38 days later….and the Brent LD website has been updated!

On Thursday it was announced that Sarah was urging her constituants to adviser her of “grot spots” in the locality. She promises “real action to tackle these problems”.

If Sarah was a blogger, she may have discovered the The Willesden Herald blog (delivering all the news that’s unfit to print). Over recent weeks, they have had photos of fly-tipping blocking roads around the area.

Sarah comments that “…often people just can’t tell what council taxpayers money is being spent on.” Well, perhaps that is true. Some people are ignorant to the obvious.

I can’t quite see the point – other than the political one – for asking people to send in their grot spots. What is Sarah going to do with these reports? Use them as a stick to beat the Labour council?

– ’sort these grot spots out’

– ‘but your refocusing our efforts for short term gains’

– ’sort out these grot spots!’

Efforts are being made by the Brough council to tidy-up the area. I heard the person responsible for waste management at Borough level talk about the improvements and the performance of the council in this area at a recent Mapesbury Residents Association meeting. I also met with various people from the Council Streetcare team you talked about their initiatives in removing graffiti, managing domestic and trade waste, increasing participation in recycling and street cleaning. All are working hard tackling these issues.

Is this effective? Adding another person the the loop? Why direct “grot spots” to Sarah for her to collect (and perhaps hold until a meeting point, thus adding delay to any action) and pass on for the council to resolve? According to a recent advertising campaign, “Brent People Do It Online” – access local governement services that is – Why not work in partnership with the council to enable either an email or picture text message to report a “grot spot” direct?

Or perhaps that e-government is too much for both the council and our MP.

This campaign has been going on for a while. On the 8th of September 2003, before Sarah had been elected, she challenged the candidates of the other parties to back a clean-up program for Brent. Sarah said, “Labour politicians should be ashamed of their neglect of our area. Local people deserve much better for their Council Tax money. We need urgent action to clean up Brent.”

A few days later, Sarah made the environment a key part of her manifesto for election in her “Green Pledge”.

While campaigning later that same month Sarah said,

“Clean, safe streets and decent local services should not be too much for local residents to ask for. If elected, I will work hard with local people, community groups and the Council to build a better Brent for everyone.”

In October, after being elected, Sarah was continuing the clean up campaign, saying

“Unfortunately…years of Labour neglect have left a catalogue of fly-tips, abandoned cars and broken pavements. A Liberal Democrat controlled council would make street-cleaning a much higher priority and take positive action to clean up Brent. Liberal Democrats in Parliament have called for Councils to have powers to remove abandoned cars more swiftly. I shall be joining my colleagues in calling for these powers to be granted in Parliament, to help make Brent a cleaner place to live.”

In November Sarah was appalled by the state of Neasden Shopping Centre and kept street care on the regeneration agenda of the Council.

In February of this year Sarah gave us a report on her first 6 months in office, tell us she had been continuing her campaign to clean up Brent she has reported hundreds of cases of Labour Council neglect in our area. My questions would be to whom and to what effect?

So…how about giving us some performance data Sarah for this campaign to clean-up Brent. 10 months since your campaign pledge – and what have you acheived? It would appear to me that given the need to continue the campaign that very little has been acheived in root-cause reduction and in incident response.

Although, I am glad to see that she’s been tackling the most visual reminder of capitalist greed. Grrrr – Privatisation and deregulation messed up our streets.