Sunday, 19 March 2017

Brent Labour starts short-listing for 2018 Council Election

Short-listing for the selection of Labour candidates for Brent Council to stand in May 2018 is underway and there are a titbits of information already.  I understand that Cllr Margaret McLennan , deputy leader (currently Northwick Park)and  Cllr Wilhelmina Mitchell Murray (currently Wembley Central) both want to transfer to Stonebridge ward. Cllr Joshua Mitchell Murray (Northwick Park) is also heading south but this time to Harlesden.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that there are a number of current councillors who do not intend to stand again but it's early days and they may yet have temptation put in their way. The list includes veterans Bobby Thomas (Harlesden), Ruth Moher (Fryent), Jean Hossain  and Pat Harrison (Preston) and a more recent cohort including Bernard Collier (Willesden Green), Sam Stopp (Wembley Central) and Sabina Khan (Stonebridge). I was surprised at the suggestion that Kilburn by-election winner Barbara Pitruzzella would not be standing again.

The outcome will give some indication of the degree of support that Cllr Muhammed Butt commands although as one member said there is not much appetite among the more astute members of the Labour Party to become members of a Labour group with so little power. They are aware that Cabinet makes all the key decisions.

However candidates are likely to face some searching cross-examination from the more recent recruits to the Labour Party focusing on some of the controversial issues around the Sustainability and Transformation plan for the health servce and social care, education cuts, Prevent and probably most prominently affordable housing and regeneration.

Cllr Tom Miller has made his pitch for re-selection HERE

51 comments:

  1. Is not Wilhemina Mitchell Murray currently Wembley Central and not Northwick Park?

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    1. Apologies. I confused Wilhemina and Joshua. Now corrected. Thank you.

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  2. Barbara Pitruzella is not standing again because she's an EU national and is uncertain of her status post-Brexit. Take back control, eh?

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  3. Cllr Kalwala?

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    1. Obviously a different history but I have been told he is not standing again.

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  4. Is that the same Margaret McLennan who told Northwick Park residents she was retiring from her Cabinet role because she wanted to spend more time in the ward? And who weeks later stood to become Deputy Leader of the Council? At least she's consistent in her insincerity

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    1. After her betrayal of her constituents over the Byron Court School expansion, McLennan knows that she would never get re-elected in Northwick Park!

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    2. Cllr McLennan will be no loss to Northwick Park ward as she certainly doesn't represent or support her constituents. The only Cllr who takes account of resident's views and concerns and is prepared to fight for the community is Keith Perrin.

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    3. I would absolutely agree that Cllr Perrin is our only Ward Councillor who seems to talk to, and listen to, constituents of Northwick Park, and truly represent us. It would be very difficult to justify a vote for the other two. I am a life-long Labour voter, but would consider voting for another party to get rid of the other two. Having a local resident stand for the constituency doesn't necessarily guarantee that they will listen, but I would think it more likely that they would understand local residents' needs. I sincerely hope we have better options at the next election.

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  5. The Labour Party initially vetoed the applications from a number of sitting Cllrs - on grounds of incompetence. All were Butt loyalists so he personally intervened to get them reinstated.

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    1. More of those 'incompetence dogs', eh?
      Shows what Butt looks for in a councillor, though: 'Is s/he one of us?'

      Mike Hine

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    2. If the candidates standing for Labour in 2018 are going to be Butt loyalists, that's a very good reason to vote for a different party. How about the Greens? I'm sure you would agree, Martin.

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    3. This whole thing just stinks doesn't it. It's a betrayal of decent people. Let it become widely publicised and is worthy of outside investigation.

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    4. If Butt did as stated by anonymous 20th March 08:35 this surely needs investigating by the authorities and Labour Central Office. This really shows up what has been happening in Brent and the bullying and corruption present. Investigations must now begin by people outside Brent Labour Party. The whole scenario is completely unacceptable.

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    5. If that is true - that Cllr Butt intervened - then what has happened to democracy? It's a disgrace, and Cllr Butt, and anyone else who thinks that is the correct way to behave, should be ashamed. Where is their integrity?

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    6. Your last sentence, Anon 16.01.
      Have you been away?

      Mike Hine

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  6. It's not the Cabinet which makes decisions, it's the Leader - the Cabinet are just wheeled out to retrospectively cover-up Butt's mistakes

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  7. I hope that the few like Mr Duffy and Rita get selected. A real shame about Barbara P - as 21:54 implies, what an utter shambles. :(

    I'm surprised Wilhelmina is standing, her health is not good. I understand Lesley Jones and Aslam Choudhry aren't in top form either. Aslam's grandson is manoeuvering to stand in Dudden. I doubt Lia Colacicco will restand, again for health reasons. Sally Long is making it very obvious that she wants to stand in Mapesbury. O the irony.

    I also suspect Denselow may not stand, especially as he isn't living in Queens PArk any more.

    I really don't get this shuffle of councillors thing with Labour. If you've been a councillor in a ward, surely you get to know it really well and that's to the benefit of all. Given Mo's dicatorship, unless you're in the cabinet, all the important work is done IN the ward. Assuming councillors actually do any work in their wards, of course.

    On a related, sort of, note - the local paper which is a sad shadow of its Lorraine King days, totally omitted to cover the pay rises said councillors voted themselves.

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  8. Doesn't this all reflect badly on the people concerned in this shuffle and the lack if respect for the people who voted them in. Surprised at Wilhemina, but with how the people of Wembley Central feeling like they are over "Quintain Land" and all the overdevelopment of the area she probably decided to do a runner. Not surprised at all by Margaret McClellan....she knows her ward would now not vote for her and it is typical of her lack of moral code to do this.

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  9. Agreed with Alison Hopkins above, councillors should not be allowed to put themselves forward to stand in another ward, especially if they've got a bad track record in the ward they currently represent. I believe the first preference should also be given to candidates who actually live, and therefore have invested highly into, the ward. Too many candidates seem to be applying to various wards just to try their luck - there should be a cap and fixed deadline on this too. This entire process is flawed beyond belief.

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    1. Also, living in the ward has the democratic advantage of the fact that the people you represent 'know where you live'.

      Mike Hine

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    2. Not neccessarily, Mike. Most of them only put the civic centre down as their address and some don't even put a mobile number. That's assuming residents have a clue who their councillor is in the first place - judging by the amount of enquiries and case work I get, I doubt it.

      16:54 makes a good point about "trying thie luck".

      I don't have an issue with one of the ward councillors, say, living close by rather than in, but if you're many miles away how on earth can you know what's going on? And how do you get that intangible invaluable sense of the community you serve?

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    3. couldn't agree more.

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    4. James 'the library destroyer' Powney attempting a comeback.

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    5. 22:00 . Dear god.

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  10. It also shows a lack of propriety in Brent Labour Party. I wonder what the Mayor of London will be thinking about what it will make the Labour Party look like when it comes into the open. Butt and co have been so up his backside since his election and now they do something as grubby as this.
    Splash it across the Evening Standard headlines. So much for democracy and standards in the representation of people in the London Borough of BENT!!!!

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    1. I have believed for a very long time that there's an endemic corruption at the heart of much of Brent Labour. I don't mean monetary, I mean moral.

      There are notable exceptions and I do think some of the ward parties fight back, like Kilburn. More need to do that and the councillors who disagree with the regime but keep silent ought to speak out.

      I also think the very structure of the Labour party as a whole does not help. It is so process driven and dogmatic that it's hard to speak out, to whistleblow and to disagree. All about power and not about people. The Tories are no better, but in a different way.

      From what I've seen of the Greens you are as free to challenge as my lot are, and not hid bound by outdate dialectic.

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  11. I'd forgotten one person and he's a key one. Mo's chum Tariq Dar is standing. (!) More power base politics.

    From Facebook, I see Lia is going to run again, which is a good thing. She's local and involved. That presumably knocks out Sally Long given the quota system and the fact that Shazad Ahmed is also standing.

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    1. Alison Hopkins,(correct me if I am wrong) it was Tariq Dar who blackmailed Ann Jones to take Butt as her Deputy, she was told otherwise he is going to defect to Lib Dems. Butt refused Tariq Dar request to support Cllr Arshad Mahmood for Mayorship.

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    2. He's not Mo's chum, he's Mo's uncle

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    3. I've no argument with 22:50 or 22:59. Both factual to my knowledge. Butt most certainly tried to join the Lib Dems - twice!

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    4. Which makes the whole thing of what's going on here in Brent even more needy of external investigation and continued surveillance.
      Beginning to look even worse than Tower Hamlets.

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    5. Doesn't this latest news really sum Butt and his lack of any ethnics up. Also those of the people that go along with him. It is sickening and just makes me wish that somebody would take him out (and I'm a pacifist).

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    6. 22:59 Cllr Butt has no relationship whatsoever with Tariq Dar.

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    7. Sorry Anonymous 14.35 - you're wrong

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    8. 22:17 Please explain how they are related as I know both families very well there is no relationship between them.
      Tariq Dar is related to Cllr Arshad Mahmood.

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    9. Very simple 17.47, Butt told me himself. Obviously he can't have been lying, oh hang on.

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    10. The only way to get the actual truth would be forced DNA testing and Butt would even try to fix the results of this I'm sure.

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    11. Anonymous 20:04 he is lying. If you meet him ask him how is he related.

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  12. Unless councillors are actively standing for their constituents and wards, they should stand down and give way for their salaries to go to others who are willing to actually do the job.

    No more nonsense in Brent - the people have had more than enough and will not stand for it anymore!

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  13. I agree with much of what has been said about Labour in the comments above, but other parties (or community groups) also need to get their acts together in preparation for the 2018 Brent Council elections.

    One of the reasons why Labour gained 56 of the 63 seats on the Council in 2014 was that their campaign was much better organised than their opponents. We have seen since 2014 how bad things can get when one party has such a huge majority, and the "opposition" is virtually powerless.

    The people of Brent deserve better than another four years of Cllr. Butt pulling the strings. If that is to be avoided, the Conservatives, Lib-Dems, Greens (and any others interested in standing for election) need to organise themselves and prepare to put up a good fight on behalf of local residents.

    And decent Labour members need to stand up for their principles, and not allow their party in Brent to become a one man dictatorship.

    Philip.

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    1. I don't totally agree with that better organised comment. We did a MASSIVE amount of door knocking, communication and hard work in Dollis Hill from literally March 2012 until May 2014. Labour, as always, showed up a couple of weeks before, and swamped the area and the polling stations on the day. The people they used were family members of candidates, shipped in from all over, with some distinctly dodgy stuff going on. Being blunt, for Labour it isn't about a campaign, it's about getting people out on the day. For smaller parties, that can be quite hard - feet on the ground and all that.

      As to a campaign, Labour in 2014 relied purely on the national message. There was no localism about it.

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    2. And we'll rely on the 'national message' this time too, Alison. Something like: 'We're for and against the EU but we don't want to make too much of a fuss about it because we're worried the 'left behind' won't like us and we'll table lots of amendments anyway, oh we did, forget that last bit, but don't worry about that because we're building a movement so we won't bother about communicating with the broad electorate or providing a rallying point for anti-government electoral action as we've written off the next one or two elections anyway. Only 25% of voters like us at the moment but that 25% like us a LOT so that's ok too. It's a new kind of electoral politics: quality not quantity. Victory in 2038!
      Venceremos!'

      Give up now, Alison. With a 'national message' like that on the doorstep, all you other parties are toast!

      Mike Hine

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    3. My compliments on your splendid analysis, Mike. ;)

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    4. Its not about 'organisation' its about cash - democracy in this country is broken and elections are bought & sold. The nature of this money steamrolled into Marketing, Advertising, PR etc give a false impression - hence 'spin' and create an illusion of competence about a party. However, when you get to the nuts and bolts - this shattered illusion is what the local residents have to deal with on a daily basis. In the general election across each constituency Labour in Brent spent the equivalent salary of a newly qualified nurse. Meanwhile its tough for independents or smaller parties to gather the money together for deposits or the spending money for 'free'-posts - which are nothing of the sort and very costly.

      We all pay for democracy in some way or another, from buying things in a shop to tax on wages. Yet, what gets worse is that our votes are not all equal. Is it fair that where you live, its your neighbours who choose your elected representative & not like minded people? As an example 5% of people across Brent voted Green in the 2014 council elections yet 5% of our 63 councillors (three) are not Green. Arguably double might have voted Green if they didn't feel that their vote doesn't count or feel obliged to 'tactical vote'. The reality is our system doesn’t just leave Green voters without a say but the majority of voters.

      Its noteworthy that Labour & Conservatives are the parties against any sort of electoral reform - its because it is they, their donors and their mates who benefit from this terrible system.


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  14. Sorry to Stonebridge and Harlesden, somebody had to have these two useless Councillors, the ones who consistently failed to support their communities. They are no longer welcome in the Northwick Park Ward because they rarely if ever supported us and constantly worked against our wishes. We have one Councillor who does the work of all three superbly well and DOES support residents. To all those living in their chosen place of refuge, be warned you will receive little support for your views unless you agree with their hidden agendas. RIP Mc and Murray.

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  15. Father of the house is then Cllr Reg Colwill who first got elected on 9 May 1994. What about Queensbury Ward Cllr Ramesh Patel is he standing?

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    1. I have been told all 3 sitting Queensbury Ward Councillors have been reselected.

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  16. Perhaps all the present standing councillors should be honest enough to now stand up and say what their intentions are.

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  17. All of this just confirms my long held belief about Labour's selection process. It has nothing to do with choosing people who would work hard for their wards and everything to do with selecting those who toe a certain national political line and adhere to dogma. If the ones who vote to slect are the hard line activists, be it Left Foot Forward, Momentum or whatever, then of course they'll choose those who can spout dialectic. Reading Tom Miller's pitch, it's all about Labour campaigns, and naff all about local residents.

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