Power to the People – Brent under Labour

brent chamber
(c) Steve Cadman

Brent Council’s Labour Group has proposed a radical package of measures to give local people more say in the way the Council is run.

The package included:

  • Televising council meetings so that the public can see their elected representatives in action without having to visit the Town Hall;.
  • Televising Citizenship ceremonies held at the Town Hall;
  • Holding Scrutiny Committees in a variety of accessible venues across the borough and not just in the Town Hall in Wembley;
  • Making Executive decisions subject to a ‘People’s Call In’. If 120 registered electors write in within a week of the Executive decision, the items shall go before the relevant scrutiny committee in a similar manner to a councillors’ call in.
  • Extending Area Forums to one per ward to bring Councillors closer to their constituents;
  • Giving backbench Councillors the right to ask questions at meetings of the Executive.

The Labour Group has already promised that, if returned to power next May, a Labour controlled Executive would honour decisions taken by a majority of Councillors and would not hide behind legal loopholes as the current administration did over the Kingsbury Road traffic scheme.

Labour Group Leader, Cllr Ann M John, OBE, said:

“Public confidence in politicians is at an all time low and that is true of local government as well as national government. We need to restore public confidence in Brent council and involve our residents in decision making. Our package of measures seeks to address the democratic deficit but I believe we need to make a start in bringing local government closer to the people”.

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