In the absence of the Labour leadership it was Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Paul Lorber who was present to receive a 6,000 strong petition from the Brent Hindu Community calling on Brent Council to continue provide support for the celebration of the Navratri Festival in Brent.
Councillor Lorber helped to get the 6,000 strong petition delivered to the council’s committee services for processing. Any petition with more than 5,000 names gets referred directly to the full Council Meeting of all 63 Councillors.
Councillor Lorber has been attending Navratri festivals in Brent for 30 years and has first-hand knowledge of the importance and value of the Festival which has been celebrated in Brent since the 1970s. Tens of thousands of Brent residents, of all ages, take part in the Navratri festival every year which is celebrated in around 30 school and other halls across Brent.
In the early days Brent Council supported the festival by making school halls available free of charge. When schools became independent of the Council and started charging the Council introduced a grant which is used to pay for the halls. Every penny of the council grant is therefore handed over to schools to cover their costs
Cllr Lorber said:
“Navratri has been celebrated in Brent for over 30 years. Tens of thousands of Brent residents take park in the nine-day festival and it would be a great shame if Labour councillors cut the grant for Navratri while continuing to spend larger sums of money on Council-organised festivals that are not as valued by the local community”.