CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Exclusive: Georgia Gould launches bid to be next leader of Camden Council

Vacancy for top job at Town Hall open after Sarah Hayward announced plans to step down next month

09 April, 2017 — By Richard Osley

Sarah Hayward and Georgia Gould 

LABOUR councillor Georgia Gould has told colleagues that she wants to be the next leader of Camden Council, the New Journal can reveal.

To little surprise among members of the ruling group at the Town Hall, the 30-year-old ended growing speculation by sending an email which set out her bid to fill the vacancy caused by current leader Sarah Hayward’s decision to step down.

Cllr Hayward sent shockwaves through the Town Hall workforce on Wednesday with an announcement that, after five years in the top job, she is to step away from council politics and will not seek re-election at the group’s annual general meeting on May 2. She plans to serve as a backbencher for 12 months before leaving the council altogether.

Cllr Gould, the council’s social care chief, and named as the likely front-runner in Thursday’s New Journal, is so far the only councillor to put her name forward as a possible successor, and is understood to have heavy support among members who voted to keep Cllr Hayward as leader during a leadership contest last year.

In her email to Labour councillors, Cllr Gould said: “Camden is my home, it is where I grew up. The borough gave me a brilliant comprehensive education. But I also remember being very aware of how kids at my school could have completely different experiences because of their backgrounds. I left my school with a strong sense that despite a brilliant education, we could still fail some students because of their lack of family opportunity. That sense of inequality has driven everything I have done ever since and there has been no greater privilege for me than representing Kentish Town ward.”

She also wrote in the 1,200-word email: “I am also committed to this being a borough where we care for each other at every stage of people’s lives and where our different communities stand together. To do this we need to build on our history to keep on offering a real alternative to austerity Britain. If any borough can show that the cuts, the national isolationism and Conservative small mindedness can’t break our spirit, it is Camden. I want to invite everyone who lives or works in Camden to be part of building this alternative. And one of the first things I would do as leader is set up a Camden Citizen’s Forum representing every part of our community to discuss the future of our borough.”

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