pioneered the principles of inter-faith work and community cohesion. It was Ken who commenced religious celebrations in Trafalgar Square including promoting the values of the Hindu religion through Diwali and Vaisakhi celebrations. If he was anti-Hindu, which the detractors are portraying him to be, he would not have bothered promoting the values of the Hindu faith.

To an audience in excess of 1000 people, on 7th April 2012 in Harrow Ken gave a commitment that he would celebrate the Jain values in Trafalgar Square and organise an annual celebration in City Hall to recognise the Jain religion as a worldwide religion. This was mentioned in Asian Voice but opponents failed to recognise this, as did the media because it was not a sensational, controversial story to attack Ken and the Labour Party.

 

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If anyone cared to analyse Labour/Ken’s manifesto, they would find that it strongly promotes recognition and celebration of the contribution of all communities and guarantees promotion and support for London wide celebration of our diverse culture.

For my friends, analysts and well-wishers who’ve expressed concerns on this issue in Asian Voice I humbly plead with them to mull over the matters again. If they think that there is need for further clarification I’d be happy to have a further dialogue with them. No amount of adverse comments, politically-motivated campaign will detract or deflect the Labour Party and I from continuing our journey towards equality, community cohesion, fairness and justice for all.

Navin Shah AM praises local man for 25 years in fire service

By Navin Shah AM  

Celebrating at City Hall yesterday, the Harrow Fire Station’s Watch Manager, Pierre Marsh was pleased to accept his award for long-service to the Fire Brigade after 25 years.

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I was extremely happy to attend the ceremony and congratulate such a remarkable man on his fantastic accomplishments whilst he’s been in the Fire Brigade.

Pierre Marsh joined the London Fire Brigade in 1987 and has played an important role over the past 25 years. He was one of the founding members of the Black and Asian Firefighters Group, and is now recognised as a national support group within the organisation.

Proud of his accomplishments, Mr. Marsh said: "The Fire Service, for me, is about a duty of service to London and its communities.

"Being a Fire Fighter is about a journey of development and commitment. I am extremely happy to have won this award and to be recognised for my service to the London Fire Brigade over the last 25 years."

I believe that, it’s invaluable having such dedicated, hard-working people such as Pierre working in the Fire Service for this length of time.

Thirty years is a major milestone and reflects dedication to London’s community and their safety.

It was a pleasure to meet Pierre and congratulate him personally on his outstanding achievement.

Glad To Be Back! Thank You!

By Navin Shah AM

After the ‘enforced’ absence of two months due to the Mayoral and the GLA elections, I’m glad to be back with you to continue our dialogue on the topical issues reflecting my work in the London Assembly, my work in Brent and Harrow and present to you issues of interest. Four years ago, when I started on this journey, I promised my contribution would be informative, interesting, challenging and controversial! And the formula seems to have worked but, I’m always happy to listen, renew, take a new direction and make this dialogue more productive - so if you have any please email me at navin.shah@london.gov.uk.

With minds still fresh from the Londonwide elections – I have taken this opportunity to reflect on the campaign and the results. I am deeply disappointed that Ken Livingstone didn’t win the Mayoral contest. In paying tribute I simply wish to reiterate my comments in my first Asian voice column of August 2008: “The tragic outcome of the Mayoral election was the loss of Ken Livingstone –a true Londoner, a peoples’ person of the highest integrity and above all vision and dedication. It is due to that vision and single-minded drive of Red Ken that the London has been transformed into world’s leading capital which takes pride in its rich diversity and its historic and contemporary heritage”.

My congratulations to Mr. Boris Johnson on his re-election with a wafer thin majority and hope that in his second term he’ll show leadership, vision and ideas for London missing in his first term. Labour made some major gains across the country in council elections and gave the Tory and LibDem coalition, who’ve plunged the country in double-dip recession, a real drubbing. In London too Labour made significant gains on the London Assembly increasing its seats from 8 to 12 including unseating Mayor Johnson’s key lieutenants and came close to removing two more.

Labour ran a positive, progressive campaign, addressing the concerns of ordinary working Londoners who are struggling to make ends meet, and are hardest hit by the government’s cuts which are too far and too fast. We campaigned on pledges to deal with the cost of living in London including bringing down fares, increasing police numbers, cutting fuel bills and helping families with childcare. These were popular policies on the doorstep, Londoners voted for us to deliver them and we expect the Mayor to work with us to help Londoners.

Complimenting Labour’s Londonwide campaign, I fought my Brent and Harrow campaign on specific issues vital issues to our local community such as tackling the increased level of crime as a result of Tory police cuts, hiked up transport fares, the housing crisis due to the lack of affordable housing being built, soaring private rents and the plight of young Londoners.

 

 

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I am proud, honoured and humbled to be re-elected. I will continue to stand up for the people of Brent and Harrow. I’ll work hard in the London Assembly to hold the Mayor to account and also work locally with our diverse community, voluntary organisations, residents’ associations, community groups and other stakeholders.

Navin Shah AM backs call for tax on bank bonuses to fund jobs as youth unemployment spirals in Brent and Harrow

By Navin Shah AM

Today I called for a tax on bank bonuses to fund work placements for unemployed 16-24 year olds to prevent another ‘lost generation’. My call follows a 6.9 per cent rise in Brent in the last year and 5.17 per cent in Harrow in number of young people out of work for over six months.

It is clear to see that this Mayor and his Conservative government’s policies are failing as we're back in recession and youth and long-term unemployment are continuing to rise.

Large increases in youth and long-term unemployment are deeply worrying and indistinctive of a lost generation, as we saw in the 80s and 90s under the last Conservative Government. We must do all we can to stop that happening again.

To tackle this crisis, I am calling for a tax on bank bonuses to create jobs for 18-24 year olds and get them into work, as well as build much-needed affordable housing in London.

The figures published today reveal that in Brent:

  • There are now 725 young unemployed people looking for work
  • There are now 2695 people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and can’t find work.
  • There are a total of 9981 unemployed people looking for work
  • There are only 1618 job vacancies

The figures published today reveal that in Harrow:

  • There are now 290 young unemployed people looking for work
  • There are now 820 people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and can’t find work.
  • There are a total of 4212 unemployed people looking for work
  • There are only 724 job vacancies

 

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Mayor disregards Harrow-on-the-Hill petition

By Navin Shah AM

I am extremely disappointed’ by the Mayor of London’s response to the 500-signature strong petition submitted last March regarding the lack of accessibility at Harrow-on-the-Hill station.

The petition I submitted at the London Plenary meeting in March, stated that residents and visitors to Harrow want the Mayor of London to restore funding, previously agreed with the former Mayor and TfL, to make Harrow-on-the-Hill fully accessible and integrated with Harrow Bus Station.

Over 500 residents signed the petition.

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The response to the petition, sent by Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, said: “The Mayor recognises that there is more to do to further enhance the accessibility of London’s transport system.

“Harrow-on-the-Hill has been identified in this plan as being in an area for the LU network which should be considered for additional step-free access provision.”

I will continue to lobby the Mayor about this as residents really need and want Harrow-on-the-Hill station to be accessible for them. I am extremely disappointed with the Mayor’s decision, as I’m sure those who signed the petition will be as well.

The £25 million of investment for regeneration and step-free access to Harrow-on-the-Hill Station that the Mayor of London cut in 2008 is desperately needed to make this station a viable transport hub.

One in ten Londoners are excluded from large parts of the transport network because of mobility issues and in Harrow only 4 tube and rail stations out of 14 have step-free access. This is not good enough.

Cllr Sue Anderson, lead petitioner, said: “I was really disappointed to find that despite the campaign to get step-free access for Harrow-on-the-Hill promised to us by the Labour Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone, Boris hasn’t made any such commitment.”

Labour's Navin Shah vows to make Harrow and Brent a better place

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By Anna Slater

Victorious GLA candidate Navin Shah says he has a number of campaigns up his sleeve to “make Harrow and Brent a better place”.

The Labour politician, who has held the Brent and Harrow seat for the last four years, won 70,400 votes in Friday’s election.

He said the wait to find out the winner was “tense and frustrating” because an error with the counting system meant the results were not published until after 11.30pm.

 

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He added: “It was worth the wait, and an incredible feeling when I found out I’ve won it again.

“I feel very humble with the level of confidence I’ve had from the local community and am grateful to them for supporting me.

“I was also very touched, because when I got home a neighbour had left congratulatory banners and a bottle of nice champagne outside my front door.”

He says that his first campaign will involve him working closely with MP Gareth Thomas to help save Harrow’s custody suites, following the Metropolitan Police Authority's announcement last month that they propose to merge the facility with Brent's.

He said: “It’s one of the key issues facing the borough of Harrow at the moment, because if we close custody suites here, there will be less police on the streets of Harrow.

“I am very committed to tackling crime and will also be addressing the issue of police cuts in the area.”

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He added that he would continue lobbying the Mayor for step-free access at Stanmore Station, and would try to ensure that weekend closures on the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines are kept to a minimum.

He said: “I’ll be watching the Mayor like a hawk. The amount of support I’ve received does put greater pressure on me to work even harder, and I won’t let my people down.”