Monday 11 February 2013

Brent Executive approves budget and Tokyngton Library sale

The Brent Council Executive tonight passed the 2013/14 budget, which involve cuts in services, frozen Council Tax and increased charges,  without discussion. It also approved rent increases in Brent Housing Partnership and Stonebridge properties and substantial rises in service charges. The Budget which also includes a free on Council Tax will now go before the full Council Meeting where it will rubber-stamped unless there is a (very unlikely) revolt by non-Executive Labour councillors.

A Local Welfare Assistance Scheme was approved which due to government cuts of 13% reduces the amount of emergency payments available to the vulnerable.

Labour Leader Muhammed Butt declared an interest in the sale of the former Tokynton Library to the Islamic Cultural Association (see LINK) and vacated the chair and left the room for the discussion of this item. Cllr Ruth Moher, taking the chair,  told the meeting that the sell-off did not involve councillors and had been carried out according to Council standing orders.


Anonymous said...

Does Butt really think that simply absenting himself from the meeting is good enough? How do we know whether or not his association with this group influenced the decision to close the library in the first place? Or whether it influenced the (lack of) negotiations over running it as a community library?

This has the stench of corruption all over it.

Martin Francis said...

My blogs on this have been factual. I have no evidence of any undue influence and Ruth Moher's statement said that councillors had not been involved except at the stage of the vote last night.

The Islamic Cultural Association would probably argue that the fact that one of their ex-trustees was now leader of the council should not have barred them from making an offer for a vacant building close to their current over-crowded premises.

Martin Francis said...

After Muhammed Butt returned to the Committee Room last night to resume the chair, a young man in the public seats tried to raise a point about the sale but was told he should have asked to speak in advance and that business had moved on.

Were you the young man?

Anonymous said...

Mmm? Remember the Sale of the Churches in Willesden Green in the late 80's early 90's?
Not that this is anything like that ofcourse.