Times’ letters: Granville Carlton Centre and transport investment

Image of how the Carlton and Granville Centre in South Kilburn might look. PHOTO: Brent Council

Image of how the Carlton and Granville Centre in South Kilburn might look. PHOTO: Brent Council - Credit: Archant

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Committed to community

Mark Allan, chief executive, South Kilburn Trust, writes:

We support Brent Council’s plans to improve the Granville and Carlton Centres.

The plans, which were shaped by ideas and feedback from residents and community groups, will keep the original Carlton building and the main original part of the Granville building, and increase the amount of community space that the current Granville centre offers. The new community spaces will be of a much higher quality, more environmentally sustainable, fully sound-proofed, far more accessible to people with mobility needs, and of a quality that local people deserve for the long term.

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Since the South Kilburn Trust started running The Granville last May and opened it up to be accessible to everyone from the local community, we have had over 20,000 visits. We run a wide range of activities and events, the majority of which are free or very low cost to take part in. We offer resident discounts on spaces, which includes a special low rate for local community groups, including to Granville Community Kitchen. In fact all our prices are no higher than those charged at The Granville more than 10 years ago. We have had only one complaint of noise which was quickly resolved by moving the activity to a better room, and even if there is housing on site, we have housing right next door and have proved it can work well together.

There will also be extra workspace for start-up and growing enterprises, important for supporting the local economy and creating new local jobs – so far we have created 11 new local jobs since we opened in May 2018. In an area like South Kilburn, it’s important to have housing, community space and business space.

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The South Kilburn Trust is overseen by a Board of Trustees, three of whom are local residents, one is a former local resident who still owns a home in the area, three are residents, and one is from further afield but brings specific expertise. We are committed to working with the community and other stakeholders to make sure local people benefit from the improved nursery, community and enterprise spaces created.

Invest in walking, cycling and buses

Simon Erskine, Mortimer Road, Kensal Rise, writes:

Transport is the biggest source of climate emissions in the UK, and car journeys are the main reason.

But with so many roads unsafe for cycling, bus fares rocketing and routes scrapped, and our trains too often late and over-crowded, it’s no wonder that we often have to use the car to get from A to B.

Instead of working to fix this problem, the Department for Transport wants to spend tens of billions on building new roads and the white elephant HS2 rail line.

This money should be re-prioritised to repair our existing railways across the whole of the country, as well as investing in walking, cycling, buses, and trams. This would be a win-win for commuters and the climate, so why aren’t we pursuing it?

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