Full Council is the most senior part of Camden Council and comprises all of Camden’s 54 councillors. It meets seven times a year. Sadly, because Camden has a Labour majority, it means that most of the major decisions are taken away from Full Council.

However, Full Council does give the opportunity to members to raise vital points on behalf of constituents, which constituents ask me to do regularly. With 54 councillors, only a minority of councillors get to speak even once in each meeting, and we often don’t get to motions or questions that I have tabled.

I’ve listed below all the occasions on which I have voted, spoken, or was slated to speak in Full Council. They are denoted (V) for votes, (R) for questions on reports, (D) for questions to deputations, (Q) for questions to Cabinet members, (O) for speeches in open session, (M) for motions, or (A) for amendments to motions. An asterisk (*) denotes that the tabled question or motion wasn’t heard.

18 April 2016

  1. I asked Hampstead resident Jessica Learmont-Criqui, who was giving a deputation on air quality in Hampstead, about the effect of traffic during the afternoon school run and the possible addition to it from the Abacus Belsize Free School moving to Hampstead. (D)
  2. I asked a Unison representative, who was giving a deputation on the government’s education White Paper, whether he supported the sole provision in the White Paper on governors. He did, which I was pleased to hear. (D)
  3. In response to the Cabinet member for Community Safety’s annual report, I asked about using more enforcement powers against unlawful shisha bar operation on Fortune Green Road. (R)
  4. As part of my push to save Camden’s public toilets, I asked about the breakdown of their costs between staffing, maintenance, and Business Rates. (Q*)
  5. I queried how Camden could possibly hit its target for 50% of homes to be affordable housing when that required 97% of future homes to be affordable. No answer was forthcoming. (Q)
  6. I proposed an amendment to remove factual inaccuracies from Labour’s motion on the education White Paper. Sadly, despite the obvious and deliberate lies in it, they voted it through anyway. (A*)
  7. I was scheduled to propose a motion on delivering cleaner air in Camden, which is an issue perennially brought up on the doorstep. Sadly, the Lib Dems and Labour blocked it being heard. (M*)
  8. In place of the above local motion, the Lib Dems, Labour, and Greens pushed a motion talking about foreign policy: and praising our membership of the European Union. This has absolutely nothing to do with local councils – and, worse, as Camden Council is in charge of elections in Camden, will actually be administering part of the referendum – so I felt it inappropriate for the Council to take a position, so I abstained. (A*)

29 February 2016

  1. In the debate on the annual Budget, raised the importance to residents of notifications of planning applications and weekly bin collections, which were to be cut. (R)
  2. Voted for the Conservatives’ amendment to Camden’s Budget to preserve front-line services, cut Council Tax, and reduce waste and against Labour’s budget amendment to increase Council Tax (it was approved nonetheless). (V)
  3. Voted against any increase in allowances for councillors (it was approved nonetheless). (V)
  4. Asked the Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities, and Culture about what work had been done to improve publicly-available wi-fi, and called for Camden to follow the example set by New York City and deploy super-fast public wi-fi. (R)
  5. Asked the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport, and Planning how many homes pending approval by Camden were affordable. He answered that just 18% were: requiring (by my back-of-the-envelope calculation) that an impossible 97% of any further homes constructed by affordable to hit Labour’s promised 50% affordability. (R)
  6. Asked the Leader of the Council how many Freedom of Information requests had been made to Camden, how many it had answered on time, how many had been answered outside the time limit, and how many had been declined and why. (R)
  7. Congratulated Euston Town on becoming London’s 50th Business Improvement District and praised the work of the NW3 Business Association on initiating the NW3 BID. (O)
  8. Proposed a motion praising West Hampstead and Fortune Green’s community and noted that it had suffered extensively from neglect under Camden’s current administration. (M*)
  9. Proposed an amendment to Labour’s motion opposing legislation to reform trade union practices to reduce strikes, particularly in essential public services. (A*)

25 January 2016

  1. Voted against the imposition of a Late Night Levy (it passed nonetheless). (V)
  2. Asked the Leader of the Council about Camden’s actions to reduce the risk of radicalisation in Camden in light of recent terrorist atrocities. (Q*)
  3. Asked the Cabinet member for Regeneration, Transport, and Planning whether revenue from the Community Infrastructure Levy could be used to create endowments to fund services in perpetuity, such as public toilets at South End Green. (Q)
  4. Proposed an amendment to Labour’s motion blaming the national government for Camden’s failure to conserve local areas, noting the Conservatives’ introduction of Neighbourhood Plans and other schemes. (A*)
  5. Seconded a motion calling for Camden not to raise Council Tax, and noting the success of Boris Johnson in reducing Council Tax while delivering a 20% cut in crime, record investment in London’s transport network, and an increase in house-building. (M*)

16 November 2015

  1. Seconded a motion calling for postal notifications of planning applications in neighbouring properties to be retained in the face of planned abolition by Labour. (M)
  2. Proposed an amendment to Labour’s motion on housing, noting Camden’s failure to deliver affordable housing – having built just one third as many homes under Labour as Conservative-run Barnet – and measures adopted by Zac Goldsmith and the Conservatives nationally to deliver more affordable housing. (A)

16 September 2015

  1. Asked the Cabinet member for Regeneration, Transport, and Planning to take urgent action to prevent the excavation of a basement that would shut down Hampstead’s world-famous AIR Studios. The Cabinet member answered that no further action was needed. (Q)
  2. Spoke about the need to treat mental health as seriously as we treat physical illness, in light of the sad death of my friend Elliott Johnson the previous day. RIP, EJ. (O)
  3. Seconded a motion showing solidarity with the people of Syria and welcoming the actions taken by the British government in helping refugees from Syria. (M*)
  4. Proposed a motion congratulating Her Majesty the Queen on becoming the longest-serving monarch in British history that month and notes Her Majesty’s tireless work at the age of 89 and Her Majesty’s distinguished role at seminal moments in Camden’s history. (M*)

22 June 2015

  1. Asked the Cabinet member for Housing to work with other Cabinet members to reopen in Hampstead villag’s Oriel Place Gardens, which Camden owns and has kept locked and unused, despite being a brilliant potential public green space. (Q)
  2. Proposed an amendment to Labour’s motion, defending council tenants’ Right To Buy and the extension of Right To Buy to Housing Association tenants to promote home ownership. Labour’s motion was riddled with inaccuracies about how Housing Associations work and ignored Labour’s woeful housebuilding record and the millions given by the Conservative government to support housebuilding. (A)

20 May 2015

  1. This meeting was the annual statutory meeting, at which the Mayor is elected. Ordinary business is not conducted at these meetings, so there was no opportunity to speak, but I was delighted that one of my constituents, Cllr Larraine Revah, was elected Mayor of Camden for 2015/16.