Party: Independent

Website: Faruque Ansari (Independent)

THEY don’t mess about in the Camden Council website team do they? Here’s the Town Hall’s only ‘independent’ councillor already featuring on the ward by ward listings..

3 Comments on Party: Independent

  1. Very speedy. Almost indecent.

  2. Shan Roberts // January 29, 2010 at 2:10 am //

    Richard, some would say he’s always been used by the Lib Dems, particularly as a front to write letters to the CNJ.

    But all this brings out one of the other things the CNJ hasn’t really dug in to which is the Save the Baths campaign and whether it was ever a grass roots campaign.

    We keep being told that the Lib Dems took on people like Phil Thompson and Farouque because of their public minded campaign about the baths. Isn’t the reality that the Lib Dems were behind the campaign to “save” them , despite the fact that that they weren’t under threat, all along?

  3. Theo Blackwell // January 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm //

    Good point Shan – recently the CNJ seems to have fallen into the trap fo saying that the Lib Dems ‘saved’ the Baths. Refurbishing the baths was a manifesto commitment in 2002 from Labour, when we were finally allowed by the gvt to borrow money we told officers to set about options for the pool. The report included all options for the baths, because they cost a load of money – of they more speculatively proposals – which was immediately ruled out, because the baths themselves are so distinctive – was an alternative site.

    As we couldn’t deliver before 2006, we set out plans to refurb the Baths in our manifesto for the next 4 years, as the other parties did too – as it had become a political issue. The Lib dems then claimed this was a ‘flip-flop’ (with ensuing PR at the baths) – so the debate moved on to what type of baths. We were mindful of the money so we argued for a £12m option, which would have meant a slightly smaller facility with no small learners’ pool at the back (but a sliding floor area in one of the pools to make up for it).

    To keep the learners’ pool made the bill rise from approx £12m to £25m – probably the most expensive learners’ pool (about 1/4 the size of a main pool) in history. This £12m could have been spent elsewhere, e.g. Oasis which is now in massive need of refurbishment.

    Interestingly, when they got into power the Lib dems tried to backtrack from their learners’ pool campaign, until we reminded them of their pledge!

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