Police called to tackle ‘noisy’ protestor at Brent Council meeting
- Credit: Archant
The police had to be called to Wembley as Brent Council met to deliver the borough’s most devastating cuts on its community, because one protestor would not “be quiet”.
As Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council and Cllr Michael Pavey, deputy leader, outlined what is believed to be the harshest cuts in many years, they were drowned out by one lone voice calling them to account.
Earlier a group from Brent Fightback, the Trade Union and Socialist Commission (TUSC) and other campaigning organisations staged a protest outside the Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way chanting “You say cut back, we say fight back”.
Richard Cox, secretary of Brent’s Trade Council, said: “The cuts here are totally savage and the Labour Party is also spineless.
They had a meeting that if they refuse to vote the commissioners would come in and make the same cuts.”
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He added that the cuts were the result of a “combination of things”: “The Government is driving through massive austerity but on the other hand Labour has to demonstrate it can run capitalism as well as anyone else so they will commit themselves to drive the austerity, albeit abit differently.”
In the conference room protestors made their presence known with a Brent Council Budget B******* Bingo game, with Cllr Butt’s most used phrases including “No option” “Heavy heart” “We’ve had to make difficult choices” “We listened to the consultation”.
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As the leader read out his speech, he was heckled by a protestor as he mentioned reducing social workers, closing Stonebridge Adventure Playground in Shakespeare Avenue, and slashing school crossing patrols.
As councillors complained, Cllr Kana Naheerathan, the Mayor of Brent gave him “a final warning”, before asking security to call the police.
Refusing to move the protestor shouted: “It’s an absolute disgrace. You have let down the most vulnerable. You will be responsible for any children injured in this borough.”
As all Labour councillors voted for the budget the protestors held up posters saying “Only butchers make cuts”.
Sujata Aurora, a campaigner for Brent Fightback, said: “It was a truly sickening sight to see councillors raise their hands in favour of slashing the services that so many of our poorer and more vulnerable residents depend on.
“Councillors have failed to stand up to government cuts and failed to protect residents - they should resign.”
The full council met to push through £54million cuts it claims it is forced to make as a result of reduced funding from the government.