Full Council pledges £17m to Brent’s recovery

13 July 2021

  • A £17million package of measures aimed at bouncing Brent’s recovery was agreed by Full Council on Monday 12 July.
  • The plans focus on tackling three of the most pressing issues of our day: inequality, poverty, and the climate and ecological emergency.
  • Public realm improvements are also prioritised, with money going towards catching illegal rubbish dumpers and making roads and pavements safer.

A borough of opportunities

Under the plans, £10.6m will go towards helping local people back into work as restrictions lift, as well as keeping financially squeezed traders in business with grants and marketing support.

With the furlough scheme ending, extra programmes will help retrain and upskill those who are unemployed or at risk of losing their jobs, giving them the tools they need to access the green, digital jobs of the future.

Cllr Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning, commented, “Investing in our local economy now will make a big difference as national lockdown support packages wind down. We’ve supported businesses throughout this pandemic, and giving them an extra helping hand during this tough time means we can keep more people in paid work.”

Together towards zero

£4.5m will support a green recovery. Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment, said, “We must learn the lessons of COVID-19 by recognising and doing all we can to avert the next big emergency, the climate crisis. Together with our communities and local businesses, we can make a difference.”

Plans include a further decarbonisation of the council’s operations as it strives to meet its 2030 zero carbon goal, better help for communities to recycle, and a project to get schools involved in the response to the climate emergency.

To improve Brent’s local environment, rapid response teams will be created to tackle fly-tipping hotspots and more money will be put towards boosting the council’s capacity to gather evidence and find illegal rubbish dumpers.

Other public realm investments include a programme of tree stump removals, pothole repairs to make roads safer for cyclists as well as cars, and supporting walking in the borough by extending Brent’s footway renewal programme.

A fairer, more equal Brent

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said: “COVID-19 has exposed the consequences of inequality in its many forms, from poverty and racism, to disparities in health. Sadly many of these things are interconnected.

“For example, the poorest people in the UK are twice as likely to have diabetes and to develop complications than the national average. The younger we can intervene to help children and their families, the better chance we have of breaking inter-generational problems.”

Under the plans, £500k will go towards addressing childhood obesity, tooth decay and improving specialist mental health expertise in Brent schools.

£2m has already been pledged as part of the Brent Health Matters programme, which includes tackling obesity, diabetes, providing bereavement support and a Get Active programme.

A further £1.4m will support education recovery for young people who have missed out on face-to-face learning over the past year.

Black Community Action Plan projects aimed at encouraging and empowering black entrepreneurs are set to receive a share of the funds.

Read the full report now.