New Hampstead councillor vows to stop neglect in the village
Newly-elected councillor for Hampstead Linda Chung has warned that she will even fight against her own colleagues to get more for the village. The human resources consultant, who is chairwoman of the NW3Hampstead traders group, was elected just a week ago
Newly-elected councillor for Hampstead Linda Chung has warned that she will even fight against her own colleagues to get more for the village.
The human resources consultant, who is chairwoman of the NW3Hampstead traders group, was elected just a week ago and has already warned she will be a heavyweight in the Town Hall.
"They talk about champions at the council but I am preparing my boxing gloves," she said. "Hampstead feels very neglected. I know there is a limited pot of money and it needs to be concentrated more in deprived areas, but Hampstead has been left to fend for itself.
"In the area forums we have screamed out but nothing has been done. I am feeling great to be elected. I am raring to go."
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The first knockout for the Lib Dem councillor was the election. The race was always going to come down to the wire, with the Conservative Stephen Phillips favourite to re-win his party's seat. But in the end Cllr Chung clinched the victory with 1242 votes to Mr Phillips' 1114.
Cllr Chung has also taken aim at her Tory predecessor Mike Greene, who prompted the by-election by leaving for Bournemouth and attempting to become an MP.
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As head of the environment department which covers parking and planning, Cllr Chung said he was the man who could have solved Hampstead's ills and is now planning to ensure her ward colleague Cllr Chris Knight, who now runs the brief, takes heed.
"Every resident I spoke to mentioned the parking problem. The regime is so inflexible, it is one of the first issues I'll be raising with the chief executive.
"I really find it frustrating that it is not possible to change things when we are in control of how parking is enforced. I want to work with Chris Knight. Everyone wants Hampstead to be lovely.
Other items on the agenda include cleaning paving along Heath Street and offering incentives to shops who want to make their store fronts more attractive.
She also wants a strategy for the high street, protecting independent shops, and more enforcement on planning issues including steps against controversial basement developments.
"I am thinking in terms of good parking, planning and improving local business to maintain that villagey feel," she said. "Like so many other people I came to Hampstead, stepped out of the Underground station and felt at home.
"I would like to say a big thanks to all the residents. I really do want to work with them because they, with the look of Hampstead, are our biggest asset.