Brent has become one of Labour’s 25 “Whole Person Care Innovation” Councils. When Andy Burnham visited Brent, it was recognised that the council is working hard to deliver an integrated health and social care service to people in Brent. Labour is working on legislation from now having already committed to repeal the competition elements of the Tory and Lib Dem top down reorganisation of the NHS. An independent commission led by Sir John Oldham has been set up to work on the fine details of legislation and of course, cost. Brent will be a part of this process, sharing experiences on barriers to integration for us locally. We will be telling the commission what we need in order to integrate effectively.
A report from London Councils suggests London local authorities are spending £9,000 on every pupil making up for a government school places funding shortfall. While councils have strategies in place to create places, the total £1.04bn councils are spending on top of government funding is placing unprecedented pressure on council budgets. A total of 83,470 additional school places need to be created in London between 2014 and 2017. Cllr Peter John, London Councils’ Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “Councils are pulling out all the stops to create places, but London’s rising population, particularly at school age, means they are running to stand still. The government needs to reassure worried parents and provide adequate school funding.” Schools in Willesden are full and do not have large enough sites to expand. Despite considerable education service effort, there are WIllesden children without a school place.
Spent 3 hours last night reviewing a gambling license. Not everyone realises how limited councils are in relation to gambling licensing. Residents with objections have few grounds to appeal for a review and most betting shops have the financial resources to counter objections. We cannot take into account that there may be several shops in the same parade, for example. The London Borough of Newham recently lost a court case with a betting shop and called for government action to stem the tide of gambling “clusters” on high streets. The Gambling Act introduces three licensing objectives which underpin the functions of the commission and the council and limits our response:
Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime
Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.