Brent residents warned that council tax bills may increase
- Credit: Archant
The leader of Brent Council has pledged to deliver all the promises made during the Labour Group’s election campaign but has admitted that council tax could increase in the near future.
The leader of Brent Council has pledged to deliver all the promises made during his party’s election campaign – following their landslide victory which left the Liberal Democrats with just one seat in the borough.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, now serving a second term as the council leader after holding onto his Tokyngton seat, has promised to do more to improve the lives of residents after Brent Labour made huge gains in the local elections.
However, the Labour politician is warning residents that council tax bills could rise in the future to plug a multi-million pound shortfall from government grants.
He said: “I have frozen council tax for five years running. It is difficult because I have to deal with this £15m shortfall.
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“I can’t promise it [the council tax freeze] will be continuous. Funding from revenue support is decreasing all the time but demands for our services are increasing. We may need to review council tax.”
Labour now holds 56 seats in the borough, an increase of 16. But the Liberal Democrats lost 14 seats, and now have only one councillor.
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The Conservatives kept their 2010 tally of six seats.
The turnout of voters in the borough was just 33 per cent.
Cllr Butt, who entered the political world in 2010, has pledged to make significant improvements in children, housing and employment opportunities.
He has vowed to see out plans outlined in the party manifesto to open a savings account at a credit union with a starter deposit of £10 for all Year 7 pupils, in a bid to promote money saving, as well as injecting £100m in creating more school places.
He also plans to implement plans to help 1,000 more residents in employment and tackle youth unemployment by creating 100 new apprenticeships in the council workforce by 2017.
Commenting on housing, he continued: “We plan to build 3,000 new affordable homes of the high standard by 2018, as well as clamping down on rogue landlords who take advantage of their tenants.”
In a bid to promote greater accountability, he has also announced draft proposals to allow members of the public attending full council meetings to address councillors.
See today’s Brent & Kilburn Times for more coverage on the local elections.