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Council cuts to the street cleaning service has led to a large number of complaints from residents living off Chalk Farm Road.
Camden Town has the fourth largest night-time economy in the UK. This may be good for local businesses – but the inevitable by-product is unfortunately a whole trail of rubbish and debris down residential streets in the morning. This is worst on Saturday and Sunday mornings, after the local bars and clubs have been at their busiest – and residents often emerge to find discrded take aways, vomit – and worse – on their doorsteps.
It therefore makes no sense that the streets off Chalk Farm Road have been allocated their (now weekly) sweep on a Wednesday – four days later.
While everyone understands that councils have to save money in difficult economic times, they must do everything they can to minimise the impact. Labour-run Camden’s £4m cut to street sweeping (almost 50% of the total £9m budget) is going to be felt even more keenly when it is being applied in such an illogical way.
Streets in the heart of Camden Town need a weekend sweep – not rubbish sitting in the street to ferment until Wednesday.
Camden Police have asked the council to review the license to serve alcohol at Shaka Zulu in Camden Market because, they state, “the premises are associated with serious crime and disorder or both.” This follows an alleged serious incident at the bar last weekend.
You can read the full story, as covered by today’s Camden Gazette, here.
In fairness to Shaka Zulu, they have made a real effort to engage with local residents and councillors and have met with us regularly over the last few years. They will, rightly, have an opportunity to put their case to the council. However, it is extremely unusual for the police to ask for a review of a bar’s license, which shows how seriously they are taking the incident last week.
Every bar and club in Camden has a responsibility to keep it’s customers and the local community safe and, if they fail in that responsibility, residents expect the council to get tough.
If you want to make a representation to the review you can email the council here.
I’ve just come from the licensing hearing for Gilgamesh, in Camden Market, where I spoke on behalf of the local residents who had contacted me. Lots of locals sent in representations but, in the end, the committee decided to approve the extra floor.
We negotiated hard, and the council agreed that:
- Although the venue is increasing in size, it will not be allowed any extra visitor numbers each night. They will have to click customers in and out and keep a log to show to the council and the police;
- Taxis will only be allowed to collect customers from the Morrisons car park, not our residential streets;
- The restaurant will have to conduct an acoustic report to check that noise levels won’t effect residents;
- No customers will be allowed to exit from the Stables Gate opposite Hartland Road;
- The restaurant will employ marshals to ensure that customers leaving at the North exit do not create a disturbance.
In my view, these conditions are a fair compromise and really improve the situation. They allow Gilgamesh to get on with running their business, while taking steps to make sure there isn’t a huge impact on residents.
A new proposal just submitted to Camden Council would see take-away food sold on Ferdinand Street until 5am every morning.
I am trying to set up a meeting between the applicant and local residents so we can debate this more fully but, in the meantime, I would really welcome your views. Do you think it is important to encourage this kind of business? Or do we already have enough problems with the night time economy?
Getting the right balance between healthy, thriving local businesses and happy, peaceful communities is always difficult in Camden. If you want to comment or respond to these latest proposals, you can do so here.
A big thank you to all those who attended Holy Trinity Church last week to debate the progress of the Hawley Wharf development, and also to those who couldn’t make it but took the time to send me their views by email.
We had a vigorous discussion, with a general consensus that more affordable housing should be a priority in the development. You can read a more full account in today’s Camden New Journal.
As ever, do get in touch if you have any thoughts you would like to share.
I have been campaigning to make sure that residents’ voices are heard in the huge new Hawley Wharf development, opposite Camden Market.
This group is led by local residents and aims to involve as many people as possible. By joining together we have a much better chance of influencing the council and the developers to make sure that the new development makes our area an even better place to live.
At the meeting we will discuss employment opportunities for local people; how we make sure new shops and markets appeal to local residents as well as visitors; tackling anti-social behaviour and the strain on public transport, and lots more. I will be in the Chair and do hope as many people as possible will come along and share their views on the future of our area.
Tonight I represented local residents at the licensing hearing for the Spiritual Caipirinha Bar on Ferdinand Street. “Compromised reached” is never going to be the most gripping headline but, in the event, that’s exactly what happened.
The bar wanted permission to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises; for extended opening times up to midnight in the week and 1am on Friday and Saturday; and to play live music until these times as well.
So many people have told me how strongly they oppose the never ending stream of new bars that seem to pop up around here. Ferdinand Street is overlooked by several quiet residential culdesacs, and dancing and live music long into the night just didn’t seem appropriate here.
After an hour and a half of negotiating, we managed to secure several concessions. The bar has been granted permission to serve alcohol up to 11:30pm during the week and 12:30pm at the weekend; to play live music until 11pm during the week and midnight at weekends; and the off license has been rejected entirely.
I imagine there could still be issues with disturbance for people on Chalk Farm Road and maybe even Collard Place. We have taken the landlord’s details so we can contact him if there are any problems. As ever, we absolutely need to be vigilant and make sure that the agreement we reached tonight is honoured.
I chaired a positive meeting between local residents and the management of Stables Market tonight.
We set up the Resident Liaison Group last year to be a forum for local residents to air their concerns about the impact of the market on the local area.
After our second meeting, we negotiated an agreement whereby traders would fund security patrols around local streets, and close off the Market’s front exit after 11pm. I’ve had very positive feedback from residents on Hartland Road and Harmood Street, who feel that these moves have already made a huge difference.
We are continuing to work together to further improve the area. Tonight, we discussed the dramatic impact on Camden of the forthcoming Northern Line closures, and how to tackle the scourge of unlicensed mini cabs, which cause a nuisance around Ferdinand Street and other streets off Chalk Farm Road. In the past, the group’s discussions have led to real action on issues of concern. I”ll be pushing for more of the same.