11 Oct 2015

Brent youth provision to be slashed and out-sourced

A cut of almost 70% in Brent Council's youth service budget (from £1,314,000 in 2015-16 to £414,394 in 2016-17) will see the service out-sourced and based mainly at Roundwood myplace Centre in Harlesden and Poplar Grove in Chalkhill. The report comments on the latter: 'The service level agreement for Poplar Grove means that it may (my emphasis) be possible for a new provider to run youth provision from the centre'.

The proposed retention of the Roundwood Centre means that there will be less money for other aspects of the youth service and the Wembley Youth Centre and Granville will no longer be funded  from April 2016.  They will be handed back to the Council's Asset Management Service and presumably sold off. The running costs of the Poplar Grove Centre will in future be met by Brent River College.

The remaining service will be 'a targeted  offer for more vulnerable groups' although the consultation indicated that young people were in favour of such provision being integrated into mainstream provision.

The Council's consultation revealed that respondents thought the Roundwood myspace Centre was under utilised. However the Centre was funded by a £5m Big Lottery grant as part of the Government's myspace programme and there are restrictions regarding future use. Closure would mean that the £5m grant or part of it could be reclaimed: 

.        Under the terms of the grant agreement, the Council is required to notify the Cabinet Office of any planned changes of use and/or ownership and could be required to repay the grant in whole or in part. Officers have now formally raised the possibility of outsourcing the centre to a third party with the Cabinet Office. They have indicated that there would be no objection to this sort of arrangement, but both the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Cabinet Office would wish to see a lease and business plan before giving approval. They will also need confirmation that there will be continuing compliance with the existing grant agreement. Officers will therefore need to ensure that any new contractual agreements are consistent with the grant agreement and support delivery of myplace outcomes for young people.
Although the report puts a positive gloss on retaining the Roundwood Centre it is clear that the main reason for keeping it as the 'flag ship' is that it would be too expensive to close.

The consultation also revealed that some respondents felt that Brent Youth Parliament was unrepresentative of the general profile of youth in the borough.  Officers dispute this and recommend that the £64,000 annual grant to BYP continues but that its operating costs and relationship with the wider Brent population is reviewed. The BYP will lead this review of itself with the  Head of Youth service. The BYP is central to the next stage of consultation where effective communication with the young people affected is a statutory requirement. The report notes that a judgement was made against North Somerset Council's reduction in youth service because they had not consulted young people adequately or addressed the needs of young people with protected characteristics under the Equality act.

In order to judge the Council's consultation so far it is worth recording that there were more providers (59) than young people (57) at the three 'participatory commissioning sessions' and that of 119 on-line responses 64 were from young people.

A Community Asset Transfer for Roundwood is rejected as having too many risks for a future provider and the Council. and in-house provision is also rejected as capable of offering only a limited service due to funding cuts.

The report recommends that the Council puts the service out to tender with an expectation that any provider taking over would have to work with volunteers and seek additional grants: 

.        Evaluation of bids will assess potential providers’ proposals for working with the local voluntary and community sector. Providers will be required to describe what arrangements they propose in order to deliver a positive impact on the local economy and social and environmental well-being for those in Brent to support the requirements of the 2012 Act as well as the Borough Plan. Providers will also be asked to demonstrate how they will help to build the capacity of local voluntary organisations working with young people and how they will deliver services based on a thorough understanding of the diversity of services users and communities within Brent.
In future Brent secondary schools with be expected to fund the Duke of Edinburgh Award themselves and  the DOE open access centre run by the Council will close.

The report says that the Council will need to make its savings immediately and redundancy consultations with youth service staff will start in November.

Below please find the official Brent Council press release on this issue:

The Roundwood myplace Centre in Harlesden is set to remain the council's flagship youth service hub despite the authority being forced to make substantial savings, if Brent Council's Cabinet agrees on 19 October to new proposals for Council funded youth services. Youth centre provision and related youth work will be commissioned from another provider. This will help to grow the range of services for young people over time and ensure that services continue to be delivered.

This innovative new approach to youth service delivery will help the council and other partners secure other opportunities for funding sources not traditionally available to local authorities.

The borough's young people, youth service staff, voluntary and community sector providers were consulted over the summer, and they were asked how the money available for youth services should best be spent.

The Council report proposes a transformation of Brent Youth Services with the Roundwood Hub offering activities, programmes and targeted support for vulnerable young people. Cultural, sports and employment opportunities will also be offered at the centre and it will provide an important base for youth work and outreach support with a focus on working with vulnerable groups, including young people with disabilities; lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) young people; and those at risk due to their behaviour. Furthermore, the Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) will continue to be run by the Council to ensure that Brent's young people are heard in decision-making that affects their lives.

A number of Youth Service projects will continue in Brent, including the Right Track Programme, which supports pupils temporarily excluded from school, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme.

The Council is also looking to extend its youth services at Brent River College (Poplar Grove Youth Centre) in Wembley, but this will be subject to further discussions with a new provider.

Any new provider would be expected to work with the wider community of voluntary and community sector youth service providers to build capacity and champion youth issues in Brent, especially the newly formed Young Brent Foundation.

Councillor Ruth Moher, Lead Member for Children and Young People, said:

"Given the severe funding constraints imposed upon us by central government, this proposal will help to secure important youth services in the borough and promote more innovative ways of working with our voluntary and community sector partners. It will also help us to attract more money, which the council cannot currently access.

"We want to seize the opportunity to do something different and innovative here and create a partnership model which will help to continue youth services.

Given the scale of funding cuts from central Government, it was a distinct possibility that we may have been forced to stop all youth service provision. These Cabinet proposals will prevent that. When we spoke to young people about the future of the service, they told us that youth centre based provision and support for more vulnerable young people are important to them and would be best delivered from Roundwood which is an award-winning building in the centre of the Borough offering great services to all young people.

The London Borough of Brent needs to save £54 million by 2016/17; and estimates that from 2010 to 2018, central government funding to Brent council for vital local services will almost halve.

5 Oct 2015



ARTWORKS by P.Murry at the Queens Park Cafe, Queens Park Pavilion, Harvist Road
London NW6 6SG October 5th to November 2nd 2015.The Queen’s Park café opens at 9am and closes one hour before the park closes every day (except Christmas Day). Call 020 8969 9569 for more information.

It is difficult to tell who is participating in a CONCEALED PROCESSION because it is concealed. Artistic endeavours may enable us to discern something about the nature of some CONCEALED PROCESSIONS

Peter Murry is a relatively untrained painter, sculptor and printmaker who has exhibited with Free Painters & Sculptrs and Brent Artist's Resource., some of his writings are published in an anthology entitled "Son of The Glowing Nightsoil of the Concealed Emu" which is obtainable from him at yrrumuk@googlemail.com. His site for artwork and writings is http://quadraoptica.blogspot.co.uk/, he also works on a video blog for Dodo Modern Poets at  http://dodovidpoets.blogspot.co.uk/. In his spare time he is Secretary of the Green Party Trade Union group and Green Left.

Peter mistakenly thought that he was going to have a lot of spare time when he retired from his work as a Lecturer at the College of North West London In 2005. He has always had several intertwined strands to his life and activities. Visual art, specifically drawing and painting has been something that he has done all his life, recently he has experimented with printmaking in various forms, and sculpture using wood, metal and found materials. Possibly his visual art is “modern primitive” influenced by historical and contemporary art from non-industrial cultures, but an exception to this pseudo-nostalgia is his sculptural depiction of cephalopods and fish. Also Darwinism and the interplay of genetics, environment and randomness in shaping the forms and patterns of life, shape and form his various artworks. Shape shifting and menswear are involved as well

Why Greens support the Conservative Party Manchester Protest

Natalie Bennett published this message before yesetrday's demonstration at the Manchester Conservative Conference
On Sunday, the Conservative Party Conference starts in Manchester. And it’s the day that the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, with the TUC, is organising a protest march against the Tory government’s policies. This is a chance for the North (and people prepared to travel from the rest of the country) to deliver a message about the approach taken by the Conservative  government since its surprise election in May.

It clearly needs that message, since for a party that won the support of less than a quarter of eligible voters, or even if viewed charitably, the support of 37% of those who chose to vote, it has been tearing ahead with a range of extreme measure. Those range from the human-rights-attacking Trade Union Bill to a concerted attack on the renewable energy industry, from slashing even further already inadequate benefits for low-paid workers to softening up on the bankers even while the fraud-ridden, corrupt sector continues to present a threat to all of our economic futures.

This, while our Conservative government’s presiding over a so-called economic recovery built on consumer debt and a housing price bubble in the South East (nothing can go wrong there then, we know from experience), and failing to rebalance the economy towards making goods and growing food, the rebalancing that we desperately need.

Unsurprisingly, as I travel the country, I’ve seen anger about its approach, about a government that’s further promoting the interests of the 1% of the richest at the cost of the rest of us, while ignoring the need to act on the critical global issue of climate change – indeed actively suppressing our renewable energy industry and pulling the rug out from under small businesses and community projects while funding the interests of its friends in the oil and gas industries.

It was in Sheffield,  only 10 days after the election, that I first saw the signs of a growing resistance to the Conservative plans, a groundswell that has grown and developed in the months since.
A hastily-organised anti-austerity march then drew more than 1,000 people, and had representation from a wide range of organisations. There wasn’t just the brilliant 999 Call for the NHS, protesting the privatisation of our great national asset, and anti-eviction housing campaigns, and groups calling for a fair, humane immigration policy, but also young teachers and trainee teachers, resisting the turning of our schools into exam factories.

That’s clearly the view of more and more people around the country. The Tory government doesn’t have a mandate for its actions, it was elected through a 19th-century electoral system that’s entirely passed its replace-by date, it is impoverishing much of the country for the benefit of the few, its economic plan isn’t working even in its own terms.

There will be a chance next May to express a view about that in fair, proportional elections in Wales and Scotland, in London, and in local council elections, but the chances of this government listening are slight.

Taking to the streets, people expressing their view about the exploitation of the many by the few, about the failures of our current politics, is an essential step towards real political change – the hunger for which was shown by the green surge that’s seen Green Party membership more than treble in a year and us win 1.1 million votes in the general election, and the comprehensive victory by a left-positioned SNP against rightwing Labour in the general election in Scotland.

Judging from the response I saw at a preparatory meeting, again in Sheffield, this week, the march in Manchester on Sunday is going to be big. It’s building on the huge anti-austerity marches  in June, on the massive outpouring of support for the Refugees Welcome marches  last month. This is a movement that’s growing fast – people are increasingly grasping that politics should be something you do, not that’s done to you.

Sunday’s part of a series of events linked to the Tory conference – I’m particularly looking forward to the People’s Post rally on Monday night – so if you can’t make it on the Sunday, please come along another day.

Keeping up the pressure is important – the government’s ideology that can be traced back in a direct line to Margaret Thatcher is clearly on its last legs. It will fall with David Cameron and his narrow majority of 12 in the Commons.

You can help make that happen before 2020. For the sake of our economy, our society and the planet it needs to happen before 2020.

I hope to see you in Manchester.

30 Sep 2015

Caroline Lucas on Climate Change, the Corbyn phenomena and the EU

On Sunday 27th September Caroline gave a speech to he Green Party autumn conference.

The full speech is below:

In 10 weeks’ time, the world’s leaders will gather in Paris for the next round of international climate talks.
We’re at a crossroads: climate change is accelerating, the daily lives of millions are already being devastated by the consequences, and time is running out. 
And we are under no illusions. For more than 20 years, governments have been meeting at global conferences to talk endlessly about the crisis, yet greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise.
For those of us who remember Copenhagen and Kyoto, Lima and Nairobi, it’s easy to be cynical. World leaders jet in. They fail to do a deal – then either pretend they’ve saved the world, or break down in bitter recriminations.
What will be different this time? Well, it being Paris, I’m sure the champagne will be properly chilled and the canapés second to none. But the fear is that once again our leaders will put their own, short-term political interests above those of their citizens.
Once again, the main winners will be the corporations and their lobbyists. The stakes are high and the obstacles even higher.
We know that global corporations and governments will not easily give up the profits they reap through the extraction of coal, gas and oil reserves. The brilliant 350.org tell us that just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of recorded greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Genuine responses to climate change threaten corporate power and wealth, threaten free market ideology, threaten the structures and subsidies that support and underwrite them. But resistance is fertile. And Paris is as much a beginning as it is an end.
Because in 10 weeks’ time, Paris will also be home to the world’s largest non-violent direct action civil disobedience. It will be home to a mass mobilisation from global movements that aim to leave political leaders no other choice than to change everything.
Conference, the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stone. It ended because we had a vision of something we thought was better.
And so in and after Paris, we will be articulating a vision of a fairer, more compassionate world, where energy is in people’s hands, not the hands of corporations, and powered by the sun, the wind and the waves. And sending a message, loud and clear, as we do from our own conference here today, that we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground.
That the era of fossil fuels must end.
That change also requires a transformation in the way we do politics.
The future we want for our children is not going to be created through the politics of the past. When everything has changed so much, and the threats we face as a society and a planet are so deep and complex, we need a new kind of political life.
From Obama’s first election, to the Arab Spring, from Spain to Greece, from Scotland to the Green surge, and now Corbynism – politics is increasingly defined by waves of energy that swell up – seemingly from nowhere – and coalesce around people, parties and decisions.
These waves are not, sadly, the monopoly of those who believe in a better world. The future can also be more brutish and authoritarian, if we let it. 
But by being open to doing politics differently, we can ensure the future is about change made by and for people, in places and ways that make sense for them.
Of course, we need an effective state to intervene on many issues such as the regulation of global financial markets. But more than anything, the politics of the future must be about the creation of platforms, spaces and spheres in which people can collectively change the world – from workplace democracy and self-management, to civic engagement and generating our own community renewable energy. 
But these efforts will be fatally undermined if the neoliberal deregulating zeal of the Tories remains the dominant force in British politics.
Slashing public services; stamping out trade union rights; and environmental vandalism on an epic scale – ripping up energy efficiency measures, privatising the Green Investment Bank, and taking a wrecking ball to what was once our thriving solar industry.
Conference, we say enough. We are working for something better.
And Conference, being in a position to actually deliver that vision of something better is what, I believe, makes it so imperative that we see a realignment of progressive votes to maximise electoral impact.
Finding and cooperating with others with whom we share a belief in a much more equal, democratic and sustainable world.
Of course we will have differences. But we also know that no one individual, no one party, has a monopoly on wisdom. Cancelling out each other's votes is bad enough, but fighting in essentially the same terrain for the same issues and fundamentally the same belief set is madness, when it simply lets the Tories in. 
We share a commitment to a much more equal, democratic and sustainable world.  It is beholden on us to find a way to make the desirable feasible. In a world as complex and rich as ours, we need an equally complex and rich political response. To create a different mood, culture and sentiment to our national politics – one where we see that our differences can become a source, not of division, but of strength.
Conference, the truth is, we need a progressive Labour Party – if that's what Jeremy Corbyn transforms it to be – to do well. Because, like you and me, it’s part of the movement for change.
Progressives are spread about the political battlefield – often more intent on fighting each other – and not the real enemy. But things are changing fast. Old tribal loyalties, that are blind to the good in others, are dying away. We can – we must – respond to that change.
And conference, I’m about to say something a bit controversial!
Who has been one of the most effective advocates of human rights in Parliament? Conservative MP David Davies. Who has pushed the case tirelessly for a reformed voting system? UKIP MP Douglas Carswell.
If we can make common cause, on a case by case basis, even with those with whom we most profoundly disagree on most issues, then why not with those with whom we have so much in common, in other progressive parties?
There is here a simple truth.  We are stronger when we work together.
We know this in our own lives, as families, communities, amongst our friends and in our workplaces. This is one of the inspiring principles of the co-operative movement, of the trade union movement.
And I believe it should guide us as a political movement – strong and self-confident in ourselves, but also ready to reach out to work with others.  With 1.1 million votes we Greens have a vital place in shaping that future, and a distinctive responsibility to the politics of people and the environment, over the politics of individualism and greed.
We don’t have forever to get this right, and I don’t say it will be easy. But Conference, if we’re serious about the urgency of our task, I believe we have no other option.

As in politics, so in Europe. The same underlying principle that we are stronger when we work together.
That doesn’t mean closing our eyes to what is wrong with the European Union. Too much power is in the hands of the elites.  Too little democracy and accountability. Ordinary people feeling closed out from its decisions.
But the same can be said about our own British Parliament. Concentration of power, corruption, remoteness.
Our response to that is not to say, ‘let’s do without Parliament’. It’s to say we must reform it.
The same can be said of the United Nations. But would the world be better off if there were no international institutions to try – yes, failing much of the time, but still trying – to solve the world’s problems?
From the climate crisis to the refugee crisis, from air pollution to workers rights, consumer protection to hazardous waste, we face so many challenges that can only be tackled at a European level.
We need institutions where we can meet as Europeans and try and resolve these issues. And as with the realignment of progressive politics, we have a duty to engage, and to recognise that much for which the EU is criticised is the responsibility of the individual member states.
Greece is, in the main part, suffering because of the intransigence of free-market national governments.
TTIP – the deeply damaging Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - is simply an extension of the free-market logic that pervades all trade relationships negotiated by right-wing governments like our own, and others across Europe.
The way we can free Europe from the forces of globalisation and elitism is not by walking away, but by fighting at the ballot box at general elections in every member state.
As Greens we are committed to the principle of EU existence, to working internationally on the shared issues we face, and to making Europe better from within.
If we want the kind of future we believe is possible, then we need to harness the amazing energy, passion and skills that can be found throughout our party.
Our members have always been the life-blood of our organisation. Democracy, participation and giving people a voice is at the very core of our identity.
And at a time when other political parties are looking to us, to try and rediscover radical ideas such as a party conference that is there to make policy, not look good on TV, it seems right to take some ideas from them in return.
One of these is how we can best nurture our talent, including bringing on the next generation of Green MPs: potential leaders and opinion formers who have the judgement, commitment and a propensity for the incredible hard work that it takes to get elected under our first past the post system.
We will be asking an awful lot from them in the years to come. We must do everything we can for them in return.
That’s why, today, I am proud to announce the launch of Generation Green – a new programme to nurture talent within our party.
It will start by giving five of our election candidates the kinds of training and preparation that their rivals in the other political parties have always accessed. It’s part of a vision to make our party stronger from the grassroots up; to amplify the voices setting out why we are distinct. Leading by example. The party of the future.

12 Sep 2015

Greens congratulate Corbyn on his leadership win

The Green Party has offered its congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on becoming the leader of the Labour Party.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:
"The selection of Corbyn, combined with the remarkable Green surge of the past year , and the SNP's successes in the Westminster election, shows just how many people support an alternative to austerity economics, a head-in-the-sand approach to our environmental crisis and our tired, business-as-usual politics.

"The Green Party shares Corbyn’s opposition to austerity, Trident nuclear weapons, and the sell-off of public assets and  will be delighted to work with his Labour Party and others who share our views on these and other issues.

"The Green Party is committed to standing up for migrants and refugees and calls on the new Labour leader to challenge the government’s feeble and inadequate response to the global refugee crisis.

"In addition, we hope to engage Corbyn and the Labour Party in discussions about the urgent need for electoral reform. As the May 2015 General Election proved, our outdated and unrepresentative system fails both democracy and the electorate.

"We hope Corbyn will encourage his supporters to join with us and other campaigners working on these issues, and, in particular, on pushing the issue of climate change to the top of the political agenda ahead of the upcoming Paris talks."

"The Green Party’s doors continue to remain open to those who want to create a new kind of progressive politics, working, as we have been consistently for decades, for a society in which no one fears not being able to put food on the table or keep a roof over their head, while we all collectively live within the environmental limits of our fragile planet."

3 Sep 2015

National day of action, Called by Stand up to Racism, BARAC, Stop the War Coalition, Migrant Rights Network

National day of action, Called by Stand up to Racism, BARAC, Stop the War Coalition, Migrant Rights Network 

This event has been called in response to various reports of refugees fleeing war, persecution, torture and poverty losing their lives or struggling to find a safe haven. This includes the death of 200 refugees off the coast of Libya, around 70 refugees in a truck in Austria and on going reports of refugees drowning crossing the Mediterranean, stranded in Hungary and prohibited from moving around the EU, and those in Calais struggling to find sanctuary.

The government response to this has been disgraceful. Unlike Germany, Italy and Greece, Britain has not offered a safe haven for these people. 

Monday 14 September Home Secretary Theresa May will be meeting with EU leaders about the refugee crisis. We must learn the lessons of history and call on the government to take a humanitarian and compassionate response to refugees.

We are calling on the British government to meet its share of the responsibility for providing protection. Let's send a strong message: we say refugees are welcome here.

We are also calling for a national day of action on Saturday 12 September, organise local events at places of worship or unveil a "Refugees Welcome Here" banner at football matches, use your imagination!

Join us on Saturday 12 September 2015 2pm Downing Street

2 Sep 2015

Greens elect Sian Berry as their Mayoral candidate and name their GLA Assembly list

The candidiates book-ended by Jenny Jones and Natalie Bennett
The London Green Party announced this afternoon that Sian Berry will be their candidate for the London Mayoral election in 2015.

She declared,  "London and its land belongs to all of us."

This is what she said in her campaigning statement:
For too long our city has been run for the powerful and privileged. But people are refusing to sit quietly. London is full of amazing communities and campaigns building a new kind of politics. In Europe’s other great cities, citizens are voting for real change on the crest of this wave of activism. Why should London miss out?
I ran for Mayor in 2008 taking us from 7th to 4th, winning endorsements from the Independent and Observer. Back then, London Green Party had around 1,000 members – now we have the talent of 12,000. I’m determined we give Londoners the big, open, inspiring campaign they deserve.

As Green candidate for Mayor, I’ll stand up for the 99%

I want Londoners to shape our manifesto, holding open meetings with communities and campaigners on:
  • Making housing and rents affordable – brutally neglected by the current Mayor
  • Rethinking policing – do we want officers spying on campaigners or investigating tax fraud?
  • Reinventing the City – our international finance experts should be creating new ways of doing business that don’t exploit the majority
  • Getting to grips with killer air pollution – cutting traffic, reducing fares, and making cycling safe
The Green Party List as voted by members was also announced. Seats are allocated on the position on the list and the overall number of vote for the Green Party in the GLA election. The more votes we get the more canadidiates from the list become Assembly Members,  In the last GLA election the top two, Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson, were elected to the Assembly.

List in order:

1. Sian Berrry
2. Caroline Russell
3. .Jonathan Bartley
4. Noel Lynch
5. Shahar Ali
6. Rashid Nix
7. Tom Chance
8. Benali Hamdache
9. Dee Searle
10. Andrea Carey Fuller
11. Rosemay Warrington

Barnet UNISON Save Barnet Libraries March September 12th 2015

 I’m drawing this to your attention as I think this is something to support. The closure and privatisation of libraries is about that issue but also about the diminishing existence of public spaces and access to culture. When you think about the National Gallery dispute these are very similar issues. Barnet is attempting to outsource its Social Services also. So this march is under the banner of the libraries campaign but is about other campaigns coming along to offer their solidarity and to protest about their issue also. Anything you can do to promote this and support would be gratefully appreciated. The London SWAN banner would be very welcome. I anticipate we will have social workers on the march so it will be an opportunity to promote SWAN.
Save Barnet Libraries March September 12th 2015
Keep up to date go to the new Barnet UNISON website at http://www.barnetunison.me.uk

31 Aug 2015

URGENT: One week to save Cricklewood's only green space

Cricklewood Open Space (Thomas Bell Photographs)

This is what Barnet Council says to justify the selling off of Cricklewood's last green space:
The subject plot fronting B&Q, on Cricklewood Lane is currently an open space primarily used as a disabled access ramp to the B&Q store. It is regularly fly-tipped and attracts rough sleepers among other social issues such as alcohol and substance misuse. The proximity to local businesses means on-going disturbance to businesses, environmental degradation, and Health & Safety concerns resulting from substance/alcohol misuse and excessive littering. Retention of the site in its existing condition would not only allow these problems to continue, but also drain the Council’s resources in terms of on-going management costs. 

Campaigners and residents from Barnet and Council came together in November 2013  to protest at the possible disposal of the green space outside B&Q in Cricklewood and are organising again as a planning application to build on it goes before Barnet Council on September 7th.
November 2013
The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Development sent this message over the weekend:

Barnet  Councilare meeting on September 7th to discuss the sale of Cricklewood’s only green space, outside B&Q. It was given as public open space in 1987 when the retail park was built. Crown Estates sold it to Barnet in 2004 with a stipulation it would not be built on.  Barnet have managed to remove this requirement, and are selling public land with no public consultation.

All the known Cricklewood Green Space material is now on the BX Coalition website  LINK - scroll down for the last few postings there:

Actions you can take
-          Tweet @Barnetcouncil using #CricklewoodGreen
-          Sign the petition if you haven’t before and ask your neighbours to sign LINK
-          Write to the papers
-          Write to the committee about the sale of public land without consultation,
-          Join us in a protest outside the meeting on September 7th (check blog)
-          Keep checking the blog and Twitter @BXcoalition

From the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Development
Our co-ordinator  Alison is on holiday, please contact fiona.colgan@yahoo.co.uk

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group extends its protests against Genesis Housing Association

KUWG extend anti-property market greed protest to Genesis HA Willesden offices, Wed 2 Sept, 4pm-5pm

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group extends its protests against Genesis Housing Association's CEO (Neil Hadden) proposal to just build private units for sale rather than building 'social' housing with low rents.  

Two weeks ago we picketed Genesis HA Camden; next we picket Genesis HA Willesden offices on Wednesday 2 September, 4pm-5pm, as agreed at KUWG business meeting held on Thursday 27 August.

(If it ain't 'social' it must be ANTI-social)...SIMPLES!

The protest will be at :

Utopia House

192-196 High Road
NW10 2PB 

Wednesday 2nd September 4pm-5pm.

The first protest was at their Camden Head office, so we feel a bit of outreach to Brent workers and citizens would show we like to inform all concerned and let the small fry know what the big fry are up to.

Me, Pam, Alan3, Elizabeth2, Ivy and Giselle going with Michael and Ellen as maybes. (All others welcome, even if only to see Ivy's "GULP AND SHIT" poster!)

Below is a link to a letter in this week's Camden New Journal by Comrade Peter Rutherford who is a persistent thorn in Genesis' backside

Would be good to have union representation at the protest, as sure the workers signed up to be in social roles not real estate agents for the rich! STOP SOCIAL CLEANSING BY WASHING HADDEN'S CRAPPY IDEAS AWAY!!

28 Aug 2015

BAR Gallery to close at the end of September

Dear Member,

Since leaving the Willesden Green Library Centre in July 2012, Brent Artists Resource has been located in Electric House and more recently Queens Parade, both pop-up spaces under the auspices of Meanwhile Space. This has helped us to provide an adventurous and continuous gallery service for our wide-ranging artistic community.

Until recently we had been hoping to find a way to re-establish ourselves at the new Gallery space at the new Willesden Green Library Centre. Unfortunately this has not been possible.

Under Laurie Cesek’s enthusiastic curatorial work at the present space on Queen’s Parade we have maintained a lively exhibition programme and with a little help from Brent Council we have provided hireable space for many creative groups and individuals as a stop- gap until the Library reopened. The agreement with the Council ended over a year ago and since then we have been funding the space ourselves, with the hope that we could find a new space that we could afford while retaining Laurie’s services as a Gallery Director.

Unfortunately over time this has become unsustainable and rather than fall into debt, the BAR Board has decided that we will serve our member best if we close our doors at Queens Parade at the end of September.

We are looking for an alternative space and are planning to carry on supporting art practice, providing our members with 3 exhibitions a year. The first exhibition will be at the Willesden Green Library space in November. We also will be doing a Bus Stop Event on Queens Park Day on 13 September.

We want to make the most of our final few weeks at our gallery on Queens Parade. We hope you will celebrate with us all the great work we have achieved over the last 2 years, by joining us at our final exhibition preview and Closing Party

Figure & Portrait Preview Evening: Friday 11th September 6pm-10pm 

More details on event page: 

BAR @ Queens Parade Closing Party: Friday 25th September 6pm-10pm 

More details coming soon!


John Blandy


Opening Hours: 12pm-6pm Tuesday-Friday,  2-6pm Saturdays

BAR Gallery, 4-5 Queens Parade, Walm Lane, London, NW2 5HT

Keep up to date with the latest news here

26 Aug 2015

"The Bride of Chalkhill" (after Julio González)

"The Bride of Chalkhill" (after Julio González)

A nartwork by p.r.murry
 will be displayed at  
 Figure & Portrait Exhibition at BAR Gallery
12 – 25 September
Private View: 11th September 6pm-9pm
Brent Artists Resource · BAR Gallery · Unit 4-5, Queens Parade, Willesden Lane · London, London NW2