2 Apr 2022

Introducing Martin Francis your Green candidate for Tokyngton


I was privileged to be asked to stand as a council candidate in Tokyngton by residents.  They were not happy with the service they receive from the current Labour incumbents and wanted a positive alternative who had the ward’s needs as his priority.


Residents had written to Muhammed Butt (Leader of Brent Council) about their concerns and had received no response. An article on my blog Wembley Matters and their presentation of a petition to Brent Council eventually produced some action in the run up to the council election.


I was previously headteacher at a Wembley primary school and developed a close relationship with parents and the local community. This opened my eyes to the issues they faced and when I retired I set up my local blog to campaign for environmental and social justice.  My aim was to give a platform to people whose voices are unheard, ignored or disparaged and put pressure on the council for more transparency and accountability.


My particular concern has been the over-close relationship between the council leadership and developers which has resulted in over-development and the gradual swamping of classic suburban Metroland in the Wembley area by densely-packed, high-rise flats that despite the council’s claims are not affordable to local people.


I continue to be involved in primary education and champion a broad, creative curriculum, rich in the arts and music, rather than a narrow pursuit of tests results. After retirement I ran a voluntary organisation, Brent Schools Without Walls, offering free environmental education to primary pupils in Fryent Country Park. I fought with others against the closure of Stonebridge Adventure Playground and the loss of six of our local libraries, including Tokyngton.


The almost one-party Brent Council needs an effective opposition passionate about Brent and its people. Make your vote count – even one Green in the council chamber can help make a difference.

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