Some Hampstead residents are campaigning for the north London neighbourhood to become autonomous from Camden Council. It seems a number of issues have come to a head for these residents: so let's run through them.
Super-basements, ruined conservation areas, air & noise pollution, HGV damage, destruction of local heritage, Hampstead Heath decimated, 'kangaroo' planning hearings, lack of affordable housing, lack of diversity in the area, closure of police and fire stations, closure of shops and pubs, independent shops are unsustainable, road closures and decline in quality of life. And breathe.
The campaign is led by local resident and solicitor Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who is hoping to reach 2,000 responses on the survey before handing it to the council. That's not a random number, it's the 7% of the population that would trigger a community governance review by Camden. There's a sizeable gap from that goal at the moment however, with less than a hundred respondents at the time of writing.
The scheme has support from actor Tom Conti, who is particularly aggrieved by the switch to fortnightly waste collections. If the scheme were to succeed, it would push the number of London boroughs up to 33 (plus the City of London), which is noteworthy as it would give us another borough logo to bitchily critique.
While we're not confident that the petition stands much of a chance at success, we have to give credit where credit's due. Putting "Scamden" on spoof planning posters got a decent chuckle out of us.