Hampstead campaigns for independence from Camden ahead of election

A vision for Hampstead Parish Council

A vision for Hampstead Parish Council - Credit: Archant

Actor Tom Conti has confirmed his support for the campaign for Hampstead to gain autonomy from Camden Council as it ‘should be responsible for its own affairs.’

Tom Conti would like Hampstead to take back control. Photo: Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

Tom Conti would like Hampstead to take back control. Photo: Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment - Credit: Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

Solicitor Jessica Learmond-Criqui is hoping to boost the number of supporters of the parish scheme from 300 to 2,000, before handing her petition to Camden Council.

She believes the general election is the perfect time to relaunch the campaign, as Camden requires petitioners to put their polling card number against their signatures.

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

Ms Learmond-Criqui believes Hampstead Parish Council could tackle rising levels of pollution and reduced policing in the area, and challenge Camden’s decision to introduce fortnightly waste collections.

She said: “These issues are just arising all the time. There is no one group in Hampstead which is designed to tackle them. It all falls through the cracks.”

Actor Tom Conti supports the bid and believes Hampstead should either become independent, or break with Camden Council and join with Westminster Council, which is run more efficiently.

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Explaining why he supported the petition, he told the Ham&High: “Camden doesn’t represent Hampstead at all, really.”

“Permission is given to build the most outrageous structures.

“Basements, that’s another thing that people really hate, apart from the ones that are building them.

“The rubbish collection which is causing so much irritation and chaos at the moment. You pay more and get less.

“Hampstead has been a London borough for over a thousand years, it should be responsible for its own affairs.”

The petition calls for “a new Hampstead Town Council covering Hampstead Town and Frognal and Fitzjohns wards, Hampstead Town Neighbourhood Forum area, Redington Frognal Neighbourhood Forum area 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.

Ms Learmond-Criqui believes that if the petition reaches 2,000 signatures, this would represent seven per cent of the population in the area. Once handed in, the petition would trigger a community governance review by the council to consider the request.

A Camden Council spokesman said: “If and when a petition is received we will carefully consider it in accordance with the relevant legislation.”