Where You Live: Brent

Where You Live >> Brent

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Brent’s neighbourhoods, from Sudbury to Willesden Green, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Brent the plan means:

  • Freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 111,215 Brent households and putting an extra of £445 back into pockets. (GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link, DLG Website, Calculation of Council Tax Base for Formula, Grant Purposes, October 2011, link)
  • Investing the local high streets with a £3.3million renovation of Harlesden Town Centre and a £500,000 economic boost for Willesden Green, sponsored by the Mayor’s £50 million Outer London Fund to support the Capital’s High Streets. (GLA, Outer London Fund – Round 1 Grant Funding, 8 December 2011, link ) (GLA, Outer London Fund –Round Two Grant Funding, Summary of Winners, 12 January 2012, link ).  
  • Investing in local transport with the completion of London’s first orbital railway with 13 stations in the borough, rebuilding Wembley Park station to increase capacity, spending over £1.2 million to improve Brent roads  (TfL, Press Release, November 2008, link, TfL, Press Release, December 2009; link, TfL, Press Release, December 2010; link, TfL, Press Release, December 2011, link).

  • Boris is also supporting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour Government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom pass until 65. (GLA, Mayor’s Questions, 17 December 2008, link)
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low benefitting 111,215 households in Brent (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting an extra £445 back in the pocket of the average household.

Restoring green space

  • Brent River Park. Under the Mayor’s £6 million fund to improve the quality and safety of London’s parks, Brent River Park has received £400,000. (GLA, Press Release, link).
  • 413 street trees. 413 street trees have been planted in Brent under Boris Johnson (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 25 January 2012, link).
  • 15 green spaces. 15 green spaces have been created for Brent’s residents to grow their food. (Capital Growth Website, link).

Investing to transform local high streets

  • More than £2 million for Brent from Outer London Fund. Brent has received an economic boost of £2,258,785 from the Outer London Fund:

    • Willesden Green High Street. Willesden Green High Street received £500,000 as part of Round 1 of the Mayor’s £50 million Outer London Fund to support local High Streets (GLA, ‘Outer London Fund: Round 1 Grant Funding’, link).
    • Harrow Town Centre. Harrow Town Centre received £1,758,785 in funding to enable public realm enhancements, events and a business support programme. The Mayor’s funding supports the nurturing of sustainable growth and improves the vitality of high streets across outer London (GLA, ‘Outer London Fund: Round 2 Summary of Winners’, 12 January 2012, link).

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000. (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link)
  • 91 extra patrols a month In Brent there were 91 extra police patrols in Jan 2012 compared to May 2008 (GLA, Mayor’s questions, 25 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and robberies in Brent have reduced. Since May 2008, Brent has seen a 6.7%% decrease in total crime, a 11.5% reduction in the number of robberies and bus crime has fallen 27.9% (MPS Statistics, May 08 – Jan 12 compared to Aug 04-April 08).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded seven sport participation programmes in Brent so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link):
  • 7 organisations in Brent are receiving a Sports Legacy Programme. 7 organisations in Brent are receiving Sports Legacy Programme Grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).
  • Investment in Sports Facilities.  The Mayor has helped fund one facility in Brent.

Investing in transport

  • £16.9 million of funding for local transport in Brent. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £16.9 million to boost local transport in Brent including £600,00 to improve the environment along High Road Wembley to Wembley Hill Road.(TfL, Press Release, November 2008, link, TfL, Press Release, December 2009; link, TfL, Press Release, December 2010; link, TfL, Press Release, December 2011, link)

Underground

  • Work to improve reliability on Tube lines in Brent. This is part of the Tube upgrade programme, secured by Boris Johnson. These include:
    • Jubilee Line. Capacity has increased by 33%, providing more frequent trains and a 22% reduction in journey time. The line is now able to carry an additional 12,500 passengers per hour at peak time compared with before the upgrade (TfL Website, Jubilee line upgrade plan, link).
    • Metropolitan Line. The line has benefitted from new air-conditioned trains and new signalling, increasing capacity 27% and providing more frequent and faster journeys, meaning that the line can carry an additional 9,500 passengers per hour at peak time (TfL Website, Metropolitan line upgrade plan, link).

Rail

  • London Overground, London’s first orbital railway, has thirteen stations in Brent Kensal Green, Brondesbury Park, Brondesbury Station, Queen's Park, Kensal Rise, Willesden Junction, Harlesden, Stonebridge Park, Wembley Central, North Wembley, Kenton, South Kenton, and Kilburn High Road. (TfL Website, ‘London Overground’, link).
  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Brent is the 11th highest oyster-using borough on national rail services and Queens Park Station in Brent is now the 15th busiest in London by oyster card usage on national rail services (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).

Roads and congestion

  • Roads. TfL has spent £1,212,000 improving miles of roads and pavements in Brent which is 9th highest amount of any borough (TfL, Press Release, November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2010, link; TfL Press Release, December 2011, link).
  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17% cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Brent, which have adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link). 144 applications by utility companies to dig up roads in Brent have been refused following the introduction of the permit scheme (ibid.).
  • Scrapped the Western Extension Zone. Boris Johnson scrapped Ken Livingstone’s Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone in December 2010 after 69% of residents voted in favour of cancelling the zone (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link).
  • C-Charge. Boris also scrapped Ken Livingstone’s plans to introduce a £25 charge for family vehicles (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link)

Buses

  • Bus improvements. 32 bus routes in Brent have been expanded and or improved under Boris Johnson (TFL, Bus service changes May 2008-January 2012).
  • Bendy Buses replaced. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses. This will save more than £7 million a year and  (TFL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link).

Cycling

  • Cycle Funding. Brent gained £25,000 in funding to encourage residents to take up cycling (Going Going Biking Website, ‘Funding made available to London Borough’s’, 18 February 2011, link)

Housing

  • 1,840 total affordable housing units completed in Brent. 1,140 social rented and 690 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Brent between 2008/09 and 2010/11 (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006, 1007, 1008,link ).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has visited Brent more times in his first term than Ken Livingstone did in his second term. Boris Johnson has visited Brent eight times since July 2008. Ken Livingstone visited Brent just once in his second term as Mayor. (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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