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Camden unites against the cuts in the town hall

PUBLISHED: 11:47 14 January 2011

EVERY seat in Camden Town Hall was filled on Monday night as people gathered to protest the cuts that would be hitting the borough and its residents, writes Georgia Graham.

Protesters, trade unions, MPs and residents descended on Judd Street for the launch of Camden United Against the Cuts.

On the evening a debate was sparked over whether councillors should break the law and refuse to implement the cuts.

Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson, who headlined the event, told the Ham&High on Tuesday: “In the 70s, as councillors we refused to implement the rent increases and we were eventually subject to proceedings by the district auditors.

“A lot of people are saying councillors should now act similarly and refuse to implement changes this time around, but there is not much they can do. If they do not implement the changes then council officials can just supersede them and take over their role

“If a councillor is considering breaking the law then it is definitely a case of each matter for each individual councillor – to talk to friends, family and make that decision themselves.

“But it is important for them to think about whether it will make a real difference.”

Mr Dobson also accused the coalition government of launching the most ‘concerted’ attack in history on “the living standards and the way of life of people in Camden” and said people owed it to themselves to know just how it is going to affect them.

“I don’t think people really have any idea yet just how bad things are going to be for them – or even if they won’t bite as hard for them, they don’t realise that their neighbours or friends might be really affected.

“People don’t just care about themselves – they don’t want to see their neighbours suffer either.”

While Mr Dobson blamed central government politicians for the worst of the cuts to benefits and education, he added that Labour-run Camden council will also have to make some tough decisions this year.

georgia.graham@archant.co.uk


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