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Camden New Journal - COMMENT
Published: 29 May 2008
The ‘marshals’ plan could mean further conflict

VIGILANCE and a peek into the future is required of our planners and councillors over the controversial Dalby Street scheme in Kentish Town.
From the start the residents and developers have clashed uncompromisingly, a battle that has dragged on for more than 18 months.
Now, just when the conflict appeared to have quietened down, it has flared up again – this time over pedestrian access to the Talacre Sports Centre.
To complete the scheme the developers promise to employ “marshals” to control traffic on a new private link road with costs met by owners of flats through annual maintenance fees.
Here questions emerge. Can the developers
really cover the cost of
the “marshals” in perpetuity?
How will the housing association – One Housing – responsible for the 19 affordable flats on the site, pay for the “marshals”? Through higher rents? By bigger loans from the Housing Corporation? Won’t all this mean, one way or the other, more pressure on the public purse?
And, more worryingly, isn’t there something inherently risky in that a private road can so easily be the cause of lawsuits and costly and nasty litigation?
The Dalby Street scheme is fizzing with questions.
Are the planners and councillors able to find the answers?

• IF Gordon Brown is to recover from his mauling over the past few weeks he could do worse than tell the Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier – at present sunning himself at a luxury Caribbean hotel – to stop the post office closures.
If any one policy in recent weeks has lost the confidence of the electorate it is the madness of Crozier’s decisions.
In the meantime, the Primrose Gardens Community Association are doing their bit in the battle for sanity by trying to stop the closure of the Englands Lane post office through a High Court challenge (see page 2).
Whether they will be able to the drag the Post Office to the door of the court remains to be seen.
Time is pressing.
We are only weeks away before the doors of four post offices in Camden are set to close for the last time.
If the PGA fails, perhaps the council will succeed in their attempt to take over the post offices. This is the sort of thing the council should do more of – acting imaginatively – on behalf of the people in the borough.

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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