CamdenNewJournal

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Officers and councillors who fail to respond to phone calls and emails need to be held to account

13 July, 2017

• YOUR July 6 editorial Comment (What next? A full and truly independent inquiry) about the importance of an independent inquiry into the Chalcots, and Val Stevenson’s letter on the same date (There are serious questions over building control, the regulations, competence and the council) about the failure of planning officers and councillors to deal with breaches of planning legislation, misses somewhat to address the core issues.

These are the role of scrutiny committees and that of councillors to act on information on safety and other issues from residents whom they were voted in to represent. Councillors should not be fobbed off by officers, but should go and see for themselves and listen.

In other words there needs to be a fundamental review of the mechanisms and practices whereby residents’ concerns are addressed and followed through as part of the independent inquiry. Officers and councillors who fail to respond to phone calls and reply to emails need to be brought to public attention.

Similarly those who work tirelessly, and there are many of them, for residents need acclaim. Social media has a large part to play here; a lively example of this is reclaimqueenscres, which reveals issues not otherwise available to residents.

Of course, the leader in letting Camden residents know what is really going on is the New Journal.

Councillor Georgia Gould is on record as saying there will be “no more ignored voices”. Transparency is the first step on the road to a safer and a better Camden. Residents are watching and waiting.

MICK FARRANT, NW5

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