May 25 2013 Latest news:
Tara Brady, Senior reporter
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Tapesh Signs, in Willesden High Road, claim they are owed £4,240 by The Architecture Foundation
A trader says he has been left thousands of pounds out of pocket and fears his business might go under after becoming locked in a bitter feud with the organisation helping to revive Willesden Green.
Hamid Alibeiki, 35, who owns Tapesh Signs, in Willesden High Road, says he was asked by The Architecture Foundation to create the new shop signs along Queen’s Parade, Walm Lane and Willesden High Road – a community project being funded with £500,000 of public money.
However, he says the Architecture Foundation, which is delivering the project, is now refusing to pay the £4,240 he says it owes him.
Mr Alibeiki said: “This is my livelihood that I have built up over nearly a decade.
“We have been successfully established for a number of years and the majority of work comes through recommendations. We have never had any problems.”
Mr Alibeiki claims he was given the designs, which includes the new Queen’s Parade pop-up shop sign, too late, but was then asked to work throughout the night to get the work finished or else he would not be paid.
He said: “We were kept waiting and waiting for the designs, and did a four-day job in under 48 hours.
“We were on time. They weren’t. I’m worried that the business will close.”
The New Windows on Willesden Green project is being paid for by a grant awarded to Brent Council by the Mayor’s Outer London Fund.
When the Times asked the council how the £500,000 had been spent, it was not able to produce a breakdown or confirm how much of the public money has been handed over to The Architecture Foundation, a registered charity.
The Architecture Foundation also refused to give a breakdown of how the money was spent.
A spokesman said: “The Architecture Foundation is aware of the issues involved, which centre on the quality of the signage produced by Tapesh Signs and their failure to deliver this signage on the agreed date.
“We are working with both parties and Brent Council to try to resolve the situation. The total project budget has absolutely no bearing on the issue at hand, which is whether Tapesh Signs delivered their work to sufficient quality and within the agreed time frame – to warrant receipt of public money.’’
A Brent Council spokesman said they were working with both parties to resolve the issue. He added: “We will shortly be releasing a detailed report into what has been achieved, including where the budget has been spent.”