Labour councillors ‘ordered’ to attend emergency meeting about Council Tax and cuts

Cllr Muhammed Butt, left and Cllr Michael Pavey

Cllr Muhammed Butt, left and Cllr Michael Pavey - Credit: Archant

The leader of Brent Council was forced to call an emergency meeting with his councillors so they could rehearse tonight’s crucial vote on Council Tax and cuts, it has been claimed.

According to a source, Cllr Muhammed Butt was ordered by the London Labour group to round up all 56 councillors on Friday following claims that some were unhappy about £54million woth of cuts going through amidst a Council Tax freeze.

Last month, the local party was rocked when councillors forced a vote on raising the council tax in order to save services but it fell on deaf ears.

As councillors were given less than 24 hours notice about the meeting around 40 showed up.

It is claimed Cllr Butt and Cllr Michael Pavey, his deputy leader, gave a speech outlying the importance of supporting the leadership at the meeting.

All attendees were then forced to vote again with one third supporting a two per cent Council Tax increase against two thirds opting for a freeze.

A source said: “It’s hardly the best way to run a council, to be forced to that at the last minute. People changed their minds because they were leaned on.

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“To be fair, some of them didn’t want to rock the boat.”

Protests are expected outside the Civic Centre this evening as the full council meets to rubberstamp the cuts which includes the axing of all the borough’s school crossing patrol officers, funding for Stonebridge Adventure Playground and the closure of Kingsbury Day Centre.

When contacted by the Times, Cllr Butt said: “It was a Labour group meeting.

“I’m not willing to make any comment.”