Kilburn councillor sacked from Brent’s planning committee for ‘voting the wrong way’

An artist's impression of the new housing.

An artist's impression of the new housing. - Credit: Archant

A Kilburn councillor who has been sacked from Brent’s planning committee believes he lost his seat for “voting the wrong way” on applications.

The Kilburn Labour Party is calling for the reinstatement of Cllr Abdi Abdirazak to the planning committee and has accused the council’s leadership of “political interference” for booting him out.

Cllr Abdirazak was offered the role scrutinising planning applications on behalf of the Labour group following his election in May.

But on July 9 he was told by council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt he was being removed. Days later he was surprised to read in council documents he had “resigned” – news to him.

The 38-year-old said: “I was told the reason I was being taken off the committee was to make way for a colleague recently elected in Willesden Green, but there are councillors who are on multiple committees. I’m only on one.

“I objected and made a statement in the council meeting that the reason was because I voted against the application the council favoured.

“The council then released a statement saying I’d resigned but I didn’t – I was removed.”

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In two months he sat on a pair of planning committees, on June 6 and July 4. In total he voted to approve seven applications and turn down four.

Two key applications he rejected were for a 630-pupil primary school in Wembley Hill Road and a 21-storey housing development at the site of the Olympic Office Centre in Fulton Way that has also been criticised by London mayor Sadiq Khan for its lack of affordable housing.

Both were passed regardless.

Cllr Abdirazak added: “If the council is not negotiating properly with developers, the borough and those that live in it may not be getting the best deal.

“It’s a negative example for colleagues that if you vote the wrong way on planning applications there’s a real possibility you’ll be taken off the committee.”

A Kilburn Labour spokesman said: “The allocation of places demands to be done more democratically.”

A Brent Council spokesman said: “Nominations to committee positions are made on behalf of the political groups on Brent Council.”

But Brent Labour would not comment on Cllr Abdirazak’s removal.