Cllr Harbi Farah and Cllr Wilhelmina Mitchell Murray have both join the council’s Cabinet for the first time following the council’s Annual Meeting and Mayor Making ceremony last night. Harbi is also the first Councillor of Somali origin to serve on Cabinet in Brent.
The appointments were made after Cllr Ruth Moher, former Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and Cllr James Denselow, former Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, both decided not to stand for their positions previously.
It was a hotly contested AGM process. Labour is the largest Party at the Council and we held a vote between the Labour Group on Saturday to put forward to the Council for appointment. Cabinet appointments are now up until 2018 which is when the next local election will be held.
There are direct individual elections for the Leader and Deputy Leader positions. Cabinet is then elected using a pooled voting system where anyone wishing to stand can put their names forward and the top six
The council’s Leader and Deuputy Leader are:
- Cllr Muhammed Butt – Leader of the Council
- Cllr Margaret McLennan – Deputy Leader of the Council
Cabinet is then elected using a pooled voting system where anyone wishing to stand can put their names forward and the top six are then chosen to be put forward on to the Cabinet. The Leader then appoints Cabinet Members to Portfolio positions. The Cabinet Members and their portfolio positions are:
- Cllr Krupesh Hirani – Community Wellbeing
- Cllr Harbi Farah – Housing
- Cllr Roxanne Mashari – Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills
- Cllr Michael Pavey – Stronger Communities
- Cllr Eleanor Southwood – Environment
- Cllr Wilhelmina Mitchell Murray – Children and Young People
Now that the AGM vote is over and positions are confirmed, we are all looking forward to working together and Leading in our respective areas.
I will be covering Adult Social Care and Public Health as I was before, but in addition I will now also be responsible for Sports and Leisure, which I will be developing going forward using the Council’s Public Health remit. I will also now be chairing the Health and Wellbeing Board – previously Chaired by the Leader of Brent Council Muhammed Butt.
Brent Council’s cabinet has agreed proposals for sharing its ICT services with Lewisham Council, from April 2016. This new shared service will help Brent towards saving £1m each year in the amount it spends on ICT to support the full range of council services.
Cllr Michael Pavey, Brent’s Deputy Leader, said
“This is an absolutely ground-breaking deal. It will save a huge amount of money whilst safeguarding an outstanding service. The Government have slashed our funding in half, but through creative work like this we can protect essential services for residents.”
Now this has been agreed separately by both Lewisham and Brent’s cabinet, this new partnership will be overseen by a joint committee of two councillors from each local authority, and managed by a senior officer from each council. The two councils will then appoint a new lead officer working in both areas to manage the shared service. As the majority of the staff that will be working for the shared service are currently employed by Brent it was agreed that staff currently employed by either Lewisham or their external ICT supplier will also be transferring to Brent; however all staff will be expected to work across both council locations.
The shared service will be looking to provide services to more organisations going forward in order to reduce costs even further.
Brent has already agreed a target of reducing its overall IT spend by £1.62million a year, and this joint service will make the largest contribution to that savings target.
Under a separate arrangement already in place, Brent Council provides ICT services to the Local Government Association and that income also helps contribute towards reduced costs to the Brent council tax payer.
At the Council AGM on Wednesday, the Brent Council Leadership team was confirmed.
The cabinet has been cut down by 20% to just 8 now. With the Council faced with number reductions at Director and staff level, it was only right that this was reviewed too.
The full cabinet
Leader of the Council – Cllr Muhammed Butt
Deputy Leader – Cllr Michael Pavey
Adults, Health and Wellbeing – Cllr Krupesh Hirani
Children and Young People – Cllr Ruth Moher
Employment and Skills – Cllr Roxanne Mashari
Environment – Cllr Keith Perrin
Regeneration and Housing – Cllr Margaret McLennan
Stronger Communities – Cllr James Denselow
Cllr Kana Neeharathan will be the Mayor of Brent and Cllr Lesley Jones will serve as Deputy Mayor. Chair of Scrutiny is Cllr Aslam Choudry and Cllr Sarah Marquis will now Chair the Planning Committee.
The Tories probably stole the show on the night as it emerged that they would split into two political parties – the Brondesbury Park Conservative Group and the Conservative Party.
It seems bizarre as it was only a couple of weeks ago that residents in Brondesbury Park voted in three Conservative Councillors.
At the Mayor Making ceremony tonight, where the work of community champions is the main focus.
The new positions will be as follows:
Leader of Brent Council – Cllr Muhammed Butt
Deputy Leader of Brent Council – Cllr Ruth Moher
Lead Member for Adults and Health – Cllr Krupesh Hirani
Lead Member for Children and Families – Cllr Michael Pavey
Lead Member for Crime Prevention and Public Safety – Cllr Aslam Choudry
Lead Member for Customers and Citizens – Cllr James Denselow
Lead Member for Environment and Neighbourhoods – Cllr Roxanne Mashari
Lead Member for Highways and Transportation – Cllr Jim Moher
Lead Member for Housing – Cllr Margaret McLennan
Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects – Cllr George Crane
Cllr Bobby Thomas will be the new Mayor of Brent. Cllr Kana Naheerathan
I would like to thank the cabinet colleagues that have served in the past for their extreme hard work and dedication and look forward to working with my new executive colleagues.
In addition, Brent Council will be officially signing the Time to Change pledge which aims to fight against mental health discrimination.
Welcome to the London Borough of Brent Cllr Michael Pavey
Mikey Pavey has emphatically won the Barnhill by-election. He polled more than all of the other candidates put together in a ‘marginal’ ward. Turnout was 37%.
Michael will be an asset to the Council and has run a formidable grassroots doorstep campaign in Barnhill and inspired residents in the Ward to come out and support him. His approach, energy, passion, commitment is unrivalled in Brent election history and his victory is well deserved.
Up until the May 2010 local Brent Council elections, Barnhill Ward had three Tory Councillors. Mikey is helping to transform Barnhill into a Labour stronghold and will not be complacent in taking voter support for granted. I fully trust him to continue to do his utmost for Barnhill residents as people feel the pinch from the Tory Liberal approach to addressing the deficit.