Letter: Local government demands the highest standards of probity

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Sir: I was flabbergasted to read David Walker's article, "The true cost of corruption". The allegation that the "Monklands syndrome" exists wherever Labour has been in power for a long while is outrageous.

Camden came into existence only in 1965 and Labour has not held control "for generations"; the Conservatives have controlled the council during that period, and between 1976 and 1980 Labour enjoyed only a very slim majority.

Labour is, however, very proud to have had the confidence of our electors and we have had a healthy majority over the last six years. Camden places great emphasis on high standards of propriety and the District Auditor has recognised major improvements in our financial planning and management.

Our housing benefits team has won a Chartermark and is successfully tackling any possible fraud. These efforts have saved nearly pounds 3 million to date. Two years ago, Camden introduced a strong staff code of practice, including a requirement to declare membership of secret societies, and any suggestion that Masons or any other such grouping wield influence in Camden is well wide of the mark.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Roberts

Deputy Leader

London Borough of Camden

London, NW1

23 June