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Petition to set up independent parish of Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 11:51 06 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:52 06 June 2016

Residents want to set up Hampstead Parish Council

Residents want to set up Hampstead Parish Council

Archant

A petition has been drawn up calling for Hampstead to be run by its own parish council.

The move will give a designated area covering the Hampstead Town and Frognal and Fitzjohns wards statutory powers to make its own decisions over certain issues.

These include neighbourhood planning, crime reduction, parks and open spaces, community centres and crime reduction.

The move is being seen as a “first step” towards Hampstead achieving complete independence from Camden Council in the future.

It comes as residents have expressed anger over a range of decisions by Camden planners to approve new developments which fly in the face of public feeling.

In the most recent example, earlier this year planners gave permission for a three-room basement under Grade II-listed Grove Lodge, in Hampstead, despite a flood of objections to the scheme,

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who chairs the Hampstead Shops Campaign Town Team, has put together the petition which will be circulated to residents this week and she is in the process of drawing up a map to show the area to be included.

She said: “It has been recognised that Hampstead as an area is a low priority for Camden Council. We want to take some of the responsiblity from them to deal with our own issues.

“We are focusing on what is immediately achievable but it would be great if one day we could have complete autonomy and independence.

“At this stage it will mean working with Camden to have more say over the key issues which matter to the residents of Hampstead.”

The petition calls for “A new Hampstead Town Council covering Hampstead Town and Frognal and Fitzjohns wards, Hampstead Town Neighbourhood Forum area, RedFrog Neighbourhood Forum area, the green next to St Stephens and the block on which Air Studios is positioned bounded by Haverstock Hill, Lyndhurst Road, Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Lane.”

The petition makes the request under Section 80 of the 2007 Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act.

The petition says: “We recommend that a parish council be established for this proposed new parish, to be called Hampstead Town Council.”

Once the petition has enough signatures to represent seven per cent of the population in the area, it will be presented to Camden Council. This would then trigger a community governance review by the council to consider the request within 12 months.

Ms Learmond-Criqui said: “The borough of Camden is huge and has so many different areas and interests.

“We feel Camden is unable to give sufficient scrutiny to the peculiar geography of Hampstead, with two rivers running underneath the surface. The council also seems not to understand Hampstead’s specific conservation status and unique heritage.”

A parish council would also have powers over community transport and traffic calming.

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