Council tax to be frozen in Brent for the next two years

Residents quiz Cllr Muhammed Butt over budget plans

Residents quiz Cllr Muhammed Butt over budget plans - Credit: Archant

Cllr Muhammed Butt pledges zero increase and no cuts to services

Cllr Muhammed Butt

Cllr Muhammed Butt - Credit: Archant

A town hall boss has pledged to freeze council tax in the borough for the next two years without cutting services.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, told the Times he will be scrutinising how the council is currently run in an effort to get the best ‘value’ for resident.

He said: “I have every intention of making sure council tax is frozen for two years and we will not reduce front –line services.

“We will look at how we are working efficiently which means looking at the structure of the council and its back room functions.”

Cllr Butt, who took over the role in May last year, held two meetings last week where residents grilled him about his proposals for next year’s budget.

He said: “The budget meetings have been perfect as people have said it is the first time they have been given an opportunity to talk and discuss and speak about it.”

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According to Cllr Butt, the biggest concern raised by residents was a possible reduction in services as the council tightens its belt.

The council is currently half way through a four-year long programme to save £100million.

Casualties so far include the closure of half of the boroughs libraries, the Charteris Sports Centre in Kilburn and Crawford Avenue Respite Centre in Wembley.

The council has also spiked funding for religious festivals and introduced fortnightly bin collection.

To date more than 400 council employees have been made redundant and warning that there could be further job losses, Cllr Butt said: “I want to look at how we can become more efficient. If it means we look at how managers we have I will rather than target front-line staff.

“Every contract we have will be looked at thoroughly and we will make sure we will get the best value for our residents.

“We want to see what savings we can make with our contractors. We will become a more efficient council.”