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In the face of government austerity, we will not sit idly by

12 April, 2018

• LOUIS Loizou’s letter (Oppose this ‘New Labour Project’, April 5) poses more questions than alternatives it must be said.

Specifically he asks how many leisure facilities have been lost to fund the new homes delivered by the council. The answer is zero tennis courts, zero football pitches, zero children’s play areas and no green space has been lost overall as part of our programme.

As well as delivering over 230 much-needed family council homes and more than 66 Camden Living Rent homes for key workers, like nurses and teachers, we have delivered improved leisure and community facilities too.

This is not a political project but a partnership between the council and our communities. We have worked with our communities to deliver the sorts of improvements residents want, whether this is a new community centre and sports pitches (Camden Street), new garden courtyards and playgrounds (Cherry Court and Chester Balmore), a new TRA hall and multi-use games area (Bourne Estate), a new school (420-place Kingsgate school), or new homes and estate-wide improvements (such as Maiden Lane).

We design and build our schemes in partnership with residents, making sure that investment addresses local needs, and new playgrounds and improved public space are often a core part of these.

Every home built for sale funds the council homes built, at council rents. There is no profit. The council pours all receipts back into our community. This is not about selling things off but public investment.

Camden remains the freeholder on our estate regeneration schemes and our community organisations and schools have facilities fit for the future.

The CIP community investment programme has been set up to deal with the impacts of government cuts. All our investment comes with almost no government support. We are desperate to go further.

We want to build even more social housing, with 5,000 families on the waiting list. Of the residents moving into our Camden Living Rent homes 60 per cent work in public sector roles including nurses, teachers and police officers, and 27 per cent are sons or daughters of Camden social housing tenants.

We have over 800 people on the waiting list – we need more Camden Living Rent homes. To do this we need the government to do their bit.

They should reverse their cuts to funding for new homes and schools and back Camden to get on and build. A vote for Camden Labour in May is a call on the government to give us the funding and powers we need.

In the face of prolonged government austerity we won’t sit idly by. We want to strengthen our neighbourhoods and diverse communities and make sure everyone has a place they are proud to call home.

Labour candidate for Cantelowes ward


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