The leader of Brent Council responded to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, describing it as something that will “test our collective mettle like never before”.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said it was doing all it can to support residents and ensure that services continue to run effectively.

He pointed out that dealing with the outbreak will require collaboration from various bodies and said the council would continue to follow national guidance from the Government and Public Health England.

“I know many of us will be understandably worried about the current coronavirus pandemic that is dominating our daily lives right now,” he said.

“It is now clear that it is set to challenge us all in ways we have never experienced before.

“What we face is without precedent in living memory and will test our collective mettle like never before.

“With all the uncertainty one thing is for sure, we will need to work together and help each other wherever and whenever we can.

“As a council, we are taking every step to prepare for the expected increase in confirmed cases of the virus and we will ensure that the vital services that you rely on from the council will continue during this difficult time.”

He added that any actions would not be politically motivated, noting that he “does not intend to talk about the many debates about the rights and wrongs of the Government’s response”.

Cllr Butt noted that some public meetings and council events have been cancelled in response to the outbreak.

He reiterated that people should follow government advice around hygiene and social distancing, particularly those who are in at-risk groups.

The council has set up a specialist page, at, to offer advice and information.

At present, schools should remain open if they can based on government advice and the council said parents would be notified should this change.

Cllr Butt added: “Whatever happens, Brent’s response will be defined by kindness and tried and tested plans.

“Brent is one of the best places to live on earth and we will rise to this challenge together and deliver a response for weeks, months, however long it takes.”