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New Year resolutions

The New Year is always a time of renewed hope and resolutions – a promise to oneself to eat healthier, exercise more and generally be a ‘better’ person than last year.

Together, as a borough, we must have those aspirations too – to improve lives and create opportunities by working together. The Council also has its own aspirations which will help deliver those outcomes - such as seeing more affordable homes built, more school places, cleaner streets, more jobs and a living wage for those already in work.

But these aspirations will be difficult to fulfil given the biggest cuts from central government that we have ever faced, with £54m more of savings to be made in addition to last year’s cuts of £18 million. By 2018, Brent will have lost more than £100m of funding since 2010.

The cuts cannot be avoided but we want to protect services for those who need them the most. We need your input on where to make these cuts - on what you would save and what you wouldn’t. So I am inviting you to get involved and have your say. There will be a number of face-to-face consultation events across the borough which everyone is welcome to attend and give their views on Brent’s budget. If you are unable to make those, you can email us your thoughts at consultation@brent.gov.uk. Full details of the budget consultation process can be found here: www.brent.gov.uk/budget.

We want to get everyone involved as we will need to work even closer than we already are with the whole community, including businesses, schools, and voluntary organisations, if we are going to keep delivering as many services as we have been able to in the past.

Therefore I would like to challenge you to make one of your New Year’s resolutions to be an ‘active citizen’ of Brent. I will be clear – we need your help. We want to enable you to become more active in your community by helping to deliver services with us. This is also a great opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and feel the pride that comes with contributing to your local area. So please make one of your resolutions a pledge to do your bit for Brent in 2015.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.

Written by Cllr Muhammed Butt

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