A New Year’s message from the leader of Brent Council

Cllr Muhammed Butt

Cllr Muhammed Butt - Credit: Archant

Cllr Muhammed Butt, the leader of Brent Council, has issued a New year’s message for the borough’s residents.

He sayd: “As the new year begins, many of us are considering the challenges that we want to set ourselves in 2016.

As leader of Brent council, I am also looking to 2016 with thoughts of how we can become a better local authority.

The challenges we face are severe. Whether in good times and bad, councils like Brent have to work hard to make sure that taxpayers’ money goes as far as possible.

We have to treat each pound with respect as if we had earned it ourselves.

We are shaping a new type of local government - one that does not do everything for you but gives you the tools and support you need to get the job done.

Together, the council and residents can still deliver on what matters to you: Protecting our children’s centres, supporting our schools and enabling our young people to access the post-16 education they aspire to, be that an apprenticeship, university or skills training.

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Supporting the young people of Brent is something that matters very personally to me.

I was born and educated in Brent. Because of the life chances that this borough gave me, I was able to become an engineer, and earn a salary that I could raise a family on

And I want to make sure that that opportunity exists for my fellow residents today. So the council will be working to ensure Brent people of all ages can train up and secure decentl- paid employment.

When I think about what makes me proud of having lived in Brent my whole life, the openness and tolerance of our borough and our communities stands out.

I felt that pride when so many residents got in contact with me to ask our borough to play its part in supporting refugees fleeing the terrible civil war in Syria.

So we are working up a plan to accept at least 50 families from Syria in 2016, collaborating with our voluntary organisations and charities.

Such commitments are a demonstration of our priorities. In these straightened financial times it is as important as ever to develop our priorities in a big discussion with you, our residents.

That way, we can move into 2016 together, as one borough, as proud as ever of our values.

I look forward to having that conversation with you in 2016.”