Cllr Maya de Souza and I were both at last Wednesday’s Camden Council meeting where Holly Lodge funding was discussed. We were there to support the residents who use the Community Centre and Family Centre. Grace and Zoe spoke powerfully on behalf of these valuable Holly Lodge amenities. And everyone cheered them to the rafters.
The good news is that the £200,000 that was earmarked for rebuilding the Family Centre, which Labour was going to take away, has now been confirmed. Cllr Maya de Souza worked long and hard with residents to lobby the last Camden administration to fund a community-designed building so we’re delighted that, after months of uncertainty, the work can now begin. It may have taken the spotlight of a by-election to achieve this Labour u-turn, but the important thing is that the project is safe.
However the Labour-led Camden Council has cut the core funding for the Holly Lodge Community Centre, which may force it to close.
Holly Lodge, where I am now a resident, is an extraordinary example of a successful mixed tenure estate with low rise blocks, green spaces, communal facilities and a strong neighbourhood spirit.
We should seek to replicate this model of how to make community work, not rip its heart out.