Brent to be targeted again by Coalition Government

The BBC is reporting that Councils in England face a 10% cut in funding from central government as part of the coalition’s spending plans for 2015/16 – LINK

The article quotes a Local Government Association (LGA) estimate that a 10% cut in spending would mean an average council having to find another £30m of savings on top of existing cuts. As we know, Brent is usually disproportionately impacted from Coalition Government cuts – LINK

10% savings on top of the 30% cuts to Council Budgets will simply mean that in Brent, we will have to simply stop doing some things and make some unpalatable decisions.   Council Leaders including Cllr Muhammed Butt of Brent signed a statement agreeing that the cuts to local councils “simply cannot go on” – LINK

Furthermore, US President Barack Obama has rejected Osbornomics, saying that “we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity” LINK

Globally, the opposition against the Tory and Liberal Democrat approach is growing. But the approach from Nick Clegg and George Osborne and company is not changing.

I hope that the Brent’s three MPs Barry Gardiner, Sarah Teather and Glenda Jackson vote against this unfair budget on Wednesday.

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EXCLUSIVE: Teather Stupidises Brent Residents

In an extraordinary leaflet delivered to residents in Brent today, Brent Central Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather really insults the intelligence of the people of Brent.

The leaflet in newspaper format is produced by the Liberal Democrats and is called Brent News. The imprint is barely visible. On the front page of the leaflet, the main story attacks Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the proposed Police Station closures at Harlesden and Willesden. This is despite the fact that Sarah Teather voted to cut police numbers LINK 

In addition, it is claimed that “Brent News is fully behind Sarah’s campaign to save our stations”. Wait a minute….. a Sarah Teather publication is behind Sarah Teather’s campaign????

Does Sarah Teather think that people in Brent are stupid and would think this is a Brent non-party political neutral publication?

The Liberal Democrat published ‘Brent News’ also claims to have an exclusive interview with Sarah Teather MP.

Teather Brent News April 2013

This is from the same party that produced this LINK

Expect more gutter politics leaflets from the Brent Liberal Democrats over the next two years as they aim to hold on to their seats over the next two years.

 

Brent’s graph of doom

The graph below looks quite complicated but is the result of some sophisticated modelling in studying adult social care pressures in Brent. It looks at the impact on Brent Council’s budget because of adult social care pressures.

 

Brent GOD

The headline bars that provide concern are the sky blue trend line and the green trend line. It shows the actual budget gap as we move towards 2020.

Brent is impacted more than other boroughs through central Government funding cuts because 80% of our funding is sourced from them. The sky blue line projects the spending gap if the next Comprehensive Spending Review is as harsh to Brent Council as the one supported and voted for by Sarah Teather in 2010.

The green line predicates the budget gap without central government cuts and just  looking at demand and other cost changes.

The sky blue trend line shows that rising demand for care along with budgets cuts could create a gap of £45 million in Brent Council’s budget by 2020.

Without fundamental change in the way social care services are delivered and how Councils are funded, local authorities will be finding themselves calling on Government to remove statutory obligations from them so that we can stop providing certain services altogether. The Local Government Association says that funding for services such as libraries and leisure centres will fall by 90% as a result of rising adult social care and other compulsory costs, meaning many could disappear by the end of the decade.

Yesterday I blogged about Labour’s landmark process for health and social care reform introducing Whole Person Care  – LINK

Labour is working on practical solutions to the care ticking bomb crisis.

 

 

 

Image of the Day: Brent Liberal Democrats – No Left Turn

This picture of Sarah Teather’s old office found on the Political Scrapbook’s website ironically features a red traffic light with a no left turn symbol outside the now empty office. In the words of Alanis Morissette, “Isn’t it Ironic?”

Interesting Articles

Here are some interesting articles I have tweeted about this week (in order of latest tweets first)

Interesting Articles

I do tend to tweet a lot (follow @Krupesh4Brent!). Now and again, I retweet interesting articles I’ve read on the web. Here are the last 10 [politically relevant] articles I have linked;

  • Cuts will bleed Council reserves dry in 5 years says Senior Tory – LINK – Brent has traditionally had low levels of reserves. That it is why it is financially important that in an era of increased risks to Brent Council, we keep sufficient reserves to cover those risks.
  • Disability rights groups protest at DWP against Paralympics sponsor Atos – LINK – Atos is a French IT company that carry out Work Capability Assessments with disabled people. Unfortunately, the Labour Party is not innocent in all of this as we did as award the original contract to Atos, but pressure to attack benefits from the current Government has exacerbated things. The Coalition has gone even further by naming Atos as a main contractor for carrying assessments for disabled people’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) entitlement. PIP is the benefit that will replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Mark Ferguson on LabourList on a Lab / Lib Coalition being a non-starter – LINK
  • Save Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E – LINK – The Brent Labour Party has provided campaign materials for people to join in on the campaign against the current proposal that will permanently close the A&E Department serving the most deprived part of the Borough.
  • Fleet Street Fox’s article on tax and cuts to disabled people – LINK
  • Lib Dem Peer says their Party should consider disposing Nick Clegg – LINK
  • Mark Steel on Atos – LINK
  • Retiring Andrew Strauss may bat for the Conservatives at the next election – LINK – after quitting cricket for good, the ex-England captain is being touted as a future Tory MP.
  • Welsh health survey: One in three take no exercise – LINK – This is an article related to Wales, but it is a trend I am very worried about. The positive effects of regular physical exercise are well documented.
  • Caught Yellow Handed – LINK – I was reminded last week about this document highlighting Lib Dem Hypocrisy through their actions in Parliament and their leaflets and campaign work in their constituencies. Brent Central Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather has a starring role.
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP (Photo credit: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)

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

 

Sarah Teather a no show at Parliamentary debate on local hospitals

Maybe there was a rational reason why the Tory Liberal Minister could not attend the debate and vote on the NHS and local hospitals.

However, it is good that attention was paid to Central Middlesex Hospital in the debate.

Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North said,

Barry Gardiner: Thank you, Sir. I shall try to respect your advice.

In November 2011, the following announcement appeared on the Central Middlesex hospital website:

“A and E at Central Middx Hospital is temporarily closing overnight between 7 pm and 8 am starting from Monday 14 November 2011.

The urgent care centre next to A and E will remain open 24 hrs a day 7 days a week to treat patients with minor injuries and illness.

We are making this temporary change to ensure we continue to provide a safe service to patients during the winter months.”

In those three paragraphs, we hear twice over that that overnight closure is temporary, which gave minimal comfort to my constituents in Brent who used the facility. The overnight closure is indeed temporary. On 2 July, a consultation entitled “Shaping a healthier future” was launched in north-west London, and residents can submit their views until 8 October this year. The consultation, promoted by a transitional body called NHS North West London, aims to centralise and rationalise hospital services in the area. Each proposal outlined in the consultation includes the closure of the A and E at Central Middlesex—not overnight provision, but the 24-hour facility—for good.

The motion speaks of

“the growing gap between Ministers’ statements and what is happening in the NHS”.

I may have trouble agreeing with that, because it depends on which Minister and which statements. The Minister of State, Department for Education, the hon. Member for Brent Central (Sarah Teather), received an e-mail from me today advising her that, if called to speak, I would quote her in this evening’s debate. I wanted to do so, because she made the following three statements. First:

“The Tories would be a disaster for the NHS, they plan a part privatised service”.

The second quotation:

“These cuts will hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest”.

The third quotation:

“The government must take urgent steps to safeguard our local NHS”.

Those three quotes date respectively from 2003, 2007 and 2007, when the hon. Lady was campaigning to keep open the accident and emergency centre at Central Middlesex hospital—campaigning for something which she, in her government, is now closing. No wonder her latest comment is:

“This flawed consultation, which does not allow residents to say that they want to save the A and E, is a kick in the teeth for all local people.”

I do not speak Parseltongue—I do not understand it—but I deplore the pretence of opposing a policy that you are pushing through in government. That is really disgraceful.

Even Tory MP for Ealing, Angie Bray MP spoke out against what is happening. She said,

Angie Bray: As my right hon. Friend is aware, the proposal is to downgrade four accident and emergency departments across London that are all right beside my constituency. Does he agree with my constituents that losing four accident and emergency departments is disproportionate and will mean a significant loss of service for them locally?

Lib Dem membership collapse in Brent Central

Membership for the Liberal Democrats in Brent has fallen by 42%. More than in any part of the country. This is in Education Minister Sarah Teather’s constituency.

Source: LabourList

Indeed we have seen the actual effects of this in terms of campaign methods. The Liberals are nowhere to be seen in wards such as Dudden Hill with even their elected ‘serving’ Councillor living in Brighton. Instead, with a slump in activists and members they seem to be using their increase in income from huge donors (her Register of Interests shows that £33,000 has come to Sarah Teather since she became a Government Minister) to pay for mass leaflet campaigns. Leaflets such as this – LINK.

They are even having to pay for deliverers. People I’ve spoken to in Dudden Hill who used to deliver for the Brent Liberal Democrats no longer want anything to do with them.

Liberal activists that are left in the Party may justify their existence in the Party by consoling in the belief that the actions of their Party are Tory inspired. However, this is simply not true. This article points out that the Tories in Parliament are more rebellious than the Liberals!

A by-election in Dudden Hill imminent?

Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues has been living in Brighton since 8th December 2011 LINK

In a show of contempt to the Brent Council Taxpayer, the Liberals look like they will be holding a Council by-election sometime in the next couple of months in Dudden Hill, when they had the choice to hold it on the same day as the London Mayoral elections.

By-election costs come out of the Council’s general fund.

There was a flurry of activity in Dudden Hill today for the first time since May 2010. I was out on the doorstep, as I am every Saturday, when I even spied Sarah Teather. A couple of people living near Gladstone Park have mentioned that they have been canvassed by the Liberals.

Interestingly, I spoke to a Lib Dem activist who had come over from Kensington to help out the Lib Dems in Dudden Hill. He first of all looked surprised and was impressed with seeing a young Councillor. He vented his disappointment at the way in which the Government was handling the economy and that the richest landowners in society had the means to pay off debt with a one off payment rather than targeting welfare and disability benefits. I asked that you can raise that with the MP that is there today. He said I’ve seen her briefly today – but this sort of thing is “too advanced” for her. At which point we exchanged contact details. Says a lot when Lib Dem activists feel more comfortable talking to Labour Councillors than Lib Dem MPs, Councillors and Government Ministers!

This level of activity from the Liberals is unprecedented in my tenure as a local Councillor, which suggests to me that a by-election in Dudden Hill is coming soon.