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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 27 March 2008
Residents’ rights to be heard

• WE write to complain about the manner in which a deputation from Regent’s Park Ward was treated at the last full Camden Council meeting by some elected councillors.
Residents from Troutbeck, Albany Street, NW1 have been complaining for some time about youth-related anti-social behaviour and the poor standard of community safety works which leaseholders have to pay for.
As ward councillors, we have been unable to get a resolution to these problems despite numerous interventions, hence the request for a deputation, which was perfectly legitimate and approved by the Mayor of Camden Councillor Dawn Somper.
At the meeting the residents expressed their concerns and answered questions from councillors about the standard of service they have received from the council and the unsatisfactory way in which works have been undertaken.
At that point Gospel Oak Conservative Councillor Keith Sedgwick interjected, disputing their right as residents and taxpayers to make a deputation to the council meeting – saying that they should first have deputed to “his” committee first.
The official response from community safety member Ben Rawlings wasn’t much better.
It seemed ill-informed and off-the-cuff. Some of his answers were wrong and he seemed genuinely put out that he was been asked to look into the matter. We hope he takes this matter seriously, but also wonder why the executive member for housing failed to respond at all to the issues raised about leaseholder charges. Those problems were simply airbrushed out of the discussion.
We know that the council leadership plans to limit deputations by members of the public, they have made no secret of it.
But surely it is the absolute right of taxpayers to make a deputation to their elected representatives and to be treated with respect when they do so.
Cllr Nasim Ali
Cllr Theo Blackwell
Labour, Regent’s Park Ward

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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