Brent Labour 2018 Manifesto

With the local elections on the 3rd May, we have an inspiring Manifesto for Brent residents ahead of the vote.

Our main strapline is A Borough of Culture, Empathy and Shared Prosperity.

Young people are the future so echoing a previous national Labour Manifesto’s promise, we focus on education, education and education!

We’ll develop stronger partnerships with schools to help them deal with the pressures they are facing due to the Tory Government cutting funding to schools and investment in our children.

Employment and growth is also important and we will connect local people to opportunities in the Borough and across London. We will also promote decent wages and continue our pledge to pay the London Living Wage and encourage others to do so too. We’ll also make apprenticeship opportunities available for young people.

Roads and pavement replacements are becoming more difficult to fund. This is because the Government has raided Vehicle Excise Duty (more commonly known as Road Tax) receipts for Londoners. The fund that helped on road schemes in Brent was contributed by TfL and this was based on income passed on via Vehicle Excise Duty. Despite the Government taking this money and not passing it on, Brent Labour will still renew 300 miles of roads and pavements and we will also cut down the amount of time it takes to start and finish urgent repairs by using newly available technology.

Sadly under Tory Britain, Foodbank demand has increased in Brent and we will support them to deliver for those in need and work with them to tackle the root causes of poverty.

We’ll expand our new area based approach to delivering local services with Neighbourhood Managers and Town Centre Managers spending less time at the Civic Centre and more on the streets with communities and local businesses.

Our other public sector partners such as the NHS and our schools are struggling to retain and recruit staff because of housing pressures. We will support them by building more key worker staff so that our residents have more stable local services with staff that have a stake in the Borough.

On estate regeneration,  we will hold binding votes on plans so that we can work with communities to ensure support for schemes. This is especially important when major schemes mean people have to temporarily relocate because of works.

We’ll expand our highly successful outdoor gym schemes and ensure that no resident lives more than a mile away from one by 2020. We’ll establish a Brent Network (social prescribing) and integrate access to social activities and events with GP surgeries.

We’ll continue to campaign on housing the NHS and the police and keep up the pressure on the Government to reverse their cuts and to properly fund Brent services.

And finally on improving the environment and public health, we pledge to double the number of street trees in Brent and increase electric car charge points.

All indicators from the last few elections show that in Brent it is now a straight battle between Labour and the Conservatives on 3rd May.

To read the full manifesto document, click here LINK

Advertisements

Sadiq Khan is the new Mayor of London

I am truly proud of Londoners who saw real sense and overwhelmingly chose ‘son of a bus driver’ Sadiq Khan to be our Mayor.

The Tories threw whatever mud they could in a fight which has been labelled ‘dog whistling’  and ‘racist’ even by members of the Conservative Party. Despite this negative campaigning, Sadiq stayed positive and because of it, London voted for him.

I will leave you with a picture of my favourite moment from the last year. Sadiq Khan mixing Swaminarayan Khichdi at Willesden Temple. Yes We Khan

Sadiq Khan Willesden Temple

 

Navin Shah wins Brent and Harrow GLA Seat by over 20,000 votes!

Campaigning in Stonebridge

Navin Shah has retained the GLA Seat representing Brent and Harrow my an overwhelming margin. Navin beat the closest Tory rival by over 20,000 votes. Navin is much loved by all communities and has served Brent and Harrow residents selflessly over the years through his roles as a Councillor as well as an Assembly Member.

Greater London Assembly, result for the Brent and Harrow constituency:

Rathy Alagaratnam, UK Independence Party (UKIP), 9,074 votes
Joel Erne Davidson, The Conservative Party Candidate, 59,147 votes
Anton Georgiou, London Liberal Democrats, 11,534 votes
Jafar Hassan, Green Party, 9,874 votes
Akib Mahmood, Respect, 5,170 votes
Navin Shah, Labour Party, 79,902 votes

Spoiled ballots, 2,506

Our contract to Brent residents: 150 ways Labour will make Brent better

We’ve developed a fully costed plan to bring down your energy billshelp 1,000 local people get jobscreate 3,500 new school places for our children, Introduce whole person care for elderly and disabled people and clean up our streets.

LINK

It’s a plan to renew our borough’s sense of community. Because Brent Labour believe that together we’re better, and that by working together we can turn the challenges we face into opportunities and emerge from these tough times as a stronger and fairer borough.

You can read about this plan here- in our manifesto contract above or in the second part of our manifesto, which spells out our commitments to you in a bit more detail: 150 ways Labour will make life better for the 312,000 people who call Brent home.

RIP Len Snow

It was sad news to hear of the passing away of former Brent Mayor Len Snow.

My first ever canvassing session for the Labour Party was on a rainy day with Len in Wembley Central around 5 years ago. He was waiting for a hip operation and was in so much pain. With it pouring down, we decided to speak to residents in flats.

He still managed to make it out and knock on those doors despite the pain.  

He was a truly remarkable and inspirational individual and will be missed by all. 

The Kilburn Times has printed an article about Len – LINK

Whole-Person Care

Today, Shadow Secretary for Health Andy Burnham gave hope to all in the country with his and Labour’s vision for the future of health and social care provision.

I was delighted to attend the launch of his Whole-Person Care policy review which outlined the parameters in which Labour was seeking to take health and social care in the future.

In 1997, the scandal was waiting lists. People in this country were dying while they waited for operations and because of that, meeting targets became a priority area of focus for the Labour administration. But the challenges that faced the sector at the end of the last decade and is becoming ever more apparent now requires a shift in priorities.

Andy Burnham argued for wholesale integration of Health and Social Care. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 was condemned and he pledged to repeal it if Labour came back into power. In fact, the whole discussion abut the Act itself ended up being all about Health and had a ‘we’ll deal with the social care bit later’ approach.

What he did concede was that the reform that Labour brings in will work with the bodies that he inherits in 2015 if Labour win the next general election. The NHS had already undergone straining top down organisational change under this Tory Liberal Government and it would not be right to make them do it again. Instead, he indicated that there would be a refocus on what these bodies do. Health and Wellbeing Boards should be the main commissioning body and Clinical Commissioning Groups would be advisory. These new Boards were best placed to shape both health and social care provision through one budget.

English: NHS logo

It would also mean commissioning of adaptations in the same process in recognition that this saves money in the long run and delays the need for expensive care provision because of risk aversion.

At the moment, we are faced with a situation where people have physical needs, mental health needs and social needs, but there is a lack of coordination between the services. One person, three care services. The gaps between them are frankly dangerous.

Council services are being cut to the bare bone and our projections show that in Brent, the budget shortfall because of cuts and rising demand to our social care services by 2020 will be £45 million. The Local Government Association has said that if this area is not reformed then money spent on more ‘popular’ services will reduce around the country by 90%.

A full transcript of Andy Burnham’s speech can be found here – LINK

The Whole-Person Care approach was well received by the audience which stretched well beyond the party faithful and starts a landmark process to truly reform health and social care services for the better.

Open letter from Councillor James Allie – Alperton Ward, Brent

It is with great sadness that after more than 10 years as a Liberal Democrat Councillor, this week I have resigned my membership of the party. I joined the Liberal Democrats because I wanted to help make Britain a fairer, greener and more equal country. I no longer believe that the Liberal Democrat Party can make this happen. They have betrayed the values that I once shared with them.

However, I do believe that the Labour Party, under their new Leader of Brent Council Muhammed Butt along with Ed Miliband in Westminster, shares my values and that I can as part of a Labour administration continue to work for the people of Brent.

I find that I am unable to lend my support to the devastating policies the Coalition is inflicting on Britain. In particular I have been sickened by the hypocritical things the Liberal Democrats do and say here in Brent.While my feelings about this have built up over the past two years, there are three issues that have finally pushed me to take this decision:

  1. The people I represent in Alperton are struggling more than ever under this government, but the Liberal Democrat Leadership in Westminster is prioritising reform of the House of Lords instead of a plan for economic growth.
  2. The closure of the A&E at Central Middlesex Hospital under this government is an astonishing betrayal. Sarah Teather campaigned to keep the A&E when it was not under threat of closure. Now she is in government closing it. I am only sorry that I trusted her back then and I am sure that a number of her constituents feel the same way.
  3. Paul Lorber also knows very well that had the Lib Dems won the Local Election in 2010 they would have faced the same pressure to close the six libraries in Brent. It is the Coalition cuts to local government that are causing this problem and Cllr. Lorber’s posturing on the issue is just an insult to the library campaigners and the people of Brent.

I recognise that some of my constituents in Alperton will feel let down by my decision. I apologise to them if they feel I ought to have nailed my colours to the mast more firmly before the election. Equally I trust that many of them voted for me because they knew of the hard work that I have done as a councillor over the years.  I pledge to them that I will work harder than ever to improve the lives of everyone who lives in Alperton. I know that there are many people who voted Lib Dem at the last election and indeed many Lib Dem members who feel as betrayed as I do by the party’s record in the coalition. I urge them to join me and to join the Labour Party.

Regards,

Councillor James Allie

 

25 Years On

Cllr Hirani with Shadow Minister for Public Health Diane Abbott MPI was delighted to attend the 25 years on event celebrating the 1987 historic election when four ethnic minority MPs, Bernie Grant, Keith Vaz and Diane Abbott and Paul Boateng were elected to Parliament. The event was held at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. Paul was of course a MP in Brent and now sits in the House of Lords.

Indeed that weekend, I had been watching the Election 1987 programme on BBC Parliament and it was evident that it was an exciting election all around. In terms of social progress in society, it was great for ethnic minorities in this country. It paved the way towards seeing more ethnic minorities in public life in prominent positions. There are 27 ethnic minority MPs in the current Parliament, serving as either Labour or Conservative MPs.

I am proud of the progress that our Brent Labour Group is making and our ethnic composition that reflects the diversity of Brent. Around 60% of the Brent come from ethnic minority backgrounds and 60% of the Labour Group are ethnic minorities.

It’s great progress that Brent Council Leader Muhammed Butt is one of three ethnic minority Leaders of a London Borough Council. Despite London’s diversity, it is surprising that there are not more.