Tuesday 4 March 2014

Brent Council approves £18m budget cuts and HS2 action

Brent Labour Councillors last night unanimously voted for a budget incorporating £18m cuts amidst Liberal Democrat protests against what they saw as an unconstitutional use of  a procedural motion to limit debate.

Moving the budget Labour Leader Muhammad Butt attacked the Coalition for cutting local government funding and justified the budget on 'dented shield grounds' arguing that he would not repeat the mistakes made by Labour Councils in the 70s by bringing in administrators unsympathetic to local concerns.

The Lib Dems put forward an amendment that put forward additional expenditure on libraries (to fund working  with volunteers), highways, parking, street cleaning, festivals, school crossing patrols and providing a 50% discount to special constables - to be funded by cutting some senior staffing costs and ward working and using reserves to fund one-off spending.

The Council's proposal to petition parliament on HS2 was approved although Cllr George Crane said there was a 'strong possibility' that HS2 would rescind compulsory purchase orders in South Kilburn. The Council would continue with its action until the HS2 move was confirmed. Crane added a further recommendation to the report which covered regular consultation and updating with South Kilburn residents. Representatives of residents had been denied the opportunity to speak at the Executive.

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