As earlier posts show (search this blog for Burnley posts), I have been very active in persuading Brent PCT to abandon their proposal to close this surgery and relocate patients to other doctors. I was in regular touch with patients in both Willesden Green and Dudden Hill Wards who were very upset by the proposed closure. Following representations from all Willesden and Dudden Hill councillors, the PCT had second thoughts and undertook to commission a new management arrangement. Now NHS Brent has completed an open tender procurement process for the Practice, with the successful bidder being 'social enterprise' company, Innovision Healthcare Ltd based in North London, working extensively with Enfield, Haringey and Camden PCTs. Innovision will also be managing the local enhanced service for homelessness for Brent. The contract has a start date of 1st November 2011, with the same members of staff and the Willesden Health Centre location. I also understand that other GP practices could be relocated to the Willesden Centre and that a better location within the Health Centre would be sought. Patient power can still work in these troubled times for the NHS!
Brent has just adopted a “Green Charter” which is intended to help us protect our environment. Areas covered include reducing carbon emissions, reducing waste and increasing recycling, sustainable development and transportation, sustainable land use and the protection of wildlife. A pleasing feature is that Brent has done enough to apply to be a Fair Trade borough – a valuable contribution to achieving the sustainable food and purchasing commitment.
The use of Planning Obligations (S106 agreements) were legal agreements between the council and developers negotiated through the planning application system. The purpose was to mitigate the negative impact of developments to provide new infrastructure such as new roads or new schools. Brent standardised much of the S106 system so that what a developer paid related to the number of homes developed. With the new Community Infrastructure Levy, (CIL) the government requires councils to go further with this idea and to levy a straight per square metre charge on all development over a given size. Also, with CIL, there will have to be a more local determination as to how the funds are allocated and will involve ward councillors and residents in decisions.