This Wednesday Camden's Council will be voting on who to appoint as Camden's Mayor for the next municipal year, and Camden's Liberal Democrat councillors will be nominating Flick Rea for this position.
Many West Hampstead residents have told me what a great mayor they think Flick Rea would make and for anyone who hasn't seen it I wanted to share with you this letter recently published in the Ham & High and Camden New Journal from my friend David Abrahams.
I was very disappointed to read that Camden Labour are seeking to prevent Cllr Flick Rea from becoming Mayor of Camden after 27 years of tireless service to the people of Camden. Flick is admired and respected across the Borough by people of all political affiliations and none. She would make an absolutely first-class Mayor for Camden.
One of the very sensible reforms brought in by the Lib Dem/Conservative Partnership Administration in 2006-10 was the decision to 'share the mayoralty' amongst all the political parties in Camden. This meant that a Labour councillor, Nurul Islam, was elected Mayor for 2008-09 even though Labour was in opposition at the time. Nurul was a very popular and successful Mayor, who was elected unanimously and enjoyed the full support of all parties during his term of office.
It was a great shame that Labour abandoned this sensible and popular reform as soon as they got back into power in 2010. Their argument that some terrible political calamity will overtake Camden if there is an opposition Mayor doesn't remotely stand up to scrutiny. The Mayoralty is primarily a ceremonial and representative role. As all successful Mayors know, the role is not about party politics. Sadly Labour's approach seems to betray the kind of petty tribalism that some politicians love, but most members of the public can't stand. Surely Camden deserves better than that.
Chair, North West Camden Liberal Democrats