I was going to write about challenges closer to home. But then Christchurch happened. Breaking news of carnage, of families destroyed, communities shaken to their core by terrorist atrocity. Ramming home the cold hard reality that where evil is allowed to linger, lives are at risk. Such tragedies can bring out the worst in us. However tempting, we cannot lower our standards. At all costs we must preserve our composure, our empathy, and our compassion.
Deep and sustained central Government funding cuts to local councils across the country continue. In Brent’s case, by 2020 the cash we receive directly from central Government will have been cut by 79%. For another year we’ve needed to make really difficult decisions about what we can afford to protect.
As we move into December many of us start to look back on some of the things we’ve achieved, and the opportunities and challenges for the year ahead.
I hope you were able to catch some of the amazing Bonfire Night and Diwali celebrations in November. More than 50,000 people visited Wembley to enjoy the free fireworks display and parade. And in October we celebrated Black History Month and the Windrush generation through the Windrush 70 exhibition.
Most of us go about our daily lives without having to give much thought to our personal safety. For the vast majority of people, crime is something we see on the news. But for some, it is an all too real and frequent threat. For a few, it can be a brutal tragic reality.
Recent months have seen Brent’s community spirit continue to grow. As the summer heats up, and more of us are spending time out and about, the borough is brimming with creativity, energy and potential.
From Brent’s rich sporting community to the vibrant histories of generations of immigrants, including the 70th anniversary of the Windrush celebrated in our libraries, people from all walks of life are making Brent a great place to live, work and play.