CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Collapse of democracy

10 June, 2021

Carlton Primary School

• NOT content with demolishing our homes and places of employment and closing our school, Camden has embarked on an experiment to close our roads.

So far as is known no impact assessment on the lives of those who live, work, go to school, pray or play, in the area has been done.

But the real issue is that this is yet one more example of the collapse of democracy, consultation and accountability of the council across the borough.

“Support” for the closure scheme is in fact that of just over 100 respondents who live in the designated area. It was, allegedly, the brainchild of the secret assembly whose report is yet to be published.

Presumably the road closure outside the school was discussed by the Carlton Community Provision Working Group, which is composed mainly of council officers, which also meets in secret.

As reported in the CNJ, its chair refuses to speak to the CNJ and has excluded some residents from even writing to him.

Add to this suspension of council contact with housing groups. It would seem that the Labour councillor group, again meeting in secret, discusses some of the major issues but this is not revealed to those of us who pay for their recently considerably increased allowances, even if we are members of that party.

It is obviously a secret who is behind the continuing secrecy. Is it cabinet members or senior officers with something to hide like the Talacre land sale loss of nearly £4million?

Or the Chalcots PFI £130million refurbishment scandal, or the failed £5million Waites Chalcots refurbishment contract?

Questions on the number of consultant firms working on the secret Gospel Oak vision and costs (we believe some 10 firms and costs in excess of £500k) are ignored.

Solution? Back-bench councillors to ask questions and divulge information. Residents to write to the press. There’s also a vote next May.

MICK FARRANT, NW5

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