Camden Council cuts ties with Camden Chamber of Commerce

TENSION between Camden Council and the Camden Chamber of Commerce has reached new heights with the council cancelling its membership of the business organisation.

Camden Council is one of the biggest employers in the local government area with 409 employees on its books.

The council's general manager, Ron Moore, told the Advertiser in a statement that he had made the decision to cancel the council's membership.

"I have made the decision to cancel council's current membership with the Camden Chamber of Commerce due to concerns about the way the chamber has conducted itself recently in dealings with council staff and elected representatives," the statement said.

"Council has a responsibility to ratepayers and staff to apply its resources to organisations that want to work collaboratively with council and in a respectful manner."

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak told the Advertiser in a statement that the council had made "every effort to consult and work collaboratively with the chamber over the past seven months".

"Two members of the chamber's own executive recently resigned," the statement said.

"These resignations occurred before council cancelled its membership."

A spokesman for the Camden Chamber of Commerce confirmed the council had requested a refund of its membership, which was renewed on August 8, but declined to make any further comment.

Relations between the chamber and the council have been strained over the past few months with chamber president Miriam Roberts publicly criticising the council's approach to the Camden CBD's future.

Cr Symkowiak recently accused the chamber executive of "bullying" her and trying to force her into being recorded while she gave a presentation to chamber members.

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