Stonebridge Adventure Playground campaigners call on Brent Council to fight government cuts

Stonebridge Adventure Playground campaigners outside Brent Civic Centre

Stonebridge Adventure Playground campaigners outside Brent Civic Centre - Credit: Archant

Campaigners for a Stonebridge play centre say the council should be doing more to defend Brent in light of government cuts as it prepares to slash its funding.

The Stonebridge Adventure Playground in Shakespeare Avenue is facing an uncertain future as council bosses decide to destroy it to make way for a primary school expansion and housing or axe its funding.

Doug and Glynis Lee, managers of the playground for 38 years attended the budget consultation at Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way on Tuesday with children and parents for whom the centre is vital.

Mr Lee said: “Cllr Butt, the leader of the council said his front line services are facing a 20 per cent cut and two year contracts, so our position now is that in line with that, we would go for a two year contract with a 20 per cent cut ourselves to be fair and in line with everyone else and his own staff.”

In the meeting a question was raised about Section 106, money given to the local authority for planning gain when they have planning permission for development. “Cllr Butt inferred the money would go in his ‘general pot’,” Mr Lee added. “I told cllr Butt I will be watching him and the deputy as I believe there’ll be enough money from section 106 which should go to the adventure playground because people who signed the petition said where that money should go.”

Glynis Lee said the meeting was “quite depressing”. “They said it was a consultation but really there’s nothing to consult on. They were just telling everybody that they’re cutting services. It’s not just a cut it’s absolutely decimating services.

As a labour council Brent should perhaps be doing more to oppose the cuts. They keep saying it’s the coalition forcing the cuts on us but on behalf of Brent they should take more of a stand.”

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Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council said: “The 20 per cent figure is an average figure for departments, it would not be right to set an arbitrary figure of 20 per cent for each service in the departments.”

Arguing that Labour is campaigning against the cuts, he added:

“I have been to see the government minster to highlight the disproportionate impact on Brent residents from the coalition government cuts to our funding.”