Residents have voted emphatically for Labour in Brent. We are represented by three MPs covering the Hampstead and Kilburn, Brent Central and Brent North constituencies.
Tulip Siddiq has increased her majority in Hampstead and Kilburn from 1,138 to 15,560. In Brent Central where my Council ward Dudden Hill is, Dawn Butler increased her vote share from 19,649 to 27,997 and in Brent North, Barry Gardiner increased his majority from 10,834 to 17,061.
The Conservatives had heavily targeted Brent North and Hampstead and Kilburn in particular but London in general saw Labour support rapidly increase across the capital. Personally I mostly campaigned in my own ward in Dudden Hill within Brent Central but did go to campaign sessions in Hampstead and Kilburn and Harrow West where Gareth Thomas not only retained his seat but increased his majority.
Sadly, we are still facing a Tory Government led by a weak leader but we will now have a strengthened and united opposition which will be incredibly important as we go through Brexit negotiations.
We were already knocking on doors before the snap election was called as we don’t just go on the doorstep during election time. Our returns in Dudden Hill when canvassing in the snap election period where showing that Dawn would increase her majority and in a worst case scenario would be no worse than the 2015 result under Ed Miliband’s leadership. A few conversations I had with voters during the campaign stick to my head.
In Dudden Hill, I met a firefighter who was so angry with the Government following the terror attacks. He lived in Kilburn but happened to be visiting his mother in my ward when I knocked on the door. He was furious at how much the emergency services were praised for their work in response to the attacks but when it comes to day to day activity they were treated like crap. They couldn’t even exercise or show their frustrations by being able to strike. He hadn’t had a pay rise in years and all his living costs had gone up. They felt undervalued day in day out and used as a political tool when they are needed.
Corbyn was mentioned as a reason people were not voting Labour but when we checked our returns, this was generally mentioned by people who had never voted for Labour and were anti-Labour in all elections.
Labour voters who mentioned dislike for Corbyn still said they would vote for Labour because of Party values. Corbyn was even mentioned as a reason for people voting for Labour, switching to Labour from Greens or Lib Dems and he gave a reason for people who had never voted before to vote for Labour for the first time in their lives.
Results in Brent Central and Brent North show the Conservative vote was fairly static in Brent and in terms of vote share there were slight decreases but a huge drop in their support in Hampstead and Kilburn.
It was truly remarkable to see people coming forward to vote at polling stations who had never been motivated to come out and exercise their democratic right before. As we showed in the London elections with Sadiq Khan’s victory, positive campaigning and the politics of hope definitely helped to deliver the unexpected general election result we are waking up to today.
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
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
New analysis has revealed that there is a projected £907 million funding gap in London Council budgets by 2018 due to social care pressures.
Indeed Brent’s own projections show that there is a £45 million gap due to care pressures by 2020. The projections are accurately mapped out and take into consideration factors such as, cuts to Council budgets, the rise in the elderly population, the fact that younger and working age disabled people are living longer with long-term conditions too.
The one element where there is cost uncertainty is in charges. Social care provision is means-tested and with rising levels of poverty and a squeeze on other disability and housing benefits, we may find that more will be provided with free or heavily subsidised services because of the nature of means-testing.
London Councils currently spend a third of their budgets on social care. The Local Government Association (LGA) in a separate report in June last year warned that without reform, the public can expect a cut of 90% of funding in popular services such as libraries and leisure centres.
Indeed in the first budget of the current Council administration the two significant areas of overspend and pressure on top of the front loaded cuts to Brent Council were adult social care and children in care. Unfortunately this received about zero attention though.
The report provides a great case for wholesale health and social care integration and more support to local authorities. You can read the full report here LINK
Councils of different political make ups are criticising the Government and calling on them to drop their planning relaxation proposals.
BBC Article – LINK
The BBC article mentions concerns of unsightly developments and neighbourly disputes. In addition, another issue is that we already have in London Boroughs, problems of landlords building what is known as ‘beds in sheds’. ‘Building’ bedrooms in properties at the back of houses in garages.
I have seen this in reality, when last year, during a walkabout with my Safer Neighbourhood Team in my ward, we found a woman living in appalling conditions in a converted garage on Denzil Road. What is worse is that she had a tenancy agreement from a local estate agent suggesting that they are complicit in this practise.
There is a danger that the Government’s proposals will encourage this behaviour and make things worse.
Monday’s census information represented a moment of truth for many London boroughs with the survey finally confirming what we have known for a long time: that the population of many Boroughs is growing much faster than those in Westminster think. The Councils we represent have seen above average increases in our population and as a result all have significantly higher populations than was previously projected and funded for.
This isn’t just a technical problem but a real world one that affects real people, as the funding we receive from the Government to provide the services our residents need is based on the incorrect projected figures, not on reality. Between us, we face a funding shortfall of almost £300 million each year as a result of these inadequate population estimates.
Having to deal with the massive cuts to our grants from Government has put huge stress on services in all our Boroughs. Not receiving the funding we are legitimately entitled to will only make this worse. Between us we are missing funding for over 300,000 residents – the equivalent of a large London Borough.
This ‘missing Borough’ means we have all had to make even deeper reductions to the services our residents rely upon than we would have otherwise had to.
As Council Leaders, elected Mayors and Group Leaders we call on the Government to ensure that we receive the funding that we are entitled to. Local Government funding must be based on reality, not fantasy.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council
Cllr Catherine West, Leader of Islington Council
Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney
Cllr Chris Robins, Leader of Waltham Forrest Council
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham
Cllr Chris Roberts, Leader of Royal Borough of Greenwich
Cllr Claire Kober, Leader of Haringey Council
Cllr Jagdish Sharma MBE, Leader of Hounslow Council
Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council
Cllr Joshua Peck, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group
Love this show. It’s called Outnumbered. Here is one of my favourite clips from it. Enjoy!
In all seriousness, Boris Johnson is actually the Mayor of London! Frightening isn’t it?