It’s now over a year since the Liberal Democrats became the Official Opposition on Camden Council, with councillors in Belsize, Fortune Green and Hampstead Town.
The team have produced an Annual Report, setting out what the Councillors have done over the year – calling for more help on the cost-of-living crisis, pushing for action on tackling climate change, and speaking up for residents on developments such as the O2 centre site.
Ward by ward, the report also sets out action that the councillors have been taking in their local areas – as in the Fortune Green example shown – where Cllr Nancy Jirira has been celebrating new and revived tenants and residents associations and addressing concerns about crime and community safety.
Camden’s Planning Committee will meet on 30 th March to consider a Planning Application from Landsec to develop the O2 Shopping Centre, car park and Homebase site between West End Lane and Finchley Road.
Local campaigner Janet Grauberg objected on behalf of West Hampstead Liberal Democrats. She said “We’re disappointed that Landsec has ignored residents’ hopes for a mixed and vibrant community and ignored suggestions to address additional congestion. A large surface level car park between two Zone 2 tube stations isn’t a good use of space, but Landsec’s plans repeatedly breach Camden Council’s planning policies and should be rejected.” The West Hampstead Lib Dem objection pointed out:
Former Lib Dem councillor Flick Rea and the local Lib Dem team have been campaigning about the need to tackle the school-run traffic on Maygrove Road, outside Kingsgate School, for years. Before Christmas, Camden Council consulted on plans to stop non-resident traffic entering Maygrove Road (between Barlow Road and Iverson Road), Ariel Road, and parts of Loveridge Road, on Mondays to Fridays during school term time only from 7.45am - 9.30am & 3.15pm – 4.45pm – more information is here.
Fortune Green councillor Nancy Jirira and West Hampstead campaigner Janet Grauberg spoke to lots of people about the proposals. The team raised some specific concerns about the proposals as drafted, especially about residents who need carers to visit, and whether any work had been done with parents and the school to develop alternatives to driving.
The proposals have now been agreed, and an 18-month trial will take place – although there’s no firm start date yet.
The Council has also approved plans for restricting access to the Broomsleigh Street/Ravenshaw Street area from Mill Lane at school times. Again, there will be a trial period, but there’s no start date. More information on this proposal is here.
Cllr Jirira, Janet and the local team will be keeping a close eye on how these trials work and if you have any concerns or issues, please get in touch on NW6libdems@gmail.com.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the NW6 Lib Dems’ annual Residents’ Survey in the autumn. The results show that the NHS was the top national concern, and the second top concern for the local area. Clean high streets, crime & anti-social behaviour and open spaces were the other main local issues.
West Hampstead campaigner Janet Grauberg said “The thing that really struck me was that 80% of people said they’d seen no improvement on West Hampstead’s high streets over the past year, despite the Labour Council spending over £150,000 on extra staff and “heritage bins”! There were also nearly 40 places that people told us were hotspots for rubbish dumping and fly-tipping – it’s clear the Council is letting West Hampstead down on this issue.”
The team is using the results to inform local campaigning, such as priorities for use of Camden Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy funds and responses to local planning and licensing applications.
Fortune Green councillor Nancy Jirira has called for Thames Water to do better, after receiving many complaints about Thames Water’s mismanagement of repairs in the local area.
Nancy said “It is shocking that there has been no proactive communication at all from Thames Water about the plan to fix the leaks, and no proactive offer of support to residents without water.
As your local Liberal Democrat councillor I have been in almost daily touch with the Labour-run Council to press them to:
I’m now working with local residents to see if we can get a representative of Thames Water to a local meeting, to hear our concerns, and asking Camden Council to set up a proper system for reaching vulnerable residents when this sort of emergency takes place.”
The leaks at the corner of Mill Lane and Fordwych Road come after chaos in the summer caused by a leak on Iverson Road and months of disruption on West End Lane and Fortune Green Road only a couple of years ago, when Thames Water overhauled the main pipes – and promised fewer leaks!