View from the chamber: Here’s to 2019 - and 2020 - as we look back on a year in our diverse borough


- Credit: Archant

As we move into December many of us start to look back on some of the things we’ve achieved, and the opportunities and challenges for the year ahead.

I hope you were able to catch some of the amazing Bonfire Night and Diwali celebrations in November. More than 50,000 people visited Wembley to enjoy the free fireworks display and parade. And in October we celebrated Black History Month and the Windrush generation through the Windrush 70 exhibition.

Both made me immensely proud of Brent’s diverse communities and even more confident as our preparations to become London Borough of Culture in 2020 gather pace.

As well as spending time with our families over the festive season, many of us will be looking to support the wider community as well. We have some great small businesses in Brent so think about paying one of them a visit when you are doing your shopping. We have made it even easier to get presents locally: we are providing free parking in 11 council car parks in the run up to Christmas.

Regrettably, foodbank usage is also rising across the UK and I know many of us who are able to will be donating food to one of the various centres in the borough. Not everyone has a safe, warm place to stay over the winter, and the council is playing its part to help rough sleepers by setting up a new shelter with St Mungo’s.

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It was a pleasure to see so many selfless community groups and individuals at the Pride of Brent Awards last week rewarded for their efforts, which benefit the lives of fellow Brent residents. Well done to all the winners and to everyone who helps to support our diverse communities. You are all winners to me.

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