He says he is very proud of the council’s success in avoiding the kind of community cohesion tensions that have bedevilled some other racially mixed boroughs.
This success is partly down to the ethnically mixed nature of Brent’s workforce, he argues.
“We’re the only local authority in the country to have an ethnic minority majority workforce, for example. We have worked really hard to make sure that the organisation is representative of our diverse communities.”
“We don’t have an army of diversity advisers,” he says, explaining that the mainstream workforce does the job instead. “That’s one of the strengths of having such a diverse workforce.”
“When a majority of your customers are non-white and don’t have English as a first language, that becomes mainstreamed in the organisation.”
He gives as an example, the work done by the council’s schools.
“Our schools have done a fantastic job. We have had wave after wave of asylum seeker children and people of different racial backgrounds coming into the borough.
"We are one of the 25% most deprived local authorities in the country, but we are in the top 25% for education outcomes so that suggests to me that we are doing something right.”