CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

There are bigger issues in the borough than the bins

08 February, 2018

• FURTHER to the letter from Conservatives in Frognal and Fitzjohns (Weekly bin collections? February 1)

Since Camden introduced a two-weekly bin collection last year, the Tories seem to have become increasingly obsessed with bin collections and rubbish.

I acknowledge that the transition from weekly to fortnightly collections has had teething problems and is not without fault, and I also acknowledge public and environmental health is very important. But, I ask, is this all they’ve got to talk about? I see many bins packed with materials that are recyclable. Perhaps they could encourage residents to try to recycle more?

It appears local Conservatives use a manipulative strategy, both on the doorstep and on social media, to bring up and “weaponise” the changes in bin collections just to get at local Labour and Camden Council; while simultaneously not coming clean with residents, to let them know their own party in government has made huge cuts; leaving the council with no choice but to cut back somewhere.

Our borough has so many other issues that are also of concern to residents: homelessness, school cuts, food poverty, child poverty, shortage of mental health services and provision, loneliness and isolation among the elderly, a rise in crime, insecure and low-paid jobs and poor air quality.

With half of our annual budget cut, an estimated £80million decrease in funding, the council is then expected by the Tories, unbelievably, to deliver the same frequency and quality of services.

In the last week there have been reports of a sharp increase in rough sleeping. Camden mayor Richard Cotton stated it’s the “worst housing crisis since the Second World War” with a seven-fold increase in homeless people on the streets.

He said the biggest increase of homeless people, recorded in Camden on one night in November 2017, was part of a problem which wouldn’t be solved until government looked at house building policy and priorities.

He added: “You won’t solve the issue until we solve that crisis. You need a radical programme to build affordable homes in London, many at the moment are built by overseas investors.”

I challenge local Conservatives to tell us: How would you manage the crippling and devastating cuts to the council budget, that the government has imposed on our borough, if you yourselves were currently in power, at Camden Council? And why won’t you discuss the homeless?

ELAINE DONNELLON
Address supplied

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