Councillors held a heated debate on how to solve the borough’s crime problems following a tragic weekend in Enfield.

Labour and Conservative members agreed there was a need for cross-party approach to crime – but often disagreed over the causes of the problems and the ways of solving them.

The debate, at a full council meeting yesterday (Wednesday, November 21), came after a weekend of violence in Edmonton that saw four men stabbed and three people injured in a shooting.

A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in relation to the shooting on Tuesday.

Cllr Terry Neville, Conservative member for Grange, put forward a motion attacking Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick for failing to make the best use of the resources that were available.

He also condemned the council’s Labour administration for “not taking the issue more seriously”.

Cllr Neville said he did not support police cuts but pointed out that all public services were having to tighten their belts.

He said: “Politicians of all hues have shown no leadership at all.

“Everyone is on budget. Budgets have to be worked and managed. More money is not the answer – it is better management of the resources.”

Cllr Neville said the Greater London Authority could have recruited 150 extra police officers instead of hiking its spending on culture from £11 million to £20 million.

But Cllr Nneka Keazor, cabinet member for community safety and cohesion, said funding cuts by central government were hampering efforts to tackle crime.

She said: “The council is dismayed at the reductions in police numbers. We know that more investment in policing will make a difference.

“The Metropolitan Police is currently underfunded by around £172 million a year.”

Cllr Keazor said the council had put a range of measures in place to tackle crime and stop young people from joining gangs.

Labour member for Winchmore Hill Cllr Ian Barnes said cutting the culture budget would be counterproductive because it would deprive young people of opportunities that stop them getting involved in crime.

Cllr Neville’s motion was defeated when it was put to a vote after Labour members opposed it.

Cllr Keazor then tabled a motion calling on the Government to end austerity and plough money back into policing to make up for a 30 per cent funding cut to the Met Police since 2010.

She said: “The reduction in funding has had dreadful consequences.

“As we all saw, and will continue to see, it is ordinary people, including the poorest, who are the main victims of crime.”

But Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban criticised the council for failing to secure more funding for youth provision from a pot recently made available by the Mayor of London.

She said: “We need to get better at accessing the funding that is available.”

Cllr Rick Jewell, Labour member for Turkey Street, pointed out that funding cuts had also hit the justice system, meaning young offenders could not be kept in custody when they needed to be.

He added that young people need more employment opportunities and warned against overcrowding on estates.

Councillors voted in favour of Cllr Keazor’s motion opposing cuts to the Metropolitan Police.