Camden appoints ‘thoroughly West Hampstead girl’ as new mayor for Olympic year

Cllr Heather Johnson – described as a “total Camdener” – has been appointed the Mayor of Camden for the Olympic year.

The Labour councillor, also said to be a “thoroughly West Hampstead girl” after growing up in the area, will serve for a second time after her first stint in 2000.

Cllr Johnson, who represents Regent’s Park ward, was praised by all parties at the council’s annual meeting last week for her legendary campaigning.

Camden Council finance boss Cllr Theo Blackwell said: “Heather is from a diminishing group of people on the council who is thoroughly Camden from childhood onwards, went to Beckford and Parliament Hill schools, and has devoted herself since her school days to Camden issues.”

Before she was first elected to the council in 1994 as a councillor for Kilburn, Cllr Johnson worked for the Medical Research Council in Hampstead. She moved on to work for a legal advice lobbying firm, campaigning around housing conditions and social welfare law.

In close to two decades on the council, Cllr Johnson has served as vice-chairman of the housing committee and also chaired planning and licence committees.

“I cannot think of a better representative for the borough as a total Camdener in an Olympic year,” added Cllr Blackwell.

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Cllr Johnson’s mayoral charities are the New Diorama theatre and New Horizons, a youth centre in Somers Town for vulnerable and homeless people.

Another councillor familiar with the robes of office was appointed as deputy mayor.

Cllr Jonathan Simpson, affectionately dubbed the “rock and roll mayor” during his year as civic figurehead in 2010 because of his love of music, returns as deputy.

Councillors across the chamber also spoke warmly to commend the outstanding contribution of outgoing mayor Cllr Adbul Quadir.

In Haringey, Cllr David Browne who represents St Ann’s Ward in Tottenham, was named mayor at a ceremony on Monday (May 21).