CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Voters in Gospel Oak don’t deserve representatives who run away

31 August, 2017

• I WOULD like to congratulate Cllr Theo Blackwell on his new, and such a well-paid, job at the City Hall (Theo Blackwell quits Camden Council to be Sadiq Khan’s new tech guru, August 24).

He has made a good job in the digitalisation of Camden and is, if the mayor thinks we need a tech guru in City Hall, certainly not the worst choice.

So far so good. But let’s come back to Gospel Oak where Theo Blackwell, as councillor, was rarely seen, though elected. To stand in an election is a decision to represent the residents. This is all the more true when one is elected; that one assumes responsibility. It has never been a good sign to evade responsibility.

No other ward suffers and pays such a high price for the decay of Camden Labour in 2017 as Gospel Oak. Just a few month earlier, Maeve McCormack’s resignation (and one should be aware that a councillor can complete a mandate even if he or she moves out of the borough) had triggered that by-election. Now, another one!

Theo Blackwell has decided to leave his electorate behind, instead of ending his mandate at the regular, main council elections in only nine months. Voters will be annoyed to be called back to the polling stations, and electoral fatigue can be expected.

Thus Labour’s run-away-team not only leaves its voters out in the cold, but is also a total disservice to democracy.

The voters in Gospel Oak don’t deserve representatives who run away – and chiefly for their own benefit! They deserve representatives who care about local issues, and who listen to people: representatives who regard the people, above all else, as their main priority.

MARX DE MORAIS, NW3

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