2 Dec 2016

Letters in support of Indro Sen, pp the Greens and London Retired Members of the University and College Union,

As Trade Union Liaison Officer for the London Federation of Green Parties and for Brent Green Party, I was shocked to learn of the suspension of Indro Sen as a lecturer at the College of North West London. It is suggested that this is because of his strong opposition to a proposed merger with City and Westminster College, and his support at an employment tribunal of a sacked colleague’s claim of unfair dismissal and victimisation.

Both of these are actions which it is entirely proper for a University and College Union Branch Secretary to carry out. If Indro Sen’s suspension is a result of his performing the legitimate duties of a UCU Officer, then he himself seems to be threatened with unfair treatment and victimisation.

As a former Lecturer in the College and a retired member of UCU , I am saddened that the College, which provides a valued service to the communities of North West London., and Brent in particular, might bring itself into disrepute because of its treatment of Indro Sen. I am sure that members and supporters of the Green Party, UCU members , and the local communities will support my call for the immediate and full reinstatement of Indro Sen as a lecturer at the College and no further interference with his activities as UCU Branch Secretary.

Yours sincerely,
 Peter Murry 

Trade Union Liaison Officer for the London Federation of Green Parties and for Brent Green Party

[for the attention of the Principal and Chair of Governors, College of North West London]
Sir / Madam

I am writing on behalf of the London Retired Members of the University and College Union, to protest at the suspension of Indro Sen as a lecturer at the College of North West London. We have been led to believe that this is because of his opposition to a proposed merger with City and Westminster College, and his support at an employment tribunal of a sacked colleague’s claim of unfair dismissal and victimisation.

It seems to us that Mr Sen is himself being victimised for carrying out his legitimate duties as a branch secretary of our trade union. This unfair treatment threatens the good name of a college that provides valuable service to the people in North West London. We would like to add our name to the protests that you have already received from his colleagues, his students and the wider community. We shall support the inevitable public demonstrations to demand both the reinstatement of Mr Sen and end of this ill omened merger.

Please reconsider before further damage is done to your reputation.

Yours faithfully
Dr Steve Cushion


1 Dec 2016

NO SUSPENSION NO VICTIMISATION at the College of NW LONDON: DEFEND SEN AND DEFEND GOOD MATHS TEACHING

NO SUSPENSION NO VICTIMISATION
DEFEND SEN AND DEFEND GOOD MATHS TEACHING

Dear Students
UCU branch at the college is sorry to inform you that:
·         Sen, one of your favourite teacher, was suspended and is threatened with dismissal from your College by Senior Management on 11 October 2016. Since then, Sen has been prevented from doing the thing he loves the most: teaching maths
UCU Branch at CNWL believe that his suspension and threatened dismissal is linked with
·         his strong opposition to our College closing through a proposed merger with City and Westminster College. He led a campaign in 2013 that successfully stopped our College closing down through a merger with City of Westminster College
and
·         his support at an employment tribunal of a sacked colleague’s claim of unfair dismissal and victimisation case against some College Senior Managers
You can show your support for Sen by:
1.     signing the ‘DEFEND SEN AND DEFEND GOOD MATHS TEACHING”, petition.
2.     Using your LEARNER VOICE power to get him back in the classroom where he belongs.
3.     Sending him a MESSAGE OF SUPPORT at senkingsland@hotmail.com
as he is missing his classes and missing teaching maths

 You will be shocked to hear Sen has been suspended and threatened with dismissal.  See the press coverage below.

The branch believes the additional reasons for this desperate action are in the leaflets attached 

We are in the process of organising a public meeting in January and will let you know the venue. Please indicate if you will be able to attend when we let you know the dates.
Also, any donations are welcome.

Regards
Colin Purkey on behalf of branch committee: Wapal Worrell, Colin Purkey, Bernie Driscoll, Angela McGrady, Shelley Bennet, Julia Collins, Julian Holt, Catherine Lemmon, Isabelle Rahman



Please send your messages of support for the branch to:


Messages of support to Sen at:

senkingsland@Hotmail.com

Messages of protest with copies to Colin.Purkey and senkingsland@hotmail.com to:

Andy.Cole@cnwl.ac.uk -- Principal

Judith.Williams@cnwl.ac.uk - chair of governors

Unions call for strike action as member suspended from Brent college

Unions call for strike action as member suspended from Brent college 

10:10 01 December 2016

Indro Sen has been suspended from CNWL
Union chiefs at a Brent college are calling for strike action over the suspension of one of its members.
The University College Union (UCU) branch committee at the College of NorthWest London, is balloting members in support of Indra Sen, a maths teacher and union branch secretary.Mr Sen, an opponent of CNWL plans to merge with Westminster College, was suspended in October while representing a former CNWL employee at an employment tribunal.
Colin Purkey, branch chairman of the UCU, said: “The Branch has recommended escalating strike action to compel management to lift the suspension and threat of dismissal.
“We believe it is no coincidence that Sen was suspended just prior to the management of CNWL announcing its intention to merge with City of Westminster College.
Sen has defended us and our college over the years and now it is our turn to defend our Sen and defend our college.”
The Times reported the major outcry in 2013 when plans were announced for CNWL, which has campus’ in Wembley Park and Dudden Hill Lane, to be merged with The City of Westminster College.
Mr Sen said: “Regardless that I am suspended, if the merger goes ahead students will suffer. They will have to travel much further. This site will become an annex out of Westminster. This college has served this community for many years. It is so important for our students who come from such varied backgrounds. They need something like this. We can’t see its independence being surrendered.
A spokesman for CNWL said merger plans were back on track. He added: “Full statements were issued to staff about collaboration plans in October 2015 when they were first made, and regularly since. The proposal to work towards to a merger with City of Westminster College was made in October 2016 with open meetings and written communications provided to all staff.
“Both colleges’ governing bodies are working through the merger proposal and will finalise a decision on taking this forward in December, with a view to merger being completed in August 2017.
“The college did receive notification from UCU over an intention to ballot members on strike action regarding the suspension of Mr Sen.”

23 Nov 2016

Caroline Lucas slams Government's Autumn Statement that shirks its responsibilities


Caroline Lucas, the Green Party co-leader and MP for Brighton Pavilion, has accused the Government of 'shirking its responsbilities' after today's Autumn Statement.

Lucas accused the Government of having 'deeply skewed priorities'. She said:
Britain is drifting towards the stormy and unchartered waters of brexit with ministers refusing to reveal the route, or properly adjust the sails according to the headwinds. We needed an Autumn statement which rose to the challenges of the day, but we see a government shirking its responsibilities, lacking any moral compass and leaving us dangerously exposed to both economic shocks and climate change.

This Autumn statement shows a Government with deeply skewed priorities. At a time of uncertainty they are continuing with plans to give a tax cut to corporations and the highest earners – while our NHS is strapped for cash and local services are under immense strain. We could save billions by scrapping the plans to cut corporate tax and raising the threshold for the highest earners – and we could plough that money into our ailing NHS – but the Government has refused to change course.
Lucas slammed the Chancellor for failing 'even mention climate change' in his speech. She said:
With Trump’s election this could have been a moment for Britain to become a world-leader in the fight against catastrophic climate change but, instead, we see little evidence of a commitment to facing up to the greatest challenge of our times. Indeed, it is shameful that the Chancellor failed to even mention climate change in his speech. By caving into the motor lobby and freezing fuel duty again for the seventh year in a row the Government has made a mockery of the fact that it is the hottest year on record and condemned us to more carbon emissions and deadly pollution.

A Government with a genuinely bold vision could have used this Autumn statement to ensure that the economy is future facing on everything from the risks of a potential Brexit to the threats posed by climate change and growing inequality. Instead we have a backwards looking budget that fails to wage war on poverty and fails to grasp the realities of an uncertain world and the limited resources in it. A serious response to the situation we’re in could, for example, have included a nationwide insulation scheme to keep people warm in their homes, cut bills and create jobs in every community. Or the Conservatives could have scrapped their plan to hand cash to corporations and high earners and instead give the NHS the funding it so desperately needs.



22 Nov 2016

2016 Election- Is America sick?

The other day, I came across a very interesting viewpoint regarding the election of President Elect Trump. I thought it was a viewpoint worth exploring. Getting sick is a warning to the body that something needs to change otherwise there may be a fatal consequence. 

America obviously was seeking change through this election, as lets face it, neither candidates were ideal. What Trump seems to have given America, is a taste of what it's like to be out of their comfort zone. An average candidate, doesn't make make people think. Doesn't stir up any sort of emotional response, be it positive or negative. Maybe this outcome is what was needed to make America realise change is needed in order to progress, to make people think and want to act to change a previously broken system.



How much worse does it have to get before people notice that the way Brent council is run is the 'sickness' warning us change is needed?

Written by L.E.

21 Nov 2016

Stand up for the Planet and against Trump this Friday evening US Embassy


From the Campaign Against Climate Change

There will be another demonstration against Donald Trump and his undermining of action on climate change this Friday 5.30pm to 7pm 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1

FACEBOOK EVENT

Climate scientists and experts around the world are warning that a Trump presidency could spell 'game over' for the climate. But activists in the US and around the world are lining up to fight for the planet and we will stand alongside them. Join us at the US embassy to send a clear message of solidarity and determination, find out more about the global climate struggle and plans for future action. Speakers tbc.

Read more:


Trump a disaster for planet Guardian  Vox Com


This is what Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said after the presidential election:



17 Nov 2016

Trump's climate policies are nothing short of genocidal









Date: THIS FRIDAY, 18th November
Time: 6:00pm
Location: US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1A 2LQ. Map here
As the UN COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh draw to a close, a new dawn for climate policy is breaking with the election of Donald Trump as the President of the USA.

Environmental campaigners' worst fears look to be justified, as Presdent-elect Trump has already announced the appointment of Myron Ebell, a prominent climate change denier with strong links to the fossil fuel industry, as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Earlier this week, the World Meteorological Organization predicted that 2016 is almost certainly going to be the hottest year on record, surpassing last year's record. Trump has called climate change a "hoax". The disconnect between the climate crisis and those holding power has never been starker. Now only the most wildly optimistic have any hope that the world won't pass 2°C.

This time last year the world's leaders came together in Paris to agree the historic Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit the increase in temperature to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It came into earlier at the beginning of the month. America is responsible for almost 20% of global carbon emissions and is the world's highest per capita polluter.

Trump has made it clear that he wants to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as possible and his staff are already looking for ways to do so. There are real fears that this could pave the way for similar moves from other countries looking for a way to appease those with vested interests.

So, join us outside the American Embassy in Mayfair at 6pm on Friday to send a clear message: Trump's climate policies are nothing short of genocidal and will seal the fate of the millions, if not billions of people who are set to lose their lives as the planet warms irreversibly.

Please join and share our Facebook event with all the latest information:
https://www.facebook.com/events/333429317036859
----
info@climatedefence.org
07903 316 331 / 07779 500 235

15 Nov 2016

Greens' Guide to the Rights of EU Nationals in the UK



With EU nationals' rights considered a legitimate bargaining chip by the Government in the Brexit negotiations, JeanLamber MEP  and other Greens are showing we are firmly on the side of EU nationals and will stand up for their rights and for freedom of movement.

Written with a barrister, the factsheet contains important information about existing rights (see below)

Please note that this factsheet is designed to provide information only. The law may have changed since this was produced in November 2016 and you should always seek up-to-date legal advice. The author and publisher cannot accept responsibility for any reliance placed on the information contained in this factsheet.

Click on bottom right corner for full view

13 Nov 2016

Lucas on Trump: 'Let's light a candle rather than curse the darkness'

November 9th: Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green Party, has responded to Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States.

She said:
This is a devastating day for women, for people of colour, for disabled people and for an inclusive society in the USA.

Trump’s election is also a hammer blow for the fight against climate change – and presents a genuine threat to some of the poorest people in the world who will suffer its effects worse.

But this is no time to mourn – instead we must organize like never before to keep our communities cohesive and our climate safe. On this dark day we extend the hand of friendship to people in the USA who wake up in fear – we know that you are not defined by the hatred espoused by your new president. But it’s at times like this when we need to unite, learn, resist and hope more than ever before. Today, in whatever ways we can, let’s light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

Jam Jelly and Chutney for sale

From: Willesden Harvesters <willesdenharvesters@gmail.com>
Subject: Jam Jelly and Chutney for sale
Date: 13 November 2016 at 20:20:03 GMT
To: Willesden Harvesters Gmail <willesdenharvesters@gmail.com>

Dear all,

We have some of our produce for sale this year.  It could be the perfect Christmas present!

We have apple and blackberry jam, pink apple jam, crab apple jelly, chilli and ginger chutney, and Christmas chutney, all made from local apples, pears, blackberries and crab apples. 

There is no photo of the jar of our Christmas chutney, but it is also available. 
(made with star anise, cinnamon, clementines and dates) 

If you would like to buy any of the above mentioned, please email us. 

It could be the perfect Christmas present :)

Kind regards
Vendy 
(on behalf of Willesden Fruit Harvesters)

10 Nov 2016

Transition Willesden monitoring for nitrogen dioxide

Hello all
Along with Transition K2K we have been monitoring for nitrogen dioxide in the area.  See and join our online group to find out more about the project, plus some useful info on what you can do about air pollution here.

This is part of a citizen science project run by the London Sustainability Exchange (LSX).
On Saturday 19th November we will be meeting at 10:00 at Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ.  We will be analysing the results and defining an action plan. If you would like to attend pls let us know by replying to this email. We have limited no of places so please let us know if you are interested.
To prepare for this event we are asked to a look at Brent's air quality plans:  https://www.brent.gov.uk/services-for-residents/environment/pollution/air-quality/
And read what other communities did to improve air quality in their area. See report here: https://issuu.com/londonsustainabilityexchange/docs/lsx_ca4c_final_report_nov_2015
We understand that the monitoring results show that a lot needs to be done in our area. It is up to us and the local community to take action!  All are welcome to get involved.
Please start thinking about what would you like to ask our local authority, how you want to work with planners, local businesses and health professionals to improve air quality in our area.
You can also join LSX's next events:
-          Webinar about Mayor’s consultation and DEFRA consultation: http://cmp.charityemail.org.uk/CXK-4D25N-4/sv.aspx
-          Event about Green Infrastructure and Air Quality: http://cmp.charityemail.org.uk/CXK-4L9M1-4/sv.aspx
Many thanks,
Viv

23 Oct 2016

Heron House campaigners issue urgent call for support before October 25th deadline

Heron House campaigners issue urgent call for support before October 25th deadline

The site
Second Pre-application design


From campaigners against Heron House redevelopment plans LINK 

We urgently need your support to sign this Letter of Objection to stop the  huge redevelopment of Heron House, Wembley Hill Road, Wembley.  Please make any changes you see fit.

The deadline for comments/objections is October 25th 2016 

1)  Copy the letter below making any alterations you think fit. Insert your full name and address, including postcode, in FROM
2)  Paste into an email with Heron House Ref: 16/4156 in subject line and send  to:mandeep.chaggar@brent.gov.uk
3)  Now please forward to family members over 18 years and as many people as possible anywhere in the UK.

FROM:  

I strongly object to the proposed redevelopment of Heron House, Wembley Hill Road, Wembley by Plowden Limited,  for the following reasons and I urge Brent Council to refuse planning permission.  Brent Council Ref:  16/4156

1)  Stadium & High Road Regeneration: Those who live in Wembley can expect 11,000 high rise dwellings in the massive Regeneration of the Stadium and High Road Areas ("Regeneration").  As this regeneration was planned and agreed many decades ago, its progress will continue and one can only hope it will  be of benefit to all the residents of Brent. Will this now be copied in other locations throughout the country?

2) Smaller High Rise Developments: Our greatest fear is the  smaller high rise developments, which are intrusive and are rapidly creeping into residential streets everywhere,  whose impact is adversely affecting our quality of life.  One of these is the proposed redevelopment  of Heron House on Wembley Hill Road, into expensive higher rise flats and commercial businesses and I am very concerned that if permission is granted, similar developments could very well happen on my street next!

3) Not in Keeping with the Character of the Street:  Wembley Hill Road and all the street off it are totally residential and the existing Heron House was built in the '60s and is not as intrusive, overbearing or dense as the proposed development will be. The proposed development is much larger and certainly not in keeping with the character of the streets  and its visual effect will totally spoil the area.   Our streets consist of houses, bungalows, maisonettes, small blocks of flats and gardens.

4) Too close To Existing Regeneration:  As  the "Regeneration"  has already planned 11,000 dwellings, any more higher buildings in the same vicinity is surely excessive and would have a negative impact on the area, overshadowing all the houses around it, with an increase in noise pollution.

5) Loss of light, privacy and the existing outlook:  Although the Developers apparently plan to block some of the balcony glass partitions, they cannot possibly do this in all directions, so many residents will still be overlooked and lose their privacy and existing outlook. The dense building will also block out a significant amount of light for all the nearby residents.

6) Parking:   The proposal by Plowden mentioned a number of parking spaces smaller than the number of flats proposed. Therefore there will not be enough parking spaces for all the vehicles from the flats and the commercial businesses.   This will be putting even more pressure on the streets around  Wembley Hill Road, where there is already a huge demand for parking spaces and it is almost impossible to find one.

7) Traffic and Air Quality:  The transport implications have not been taken fully in consideration. The traffic at the nearby junction at the London Designer Outlet  is already gridlocked every day, so how will our roads cope with all the extra traffic that will be generated? There will always be disruptions around this junction, as road works never seem to stop and with all the extra traffic from the "Regeneration", we cannot allow even more traffic chaos from this new development.
The air quality in the area which has already been impacted by the "Regeneration", will only get worse. The main pollutants of concern, nitrogen oxides,  are lung irritant and especially liable to harm children and those with chest problems such as asthma. Surely the Council has a duty to enhance the health and wellbeing of the local community and not encourage every one of these smaller developments?  Heron House in particular  is right on the door step of the "Regeneration", it surely is not vital?

8)  Setting A Dangerous Precedent:  If this large higher development is allowed in a residential area, it will also set a dangerous precedent and before long even more developers will want to do the same. How much more destructive impact on our residential areas is the Council going to allow, despite huge opposition from its residents?  It is very unfair, as we are all already trying to retain the residential areas we live in, despite the looming high rises of the "Regeneration"

9)  Likely Purchase of Land Opposite:  These same developers have already expressed an interest in purchasing St Joseph's,  the land opposite Heron house, with a view to building yet another higher rise block! We cannot just sit back and do nothing and allow the development of these buildings, as local people are being priced out of the area, which impacts on other areas of the Borough.

10)  Other Sites:  There are many brown-filled and derelict sites in Brent, where these part/commercial development can be situated and these should be used before encroaching onto our residential streets.

11) Impact on Infrastructure:  What provision has been made for the infrastructure needed to cope with the extra people? As this is a new development,  provision obviously was not made when creating the "Regeneration".

12) A Concrete Jungle:  I am trying not to be too pessimistic, but  these smaller high rise dense developments,  which are causing great concern amongst residents, could happen anywhere and before you know it the whole of Brent could  become a concrete jungle!  I wish I could say with certainty that this will not happen, but the speed with which  these smaller high rises are going up, makes me and my neighbours truly fearful. The lack of transparency when making these decisions is very worrying, as they have an adverse effect on all our lives.

13) Love Where You Live:  On the one hand Brent Council is encouraging residents to "love where you live" and improve our environment and yet on the other forcing us to accept even more higher rise developments.  I know things have to change and progress, but do we have to loose our precious existing residential areas for even more high rises? Surely Brent Council should be aiming for both?

14) The Attitude of Developers: Developers everywhere are undermining and exploiting planning authorities, with planning performance agreements and other inducements.  They must be opposed and cannot continue to completely ignore the wishes of residents.

 15)  Historical Significance: High Street which runs along one side of the proposed development is of great historical significance, more so since there is little left of the old Wembley after the thatched cottage down the road was burnt down. High Street was the main street in Wembley 250 years ago and it is the only public way in Wembley which carries the name "street". As such, we ask the Council to give this due consideration and protect this area and not allow such a massive redevelopment to spoil the character of this quiet historic part of Wembley, , which is so much part of our low rise suburban area.

16)  Lower Level Affordable Housing: We of course appreciate that more houses are needed, so we propose and would be happy to support lower level affordable family accommodation perhaps some with small private gardens, as this is just the sort of dwelling which is in very short supply in the borough. The proposed plans for Heron House are excessive, damaging and totally inappropriate for the area and as such they should be rejected.

(Petition Organiser: Zerine Tata, Tokyington Ward, Email:zerinetata@hotmail.com)