CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

With the violence councillors and officers should be accountable

19 September, 2019

• THE “wrap-around” advertisement (Our Democracy is Dying, September 12) is equally relevant to the political élite of Camden as it is to national politics.

Last week we saw the slaughter of three people and serious injury of three others. Your newspaper revealed the longer term situation since September 2017 – 13 youth violence deaths to date – and we know that many serious injuries do not make the press. Even the local police worry about the morale of their officers.

A year ago Camden Council produced an excellent glossy report on how to tackle the issues of youth violence. What is needed is a strategic plan for the borough as a whole, linked to local plans. Instead all we get from the council is a wringing of hands and, no doubt, more meetings and consultations which are then ignored.

The kick in the teeth was the decision of councillors to vote themselves increases in “salaries”; in some cases well over £10,000 per year, presumably as an increased performance award! Note that some even get a £142 “bicycle” allowance.

If there was a “democracy” in Camden those who have failed so tragically to address youth violence in the borough would resign and seek re-election.

Relevant senior officers should, as part of their annual performance appraisal, be given warnings that if the situation did not improve their future employment would be at risk.

This is not going to happen I suspect and we shall carry on with the “New normal” headlined by your paper. With yet more fatalities. What is the answer for us mere ordinary residents, especially those with children? Move?

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