View from the chamber: A group of people have formed a committee to cultivate a derelict patch of land

The town hall are proposing to rise council tax 4.99 per cent

Brent Town Hall: Where decisions are made - Credit: Archant

I find it very welcoming when members of our community get together and carry out projects which will brighten our area and people’s lives.

A good example is in Kenton where a group of people have formed a committee to cultivate a derelict, overgrown and unsightly patch of land and are turning it into a beautiful local community biodiversity project.

With help and donations from local stores and garden centres, the group have planted flowers and bushes.

This strip of land is The Brook Way Community Biodiversity Project and is at the end of Brookfield Crescent adjacent to what was once the course of the Wealdstone Brook before it got straightened out. The pathway leads to a small footbridge over the brook and to Uxendon Manor School, except the footbridge is out of order, closed off as it is deemed dangerous.

Cllr Michael Maurice, Kenton ward

Cllr Michael Maurice despairs at the council's treatment of the Brook Way Community Biodiversity Project volunteers - Credit: Archant

Enter Brent Council and a less than helpful neighbour whose rear garden wall backs on to this patch of land which is being cultivated. Now this land measures just 5m x 45m. Yet between this neighbour and Brent, they have managed to delay this project, which in essence means that hundreds of pounds worth of flowers will go to waste. The neighbour claims that a very small section is his land. Brent can’t ascertain where the boundary is, but the garden is behind this neighbour’s wall.

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The committee has set a date for the grand opening of this biodiversity project to which the mayor together with the leader of the council and other dignitaries will be attending, so you’d have thought that the council officers would have tried to get things moving so that the project is completed, looking nice and presentable for the big day.

Brent Council’s officers are trying to help, in their own way, which unfortunately is not much help to the committee.

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In an email sent to the leaders of this group, an officer states: “that if the work is not completed on time so be it.” I emailed the officer to say that “local resident volunteers have worked extremely hard on this project and it would be nice to have the area safe, the footbridge and paths in operation and the area looking nice. Is that too much to ask?

The reply was “Unfortunately it is too much to ask, in this particular instance.”

I despair.

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