Community hold suprise party for ex-Brent councillor who lost his seat

More than 100 resident attended the surpise party in honour of Barry Cheese, in front of table, (pic

More than 100 resident attended the surpise party in honour of Barry Cheese, in front of table, (pic credit: Thelma Doyle) - Credit: Archant

A community came together to hold a surprise party as a tribute to a former councillor who lost his seat at the recent local elections.

More than 100 residents from all over the borough attended a special event in honour of ex-Lib Dem councillor Barry Cheese, who represented the Brondesbury Park ward.

Mr Cheese thought he was simply returning home after a lunch engagement with the friend, who asked him to escort her to a scout hut in Leighton Gardens, Kensal Rise, under the ploy that she had to drop off a few items for a future engagement.

The Lib-Dem man hadn’t the faintest clue about the party, as crafty guests hid themselves from sight at the venue, and gave the ex-councillor one of the “nicest” surprises of his life. I was just staggered and really surprised. I had to compose myself to make a speech,” he said.

“They went to so much trouble for me, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their kindness.”

Commenting on losing his seat, he continued: “Of course I am disappointed but I’m a firm believer in democracy.

“I still care about my community and I will still be here to help.”

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In recent years, Mr Cheese, who served as councillor for four years, has been commended for campaigning to save the six libraries which were closed by the Labour-run council in 2011.

Heather Jones, who attended the event, off Hardinge Road, said: “He has an incredible sense of integrity and would fight tooth and nail against things that are not just.

“He fought hard for the borough and won the respect of his neighbourhood.’’

“This event showed that he may have lost his seat but he has not lost the support of the community.”

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