Petition asking the leader of the Council to intervene in the recent overruling of councillors attracts support from all throughout Camden
Note: We have heard from Camden that contrary to reports, the panel did not make a recommendation and was therefore not ‘overruled’. We are seeking clarification of the facts of the matter. Although Camden wrote a letter to the Camden New Journal in explanation, they chose not to publish it.
The article as originally written follows:
Save Bloomsbury, along with other prominent organisations throughout Camden, have united to condemn the recent decision by Mr David Joyce, Director for Regeneration and Planning, to overrule the Members Briefing Panel.
Janine Sachs, chair of Save Swiss Cottage, contacted organisations throughout Camden to ask for support for her letter to the leader of the council, Georgia Gould, asking for her to intervene in the decision made by Mr Joyce. By what mechanism this could be achieved is unknown, as Mr Joyce has acted in accordance with Camden’s constitution.
The chairpersons of fourteen groups all across Camden signed the letter, and after it was sent at 16:39 on Monday, multiple amendments had to be made as further organisations put their not inconsiderable support behind it.
Significant organisations in our area such as Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group and the Covent Garden Community Association signed the petition, along with the Bloomsbury Conservation Areas Advisory Committee.
We now wait to see how the leader of the council responds.
Is This Important?
As was expressed in many letters and our own article, the democratic deficit runs deep in Camden, and this is simply the latest in a string of undemocratic decisions. The particular outcome of this exercise will have little effect on the systematic failings in Camden.
It will serve as a point of interest to see whether the leader of the council will side in favour of her councillors or the local civil service, or indeed whether the power wielded by Mr Joyce overrules her own.
However it does represent an important unification of support from organisations throughout Camden. It shows that not just those in Bloomsbury – described by Camden as ‘well-heeled retirees’ – hold significant concerns about the way decisions are made. It does raise the question that if concern is widespread throughout Camden, who exactly does Camden serve to benefit?
It perhaps signifies the first of many further exercises whereby groups throughout Camden can unite to protest about issues affecting us all.
Save Swiss Cottage
Cresta House Residents’ Association
Winchester Road Residents’ Association
Elsworthy Residents’ Association
Save Swiss Cottage Action Group
Bloomsbury Conservation Areas Advisory Committee
Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group
Somers Town Neighbourhood Forum
Covent Garden Community Association
Heath & Hampstead Society
Netherhall Neighbourhood Association
Combined Residents of South Hampstead