I was at the launch of this year’s Nour Festival the other night and thumbing through the brochure I was pleased and impressed by the sheer depth and variety of the programme and by the range of partners we have found who are enthusiastic to participate, sponsor or to put on special events.
The census tells us that ten per cent of the borough’s population is of North African or Arabic origin and one of the challenges for the Council is to encourage them to feel part of the local community. Many of the events take part at Leighton House which owes its unique character to Lord Leighton’s fascination with Arabic art and culture. Continue reading
We do our best to be a listening Council that tries to understand and keeps in mind what our residents want, but it is not always easy.
Sometimes there are forces so large that they overpower all other considerations. One such force is our current financial position. As you probably know, our grant from central government has fallen drastically in recent years but we must go on providing essential services to the young, the old and the vulnerable. These have to be paid for. Any proposal that significantly weakens our ability to do so is going to have a high bar to clear before it gets adopted.
But while there are always brute realities that have to be acknowledged, I am glad to say that the influence residents have in this borough remains visibly strong. Take last week’s cabinet meeting. Continue reading