Friday, 24 January 2014

Some Facts About the Willesden Week of Action

Following the dismal Willesden Week of Action last November, and the many questions from residents about what it actually achieved, Make Willesden Green made a Freedom of Information request for the Council's Evaluation Report of that woeful week. We have the pleasure of sharing the document with you here. Although the Week of Action was meant to have three key objectives, it seems the Council mainly dedicated attention to the first of these - most notably by placing a 'matrix crime prevention sign outside the tube station'. 

On the back of the data presented in the Evaluation Report, I decided to write the letter below to the editor of the Brent and Kilburn Times, if nothing else to set the record straight on what the priorities are among those residents consulted.  


As the May local elections approach, the Council (and indeed the ConDem opposition) will be claiming all sorts of support for local causes. It's important we keep reminding ourselves of their actual record over the past few years, and hold incumbent Councillors and their local parties to account at the ballot box.  


Monday, 13 January 2014

A Short Note on Our Policy Afternoon

MWG candidate Alex Colas discussing the education proposals

When Make Willesden Green was launched in October, a common response among our supporters was the need for the campaign to develop some specific policies. It’s taken us a few months of public engagement and private reflection to identify our key policy areas, but on Saturday a gathering of Make Willesden Green supporters discussed, debated and agreed to a Manifesto which will focus on four themes: democratic participation in Brent; our local environment (including the High Road); housing; and education. A general disillusionment with the way ward Councillors of both parties and the Labour-led Local Authority have responded to pressing issues like the Library and Queensbury redevelopment or the privatisation of our schools, was  matched in our deliberations with some very creative and radical ideas about how to make Willesden - and indeed Brent- more democratic, vibrant, sustainable, socially mixed and affordable. The final version of the Manifesto will be published and disseminated soon.

MWG supporters (a stripey jumper consensus seems to be emerging)
At Saturday’s policy afternoon a statement was circulated on an issue that has exercised some of our opponents, namely Make Willesden Green’s relationship with the Green Party. Here is the statement, which is hopefully self-explanatory:
'Make Willesden Green (MWG) is not a political party but an electoral platform emerging from various community campaigns that have been active in our neighbourhood over the past few years. Alex Colas, the platform's candidate is not a member of any political party. We welcome the decision of the Green Party to stand only two candidates in this ward, leaving their third slot to the local independent grassroots candidate from MWG. In recognition of this, and the Green Party's ongoing and consistent support for community campaigns in our neighbourhood, MWG recommends our supporters give their two remaining votes to Green Party candidates.'

More discussion and debate, this time on local democracy