28th February is Black Monday as Brent Council votes through cuts – but the fight goes on!

Brent Town HallReports coming in from the meeting at Brent Town Hall last night:

We went to the Town Hall meeting tonight but could not get in, as by 6.50pm the main doors had been locked and they were guarded by police officers who said the public gallery was full and no-one else was being allowed in. Quite a lot of people managed to get into the Town Hall through a side entrance (via the library) but I don’t think anyone else managed to get into the council chamber. There were lots of police officers and they were starting to talk about arresting people, though from what I could see, people were just holding their banners, singing and chanting. Saw some posters for Cricklewood and Preston libraries.

– Laura Collignon

We were in the chamber – so depressing I left after an hour or so. Anne John blamed everything on the coalition, was heckled a fair bit, then got cheers from the gallery when she announced that some pet projects had been saved. Paul Lorber took her on but the Labour group jeered and talked among themselves. Then the Tory bloke spoke and he was jeered too. All very ugly and a bit shambolic. Left before they voted on the budget but it looked a foregone conclusion as all the amendments were lumped together as one – making it hard for Labour members to vote against their leadership. On the plus side, beforehand we had a meeting with Cllr Powney and Sue Mckenzie (head of libraries) which was pretty positive. So there may be some daylight there.

– David Butcher

We were turned away and told it was full, but got in through the side entrance, and got seats in the chamber where there was plenty of room after all. We were disappointed by the number of councillors who were joking and clowning around, grandstanding, and mocking each other during a debate that will have such serious consequences. There was a pat on the head for Brent residents for mounting such a strong campaign to save the libraries, and then the budget was passed with the labour group all voting together – not one abstention as far as we could tell.

– Phil O’Shea

I was lucky enough to get a ticket – which was difficult to collect due to the night club bouncers on the door. Upstairs was obviously filled with a lot of suitably selected fans.

The meeting was embarrassment – to think that those people are in charge of the future of Brent is a joke.
If they could have seen how stupid their mocking, showing off and clowning was, they would be ashamed. How can the public who attended ever respect them again.

The power has obviously gone to a few of their heads with some embarrassing playing to the crowd – the funniest thing was the winking smirking and generally playing to a few of his fans upstairs from one of the main Labour councillors.
To cap it all 2 councillors actually fell asleep.

– Avril Mackintosh

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