Supporting those experiencing bereavement

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So many lives have been lost to Covid-19 but the ability to grieve has been significantly impacted by the pandemic too.

The ability to grieve is so important for mental wellbeing following the death of a loved one.

To support the In loving memory of Londoners lost campaign, Thrive LDN has commissioned Cruse Bereavement Care to run a series of webinars aimed at boosting the knowledge and confidence levels for those who encounter bereaved people while at work. The training provides better understanding of how bereavement impacts individuals, families, organisations and communities – and the support available. 

The webinar is being run on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 29 June, 14:00
  • Thursday 1 July, 11:00
  • Thursday 13 July, 11:00 (with live British Sign Language interpretation)

Find out more and register for free via Thrive LDN

Please share with anyone who you feel may benefit from attending one of the sessions. 

Details for the ULEZ Car and Motorcycle Scrappage Scheme

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With the Ultra Low Emissions Zone more commonly known as ULEZ due to be extended to Brent this year, there is a generous scrappage scheme in place for people on low incomes.

You can apply to the scheme if you receive any of the below entitlements and live in a London Borough

  • Universal Credit
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • War Pensions Mobility Supplement
  • Working Tax Credit

The scheme offers two payments;

  • £1,000 to scrap a motorcycle or moped
  • £2,000 to scrap a car

The vehicle must not meet the ULEZ emissions standards. The payment can be used to purchase a vehicle which does meet the ULEZ standards.

For details, visit the following link https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/car-and-motorcycle-scrappage-scheme

Fundraising walk for Mutual Aid Groups and the Brent Solidarity Fund

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A socially distanced fundraising walk at Gladstone Park led by local Dudden Hill volunteer Diane to raise money for our fantastic local Mutual Aid support networks.

You have the choice to either donate to Brent Solidarity Fund here. The fund helps local residents facing financial hardship with small funding to pay utility bills or fund their immediate needs.

👉 to the Brent Solidarity Fund LINK to help local residents facing financial hardship with small funding to pay utility bills or fund their immediate needs.

Or

👉 to donate to Dudden Hill Mutual Aid LINK to finance emergency shopping, or other emergency needs for local residents living in Dudden Hill Ward.

Without your support, we would not exist, many thanks everyone

Losing Debenhams and other retail outlets will have a profound impact on local jobs and communities

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It will be a shame to see Debenhams in Harrow go – it has been part of the fabric of the area and has supported many people over the years with jobs and employment opportunities. There is wider concern about other retailers as well on our high streets who are not being supported. This is not just about Covid-19. Businesses have also been hit hard by business rate hikes and Covid has made things exponentially worse.

Government U-turn on removing free travel for under 18s in Harrow shows Sadiq Khan is ‘standing up for London’, says Labour Brent and Harrow Assembly Member candidate

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19,077 under 18s would have lost their free travel in Harrow if the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had not stood up for London and forced the Government into a humiliating U-turn, says Krupesh Hirani Labour Assembly Member candidate for Brent and Harrow.

The local Labour candidate hit out at Boris Johnson’s Government for trying to impose a series of cruel and unfair conditions on TfL users, saying the Tories wanted to punish Londoners for doing the right thing and following the rules in response to COVID-19.

Krupesh said if it wasn’t for Sadiq Khan opposing the Government – and refusing to accept the terms being dictated – free travel would have been scrapped for under 18s across the borough.

Krupesh, also said it was ‘shameful’ for the Government to attempt to scrap free travel for under 18s when Londoners had played their part in defeating the virus by staying at home and not using TfL services unnecessarily. The proposed change would have hit the poorest young Londoners hardest and been a major blow to families already struggling due to the pandemic.

The Mayor of London also slammed the Government’s plans, describing them as a ’slap in the face’ for Londoners, who were being asked to pay for the crisis through cuts.

As a result of the pandemic, TfL’s finances were hit hard as fares income fell by 70 per cent – as Londoners followed the Government’s rules and stayed at home.

Last month, the Mayor of London managed to reach an eleventh-hour agreement with the Government on a funding deal to keep Tube, bus and other TfL services in the capital running until March 2021. In doing so, he succeeded in killing off the very worst Government proposals, which were set out in writing by the Transport Secretary during the negotiations and included Government plans for a huge extension of the Congestion Charge Zone and the removal of free travel for older and younger Londoners.

However, the Tory Government is still determined to punish Londoners. They have said that if London wants to keep concessions for older and younger Londoners in future years, City Hall will have to raise the revenue itself – which Sadiq has committed to doing.

TfL has relied heavily on income from fares to cover the cost of running its services since the last Tory Government cut the transport authority’s £700m annual grant in its entirety, leaving London as the only major city in Western Europe not to receive direct Government funding to run day-to-day transport services.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:

“I am pleased that we have succeeded in killing off the very worst Government conditions, but it should never have come to this. Free travel is a lifeline for under 18s travelling to school or college, or to see friends and family.

“Removing it during a global pandemic when struggling families need our support, not cuts, wasn’t something I was ever prepared to let happen. It was absolutely crucial that we fought and defeated this unfair proposal.

“The final deal is far from ideal, but because we pushed back hard against the Tory Government’s original plans we were able to vastly improve the offer on the table. The reality is the only reason TfL needs Government support is because almost all our fares income has dried up since March, as Londoners have done the right thing and stayed at home during lockdown.

“In the face of a hostile Tory Government that is determined to punish our city – and make the poorest in our communities bear the cost of the coronavirus crisis – I will continue standing up for London.”

Krupesh Hirani, Assembly Member candidate for Brent and Harrow, said:

“Scrapping free travel for under-18s was a shameful proposal from the Tories, and it was crucial that we had a Mayor who was standing up for London throughout the negotiations.

“It is simply not right to make the poorest children pick up the cost of this pandemic. Households are already suffering because of the economic shock and the last thing struggling families need now is more Tory cuts that would lead to further financial difficulties for them.

“The fact Sadiq has managed to save these concessions shows how important it is to have a Labour Mayor in City Hall.”

Appeal from family of Brent murder victim

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The family of a man found murdered in Neasden have made a public appeal for information.

The body of 38-year-old Justin Bello was found in a communal area to the rear of Lovett Way, NW10, when police were called to the location at around 08:16hrs on 25 November, 2019.

A murder investigation was launched and a number of arrests have been made. At this time no charges have been brought.

A post-mortem examination was held on 28 November, 2019 at Northwick Park mortuary.

Officers are not releasing a cause of death for operational purposes, but can confirm the death is not thought to have been the result of a stab or gunshot injury.

In a statement, Justin’s family, said: “It has been almost a year since so-called humans robbed us of our son, father, brother, uncle, nephew and friend in the most frightening and inhumane way imaginable. The tidal wave of pain their actions caused has almost destroyed the lives of so many people because Justin was truly loved by everyone who ever met him.

“Our family’s pain will never, ever go away, and we struggle on for our children because we must show them that justice exists in life. So we must find the people who did this, find out why they thought they had the right to end our Justin’s loving, fulfilling and purposeful life.

“These people are still out there, living their lives among us in our communities, somewhere. There are people who know what happened, who know who did this or why – maybe it is you reading this right now, or, perhaps you are friends with people who talk about knowing things the police don’t, perhaps you have laughed with them, shared food with them all the while knowing or suspecting they may have the blood of a beautiful human smeared on their conscience. The question is: can you live with this knowledge, our Justin’s blood on yours?

“Please, if you have any information or suspicions, however insignificant you feel it might be, if you loved Justin, if you didn’t know him but understand right from wrong, if you sympathise with this never-ending nightmare these people have put Justin’s family and loved ones through, then perhaps you agree we need to take these people off our streets before they do it again – and we pray next time it isn’t your family, your child, your brother.

“Please, call the police, even anonymously if you fear for your own safety, but please do not allow our family to continue having to live with this life-destroying silence from the community any longer. Please come forward, clear your conscience and help us to find these sickening excuses for humans before they think they’ve got away with it and do it again.”

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Wallis, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Justin’s family have implored anyone with information to come forward, and I would do the same.

“We have a team of detectives ready to take your call, but we also understand that some people may not wish to speak to us directly. If this is the case, please call Crimestoppers without delay.

“They key to achieving justice for Justin is in the community.”

A number of other arrests have been made in connection with the investigation:

A 41-year-old man [A] was arrested in Norfolk on 29 November on suspicion of murder.

A 48-year-old man [B] was arrested in Cricklewood on 30 November on suspicion of murder.

A 47-year-old man [C] was arrested in Gipsy Hill on 5 December on suspicion of assisting an offender.

A 51-year-old man [D] attended an east London police station on 11 December and was arrested for assisting an offender.

A 26-year-old man [E] attended a south London police station on 17 December and was arrested for assisting an offender.

A 37-year-old man [F] attended a north London police station on 24 December and was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

A 34-year-old man [G] was arrested in Upper Norwood on Friday, 24 January on suspicion of murder.

A 31-year-old man [H] was arrested in Woolwich on the same day on suspicion of murder.

All have been released under investigation.

[I] A 48-year-old woman and [J] a 38-year-old woman were arrested on Wednesday, 1 July and Wednesday, 8 July, respectively on suspicion of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice. They were subsequently bailed to return pending further enquiries to a date in late September. Following this, they were released under investigation.

A 39–year-old man [K] was arrested in Brixton on Friday, 23 October on suspicion of murder and was released under investigation.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation, including anyone who saw suspicious people or vehicles in the area at the time of the attack, is asked to call the incident room on 020 8358 0400 or police on 101 quoting CAD 1446/Nov25/2019.

To remain anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.