In the run up to the 'Season of Goodwill' things are looking distinctly frosty at Brent Council despite the Christmas tree recently erected at the Civic Centre.
Relationships between Labour councillors are a little fraught as Full Council becomes a testing ground, not just about the cuts envisaged in the First Budget Reading and a a likely motion on the Employment Tribunal appeal but also over the question of whether a court order on conditions of bail will allow Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala to attend. The ban on him entering the Civic Centre has been lifted after intervention from the courts and Labour Party region.
On the officer side the consultation on proposed cuts to the senior management team has produced some emotional scenes as it proceeds at a pace. Fiona Ledden, whose post is proposed to be deleted, is not at work at the moment. Her automatic email message says she is away from November 28th, with no return date given. Ben Spinks' post as Assistant Chief Executive is also under threat.
However senior people will have some protection as deals are done. Not so rank and file council workers who face an unhappy Christmas contemplating the future as 4 out of 10 posts in the central departments are proposed to be cut.
It is sad to see things at such a low point as the year drags to an end.
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