Tories 'will launch review into Invest4Brent' if they win control of Brent Council
PUBLISHED: 16:18 06 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:37 06 April 2018
Brent Conservatives would launch an urgent review of the Invest4Brent scheme which owns houses as far away as Hemel Hempsted and Banbury if they win control of the council in next month's elections.
According to Tory leader Cllr John Warren, they will look into the arrangement and do not rule out closing it.
“I think we will quickly review the whole arrangement with this company, and see where we are and take a view as to where we can stop it.
“I’m not privy to briefings on it, but we would look into its dealings.”
The Kilburn Times reported in February that the council-invested company has half of its 42 properties outside of London.
Brent Council currently uses them to house families stuck in temporary accommodation.
Cllr Warren’s party’s pledge is in stark contrast to Labour, which has promised more cash for the company if it keeps hold of the council.
Elsewhere in their manifesto, the Conservatives have promised to freeze council tax, and “reduce the cost of local politics”.
“Labour has raised council tax by 13per cent since 2014, despite the council’s record income in the same period,” said Cllr Warren.
He also accused the Labour Party of creating a “broken” planning system.
The Conservative Party is at a nadir on Brent Council, and only holds six seats.
It became the largest opposition party in the chamber in 2014 when the Lib Dems haemorrhaged support.
Currently Labour has a 49-seat majority.
The picture pales in comparison compared with more than 20 years ago when the Tories were the largest party.
Cllr Warren could be in danger being swept away by a Labour surge. In his Brondesbury Park ward, he only has a majority of 125.
If elected, the Conservatives say they will also remove all councillor expenses, and freeze councillor allowances.
But despite Cllr Warren praising Brent’s diversity in his manifesto address, he doesn’t believe freezing allowances and removing expenses would discourage poorer people from getting involved in politics.
“Councillors’ pay has risen by 4 per cent in as many years,” he said. “It adds up to £100 a year for each councillor, so I don’t think it will have that effect.”