CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Let’s have a blue plaque to the memory of campaigner John White

12 April, 2018

John White

• THOSE of us involved in the library campaign nearly two decades ago read the news of the death of former Camden councillor John White with a sadness mixed with deep gratitude for his work with Camden Public Libraries User Group (CPLUG) in mobilising 13 Labour councillors to change their mind over a decision the council had previously taken to close some of its libraries.

His cross-party work led to an unprecedented second vote on the closure plans. This resulted in the council reversing (by a single vote) its previous decision, thus ensuring the continued existence of its libraries.

John was a free spirit, a passionate believer in local cultural activities and local community groups – a warm, funny, exceptionally approachable person – a listener with a quiet determination to do what he felt was socially right.

After his move from Camden and his selection (where his library success in Camden was enthusiastically praised by the selection board), then election, as councillor in Barking and Dagenham he was one of the 246 local councillors in the UK who co-signed the now-famous letter of June 2016 supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in the face of the (sadly continuing) efforts to undermine him.

In these politically dark days we need politicians like John. We should remember him by putting up a blue plaque in one of Camden’s libraries.

TOM SELWYN
Former chair, CPLUG

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