CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

It’s no surprise the council leader is stepping down

26 February, 2021

Cllr Richard Watts

• IT is not big news or a surprise that Cllr Richard Watts is stepping down after almost eight years as the leader of Islington Council, (I won’t miss the party’s factionalism, says council leader as he steps down, February 26).

I know, as does he, that Islington Labour will not re-elect him at the May 2021 Islington Labour Group AGM.

Under his leadership, the Low Traffic Neighbourhood decision was taken without consultations with residents; knife crime is sky high and social housing repairs are atrocious, all under his watch. Notwithstanding, the overspend of £6million on Bunhill Energy 2 – his legacy and leadership.

Take a good look at some of the organisations the council funds with taxpayers’ money. They are barely equipped to deliver to the rich mix of Islington’s diverse population, and it is no wonder community groups who are vocal about discontent have been silenced because the leader does not agree with them.

After working so long in the voluntary sector and being a councillor in Islington, I cannot help but notice how the working class and BAME communities have been left behind under Cllr Watts’s leadership.

The list goes on. Islington residents need better and more diverse political representations.

CLLR RAKHIA ISMAIL
Former Mayor of Islington Islington Conservative Federation

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