Deputations (if any)
To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 39.
The Mayor outlined that the Council had received a formal deputation on the Council’s Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) from Willesden Green resident, Ms Sophie Simmons. Councillor Tom Miller (Willesden Green ward) introduced Ms Simmons.
Sophie Simmons began by stating that she was a resident of Whitby Apartments on Robson Avenue in Willesden Green. She explained that Robson Avenue was a largely residential area in close proximity to the Burnley Medical Practice. She said that the parking provision in the area had not matched the population growth and that parking on Robson Avenue was very limited. She said that the problems had been exacerbated by Robson Avenue not being covered by a CPZ when other surrounding roads had been. She outlined that this meant that the majority of residents were not able to park on the road and were forced to drive to an area outside of the CPZ to park, often over a mile away from their houses. She concluded that the simplest and most cost effective solution for the Council would be to include Robson Avenue within the neighbouring CPZs (Zones GS and HW). She said she would be willing to meet and work with the Council in order to address these concerns.
Councillor Southwood (Lead Member for Environment) responded and thanked Ms Simmons for having raised these issues. She noted that that were approximately 33,000 parking spaces in Brent to accommodate 56,000 households, which inevitably led to parking challenges in the borough. She said that the Labour Administration wanted to make it as easy as possible to travel by sustainable transport but also wanted CPZs to be effective so that those who needed to drive and park were able to. She explained that a review of the CPZs in Brent was due to be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on the 24 July 2017 and that Robson Avenue was included as part of the review. She also explained that any proposed changes would mean that the Council would have to start a statutory public consultation process with residents in the area, but specified that changes were likely to be supported by the Council if there was a clear desire from the majority of local residents for inclusion within a CPZ.
The Mayor also outlined to Members that another request to speak had been received late, but that he proposed that Standing Order 39(c) be suspended to allow the resident to address the Council. He specified that the Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform would respond to the remarks during the course of the full debate on high rise safety in tower blocks.
It was RESOLVED that Standing Order 39(c) be suspended to allow Mr Pete Firmin to speak on high rise safety in tower blocks.
Pete Firmin stated that he was the Chair of the Alpha, Gorefield Houses and Canterbury Court Tenants Residents Association in South Kilburn. He said that this organisation stood in solidarity with all those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and that their main concern was to ensure that no disaster like the one at Grenfell or any lesser disasters could ever happen anywhere in Brent. Members heard that there had been a number of assurances from BHP after Officers had met residents in South Kilburn, but that unfortunately residents had remained to be convinced. He referenced the planned removal of cladding on Swift House and George House (properties managed by Quadrant in South Kilburn) and also a new roof being required for George House. He mentioned that fire safety problems appeared to be increasingly prevalent in private sector high rise buildings. He urged the Council to publish fire safety assessments in full for residents to read; to improve its consultation process with residents and tenants associations; and for the Council to commit to end outsourcing. He detailed a number of issues which his tenants and residents association had raised to the Council of which he felt had not been taken seriously enough. He specifically raised the problems of BHP, Council and other vehicles having used routes which had been designed for access by the emergency services. He concluded that the Council needed show that it would seriously listen to its residents, and urged the Council to abandon its plans for additional tower blocks as part of the South Kilburn regeneration scheme.