Agenda item



Stonebridge and Strathcona Day Centres


Councillor HB Patel moved the motion circulated in his name which deplored the decision of the Executive to close Stonebridge and Strathcona Day Centres against the wishes of the service users and carers.  It asked that the Executive reconsider its decision and stop making excuses for closing adult social care day centres.  Councillor Patel stated that despite the clear views expressed during the consultation exercise in support of retaining building based services the decision had been made on the basis of making improvements to the service when in fact it had been made to save money. 


Councillor R Moher felt it was misleading to raise the item now as if the decision was a surprise when the matter had been under consideration for some three years.  She stated that it was much better to offer direct personalised services that gave the users options than provide services at run down day centres.  She accepted that some users would continue to need day centre care and this would be provided from suitable buildings and not run down premises that the Council could not afford to repair.


Councillor Hunter supported the motion.  She felt that the people consulted had not been listened to.  Whilst supporting the personalisation of services, she felt the day centres needed to be kept open longer in order to prepare people for the transition.


Following a vote the motion was declared LOST.


Protecting Supporting People funding


Councillor Allie moved the motion circulated in his name which welcomed the removal of ring fencing for much of the Council’s funding, noted the important services that Supporting People funding provided and sought the Council’s support in calling on the Executive to ensure that funding for Supporting People schemes was protected.  He stated that such an assurance would demonstrate the Council’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable people in the borough.  It would also reassure those housing associations who were unsure about the future and felt that most councils wanted to abolish supported people teams.


Councillor Thomas referred to the £37m of cuts the Council had to make.  Although there was no suggestion that the Council was cutting the Supporting People budget it would have to look for savings to be made whilst continuing to provide the service.  Councillor Thomas stated that at this stage he could give no guarantees.


Following a vote the motion was declared LOST.


Save Brent Libraries


Councillor Lorber moved the motion circulated in his name which sought to note that the Liberal Democrats in 2006 scrapped plans to close libraries, believed that a local library was an important community asset and calling on the Executive not to close six libraries.


Following a vote the motion was declared LOST.


Council funding


Councillor Butt moved the motion circulated in his name.  He stated that the Government announcements meant that the council was going to have to make £100m of cuts.  He added that there would be painful decisions that would have to be taken but everything would be done to minimise the impact of the cuts on front line services.  He also referred to the £85m the Council had lost by the abolition of the Building Schools for the Future programme and the £7m in year withdrawal of grant monies.  He stated that despite this the indications were that the amount of Government borrowing was still rising and the Government had been forced to introduce rises in VAT and fares with the result that inflation continued to rise. 


Councillor Lorber felt all councils were having to get through difficult times and referred to past cuts made to the health budgets.  He said that the previous council administration had managed to freeze Council Tax and still improve services.  He submitted it was time for the present administration to take responsibility for what needed to be done as a result of the incompetence of the previous government in managing the economy.  He reminded council that the One Council programme had begun under the previous administration.


Councillor HB Patel stated that when the Conservatives were in control of the Council they had managed to reduce the Council Tax every year in contrast to when Labour were in control and increased it every year.  He submitted that the present Government had done very well in recovering from the inefficiency of the last Government.


Following a vote the motion submitted was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.




(i)         to note that prior to the last general election, both the Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties promised to protect front line services; 


(ii)        that this Council regrets that this promise to residents of Brent has been broken, and notes that the Council delivers many of the cherished frontline services on which people rely; notes further that Government cuts to this Council’s grant amount to 20% of the Council’s budget over the next two years; that this level of cut shows the Government’s determination to stop councils delivering the services currently on offer; that the politically motivated frontloading of cuts has worsened their impact on services and council employees; and that attempts by Government ministers to attack councils over their implementation of the cuts are as disingenuous as they are counterproductive;


(iii)       to further note that under the previous administration, this Council often heard the leadership bemoan the Government grant as inadequate, and regrets that the opposition have failed to secure a better deal for Brent from their own Government;


(iv)       that this Council resolves to manage the impact of Government cuts for the benefit of all Brent residents, and to focus in particular on protecting the most vulnerable in the community.


North West London Light Railway


Councillor Choudhary moved the motion circulated in his name.


Following a vote the motion submitted was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.




(i)         to note that:

the North West London Light Railway is a proposal for the construction of a light rail system providing direct links from Brent Cross to Park Royal, Ealing Broadway and Finchley Road, via West Hampstead, and

it would largely make use of existing freight lines or abandoned track beds.

(ii)        that Transport for London be called upon to look into the advantages and feasibility of the North West London Light Railway and to engage in discussions with the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Camden, Harrow and Ealing on its strategic potential for supporting new developments and orbital travel.


Education Maintenance Allowance


Councillor Van Kalwala moved the motion circulated in his name.


Following a vote the motion submitted was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.




(i)         to note that prior to the last general election, both the Liberal Democrat and Conservative Parties pledged to maintain the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA);


(ii)        to also note that:

-          EMA was paid to over 4,000 young people in Brent last year;

-          Brent had the third highest take-up of EMA of any London Borough;

-          that scrapping the EMA will leave thousands of young people with the talent, but not the financial means, to stay in education and fulfil their life dreams;

-          that EMA has been shown to be particularly beneficial among ethnic minority groups; and

-          that together with the trebling of tuition fees, the Government is sending a message to low-income families that talent will not be enough to entitle them to education;

(iii)       that this Council therefore regrets that the parties of coalition government have broken their promises to Brent’s young people and their families and calls on the coalition to reinstate the EMA, and to support access to education for all Brent’s young people, regardless of their wealth or ethnic background.