Questions to Cabinet members from opposition councillors and non-Cabinet members are sometimes worth reading, although there are so few opposition councillors they tend to be 'friendly' questions enabling lead members to showcase their achievements. These are the questions tabled for Monday's Full Council and the full answers are in the document posted below. Remember click bottom right for full page.
1. Question from Councillor Parvez Ahmed to Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader:
Can the Deputy Leader set out what is being done to support those of this borough’s residents whose financial situations have been hardest hit by the pandemic? Likewise, can the Deputy Leader explain what steps this council is taking to help the types of small businesses that local economies like Brent’s depend upon?
2. Question from Councillor Orleen Hylton to Councillor Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment:
In July 2019, Brent Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and committed to do all in its gift to strive for carbon neutrality by 2030. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the current efforts towards recovery, can the Cabinet Member for Environment set out how Brent’s efforts to build back better will help deliver on this borough’s climate commitments?
3. Question from Councillor Gwen Grahl to Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Lead Member for Housing & Welfare Reform:
Can the Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform update on how Brent has so far delivered on its promise to tackle poverty, in all its forms, as so starkly laid out in last year’s Independent Poverty Commission’s findings.
4. Question from Councillor Michael Maurice to Councillor Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment:
From 25 October 2021, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)is expanding from central London to create a single, larger zone up to the A406 North Circular Road. Petrol cars registered before 2006 and diesel cars registered before 2015 are likely to incur a £12.50 daily charge should they travel into the ULEZ area. This means that Brent residents living north of the North Circular Road with an older vehicle will incur a charge should they use the Household Waste and Recycling Centre situated at Abbey Road. This will impact those on low incomes disproportionately and potentially result in an increase of fly tipping. Will this Council make representations to Transport for London and the Mayor of London seeking an exemption from the charge for Brent residents legitimately using the HWRC. Alternatively, will the Council request that Brent residents living north of the zone be allowed to utilise Harrow Council’s facility at Forward Drive, thus avoiding the requirement to enter the ULEZ area? A map has been attached for further background
The questions were written by the political officer, and so were the replies.
The business support has been pathetic. I'm in contact with small businesses who've had nothing. Other councils have interpreted the rules far better.
I'm sure that Cllr. Maurice wrote his own question, and a better answer about his suggested slight adjustment to the ULEZ boundary to allow access to Brent's "Civic Amenity" Recycling site would have been:
'That's a good point. We will take it up with TfL and the Mayor of London, so that residents from most of the borough who can't afford to buy a newer vehicle can still take their recyclable waste to the Abbey Road site without incurring a charge for this tiny journey into and out of the ULEZ.'
We must not forget that residents in the north of Brent use Central Middlesex Hospital and many other essential services within the ULEZ. Perhaps a better solution would be to include all of Brent in the ULEZ, that would cut polution in the North of the Borough too.
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