Saturday 31 May 2014

Brent Labour's new cabinet announced

The new Cabinet

A challenge to Cllr Muhammed Butt's leadership by Cllr Neil Nerva was beaten at today's Labour AGM when Butt won 75% of the votes.

Cllr Michael Pavey narrowly beat Cllr Ruth Moher for the Deputy Leadership. Pavey told Labour councillors that he would devote all his energy to supporting Cllr Butt's reforms, freeing the leader to 'lead from the front'. His precise brief in addition to being deputy has not been decided but a source said that he was likely to be a 'more political' deputy.

Cllr James Denselow beat Cllr Aslam Choudry  by three votes for the Stronger Communities portfolio. This will make him responsible for community and voluntary sector engagement, libraries  and crime reduction.

Cllr George Crane stood down from the Executive and Cllr Margaret McLennan will take on regeneration policy, Crane's former portfolio,  as well as housing.

Cllr Roxanne Mashari will take on a new portfolio for Employment and Skills  and newly elected Cllr Keith Perrin will become lead member for the Environment.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani will continue as lead member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing and Cllr Ruth Moher will take over Michael Pavey's position as Lead Member for the renamed Children and Young People portfolio.

The Cabinet will consist of 8 members compared with 10 on the previous Executive.

Cllr Pat Harrison continues as Labour Group chair and Cllr Sandra Kabir replaces Cllr Shafique Choudhary as Labour Chief Whip.

Cllr Kana Naheerathan will be Labour's nomination for Mayor and Cllr Lesley Jones deputy,

The proposal that the Labour leader should only face re-election every four years, instead of annually, will be decided later. It has proved controversial with Cllr Butt  apparently claiming that he cannot keep looking over his shoulder every year.

Chairs of Scrutiny, Planning and other committees will be decided on Monday.


Anonymous said...

What's this cabinet's comment on Tewari allegations?

Anonymous said...

There would not be any need for Butt to "Look Over" his shoulder, if things were more democratic and there was not any skullduggery.

Anonymous said...

Surprised Councillor Dan Filson did not make the list with his experience in Local Government !

Anonymous said...

He tried but he bored us all to death

Anonymous said...

Good to see the back of Pavey after his betrayal of locally accountable state education at Copland. A feeble man in an important job. Deputy-something seems a more appropriate role for his emollient talents.

Anonymous said...

Re 'Cllr Butt apparently claiming that he cannot keep looking over his shoulder every year.' Cllr Butt should be reminded that he's chosen to join a game whose players long ago fought to establish the rules and it's not for people like him to come in thinking they can change them to make their lives a little easier.
Having to 'look over your shoulder' is the very definition of democratic accountability, Mr Butt. If you have some objection to this long-established democratic convention then please let the Brent voters who democratically elected you have your reasons. And you could set out the advantages of your alternative 'vision' at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Look forward to hearing more about the fake power positions that get created to keep people happy, as well as the criteria for 'notable' citizens.

Anonymous said...

As James Denselow is now in charge of libraries under his Stronger Communities' portfolio, he must act immediately to

i) ensure that no further change-of-use planning application for the historic Kensal Rise Library (KRL) building is heard before Brent police have completed their investigation in to the fraudulent email affair. Cllr Denselow is bright and well-informed. He must rebut the Gilbert/Ledden line that the current application can't been deferred because 'the Council has a responsibility and obligation to consider any valid planning application that is put forward from any individual(s)... consider[ing] each on its merits in accordance with its statutory obligations'. This oft-repeated mantra insults the intelligence of residents. Deferral is merely, and clearly, the correct thing to do;

ii) back the compulsory purchase of KRL, not only the correct thing to do in order to restore the library to local residents but in order to protect the building's Asset of Community Value (ACV) status. Without returning the library to the people, its ACV status is meaningless.

As for newly elected councillor Keith Perrin - it seems he attended council executive meetings for months before last week's election - to see 'how things were done', just in case a job came his way should he be elected, as he now has been? Interesting - was he invited to attend or did it of his volition? I understand that his ward wasn't an obvious Labour win but that the new executive member for the environment was active in the community.

Anonymous said...

I'm told Keith Perrin is a nice chap but this whole thing stinks of a stitch-up - why was he the only person allowed to attend a council meeting when every other "ordinary" member of the public was excluded.

Brent Labour, James Denselow, Keith Perrin, whoever - we're watching you and the nice guy thing only gets you so far.

Anonymous said...

PS Final sentence, para 2 above, should have read:

'Deferral isn't breaching "statutory obligations". It is merely, and clearly, the correct thing to do'.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps spring and summer is shining with new people to guide these issues and not tainted by past incumbents ?

A compulsory purchase of both Kensal Rise and Cricklewood at a peppercorn rate would seem like a "Vote Winner," for Barry Gardiner and Co re-election prospects in 2015. It would appease the divide in the local community, particularly if EmailGate is not fully investigated to the satisfaction of the local community. As it is likely those in positions of authority do not want EmailGate to be investigated, a compulsory purchase might be a way out, if the buildings are returned to the community, rather than being sliced and diced by a developer.

FKRL might be stuck in the mud, in terms of their previous support for the development to proceed, but surely they would want to see the 2 old library buildings returned in whole to the local community ? That is after all, why everyone in the community supported the campaign in the first instance !

It will certainly be very interesting to see how Cllr Denselow tackles this and other issues

Alison Hopkins said...

Keith's a lovely chap, but he's got the poisoned chalice of jobs, frankly. I think he may be in for some nasty surprises from his new bedfellows and the wider public.

Which meeting are you thinking he was allowed to attend?

Anonymous said...

I'm told he was the only "member of the public" allowed into the council meeting which was adjourned back in January and then continued in private due to disruption from the public gallery over the Council Tax Support scheme

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we need someone "Boring"

Local Government used to be considered as "Boring" and perhaps we should return to those days. In recent years all you get is re-shuffle after re-shuffle without anyone having a clue what they are actually doing.

Pavey case in point.

There are cheer leaders for you Councillor Filson, despite you being considered as "Boring."

Martin Francis said...

Keith Perrin, like me, attended Executive Meetings, as a member of the public in the public gallery. I think he did manage to get into the disrupted meeting when it was moved to a different venue. I almost managed to get carried along by the crowd of officers and members only to be stopped by security and told that the reconvened meeting was 'private'. There was a lot of milling about and confusion so he may have been stopped at a later point.

Alison Hopkins said...

Thank you. I don't recall him being there, but I've got some photos of that so I'll check. For what it's worth I thought it an utter disgrace that the meeting was converted to a "private" one.

Martin Francis said...

I am not concerned about whether the Chairs of Scrutiny and Planning are 'boring' but whether they have the ability to thoroughly digest officer reports, take up errors of fact or weakness in argument, withstand pressure from both the Cabinet and officers, and act in the interests of residents and service users. Personal qualities required: tenacity, thoroughness and independence.

Anonymous said...

It's not worth anything Alison

Anonymous said...

Compulsory purchase order? Would that be before or after the council deals with over £50 million in reduced spending from central government? Great that you seem to know what 'everyone' in the community wants. You don't speak for me.
Plenty of ideas about what the council or FKRL should do. Anything practical?
Would love to hear.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Having benefited from the ousting of Ann John as leader, Cllr Butt now wishes to cement his own position for the next four years in order to avoid being democratically accountable within his own party!

If implemented, this proposal would be nothing less than a pre-emptive coup - remember 'pre-emptive strikes'? It's to be hoped the Labour Group members will say 'no'. Alas, it seems that the unsuccessful Pavey has already fallen in to step, 'freeing the leader to "lead from the front"'.

Question is - whose idea was it to entrench Cllr Butt? One cooked up between senior officers, the CE and Cllr Butt himself, or at least on his behalf? Deeply troubling. As Nan Tewari's asked on an earlier blog 30 May 2014 14:14 'Why hold elections if the local authority is to be run by officers'?

Anonymous said...

Why so rude, Anonymous 1 June 22.12? If you haven't anything constructive to contribute, better to shut up altogether.

Anonymous said...

'Pavey told Labour councillors that he would devote all his energy to supporting Cllr Butt's reforms, freeing the leader to 'lead from the front'.
What does this mean? It says nothing beyond promising eternal fidelity. Davani could have given Butt one of her high-end pooches if blind unquestioning loyalty to 'The Leader' was all that was required.
And what if Butt starts to display bizarre and unpredictable behaviour, such as implementing vaguely socialist policies. Will Pavey's loyalty stretch even to that? His track record on schools policy would suggest not.
Cllr Butt may soon discover he has a new reason for 'looking over his shoulder'.

Anonymous said...

Compulsory Purchase Order seems a highly practical solution !

It would return 2 buildings to the community that could be put to good community use.

Long term if Brent contines to give away or sell community assets we might eventually find unscrupulous landlords and developers leach of the public purse when there are no assets to use for community use.