CS11 campaign head calls on Camden councillor to resign after 'making City Hall job shortlist'
PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 December 2016
A leader of a campaign group opposed to Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11) has demanded the councillor in charge of Camden transport resign because of a conflict of interest.
Former cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan said Cllr Phil Jones – cabinet member for regeneration, transport and planning – has been shortlisted for a top job with the Mayor of London.
Now Jessica Learmond-Criqui, solicitor and head of Re-think CS11 – previously called No to CS11 – said Cllr Jones risked being perceived as trying to “impress his future paymasters” if he gives CS11 the green light.
Ms Learmond-Criqui said: “TfL will make its decision by the end of the month, and there’s every chance the commissioner job will be decided at the same time. That timing is just extraordinary.
“He needs to stand down from the position of making the decision.”
She added: “If Cllr Jones does sign CS11 off and gets the cycling commissioner’s job, how can he and Mayor Khan avoid a charge of unfair inducement?”
But Cllr Jones said he would make all his ties clear if it became necessary.
“Obviously if there is a decision to be made then I will declare any conflict of interest and seek the advice of the borough solicitor on my involvement,” he said.
He added: “Camden has a long-standing policy to encourage walking and cycling, plus a clear approach to CS11 that is based on our previous consultation response.”
The Mayor of London, meanwhile, stressed the rigour of the recruitment process – and refused to get into what Ms Learmond-Criqui called the “dangling” of a “plum job” in front of a key councillor.
“The position of walking and cycling commissioner has been widely advertised. We will be making an announcement in due course,” a spokesman for Mayor Khan said.
Ms Learmond-Criqui, who has launched a crowdfunding site to create a £150,000 kitty to legally challenge CS11 if it is approved, said the plan to build a cycle track from Swiss Cottage to the West End would be a disaster for Hampstead.
A TfL consultation – held between February and March but released in August – found 60 per cent of residents supported or partially supported CS11 while 37pc didn’t.
Ms Learmond-Criqui, however, said the consultation was “rubbish and misleading”, adding that not all voices in the area were heeded.