Monthly Archives: June 2015

A response to Liz Kendall

 Like other Labour members, I yesterday received an email from Liz Kendall. The leadership contest has been uninspiring for me as someone on the ‘realist left’ of the party, and I have not decided my full running order. But at present I won’t be voting for Liz, and even though it probably won’t be read, I thought I owed their team an explanation as to why. Twitter does not bode well, but maybe those of us ideologically closer to the centre of the party will get a listen eventually. Who knows.

I’ve reproduced my response below, in the hope that someone listens, even if it is not her.

Dear Liz Kendall team,

Thus far, your campaign comes across as only caring about one of several groups of people Labour needs to win back. How will you respond to the SNP, who have cost Labour so many seats by attacking us from the left and adding working class voters to the nationalist core vote?

More directly, what do your campaign and your views mean for my residents if we win?

Leaving people with no political choice but further massive cuts would be a big problem for many of the people I represent, meaning that there is no possibility of making a change to the biggest challenge many in the country face. Growth in the real economy is stagnant, and as a country we are currently pulling apart a welfare state that would otherwise provide both a safety net and a ladder up. If we can only win without challenging this, who will?

A stricter immigration system (which I believe you have at least hinted at) would also be very bad news for many of their family lives; indeed I have recently been approached by one resident who has not seen his own wife for over a year because she is already too poor to be allowed to love with him in this, the country of his birth. So many of my residents in Willesden Green were not born as UK nationals. Do they not staff our hospitals, local shops, universities?

This is not just moaning. To me it means something. To hold these points of view may seem like self-indulgence on my part (perhaps a response this long actually is), but I have a duty to represent these people even if their lack of media clout makes them unpopular people – and I am proud to do so.

Finally, I am tired of the leadership debate being carried out in code. If you want to cut more services or capital spending, please please tell us what that means in practice, and give us the chance of a fair choice.

In conclusion, when you are able to explain what your brand of politics offers for aspiring people as well as those who have already made it to comfortability, I promise I will reconsider. 

But for now, I cannot in good conscience give you my support – I am sure you will understand.

Warm regards,

Cllr Miller

Willesden Green Ward

The Library at Willesden Green is getting ready to open its doors

It is with a warm heart that I greet the upcoming completion of the Library at Willesden Green (which I will simply be calling ‘Willesden Green Library’ despite our wonderful Council officers). The library will of course also be a vibrant and modern cultural hub, and will be opening on July 27th. Our job is now to make sure that it integrates with the local community as well as it possibly can.

  The Library at Willesden Green replaces the former library which was built in the 1980’s and was inefficient and expensive to run, but still retains an element of the original building to the front, blending the old with the new. Local Labour Councillors have been very keen to retain this original building as part of the development – it was built and financed directly by local people, and is an icon of the area.

Though it rolls in the much older building, this is a development which is much more fit for the 21st century than the previous 1980s library, and which came without us having to raise further taxes from already squeezed residents due to our decision to fund this wonderful public asset with a private housing development.

The state of the art building will include a mix of uses including a new library, gallery and exhibition space, a museum and archives as well as performance space and also a new café, which will be introduced shortly after opening.

Brent Council has worked with renowned architects AHMM, developers Linden Homes and main contractor Galliford Try to create a new, exciting multi purpose venue for the local community.

  A grand opening event is scheduled to take place at The Library at Willesden Green in September, to coincide with the Rugby World Cup trophy visiting Brent.

My colleague Councillor James Denselow, Lead Member for Stronger Communities at Brent Council, has given the following statement:

“The Library at Willesden Green will be a building at the heart of its community, in every sense. When it opens to the public I’m sure it will quickly become a place full of life and creative energy.

“Being more efficient to run and easy to maintain, it will be able to respond to changing aspirations, offering the spaces and services that the community needs, now and in the future.”

See here for more information and updates.

Additional info:

As well as a new library with access to millions of books and council services, residents can look forward to a cultural centre that will include:

  • children’s library
  • self service customer facilities
  • museum
  • exhibition space
  • education room
  • gallery
  • computers, free wireless broadband and study space
  • archive store
  • cafe
  • office space

Local people are being encouraged to get involved in designing the art and cultural programme for the centre, through The Library at Willesden Green Users Group and workshops. Please contact for more information.

Self-service kiosks and customer free phone will be available for visitors who wish to access services and information on the ground floor. The council will also be offering weekly surgeries for vulnerable residents at the library. These will be provided on an appointment basis – the details of this will be published once finalised.

The customer services centre located at Brent Civic Centre will continue to offer assisted self-service facilities, face to face interviews and customer freephones between Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Blood donors needed

I’m re-publishing something I have received from Sree Swaminarayan mandirn Kingsbury, because it is pretty important. So, as follows…

London, Brent, June 2015: With 40% fewer new blood donors than 10 year ago, The Mayor of Brent Cllr Lesley Jones with Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury, launched a new drive urging residents across the borough to help fill the gap.

In advance of National Blood Week (8-14 June), local representatives from NHS Blood and Transplant came together with regular local donors and members from world-renowned, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band to unveil the Missing Type campaign. The campaign removes the letters A, O and B (the letters that make up the blood groups) to highlight the need for new blood donors with all blood types.

About blood donation and Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury

Every unit of blood collected saves up to three lives, with the UK needing 200,000 new donors every year to maintain supply. To date There have been ten Blood Donation Sessions at the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury to date:

Grand Total

New Donors 313

Units Collected 1,312

Our global spiritual leader Acharya Swamishree Maharaj promotes selfless giving as a primary duty for all people. He has campaigned all over the world for people to donate blood and sign up to organ donor registers. He has not only dispelled myths and taboos about donating blood and organs amongst the Hindu community, but has explained that it is one’s obligation to do so if you can.

On World Blood Donor Day, Sunday 14 June, we aim to hold their biggest and most successful blood donation session ever together with our brothers and sisters from around the globe, including Kenya and the United States, who will also be holding sessions to support this important cause.

Do something amazing. Book your appointment now!

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