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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Romanian church given permission for three-day festival

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Romanian church has been granted permission to host a three-day festival in a public park to celebrate its community’s culture.

Holy Trinity Romanian Church, based in Kingsbury, will hold the event on 20-22 September in Roe Green Park.

Representatives from the church explained that it will not sell food or drink but there will be live music for several hours on each day.

The church intends to erect a large tent in the park and is prepared to welcome up to 1,000 people.

Brent Council’s licensing committee swiftly granted permission for the event after the church agreed to conditions outlined by the police.

These include compiling CCTV recordings of proceedings, the installation of signs reminding attendees to leave quietly and an incident log recoding any disturbances or complaints during the event.

Some members of the public objected to the proposals – mainly surrounding increased traffic – but there were no representatives at the meeting.

George Dume, the church’s pastor, assured the committee that there are plans in place to deal with dispersal. “We just want to celebrate with singing and speeches – there will be no drinking or fires,” he said.

“We are Christians and the main thing we believe is to love others as we would love ourselves – we want everyone to enjoy themselves and not upset anyone.”

Drag queen storyteller defended by council leader

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A decision to invite a drag queen to launch a summer event at local libraries has been defended by a council leader.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Mama G, Cllr Neil Nerva, Cllr Muhammed Butt
Brent Council

Brent Council leader, Muhammed Butt said he was “delighted” to welcome Mama G to the council to promote this year’s ‘summer reading challenge’, despite some online criticism describing it as “poor judgment” and “disrespectful”.

The panto dame and drag queen specialises in storytelling and her shows are described as suitable for families, including children aged three and above.

The performer has previously been criticised for teaching children how to ‘twerk’ – a dance involving hip-thrusting movements – at similar library events.

Mr Butt tweeted that Mama G’s performance contained “age-appropriate messages about inclusion and acceptance”.

“Panto dames have been part of British culture for over a century. It was a public event, so parents could choose whether or not to bring their child along," he added.