You can't be a councillor from another country - council leader

Following your story about Cllr Philip Thompson last week (Representing you from 5,500 miles away, H&H September 11) I would like to make it clear that I certainly do not think it feasible for a councillor to live permanently in another country and do jus

Following your story about Cllr Philip Thompson last week (Representing you from 5,500 miles away, H&H September 11) I would like to make it clear that I certainly do not think it feasible for a councillor to live permanently in another country and do justice to that important role, which involves regular and close contact with the community.

It is of course possible for councillors to keep up with some aspects of their role via telephone and e-mail during short absences from Camden, as many of us do when holidays or business trips take us away from home.

It briefly appeared that Philip Thompson might be able to do much of the work on his PhD in the UK, combining that work with his role as a councillor, just as many very active councillors combine their day jobs with their council work.

However, once it became clear to Philip that his PhD required him to spend most of his time abroad he quickly decided to resign and has offered to repay his councillor's allowance for the period he was in the States.


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Camden is lucky to have such a wide range of councillors who represent our borough's diverse population, and that includes the many younger people who live here. I hope we would all agree that if the council's make-up is to include younger people whose lives are still developing, we need to recognise that opportunities may come their way that mean they need to step down from the council, and that they should have the right to spend a little while exploring those opportunities before making a final decision about their futures.

Philip worked hard during his time on the council - for example leading the campaign to save Kentish Town Baths - and we wish him well for the future.

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Cllr Keith Moffitt

Leader, Camden Council

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