PHIL Jones last night became the second councillor in as many days to quit Georgia Gould’s cabinet at the Town Hall. He told colleagues that he wants to concentrate on the (new) day job. He signs off thanking the ‘loyal’ members of the Labour group and excited about the ‘fresh insights’ new members to the executive will bring. Unlike Theo Blackwell, who announced his departure on Friday , the Labour councillor having been appointed by Labour mayor Sadiq Khan to the politically restricted £107,000-a-year job of chief digital officer, he will not be triggering a by-election and intends to stand again in Cantelowes. Here’s what he told the group last night:
I wanted to let you know that after 5 and a bit years of service, I have decided (with heavy heart) to stand down from Camden Council’s Cabinet.
As many of you are aware, I have been studying for an MSc at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, and have recently been offered a job working in urban planning. To become professionally qualified, I now need to work full time for at least two years before completing further assessment, and so I think it is best for me and the council that I focus on this new challenge in the years ahead.
Along with Theo also standing down, the Labour Group will now have a chance to select two new Cabinet Members who have the fresh insights, enthusiasm and strategic skills to take the council forward. I will however be staying on as a councillor to represent the people of Cantelowes ward and support the new Cabinet under Georgia’s excellent leadership
I want to thank everyone who has given me such amazing backing and friendship over the last few years. I feel really glad to have served under two such principled and purposeful leaders as Sarah and Georgia. We have faced some massive challenges but it has always been reassuring to know I have lots of brilliantly talented, kind and loyal people in the Labour Group alongside me. Furthermore, it has been an immense honour to meet so many fantastic public-spirited community groups and individuals across the borough, and to work with some truly exceptional council officers, who are often the unsung heroes of local government. I’ve also grown to like and admire many current and former councillors of other parties who have worked constructively to get things done for the people we serve.
Walking around Camden now I see the new cycle lanes we have built, the regenerated council estates where people are moving from damp and overcrowded conditions to beautiful new council homes, and the new schools that we are building in deprived areas thanks to CIP. All of this only delivered for Camden because we matched Labour values with the willingness to be practical, and are facing up to difficult decisions rather than retreating into timidity and inaction. From my point of view, it has not always been easy, but it has definitely been worth it.
But there’s much more to be done. I am looking forward to working with you as we deliver more positive change and build a strong campaign to win the 2018 election.
Very best wishes