Brent London Borough Council

All of the seats in Brent were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

LAB HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 57 Total councillors 57 Change+4

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 3 Total councillors 3 Change-3

PartyLiberal Democrat

Elected in 2018 0 Total councillors 0 Change-1
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most Recent

  1. Demand for emergency welfare help 'triples'

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Demand for emergency financial support from London boroughs almost tripled during the first three months of lockdown, figures reveal.

    Umbrella group London Councils said Covid-19 had led to “unprecedented demand” from residents.

    Boroughs have turned to online crowdfunding campaigns and elaborate volunteer networks to see their poorest residents through the pandemic.

    Collectively they paid out almost £2.3 million in local welfare assistance between March and June.

    Last year the figure was £857,500.

    Most requests came from families for small one-off payments for essentials such as gas and electric bills or travel expenses for vulnerable individuals returning home from hospital, councils said.

    Local authority leaders warned further tier restrictions or a second lockdown would lead to an unprecedented spike for more welfare support.

    They have asked the Government to reduce its five-week wait for a first benefit payment under Universal Credit and introduce “starter payments” to ensure those in need have enough money to pay for food and heating during the pandemic.

    London Councils’ executive member for welfare Muhammed Butt said: “The crisis has brought severe financial hardship to many Londoners and an enormous surge in people approaching their local borough for help.

    “A second wave of the virus means that economic pressures are bound to get worse. London boroughs will continue helping our residents as best we can.

    "Even a modest amount of financial aid provided by a council can help a resident avoid spiralling debts, homelessness, and other situations likely to lead to larger costs to the public purse.”

  2. Public drinking clampdown extended in Brent

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Those caught drinking in public in Brent could be fined up to £1,000 after the council agreed to extend its enforcement powers for a further three years.

    Brent Council’s cabinet agreed to renew the borough-wide public space protection order (PSPO) until October 2023.

    It means officers will be able to hand out fixed penalty notices of £100 to street drinkers, with the punishment rising to up to £1,000 if it leads to prosecution.

    A council report showed the decision was taken following the positive impact the PSPO system – first implemented in 2017 – had on alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and violent crime in Brent.

    It suggested a “downward trend” when compared with the preceding three years, though councillors approved of a continuation of the scheme since many parts of the borough are still “blighted” by this issue.

  3. Brent's mayor re-elected for second term

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The Mayor of Brent was re-elected for a second term due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi, who represents Stonebridge ward, has been given the opportunity to carry on in his role until May 2021.

    He was re-elected unanimously at Brent Council’s annual full council meeting for 2020, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, nominated Cllr Ezeajughi given his curtailed responsibilities during the pandemic, and to allow continuity while the borough manages the crisis.

    “It has been a difficult year for everyone with the Covid-19 pandemic and I will continue to raise awareness and support families and communities affected by this,” the mayor said.

  4. Concerns over 'low mask usage' in Brent

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Brent Council said it cannot force people to wear masks in shops following concerns around people ignoring heath guidance in busy town centres.

    It said it has “limited powers” when it comes to enforcing rules associated with Covid-19 and has focused on offering “advice” to residents and businesses on how to stay safe.

    Luke Toms, of Harlesden, questioned the council’s approach on social media, suggesting “Covid inspectors” should be doing more.

    He pointed out that mask usage is “low” in Harlesden town centre, while many independent shops are “not following” the guidelines put forward by the Government.

    Others described High Street, Harlesden and High Road, Kilburn as “busier than Oxford Street” and said it was as if “Covid doesn’t exist” in these areas.

    This is despite Brent being one of the worst affected areas in the country, with Harlesden hit particularly hard.

    And it comes after Brent Council leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt, issued a plea to residents urging them to be vigilant following a rise in coronavirus cases in the borough.

    He explained the area could be put into a second lockdown if trends do not reverse: “I know we all want to get back to doing the things we love. However, we cannot do that if cases continue to rise.

    “Let’s not throw away the hard work and sacrifices made by so many of our friends, neighbours and loved ones during lockdown.”

  5. Cash-strapped council fears second Covid spike

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Brent Council will not be able to offer the same levels of support to services in the borough if there is a second spike of Covid-19 infections, its chief executive has warned.

    Carolyn Downs said the council will have to “think very, very carefully” about what it can and cannot offer if a second wave hits the area.

    She said there would be analysis of who benefited from financial aid during the first rush of Covid-19 cases and a system of “prioritisation” put in place for any future instances.

    “Our response to a second spike will be tempered by our financial position,” she said. “At the end of the day, we can’t go bankrupt – it’s not allowed.”

    She added any decisions about who or what would benefit from support in the case of a second wave would be “entirely political”.

    According to a report presented at a full council meeting earlier this month, it is facing a funding gap of around £23 million due to additional costs and lost income associated to coronavirus.

    Ms Downs pointed out that, at the start of the pandemic, the Government told local authorities to do “whatever it takes” to get through it.

    She noted the council has received “substantial amounts” of money from Whitehall, but she still anticipates a shortfall once everything has been tallied up.

  6. Asymptomatic coronavirus testing for taxi drivers and cleaners

    Swab tesing

    People in "high-contact" professions, including taxi drivers, sales assistants and pharmacists are to be able to get tested for coronavirus even if they don't have symptoms.

    The NHS said employers including Addison Lee and Boots will take part.

    Care workers and some NHS staff already have access to "asymptomatic" testing.

    As part of the pilot, local authorities in Bradford, Newham, Brent and Oldham, will also offer the tests to those identified as vulnerable to the virus.

  7. Council tax grant to help most vulnerable in Brent

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    More than 7,000 households in north-west London will receive a one-off payment of £150 to put towards council tax bills to help combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Brent Council announced that it would spend around £1.3 million of government emergency funding on the initiative to support the borough’s most financially vulnerable.

    Those who are part of its council tax support scheme will receive the payment, including eligible applications made between 1 April 2020 and 31 March, 2021.

    Cllr Eleanor Southwood, who is responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “Households across Brent have been hit extremely hard by this pandemic.

    “Already, over 750 additional households have joined Brent’s Council Tax Support scheme, which just goes to show that money is a big worry for lots of people at the moment.

    “This Government grant makes it possible for us to help out that little bit more.

    “The economic and emotional costs of the pandemic are huge and growing and I look forward to working with the Government to find other ways to support Brent’s residents.”

    Cllr Southwood added that the crisis has “shone a light on the deep-rooted economic insecurity and inequalities” faced by many across Brent.

  8. Noise complaints in Brent rise in lockdown

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Complaints against noisy neighbours in Brent during the lockdown period have almost doubled compared to last year.

    Brent Council received almost 300 complaints in April, which was a 92 per cent increase on the same time in 2019.

    It said it was contacted over a variety of issues, including loud music, children playing and construction noise.

    Cllr Tom Miller, responsible for community safety and engagement at Brent Council, urged residents to be patient when it comes to following up complaints since resources have been prioritised in response to coronavirus.

    He said: “We understand how hard it is for residents at the moment and we will do our utmost to ensure that those who make the lives of others miserable through disrespectful noise pollution are dealt with effectively and swiftly.

    “But, at the moment, we are dealing with unprecedented numbers of noise complaints and many of our teams are already stretched with the urgent issues that Covid-19 has presented.

    “We will, however, ensure that cases which require our immediate attention are dealt with as swiftly as possible to minimise any further stress to our residents.”

  9. Temporary mortuary built in Brent

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A temporary mortuary has been set up in Brent to help manage additional deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The site, in Marsh Road, Wembley, is one of several overflow mortuaries across the country put in place in response to the outbreak.

    According to a Brent Council report, setting up and managing the mortuary will have cost £54,000 by the end of April.

    It is expected to cost a further £22,000 each month up to a period of six months or for as long as lockdown measures are in place.

    The site is fully operational, and its size can be adjusted to cater for the necessary capacity.

  10. Brent allotments to remain open

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Allotments in Brent will remain open for the time being despite fears around the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

    Brent Council confirmed that they would continue to operate but clear guidance has been put in place to keep users safe.

    This includes using hand sanitiser before touching any gates and locks, not sharing tools and observing social distancing by staying at least two metres away from others.

    Regular hand washing is encouraged but visitors were reminded not to use allotment water tanks for this.

    The council added anyone with possible Covid-19 symptoms should not enter the sites and toilets would be locked to help reduce any spread of the virus.

    It explained that the decision to keep allotments open was to provide residents with the chance to get some fresh air and exercise.

  11. Spend cemetery sale cash on trees, council urged

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Money raised by the sale of cemetery land should be spent on tree planting in Brent.

    This is the view of Brent Council’s resources and public realm scrutiny committee, which recommended that the extra cash be used to improve the borough’s environment.

    A report by the committee’s chairman, Cllr Matt Kelcher, noted the council recently made £700,000 from the sale of additional cemetery space.

    It suggested that it be put to good use and, given that it was raised by the council’s environment department, should be “ring fenced for a project with an environmental theme”.

    The report stated: “The council currently does not have the revenue budget to replace all diseased or dying trees it removes (outside of those removed as part of the footway improvement plan), or to plant all of the mature trees it would like to.

    “The presence of mature trees on our streets can help to reduce levels of carbon in the atmosphere and significantly reduce stormwater run-off.”

    It explained that there is a clear need to tackle Brent’s air quality, particularly in light of the council’s decision to declare a climate emergency last year.

  12. Harrow to focus on suicide prevention

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Men and young people have been identified as target groups as part of a suicide prevention programme in north-west London.

    Harrow Council’s health and wellbeing board discussed a draft report into tackling suicide and improving residents’ mental health in Harrow and Brent.

    It noted the comparatively low rates of suicide in the region, when compared to citywide and national averages, but stressed that more can be done.

    The report referenced the impact of social media, particularly among young people, and board member Cllr Janet Mote said it is important to brief schools on how this can affect pupils’ mental health.

    Efforts in this area increased following the death of 14-year-old Harrow schoolgirl Molly Russell in 2017 – her parents believe messages and posts on social media were partly responsible.

    Paul Hewitt, director of people’s services at Harrow Council, said: “The schools network has a relatively good understanding of the issues and they try to work with parents.

    “But we still need to do more and that’s why we need to identify this as a key theme.” The report also identified men – particularly young and middle-aged men – as the demographic most at risk.

    Cllr Simon Brown, responsible for adults and public health at Harrow Council, said the borough should get on board with the Mayor of London’s plan to make the capital a zero-suicide city.

  13. Rent rise on the cards to pay for improvements

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Rents paid by council tenants in Brent could go up by almost three per cent to help cover improvement works and new fire safety measures.

    Brent Council launched a consultation on the issue after it suggested a rent increase of 2.7% for 2020/21.

    This represents an average of an extra 55p per week, with the cost of utilities, helpline and concierge services set to go up.

    The council said the additional revenue will support improvements to council homes in the borough, day to day repairs and the installation of “new technology”.

    It added the money would also be used to deliver a new fire safety programme. If approved, the council intends to spend £3 million on new fire safety measures in council homes.

    A further £13.5 million would be set aside for building investments, another £10 million would cover day to day repairs and £500,000 would contribute towards estate improvements.

    Rent levels have been frozen over the past four years and, according to the council, this proposed increase is in line with the regulator for social housing’s rent standard guidance. Resident have got until 26 January to have their say.

  14. Retail park plan could bring 1,000 new homes

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A retail park could be set for redevelopment that could result in almost 1,000 new homes.

    Brent Council’s planning committee unanimously granted ‘outline’ planning permission for a scheme at Stadium retail park and the Fountain Studios site in Wembley Park Drive.

    According to the proposals, new buildings at this site could be up to 25 storeys high while the amount of affordable housing per habitable room would sit at around 28%.

    In its current state, the scheme would provide 995 new homes alongside space dedicated to commercial or leisure use.

    As this application was for outline planning approval, the project is likely to go back before the committee before it can progress.

    Brett Harbutt, head of planning at Quintain, said the scheme fits in with the “wider regeneration of Wembley” and will contribute towards Brent’s housing targets.

    He added the level of affordable housing will be subject to “further reviews” to try to increase it.

    “The proposals provide a high quality, mixed use development providing homes and employment floorspace and a series of pedestrian friendly streets and open spaces in this gateway site to Wembley Park,” he said.

    According to a council report, one resident living close to the plot objected to the proposals, citing concerns around the impact on neighbouring homes and businesses.

  15. Brent residents urged to have a say on their future

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Brent Council has urged people to have their say on the borough’s latest Local Plan, which will shape the area for the next 20 years.

    The consultation on the draft local plan ends on 17:00 on 5 December, after which it will be submitted to an independent planning inspector for assessment.

    The council is calling on as many people as possible to comment on the document, as it will guide all planning decisions in Brent over the next two decades.

    A spokesman said: “It covers issues such as where new tall buildings and industrial buildings should go, as well as other issues such as transport, open spaces and more.

    “Being such a key document for the next 20 years, it’s important that as many as possible take the time now to review the draft Local Plan, see what it means for the future of the borough and to make sure you have your say before the deadline.”

    Visit www.brent.gov.uk/shapebrent to find out more about the proposals and offer feedback.

  16. Anger over tree removal plans for repaving project

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Campaigners want to block plans by Brent Council to cut down all the trees on their road as part of a repaving project.

    Those living on The Ridgeway, in Kenton, want to protect the 20 trees that line the street and intend to draw up a petition against their removal.

    They argue they provide significant environmental health benefits and questioned the council’s plans in the face of a growing need to combat climate change.

    The council intends to replace the trees with younger ones in a year’s time, but the protesters are concerned that they could take 10 years to make semi-maturity.

    In a statement, they said: “The council seems to be disregarding the great benefits mature trees give – from quality of life and mental health benefits to reducing Kenton’s carbon footprint.

    “No doubt it is doing its best with all the slashed budgets, but residents of The Ridgeway and surrounding streets fear that this will become the norm and that, in a few years’ time, many streets will become denuded of mature trees.

    “What will the pollution be like soon, with all the new housing being built in the area?”

    A spokesman for Brent Council explained repaving projects give it the opportunity to assess the state of trees and replace them if necessary.

    He said: “Whenever we decide we must remove a tree as part of these works, it’s always a case of one out, one in, so there is no net loss."

  17. Motorbikes could get green light on Brent bus lanes

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Motorcycles could be allowed to use all bus lanes throughout Brent following a successful trial along a main road.

    Brent Council’s cabinet agreed to consult on the issue after positive feedback from a scheme in Harrow Road.

    Motorbikes can use most bus lanes in the UK but there are occasions where riders are required to check specific signs.

    A trial run along the bus lanes in Harrow Road ran from March 2018 to September 2019 and was praised by the council’s highways teams.

    Cllr Krupa Sheth, responsible for the environment at Brent Council, said there were clear “positive outcomes” and that bus traffic “was not affected”.

    A cabinet report noted that other advantages included fixing potholes in the bus lanes, so they were suitable for motorcycles.

    The council will now consult with the public to see if the scheme should be implemented across the whole borough.

    This would follow the lead of seven London boroughs who currently allow motorbikes to travel in all their bus lanes.

    According to the report, it could also help contribute towards the Mayor of London’s ‘Vision Zero’, which seeks to eliminate deaths on the road by 2041.

  18. Council vows to do more to end homelessness after deaths

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Brent Council said it will continue its campaign to eradicate homelessness after three rough sleepers in the borough died last year.

    The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed three homeless people died in Brent across 2018.

    This was up from zero in 2017 but the council insists it is doing all it can to tackle the issue of rough sleeping in the region.

    Cllr Eleanor Southwood, responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “It is desperately sad and an utter scandal that three people died on Brent streets during 2018.

    “Our absolute priority is to end rough sleeping, ideally by offering support early enough to stop it happening in the first place.

    “But for anyone who finds themselves sleeping rough, we provide year-round support, including through partnership schemes with [homeless charity] St Mungo’s.”

    She added it will continue to fund new initiatives in the borough, such as council-run accommodation dedicated for rough sleepers and the shelter at its Willesden Green hub.

  19. Stronger anti-social behaviour laws in Brent welcomed

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Stronger laws against anti-social behaviour will be introduced in Brent’s parks and cemeteries after they were approved by the council.

    Brent Council’s cabinet agreed with a report calling for a public spaces protection order (PSPO) in these areas.

    Those caught breaching the order – including drinking alcohol, littering and starting fires – could be fined £100.

    Using drugs – including ‘legal highs’ – urinating and defecating, and damaging furniture would also be covered by the order.

    Barbecues will be banned, with the council taking a “cautious” approach due to the risk of fires and the impact of smoke on other park users and neighbouring properties.

    Those wishing to set off fireworks, operate a drone or use a motorised vehicle would need to receive permission from the council.

    Cllr Tom Miller, responsible for community safety and engagement at Brent Council, said the council will not have powers to automatically dismantle tents in parks and cemeteries.

    He explained that, following conversations with homeless charity Crisis, it would not be appropriate to do so without assessing particular circumstances.

    he report also notes that owners are required to pick up after their dogs as part of the proposed system.

    The PSPO – which, if broken, can lead to criminal prosecution – will apply to “all parks and open spaces and all cemeteries and graveyards” owned by Brent Council.