There was a meeting of Camden Council on Monday, 16th July. As part of my accountability to residents, below are the actions I took at the meeting.
- I thanked the volunteers at the Hampstead Forum (and Camden officers) for successfully getting the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan approved in the referendum in June. (A)
- I gave my first speech as Leader of the Opposition celebrating Camden’s diversity and noted that Camden Conservatives would be focusing on issues within the council’s control to help residents, not matters of national or international policy that we have no control over (the council leader responded by attacking national policy!). I also noted my commitment to the borough, having lived in six of its wards, having gone to university locally, having a mother that lives in Frognal & Fitzjohns, and having a father that was abandoned and adopted as a baby in Kentish Town. The leader of Camden’s Lib Dems responded, “I have never heard a Conservative group leader in all the years I’ve been on the council state his passionate convictions about Camden in quite the same way as Councillor Cooper.” Which was nice. (M)
- I gave notice of a question I wanted to ask about electric car charging points, but I wasn’t called to ask it, so Labour’s failures on this issue continue unabated. (Q*)
- I seconded Cllr Maria Higson’s amendment to Labour’s poorly thought-through motion on adult social care. Their motion took a deeply conspiratorial slant – alleging that the government was delaying the White Paper on adult social care so it could slash it in the spending review, rather than the obvious reason that the Government just announced £20bn of extra funding for the NHS and it needs to be considered how to make the most of this. Integration of health and adult social care is vital, yet Labour treat it as a fig leaf behind which there must be a conspiracy – yet this is a Labour Party that sees a conspiracy behind every blade of grass. (M)
- I seconded Cllr Steve Adams’s motion calling for the chair and the terms of reference of Phase 2 of the Chalcots review to be independently appointed to rebuild residents’ trust and to ensure we get to the bottom of why the safety risks at the Chalcots were not addressed before the evacuation. This was opposed by Labour, although they conceded that they would consult external bodies when setting the terms of reference. However, they made no such commitment regarding the chair, implying they would appoint someone to fit the outcome, not the technical demands of the job. (M)