Dissent within community group

A ROW has broken out among members of a Hampstead neighbourhood association, prompting its chairwoman and three committee members to step down. The dispute among the South End Green Association focused on the future of the group and saw those in power res

A ROW has broken out among members of a Hampstead neighbourhood association, prompting its chairwoman and three committee members to step down.

The dispute among the South End Green Association focused on the future of the group and saw those in power resigning in protest at the deadlock.

In a stinging attack in the association's newsletter The Fountain, chairwoman Pam Gilby wrote: "The constant exposure to, at times, quite vitriolic opposition has led to considerable stress. I have therefore decided that I cannot win on bringing change and will be standing down as chairwoman and from the committee at the AGM."

In a second blow, she said the association will need "people who are committed to 'doing' things rather than lip service" in order to carry on.


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Speaking to the Ham&High Ms Gilby, who has been a well-known community campaigner in her tenure, said she was sorry to leave.

"I feel very strongly that community organisations should be aimed at people and helping and bettering the community especially at these particularly hard times," she said. "It is very sad and I did feel strongly we could have done this."

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It is believed some members felt the association should be limited to conservation issues and not backing community activities such as local choir The Fleet Singers, which Ms Gilby set up.

The group performed at the Royal Albert Hall last night (Wednesday) and is due to perform in a Christmas concert on December 17 at All Hallows Church, Savernake Road.

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