AT THE recent election, Councillor Jim Moher asserted that a majority Labour council would put the civic centre project and the so-called One Council Programme of £50million plus cuts under close review after May 6.
Yet now, despite a majority, we find the Labour council pursuing the same old, same old.
You report the reaction of council leader Ann John to the supposed impact of a new civic centre as "key to saving money" (Town hall cuts will cost jobs, Observer, July 1).
How could Labour's analysis change overnight, not even for fear of contradicting itself? How does putting cuts under close review after May 6 square with rubberstamping such cuts and reversing one's analysis of the civic centre proposal at the same time?
Doesn't such behaviour risk undermining trust in politics and our politicians? Was this not an empty promise from the Labour group?
Brent Green Party has been calling for public debate on the consequences of the civic centre project on taxpayers' pockets and its implications for cuts in local jobs, services and the fate of a Grade II listed town hall since 2008.
A feasibility study commissioned by the council in 2003, and obtained by us only after freedom of information requests, predicted that even with efficiency savings, a new civic centre would cost more than the present dispersed portfolio of council buildings.
The study states that "over time, the procurement of a new civic centre would cost the council substantially more than the baseline situation. In fact, it would not become cheaper on an annual cost basis until about 2025/2026".
The additional cost would require jobs to be lost and Labour has acknowledged this self-evident linkage in the past.
It is high time for the council to mend its ways by putting jobs and services ahead of grand, unsustainable schemes.
SHAHRAR ALI Spokesperson for Planning & Environment Brent Green Party