|Brent FoE and Brent Campaign Against Climate Change outside Energy Solutions, Welsh Harp|
Imagine our neighbourhoods and parks strewn with litter, fly-tipped with bulky waste, and green wheely bins being fought over. A borough where our children are deprived of the chance to learn about nature, and where vulnerable residents needing advice on fuel poverty have nowhere to turn. This is what Brent's austerity agenda will mean if the Council's budget proposals go ahead.
The proposed cuts will mean no street sweeping in residential roads, no litter collected in parks at weekends, charging us £15 to collect bulky items, and £40 a year for our green wheely bins. It will close two valuable institutions – the Welsh Harp Education Centre (a unique resource that inspires our kids to learn about the natural environment) and Energy Solutions (who help residents, landlords, schools and businesses reduce fuel bills - cutting Brent's carbon footprint and helping fight climate change.) The grants for these, a mere £30,000 and £50,000, are a fraction of the £54 million cuts overall.
Brent's own “Green Charter” will also be scrapped and, apart from statutory monitoring, all Council work on sustainability and climate change will go. All this a time when we need more than ever to build local resilience for an uncertain future.
Whilst we acknowledge the Council's difficulties, and other vital services are also at stake, these cuts are short-sighted easy targets for which we all will pay a heavy price.
Viv Steinon behalf of Brent Friends of the Earth and Brent Campaign against Climate Change
Teacher organisations, schools and pupils have been taking up the issue of the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre Closure.
There is a petition to save Energy Solutions HERE It needs many, many more signatures.