THE boroughwide elections get closer but one big name won’t be on the ballot paper. Here’s cabinet councillor Abdul Hai’s letter to colleagues:
I hope you’re well and safe.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that after careful consideration, I have decided not to put myself forward for the internal selection for the 2022 local elections. I believe after almost 16 years as a Councillor and almost 12 years as a Cabinet Member, it’s time for me to step aside and make way for a new generation of Labour Councillors to deliver public services based on our shared values of tackling inequality and social injustice.
It has been an honour and privilege to have represented King’s Cross ward for 16 years, where I have sought to make local government legitimate and relevant in the eyes of the public, creating bridges between the many diverse communities in Camden. As a Cabinet Member, I have held various positions since 2010 by working closely with the Labour Group and our communities to deliver services and initiatives to improving residents’ quality of life and opening new opportunities for them.
Despite all the challenges we have faced ranging from Chalcots Estate evacuation to dealing with the unprecedented pandemic, the Council under Georgia Gould’s leadership has responded decisively by bringing the best out of our Councillors, officers, and our diverse communities. I will leave next year in the knowledge that the Council is under Georgia’s leadership and in a strong position to navigate through tough times ahead.
I am proud of what we have achieved together, and in particular:
Addressing the structural inequalities exposed by Covid-19.
- The work of the Youth Safety Taskforce.
- Bringing the coroner service into the 21st Century so that it addresses the needs of different faith groups, particularly Jews and Muslims.
- Addressing hate crime both at a policy level by adopting both the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia and at a practical level in supporting individual victims.
Making the senior managers of the Council more representative of the diverse community that they serve through our inclusion workforce initiative.
Camden will always remain a special place where I have grown up and have family and work links. I will continue to be politically active and work towards achieving a Labour Government.