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Monday, 19 February 2018

Practical Steps After Carillion Demise

Local Government Lawyer has some practical guidance for how Councils impacted by the liquidation of Carillion can take back their services.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Cllr John Warren

Looking at the Kilburn Times, I am afraid I have to say that I find Cllr John Warren quite delusional.  His argument that Brent Council has lots of options to limit Council Tax rises is simply wrong and I suspect he knows it.  Even the Conservative government doesn't argue that since they build an expectation of Council Tax rises in their financial modelling to pay for rising social care costs.

The Council Tax rises, whereas only moderating pressures on social care and other parts of the Council budget, are effectively forced by his own government's record of spending cuts and economic failure and he really shouldn't try to pretend otherwise.

This is the kind of magical thinking that put Northants where it is today

Friday, 16 February 2018

Willesden Library Settles into a Routine

Above is Willesden Library ahead of a recent children's session and the vibrancy of the place is obvious.  I think now even its most vehement opponents would have to acknowledge its success.  However, it is still having issues to do with its day to day management.  The saddest of these is implicit in the warning not to threaten the staff, which has gone up throughout the library.  Unfortunately, this appears to be a regular feature of any public building.

It also seems to be having some problems keeping the toilets working, with the ground floor toilets now kept locked routinely.  If one or two of the others go out of order, this leads to excessive demand on the others, and I have even seen men apparently coming out of the womens toilets from time to time, which is frankly unattractive.

There is also a question over how the area around the library should be used.  So far it has not really been used for any events, which is a pity as it could be quite effectively I think.  The walkway at the back has been seen with the occasional car on it.  I am not sure whether this is permitted.  The area was intended primarily as a pedestrian space, but it is not designed according to shared space principles.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Lack of Accountability in Northants

It is curious to look at Northants.  Its budget appears to be unsettable.  All the local Tory MPs are denouncing the Council as useless without mentioned the way their own votes at Westminster are making all local government collapse. Half its ruling Tory councillor group now say that they are shocked, shocked at how bad things are.

Don't they realise that they were supposed to know what was going on?  Saying that they didn't know what was going on merely demonstrates their unfitness for office.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Boxpark in Wembley

Tonight's planning committee has an interesting application from Boxpark on the corner of Fulton Road and Olympic Way in Wembley.  It is for a meanwhile use of food and retail.  Unlike most such uses it is suggested it continue for about a decade.  You can see more about it here.

As a relatively small building I imagine it will lead to less controversy than some although there are highway safety implications in that area that need to be tackled as I have pointed out before