Labour councillors ‘forced’ to back cuts in Brent
- Credit: Archant
Brent’s Labour councillors are being forced by their own leadership to back council cuts they don’t agree with.
In an unsigned letter, confirmed to have been sent by Cllr John Duffy, concerns have been raised that the budget cuts have been made “without the endorsement of the Labour Group.”
Cllr Duffy, who represents Kilburn ward, said the budget should represent a democratic decision taken by the whole party but added: “We as a Labour group haven’t decided the budget. Cllr Michael Pavey (the council’s deputy leader) has decided it and won’t allow us to amend anything.”
The published budget cuts are going before the cabinet on Monday and the full council meeting on March 2.
Anger was fuelled earlier this month when council leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt and Cllr Pavey, “refused point blank to allow the group to vote on their budget”.
Another member had forced a discussion and a vote on raising the council tax by two per cent as an alternative to making substantial cuts in services. It was “overwhelmingly agreed by the full Labour Group” according to Cllr Duffy.
He claims the vote to raise council tax has been “completely ignored.” He added: “Councillors are upset. The Labour group budget should represent a democratic decision taken by the Labour members.
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“This is completely unheard of. It means the Labour group is controlled by one person or two people, with no democracy.”
Dr Alan Mendoza, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brent Central, said: “The internal dispute is indicative of how the Labour controlled council is failing residents in Brent.
“Instead of working together to reach the best decision for residents, it is focused on playing politics and squabbling amongst themselves. The lie that Brent Council has no choice but to make massive cuts because of central government policy has been exposed by this rift.”