CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Questions about Gospel Oak that need answers

08 February, 2018

• CAMDEN Council should be applauded for organising an urgent Gospel Oak crime meeting on January 31.

Sir Keir Starmer MP, Georgia Gould (leader of the council) and two of the three Gospel Oak councillors were all present, but not one of our elected representatives wanted to take any questions from the 100-plus people who gave up time to attend.

So, here are my questions:

To Keir: Camden has the highest levels of scooter crime in the whole of London, representing nearly 25 per cent of all incidents.

Can you advise whether you have spoken to your colleague, the Mayor of London, to ensure that police numbers are maintained in those areas where crime is a blight on neighbourhoods, and that police station closures will be reviewed in light of the statistics?

To Georgia: The Dome in Gospel Oak is central to the provision of activities for young people, to keep them safe and off the streets (especially since youth services have been decanted to Highgate).

Yet the council has so far failed to grant the Dome a lease extension. A longer lease is essential to enable the Dome to receive funding.

I’m led to believe that the Dome has already missed out on over £100,000 of funds because their lease was not long enough. Please can you confirm when an extension will be granted and over what term?

To the Gospel Oak councillors: Community involvement, interaction and activity is central to preventing crime and keeping social cohesion.

Yet, in the two-and-a-half years since the council (in fact Georgia Gould as then cabinet member for markets) took over running Queen’s Crescent Market from the community, average stall numbers have dropped from around 50 to about five!

Gospel Oak councillors made the market central to their election campaigns twice in 2017. In 2016 the market was at the top of the priorities in the council-run consultation, which is now being buried!

Please can you say what you have actually done since being elected that benefits the market? Or, when you made promises on your election leaflets, did you already know from you colleagues on the council that they would offer no support and continue to allow the market to dwindle away?

Perhaps my impressions are all wrong. I sincerely hope so. You all have my contact details. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

STEPHEN CROSHER
Liberal Democrat Candidate for Gospel Oak ward

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