Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Disorder in Camden

I spent this morning talking to residents living near Chalk Farm road about the disorder that occurred last night. I also attended a briefing session for local businesses at which senior members of staff from Camden Council and the Police updated us. Since then I have been in constant communication with residents, businesses and police and council officers.

The police did not manage to regain control of the situation last night until 5am. A number of shop fronts were smashed and several stores on Chalk Farm Road were looted.

We have been given firm reassurances that there will be a larger and better resourced police presence tonight. Of course, if there is disorder elsewhere in London, police may have to attend to that.

Local businesses are putting in extra measures including securing their shop fronts and hiring extra security.

I was heartened to see so many people volunteer to tidy up the high street this morning. I was also glad to see what a professional job the Council's street cleaning department did. When I did my first walk about before 8am this morning, most of the debris and broken glass had already been removed.

I have told the street services so secure all skips in the area and to ensure that bins are emptied, to ensure that bottles etc are not used as weapons.

I would urge you all to check on any friends or neighbours that you think might be lonely or afraid. It is very easy in a situation like this for us all to retreat into our own homes, but we must also provide any help we can to our friends and neighbours. If you have a neighbour that you would like me to talk to then please do send their contact details to thomas.neumark@Camden.gov.uk

I will be monitoring the situation tonight to ensure that the police provide an effective and proportionate service so that we can peacefully enjoy our wonderful neighbourhood.

Best wishes

Councillor Thomas Neumark

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Consolidating Camden Council's offices

I support Camden Labour party's decision to consolidate many of Camden council’s office buildings into two buildings, one in Bidborough street and a new building in Kings Cross.


This will come at no cost to the tax payer.

The new building will be funded through two sources. Firstly, by selling The Crowndale Centre, Bedford House in Camden High Street NW1, Clifton House on Euston Road, offices in Cockpit Yard, 98-100 St Pancras Way, the Town Hall extension on Argyle Street, and 156 West End Lane. Secondly, by taking out a loan which will be paid back through the savings we make through having a lower repairs bill.


The alternative would have been to sell these same building, apart from the Town Hall extension, and to use the money to repair the Town Hall extension. Over 25 years this option would have cost us somewhere in the region of £70 million.


I do not believe that we can legitimately cut further services in order to maintain inefficient buildings that are badly in need of repair when we have an option that costs us nothing and gives us a new building.


There is more detail about these decisions here http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/council-and-democracy/plans-and-policies/camden-strategies-&-partnerships/corporate-accommodation-strategy-.en

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Camden Labour party opposes High Speed Rail

Camden Cabinet’s position on HS2



As it stands the HS2 proposals are unacceptable to Camden. We oppose them.



The loss of our housing, the threat to our communities and blight created by a decade of both uncertainty and building works are not mitigated by any significant gain to Camden's communities that would come close to offsetting this harm.



We will fight the proposals for our communities. If the Government does decide to go ahead, we will fight to get significantly more council housing and other additional improvements to replace the community amenities that are under threat.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

High Speed Rail

As you probably know the Government plans to build a new high speed rail link between Euston and Birmingham.

The consultation document that the government has put out on this is very weak. There is little detail or clarity in it.

What is clear is that the current proposal will cause planning blight to Primrose Hill and surrounding areas and disturbances from construction of tunnels and then the operation of trains.

The Labour party is nationally reviewing its position on the question of High Speed Rail.

To have your say fill out this very quick survey

http://www.britainbetterconnected.org.uk/Britain_Better_Connected/Welcome.html

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Charity football match

I was very proud to be invited to play in a football match with some of the young people who access Camden council's youth homelessness services.

They were a great bunch of lads who deserved to beat us old timers!




The future of the library

As you will now the Tory-led central government is rapidly cutting the amount of money it gives to Camden council. This means savings and cuts have to be made across all the services which the council provides from adult social care to planning to street cleaning.

The Chalk Farm library in Primrose Hill is a much loved institution. It is not open nearly as much as we would all like but when it is open it is popular with young and old. However, there is a real possibility that this library could be closed if we cannot find another way to make the savings and cuts that we need to make.

The Council has started a consultation on the future of the library services. If you click on the link below you will be given lots of background information about the various ways in which are being looked at. Please do complete the survey or email me at thomas.neumark@camden.gov.uk

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Workshops in Primrose Hill

The entirely non-political Transition Town Primrose Hill have organised a series of workshops on a whole range of things. They are all about learning new skills. Below is the list but please note that these are only for people who live in the Chalk Farm/Primrose hill area;

LEARN TO SEW BAGS with a difference

decorate using applique and patchwork
We hope this will become a group of 'sociable guerilla bagmakers' (see www.morsbags.com) making bags to give away and reduce plastic bag use.
On Tuesday 8 February 7 to 10pm
At Sew Much Fun
Cost £3.00
Bring old curtains or sheets to re use
Booking essential
Ring PHCA on 0207 586 8327
Or email info@primorsehill.org

MARMALADE MAKING!
Come and make marmalade together.
Saturday 5 February 2.30 to 4.30pm
at St Paul’s School Kitchen
Cost £3.00
Booking essential
Ring PHCA on 0207 586 8327
Or email info@transitionprimrosehill.org

CURTAIN LINING MADE SIMPLE
Save heat and money
No sewing, just cutting and ironing
Tuesday 17 February 10.30 to 12.30
At Oldfield
cost £7.00 to include material to take away
Booking essential
Ring PHCA on 0207 586 8327
Or email info@transitionprimrosehill.org

Sunday, 9 January 2011

High Speed Rail 2

There is a lot of concern still about the proposed route of the new high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

A local group has been set up with the support of all local councillors. You can read more detail here, there is also a lot of official documents including maps available here

Rail fares

Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson is increasing fares above-inflation this January for the third year in a row and Conservative Chancellor George Osborne is hitting rail users with fare rises averaging more than SIX percent - with many up by more than ten percent.

You can sign a petition against these rises here

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Cuts

Central Government cuts mean tough decisions for Camden - get the story so far in Camden

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

ASBOs

Excellent news that, at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday 15th November 2010, a 31 year old man was convicted of offering to supply cannabis in Camden Town.

He was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for 1 year and given a 5 year ASBO prohibiting him from entering Camden Town.

This is the 173rd ASBO to be obtained by Camden Town with Primrose Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

ASBOs are not to everyone's liking but they are certainly an important part of combating the drugs trade in Camden Town.

Changes to cycling on canal

Many people have contacted me to complain about the way cyclists use the canal.

I am a keen cyclist myself but I agree that the canal towpath is just too small for people to cycle along.

That is why Camden council have come up with a proposal to move cyclists off the towpath and instead to take this route;

from east to west;

Copenhagen Street, York Way, Goods Way, Camley Street, Agar Grove, St Pancras
Way, Randolph Street, Camden Road, Bonny Street, Camden Street, Camden
Gardens, Kentish Town Road, Hawley Crescent, Camden High Street, Jamestown
Road, Oval Road, Gloucester Avenue, Regent’s Park Road, St Marks Square, St
Marks Bridge, and Outer Circle.

Any thoughts? Let me know at thomas.neumark@camden.gov.uk

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Regulations on sexual entertainment venues

Camden Council has launched a consultation on the regulation of sexual entertainment venues.

You can respond by clicking here

My view is that we should limit the number of these venues as far as possible, and we should ensure that there are not high concentrations of these venues in any one place.

If you have a large number these places next to each other it can create an intimidating atmosphere.

If you agree, or have a different view, you can email me on thomas. neumark@camden.gov.uk

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Councillor pay frozen

Happy to say that Camden Councillors have voted to freeze their pay this year.

With so many people facing hardship at the moment it would not be right for councillors to take a pay rise.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Extra police for Camden Town and Primrose Hill

Despite cuts to funding for Camden Council we are pleased to announced that Camden Labour has secured funding for extra police for area.

Camden Council has more details on their website here

Changes to housing benefit

As you might know the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has announced cuts to funding for Camden.

You can find more details here of what will be effected.

I am very concerned about proposed changes to housing benefit for those in private rented accommodation.

The charity Shelter has come out quite strongly against these proposals and the Camden New Journal had an interesting piece here as did the Evening Standard

One of the proposals is to cut people's housing benefit if they have been out of work for a year. This seems particularly cruel and could lead to more homelessness.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

opening up Camden Council

We have now published the pay of all senior council workers.

To look for yourself click on these links;


http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/council-and-democracy/twocolumn/chief-officer-pay-at-camden-council-.en?page=3

http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/council-and-democracy/twocolumn/chief-officer-pay-at-camden-council-.en?page=5

Thursday, 20 May 2010

High Speed Rail 2

Here is a copy of the letter I have just written to the High Speed rail consultation;

Exceptional Hardship Scheme Consultation,
High Speed 2 Limited,
55 Victoria Street,
London SW1H 0EH

Giada Covallero,
Consultation Co-ordinator,
Department for Transport,
Zone 2/25 Great Minster House,
76 Marsham Street,
London SW1P 4DR
19th May 2010
Dear Sir or Madam,

Response to Consultation on the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for HS2

I am one of the councillors representing Camden Town with Primrose hill. The “preferred route” of the proposed HS2 line passes through our ward. I understand that you have already received a letter from “the Primrose Hill HS2 Reference Group”. This is a group of concerned residents who have formed an entirely non-political community group to organise a response to the consultation.

Their response is an excellent summary of the feelings of many in Primrose Hill. I would strongly recommend that you take careful notice of their letter and provide a full response to it.

I would echo some of the points they make. Particularly, that, although the EHS is a non-statutory scheme which the Government is not obliged by statute to provide the EHS should still be run properly and be fairly implemented.

Residents have several legitimate concerns about the way in which the process has been managed so far. We are particularly concerned that;

• We were not notified at all about the adoption of the “preferred” route through Primrose Hill, nor about the EHS itself.
• Certain properties are unreasonably excluded from compensation under the proposed rules. Specifically, properties above tunnelled sections and owners of businesses who rent their business premises should be eligible for compensation.
Yours sincerely

Cllr Thomas Neumark

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Public meeting over Hawley Wharf

There will be a second public meeting to discuss the development of the Camden Market.

The meeting will be at 7.30pm on Monday 7 June at Holy Trinity Church, corner of Hartland Road and Clarence Way.

End to sale of Council housing

Camden Labour to end controversial council housing auctions

In a first of a series of announcements – and with immediate effect - Camden’s new Labour administration is ordering the end to the unpopular policy auctioning of council homes to private developers to pay for repairs.

In November 2007 Conservative and Liberal Democrat-run Camden council announced plans to sell off 500 of its existing council-rented properties, despite over 18,000 people remaining on Camden’s housing waiting list.

The unpopular policy was made even more controversial after several auctioned flats reappeared on the market, ‘flipped’ by speculators for hundreds of thousands of pounds of profit.

A list showing what happened to properties after they were sold by the council show:

- One house in Croftdown Road, Highgate, was snapped up for £1.1million and quickly sold on for £1.9m - a 78 per cent profit.

- A flat on an estate in Arlington Road, Camden Town was bought for £176,000 and sold for £285,000 – a 49 per cent profit.

- A flat in Hemstal Road, West Hampstead, was bought from the council last May for £233,000 at auction with the buyer selling it on in December for £345,000.
Under Labour Camden now step up its campaign for more direct investment, look to its own commercial property portfolio and new housing revenue powers to create money for council house repairs.

It is also committed to drive better value-for-money in the existing housing repairs programme, criticised for waste and over-specification.

Camden Labour leader Cllr. Nasim Ali says:
“The ‘flipping’ of publicly owned housing to generate hundreds of thousands of pounds for private developers shocked Camden’s taxpayers. It was also a daily tragedy for the thousands that languish on the growing housing waiting list.”

“The choice at the election was between Lib Dem/Tory support for sell-offs and Camden Labour’s promise to immediately halt the privatisation of desperately needed housing. Taxpayers clearly said that auctions should end. We have done that today.”