Wednesday, March 02, 2011
A Rock and a Hard Place
When Camden Council leader Nasim Ali spoke to the Bengali Workers’ Association at the Surma Centre, up the road from Euston station, a couple of weeks ago, he was among friends and family. He grew up round the corner and first visited the centre when he was 14.
Labour took control of the council in May 2010, ending the four-year rule of a Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition, and now Ali finds himself in the unenviable position of having to implement radical spending cuts imposed by a similarly constituted national government. He clearly sympathises with the vociferous campaigns being waged by Camden residents in defence of local services - as is obvious from his addresses to protestors both on their home ground (above) and outside the Town Hall last week (below) – but he is caught between the wishes of the residents who voted for him, and the council's legal obligation to pass a budget within constraints set down by George Osborne and Eric Pickles. Not a good place to be.
More pictures here, and here.