Brent Council leaders urge government to give residents better funding deal

Cllr Muhammed Butt, left and Cllr Michael Pavey

Cllr Muhammed Butt, left and Cllr Michael Pavey - Credit: Archant

Council leaders headed to Whitehall to argue for a better funding deal for Brent residents ahead of budget meetings this month.

Councillors Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, and deputy leader Michael Pavey, went to government headquarters last Thursday to meet Marcus Jones MP, parliamentary under-Secretary of State, in the department for communities and local government.

Arguing Brent’s case, they demanded to know why neighbouring Westminster City Council receives government funding of £255 per person, compared to Brent’s £176, despite similar levels of need.

Cllr Butt said: “Central government cuts have hit local councils harder than any other area of the public sector. The Chancellor recognises that local authorities, such as Brent, provide essential services to local people but he refuses to provide the necessary funding to deliver those services.”

Cllr Pavey, lead member for finance, added: “The government has cut £1.3million this year alone from our public health funding, and I was glad to be able to look the minister in the eye and tell him that it’s not on. Brent people are being let down by this funding settlement and enough is enough.”

A DCLG spokesman said: “This Government is providing a long-term funding settlement for the first time allowing local authorities to plan with certainty.

“Councils will have almost £200 billion to spend on local services, including a £3.5billion social care package, over the lifetime of this parliament.

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“Brent Council core spending power is forecast to decrease by 0.9% and the council will still have over £965.5 million to spend between now and 2020.”

Brent’s public consultation on its budget proposals starts next week, where local people can ask questions and have their say.

Wembley: January 12, 7pm - 10pm, Banqueting Hall, Patidar House, 22 London Road,

Civic Centre: January 14 7pm - 9pm, Conference Hall, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way

Kilburn and Kensal: January 19 7pm - 10pm, Queens Park Community School hall, Aylestone Avenue

Willesden: 25 January 25 12pm to 2pm, The Library at Willesden Green, 95 High Road, Willesden Green

Willesden: February 1 7pm - 10pm, The Library at Willesden Green, First floor Performance Space, 95 High Road, Willesden Green Harlesden: Tuesday February 2 7pm to 10pm, The Roundwood Youth Centre, Longstone Avenue

Kingsbury and Kenton: Wednesday February 3, 7pm to 10pm, Main Hall, Kingsbury High School, Princes Avenue