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Camden council signs up to Ethical Care Charter

November 21st, 2014
Camden Council Leader Cllr. Sarah Hayward signed the Ethical Charter this week.

Camden Council Leader Cllr. Sarah Hayward signed the Ethical Charter this week.

This week Camden Council became the second London council and the ninth local authority nationally to sign up to the UNISON Ethical Care Charter, fulfilling a Camden Labour manifesto pledge made for the council elections held this year.

The Ethical Care Charter commits Camden Council to ensuring good employment and working conditions to guarantee safe, quality and dignity of care. The charter commits the council to ensuring that care contracts pay the Living Wage, pay for travel time, offering fixed hours contracts in place of zero hours and introducing occupational sick pay schemes.

Signing the Charter demonstrates Camden Labour’s determination to ensure that whilst the Tory-led Government slashes funding allocated to Camden Council, savings will not be made on the back of lower care standards by participating in a ‘race to the bottom’ with pay and conditions for staff.

Council Leader Cllr. Sarah Hayward said, “I am delighted to sign Camden up to the care charter. It will improve the lives of people working in, and receiving, care in Camden.”


Support for small-businesses recognised with award

November 17th, 2014

Camden won Best Programme of Support for Small Businesses in the Federation of Small Businesses and London Councils Small Business Friendly Awards which took place at the Grange City Hotel last week. The Small Business Friendly Borough Awards are open to all thirty-two London boroughs and recognise campaigns and policies that specifically target small businesses.

A joint project between Camden Council and Camden Town Unlimited, Collective has transformed derelict commercial space into free desk space for creative start-ups, provided a fellowship programme to support unemployed young people and injected new life into South Camden’s high streets through an innovative pop-up shop project.

Part-funded by the GLA , the work space has supported over one hundred and twenty creative businesses while the fellowship programme has created fifty-seven new jobs and supported forty-five young people into self-employment. In addition, one hundred and twenty-nine graduates have been helped to access skills development and work experience placements with cutting-edge companies such as ASOS.

Cllr. Phil Jones, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning welcomed the award:

“Congratulations to everyone involved in the Collective project, which has been a tremendous success and worthy of this award. One of Camden Labour’s key objectives is the provision of new jobs and opportunities for local people and supporting small business is absolutely crucial for this.

The pop-up shop project in Camden Town and Mornington Crescent has provided 100 unique and eye catching events staged in four vacant shops each offering free space to creative start-up retail businesses to test out ideas and reach new audiences. In addition to creating twenty-four new jobs, 108 young people have been given short-term work placements as part of the events.

Camden is known for its creative industries and knowledge economy so it’s fantastic that we have new innovative businesses being formed in formerly derelict spaces. I look forward to the opening of the new Collective space in Camley Street to further boost this exciting work.”

You can read more about the Federation of Small Businesses and London Councils Small Business Friendly Awards here.



Camden-led campaign for HS2 compensation gains support

November 5th, 2014

Labour-led Camden Council has launched a new campaign to get a fairer deal for residents and businesses affected by plans for the HS2 line. The campaign has received support from a cross-party group of 6 MPs as well as Ealing and Hillingdon councils.

The Fair Deal for London Alliance is calling for Government replacement homes for residents in Camden, whose homes will no longer be habitable whilst HS2 is constructed.

In Camden 215 homes are set to be pulled down so that plans for Euston station can go ahead and an additional 250 homes are likely to be uninhabitable.

Compensation given to Londoners is also far less generous than that set to be given to people affected in rural areas, where it will be offered to people living up to 300m from HS2 tracks.

Many residents in Camden will also miss out from the compensation awarded for properties which will be demolished in “safeguarding areas” as the money is for property owners, not tenants.

Labour’s leader of Camden Council Sarah Hayward said, “We’re urging the Government to bring forward a tailored compensation package which is fair for Camden’s residents and businesses. The inadequate compensation package proposed will leave hundreds out of pocket.”

A petition has been set up calling for fair compensation for Londoners – please join the campaign by signing it here.

Tribute to former Kilburn Councillor Charlie Hedges

October 27th, 2014

Former and current Camden Labour councillors, party activists and Camden residents have been paying tribute to the former Kilburn councillor Charlie Hedges after it was announced he has passed away at the age of 64 on Sunday 19th October. Charlie Hedges served as a councillor for Kilburn from 1990-2006, served as Deputy Leader of the Council and was well-known for his time as Executive Member for Housing.

Julian Fulbrook, the Cabinet Member for Housing pays tribute below; 

“For many years Charlie Hedges was synonymous with Camden Housing. I got to know him well when he came on the Council in 1990, although for many years before he had been a community activist, and for 16 years as a councillor for the Kilburn area he was an indefatigable advocate on behalf of tenants and leaseholders.

While Council structures changed around him, Charlie was never far from the housing portfolio in various guises as Chair of Housing and then Executive Member for Housing, but also became Deputy Leader of the Council. Dropping off the Council through ill health Charlie then took up a role as Chair of the Hampstead District Management Committee, one of the five area forums for residents to play an active role in housing management.

Although born in Holborn and very much rooted in Camden, his working life as a lorry driver and active trade unionist meant he had a wide breadth of experience and had travelled to many parts of the country. Always cheerful, and often with a story about his beloved family or his dogs, Charlie was a large presence and a stalwart friend to many.

The cascade of medical issues that afflicted him in recent years was a great shame, but so many Camden families have reason to be grateful for his persistent work on their behalf. He will be greatly missed.”

Former council leaders Dame Jane Roberts and Phil Turner have paid tribute to Charlie in The Camden New Journal which can be viewed by clicking here.

Camden Labour’s message to residents in the face of more Government cuts

September 5th, 2014

Camden faces another round of austerity cuts from central government – by 2017 we will have lost half of our funding. As Labour councillors we will do all we can to protect services: whether it’s support for looked-after children, youth work and apprenticeship programmes or the council’s help for vulnerable older people.

The starting point is to make big ‘back office’ savings like reducing management, raising income and changing the way the council works, but it is clear that frontline services will have to be cut.

Austerity has gone on longer because the economy didn’t grow. The Tories promised to sort things out in one term of Parliament and here we are, approaching the end of a Parliament with another round of cuts.

Camden doesn’t get a fair deal to meet local needs – we have the 8th largest cuts of all authorities in England, thanks to a Whitehall funding formula now weighted against areas with high levels of poverty, homelessness or dependency. A first step for a new Labour government in May must be to reinstate fairer funding to better meet needs.

Most public money spent in Camden is beyond the control of the council and dictated by central government. If we could have more say over spending locally we could use taxpayer money more effectively to tackle inequality, or reduce welfare bills by getting people into jobs.

People told us they were voting Labour in Camden this year because they didn’t like Tory-Lib Dem cuts nationally and trusted Camden Labour to make difficult but humane decisions about safeguarding local public services. We developed a new plan to build more council homes and repair schools as well as keeping three neighbourhood libraries open by supporting the community to take over their running.

The proposals we have to put forwards will be public debated and not made behind closed doors. Over the next few months we will be talking about cuts again and we pledge to work with you to protect Camden’s public services.

Camden Labour Group