On Monday, the food bank in Brent broke its own record for the amount of food vouchers given out in a single day. Leader of Brent Council Muhammed Butt said “the service provided by the food bank on Scrubs Lane is an invaluable service being provided at a time of severe hardship which is being felt by many individuals who are reliant on this service to help them to get through very difficult times.”
This poster shows how you can contact the Food Bank LINK
You can contact the Food Bank here LINK
This week Ed Miliband ripped into the Prime Minister David Cameron for his vision of the ‘Big Society’ being there to feed hungry children of the working poor LINK
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Councillor James Allie
The March budget was delivered at a time when the economy is stagnating, output is still below 2008 levels, public and private investment is falling and unemployment and poverty levels are rising. Yet the coalition picked this time to give a windfall to the richest people in the country by announcing a tax cut of from 50p to 45p in the pound for earnings over £150,000 a year. And the people who will have to pay for it include pensioners and some of the poorest families in the country.
The windfall is worth an estimated £3 billion to the 300,000 highest earners in the UK – an average tax cut of around £10,000 a year or over £40,000 a year to the 14,000 members of the group who earn over a million pounds a year. Amongst the people who will benefit from it are Barclays’ Bob Diamond (whose 2011 package was worth £25 million), Reckitt Benckiser’s Bart Brecht (£12.1 million), Shell’s Peter Voser (£10 million plus), Barclays Rich Ricci (£10 million), FT-owner Pearsons’ Marjorie Scardino (£9.6 million), HSBC’s Stuart Gulliver (£7.1 million) and GlaxoSmithKline’s Andrew Witty (£6.7 million). The Chief Executives of FTSE 100 companies (average £4.2 million) will also benefit handsomely, as will many members of the coalition cabinet, including David Cameron who is expected to be in line for a £3,000 saving.
Companies will also benefit from the budget as a result of the decision to cut corporation tax from 26% to 24% but this is unlikely to interest companies like Amazon, which had UK sales of over £7 billion in the last three years and apparently paid no UK corporation tax at all!
But it is working people and those who can least afford it who will be expected to pay for this windfall to the super rich. They will include 4.4 million over 65s who will be £83 a year worse off on average because of Osborne’s ‘granny tax’ and people who become pensioners from next April, many of whom will be £285 a year worse off because more of their pension will be taxed. People getting tax credits will be penalised as well, due to the main element of working tax credit being frozen and eligibility criteria being changed for working and child tax credit. One result of this could be that as many as 850,000 families on modest and middle incomes could lose all of their child tax credit, worth around £545 a year. And around 212,000 working couples earning less than £17,000 a year could lose all of their working tax credit if they are unable to increase their working hours. This could mean a loss of over £3,000 a year and would be a disaster for some of the poorest working families in the country.
Labour was right to describe the changes to tax and benefits as one of the most ruthless assaults on the finances of low and middle income earners ever seen. And Ed Milliband was right to launch a savage attack on the Chancellor’s proposals on budget day. But Labour needs to show more leadership and organise a far more aggressive campaign against the coalition’s inept handling of the economy, bias towards the super rich and attacks on working peoples’ interests. The Unions also need to show more leadership and all of us need to stop agonising and start organising in our own workplaces and communities as well. Austerity for the poor is not the answer to Britain’s problems! We need to reject it and fight back!
Richard Lynch is a Dudden Hill resident. He is a retired Unite the Union official and currently conducts voluntary work on employment rights for the Brent Community Law Centre. He also acts as an accompanying representative for the GMB union.
The LabourList website has an illustration of how [in]effective the Tory Liberal Government have been since inheriting a growing economy from Labour – LINK
Their policy of cutting too far too fast has had a negative impact on economic growth. As a result, this Tory Liberal Coalition Government has increased public debt in this country.
While cutting Brent’s budget by £104 million, reducing the Brent Police budget by 20%, spending money on top down reorganisation of the NHS, trebling tuition fees, scrapping EMA and much more, the Liberal Democrats have reached a new hypercritical low in Brent. They have distributed an attack leaflet on the Labour Party in Dollis Hill Ward which asks the question, “who can you trust to stop the cuts?” All this while Lib Dem Sarah Teather, MP for Brent Central is a Minister in the Tory Liberal Coalition Government and is responsible for not only cutting too far too fast, but disproportionately harming and damaging our community in Brent with front-loaded cuts and more cuts to us compared to other Boroughs and areas in the country.
On the inside of the leaflet….
Using red text, no mention of any Lib Dem candidate or the MP Sarah Teather and nowhere in the leaflet is it admitted that it is from the Brent Liberal Democrats apart from in very small text, size 6 (or perhaps even size 4!!!!), where it says Printed by xxx (address in Brent) Published and Promoted by R Wharton on behalf of A Hopkins (Liberal Democrat) both at xxx (address in Brent). In an additional twist, the address provided is the address of none other than leader of the Brent Council Liberal Democrats Cllr Paul Lorber.
This sort of campaigning, which if anything is more likely to turn people away from the ballot box altogether rather than using persuasive, genuine arguments to inspire people to support your party is something we are used to from the Liberal Democrats in Brent. The politics of hatred and negative campaigning is very much embedded into their ethos here.
Figures out today show that debt under the Tory Liberals has increased and passed the Trillion Pound mark.
The Tory Liberal approach to tacking the budget deficit, cutting too far and too fast without having a plan for growth has already produced high levels of unemployment, growth revised downward from 1.6% under the Labour plan to address the deficit to 0.6% under this Tory Liberal plan.
Unemployment has not been this high since David Cameron was an advisor to the Thatcher Government. In addition, youth unemployment is having a damaging impact on our next generation.
Inflation is also higher than in previous years with the cost of living rising and the Government making things worse by increasing VAT. All this further supports Labour’s call for a five point plan for jobs which I have blogged about in the past here – LINK.
I am absolutely delighted with the news that members of the Labour Party in Wembley Central have chosen Krupa Sheth to be their candidate in the Wembley Central by-election.
A quarter of the Labour Party are now under the age of 27 and more young people like Krupa are becoming actively involved with the Labour Party and being part of what Ed Miliband has been calling the new generation for change.
Krupa is 20 and if elected will not only be the youngest member of Brent Council, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she would be the youngest Councillor that Brent has ever had. She will also take my tag as being the youngest Councillor of Indian origin in the UK.
I have known Krupa for a few years now and in particular, her tireless campaigning during the 2010 general elections was inspirational. I have no doubt that Wembley Central will be well looked after with Krupa as their Councillor.
So come on Wembley Central, vote for Krupa Sheth to be your local Councillor on 22nd December!
Ed Miliband has got it spot on on this news piece on his website – LINK
Last night we saw what we thought were remnants of an old age problem with the Tories re-emerge as a mainstream split in the Party.
But why Europe? Ex-London Young Labour Chair Christine Quigley tweeted:
And she is right. Looking at the list of rebels, I noted the name of a former leader of Brent Council who is now the MP for Harrow East.
Pictured here holding a pledge signed by himself to vote against tuition fee increases, tuition fees were clearly not as strong an issue to rebel against as Europe.
The Labour Party has developed a five point plan for jobs to get the economy moving again. Lessons of history should have taught us by now that unemployment is not a price worth paying. The unemployment figure is not a statistic but it is the life of an individual and their family affected. That is why it is right that attention is drawn to the lack of activity from this Government in growing the economy and creating jobs for people.