CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The council should act to grant a long lease to GOAL on a slashed or no-rent

11 April, 2019

• ANOTHER young life has been wasted, his family and friends bereaved and fear increased across our community, (Calvin Bungisa murder: Police appealing for ‘key witness’, April 8).

The CNJ has been right to stress the sickening familiarity of the responses to Calvin Bungisa’s death and the likelihood of short-term rhetoric failing to lead to long-term change.

It is welcome that figures across the political landscape, from the London mayor to the prime minister, have now started using the language of public health approaches and talk of the need to learn from Glasgow’s experience.

Real action now needs to follow, involving the police, schools, councils and communities working together. It is clear that the loss of several thousand youth clubs across the country, and at least 100 across London in recent years, has been part of the cause of the rise in knife crime. And it is clear they will be part of the solution.

There will need to be a thorough and comprehensive review of youth provision across Camden and in Gospel Oak in particular. While all the discussions go on, we make an immediate and focused suggestion to the council.

Queen’s Crescent Community Association and Gospel Oak Action Link provide excellent youth clubs at the Hub, a couple of hundred yards from where Calvin died, but with one hand tied behind their back.

With public money much reduced they need to fundraise to survive but short-term leases prevent grant applications and high rent makes fundraising harder.

The council were right finally to allow the Arts Gallery to return to its work after eight wasted months. They should now grant GOAL a long lease on slashed or no rent, or the shutters will come down here too.

MATTHEW KIRK
Chair Holborn & St Pancras Liberal Democrats

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