There was a meeting of Camden Council on Monday, 8th April. As part of my accountability to residents, below are the actions I took at the meeting.
- In the themed debate on Health Inequalities, I raised two specific issues: regarding the incredibly low vaccination rates in Camden and (again) the incredibly low take-up rate of free school meals. A third of all children in Camden do not receive their MMR: three times as many as nationally. Meanwhile, almost half of all Camden secondary school pupils that claim free school meals don’t actually eat them: by far the highest proportion nationally. Both of these drive significant health inequalities. I also offered to co-author letters to the government backing the full roll-out of PrEP and opposing HS2: two issues that Labour councillors raised. (T)
- I gave my speech as Leader of the Opposition expressing solidarity with Christchurch after the terrorist attacks there and in Camden after the stabbing the previous week. I noted, in case we didn’t get on to it later, that although I had tabled an amendment to the Labour motion on Islamophobia, Conservatives would still back the substantive motion if it weren’t amended.
- I noted in response to a report on minor constitutional changes that as part of it, the Audit & Corporate Governance Committee agreed that it would review not just petition thresholds, but also deputations. This is in light of a number of deputations being inexplicably rejected, such as a deputation on maintenance of street trees at the April meeting. (R)
- I voted to abstain on the Lib Dem motion to end landlord’s automatic right to evict tenants after the end of their tenancy. This is in-keeping with Camden Conservatives’ policy of not endorsing the use of council meetings, officers’ time, and taxpayers’ money to lobby national government (we thus always abstain on such issues). (V)
- I tabled an amendment to Labour’s motion on Islamophobia. We felt that it missed an opportunity to (a) develop an international consensus around what is Islamophobia is and how to combat it, and (b) adopt the recommendations of the Runnymede Trust. I urged the adoption of those recommendations, such as the teaching of history of BAME people in the UK within the core curriculum and not confined solely to the history of colonialism. (A)
- I voted for the Conservative amendment to the Labour motion on Islamophobia, and for the unamended substantive motion. (V)