Published: 5 January, 2017
• SO the pink marble and oak palace of Judd Street (the Town Hall) is to have £44million spent on it, while Camden’s public lavatories rot in a pile of torn-off doors, urine, excrement and bad plumbing, care homes’ budgets are slashed, landlords’ rack rents are increased, Euston Road remains one of the most traffic-congested, vile, noisy and polluted roads in Europe, while marvellous parks such as Brill Place are dug up, and council homes torn down to make way for the private profit of HS2 on a truly monumental scale, while young women are mangled on their bicycles under juggernaut lorries around King’s Cross because there are no proper segregated cycle paths.
We are told this is a Labour council. But is it socialist, when a monthly portrait of the leader is thrust through our letter boxes: a portrait on a whole page, that must cost the council taxpayer in a year of paper and printing ink enough money to sweep up several streets?
When Margaret Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council and divided the administrative powers of London to the boroughs she knew what she was doing… a true demolition job. It is perhaps time the whole edifice of these separate London councils was scrapped, and their powers transferred to the Mayor of London and Whitehall.
After all the real socialism of London since the abolition of the GLC has come from Ken Livingstone’s wonderful TfL Overground railway opening up the East End; the Covent Garden development; the Trafalgar Square pedestrianisation; the South Bank walkway and wobbly bridge and Boris Johnson’s cycle routes and improved buses, along with West India Quay high-level garden.
South Hill Park Gardens, NW3