There was a meeting of Camden Council on Monday, 11th September. As part of my accountability to residents, below are the actions I took at the meeting:
- I thanked the Globe Lawn Tennis Club for making a deputation to Camden Council and asked them if there is any form of break clause in the lease renewal offered by Camden that would allow them to continue to receive funding from the Lawn Tennis Association. The answer was no – meaning Camden must remove the break clause or the club will go out of business. (D)
- I was not called to ask a question of the Cabinet member for Regeneration, Transport, & Planning, but I raised my hand to ask a question about the disastrous proposed changes to the South End Gyratory and about electric vehicle charging, which Camden has criminally overlooked. (R*)
- I asked the Cabinet member for Finance & Technology about refinancing Camden’s debt, on which it pays an average of 4.8% interest: despite new debt (from the government’s Public Works Loan Board) costing just 2.1%. Specifically, I asked that the Cabinet member release more information from Capita’s report on this subject. (R)
- I criticised the Chair of the Housing Scrutiny Committee for failing to update his annual report in the five months since it was originally tabled, despite Grenfell and the Chalcots evacuation taking place in that time (actually, he did edit it – to introduce a number of spelling errors, presumably from an old version). I also criticised the chair erroneously claiming in his report that the Private Rental Sector Panel on which I sat recommended extending landlord licensing. It did no such thing – instead, it noted a lack of evidence in favour of widespread licensing and recommending collecting evidence (this licensing costs Newham £3m a year to administer – £3m that we don’t have and shouldn’t force tenants to pay through higher rents). (V)
- I asked a written question about Camden’s school performance, and why it lags behind other London boroughs, especially Westminster, at both main measures (Attainment 8 and Progress 8) any almost every demographic group. Sadly, instead of showing the level of self-criticism and high standards that we’d want of our children, the Cabinet member’s response cherry-picked data to present a view through rose-tinted glasses. (R)
- We did not get to the scheduled motions. However, I was due to propose an amendment to Labour’s motion in which I would have called for Camden to install more electric vehicle charge points. Sadly, the administration has an unambitious target of installing just 33 new charge points in the next year: nowhere near enough for a borough with a quarter of a million people and few private driveways, and a missed opportunity given the 75% funding offered by the government. (M*)
You can see a full round-up of meetings this year here.