Angela Rayner says Labour is 'ready' for an election
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Earlier this week the Labour leader declared his “pride” at being a part of Camden Labour. He described the council as a “brilliant example of what Labour achieves in power”.
But the Tories paint a damning picture of the area, warning of a “nightmare for residents” that should worry Britons across the country.
With more reports of fly-tipping than any other council in England, a sharp rise in council tax, poor vaccine take up and the closure of three state schools in three years, the party says the council is an example of what could happen nationwide if Labour does well in May’s local elections.
“Camden Council is a high tax, low performance borough,” Oliver Cooper, leader of Camden Tories told Express.co.uk.
“They continually brag about their record in office when residents see worse and worse services every year.
“It’s really galling to see Keir Starmer say this is what he wants across the whole country because residents in Camden are tired of not being listened to about the state of their services and their streets.
“When people feel that rubbish is piling up, when they feel their air is getting dirtier, when they feel the schools and the police are being let down by not getting the support for the council, they want change away from that model, not towards it.”
There are more than 37,000 reports of fly-tipping every year in Camden.
The Tories claim the incidents have increased four-fold since the Labour-run council cut weekly bin collections to once a fortnight five years ago.
The council also has the lowest uptake in vaccinations in England for the MMR jab that children are recommended to have before they turn five to prevent an outbreak of measles.
It also has the second-worst uptake for the seasonal flu vaccine that helps protect the NHS by providing extra protection to the over-50s.
Carlton Primary School, St Aloysius School, St Michael’s School have all shut in the past three years, much to the frustration of parents.
Meanwhile, while Britons are grappling with the current surge of inflation, next month those living in Camden will ee their council tax rise by 2.99 percent.
“For this, Keir Starmer’s local council, to be held up as a model for the entire country should worry everyone across the UK,” he added.
“If you look at Wandsworth and Westminster and Barnet – all councils led by the Conservatives – they have frozen core council tax or cut it this year, which shows it’s possible if you want to do it.”
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A Labour Party spokeswoman accused the party of living in a “fantasy world”.
She said: “Despite the Conservative Government cutting two thirds of our budget, Camden Labour has delivered more than 500 new council homes and invested more than £165million into school buildings with every Camden state school good or outstanding.
“Labour is on the side of hardworking communities abandoned by this Conservative Government.”
Camden Council rejected the claims made by the Tories.
A spokesman said: “These statements are all either untrue or lack the basic context to fully understand the conditions and approach the council takes.
“The council invests around £6million a year on keeping its streets clean, and as a result, independent, unannounced yearly inspections by Keep Britain Tidy show that cleanliness levels in Camden remain strong, while the ability of the public to report flytipping and the comprehensive nature of the figures reflect the numbers recorded.
“Last year, we cleared 99 percent of fly tips within the agreed timeframe.
They added: “In line with most other Inner London boroughs, Camden Council increased its share of Council Tax by 1.99 percent and the Adult Social Care precept by one percent to maintain the current level of services.
“It’s not the case that Camden’s Band D Council Tax increase is the highest in Inner London.”
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