The Camden New Journal has today covered my and the local Conservatives’ campaign for Camden to re-open Oriel Place Gardens.

Labour have said they will be keeping it locked for the time being, and have refused to transfer the property from the Housing department to the more appropriate Parks and Open Spaces team.

Labour disingenuously insist that they’ll keep the Gardens locked due to anti-social behaviour. However, we have had several discussions – with both commercial and community non-commercial organisations – about having staff lock the gate at night.

If Camden feel this simple task can’t be left to local people, a single Camden officer could alternatively spend a few minutes a day locking it up at night and unlocking it in the morning. This would ensure that the Gardens could not be a magnet for anti-social behaviour after hours, as Tinseltown on Heath Street sadly has been.

Labour have yet to give a reasonable answer to why they want to keep this would-be community space locked. Until they do, I’ll keep campaigning to re-open and restore this gem in the heart of Hampstead.

For more about my campaign for a greener Hampstead, click here.