Levelling up not possible

Trevor Ellis, Chalkhill Road, Wembley, writes:

Democracy, local government, the London Borough of Brent, the Labour Party, Brent Council, Prospect House, Genesis Housing Association, and Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing.

What do they have in common?

Well, for starters, Brent has 59 seats held by Labour party councillors: including the newly elected Labour mayor, Lia Colacicco and so the Labour party, despite the recent loss of Labour supporters in Hartlepool, holds sway in this borough.

That’s all well and good for them, but what about the local residents with (or without) children, are their basic fundamental needs for housing being met? According to (Brent Advice Matters, 2021), “The council and Brent housing associations let about 500 social rent homes to people between April 2013 and March 2014.”

Further to that, the 62-housing-chapter says: “Brent, as is the case for the rest of London, has a large unfulfilled need for additional homes.”

Also, the Brent Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2018 (SHMA), identified a need for 48,000 additional homes between 2016- 2041.

The future prospects for Brent residents look bleak if the local authority can’t meet their needs.

My heart sank when I read about the way that tenants were treated by the landlords of Prospect House and Genesis Housing Association.

It won’t be of any comfort to them, but I want to let them know that I live in a flat that is owned and managed by Metropolitain Thames Valley Housing and over the past 20 years I have endured numerous problems and it’s not surprising to know that Brent Council had a hand in the regeneration of ChalkHill Estate which is now typically chaotic and riddled with social and structural problems.

What about local residents in Brent that have nowhere to live?

“Homeless people in Brent never go to the top of the waiting list automatically” according to the Brent Advice Matters website.

It is therefore not surprising to see people sitting in various parts of Brent that are evidently homeless even though a number of them seem to be part of a group that sit or stand outside supermarkets begging for money.

Strength is said to increase in numbers, yet the Labour cabinet, on a local level, is woefully weak even though that “weakness” is clearly increased by cuts to funding by the Tory Government.

That should cast doubt upon the “Levelling up” plan because it’s painfully evident that the money isn’t trickling down to where it is much needed.

Further to that, a weak opposition in the house of commons will inevitably keep us down in Brent.

The 2019 general and recent local elections (particularly in Hartlepool) irrespective of the loss of votes being blamed upon Brexit; stands as conclusive proof that the Labour Party squandered the trust it once had.

Neither Corbyn, Starmer or for that matter, Momentum, were able to lead it to victory because the source of victory stems from the electorate.

However, victory, if it is to be repeated, the winner must prove itself worthy by building (not breaking) the people and their country down on a local and central level.

Afterall, God gave us a brain, ears, and eyes for a purpose and it’s time for Labour to start using them.