CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The council seems only to want to listen to those who agree with its policies

16 November, 2017

• AT the beginning of October emails were sent to some residents of Camden inviting them to join the Citizens’ Assembly.

This initiative was supposedly part of a wider one to involve people in council decision-making across Camden. Members of the public no longer attend the carefully-choreographed full council meetings.

To quote: “The Citizens’ Assembly is a space for Camden residents to share experiences, give views and have conversations with other residents, councillors and experts around local issues.”

I duly “applied” and filled in a questionnaire. As I heard nothing I fired off a series of emails to officers and councillors. Some time later I eventually received an email saying that I was “unfortunately not selected”.

I specifically stated I wanted to take part in the meetings to hear the views of other citizens. No reason was given for this decision and it would be interesting to know what criteria were used in “selection” and who did the “selecting”.

It would seem that Camden Council only wants the views of those who agree with their programmes; criticism even when constructive is forbidden.

It is interesting to note that councillors rarely respond to critical letters in the New Journal. A case of “see no evil, hear no evil and respond to no evil?”

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