Here are a couple of extracts from today’s post on Wembley Matters.
His portfolio has expanded over his term in Brent to cover regeneration, planning, council housing, adult skills, environmental health, school expansion and the sale of some of the Council's own property. His approach to regeneration has often been controversial as a result of his view that the role of the Council is to smooth the way for developers. LINK
During his tenure there have been major regenerations in Wembley (Quintain), South Kilburn, Park Royal and Alperton. The high rise skyline of Brent will be his most visible legacy. Among the more controversial schemes have been the school expansion/new housing that saw the closure of Stonebridge Adventure Playground and the Willesden Green library development which resulted in luxury flats being sold at inflated prices in Singapore.And some extracts from the 2012 post it links to:
In December 2011, long before the Brent Council leadership coup, I posted an article on 'Brent Council: Who's in charge?' about the relationship between the then leader Ann John and Gareth Daniel LINK which commented on Garth Daniel's increasingly political comments.
Now the same question is being asked about Brent's Regeneration and Major Projects department and the relationship between the Director, Andy Donald and lead member, Cllr George Crane. I have commented before on the domination of the council by Major Projects and the delegating of many powers to Andy Donald by the Executive.
'Making the most of our land and assets' has become Andy Donald's crusade under the current administration. The promise of new buildings and redevelopment at 'nil cost' to the Council is clearly attractive to them at a time of reduced budgets. However 'our land' is not just the council's - it is OUR land - the people of Brent. That is where the battles over regeneration get nasty, as in the case of Willesden Green Library Centre. The council has given 'our land' and the profits they will get from 92 housing units to developers Galliford Try in exchange for a Cultural Centre. During Margaret Thatcher's period in office and the selling off of public assets to the private sector there was much talk of 'selling the family silver'. Brent Council now appears to be in the same business.Interesting times ahead for the Wanstead / Woodford corridor and Oakfield playing fields.