Former Brent councillor calls for the axing of �800k neighbourhood scheme

Robert Dunwell calls for Ward Working project to be scrapped

A former Brent councillor has called for the scrapping of a neighbourhood scheme costing more than �800,000 a year.

Robert Dunwell, 62, of Barn Way, Wembley, who was a Queensbury councillor between 2006 and 2010 has slammed Ward Working (WW) and called for the scheme to be axed.

WW was launched four years ago and aims to work together with the community and council leaders.

Mr Dunwell, a former tory who broke away from the party to form the Democratic Conservative group with colleague Atiq Malik, said that WW spends �63,000 per-year on advertising alone, with �20,000 being spent on each of the borough’s 21 wards.

He said: “The saving of �800,000 should be spent on other front line and widely used services for the majority of our Brent residents.”

Mr Dunwell has spoken out after services are currently being slashed across the board, including the closure of libraries, and controversial cuts to street cleaning services and safe school crossing controls, as the town hall battles to save �100m over the next four years.

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He said: “This is not coming from a generous benefactor or the government; it is taken away from all council activities for which Brent is responsible”

He also slammed the role that WW officers play in the community such as ward walkabouts and claims that local councillors should be the ones undertaking such activities.

He said: “What about councillors doing it for themselves? Do councillors really need council officers to speak to their own ward residents?”

A spokeswoman for Brent council said: “The spending figures are true but the �20,000 spent on each ward goes towards schemes which the community say they want.”