An article reporting the that Brent Liberal Democrat Councillor has been living in Brighton since December 2011 in the Argus local paper in Brighton has attracted a flurry of comments – LINK
Some of which include;
“Maybe he should change his name to the Rev Clueless”
“Party: Liberal Democrats”
“sadly these days its all at the end about snouts in the trough. its the claiming of allowances that give the game away, it would be intresting to hear what next sundays sermon is about, avarice or self delusion spring to mind”
“and we’re supposed to look up to religious leaders for setting high moral standards?”
A comment in his defence said,
“in the Despatches episode he made it clear that the allowance goes back to the Lib Dems – not to him personally.”
The Lib Dems have shown terrible leadership on this issue and have totally failed to grasp the seriousness of this omnishambles.
While Dudden Hill is covered in snow, I thought I would take this opportunity to remind Liberal Democrat Councillor for the ward about the area he ‘represents’.
Above is a picture of the beautiful Grange with St Catherine’s Church in the background covered in snow. David Clues has been living in Brighton since 8th December 2011, over a year now – LINK
Last night, the Liberal Democrat Councillor yet again failed to turn up to the Full Council meeting. However, I understand the difficulties in travelling to Brent from Brighton in this difficult weather. I suppose the Liberal Democrats aren’t the only fluffy substance around that cause the country to grind to a halt.
The local paper’s website is once again reporting on the fact that Lib Dem Councillor for Dudden Hill Ward David Clues is living in Brighton and is inaccessible to local residents. You can read the article here – LINK
Calling a by-election is totally out of our hands so Dudden Hill Labour will continue to work hard for our residents as we have been doing since even before we had elected Councillors in the ward.
A quick search has revealed that Alison Hopkins, a “local resident” on the front page of The Brent and Kilburn Times condemning the change to waste and recycling in Brent as “rubbish” is a well known Party Political Brent Liberal Democrat activist and was a candidate for the Party in the May 2010 local elections in the Stonebridge Ward.
The story was printed on Thursday 13th October, around a week into the new bin system coming into Brent.
Figures for January 2012 show that the recycling rate with the new in the Borough is at 43%. This is up from 23% in January 2011. A whopping increase of 20%! With the Government shifting landfill tax increases to Councils, it means that less money is being use by Brent Council to bury trash in the ground.
In addition, the absent Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues who lives in Brighton also speaks out against the bin system.
Less than two thirds of the Liberal Democrat Group attended the Council meeting on Monday 23 January 2012. By the end of the meeting only five Liberal Democrat councillors were still in attendance.
Historically the Liberal Democrats have always had a liberal approach to attending meetings with the worst attendance of any of the three parties represented in the Council Chamber, especially when they are in opposition.
However, on this occasion their absence follows their crushing defeat in the Wembley Central ward by-election. What’s more is that attendance figures on the Council’s website will not reflect the fact that certain Councillors left the meeting half way through.
The Labour Leader of the Council, Councillor Ann M John, OBE lambasted the Liberal Democrats for their absence.
Councillor John said:
”Every councillor receives a basic allowance of £7,974 per annum and as a basic minimum they are expected to attend full council meetings. How can they expect to represent their constituents if they are not here?”
The cost of transport has a major impact on the income that ordinary workers take home as travel costs do take quite a chunk out of people’s wage earnings. This is exactly what we need to help people get on and Ken’s pledge is very welcome.
Unfortunately Labour was unable to gain a seat from the Conservatives in Kenton ward yesterday following the death of Councillor Arthur Steel which triggered the by-election. Conservative candidate Suresh Kansagra won by 156 votes.
The final results were as follows:
Suresh Kansagra (Conservative) – 1,063 votes
Ellie May Southwood (Labour) – 907 votes
Robert Dunwell (Independent) – 185 votes
Alan Mathison (Green Party) – 75 votes
(turnout – 25.96%)
The seat would have been a real coup for Brent Labour as it has been Conservative since its existence. It remains the only ward in Brent which has three Conservative Councillors. It was a fair fought election and Ellie was a splendid candidate and managed to increase the Labour vote in Kenton Ward by 2.8%. Meanwhile the Lib Dem vote collapsed from 14.4% in May to 7.4% yesterday and were even shamefully beaten by the Independent candidate Robert Dunwell.
Change from May 2010 elections
May 2010 Result
Feb 2011 by-election Result
Change from May election (%)
– 2.4 %
+ 2.8 %
– 7 %
– 1.5 %
+ 7.6 %
I’d like to congratulate Suresh on his victory and I look forward to working with him at the Council.
The Lib Dems have falsely accused the Brent Labour Party of wanting to get rid of libraries for a long time. The issue arose at the Willesden Area Forum, which I chair, when a resident showed a paper which suggests that the Council is going to close libraries.
Brent Council leader Ann John said that it was presented as an option to the then Labour administration who rejected the idea claiming that officers do often present reports that are rejected by decision makers and when this was presented to the Labour executive, Labour answered with an emphatic no. Cllr Lesley Jones has more on this here – LINK.
Stinks of typical local Lib Dem tactics to ‘pick an unpopular cut and champion it’ as reported here (LINK) as ‘we are not running the Council, it’s not our problem’.
A resident from the Neasden part of Dudden Hill Ward has been jailed for four and a half years after acquiring nearly a quarter of a million pounds over six years from multiple agencies; one of which was Brent Council.
Brent Labour are clamping down on benefit cheats and the Labour led Brent Council will continue to pursue fraudsters, even through civil courts if necessary, until full repayment of money claimed is made.
But your help is also needed. If you know of anyone who is wrongfully cheating the taxpayer of money by receiving entitlements when they shouldn’t be, please call this free phone number 0800 937 777.
The Labour Deputy Leader of Brent Council, Councillor Muhammed Butt has warned that the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review will lead to acute hardship for local people and will threaten economic recovery.
Economic growth is at best anaemic, mortgage lending is at a ten low year and long term unemployment is rising. In the Brent Central constituency alone, male unemployment is already at 8.2%. School building and play builder programmes have been slashed, which will hit the construction industry – the engine of economic recovery – as well as a generation of school students; welfare benefits have been cut.
Local authority spending is to be cut by more than 25%, which will impact on poorer and more vulnerable sections of the community who most depend on public services. Tuition fees are set to more than double making it impossible for young people from working class and middle income families to get a degree. Meanwhile, the bankers who caused the crisis will continue to receive obscene bonuses.
Deputy Leader of Brent Council, Muhammed Butt said:
“Everyone agrees that the deficit needs to be reduced but it is a question of how quickly that is done. Before the election the Liberal Democrats agreed with us that cutting too fast too soon would damage the recovery – that speed kills. They changed their mind as soon as they were offered ministerial limousines. The government makes the analogy with credit card debt but a more appropriate analogy is with mortgages. What rational person would go without food in order to pay off their mortgage within five years? The truth is that these cuts are driven by the Tories’ secret agenda to destroy the welfare state, something they have always wanted to do and the Liberal Democrats are their partners in crime”.