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HomeNewsCouncil creates crucial new Cabinet role to meet rising demand in Brent

Council creates crucial new Cabinet role to meet rising demand in Brent

Brent Council has created a new Cabinet role whose portfolio will focus on ‘helping residents into secure jobs, supporting innovation in the council, and tackling the climate emergency’. The council has said demand for some services is ‘outpacing our dwindling resources’, particularly with regards to housing and adult social care.

Cllr Jake Ruben, who has represented Roundwood ward since 2022, was appointed in the new position of Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Employment, Innovation, and Climate Action at last weeks annual meeting of the Full Council (May 22). The ceremony also saw the election of the borough’s new Mayor, Cllr Tariq Dar MBE.

The meeting also confirmed the rest of the Cabinet and Mayoral positions, as well as the election of Cllr Muhammed Butt as the leader of the council for the twelfth year running. Cllr Butt believes the new role will be ‘crucial’ in enabling the council to better tackle the problems councils are facing in terms of delivering effective public services.

He said:”We know it won’t be an easy path ahead, but there are still reasons to remain radically optimistic. I am delighted that with this new Cabinet role, we are looking to a brighter future, promoting digital and green skills so residents can continue to thrive in an ever-changing world.”

He added: “This new portfolio area combines these ambitions in one and will also be crucial to exploring how we unleash the power of innovation and embrace new technologies to work smarter, while also focusing on how we can do all in this council’s power to play our part in tackling climate change.”

Cllr Milli Patel was once again selected as Deputy Leader of the council and retains her Cabinet position. It means the new Cabinet (below) will be made up of ten councillors, who are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the council.

  • Cllr Muhammed Butt – Leader
  • Cllr Mili Patel – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources
  • Cllr Jake Rubin – Cabinet Member for Employment, Innovation and Climate Action
  • Cllr Promise Knight – Cabinet Member for Housing
  • Cllr Gwen Grahl – Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools
  • Cllr Neil Nerva – Cabinet Member for Community Health and Wellbeing
  • Cllr Harbi Farah – Cabinet Member for Public Safety and Partnerships
  • Cllr Krupa Sheth – Cabinet Member for Environment and Enforcement
  • Cllr Fleur-Donnelly-Jackson – Cabinet Member for Resident Support and Culture
  • Cllr Shama Tatler – Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Growth

Cllr Butt said: “I have always believed that no one person is bigger than the mission itself – and with that in mind I am proud to announce another Cabinet of talents drawn from across the council, maintaining our reputation for more women in Cabinet than the majority of councils in London.”

He added: “We face a historic challenge before us: after 14 years of austerity, residents are crying out for investment in the public services that we all rely on. Over the next 2 years, this council is facing its own perfect storm with demand for emergency housing and for adult social care outpacing our dwindling resources.”

During the ceremony, former Mayor, Cllr Orleen Hylton, handed over the reins to Cllr Dar, who represents Cricklewood and Mapesbury Ward. Cllr Dar first arrived in the UK in 1965 and earned an MBE in 2019 for services to the community – including working with Sufra Food Bank for a decade.

He serves as a Trustee for the Central Mosque of Brent, Cricklewood Library, and Friends of Gladstone Park, as well as overseeing a winter shelter for the homeless and a Covid-19 food bank at the Pakistan Community Centre, where he is Chairman. Cllr Dar has chosen The Pakistan Community Centre as the charity he will fundraise for during his time in the role.

He said: “I feel extremely privileged to be here in front of you all to accept the position of Mayor of Brent.  Being the Mayor of Brent is a huge personal honour. I arrived in the UK in 1965, and have been a champion for residents ever since […].”

I will work closely with my teams to capitalise on the many strengths, attributes, and talents of my colleagues. I believe that to achieve good results there must be cohesion, trust, and a strong working relationship. In a time of uncertainty for many in Brent, I hope to use the office of Mayor to unite our communities.”

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