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Council election manifestos: Tories tell Camden voters: ‘We are listening to you’

Camden Conservatives launch their latest manifesto. Picture: Polly Hancock. Camden Conservatives launch their latest manifesto. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Friday, May 9, 2014
10:04 AM

Camden Conservatives insist the party is listening to the people of Camden and has crafted its manifesto based on thousands of responses to surveys sent to homes across the borough.

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The key message in the manifesto is that the council machine under the Labour administration “isn’t working” for Camden residents.

Camden Tories pledge to improve the council’s communication with residents by reducing “red tape and inertia” which the group claims has led to 2,000 resident complaints about contact with the council, including problems with the repairs service and rudeness from council staff.

Another key Tory concern is the issue of street cleaning across the borough which it pledges to solve by re-instating weekend street cleaning.

The manifesto makes several references to the Tory council model in Westminster - responsible for the lowest council tax in the country - which the party claims could benefit Camden.

There is also mention of a move from the current cabinet structure of decision-making to a “committee system” in Camden, which has recently been adopted by the Tory administration in Barnet, to engineer a more democratic cross-party process.

Camden Conservatives also aim to deliver a new school in West Hampstead, pledges to scrap the council magazine to cut costs and promises to set aside a fund to deliver extra officers to bolster the work of Camden’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Last Thursday, the Tories called upon Andrew Boff, leader of the London Assembly Conservative Group, to launch their manifesto at Old Hampstead Town Hall, in Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park.

In the manifesto foreword, Cllr Claire-Louise Leyland, leader of Camden Tories, said: “We are determined to make sure that the council provides you with the services that you need and that these are delivered in the most effective manner,

“You’ve told us that Camden isn’t working for you. And we’ve listened.”

Key pledges:

- Re-instate weekend street cleaning

- Fund extra officers in Camden’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams

- Allow first 20 minutes free parking on smaller high streets

- Give every older person a leisure pass with 52 free sessions

- Freeze parking fees for residents for a year

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