Wednesday 22 December 2021

FoI request as Brent accounts for just under half of TOTAL London councils' spending on air travel

(SW  Londoner)

 Paul Lorber has made a Freedom of Information request to Brent Council in the wake of a report earlier this month in  the SW Londoner that Brent Council accounted for just under half of the total expenditure by all London Councils on air flights 2014-21

Lorber pointed out that Brent Council had declared a Climate Emergency and asked:

Can you please provide a justification for all this air travel and provide the date, the full cost, the purpose of the trip and the persons on the flight for each trip costing more than £100 over the period covered by the article attached.

 (SW Londoner)

At the time of the article's publication Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment, told the SW Londoner:

Council officers do not fly anywhere on council business unless absolutely necessary. All of these flights are directly related to social workers working with vulnerable children. 

Family court orders may require social workers to assess a vulnerable child’s extended family in their home, which could be abroad, or accompany a child to be reunited with extended family members who live overseas, or visit a child in care a very considerable distance from Brent.

As a part of our strategy we are developing a plan to achieve net zero across our estate and operations by 2030 and we will consider this issue and the potential to offset any necessary flights as part of that review process.

Given that some other London boroughs have similar demographic profiles it is unclear why the Brent should be so much higher.

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