Two Labour councillors who stepped down reflect on their tenure

Former Kilburn councillor Mary Arnold

Former Kilburn councillor Mary Arnold - Credit: Archant

Two Brent Labour politicians have reflected on their tenure as councillors after stepping down from their respective posts during the recent local elections.

Former Kilburn councillor Mary Arnold

Former Kilburn councillor Mary Arnold - Credit: Archant

Jim Moher, former lead member for highways, and Mary Arnold, who represented the Kilburn ward have called time after 12 years and 16 years of service respectively.

Mr Moher said: “Since I was first elected in 2002, I am especially proud of my service to local Fryent residents with their council-related problems. Being on the northern fringe of the borough, people felt a bit neglected sometimes. That can’t be said today, as they now have three experienced voices to make their case.

Adding that the Labour administration had significantly improved green spaces and street cleaning, he continued: “It was my initiative which started the ‘Ward Working’ scheme of £20-30k a year for local improvements which is very popular. I also helped get the major funding to clear up our one eyesore area by the Edgware Road and improve that area generally.

“As the Executive Member for Highways since 2010, I like to think, I brought fairness with the many efficiency changes we have had to introduce: reduced parking charges, relaxed tow-away rules and so on.

“For the future, we need a government which restores funding to areas like Brent, which has so many challenges.”

Mary Arnold, who was elected to the council in 1998, claims the Kilburn Regeneration Scheme is one of the highlights of her spell as a councillor.

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She said: “Achieving this at full council we secured council resources to work with the community, build a huge multi-agency partnership and win a £50million New Deal for Communities funding.”

She added: “Bringing the council and our partners to the marginalised South Kilburn community has triggered transformation, building community capacity, new homes, reducing crime and instigating neighbourhood working, especially now with our new housing partners.

“In my huge responsibility representing Kilburn, I have helped save Charteris Sports Centre from closure, redesigned Chippenham Gardens, implemented Streets for People with residents off Willesden Lane and then added a revitalisation project while strengthening the cross-council Kilburn Partnership to improve the High Road.”

Ms Arnold, who was the lead member for children and families from 2010-13, said she was proud of the work she had done to improve children’s services in the borough.

She continued: “With a growing population and relentless demand for school places, the future challenge is to invest in Brent’s resilient families, with excellent education and access to jobs in a developing local economy.

“With Brent Council in good hands, I’m proud to be passing the baton to new and younger councillors I have encouraged. Working together, Brent, and especially Kilburn, will thrive.”