Brent Council to hand over �62,000 raised by former mayor to Willesden charity

Town hall agrees to give sum to Irish organisation after the Times intervenes

Council chiefs have agreed to hand over �62,000 raised by a former mayor to his chosen charity following a two year delay, after the Times intervened.

The money for the Brent Irish Advisory Service (BIAS) was raised by Jim O’Sullivan in 2009 when he was Brent Mayor and a Conservative councillor for the Barnhill ward.

However Brent Council had held on to the money, which was raised to buy BIAS a minibus, since then.

BIAS currently hire Knightleas Court Day Care Centre in Brondesbury Park every Friday to organise events and are forced to pay a monthly sum to the council for community transport to and from the centre.

Therefore the charity would save thousands of pounds each year by using their own transport.

Ann Farry, manager at the day care centre said the benefits of the bus would be enormous.

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She said: “Everyone has been expecting it for some time, it would mean so much to them.

“It’s disrespectful to the people who donated; there are families of service users many of whom contributed.

“Some have them have since died and never got to experience it, it’s tragic.”

Volunteers at the day care centre also said that by not giving the charity the money, the council were hurting the people who had the least power.

Nora Silke, who lives in Cricklewood, has used the centre for the last two years.

The 80-year-old said: “Everyone was so excited about it and we are still waiting, no-one can understand what has happened and why it has taken so long to materialise.”

Ms Farry added: “These people are vulnerable and it’s them who are suffering.”

After the Times contacted Brent Council a spokesman said: “It has taken longer than usual to finalise the Mayor’s charity collection for 2009/10. “However, the council has notified BIAS of its intention to pass over this money in full very shortly.”