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 November 2014

Revealed: Boris Johnson considering 90% cuts to education and youth services

I condemn the devastating proposals for 90% cuts to the education programmes run by City Hall. The cuts to projects which support young people to stay on at school, develop workplace skills and increase the number of apprenticeships were revealed in a leaked document which admitted they would disproportionately hit the most vulnerable groups of young people.

In a heated exchange at last week’s Mayor’s Question Time Boris Johnson refused to rule out the 90% cuts and resorted to telling Assembly Members to “stick it up your…” The leaked report showed that if the proposals were agreed funding for youth and education projects would drop from £22.6m in 2014/15 to just £2.3m by 2016/171. Certain projects such as those to support apprenticeships and get into work would be axed entirely with zero funding planned for 2016/17 despite the number of people starting apprenticeships falling for the last two years.

The fact that Boris Johnson would even consider cuts of 90% to schemes designed to help some of Brent and Harrow’s most vulnerable young people tells you everything you need to know about his cavalier and uncaring approach to governing.

Projects to increase apprenticeships and support for people to stay on at school may seem like optional extras to Boris Johnson but for many young people they make a world of difference, helping them to get on in an increasingly competitive jobs market.

Boris Johnson may be focused on his next job in Parliament but he has a duty to responsibly see out his term working for all Londoners. These cuts however suggest more a policy of scorched earth, drastically cutting funding to important projects and leaving his successor to pick up the pieces.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

-       BBC London coverage of the MQT meeting and leaked report showing 90% cuts to youth and education budgets is available here.

-       The number of apprenticeships started by region:

 

Region

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

 

 

Full Year

Full Year


  Full Year
  (provisional)

 

North East

38,340

35,870

30,020

 

North West

89,310

84,180

70,640

 

Yorkshire and The Humber

64,200

59,900

 

East Midlands

46,790

49,010

39,290

 

West Midlands

60,470

62,430

51,400

 

East of England

45,820

46,220

39,870

 

London

47,230

45,070

38,550

 

South East

66,850

68,960

58,690

 

South West

55,950

52,540

45,200

 

England Total

515,000

504,200

426,200

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

5,600

6,040

6,220

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Total

520,600

510,200

432,400

 

 

Source: Breakdown by geography, equality & diversity and sector subject area: starts 2013/14

 

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26th November 2014

Call to identify dangerous junctions and streets in Brent and Harrow for Road Safety Week

I am calling on local residents to help identify dangerous junctions and streets in Brent and Harrow as part of Road Safety Week. The campaign, coordinated by the road safety charity Brake, starts today (Monday) and aims to raise awareness and increase safety on local roads for people on foot and bicycle.

This year’s Road Safety Week focuses on Brake’s GO 20 campaign encouraging drivers to slow down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops. In 2009, a London Assembly Transport Committee investigation found that in areas where 20 mph has been introduced in London there has been a 42 per cent reduction in casualties.

Transport for London (TfL) recently invited comments for a new Road Safety Action Plan for the capital has backed the submission by the charity Living Streets, which focuses on road safety for pedestrians.

I fully support the GO 20 campaign to slow traffic down on our streets. A 20 mph limit offers the potential to increase levels of walking and cycling. I would like to hear from residents about where in Brent and Harrow could benefit from 20mph limits, where there are dangerous blackspots and where crossings need to be made safer.

At a time when the Mayor has cut the road safety budget by £36m a year compared with 2008, it is more important than ever to slow down traffic in residential areas and make all of our dangerous junctions and streets safe for people on foot and bicycle.

I am asking for local residents to get in touch to let me know which local junctions they feel are particularly unsafe. Comments should be sent to Navin.Shah@london.gov.uk  or write to me at City Hall, London SE1 2AA.

 

 

 

ENDS

 

Notes

  1. Road Safety Week runs between 19-25 November 2012, coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity. For more information, visit GO 20 is a partnership campaign. Find out more at www.go20.org.
  2. The Living Streets submission to the Mayor of London’s "Towards a Road Safety Action Plan for London 2020" is attached.
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17th November 2014

What type of London’s Skyline would you like to see?

London in its recent years has seen major changes to its skyline which has generated an important debate. How high should the building be? Are too many, too tall buildings harmful to London’s historic and architectural heritage? Are they blocking strategic views of some fine, old buildings of London?  Whilst there have been various interesting additions to London’s landscape with tall buildings like the Shard; the Gherkin and Walkie-Talkie etc. There’s a controversy about poorly designed and not very well regulated plethora of new buildings built across London. The ‘Skyline Campaign’ recently has taken the lead to highlight these issues and raised concerns about the way tall buildings are developed. And, as a result recommendations have emerged to establish a ‘Skyline Commission’ for a better planned outcome to control and enhance the development of future tall buildings across London.

I am concerned about inappropriate tall buildings being planned across London, including in the suburban areas like Brent and Harrow and therefore joined the ‘Skyline Campaign’. Planning Committee of the London Assembly of which I’m a member has also taken on board scrutiny of tall buildings in London. On conclusion of our work the Planning Committee will make recommendations to the Mayor of London, who is responsible for London’s planning policies.

At the London Assembly, a couple of weeks ago, all political parties unanimously agreed a resolution proposed by me asking the Mayor of London to set up a Skyline Commission for a better approach to tall buildings to preserve and enhance our skyline.

The resolution was NOT against high densities or tall buildings. New high rise buildings in fact, if carefully and sensitively developed, can make a positive contribution and become part of our heritage,   generating a high quality skyline.      

I believe that the current planning process, implementation of policies and approach to tall buildings are flawed and need to be tightened to stop irreparable damage to London’s skyline. The problem is that high density is seen as an automatic license to approve tall buildings of well over 20 storey height. The problem is also that tall residential buildings largely provide luxury and unaffordable accommodation, totally unsuitable to meet London’s housing needs. London requires genuinely affordable housing and requires family homes with gardens which we will not get from tall luxury buildings.

London is facing mind blowing challenges of economic and residential growth with the prospects of unparalleled high rise development. London’s 38 ‘Opportunity Areas’ (new hubs planned for economic and housing growth) with a combined capacity for 300,000 new homes and the Intensification Areas with 8,650 new homes are the type of locations where such tall buildings can and are most likely to emerge. Some of those areas could end up becoming ‘Mini Manhattan’ littered all-over London.  

According to New London Architecture there are over 230 tall buildings in the pipeline. Of these 184 are residential. The cumulative impact of these developments on London’s skyline is not being thoroughly considered. Powerful measures are required to stop the long term and lasting damage from unbridled, ill-considered and ill-conceived development of tall buildings. This is why the recommendation from London Assembly, in line with the recommendation of the Skyline Campaign, was made to the London’s Mayor is to set up a SKYLINE COMMISSION.

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17th November 2014

Most Amazing Performance BY SAMARTHANAM - SUNADHA GROUP

Every year Diwali period brings about a range of entertainment which is a joy to watch. Top of the bill this year was the performance at the Dhamecha Lohana Centre, on Sunday 27 October, by the artists of the ‘Samarthanam - Sunadha’ – a cultural group comprising vision, hearing and speech challenged youth from Bangalore, India. The performance was unique not simply because of the disabilities associated with the dancers, it was spell binding for its quality of classical dancing, fusion of classical music and choreography. The event was hosted by the Lions Club of London Golders Green under the leadership of Lion Bharatbhai Hindocha who is Trustee of ‘Samarthanam UK’ who with his colleagues presented a riveting show to a 550 strong audience, the Mayor of Harrow Cllr Ajay Maru, Uma Kumaran and Cllr Rekha Shah. 

 

Media publicity of the event invited the audience “to have a wonderful time and share the vision of breaking the barriers of disabilities and promotion of empowerment.” True to their word the group, accompanied by two local UK school children, delivered their vision that evening! The first performance set the tone of the afternoon with a mesmerizing dance and music performance of the highest possible standard by artists who with severe disabilities. After completing a successful to the USA the group is now touring the UK till mid-November. Who are these people and the group? Let me share with you some vital information about this talented outfit.

‘Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled’, established in Bangalore in 1999, is headed up by Mr Mahantesh GK who is the Founder Trustee of the organisation. Samarthanam supports and inspires disabled people, including those suffering from vision and hearing impairment. The vision of the organisation is to empower its members to become financially independent by training them and give them life skills. Its work is focused around education, empowerment and sustainable development for the people with varied disabilities and those with severely poor economic and social backgrounds.


One of the many projects that Samarthanam runs for the young adults, ‘Sunadha’ is a cultural branch of the trust that encourages and enables the youth to learn and perform various forms of performing arts. These include Indian Classical, Modern Dance, Bollywood, Contemporary and even theatre.  For the last couple of years visually impaired artistes have performed several shows in the US, stunning audiences with their proficiency in Indian classical and folk dances and music. Sunadha dancers have earned much acclaim and are regularly invited to perform at prestigious events like the renowned Hampi Utsav, the Vishwa Kannada Sammelana and Rotary International convention held at Bangkok last May
Sunadha artistes endeavour to bridge the cultural gap and the experiences they gain travelling around the world and meeting people go a long way towards building their confidence and creating opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. Further, each new show contributes to the growing awareness about the abilities of the disabled across nations.

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2nd November 2014