Are we second-class citizens around here? - Colindale resident asks deputy council leader

By Dave Speck in Local People

New buildings are turning parts of Colindale into a concrete jungle without infrastructure - while other parts are being neglected and attracting fly-tippers.

That’s the claim by Colindale councillor Nagus Narenthira, who has entered into a bitter row over the area with Barnet Council’s deputy leader this week – as revealed in a thread of emails to which The Barnet Press was copied in.

The row started when local resident Marian Healy, of Broadhead Strand, emailed Conservative Deputy Leader Dan Thomas with pictures of fly-tipped rubbish in her neighbourhood.

She said: “I am sick and tired of telling you about it yet it’s almost like you are sticking your two fingers up and ignoring us.  Are we second rate citizens around here?”

Councillor Thomas told her to contact her ward councillor because it was a matter for them “in the first instance.”

But in the next email, Councillor Nagus Narenthira, a Labour ward councillor for Colindale, told Mr Thomas she had already asked the council to sort out the problem “several times.”

She said: “This area of Colindale is badly neglected and it is not fair on our residents. As a member of the party who runs the council, can you alert the officers to act swiftly to solve these issues?”

Mr Thomas replied to her saying that she had the same access to council officers to resolve ward matters.  He said: “It is not true that councillors of the controlling group can get problems resolved more quickly, you are making a cheap political point when you should be on the case yourself.

“With regards to your claim of Colindale being neglected - millions are being spent on new schools, a community centre and a new station not to mention all the jobs being created and the Youth Zone that will be built a short distance away in Montrose Park. 

“The only people neglecting Colindale it seems are its Labour councillors.  This is a ward issue that should be resolved by ward councillors.”

Councillor Narenthira replied “You are neglecting some parts of Colindale while creating a concrete jungle in the other parts without infrastructure. This is a fact and our residents know it.”

The email thread was copied in to at least a dozen people including Matthew Offord MP and London Assembly member Andrew Dismore.

Mrs Healy replied to Mr Thomas saying: “Don’t give me idle soundbites or chitter chatter about political point scoring - three ward Councillors for Colindale are Labour however the Council is run by Conservatives.” 

She added: “All the flats going up and there is not one parking space. They are coming from every nook and cranny to park.  I come home late some nights from a hospital and have nowhere whatsoever to park driving round in circles.”

*On Saturday around fifty residents staged a demonstration against the opening of a betting shop on Colindale Avenue, in the new Edition development.

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