We are seeing the increasing pauperisation of vulnerable people

Friday, 13th May

• YOUR report (‘Last affordable nursery’ forced to leave by church landlords, May 5) identifies but one of many such closures. In Gospel Oak there have been two in the last nine months.

Affordable child care is essential for many families, especially those on lower incomes who otherwise cannot work. Some child care is free but not for all children.

These closures are yet another factor leading to the increasing pauperisation of our most vulnerable residents.

One of the Gospel Oak nurseries collapsed because the community centre owed, according to the CNJ, £50,000 rent to the council, a figure strongly denied by one of our councillors.

Not only has the centre as a whole closed but the premises have been left by the council to fall into disrepair.

Will the fact that we now have a council almost entirely composed of one party – 47 out of 55 – result in changes?

We are already seeing an increase in council evictions of tenants in Gospel Oak and rising demand for free food, a wide range of other issues related to poverty as well as the inflation of food and energy prices.

There is a flicker of hope for our vulnerable residents as a group of volunteers aim to form an organisation which will try to help people to get back on their feet.

A major problem has been the lack of suitable premises, yet Camden Council is content to let premises like the earlier one mentioned go to ruin or price others out of use because of high rents, or just leave them empty.

Once upon a time members of the Labour Party joined hands and sang the Internationale: “Arise ye starvelings from your slumbers, arise ye citizens of want”. No longer.

There is widespread failure to acknowledge the problems exist and anyway, if they do, it is all the fault of the wicked Tory government!

MICK FARRANT, NW5

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