Blog Posts - Local Democracy



Yet Another Brent Council Executive Change

I understand that yet another member of Brent's Council Cabinet has stood down.  This time it is Cllr Roxanne Mashari.  Prior to Cllr Keith Perrin in September 2014, it was highly unusual for councillors to step down from the Executive. &nb...
by James Powney's Blog on Dec 16, 2016

Cllr Butt Stakes Our Money on His Reputation

Back when Cllr Muhammed Butt first became Council Leader, he made a number of suggestions that he intended to be more open and democratic than his immediate predecessor.  In practice, I think he has been very much the opposite, not least in his...
by James Powney's Blog on Sep 4, 2016

Brent Council Planning Policy Changes

Brent Council is now modifying its development planning policies.  The length of time this takes is disappointing, but the actual changes are quite welcome.The spread of betting shops will be made more difficult.  Takeaways and shisha cafes...
by James Powney's Blog on Aug 31, 2016

Kilburn Regeneration Ploughs On

Brent Council has another report on the transformation of South Kilburn.  In many ways there are good sides to this, but it concerns me that there appears to be no public debate about it.  Talking to people in the area, there seems to be ju...
by James Powney's Blog on Jul 18, 2016

More on Cllr Tayo Oladapo

Tomorrow's Brent Council meeting will have a report on the sad case of former Cllr Tayo Oladapo.  The account in the report does not strike me as easily compatible with the account given in the Evening Standard.  The information comes in th...
by James Powney's Blog on Jul 10, 2016

Davani Payoff

Brent Council seems to have found a more contrite tone regarding Cara Davani and her controversial record, at least according to the Kilburn Times.  The employment tribunal case was a disgraceful one, and the unwillingness of those in authority...
by James Powney's Blog on Jul 4, 2016

Brent Parking Controversy

As I anticipated, Brent Council's big rise in parking charges is attracting controversy.  Some of Brent Council's previous problems in setting parking policy are referred to by Martin Francis here.  It is a naturally controversial issue and...
by James Powney's Blog on Jun 27, 2016

Democratic Debate and Libraries

As we all look forward to the Brexit recession, an old story has come up again _ libraries.  An anonymous commentator has suggested that the undemocratic nature of the developments in South Kilburn, which I criticised the other day, are similar...
by James Powney's Blog on Jun 25, 2016

Parking Charge Increases

Looking at Brent Council's parking plans, I see that it is still proposed to go forward with very high charges for visitors in CPZs.  I suspect that this will be enormously controversial.  I wonder whether the Councillors pushing it will ac...
by James Powney's Blog on Jun 22, 2016

South Kilburn and a Lack of Democracy

I had a couple of comments on my post on the new Marks & Spencer in South Kilburn.  "Food desert" may seem a bit extreme, but the area certainly seems short of common amenities to me.  During the recent by election, I recall being asked...
by James Powney's Blog on Jun 19, 2016

Brent and School Academies

The Guardian recently published a letter on academies with a lot of signatures, many of them from Brent.  Two things puzzle me about this. The first is what exactly is Brent Council policy?  The Labour Group voted only to support acade...
by James Powney's Blog on Jun 13, 2016

Another Brent Council Investigation

Brent Council's Chief Executive has announced an investigation into the circumstances around the death of Cllr Tayo Oladapo and the strange way in which Brent Council seems to have handled it.This is a scandal in which questions of timing are crucial...
by James Powney's Blog on May 20, 2016

Cllr James Allie and Ethical Standards

Cllr James Allie has been appointed to chair Brent Council's Standards Committee, which is ironic given his notoriously boorish behaviour.  This dates back many years.I first came across him, when as Lead member he was invited to the first Scrut...
by James Powney's Blog on May 19, 2016

Brent Council Whistleblowing

I referred yesterday to the Evening Standard story on the death of Cllr Tayo Oladapo.  This was followed up by Martin Francis, who published the whistleblower's email that was the main basis of the story.  Like Martin, I had been told of th...
by James Powney's Blog on May 16, 2016

More of the Same at Brent Council

Yesterday, Cllr Muhammed Butt was re-elected as Leader of Brent Labour Group, so we can all expect more of the same at Brent Council.  This is despite the late revelations in the Evening Standard regarding the death of Cllr Tayo Oladapo.  C...
by James Powney's Blog on May 15, 2016

Leadership Dysfunction

Some one asked me why Cllr Muhammed Butt is being challenged.  The email I reproduced on Monday only hints at the issues.  I think there are probably a number of reasons, but I suspect the main one is simply his own dysfunctional behaviour.
by James Powney's Blog on May 11, 2016

Manifesto for Change

I have now been sent the text of the email that Cllr Mike Pavey sent to fellow Labour councillors announcing his candidature for Leader of Brent Council.  As I think it is of more general interest I reproduce it below:Dear friends,It's been a to...
by James Powney's Blog on May 9, 2016

Academies and Brent Labour Group

The government's u-turn over forced academisation is not all that it seems.  It really represents a slow down rather than a full reversal, as academisation can still be pushed through for schools are deemed to be "failing".  This is still v...
by James Powney's Blog on May 9, 2016

An Inevitable Challenge

Cllr Mikey Pavey is set to challenge Cllr Muhammed Butt for the leadership of Brent Council.  Although this was only announced on Saturday, it has been brewing for a long time.  Indeed at least one member of the Group has been going round f...
by James Powney's Blog on May 8, 2016

WCO on Mandatory Support

Municipal Support must be manadatory for wind power contract bids! says Wind Concerns Ontario in its latest media release: Wind Concerns Ontario submitted a series of recommendations to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) as part of th...
by Wainfleet Wind Action on May 5, 2016


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