I am aware that an article has been sent out regarding the Lower Edmonton ward and councillors' engagement with residents, more specifically CAPE (Community Action Partnership in Enfield) meetings chaired by Jany Badoye. To confirm, I have not been advised by the chief executive or the chief monitoring officer of the council that any complaint has been made against me.

I understand that Enfield local democracy reporter Simon Allin was not aware at the time of writing the article that I had been out of circulation due to significant surgery since April 29 and only returned on August 27, hence my late response to his query.

The article itself refers to Ms Badoye's dissatisfaction over several years. Please note, I have been elected as a councillor since May 2018, and pride myself on being available and accessible to residents in and outside of my specific Ward.

CAPE meetings are not Enfield Council meetings, and councillors are not obliged to attend. Indeed, many CAPE meetings in Enfield take place during the day, during hours when councillors who have other jobs are working. Please note, CAPE meetings are not the only way councillors engage with on the severe issues of crime that affect the ward we represent. Ward forums, advice surgeries, council committees and engagement with other local groups are just a few other examples.

On the occasions where I have been unable to attend a CAPE meeting I have not only sent my apologies, but I have also provided the chair with a report on the activities and work that I had undertaken since my election. From this point, I have been in regular contact with the chair of CAPE and have action request during our correspondence on Lower Edmonton issues. The CAPE chair is, of course, welcome to write to other council officers anytime about any matters she would like to raise at the council or with local partners.

Please note, Lower Edmonton ward surgeries regularly take place in Edmonton Green library, like many of the other Edmonton Wards. The location has proved popular with many residents, and I know residents find the advice surgeries helpful. Upon advice from the police and council officers, Edmonton Green library is used as an appropriate venue because it meets the criteria for ensuring elected members can conduct their engagement with residents without risking their safety. Over the past year, several councillors have been victims of verbal attacks. I have experienced racial attacks from two residents (subject to court proceedings shortly).

I am thankfully now back from long term sickness and look forward to resuming a few of the duties I was unable to carry out.

Finally, let me add that I entirely agree with local Edmonton residents that the increase in crime in our borough is of grave concern. The loss of hundreds of police officers due to government cuts has added a disproportionate impact on areas like Edmonton. That is why, as Labour councillors and a Labour council we campaign for adequate funding. We also recognise that making sure our young people have positive and constructive activities is crucial, like the Summer Unit Programme that Enfield Council put on which provided hundreds of places for young people to do courses free of charge.

Cllr Margaret Greer

Lower Edmonton Ward