Brent London Borough Council
Whole council elected every four years
Council logo
Orleen Hylton,
since 17 May 2023[1]
Muhammed Butt,
since 4 June 2014[2]
Kim Wright
since May 2023[3]
Seats57 councillors
Brent Council composition
Political groups
Administration (49)
  Labour (49)
Other parties (8)
  Conservatives (5)
  Liberal Democrats (3)
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ

Brent London Borough Council, also known as Brent Council, is the local authority for the London Borough of Brent in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in London. The council has been under Labour majority control since 2010. It is based at Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way, Wembley.


The London Borough of Brent and its council were created under the London Government Act 1963, with the first election held in 1964. For its first year the council acted as a shadow authority alongside the area's two outgoing authorities, being the borough councils of Wembley and Willesden. The new council formally came into its powers on 1 April 1965, at which point the old districts and their councils were abolished.[4]

The council's full legal name is the "Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Brent", although it styles itself Brent Council.[5]

From 1965 until 1986 the council was a lower-tier authority, with upper-tier functions provided by the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the boroughs (including Brent) responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. As an outer London borough council Brent has been a local education authority since 1965. The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986 and its functions passed to the London Boroughs, with some services provided through joint committees.[6]

Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.[7]

On Valentine's Day in 2016, the Council launched its ‘Love Where You Live’ campaign, an initiative which encouraged local people to work alongside the Council and make Brent a better, happier place to live. Groups such as Kensal Green Streets, Harlesden Environmental Action Residents, Northwest TWO and Keep Wembley Tidy all took action as a result of the campaign.[8] In June 2016, a short, community-based documentary called ‘Stories of Brent’ was produced, based on the campaign, starring Audley Harrison, Rachel Yankey and Liz Mitchell from Boney M.[9] Brent was the London Borough of Culture in 2020, receiving £1.35m of funding under a new initiative launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.[10]

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates.[11] It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.[12]

Political control

The council has been under Labour majority control since 2010.

The first election to the council was held in 1964, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1965. Political control of the council since 1965 has been as follows:[13][14]

Party in control Years
Labour 1965–1968
Conservative 1968–1971
Labour 1971–1982
No overall control 1982–1986
Labour 1986–1990
No overall control 1990–1998
Labour 1998–2006
No overall control 2006–2010
Labour 2010–present


Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council. The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Brent. The leaders since 1965 have been:[15][16][17]

Councillor Party From To
George Swannell[18][19] Labour 1965 1968
Edwin Lee Conservative 1968 1971
Philip Hartley Labour 1971 1977
James Goudie Labour 1977 1978
John Lebor Labour 1978 1981
Tom Bryson Labour 1981 1983
Martin Coleman Labour 1983 1986
Merle Amory Labour 1986 1988
Dorman Long Labour 1988 1990
Bob Blackman Conservative 1990 1996
Paul Daisley Labour Apr 1996 2001
Ann John Labour 2001 May 2006
Paul Lorber Liberal Democrats 26 Jun 2006 26 May 2010
Ann John Labour 26 May 2010 May 2012
Muhammed Butt Labour 16 May 2012


See also: Brent London Borough Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2022 the council has comprised 57 councillors representing 22 wards, with each ward electing two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[20]

Following the 2022 election the composition of the council was:

Party Councillors
Labour 49
Conservative 5
Liberal Democrats 3
Total 57

The next election is due in 2026.


Brent Town Hall, formerly Wembley Town Hall: Council's headquarters until 2013

The council is based at Brent Civic Centre on Engineers Way in the Wembley Park area of the borough. The building was purpose-built for the council and opened in 2013.[21] Prior to 2013 the council was based at Brent Town Hall, on Forty Lane in Wembley, which had been completed in 1940 for the old Wembley Borough Council, originally being called Wembley Town Hall.[22]

See also


  1. ^ "Council minutes, 17 May 2023". Brent Council. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 4 June 2014". Brent Council. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  3. ^ "How the council is structured". Brent Council. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  4. ^ "London Government Act 1963",, The National Archives, 1978 c. 33, retrieved 16 May 2024
  5. ^ "Service Level Agreement, 2020" (PDF). Harrow Council. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  6. ^ "Local Government Act 1985",, The National Archives, 1985 c. 51, retrieved 5 April 2024
  7. ^ Leach, Steve (1998). Local Government Reorganisation: The Review and its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0714648590.
  8. ^ "Love where you live - Brent Council".
  9. ^ "YouTube".
  10. ^ "Waltham Forest & Brent crowned first-ever London Boroughs of Culture". London City Hall. 27 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  14. ^ "Brent". BBC News Online. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Council minutes". Brent Council. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  16. ^ "London Boroughs Political Almanac". London Councils. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  17. ^ Passmore, Michael (2015). The responses of Labour-controlled London local authorities to major changes in housing policy, 1971–1973 (PDF). London: King's College London. p. 280. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  18. ^ "World Cup Committee". Harrow Observer. 30 December 1965. p. 22. Retrieved 6 July 2022. ...the leader of the Council, Cllr. G. B. Swannell...
  19. ^ "Mirror complains to Press Council". Daily Mirror. 5 May 1967. p. 2. Retrieved 6 July 2022. ...Councillor George Swannell, leader of the council...
  20. ^ "The London Borough of Brent (Electoral Changes) Order 2020",, The National Archives, SI 2020/66, retrieved 2 May 2024
  21. ^ "Brent's new civic centre opens". ITV. 6 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  22. ^ Historic England. "Brent Town Hall (Grade II) (1262141)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 May 2024.