WG Cultural Centre build: Some funding conditions from the development

Here is a selection of the conditions tied to this planning approval:

- Phasing to ensure that number of residential units shall not be occupied until WGCC built.
- Up to £40,000 towards improvement of local bus stops.
- “Permit free” on housing element of scheme.
- Achieve sustainability checklist.
- Join the Considerate Contractors Scheme (CCS).
- Travel Plans for WGCC and housing element.
- Training Package “Brent in2 work.”
- Works relating to works to Grange Rd, High Rd, Brondesbury Walk and Brondesbury Park will    include streetscape enhancements.
- Not less than £30,000 towards public art in the public areas of the building.
- Up to £10,000 for the promotion and implementation of “car clubs” in the locality.
Brent will be getting a share of the profits from the sale of the private flats through an overage agreement and any clawback will be reinvested in the delivery of affordable housing in Brent.

Children's Centres

I have been a board member of the Willesden Locality Board for some time and recently applied to be its independent chair. The board monitors facilities and schemes for children from birth to starting school and combines health, welfare and parent well-being to help the children thrive. Labour’s early years programme was radical and essential. Children's Centres and the Sure Start programme is viewed as one of the previous Labour government’s most permanently transformative successes.  It is to be hoped that despite the cuts in funding for pre-school support, Brent Council will do its best to maintain its Childrens' Centres.

End to statutory notices?

For many years councils have been legally required to publish notices of items such as highways works, road closures etc. in local papers. The average cost of publishing a notice is around £1,000. Annual cost to councils around £26m. Some councils have tried to save money by using hard to read fonts in a notice or not including their logos. There is now the possibility that this requirement will end in 2 years' time. For once we can thank Minister Eric Pickles for doing something sensible.