I’m now away in India until November 16th – if you need to contact your councillors, you can do so here.
Residents often ask what we can do about the housing crisis. It keeps young people sharing for years on end, and makes sure a big chunk of our tax money goes towards keeping homeless people in often far from ideal temporary accommodation.
National government needs to let local councils borrow and encourage social building in particular. We need a mayor in London who is committed to a sensible definition of affordability and to getting us building.
I will also soon be bringing together a group of local Councillors to scrutinise the local work of Housing Associations including how government policy and their strategies will affect residents over the next five years.
But the most important thing we can do is build. Labour in Brent are pleased to be able to report some good progress against our manifesto for 2014-14:
1693 new homes were completed over the 2014/15 year, including 773 new affordable homes (46%). Amongst the 773 new affordable homes, 499 were social and affordable rented homes and 274 intermediate homes, that is a ratio of 65:35, broadly in line with Brent planning policy.
This is great news. Continue reading
I have sent the following letter to the Evening Standard and the Brent and Kilburn Times.
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I am disappointed to see a Willesden woman caught on film in what appears to be a bigoted attack on a young Muslim mother in Brent. It would be bad enough if this was a one-off, but this was quickly followed by a similar incident in which an elderly Muslim man was cruelly attacked and his walking frame thrown.
Racial aggression in this second case was also directed against welfare support, itself a frequent target of ignorance. Too many wrongly believe that immigrants, or in this case those who ‘look like immigrants’, a racially tinged judgement, somehow have ‘special’ privileges. This is a divisive and obvious myth.
Sadly, in both cases, the alleged perpetrators were from ethnic minorities themselves – a depressing state of affairs.
Most Londoners take pride in our diversity. We understand that our strength lies in community, mutual respect and understanding. But on public transport, a space we must all share, this seems increasingly and inexplicably stretched.
It is welcome to see Police taking such abuse seriously – we can’t allow George Osborne’s cuts to put this at risk. But we also need to see a zero tolerance approach from TfL. Passengers and staff both deserve to feel safe when they travel. The small but loud minority taking part in bigoted, abusive or violent behaviour should be immediately removed and banned from using the buses and tubes we share. We must be open to each other, but we do not have to put up with them.
Cllr Tom Miller
Willesden Green Ward, Brent
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