Back in 2014 when Labour won a large majority in the Council election Barry Gardine MP for Brent North recognised the dangers of the almost 'one party' council.
The Kilburn Times quoted him regarding the result of the election:
I’m thrilled, of course I’m thrilled but we need to be very careful.It is a huge responsibility because a majority this big for any party means that we have to look within ourselves for the sort of scrutiny that we need of the policies that we ourselves are proposing.All of these people got elected because they managed to persuade voters they wanted to represent them in the civic centre on the council. They must remember their job is to represent the people to the bureaucratic (sic) of the council and not to represent the council bureaucrats to the people.We are here to be a critical voice to say where things are wrong and to set policy to change Brent for the better.
Gardiner wanted that scrutiny to come from Labour backbenchers but that has not been successful because critics are harshly dealt with (cf John Duffy, Abdi Abdirazak, Zaffar Van Kalwala) and opposition opponents resented and often insulted. Muhammed Butt does not have the same control over the opposition (although he has managed to co-opt the remeaining three Tories to a large extent) which is why he gets so angry when a young, energetic councillor (as it happens a Lib Dem) makes a splash and gains a huge amount of public support and respect - particularly when that happens as a result of a by-election after particularly grubby behaviour by the Labour candidate.
That is the background to the current spat between Cllr Butt and Cllr Georgiou (see yesterday's article.
I have no love for the Lib Dems or the Tories but in an almost one council state it is right for democracy that their right to have a different view to the administration is respected and that they are not undermined by snide comments and personal insults, and more than a hint of ageism. I am sure if our young and very able Green candidate had won he would have received the same treatment.
Wembley Matters has carried contributions from Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and Greens about local issues as I believe in debate and democracy.
Cllr Anton Georgiou has now written to Brent CEO over the letter he received from Cllr Butt: (click on image for larger view)