Kensal Green councillors vow to fight if boundary commission deletes ward
PUBLISHED: 17:07 30 January 2019
Kensal Green councillors are fighting to keep the ward from breaking up as boundary changes hit Brent.
Six Brent councillors could be out of a job under a planned review of ward boundaries by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) if the chamber’s 63 seats are cut to 57.
Cllr Jumbo Chan, Cllr Claudia Hector and Cllr Matt Kelcher, representatives of the ward, said in a joint statement to this paper: “At the end of last year, we heard of plans to destroy our unique, thriving and very special Kensal Green community.
“It not only came across as a baffling and painful surprise, but more importantly, a problem which demanded action.”
Under Brent’s early proposals Dudden Hill and Kensal Green wards were under threat with “explicit plans to quietly cut Kensal Green into pieces and subsume it into two unwieldy Brondesbury Park and Queen’s Park wards”.
“Such plans to dismember our special community were clearly not acceptable,” the councillors said.
“Not only is Kensal Green a distinctive community that should be respected in the same way as other communities such as Harlesden, Willesden Green and Wembley Park – the two proposed megawards were far too unwieldy and far too big.”
They suggested the council remove one councillor each from Kensal Green, Brondesbury Park and Queen’s Park instead.
As a result of the “short but intense campaign”, the council did not recommend any particular proposal to the LGBCE.
Instead residents could send submissions to the government body which will be released on Tuesday. Of 135 sent from people living in Brent, 65 were in support of saving Kensal Green.
One submitter said: “I am horrified to hear of the proposal to abolish the Kensal Green ward. I am a resident of 31 years’ standing. I do not support the proposal to incorporate us in to THREE different wards – this is completely unacceptable and will further damage community cohesion.”
The three councillors added: “We hope the LGBCE strongly consider the strength of feeling and love of community which many Kensal Green residents have, and retain [the ward]. Otherwise, it will not be the last they hear of us.”