News

Causing residents to fear their identity is under threat

A housing association has been accused of “sneakily trying to change the name” of an estate, causing residents to fear their identity is under threat.Hillside Housing Trust, a subsidiary of the Hyde Group, which manages properties on the Stonebridge Park Estate, has come under fire for allegedly phasing out the name Stonebridge in a bid to rebrand the area.But disgruntled residents have slammed the plans, claiming Hillside have shown “arrogance toward residents.”The fears come after a variety of letters sent to residents refer to them as “Hillside residents” on the “Hillside estate” rather than Stonebridge.One letter, seen by the Times, sent by the head of housing at the Hyde Group, says they are “committed to providing the best possible service to the residents of Hillside.”Furthermore a regular news leaflet formerly called “Stonebridge Community News” has been rebranded the “Hillside Community Newsletter.”Clement Bedeau, of Wood Rood, who has lived in Stonebridge for more than 30 years, said: “It’s arrogance from Hyde to think they can do this without telling people. We are Stonebridge residents and that is what we want to be known as.”Mr Bedeau organised a public meeting last week in response to the fears and it was attended by around 90 residents.The once-notorious estate, which had a fearsome reputation for more than 20 years, has undergone a major transformation but residents have claimed they are proud of their community and fear losing their identity.The properties are split between the council and Hillside Housing Trust who were chosen to help with the regeneration.Mr Bedeau added: “It is ironic given that they were chosen by us to help with the regeneration and they then decide to rebrand it as something totally different.Mick Mcdonald, chairman of the Stonebridge Brent Council Tenants Association, told the Times he thought it was for financial reasons.He said: “There are properties which have been granted planning consent that will be private. If buyers do any research they are not going to want to buy a house advertised as being on the Stonebridge estate.“But we are the residents and it should be down to us.”However, a spokesman for Hyde Housing denied any name change was imminent.He said: “We can confirm that The Hyde Group has not given Stonebridge estate a new name. Stonebridge estate remains Stonebridge estate.“Residents will receive a letter this week which confirms that rumours are untrue that either Hyde or Brent Council are using the Hyde Hillside name to change the name of the Stonebridge estate.”

Brent Council: NO to 20mph speed limit

Council chiefs have been accused of “waiting for an accident to happen” after snubbing calls to consider a borough wide 20mph speed limit for vehicles.The council says it will only deal with requests for the limit on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the level of accidents in a particular area.But campaign groups have called for the council to at least consider proposals for a borough-wide 20mph zone.The calls come following a recent meeting of the council’s highways committee where Cllr Janice Long asked if a report could be submitted investigating a 20mph limit.However, the request was rejected by the council’s head of transportation.Among the areas where a 20mph limit will be considered is Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, where there have been 32 accidents, including fatalities, in the past three years.A consultation was launched last week and Fiona Mulaisho, chair of Kensal Rise Residents Association, said: “For me, one death is enough – the figures here speak for themselves, which is why we campaigned for a limit here.“The council seems reluctant to engage on a borough wide level – it’s important that they listen because there is a problem. It isn’t keeping in the vision of a greener safer London to be reluctant to introduce 20mph zones.“Their modus operandi seems to be to just wait and see how many accidents happen in an area, which is wrong.”Jeremy Leach, London co-ordinator for campaign group 20s Plenty For Us, said: “The borough prides itself on its reduced accident rate which is good as is consulting on 20mph zones, but the problem has been that it hasn’t addressed rates on main roads, which is where most of the accidents happen.“Implementing small areas is terribly expensive and not cost effective.”However, a spokesman for the council said: “The council takes a case-by-case approach to the use of 20mph speed limits so that we can concentrate our investment in streets and areas with a history of accidents.“In cases where we know there to be an accident problem, and where speeds are greater than 24mph, we would only reduce the speed limit in conjunction with traffic management or calming measures that would effectively change the nature of the road and create an environment where a lowered speed limit would be adhered to without relying on enforcement and driver compliance alone.”Camden, Islington and Southwark have all decided to implement a 20mph limit while Haringey is consulting on the idea.

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Notice for the Extraordinary General Meeting:

Dear MembersNotice is hereby given that the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Brent Central Conservative Association to elect a new Chairman will be held on WEDNESDAY 24th AUGUST 2011 at the Association Office, 60 Neasden Lane, London NW10 2UW commencing at 7:30pm.Nominations are invited for the said position, and should be forwarded to the Acting Chairman Mrs.Jennifer Seaton-Brown at the address given above supported by both a Proposer and a Seconder, who is a current member of the Assoication to arrive NO LATER THAN FRIDAY 19th AUGUST 2011.