Friday 31 May 2024

Queens Park & Maida Vale General Election Hustings June 17th 7pm St Lukes, Fernhead Road


Queens Park & Maida Vale Election Hustings

Kensal and Kilburn Better 2024 presents a traditional election hustings featuring all of the candidates for the new parliamentary constituency of Queens Park & Maida Vale. Come along to meet and hear from all the candidates, and ask them anything!

Queens Park & Maida Vale constituency comprises the Brent wards of Harlesden & Kensal Green, Queens Park and Kilburn, plus much of the former Westminster North constituency. The candidates are: 

Vivien Lichtenstein - Green Party; Helen Baxter - Liberal Democrats
; Samia Hersi - Conservative Party; Irakli Menabde - Workers Party of Britain; Abby Dharamsey - Social Democratic Party; Georgia Gould - Labour Party; Angela Carter-Begbie - Reform UK


Queens Park by-election will be held on July 4th

 Dated: Thursday 30 May 2024 Kim Wright
Returning Officer
London Borough of Brent,
Brent Civic Centre
Engineers Way
Printed and Published by the London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Brent


Election of a Borough Councillor
For the Queens Park Ward
To be held on
Thursday 4 July 2024


1. An election is to be held for a Borough Councillor for the Queens Park Ward.

2. Nomination papers may be obtained from the Electoral Services Office, Brent Civic Centre,
Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ.

3. Completed nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer at the address shown
above from the day after the date of this notice, weekdays between 10am and 4pm but not later
than 4pm on Friday 7 June 2024.

4. If the election is contested, the poll will take place on Thursday 4 July 2024 between the hours of
7.00am and 10.00pm.

5. Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by midnight on Tuesday
18 June 2024. Applications can be made online:

6. Applications for a Voter Authority Certificate or an Anonymous Elector’s Document valid for this
election must reach the relevant Electoral Registration Officer** by 5pm on Wednesday 26 June
2024. Applications can be made online:

7. Applications to vote by post or to change existing postal, postal proxy or proxy votes must reach the
Electoral Registration Officer at the Electoral Services Office address shown above by 5pm on
Wednesday 19 June 2024. Applications can be made online at and

8. New applications to vote by proxy must be received by the Electoral Registration Officer at the
address shown above by 5pm on Wednesday 26 June 2024. Some applications can be made
online at

9. Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election on the grounds of physical incapacity; for
work/service reasons; or photo ID is lost/ stolen/ damaged/ or voter ID not received, must reach the
relevant Electoral Registration Officer ** by 5pm on Thursday 4 July 2024.

Thursday 30 May 2024

Brent councillor Shama Tatler moves into national spotlight as she is parachuted into sacked candidate Faiza Shaheen's seat



Cllr Shama Tatler is in the spotlight after London Labour announced her as the parliamentary candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green following the unceremonious sacking of long-term candidate Faiza Shaheen by Keir Starmer yesterday. This means that she has been chosen centrally by Labour rather than going through the local democratic selection process.

Faiza Shaheen, a new mother and local had been campaigning in the seat for four years. It remains to be seen whether the Brent Lead Member for Regeneration will benefit from that work. 

Faiza Shaheen said on Twitter:

Really! Wow a Brent councillor with no history here at all. They would rather lose than have a left pro-Palestine candidate. This is offensive to my community.

It appears that Tatler has been parachuted into a bed of nettles amidst the current controversy over a 'Starmerite purge' and allegations of a negative attitude towards ethnic minority and female candidates in the wake of the leadership's treatment of Diane Abbott. Of course Shama Tatler is also ethnic minority and female.


There were mixed comments on Twitter with some pointing to Tatler's membership of the JLM as finding favour with Starmer.  LINK  One person accused her of 'trampling' on Faiza Shaheen.

Shama Tatler is on  Labour's NCC the party's disciplinary committee and backed Luke  Akenhurst for the NEC.  I understand that there is currently a conduct complaint against her lodged with the Labour Party.

She previously sought the Labour parliamentary candidate nomination for Watford. This video was part of her campaign.

Meanwhile people are flocking to the support of Faiza Shaheen after her emotional interview on Newsnight last night.


Faiza Shaheen's statement on yesterday's events:


Following boundary changes, what are the chances of Shama Tatler winning the seat previously held by Ian Duncan Smith for the Conservatives?  The website Electoral Calculus has the projection below but this does not take into account the latest developments and the possibility of an Independent campaign by Faiza Shaheen.


Roe Green Walled Garden Open Day Saturday June 1st 11am-4pm


By-election for election of a Queens Park councillor

 From Brent Council website:


A Local Government Councillor for the Queens Park Ward in the London Borough of Brent

Notice is hereby given under Section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 that a casual vacancy exists for the office of Councillor for the Queens Park ward of the London Borough of Brent.

Requesting a by-election

A by-election is only triggered by local government electors requesting a by-election to take place.

This requires TWO local government electors within the London Borough of Brent giving notice to the Proper Officer of the authority that an election should take place. 

Holding a by-election

On receipt of the requests to fill the vacancy, the Returning Officer will set a date for an election to be held within 35 days.

All requests for a by-election regarding this Casual Vacancy must be sent to the Proper Officer at: Chief Executive’s Office, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ or by email to or

Kim Wright, Returning Officer
(Proper Officer for the London Borough of Brent)
24 May 2024

Wednesday 29 May 2024

Barry Gardiner has 'positive discussion' with the Shadow Education Secretary about Byron Court Primary School's Ofsted and forced academisation

 Barry Gardiner made a statement on Twitter yesterday following what he said was a 'very positive discussion' with Labour's Shadow Education Secretary about the forced academisation issues at Byron Court Primary School.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Cllr Muhammed Butt loses his cool when petitioner wants to make a point of order at Brent Cabinet. Bobby Moore Bridge Mural to be covered by advertising.

 Note: An earlier video has been replaced by this Brent Council video which has better sound quality.

Philip Grant, a regular contributor to Wembley Matters, who has no party political affiliation, presented a 100 signature plus petition to Brent Cabinet today setting out the case for the permanent display of the Bobby Moore Bridge tile mural. See LINK for details.

Council Leader Muhammed Butt made a brief response and then after asking for contributions  from Cabinet colleagues (there were none) put only one Option forward with no show of hands from Cabinet members. This was the option to cover the mural with advertising.

When Philip Grant tried to raise a point of order on this (4.20) above Cllr Butt refused to hear the point of order.

As it is hard to hear the point of order on the video I asked Philip what he had been attempting to say when shouted down: 

The point of order that I went to the public speaker's microphone to make was that the Leader had declared the Officer recommendation approved when not a single Cabinet member had put a hand up to show that they accepted the recommendation.

I then added the second point (which I'd already advised him of in my open email a week before), that the decision the Cabinet was meant to make was either Option A or Option B, and they had not been given the opportunity to vote on both options.


Road Closures Plus in Wembley Park on Saturday June 1st - residents can expect travel plans disruption

There are additional road closures over and above the normal Wembley Event closures on Saturday June 1st for the UEFA Champions League match . This includes Bridge Road, Wembley Park Drive and Empire Way.

Residents' movements by car or public transport appears to be severely affected.

This is the Brent Council announcement:




This Saturday 1 June, the UEFA Champions League Final takes place at Wembley Stadium.


The area in and around Wembley Stadium will be extremely busy with additional road closures and diversions in place compared to traditional event day operations.


Borussia Dortmund fan march


Borussia Dortmund supporters will be taking part in a fan march from The Torch Pub on Bridge Road to Wembley Stadium from around 4pm on Saturday 1 June.


To provide a safe area for the fan march to congregate and move to the stadium, the following roads will be closed to all traffic:


  • Bridge Road
  • Wembley Park Drive (with local access up to Elmside Road)
  • Empire Way (with access up to Wembley Leisure Centre)
  • Fulton Road (between Empire Way & Rutherford Way)

Signed diversion routes will be in place while the roads are closed. The closures are expected to be in place for periods well before and after the fan march takes place.


A map of the road closures can be seen below:



Fryent Way coach parking


Fryent Way will be closed on Saturday 1 and 2 June between the hours of 5am (Saturday) and 4am (Sunday) to facilitate coach parking.


Fryent Park will be open, however visitors are advised that Fryent Country Park Car Park will not be accessible via vehicle and visitors should seek other parking arrangements if driving to the site.


Wembley Stadium concourse closure

The concourse area around level one of Wembley Stadium will be closed off to the public in the lead up to the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final.

New gates and shutters have been installed around the concourse, as part of The Football Association’s commitment to improve safety and security around the stadium footprint.


  • A full closure will be in place from 26 May up until 8pm on 5 June
  • From 6 June, the concourse will be closed between 8pm and 7am each night
  • The concourse will be open to the public on non-event-days between 7am and 8pm


Event day parking


Event day parking restrictions will be in place from 8am to midnight on main roads and from 10am to midnight on residential roads on Saturday 1 June.


If you have a paper permit, please make sure you clearly display it in your vehicle. If you have an electronic permit, you do not need to display this.


Drink-free zone


We want to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.


To crack down on anti-social behaviour, we will be enforcing a ban on street drinking in the streets around Wembley Stadium before this match, as part of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

If we find anyone drinking on Olympic Way or in the surrounding streets, they will be asked to hand over their alcohol and enforcement action may be considered.


Off licences will not be selling alcohol to anyone attending this event on 1 June.


Latest information






Monday 27 May 2024

Will Brent Council decision on Scrutiny call-in disempower Labour backbenchers as well as opposition groups?


 The importance of scrutiny in a council with a massive one party majority was the subject of two debates at Brent Council Annual General Meeting last week.

In the first debate a bid to have at least the deputy chairs of Scrutiny Committees from opposition parties was defeated by the Labour majority with the Brent Council Labour leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt, arguing that their election mandate gave Labour the right to hold all the positions.

The second debate was over a Labour move to curtail the right of the opposition groups, and its own backbenchers, to refer Cabinet decisions or Key Decisions to Scrutiny Committee for further decisions.

There had been a Labour move earlier this year to increase the number of councillors required to sign a call-in from five to 10.(There are 8 Opposition councillors in all) This was dropped and replaced by a more subtle change that requires the five councillors to be from more than one political party.

As you will see from the video above Cllr Muhammed Butt made no attempt to justify the change, either in his moving the motion or responding to the Liberal Dem amendment. It sas more a case of 'we are doing it, because we can.'

 So what was behind the change?

It is well known that Cllr Butt is not all that keen on criticism but what infuriated him and his colleagues was a Conservative call-in opposing the siting of a children's home in a conservation area.  LINK They claimed this showed a 'lack of respect' for a conservation area. The move was not supported by the Liberal Democrats but with five councillors the Conservatives were able to do it on their own.

Under the new proposals they would need support from the Lib Dems or Labour backbenches for such a call-in.

That one unpleasant episode should not be the basis for a significant constitutional change but the officers' paper quoted Centre for Scrutiny and Governance advice that was not cited by Cllr Butt in the debate:

Guidance was issued by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS) in March 2023 which comments, in respect of requirements in call-in thresholds that the councillors involved should represent different parties, that “This can help to ensure that call-in’s reflect matters on which there is crossparty


However, the CfGS had said that a call-in review should happen after an election and change of political control:

The guidance from CfGS is that requirements on numbers/types of members, bodies or persons requesting call- in’s should be clearly justified and reviewed following each election and after a change in political control to ensure their ongoing fairness and applicability as endorsed by the authority.

The proposal was not made after an election and there has been no change of political control for a very long time. There has been a change of Chief Executive.

 The paper concludes:

Arrangements across London are very varied, especially once the effect of political balance is taken into account. A significant number have arrangements that mean more than one party group must be in support of the call-in request.


The possible introduction of this requirement in Brent was discussed at a recent meeting of the Constitutional Working Group (CWG) but a consensus was not reached. Full council is therefore requested to make a decision on this issue.

So the whipped Labour majority was used to defeat the Liberal Democrat amendment which had stipulated:

To maintain the objectives of effective democratic scrutiny, as intended by the Labour Government which introduced the current decision making process, we therefore propose, having taken account of the current review of arrangements for call-in:

(1) That any Cabinet decision which has implications for the whole or a large part of the borough can be called in by any three Councillors (for the avoidance of doubt these can be Councillors of one or more than one group).

(2) That any Cabinet decision which has implications for just one ward within the

borough can be called in by any one councillor.

In answer to criticism that this would substantially increase the number of call-ins it is argued that there are are already guidelines in place that would ensure call-ins were legitimate. A call-in in the past has been refused on that basis.  LINK

 As Cllr Kasangra pointed out. the new rule  requiring more that  one party submit a compliant call-in request, also means that Labour backbenchers, however many may support a call-in would not be able to do so with Opposition councillor support.

There was such a call-in previously over plans for the Granville Centre in Kilburn LINK:

The call-in of the proposal to build housing on the Granville-Carlton site on the South Kilburn estate will be heard by the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday. The Cabinet's decision was called in by required 5 non-executive councillors in this case Cllrs Abdi, Chan, Hector, Pavey and Hassan.

An example of a Liberal Democrat - Conservative call-in was Altamira in 2022 which was not well-received by Cllr Butt. LINK

The change effectively means that any call-in must now be supported by both Opposition groups and, given their widely differing political perspectives. can we expect fewer call-ins in the future?

Is this good for democracy?


Bobby Moore Bridge advertising lease – the case for the tile mural

 Guest post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity


The Olympic torch tile mural, and the torchbearer about to light the Olympic flame in 1948.


Brent’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 28 May will decide on the award of a new advertising lease for the Bobby Moore Bridge, from 31 August 2024 for the next four years. They have two options to choose from, and Council Officers are recommending Option B for approval:-


Extract from the Officer Report for 28 May meeting. (Note that Officers can’t spell Bobby Moore!)


The Officer Report is heavily biased in favour of Option B, but I will have a chance to redress the balance. More than 100 people signed a petition calling on Brent Council and its Cabinet to only award a lease for advertising on the parapets of the bridge (Option A), so that the tile murals on the walls of the Bobby Moore Bridge subway, celebrating Wembley’s sports and entertainment history, can be put back on public display. This means that I can present that petition to the Cabinet meeting, before they consider the award of the advertising lease.


Most of the tile murals on the subway walls have been hidden behind adverts, or LED light panels which can be used for advertising, for more than ten years. They were installed as a public artwork, so it is important that Cabinet members can see pictures of at least some of the mural scenes their decision will affect. 


I asked to include a short powerpoint slide show as part of my presentation, but this was refused. Apparently, it is essential that all the screens show the digital clock, counting down the time remaining, when a member of the public speaking! I was offered the chance to provide my images in advance of the meeting, which I have done. This pdf document has been shared with Cabinet members, and I will ask Martin to attach a copy at the foot of this article, so that you can see it. 


This, for readers’ information, is an outline of what I hope to say during my five minute petition presentation at the Cabinet meeting:-


Today you’ll decide on the new advertising lease for the Bobby Moore Bridge. The petition asks you to award the lease only for the bridge parapets – Option A – so that the tile murals on the subway walls can be put back on display


You’ll see, from the photos in my presentation, why those murals deserve to be seen again, permanently.


Brent commissioned this public artwork, and it was specially designed to welcome visitors, with colourful murals celebrating Wembley’s sports and entertainment history.


There are eleven mural scenes that have been hidden away since 2013, including the Olympic torchbearer and flag at the start of Olympic Way, an important reminder of Wembley’s 1948 Olympic Games.


Other hidden scenes cover a variety of subjects, including famous concerts at the Stadium, and the Horse of the Year Show, ice skating and Harlem Globetrotters at the Arena.


Wembley History Society has been campaigning to have the murals returned to public view since 2018. Its efforts saw the footballers mural, with its plaque unveiled by Bobby Moore’s widow in 1993, uncovered the following year.


We joined the Mayor and Council Leader in welcoming the temporary display of three mural scenes in Olympic Way, at the start of Borough of Culture year in 2020, when the Council acknowledged that ‘the tiles are part of Brent’s rich heritage.’


Quintain put those scenes, just outside the subway, back on permanent display in August 2022.


Option A is the opportunity to allow every resident, and visitor to Wembley Park, to enjoy all of the beautiful murals, as Brent originally intended.


The tile murals don’t have legal protection, but they are a heritage asset, with historic and artistic merit. Brent has a commitment to value heritage assets.


A paragraph from Brent’s 2019 Historic Environment Strategy.


Good lighting in the subway, and the safety of everyone using it, is very important.


When improvements were made to Olympic Way a few years ago, Brent gave £17.8m CIL money towards the work, but allowed Quintain to organise it. 


The lighting design for the subway was based on the LED advertising panels Quintain wanted to install, even though they knew those panels had to be removed when the lease expired.


There will need to be changes when the panels are removed. I’m sure the Council can work with Quintain and its lighting designer on those, though it may mean a short delay in taking down the LED panels, and possibly some extra CIL funding.


But using the advantage of reflected light, off of the ceramic tiles, could actually reduce energy consumption!


[Although I won’t have enough time to include this in my presentation, when Quintain’s Head of Masterplanning and its lighting designer came to a meeting of Wembley History Society in October 2018, to discuss their plans for the Bobby Moore Bridge subway, it was suggested to them that the tile murals could be lit in such a way that the reflected light would help to light the subway itself.]


Second half of the Leader Foreword from the Officer Report for 28 May meeting.

The social value benefits, mentioned in the Leader Foreword, will be provided by the supplier under the new lease, whichever Option you decide on.


A lease under Option A will guarantee the Council a minimum rent in excess of ninety thousand pounds a year.


Option B would pay slightly more, but the amount involved is a tiny part of Brent’s budget.


The financial difference would be less than the cultural, social, educational and heritage value of putting all the tile murals back on public display.


I commend Option A to you, and ask you to vote for it.


I think my presentation makes a strong case for putting all the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals back on display. Whether this is enough to persuade Cabinet members remains to be seen!


Philip Grant.


The webcast of the Cabinet Meeting can be viewed on Tuesday 10am HERE