Saturday September 22, 2018
As is the case nationally, with government funding slashed, every public service is under enormous pressure.
Take child protection. Attaining an outstanding rating from Ofsted in the face of ongoing cuts is testament to the hard work and dedication of those tasked with safeguarding young lives in Brent.
Nevertheless, without an urgent and comprehensive rethink on funding by government, it is impossible to guarantee that these levels will be sustained.
Look at policing. While not unique to this city, huge cuts are compounding causes and rates of crime.
Nevertheless, we still have one of the best police forces in the world working tirelessly to ensure Brent’s streets are kept as safe as possible, and that those who choose to break the law are captured and brought to justice.
On housing, in the absence of central government leadership (maybe because there’s been eight housing ministers in eight years?) we’ve had to take matters into our own hands. For example, we’ve begun to regulate the private rental market.
We’re taking action against rogue landlords. We’re directly involved in providing good quality, genuinely affordable, and ethically managed homes with long term tenancies. And, last but not least, we’ve enabled the delivery of 49 per cent more new build affordable housing than the London average.
These are just some of the challenges that we are facing. Yes, we’re still managing, in a lot of cases, to do the best possible job for our residents. But it’s getting harder. And, without proper government funding and support, the risk of service failure will continue to grow.
Councillor Muhammad Butt