Monday 22 February 2016

Brent Council Meeting tonight could be lively...

There are a number of issues on the agenda at Brent's Full Council Meeting meeting tonight that could make it more lively than the usual ritualistic affair.

A 3.99% rise in Council Tax forms part of the budget along with cuts in youth provision that have rather late in the day led to protests by the Mosaic and Granville Youth Centres. The Council retained the funding of the Youth Parliament but cut the actual youth service. A bit like closing a hopsital but keeping the Patents' Forum.

Buried in the budget report is a statement  that I passed on to South Kilburn residents last week and that was picked up by James Powney on Sunday LINK
The South Kilburn Regeneration programme has slipped behind schedule in 2015/16. There is a masterplan review of South Kilburn Regeneration; this means it is being fundamentally reviewed to determine how best to deliver the programme and realise benefits of regeneration for South Kilburn and for its businesses and residents. This review will reconsider the fundamental approach, including whether it is better for the council to retain the South Kilburn Housing Assets, or continue to dispose of them.
Clearly this has far reaching repercussions and Kilburn councillors may well want further detail. James Powney suggests this is a matter for the Scrutiny Committee but an investigation into the South Kilburn regeneration is already supposed to be on their agenda. South Kilburn resident Pete Firmin made a presentation to the Committee in December LINK

The proposal to have two Scrutiny Committees with allowances for each member, as well as the introduction of conferences expenses and a 1% rise in the basic councillor allowance are likely to be controversial.
The removal of the deputy leader's allowance from the Brondesbury Park Conservatives and the allocation of a leader's allowance to the Kenton Conservatives will lead to some bitter exchanges between the two groups to the glee of Labour councillors.

Proposals to change the structure of Full Council Meetings  LINK deserve serious consideration but may not escape the usual Punch and Judy politics.

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