London councillor resigns over house prices

Camden councillor says she can no longer afford to live in the borough

Camden councillor Maeve McCormack has stepped down as Labour’s rep for the Gospel Oak ward, blaming escalating housing prices for pushing her out of the borough.

30-year old McCormack, who gets a £9,751 allowance from the council alongside her PR-job salary, says she can no longer afford to live in London, and warns that – if London’s cost of living continues its current trajectory – councils may be left with just “people who are retired or with trust funds making decisions for our communities”.

“I’m aware of three of four councillors in Camden alone and there are other boroughs where this is a growing issue too,” she said. “There is a risk of local politicians being increasingly unrepresentative. We can’t just have people who are retired or with trust funds making decisions for our communities.”

Here’s Maeve McCormack’s resignation post in full:

“Today I’ve handed in my resignation as a Camden councillor. I wanted to explain why.

“I’ve had to make a really tough choice between what I love doing and where I can afford to live now and in the future.

“Sadly the ongoing housing crisis affects councillors too, and high prices have now forced me to move out of Camden to live elsewhere.

“It has been a real privilege to serve the residents of Gospel Oak as their councillor, and I know they will be in safe hands with my ward colleagues Larraine Revah and Theo Blackwell, who I have greatly enjoyed working with over the last four years. In that time, I’ve been really proud of the work which, as Camden Labour, we’ve delivered for Gospel Oak — new council homes in Bacton, major redevelopment at St Dominic’s, Carlton and Gospel Oak primary schools and more.

“I will always be proud to have been a member of Camden Labour group, which continues to deliver for Camden residents despite financial constraints. Gospel Oak has benefited hugely from the commitment of councillors across Labour group — it’s thanks to my, now former, colleagues that we have been able to deliver much needed new homes, investment in local schools and much more. I know that work will continue.”