Saturday 12 January 2013

Bigging up Brent Connects, but what about the budget?

Some of Brent Council's sternest critics are featured in this new video from Brent Council extolling the virtues of the council-resident 'dialogue' that take place at the Brent Connects Forums (formerly Area Consultation Forums). I didn't attend Brent Connects Kilburn and Kensal featured in this video but that panel debate format here certainly seems to have produced a livelier meeting. The format hasn't been adopted for all the Brent Connects events. This notice  for Brent Connects Wembley to be held at the Patidar Centre, London Road on Tuesday Jan 15th, with due respect to the councillors concerned, failed to excite me:
 One half of the forum will be devoted to portfolio updates from two members of the council’s Executive
* Cllr Krupesh Hirani – Lead Member for Adults and Health
* Cllr George Crane – Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects.

 This is an excellent opportunity for residents, service users and stakeholder groups to put questions on specific council portfolio to key-decision makers to help foster greater understanding of council initiatives. A full agenda will be available at the forum. 
The most important decision the council will be making this year, the 2013-14 budget proposals, does not feature on any of the current  Brent Connect agenda and by the time the next round comes round the cuts and increased charges wil have been implemented.

I criticised the lack of substance in the consultation last year, with no detailed proposals available, but this year there is no consultation at all.


Anonymous said...

Same old Brent - nothing changes, when have Brent Labour ever listened to residents?
The book just has a new shiny digital age cover but its just the same old book.

Anonymous said...

I attended the debate and thought it was really interesting. At least Brent Labour are trying. Brent Lib Dems just leave the Borough

Cllr Muhammed Butt said...

Martin I can assure you that we will be consulting on the budget. I am formalising dates and times with the consultation team and will get back to you and we will let everyone know as soon as things have been set.

We have not been able to put the budget on the agenda due to the government giving us our funding settlement figures so late and they are still giving us the data in chunks which is making setting the budget process very difficult.

Everyone has the opportunity to use the soap box to highlight any issues and concerns to us at every forum and would encourage you to use that and you can always suggest topics of conversation for the forums.

We are always looking to find different formats and topics that will allow us to engage better with our residents.

Regards. Muhammed.