Liberal Democrat Councillors in Willesden have joined local residents to express their dismay that Villiers Park on Villiers Road, Willesden is still not open. Despite repeatedly asking for the reasons why, Brent Council will only say it involves problems with the play surfaces, but give no further details or a timescale for when it will be sorted.
The open space, located at the end of Villiers Road as it meets Dudden Hill Lane, recently had a substantial amount of money invested in it to improve the small park and install a children’s play area. Liberal Democrat Councillors say residents have been looking forward to its opening for months, but to date, nothing seems to have happened.
Speaking about the delay, Cllr Gavin Sneddon said,
“This is just getting ridiculous now. Liberal Democrats invested a substantial amount of money into the park when we were in control of Brent Council, but there now seems to be a delay on it’s actually opening to the public.
I’ve repeatedly asked Brent Council the reasons why, only to be given a vague answer about play surfaces and no timetable for opening whatsoever. Local residents are understandably becoming angry at seeing their nice, new park and play area just out of reach behind a locked gate. It’s time Brent Council got its act together and fix whatever the problem is and opened the park for local resident to enjoy.”
Brent Council’s Liberal Democrats today unveiled alternative funding to ensure that the 6 Libraries in Brent facing closure under Labour plans can be saved.
Their alternative budget proposals will make savings across the Council allowing the Liberal Democrats to reverse the £408,000 cut to library funding for 2011/12 proposed by Labour – meaning all 6 libraries under threat of closure will remain open next year.
The Liberal Democrat plan would see libraries funded for next year, in order to give residents, community groups and the council more time to come up with alternative proposals for helping to keep libraries open into the future. Liberal Democrats believe that Brent Council hasn’t given people enough time to produce realistic business cases to save local libraries.
Brent Council will continue to fund libraries, with support from local residents who can help to fundraise and run the local library. Local businesses and other interested groups will be encouraged to share the libraries space and help with the running costs.
Liberal Democrats are calling on Brent’s communities to show how much they value their local library and come up with ideas on how better to use them and also to generate the extra income needed to make it happen. The Liberal Democrat funding proposals give local people the extra time they have demanded to enable them to come up with plans needed to keep their local library open.
Leader of Brent’s Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Paul Lorber, said,
“Liberal Democrats are committed to keeping local libraries open, we always have been. That’s why between 2006-2010 we invested in libraries and encouraged shared space to help with costs.
By cutting out more unnecessary expenditure from the Council, reducing the number of senior officer positions and cutting senior officer pay we’ve been able to suggest a way of keeping local libraries open next year.
Many local residents have complained they haven’t had enough time to make serious business cases for their local libraries, this will give them that time. These proposals are fully costed. If the Labour Councillors are serious in their promise to listen to local people they should accept these proposals and give local people a real chance to save their much loved local library.”
Liberal Democrats are asking Labour Councillors where Labour key election pledge is in budget.
During the local elections last year, Labour Leader, Cllr Ann John, along with all of her Labour colleagues, promised local residents they would “slash” spending on consultants by £1.5 million – and spend the money instead on roads and pavements.
Looking through Labour’s budget for Brent Council for next year however, Liberal Democrats can find no evidence of Labour Councillors having kept this pledge.
Liberal Democrat councillors are now asking Labour to explain why they have chosen to break their pledge to residents. The pledge, which formed one of their “4 pledges” to residents, appeared in practically every leaflet they handed out to local residents – and formed the pledges they were elected on.
Speaking about Labour’s broken promise, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Cllr Daniel Brown said,
“People voted for Labour councillors in Brent, based on these pledges. By my calculations Labour owe residents £1.5 million this year from slashing the Council’s consultant budget. £1.5 million to honour their promise.
Instead however, we learn that the Council is spending in the region of £3 million on consultants this year. That’s £12 million over the next 4 years. It seems clear that Labour have some explaining to do to local residents.”
Brent Council’s Liberal Democrats today accused the Labour Executive of creating an “election slush fund”, stashing away £2.5 million of Brent Council Tax money while closing down essential local services such as libraries, street cleaning and services for disabled people.
Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Paul Lorber has accused Labour of trying to hide £2.5 million of public money for their 2014 pre-election spending spree. The Liberal Democrats are demanding that this public money is used to protect essential local services
As the Labour-run Council unveiled its budget proposals for the next financial year the Liberal Democrats have exposed the cynical Labour tactic of cutting services more than necessary and then blaming others for their savage cuts. As an example the Liberal Democrats point out that the £2.5 million Labour are hiding away more than covers the proposed Labour cuts of £2.25 million which will impact local Children Centres – exposing the sham of the Brent Labour Leadership’s crocodile tears.
The Labour Council already has a reserve fund of £7.26 million for unforseen events. The additional funding this year would push that figure up to nearly £10 million.
Condemning Labour’s plans, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Paul Lorber, said,
“At a time when many services are being slashed by the Labour-run Council, residents will find it very difficult to understand why Labour are hiding away £2.5 million of taxpayers money. It is clear that Labour are building up their 2014 election slush fund in the hope that this will bail them out at the next local election. It is time the Labour Leadership came clean and took responsibility for the financial mess the Gordon Brown’s Labour Government left our country in and stopped £2.5 million of unnecessary cuts.”
Brent’s Labour run Council are not allowing any more council alley gating in Brent despite a key manifesto pledge to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour.
When the Liberal Democrats ran Brent they invested over £1 million pounds in alley-gating and introduced alley gates to protect over 3000 properties, to make sure residents did not have to suffer anti-social behaviour or dumping near their homes.
Alley-gating – sealing off alleyways with strong metal gates, to stop people using them for anti-social behaviour – has proven a very effective way of clamping down on crime.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Daniel Brown wanted Council to spend money in Alperton on alley gating from a pool of money made available to Councillors to deal with resident’s priorities, after receiving a number of requests from local people complaining about anti social behaviour. Sadly this was blocked by the Labour run council.
Speaking about alley gating Liberal Democrat Councillor Daniel Brown said,
“The Council seems to have decided to axe alley gating. Brent’s Labour Council won’t even let councillors spend money intended for resident priorities on alley gating. It’s a disgrace, this is a really cost effective way of helping residents deal with anti social behaviour. I can’t believe it is no longer available to local people. It’s shocking that Labour seem to have scrapped alley gating, when local people want it and there is money that could be used for it”
Liberal Democrat councillors today delivered a petition against the proposed new CPZ charges to Brent Council, signed by over 900 residents.
Hundreds of Brent households have signed the Liberal Democrat Petition opposing draconian increases in Residents Parking Permit charges in Brent’s CPZ areas. Despite criticising the Council for making “large profits from parking”, one of the first decisions the new Labour Administration running Brent Council made was to propose increases of up to 300% in Residents Parking Permit charges – with some residents paying £150 instead of the current £50 to park their car.
CPZs (Controlled Parking Zones) were introduced in Brent to protect local residents in heavily parked areas near underground stations and shopping areas, such as Ealing Road, Willesden High Road, and near Wembley Stadium. While the Zones had to be self-funding, residents were assured that they would not be money-making ventures and that Permit costs would be kept reasonably low.
The Liberal Democrats introduced free permits for energy-efficient cars and froze the charges for other permits when they ran Brent Council.
But Labour Councillors are proposing to raise charges by so much that the income collected from Permits in Brent will rise from under £900,000 to over £2 million.
Speaking about the petition, Cllr Barry Cheese said,
“It’s clear from the number of residents who’ve signed the petition that they’re very angry. The increases of up to 300% planned by Labour are a betrayal of promises made to local people, and are deeply unfair to residents who were promised CPZs as a way of helping them with parking problems – not a way of making money out of them. Labour clearly need to think again.”
The Liberal Democrats are angry that Labour are claiming concern for the environment as their reason for increasing Permit fees, while doing nothing about all the other cars in non-CPZ areas.
Since Labour took control of Brent Council in May, they have agreed measures that will see motorists in Brent pay £11 million more to the Council over the next 4 years.