Labour is taking credit for what Conservatives started

Finchley Church End councillor Jennifer Grocock says there is a lack of clarity about who is responsible for a local scheme to tackle antisocial behaviour

Hendon Town Hall
Hendon Town Hall

Transparency is vital in the democratic process, and this is key to keeping residents informed and give them an opportunity to monitor what elected councillors are doing for them. 

As shadow lead for community safety, I often receive emails and telephone calls from across the borough from many concerned residents about antisocial behaviour (ASB). 

I want to clear up a lack of clarity, on an item which is regularly spoken on (incorrectly) in the council chamber and in committees, and that is regarding the ‘Clear, Hold, Build pilot’ (CHB) in Grahame Park. This is not a one-off pilot implemented by the current Labour administration, there are 6 (six) CHB pilots across London.   

Clear, Hold, Build is a tried and tested strategic approach to tackling challenging or hostile environments, utilising equally tried and tested tactics to achieve the objectives. In short, the right tool(s) for the right job(s) using the right people/teams.

It works strategically and tactically, with each element having a tactical/operational aim with the intent to achieve the objective – so in this instance, and many of the ASB across our borough, this will be to target and interrupt the supply chains and the marketplace to trade.

It is very much based on a military style tactical strategy. It is not the current portfolio holder’s creation, this is a Met and national police strategy and is implemented working in partnership with the relevant stakeholders. And it works – because of cross-party support.

Although, with any strategy, there is often displacement (breakaways) to other areas, these are more easily “nipped in the bud” as they have not achieved deep roots in such a short space of time.

So, to clarify, the current Labour administration has so far in the last 20 months taken credit for what the previous Conservative administration did/started (eg: community hubs etc). Their attempts to take the credit for an alleged “solo” and unique Clear, Hold, Build pilot, are disingenuous and deluded.

There is and has not been anything innovative done by this current administration to reassure residents of their safety apart from some press releases and the eternal spin that they have engaged in. In their current budget proposals, they are actively cutting the number of community safety team officers patrolling our borough. 

Instead of the London Borough of Fun, this administration is turning into the London Borough of Spin. 

Behind the spin that this council has adopted as their community safety strategy, we see no evidence that the council is promoting residents’ request for more police officers on the beat from the Mayor of London (even though he has been given funding from the government which he had to return because he could not recruit enough officers).

Residents need active work by this council to put them first and not the diktats of the Mayor of London – they need to put residents first.

Jennifer Grocock is a Conservative councillor for Finchley Church End

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