Brent and Harrow
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Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News: Brent

Brent is the third least affordable place to rent in the country

I recently read an article in Brent and Kilburn Times which said that “Brent is the third least affordable place to rent in the country” highlighted one of the most biggest challenges facing local people. With soaring rents putting huge pressure on Brent residents, the impact of the Mayor of London’s failure to adequately protect private renters during his eight years in office is plain for all to see.

Under Boris Johnson our housing shortage has become a housing crisis. We simply do not have enough homes and the insufficient housing supply means that rents are being increasingly pushed up. Meanwhile, the Mayor readily implemented the Government’s policy of setting affordable rent at 80% of the market price – a price which is not ‘affordable’ for many residents in Brent.

The result is that some residents in Brent could be paying as much as 78% of their salary on rent. With real wages falling and rents rising, the worry is that this could see some residents forced out of the borough.

We need a real change in the private rented sector, with better protection from soaring rents and bad landlords. This should have been amongst Boris Johnson’s key priorities. Sadly, it’s yet another failed legacy to add to his growing heap.  

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42% say police don’t have a visible presence in Brent

 

-          Figures from the Met’s Confidence Comparator show 42% of people living in Brent feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Across the capital figures show 47% of Londoners feel the Met do not provide visible policing presence in their area

-          Mayor set to miss target to increase public confidence in the Met by 20%


The data, drawn from the Met’s recently launched ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that just 58% of local residents felt police were providing a visible policing presence in Brent with some areas of the borough seen to be worse than others. In some parts of the borough, this figure was as low as 56%.

There is a similar picture forming across the Capital, with 47% of Londoners saying the police do not have a visible presence in their respective areas.

The figures have sparked criticism of the Mayor of London’s decision to cut back neighbourhood policing teams from six uniformed officers to only two, with Navin Shah AM calling on the Mayor to put more police officers back into boroughs. Since the current Government came to power 4,333 police officers and PCSOs have been lost from London’s streets, including 195 from Brent.

The Mayor commissioned a review of the new neighbourhood policing units in July 2014 but has so far refused to release the review’s findings despite concerns that the new setup is leaving neighbourhood policing stretched. The worrying confidence figures come only a week after it was revealed that violent crime in the capital rose 22% last year, rising by 23.38% in Brent.

It’s now very likely that the Mayor will miss his target to increase public confidence by 20% and it’s not hard to see why. The cuts to police numbers and the Mayor’s decision to dismantle neighbourhood policing teams have clearly been noticed by people in Brent and indeed across the Capital. It’s increasingly clear that we need to see more officers back on the beat in our local neighbourhoods.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

                                             

-          Figures on Visibility and Confidence from the Mayor of London can be found here. Figures were drawn from the Met’s ‘Confidence Comparator’ which is available here

-          The ‘Confidence Comparator’ found that when asked ‘how well do you think the Metropolitan Police provide a visible patrolling presence?’ just 53% of Londoners answered they felt their police were doing “well” or “to some extent” providing a visible policing presence in their neighbourhood.

-          Percentage scores for confidence in the police are derived from a rolling yearly questionnaire of over 12,000 Londoners as part of the Public Attitudes Survey (PAS).

-          Figures on Police Numbers from the Mayor of London can be found at: London Datastore

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26th January 2015

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.

Brent’s Policing Consultation- Make Believe Plans of MOPAC

I attended the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) Public Consultation at the ‘Sattavis  Patidar Centre’ in Brent on Thursday 10th January 2013.


Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh hosted the meeting, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne to consult on the new policing model for London and its implications on Brent. The meeting was chaired by Cllr Muhammed Butt – Leader of Brent Council and the panel included Brent’s Borough Commander Matthew Gardner.

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There was a packed audience of well over 100 residents and lobby groups that attended the consultation to hear how the changes to policing would affect Brent. Many of those that attended appeared far from impressed with the new model on the table involving a new structure for mainly smaller Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT), closure of Willesden and Harlesden Police Stations and loss of front counters. The wide ranging questions and comments focused on MOPAC’s claim about the police numbers going up, when MOPAC’s own evidence suggest that the numbers had fallen dramatically from 2010. The new SNT model was condemned as ‘reactive’ (with 1 PC, 1 PCO per ward and a Sergeant shared between unknown numbers of Wards) rather the current ‘proactive’ SNTs (comprising dedicated Ward team of six including a Sergeant). The residents could not see any logic in dismantling the current model which was described as successful in tackling anti social behaviour, reducing fear of crime and better relations almost on ‘first name basis with local communities. There was no enthusiasm from members of the audience for the closure of front counters and closing of police stations in Harlesden and Willesden.


The consultation was described by one resident as a complete waste of time and accused the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh and the Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne Deputy Mayor of not listening to the public.


I challenged the notion of more police when the MOPAC’s own figures showed drastic reduction in police numbers in Brent, asked whether there would be alternative new and equitable front counters provided before the police stations were closed and asked about the future of the Mayor’s ‘Safer neighbourhood Boards.


I’m totally opposed to these make believe plans of MOPAC. Residents of Brent don’t appear to like these new proposals for the new policing model proposed for Brent and many individuals stated to Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh that he was not listening to the community and stated that the meeting was a complete waste of time. The proposed policing model presents nothing more than a make believe scenario and the MOPAC’s figures do not add up.


The MOPAC figures from May 2010 –November 2012 show that Brent is now short of 78 Police Officers and 65 PCSOs. I heard the outcry from residents that live in areas like Northwick Park and Harlesden that SNTs are seriously depleted. The rhetoric from the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh and is that he wants to see more officers rooted in the community and reconnect with public but he is replacing the current much larger and successful teams with smaller SNTs with the loss of dedicated Sergeants in Wards. I’m firmly against the closure of police stations as I see police stations as a community hubs providing vital access to local police.


Closing a police station in a hugely deprived area like Harlesden is senseless. These closures are nothing but asset stripping and an act of vandalism which will hurt local and deprive communities even further. The Mayor has stated that new alternative front counter in the immediate locality with better facilities will be provided before closing police stations but I did not get any such assurance for Brent from the Deputy Mayor and the Police.


These proposals are short-sighted and will fundamentally undermine the ability of local police service to keep us safe. I’m seriously concerned about the increase in crime in Brent as a result of the draft proposals. Enough is enough and I urge local residents to oppose the plans and respond by 6th March.
 

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11th January 2013

Assembly Member Celebrates Jubilee with Local Residents

By Navin Shah AM

It was fantastic to spend my bank holiday weekend with local residents as Harrow and Brent celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I would like to congratulate all the organisers of the many successful events that took place.

 

Despite the weather, the Sudbury Town Resident Association kept our spirits high as we marched through the town together. The amount of meticulous planning that had gone into the event was apparent as the party started.

18.Sudbury Jubilee Celeb.jpg

I had the honour of joining the Elmsleigh Resident Association for a street party, which was also extremely well-organised.

 

I visited the Willesden Temple, where the celebrations were well-attended and enjoyed thoroughly by all. These events, along with the many others that residents enjoyed embodied the true sense of unison and community that we have in our boroughs.

1.Q Jubilee W Temple.jpg 

It is during these celebrations that I feel especially honoured and privileged to represent, you, the people of Brent and Harrow. Our community is built on many different traditions, faiths, beliefs and people, but it stands united and stronger than ever.

 

The celebrations were a true symbol of what it meant to be British, reaching out to our neighbours and standing together (even if it is in the rain). Witnessing our younger and older generations come together to celebrate our humble island’s history was truly inspiring.   

 

 

   

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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Brent's Police teams under threat

London Mayor Boris Johnson gives green light to Brent police to change make up of safer neighbourhood teams.

Every ward in London is currently covered by a fixed model of one police sergeant, two constables and three community support officers. But Boris Johnson says this could be about to change. Supposedly ‘safer wards’ should have ‘flexibility’ to change the teams, the Mayor said this week.

If the ‘flexible’ working approach was deployed it would be critical to ensure that the so-called ‘safe’ wards do not end up being neglected areas and crime hotspots, wiping out all the good work carried out over the past years and endangering strong partnerships with local communities.

He said it was up to local police to decide whether they need the teams. "It would be crazy for me to order them to have a one size fits all approach", he told London Assembly members.

Local Labour Assembly member, Navin Shah, said: “Brent is already affected by the reduction in police numbers due to the freeze on recruitment. Neighbourhood policing in London has been a great success, and the model has worked well. It's worrying that the model which has served Brent for the last five years now appears to be under threat at the same time the number of officers on the beat is going to go down.”

At this month's mayor's question time on 17 November Boris Johnson said: "I don't want to be absolutely rigid about this. I'm not saying every ward has to have an identical configuration of sergeants, constables and PCSOs." He went on, "I'm not anticipating what the shape of the force is going to be after we've been through this process …. These are operational matters. I think that borough commanders will want to have some flexibility in deciding how their resources are to be distributed across their wards. Some wards will clearly be safer than others... I think there's a case for them to be give some margin for manoeuvre."

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23rd November 2010