CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Time for life to move on

10 January, 2020 — By John Gulliver

John Mills

AFTER more than 40 years of living in Albert Street, Camden Town, John Mills, the council’s ex-finance guru, and currently head ot the TV shopping giant JML, is leaving that part of the borough.

He is off to Highgate to start a new life. In a letter to me the other day he simply says: “Life moves on!”

No 72 Albert Street has played a big part in the borough’s life since the 70s. It had a kind of “schizophrenic” existence. In the basement, John ran his newly established import/export business which got him into trouble with the Town Hall over the payment of rates.

But local activists, usually of a leftish nature, would also drop in to see John to discuss local matters. Was it there, I wonder, that the idea took flight to buy street properties for the council which John did so assiduously, building up a great portfolio worth millions today? How he feels now that his former comrades at the Town Hall are selling some of them to make way for a council housing programme I do not know. But John was always a pragmatist and would understand – perhaps!

He has often attracted his critics, especially over his views on the loss of manufacturing jobs in the UK for which, of course, he would blame Mrs Thatcher who had decided it was best to financialise the economy. Which left us trailing behind Germany, of course. But then politicians are never around when everything falls apart.

Naturally, John was a cheerleader for the Leavers!

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