Unlike when I went to school in Brent, where you send your children might now be a community school, a voluntary aided faith school, a foundation school, an academy or a free school. The main thing most mums and dads are interested in is a high quality of learning – and no school type has a monopoly on delivering that.
With Christmas almost upon us I have been reflecting on what the festive season actual means – it is easy to get caught up hauling the trolley around the supermarket or rushing to get the last gifts to put under the Christmas tree.
The threat of terrorism isn’t new to Londoners but is now fresh in our minds following the rise of the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ and the Paris attacks and the stabbing at Leytonstone tube station. Cases in the courts and in the news have highlighted Brits travelling abroad to receive terrorist training.
We’re now awake to the concept of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, by people radicalised over the internet without having any solid links to organised extremist networks.
Here in Brent Council we are having to cope with a halving of central government funding. With my colleagues, we are working hard to keep the negative impact on the services you value the most to a minimum by squeezing the most out of every last penny of taxpayers’ money. However these tough times are forcing us to face some difficult choices.