Saturday 3 June 2023

A defence of family connections on Brent Council?

 The question mark is deliberate as comments on the post 'Three councillors declare free Funfair tickets from proprietor and developer George Irvin' have been numerous and rather extraordinary including tributes in poetry to Cllr Akram and a Letter to the Editor about his leadership qualities. It has been hard, as with this comment received today, to decide whether they are genuine or satirical.

It is important to approach allegations and concerns about the Barham Park planning application with a fair and objective perspective. While it is essential to ensure transparency and accountability in the decision-making process, it is equally crucial to avoid making unfounded assumptions or drawing conclusions without sufficient evidence. Let's examine the claims made and provide a rebuttal accordingly:

1. Cllr Mo Butt, Leader of Brent Council, is chair of the Barham Park Trust:
While it is true that Cllr Mo Butt is the Leader of Brent Council, and that he is currently chair of the Barham Park Trust, it does not necessarily imply any impropriety or ulterior motives. Public officials often engage in various roles and responsibilities within their community.

2. Cllr Saqib Butt and Cllr Ajmal Akram are both on the planning committee:
The fact that Cllr Saqib Butt and Cllr Ajmal Akram are members of the planning committee is not in itself indicative of any wrongdoing. It is common for local councilors to serve on committees that address various aspects of community development. Their involvement should not be automatically assumed as compromising the decision-making process.

3. Cllr Mili Patel is on the Barham Park Trust, and her husband, Cllr Matt Kelcher, is Chair of the Planning Committee:
Again, it is important to emphasize that mere associations or family relationships should not automatically cast doubt on the integrity of the decision-making process. If Cllr Mili Patel and Cllr Matt Kelcher have disclosed their affiliations and followed appropriate ethical guidelines, their involvement should be evaluated based on their individual merits and adherence to their responsibilities.

4. Cllr Krupa Sheth is on the Barham Park Trust, and her uncle, Cllr Ketan Sheth, is a Wembley Central councillor:
Similar to the previous points, family connections alone do not imply any wrongdoing or conflicts of interest. As long as the involved councilors have acted in accordance with their duties, exercised transparency, and disclosed any potential conflicts, their contributions should be evaluated based on the merits of their decision-making.

5. Cllr Rajan-Seelan is on the Planning Committee:
Once again, being a member of the Planning Committee does not automatically undermine the decision-making process. It is essential to consider the individual councilor's professionalism, adherence to ethical standards, and their ability to evaluate applications impartially.

It is crucial to remember that making allegations without concrete evidence can potentially harm the reputations of individuals involved. If there are concerns about the decision-making process or potential conflicts of interest, appropriate channels for lodging complaints or seeking clarification should be pursued. Public officials should be held accountable, but this accountability should be based on facts and evidence rather than assumptions or associations alone.

Finally, the involvement of family and friends in politics can contribute to a stronger sense of community and a deeper understanding of local issues. When individuals who share personal connections work together in political endeavors, they often bring a higher level of trust, cooperation, and shared values to the decision-making process. This can foster a more collaborative and cohesive approach to addressing community needs and concerns. Additionally, having family members and close friends engaged in politics can lead to increased accessibility and representation. People who are personally connected to elected officials may feel more comfortable reaching out and expressing their opinions, knowing that their concerns will be heard and considered. Furthermore, family and friends who are involved in politics may have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the community's history, culture, and specific needs, allowing them to make more informed decisions that benefit the local population..


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Barry Gardiner making these defences?

So many close family ties in local politics should not be allowed, they are making major decisions about our parks and local services - where is the scrutiny?

Anonymous said...

An interesting deflection method, however, the public of Brent see it differently. Also Irvin's attempts to ingraciate himself with councillors smells.

Anonymous said...

Annon 3 June 2023 at 10:15 The Scrutiny Chair was at Irvin's Roe Green Fair with pockets stuffed with tokens along with a Cabinet and Planning Committee member.

Anonymous said...

Working with your fam in Brent Council just like the ruling party in Bangladesh, bro, can be a proper blessing, yaar. Let me break it down for you (with the numbers too!)

1. Parivaar Power with Ek Saath Vision: When you've got your fam on your side, it's like having your own desi squad, ya know? You share the same values and dreams, so there's a solid connection. That unity brings trust and harmony, bro.

2. Jhakaas Communication, Bhai: When it comes to chatting it up, our families got it covered, yaar. We've grown up together, so we know the vibes and bhasha. That means we can have honest, no-filter convos, making sorting things out a cakewalk.

3. Sath Sath Teamwork: Your fam knows how to work together like a desi dream team, bro. Each person knows their role inside out, so it's like a well-choreographed Bollywood dance. Smooth as butter, yaar!

4. Long-Term Connection: Being part of the family means you're in it for the long haul, bro. You're not just representing yourself, but your entire khandaan. That's a big responsibility and an honor, so you'll do whatever it takes to serve your people, yaar.

5. Steady as a Rock, Bhai: When your fam has been holding it down for ages, you've got that stability and consistency on lock, yaar. Passing down the wisdom and experience keeps the legacy going strong, bro. No need to reinvent the wheel!

Anonymous said...

Can we have an official statement from Brent Council on this or the local government ombudsman?

Philip Grant said...

Dear Anonymous (3 June at 13:21),

Can you give the names of the three councillors you are referring to, please?

Do you have any evidence, such as photographs, or the date and time that they were seen there? If so, please share that evidence with Martin (email address in the column on the right of the webpage, under "guest blogs". Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Needs a proper investigative journalist to look into all of this!!!

Anonymous said...

Leave Cllr Akram alone.

Martin Francis said...

Philip Grant 4th June and Anon 3rd June - Cllrs Conneely (Chair Scrutiny), Begun *member of Planning Committe) and Grahl (Cabinet) have all declared the Funfair tickets as reported on Wembley Matters. Link to Standards Committee:

Anonymous said...

Butt he's such a gift of a target. Inept springs to mind.