Thursday, 16 April 2015

Who will champion the environment in Brent cabinet?

Cllr George Crane, lead member for Environment, said his farewells to colleagues at this week's Brent Cabinet meeting as he is stading down. Cllr Crane was appointed by leader Muhammed Butt, following Cllr Keith Perrin's rather sudden resignation soon after being elected to the Cabinet. LINK

The post will come up at the AGM and may be contested. Some have argued that the Environment post is no longer important with the department having been savagely cut and services handed over to Veolia through the Public Realm contract. 

I would argue that this makes it more important as private contractors need to be held to account and environmental issues need an experienced and energetic advocate.

For interested Labour councillors this is what the Council website says about the Cabinet. You will note the vagueness in the first sentence on how apppoinments are made. Who is 'they'?
The cabinet is made up of the Leader of the Council and other senior councillors (Lead Members), they have chosen.

Together they provide political leadership and strategic direction for the council, both within individual portfolio responsibilities and as part of their corporate responsibilities.
They take an active approach to ensuring that decisions made by the council are informed both politically and administratively and the council's executive decisions are collective and made by the cabinet.

The cabinet are each democratically accountable to the public and are the public face of the council. As such they act as ambassadors for the council's work in improving Brent.

Leader of the Council: Cllr Muhammed Butt 
Deputy Leader: Cllr Michael Pavey
Adults, Health and Wellbeing: Cllr Krupesh Hirani
Children and Young People: Cllr Ruth Moher
Employment and Skills: Cllr Roxanne Mashari
Environment: Cllr George Crane
Regeneration and Housing: Cllr Margaret McLennan
Stronger Communities: Cllr James Denselow


  1. Sam Stopp is Crane's deputy, so surely he will go for it?

    1. Perhaps Sam wouldn't Stopp so Crane fly away

    2. Don't Stopp, never give up.

    3. Stopp right now, thank you very much we need a member for the environment with a human touch.

  2. Shame he's not standing down completely. Vote Martin Francis!

    1. If a notable person wants the job and is willing to do this to the best of their ability why do they have to be elected?

  3. I believe success in this case will only come if and when authority, local business and the public agree to a plan and work together to achieve it.
    as long as there remains a reluctance on the part of business and the public,
    Things will get worse.

  4. You want to register your vote for the Greens but are worried that by voting Green you might help the Tories win in your (marginal) constituency?
    You’re in a safe Tory or LibDem constituency where your Labour or Green vote would basically be wasted?
    Then go to to find out how to both register your support for the Greens AND ensure that you don’t get another 5 years of Cameron
    Mike Hine

    1. My response is summed up by this letter in the Guardian after Polly Toynbee advocated a similar tactic:

      • Polly Toynbee tells Green party supporters to vote tactically so as to ensure that Labour has a comfortable majority on 7 May (Our rotten system means once again we have to bring out the nose-pegs, 16 April).

      But what tactic can we – as Green party supporters – use to vote for something we believe in? We do not believe in and oppose further austerity. But our “tactical” choice seems to be between two collections of cuts – one put together by a Labour-led coalition and the other by a Tory-led coalition.

      If Green party supporters adopt this tactic it will simply help to ensure that we will have exactly the same kind of choice in 2020 and beyond. This doesn’t feel to us like a tactic: it feels more like capitulation. It’s time to leave the “old politics” behind.

      Our tactic will be to vote for what we believe in. If enough voters adopt this tactic, the pressure to change our rotten voting system will be so great that there will be no need to reach for the nose-pegs in 2020.
      Lucy Craig, Gordon Best

    2. I don't trust this vote swap thing. Who has initiated it? Can see why potential Green voters would be attracted by it but what's in it for Labour voters? Why would they agree to swap, what's in for them? Sounds very fishy to me.

  5. Environment? We need homes and schools so lets build over everything.

    1. ... but please don't blame George for all the cranes going up around Wembley Park.


  6. I am puzzled by the statement quoted from the Council's website about how Brent's Cabinet is chosen:
    'The cabinet is made up of the Leader of the Council and other senior councillors (Lead Members), they have chosen.'

    I know it often appears that I refer to Brent's Constitution, when certain Officers and Members at the Civic Centre sometimes seem to ignore what it says, but it is also available on the Council's website, and it clearly states how the Cabinet is chosen in Part 1 (Introduction) of that document:-

    '4. The Cabinet
    The Leader of the Council is a member of the Council who is elected to the
    post by the other members at a meeting of the Full Council. The Leader
    chooses between 2 and 9 other councillors to form the Cabinet. The Cabinet
    is responsible for putting policies, which Full Council has approved, into
    effect. The Cabinet is the part of the Council which is responsible for most of
    the Council’s day-to-day decision making not delegated to officers. A list of
    the Cabinet members, their portfolios and their addresses are given in this Part 1.'

    So there you have it - the Leader is elected by Full Council, and the Leader then choses a number of other councillors to be members of the Cabinet.

    Philip Grant.