Brent councillor who oversaw library closures fails to make selection shortlist

Councillor James Powney

Councillor James Powney - Credit: Archant

Cllr James Powney will not be able to contest his Kensal Green seat

Councillor Ann John OBE has been deselected

Councillor Ann John OBE has been deselected - Credit: Archant

The councillor who oversaw the controversial library closures in the borough will be unable to contest his seat in the council elections next year.

A source has revealed to the Times that Cllr James Powney has failed to make the shortlist to stand as a Labour candidate for the Kensal Green Ward.

Last week he lost his executive position as lead member for environment and neighbourhoods to Cllr Roxanne Mashari.

The six candidates on the shortlist for Cllr Powney’s ward will be revealed next week.

Cllr Powney was in charge of the closures of half the borough’s libraries.

Barham, Cricklewood, Neasden, Kensal Rise, Preston and Tokyngton libraries were axed in 2011 in a £1million cost-cutting exercise.

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The decision was opposed by hundreds of residents who created community groups to try and stop the closures.

Earlier today the Times revealed Cllr Ann John OBE, who led the council when the closures took place, was deselected as a candidate for the Stonebridge ward despite being included on the shortlist yesterday.

Cllr Colum Moloney, who also represents Stonebridge, was also dropped by his party.

Cllr Janice Long was also deselected to run for her Harlesden ward after being stripped of her executive position as the lead member of housing.

Cllr Margaret McLennan has taken over the role.

Prospective candidates for next years elections are picked by Labour Party members who live in the relevant ward.

Cllr Mary Arnold, who lost her executive position as the lead member of children and families, decided not to run for her Kilburn ward next year.

Cllr Lincoln Beswick MBE has also decided to step down as a candidate from Harlesden.

Last week he resigned as the lead member for crime and public safety – a role which has been taken on by Cllr Aslam Choudry.

Cllr Powney told the Times he did not know who was on the shortlist.