Camden London Borough Council
Coat of arms or logo
Logo
Council logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Mayor of Camden
Nasim Ali OBE, Labour Party
since 25 May 2022
Leader of the Council
Georgia Gould, Labour Party
since May 2017
Leader of the Opposition
Tom Simon, Liberal Democrats
since May 2022
Chief executive
Jenny Rowlands
since March 2019
Structure
Seats55 councillors in 20 wards
Camden Council current composition.svg
Political groups
Administration (46)
  •   Labour (46)

Opposition (9)

Length of term
Whole council elected every four years
Elections
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
West Face of Camden Town Hall (01).jpg
Camden Town Hall, Judd Street
Website
www.camden.gov.uk

Camden London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Camden in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. Camden is divided into 18 wards, each electing three councillors.

Following the 2018 election Camden London Borough Council comprised 43 Labour Party councillors, 7 Conservative Party councillors, 3 Liberal Democrat councillors and one for the Green Party. One Labour councillor defected to the Greens in October 2021.[1]

The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced three local authorities: Hampstead Metropolitan Borough Council, Holborn Metropolitan Borough Council and St Pancras Metropolitan Borough Council.

History

There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Camden area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the London Borough of Camden on 1 April 1965. Camden London Borough Council replaced Hampstead Metropolitan Borough Council, Holborn Metropolitan Borough Council and St Pancras Metropolitan Borough Council. All three had been created in 1900, in Hampstead and St Pancras the borough councils replaced the parish vestries, and in Holborn the metropolitan borough council replaced the Holborn District Board of Works and the St Giles District Board of Works.[2]

It was envisaged that through the London Government Act 1963 Camden as a London local authority would share power with the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Camden London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Camden became an education authority in 1990. Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.[3]

In 2012 it was revealed that Camden local authority has been permanently banned from accessing information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. This information is normally made available to local authorities for purposes such as enforcing parking fines, but access can be withdrawn if they are found to be mis-using the service. The Big Brother Watch organisation, which obtained the information about the ban under a Freedom of Information request, claimed that "the public are right to be worried that their privacy is at risk across a range of government services."[4]

Summary results of elections

Main article: Camden local elections

Since 1964 political control of the council has been held by the following parties:[5]

Party in control Years
Labour 1964–1968
Conservative 1968–1971
Labour 1971–2006
No overall control Liberal Democrats-Conservative minority 2006–2010
Labour 2010–present

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates.[6] It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.[7]

Wards

Until the 2022 local elections, Camden's electoral wards were:[8]

The new wards from May 2022 are:[9]

Criticisms

Costs and controversies regarding Councillor Eslamdoust's mayoral party

Camden Council was criticised for "excessive spending" after £11,000 of public funds was spent on a private party to welcome the new mayor for 2019/20, Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust. After a Freedom of Information request, local newspaper Ham and High reported on 24 June 2019 that there had been 220 invited guests with £4,400 spent on food; £600 on drinks; £2,000 on decor design; £1,000 on lighting and staff; and £1,233 on hiring some space at a Camden Council occupied building.[10]

Local employment imbalance

Following Freedom of Information requests, it was discovered that only 16% of Camden's employees live within the borough,[11] and that many of its employees live as far afield as Scotland and Northern Ireland.[12]

It was also discovered that senior employees were more likely to live further away from Camden, with a spokesperson saying that finding employees with specialised skillsets near to the borough was 'almost impossible'. Camden stated in response that all their staff are provided with one day's extra leave for volunteering, with a 'focus on Camden'.[12]

Statistics also showed that only a single employee lived in Camden's three Central London wards, despite comprising almost a quarter of the borough's size and population.[11]

List of leaders

Notable councillors

References

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