Camden and Islington to share chief executive

An interesting development in the tale of one King's Cross, two councils — now we're set to have one chief executive. Could this signal the beginning of some genuinely co-ordinated working that benefits all of King's Cross equally? Look forward to seeing some more details — especially the salary framework.

The news comes via an exclusive from the Camden New Journal on Twitter prior to press tomorrow: www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2010/sep/exclusive-camden-and-islington-councils-share-chief-executive

Clare Hill

About Clare Hill

Clare is a writer and editor who lived in King’s Cross for a decade. She is passionate about local history, transport and food. Contact Clare by commenting on her posts or go to http://www.clarehill.net
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8 Responses to Camden and Islington to share chief executive

  1. Tobias Newland says:

    I agree with you. This could open up a new channel for lobbying on cross-border issues in Kings Cross ie through the Chief Executive’s office. We should try and get the new Chief Executive to do an interview for Kings Cross Environment when appointed.

  2. Clare Hill says:

    Good suggestion Toby, and I do believe you’ve just volunteered yourself!

  3. Tobias Newland says:

    What three questions would you most like to ask the new first ever Chief Executive of Kings Cross?

  4. sophie talbot says:

    Go Toby! I hate it when I start to get all optimistic… but could this be a positive step forward?????

  5. Tobias Newland says:

    Apparently the shared interests in the regeneration of Kings Cross was one of the key reasons for Islington and Camden working out this new deal, the print edition of the Camden New Journal reports Labour finance chief Councillor Theo Blackwell as saying. The remarks were in response to suggestions from the Camden conservative group that Westminster or Hammersmith and Fulham would have made more natural partners for Camden. The reports go further than yesterday’s leaks talking of the move as a step towards the “merger” of the two boroughs. There is obviously much more to come about this.

  6. sophie talbot says:

    3 questions:

    1. How will you ensure an improved strategic approach will be taken to community-led regeneration throughout King’s Cross (the half-mile surrounding KX Station)?

    2. Will you review the priorities for road traffic at the King’s Cross Gyratory with a view to phasing in its complete closure and replacement with a safer, simpler system for all road users?

    3. Will you encourage greater permeability through the KX/StPancras transport hub, challenging Network Rail’s approach to a single entrance/exit to KX, specifically by providing the seed funds for the restoration of a pedestrian and cyclist bridge formerly known as Battlebridge Road/Wharfdale Road.

  7. Paul Convery says:

    The main rationale for the Camden/Islington initiative is mainly driven by the advantages of shared services and having a joint management team is a necessary first step towards this.

    But there are also several geographic areas which will benefit from this new relationship between the two Boroughs. These have already featured quite strongly in our discussions at various levels – Kings Cross, Tufnell Park and Archway – because they are shared neighbourhoods which have suffered from being on the margins of both Boroughs and which we are determined should benefit from closer working. We are also talking to Haringey and Hackney about the position of Finsbury Park which suffers similarly.

    When the full Council met in June this year, we agreed a resolution which commits Islington to agreeing a “common approach to strategic planning and environmental services”. The text is below:

    “MANAGING CHANGE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOODS OF KINGS CROSS

    “Islington Council recognises that there are residential neighbourhoods around Kings Cross located in Camden and Islington which face common problems and similar opportunities as the area continues to undergo substantial change. After a decade of investment and improvement, new and established communities feel a greater sense of belonging to an area of London which is divided into two separate administrative areas by the Camden/Islington Borough boundary.

    “We note that joint Borough initiatives such as the Kings Cross Partnership made a marked difference to the area and provided residents and their elected representatives with a vehicle to influence change. The environmental improvements, better policing, installation of CCTV and campaigns to reduce prostitution and drug dealing have contributed to a long term change in the area. However, Kings Cross is still blighted by a harsh environment, particularly the impact of major roads and gyratory systems. Since the end of Kings Cross Partnership the area has begun to suffer from newer threats and problems which need a coordinated two-Borough approach.

    “We believe that each Council’s powers and influence over regeneration measures, streetscene, traffic management and development control would be better served by closer cross-border cooperation. We are particularly concerned that Kings Cross Central, the largest single development site in Central London, is at considerable risk from the present economic uncertainty and believe that a renewed two-Borough approach is required if Argent Kings Cross is unable to develop their site according to a realistic and acceptable timescale.

    “We therefore call on Islington Council’s new Labour administration to begin discussions with Camden’s new Labour administration to seek a common approach to strategic planning and environmental services across the area covered by 4 wards (Caledonian and Clerkenwell in Islington and Kings Cross and St Pancras and Somerstown wards in Camden).”

  8. Sophie Talbot says:

    This then has gotta be a good thing…. Some well thought through approaches to cross-borough communities by those that really understand the importance of community-led urban regeneration can only be positive. Maybe, amongst all the political negativity at national level we are all having to face right now, there is some local light about to shine…

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