Thursday 1 November 2012

Butt paints gloomy picture for Brent residents

Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt has posted his second blog on the Council website. He cites the current state of the economy as causing 'terrible' problems for Brent residents. Clearly it is the Coalition's austerity policies that are worsening the economic situation but it is also the deliberate attack on the welfare state and targeting of the disabled, women, large families and single parents that hit people in a very personal way. Added to that are the cuts local councils are making as their budgets are slashed by central government. The question that must be asked is, how long can the council continue to implement cuts that they know are damaging an already vulnerable population?

Muhammed Butt's blog posting:
...we face big problems which mean making the changes we believe in isn't easy. As a borough, as a council and as a community, we face some grave long-term challenges.

I think it is important to be open and honest with residents about these challenges, as not everyone realises just how bad a situation we are in. This gives some perspective to some of the difficult decisions we have already made, and others we will have to make in the coming years.

Unemployment and the economy

The current state of the economy is causing terrible problems for many Brent residents who are struggling just to keep above the breadline. Wage levels in Brent are significantly below the London average and are declining, even while they are rising in the rest of London.

For a family with two children to have an acceptable standard of living in London they need an annual joint income of £37,000.The median household income in Brent is £27,500, and in our poorest areas it is as low as £15,000. This means many of our residents often have to choose between food and warmth.

Over the last decade, unemployment in Brent has remained above both the national and London levels, with a particularly sharp rise over the past year. Our residents are really struggling to find work. Long term unemployment can devastate communities and in some areas of the borough child poverty is as high as 50 per cent as a result.

The make-up of our community

As well as our economic problems, we also face a huge demographic crisis due to our disproportionately aging population. By 2030 the number of people over the age of 65 in the UK is set to increase by 50 per cent. On top of this the continued downward trend in the economy means more people are relying on council services. 

This is such a dramatic change that it is predicted that by 2030 it will cost more than 100 per cent of our current budget just to pay for social care to support the elderly. This creates a huge dilemma. We will need to make difficult decisions and radical changes if we want to continue to provide other services that residents rely upon.

Budget pressures

The budget crisis we face as a council is unprecedented. As a result of Government cuts, we have to reduce our spending by 28 per cent by 2015. We have to find £100 million in savings, that means less to spend on helping residents and providing services.

If you can imagine having to cut a third from your weekly household budget, this raises impossible decisions. We will have to make tough choices every day to prioritise the most essential services that protect the most vulnerable people in the borough and to maintain the everyday services that keep Brent up and running.


All this paints a gloomy picture, but there is hope.

Through relentless focus on our priorities and innovation we can continue to improve resident's lives, even in these impossible circumstances. We are on your side during these tough times.

Over the coming weeks I will be blogging about some of the things we are doing to ensure that we continue to make Brent a fairer place, create more jobs and growth and strengthen our community. 


Trevor said...

I don't even Read Mo Butt's Stuff because He is Just another politician and I now know that All Politicians say one thing and do another.
if I am wrong where is Tony Blair who stood up behind a slogan that said Britain Deserved Better?
Well if a Labour Government was to be the Better Government Britain deserved, why have they been replaced by possibly the worse So called Government of modern Times?
we have heard all that Butt is saying before.
and the reality is when people fell for the trust us and we will give you want and need thing that trust was shattered once Labour Took over.
Labour used the slogan 'things can only get Better'
now we have another Labour councilor Telling us what we already know in that things are getting worse which clearly show that the promise in 1997 that things would only get better under Labour was far from true.
What Butt is saying is True but If he Says Trust him and His Party to Deliver us Then I think he will just be continuing The Tradition for Labour for saying one thing and then doing another once they get through the door.
as for Talk about Making Brent a Fairer Place
I would rather Be lied to again about things getting better because I think it is safe to say that Brent will never be a Fair place in which everyone can Live...NO WAY.
Not while the country is being Ruined(not run) by Reckless Hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

If Brent Council are so worried about the poor and disadvantaged in the borough then why are they taking actions at a high level which will result in hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of pounds of council tax payers money being spent on the suspensions,removal, claims, and payoffs of top managers on the council.
With leadership like that, no wonder residents are gloomy

Trevor said...

Trust Me anonymous the poor and disadvantaged would be safer in the hands of wild bears than Brent fact wild bears take better care of each other than human rulers do...only in human society do you find wicked rulers in positions of authority that cause the people under them to suffer.