Though it's early days in 2018, January proved to be a busy month. From a visit by the Duchess of Cambridge, to an agreement to rollout electric vehicle charging points across the borough, Brent has a keen eye on the future. With that in mind, a New Year also means another year of cuts from central government.
The start of a New Year is a time when we collectively pause to reflect on the accomplishments of the year gone by and a moment for bold new resolutions for the time ahead.
Looking back over 2017, there is much as Leader of Brent Council that I take pride in: from bringing Brent Housing Partnership back under council control; to seeing our students achieve some of the finest A-Level and GCSE results across London, and to our ‘Invest 4 Brent’ company, which has seen families in temporary housing move into new, quality accommodation in time for Christmas.
Just last week, the US President hit a new low when he retweeted vile hate-filled messages from a British far right group who attempt to normalise hatred towards Muslims.
It was an action that brought widespread condemnation even from those who had previously publicly supported him - and rightly so. With such a huge social media following, 40 million followers at the last count, President Trump’s retweets risked legitimising and emboldening the voices of discord on either side of the Atlantic. I urge President Trump to remove those hate filled messages from his twitter timeline and make absolutely clear his opposition to racism and hatred in all its forms.
You’ve probably heard by now that Brent is entering the competition run by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to become London Borough of Culture. This is a great new competition, recognising how London’s diverse cultural scene is a huge part of all of our lives. Here in Brent we’re bidding for the title in 2020, so we can build a year-long cultural programme to wrap around the sporting highlight of the year – the Euros – which will see Wembley Stadium play host to Europe’s top footballers.
There are two big asks this autumn, both of which will have a big impact on Brent’s future. The Local Plan sets out how the borough will grow to meet future demand and our bid to become London’s Borough of Culture 2020.