Camden London Borough Council
Coat of arms or logo
Logo
Council logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Nazma Rahman,
Labour
since 17 May 2023[1]
Georgia Gould,
Labour
since 17 May 2017[2]
Jenny Rowlands
since March 2019
Structure
Seats55 councillors
Political groups
Administration (46)
  Labour (46)
Opposition (9)
  Liberal Democrats (5)
  Conservative (3)
  Green (1)
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
Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE
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 20 wards, each electing two or three councillors.[3]

Following the 2022 election Camden London Borough Council comprised 47 Labour Party councillors[4] (10 of which Labour and Co-operative councillors[5][6]), 4 Liberal Democrat councillors, 3 Conservative Party councillors, and one for the Green Party.[7] The Liberal Democrats overtook the Conservatives as the second-largest group. The Liberal Democrats won a by-election in the Hampstead Town ward in July 2022, taking the seat from Labour and Co-operative.[8][9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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."[12]

Political control

Main article: Camden local elections

The council has been under Labour majority control since 2010.

The first election to the council was held in 1964, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1965. Political control of the council since 1965 has been as follows:[13][14]

Party in control Years
Labour 1965–1968
Conservative 1968–1971
Labour 1971–2006
No overall control 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.[15] 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.[16]

Wards

Until the 2022 local elections, Camden's electoral wards were:[17]

The new wards from May 2022 are:[18]

Criticisms

Local employment imbalance

Following Freedom of Information requests, it was discovered that only 16% of Camden's employees live within the borough,[19] and that many of its employees live as far afield as Scotland and Northern Ireland.[20]

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'.[20]

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.[19]

List of leaders

Notable councillors

References

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