Mapesbury Liberal Democrat councillors have successfully persuaded Brent Council to provide official backing to an exciting funding bid being prepared by the Cricklewood Improvement Programme – despite being told that Cricklewood is not a priority for Labour council bosses.
The proposal to seek thousands of pounds from the Outer London Fund had been put at risk by the reluctance of the council’s Labour Executive members to provide support. Local councillors and residents were told the needs of Cricklewood did not feature among the Labour administration’s political priorities. The failure of Brent Council to join Barnet Council and Camden Council to back the bid could have dealt the project a fatal blow.
But when Councillors Chris Leaman, Hayley Matthews and Sami Hashmi presented a request for support to Monday night’s full council meeting (Monday 12 September), councillors swung behind the project and Labour’s leadership was forced into supporting the Cricklewood Improvement Programme bid.
Councillor Hayley Matthews, who was approached by local residents who were concerned by the Labour council’s attitude, said:
I am really pleased that councillors saw sense and voted to support this excellent community-led project. Cllr Hashmi, Cllr Leaman and I have now written to the Chief Executive to seek assurances that the council’s expression of support will be followed through and to ask for regeneration officers to work with the Cricklewood Improvement Programme to ensure that the best bid possible is submitted.
Councillor Sami Hashmi, who has also worked hard to persuade the council to back the scheme including by speaking to many council officers, added:
This plan will help revitalise Cricklewood by improving the environment and stimulating the local economy. Cricklewood is split across three council areas which makes co-ordination difficult so we can’t afford to waste this opportunity.
At Monday’s council meeting councillors voted in favour of the following motion, moved by Liberal Democrat councillors representing Mapesbury ward:
Supporting Cricklewood and its residents (Outer London Fund)
Brent Council welcomes the award of £500,000 to Willesden Town Centre from the Outer London Fund (first round). The council thanks and congratulates all those who played a part in securing this funding which will benefit Willesden residents.
Council notes that the Cricklewood Improvement Programme has developed a bid to the Outer London Fund (second round) which if successful, will deliver funding to improve the environment and benefit the local economy in Cricklewood.
Council welcomes the fact that this bid has received support from Barnet Council and Camden Council, which along with Brent Council serve the Cricklewood area.
Council thanks the members of Cricklewood Improvement Project for the voluntary effort that they have contributed in order to improve and enhance the area and congratulates them on their hard work.
Council believes this work deserves the support of Brent Council and gives the Cricklewood Outer London Fund bid its full backing.