CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The Community Investment Programme is a scandal

22 March, 2018

• THE “community conversation” at St Luke’s church on March 20 tackled the subject of anti-social behaviour.

While youths getting involved in gangs is not just down to a lack of facilities, having little useful to do is at least part of the problem.

To that end, the ongoing scandal of new Labour Camden’s so-called Community Investment Programme (CIP) must be addressed.

Over a period of 15 years it will provide a net gain of just over 40 council flats per year. To do this Camden is building a far greater number of private flats and town houses for sale on the open market.

To facilitate these builds, Camden is utilising what it regards as “spare land”. This includes children’s play areas, football pitches, tennis courts and green spaces.

On the Raglan estate in Kentish Town, they produced plans to plant town houses for private sale on both ends of our main green.

In addition they wanted to confiscate our main children’s play area and small football pitch in order to facilitate the building of a five-storey block of flats for private sale on our garage block. For the time being Camden has gone quiet on these plans.

At the community conversation both council leader Georgia Gould and cabinet member for safer communities Nadia Shah expressed their horror at the recent stabbings in the borough and pledged to do all they could to improve the lives of young people in Camden.

They could make a start by scrapping all plans to build on our play areas etc. New Labour Camden could also restore the £3million a year they have removed from youth services since 2011.

When new Labour ruled Britain for 13 years they barely built a council flat. They also gave the green light for the sale and private development of 67 acres of railway lands at King’s Cross. How many council flats could all that land have provided?

And let us not forget how that same new Labour government originally refused to invest in refurbishing our council blocks unless we signed up to arms-length management or outright stock transfer until the late great Alan Walter stood up to them and won a battle for a third option to be included on the ballot paper; that of remaining directly under council control with no strings attached to the investment for refurbishing our blocks.

Many of the devotees of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are the very councillors who promote the CIP as a “good deal” for the people of Camden. It is anything but.

LOUIS LOIZOU
NW5

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