Labour gives reprieve to Kilburn's UK online centres

by Mike Katz / @mikekatz

At the Camden Council meeting on Monday, the new Labour leader Cllr Nash Ali, announced that the cuts which had been planned by the previous Tory-Lib Dem administration to UK online centres in the borough were being ditched.

This is a huge relief for the centres and a testament to the hard work of the campaigners who fought the huge proposed cut – 82.5 per cent – to the Council’ s funding.

Latin American House, home to one of Kilburn's UK Online centres

These vital centres help people to use computers – essential as more and more everyday activity relies on accessing the internet, from applying for housing to filling in tax forms and applying for jobs and benefits. Yet many people can’t access the undoubted benefits of being online.  The UK Online centres give thousands of residents across Camden easy access to the web that many take for granted.

Kilburn was down to suffer disproportionately, as there are a number in our area: at Kingsgate Resource Centre on Webheath, at Kilburn Library and Youth Centre at the bottom of the High Road; SHELL on Boundary Road and the Latin American House on Kingsgate Place.

I well remember the moving testimony from users at their deputation to the Council under the previous regime about the importance of UK online centres; Labour supported the campaign and argued that the sums being saved were paltry, compared with the damage it would do.

And as with the halt to sales of council homes, this announcement shows that Camden Labour is already delivering on its manifesto commitments.

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