Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
17.1 The following motion submitted by the Labour Group was approved:
This Council notes:
· It is now twenty-eight months since the referendum in which 72,523 Brent residents voted by a clear majority, to maintain the current benefits Britons enjoy, by staying in the European Union.
· In the months since, the “Vote Leave” campaign has been fined by the Electoral Commission, and, the Chancellor has conceded that leaving the EU without a deal would blast an £80bn black hole in the creaking public finances.
· Those that voted to leave, did not vote to be poorer. But it is some of our poorest residents that will be hardest hit; with a squeeze in living standards brought on by increased inflation and the depreciation of the pound.
· That, despite promises to the contrary, Government engagement of local political leaders has been virtually non-existent.
· That the London Assembly, the neighbouring boroughs of Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham have all passed motions that back a “People’s Vote” on the final deal and an option to stay within the European Union.
This Council believes:
· That Brent is better off together. And put simply, we are a global borough, united in opposition to any form of Brexit that has deleterious effects on our residents.
· That leaving the EU will disproportionately impact Brent, not least because Brent has the second highest number of European residents in London. Moreover, many of the public services our residents rely upon, from their GP to their waste collection, are provided by dedicated European citizens.
· That any deal which undermines the principles of the hard-fought “Good Friday Agreement” should face wholesale rejection.
· It is evident that a calamitous Brexit will hurt all but the very richest, and that it will be our children, for the first time, poorer, less prosperous, with fewer opportunities than the generation before.
With this in mind, this Council resolves to:
· Voice its concern against any arrangement that damages the rights or prospects of EU nationals in this proudly diverse borough.
· Work with organisations representing EU nationals to help address the uncertainty that this careless Government has left in its wake.
· To liaise with local businesses, public sector partners, trade unions and our colleagues at the West London Alliance to ensure that Brent remains open for business throughout any transition period.
· Call upon Parliament to entrust the British people with a meaningful vote on the final deal; with options to remain in the European Union upon the ballot paper.
17.2 The following motion submitted by the Conservative Group was not approved:
This Council calls upon the Executive to undertake to repair all of the pavements across the Borough within the next 12 months, in light of the increasing numbers of residents being admitted to hospital after tripping on poor quality pavements. Brent Council acknowledges that it has a duty of care to its residents, ensuring that the elderly can walk safely without fear of injury, that children can ride their bikes and scooters without being thrown off by rubbish quality pavements.
Brent Council Executive should also commit to opening its transparency, by placing online, the repair schedule for each and every pavement in Brent. The Council commits to ensuring that this schedule is easily accessible, and promoted on the Brent Council social media pages, so that all residents in Brent can hold their elected Council to account, and ensure they are delivering on the works they promised, on time, to schedule, and to budget.
The decision not to approve the above motion was subject to a recorded vote with members voting as follows:
For (3): Councillors Colwill, Kansagra and Maurice
Against (45): Councillors Abdi, Aden, Agha, S.Butt, Chan, Chappell, Chohan, S Choudhary, Choudry, Daly, Dar, Dixon, Donnelly-Jackson, Ethapemi, Farah, Gbajumo, Gill, Hassan, Hector, Hirani, Hylton, Kabir, Kelcher, Kennelly, Knight, Long, Mashari, McLeish, McLennan, Miller, Murray, Naheerathan, Nerva, M.Patel, R.Patel, Patterson, Perrin, Sangani, Shahzad, Ketan Sheth, Krupa Sheth, Southwood, Stephens, Tatler and Thakkar.
Abstain (2): Councillors Johnson and Mitchell Murray.
17.3 The following motion submitted by the Labour Group was approved:
This Council notes that many council budgets are now at Breaking Point. Austerity has caused huge damage to communities up and down the UK, with devastating effects on key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people – and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries, and the teachers in our schools.
• Government cuts mean that Brent has £177m less to invest in essential and much loved public services than under the last Labour government in 2010;
• With an aging population and growing demand adult social care faces a gap of £3.5 billion – with only 14% of council staff now confident that vulnerable local residents are safe and cared for;
• Government cuts have seen local authorities left with impossible choices, and 80% of council staff now say they have no confidence in the future of local services;
• Brent schools will have lost out on more than £6k per pupil over the last decade, equating to a loss of an entire academic year’s funding;
• Northamptonshire has already gone bust due to Tory incompetence at both national and local level, and more councils are predicted to collapse without immediate emergency funding;
• Councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still’ and meeting additional demand. Even , the Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association, has said ‘Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring’.
This Council condemns Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss MP for stating on BBC Newsnight on 1st October 2018 that the government is “not making cuts to local authorities”, when all independent assessments of government spending show that this is entirely false; and that this Council further notes that Prime Minister Theresa May has also claimed that “austerity is over” despite planning a further £1.3bn of cuts to council budgets over the next year.
This Council agreeswith the aims of the ‘Breaking Point’ petition signed by Brent Labour councillors, in calling forthe Prime Minister and Chancellor to truly end austerity in Local Government by:
• Using the Budget to reverse next years planned £1.3bn cut to council budgets; and
• Pledging to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years.
This Council resolves to:
· Support the ‘Breaking Point’ campaign, recognising the devastating impact that austerity has had on our local community.
· Ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the funding pressures faced by Brent Council, and calling on the Government to truly end austerity in Local Government.
Publication date: 26/11/2018
Date of decision: 26/11/2018
Decided at meeting: 26/11/2018 - Council