The possibility of putting a blue commemorative plaque on a house in Chapter Road has been raised. Some years ago there were efforts to commemorate the pianist and jazz band leader, Charley Kunz, who lived in Dollis Hill, a regular on the radio in the 1940's. Unfortunately the request failed, with funding for blue plaques generally being the reason. The latest request is to commemorate the London-based writer, John O’Donoghue, who lived in Chapter Road. John O’Donoghue emigrate to England where he wrote an autobiographical novel, eventually published in 1957 as "In a Quiet Land". This was followed in 1958 by "In a Strange Land" and "In Kerry Long Ago" in 1960. The first of the three was particularly successful. He died in London 1964, while working on a fourth book about his life. It would be good for Willesden if all its famous residents were commemorated in this way.
My last school job as a teacher was to be responsible for careers advice. Later I was a consultant developing careers provision in schools across three boroughs. I took the responsibility very seriously and aimed to provide students with all the information they needed to make informed choices about their future. During that time there were many changes dictated by ministers. Last year the Government transferred responsibility for delivering careers guidance away from local authorities, and passed it on to schools and a mixture of web and phone-based services. There are warnings against this. The charity Barnardos have published research suggesting the removal from councils risks ‘squandering young futures’ as services were failing to reach youngsters. The charity said the Government risked replacing face-to-face careers guidance with ‘remote online schemes that young people report they can’t use or don’t even know exist'. The charity highlighted the fact that some advice lines cost as much as 40p per minute to call. All this at a time when large numbers of out young people are out of work.