View from the house: The fight for fair funding
- Credit: PA
In a Westminster Hall debate in parliament earlier this month, I congratulated Brent Council on their well-deserved win of the Local Government Chronicle’s Council of the Year 2020 award.
This has not been an easy year to work in local government, with the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic has brought and the huge pressures it has put on council staff.
But the hard work of Brent Council’s leader Cllr Muhammed Butt and the entire Brent Labour team has really shone through and delivered for many of my constituents and the excellent local businesses that serve them.
My intervention in the debate focused on the dangers to pedestrians of poorly maintained roads and pavements.
I told the story of a constituent of mine who lives in sheltered accommodation and had tripped on an uneven pavement, getting a black eye and a sore hip.
Thankfully, the pavement was fixed within 24 hours thanks to Brent Council’s emergency repairs team – just one part of their excellent work that has been recognised by the Local Government Chronicle this year.
However, we need to prevent incidents like this happening in the first place, and there is a wider problem that has its roots in the cuts to local authority funding we’ve seen since 2010.
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Councils have seen their budgets cut by £16 billion over 10 years, and the predictable result is that they have been forced to focus on dealing with emergencies rather than maintenance to prevent them.
I will keep fighting for fair funding for our local communities.