Campaigning for environmental and social justice in the London Borough of Brent and beyond. Against cuts and privatisation and for real democracy. Managed by Martin Francis of Brent Green Party but open to all who share these aims.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Public meeting on Kensal Rise Library plans Thursday

@CollegeRoadRA: TOMORROW (Thursday)  - Kensal Rise Residents' Association Public Meeting to discuss #KensalRiseLibrary planning proposal. Thurs 7:30pm Constitutional Club next to Lexi. All welcome.

Brent Executive approves Copland land deal and landlord licensing

An unusually garralous Brent Council Executive last night approved the land deal which will see the Copland Community School site and neighouring land handed over to Ark Academy for 125 years. A new secondary school with an additional form of entry will be built away from the High Road (exact position not yet fixed) and nearby Elsley Primary School will double in size.

The Executive set aside issues around development restrictions on the site (although a restrictive covenant caused considerable problems for the Preston Manor expansion) and shrugged off threats of a judicial review from teacher unions.

Jean Roberts, speaking for the tecaher orgabisations, said that they had spoken to local residents in nearby streets who were overwhelmingly against the scheme and concerned about the impact on them as well as rights of way on the school grounds. Local children were playing on the grounds as they spoke to residents who told her that they were starting a petition against the scheme.

Although at pains to stress that this was about a land deal and nothing to do with forced academisation and an Ark takeover of state schools, Executive members nonetheless took the opportunity to attack the former management of the school and the quality of teachers - forgetting perhaps that they had oversight of the school at the time.

The Executive went on to approve an 'Additional'  licensing scheme for landlords in Brent but deferred a decision on 'Selective Licensing' in Wembley Central, Harlesden and Willesden Green.

There will be further consulation over a two month period about what other wards, namely Dudden Hill and Mapesbury, should be included in the Additional Licensing scheme.

The Additional Licensing scheme charge will be set at £550 for the 5 year licensing period. Challenged that this would be passed on to tenants, Muhammed Butt said that landlords would be able to claim it back as part of their business costs.

Margaret McLennan said that the scheme was not about gentrification but bringing private rented properties up to the bare minimum regarding matters like gas safety checks. She said that the scheme would also protect good landlords from bad tenants.

Enforcement will begin in January 2015. The Executive did not discuss the vexed question of potential unintended consequences if landlords evict tenants in order to deal with overcrowding or unsafe premises.

Copland’s Green Left Reds are Over the Moon

...But celebrations marred by Unsporting Conduct from the Managers

Guest blog by ‘Shankly’s  Pony’ 

Green Left Reds may be a political niche too far, but all Wembley Matters readers can take some pleasure in the success this season of local lad and ex Copland student Raheem Sterling. In addition to helping to guide Liverpool FC to League success and being selected for England’s World Cup campaign in Brazil, last weekend  Raheem  achieved the ultimate accolade: starring in Paul Trevillion’s  cult comic strip ’You Are The Ref’ in Sunday’s Observer (above). 

At the footballing star’s old school, however,  foul play is the norm. Fourteen more compulsory redundancies are among the fixtures for this term, despite the IEB’s promise that there would be none. Copland’s athletics and football  fields will be flogged off for housing or offices just as soon as they can figure out who actually owns the land and how the little matter of the title restriction can be fixed.  Strangely enough, events at the school seem more and more to be influenced by the world of professional football. 

Having early on adopted the Millwall fans’ slogan of ‘Nobody likes us, We don’t care’ (accepting reality rather than out of choice) the management  handed Copland over to a bunch of dodgy millionaires (as at Chelsea,Fulham FC, Manchester City, Cardiff et al).  To find  the new school’s new  ‘manager’ these shysters plumped for  the ‘Chosen One’ method which they presumably  judged had been so  successful in selecting  David Moyes for Man United. The  drafted-in owners are now trying to impose  a new name on the school (as at Hull City) and are about to completely  change the school strip (see Cardiff).  Soon the ground will be moved (not quite as far as Milton Keynes, see Wimbledon FC) and most of the ground staff have already been ‘let go’.   

If, in September,  the school actually is taken over by the ‘Chosen One’   Ms Bates, (no relation to Leeds United’s Ken, hopefully) , Copland will have had more managers in recent times than the notoriously profligate Blackburn Rovers  (six since you ask). This is not to mention the Delia Smith connection (Ark Wembley head, TV cook and Norwich City majority shareholder) or the remarkable similarities between the  organisational prowess demonstrated by respectively Ark’s attempt at a consultation and Torquay United’s attempt at a defence. 

But as we enter the end-of-season  ‘run-in’,  the mythmakers of Ofsted are about to show that it’s all been worthwhile. At the end of the summer term the final prewritten chapter of the prewritten narrative journey will be taken down off the shelf and added to last autumn’s  Prewritten Ofsted Inspection  Report 1    ( ‘It’s going to be a struggle but if we all pull together, and with 58 redundancies, Copland might just make it’) which was followed by last month’s release of Prewritten Ofsted Inspection Report 2  ( ‘Following tough DfE  policies, honest and objective Ofsted verification, and 75 redundancies, Everything at Copland is Getting Better and Better ’).   

Leaks from the government department which writes these things confirmed last October  that the final chapter, due in July,  declares: ‘Mission Accomplished!: After 119 redundancies and with the new leaner and fitter curriculum offer of only 2 subjects (Malaysian Maths and Singaporean Maths)  Copland is now Fit For Purpose! The management and both remaining members of the teaching staff are to be congratulated on their achievement.’ 

By then, of course, Raheem Sterling’s form might well have continued on its current trajectory and brought England  a hat full of goals in Brazil. Let’s hope so.  It’s just a  pity that  the only ones celebrating at what remains of his old school will be a bunch of hedge fund billionaires, the spineless guardians of local democracy at Brent Council (or those who survived the May 22 play-offs),  a couple of hapless Future Leaders:  and Michael Gove. 

Never mind, you can be confident that, with Ofsted providing the facts and figures to support their ‘evidence-based’ bullshit (and nobody around anymore to remember what life was actually like before the Pigs took over) , it will inevitably go down in history as the greatest season Copland ever had.

Comments closed on Kensal Rise Library debate

There has been extensive debate about the Kensal Rise Library development on this blog which at times has been heated and even vixperous. I have decided to close comments now and instead will post on any new developments ahead of the May planning committee meeting.

Martin Francis