Martin Francis is trying to stir up mischief in the Kensal Green By election I see. He is seeking to imply that John McDonnell supports setting illegal budgets. In fact John McDonnell has said:
“The situation the councils are now in is if they don’t set a budget, a
council officer will do it for them. There is no choice for them any
This may seem remarkable given John McDonnell's own past history, but it is simply a recognition of reality. If a Council such as Brent refuses to set a budget, central government can simply appoint commissioners to do it instead.
"Opposing austerity" in the way Martin imagines he does, which in fact seems to consist simply of attacking Labour Councils, is nonsense. In fact, Martin should look at the various ways in which Brent Council has advanced progressive measures despite the financial cuts imposed by central government. These include improvements to recycling which are unfortunately now under threat, the greenest public building in Europe, the transformation of Brent Libraries, improvements to carbon emissions, the delivery of regeneration in Brent's growth areas despite the Tories all out assault on housing, various improvements to parks in Brent, a step change in allotments management, a rebuilt Moberly Sports Centre and substantial investment in the Vale Farm Sports Centre as a result of the new contract.
Of course, these kind of achievements would have been far easier if we had a Labour government as we did from 1997 to 2010. Something that Martin might care to reflect on as he campaigns against the Labour Party.