Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CCTV, Community Wardens, War Memorials and The Labour Group AGM. Hibs rebuild starts!!!

On the Politics Show on Sunday there was a discussion on the extended usage of CCTV with senior police officer from the Home Counties questioning their usage.
I am clear that CCTV is very popular amongst inner city residents and has had a real impact in identifying criminals as well as reassuring the public in Town Centres.
Southwark was actually mentioned as being one of the Pilots of a new Home Office scheme with better cameras and the rather gimmicky element of being able to communicate with perpetrators directly. The Labour Group recently saw a demonstration of these amazing 150+ Megapixel cameras (think of that against your own 5-8 megapixel at home!) with 180 degree viewing and an ability to focus in and still record the bigger pictures. We saw pictures from Camberwell and Upton Park for an evening West Ham game which were very impressive.
I have asked a number of times for the old sun bleached and battered CCTV signs around camberwell to be replaced buit to date no action has been taken. Can we really expect people to have confidence in the cameras working and being maintained when we cant even maintain the signs? I actually used the Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence) who asked whether a passanger who notices coffee cup stains on his tray would have confidence that the aeroplane engines were being properly maintained?

I recieved an electronic copy of the Camberwell Community Wardens Newsletter which was very welcome as they face yet another review and reorganisation. TheLib Dems are really in a bit of a hole with this as they would not hear any criticism or discuss any alternative views on their role yet in their heart of hearts know that they are not working and they are not good value for money at £6M per year. What needs to happen is a root and branch reorganisation but I feel that we will get more tinkering with more money frittered away until they see snese and work with us on an effective and efficient service working in conjunction with the Police SNT's, espcially the PCSO's.
The Southwark News and Southwark Life did good pieces on the new Camberwell Green War Memorial and I am hopeful for wider press and media coverage as we move towards the unveiling as I thing that it is such a poignant and human interest story. A Guardian reporter is speaking to me today about it so I hope that he is interested in running the story.
I also think that when we give Freedom of the Borough to all VC recipients with Southwark associations we can get some media interest and support?
I recall visiting Corporal Sidney Bates VC Grave at Bayeux in Normandy and reading his inscription from his family "A TRUE CAMBERWELL LAD"

This got me started on investigating other Southwark VC's and we erected a plaque in the Town Hall to commemorate them. The plaque is to be extended after finding some more receipients with Southwark connections and moved to a better position in the Town Hall hopefully in time for the Freedom of the Borough Ceremony.
Below is the Commonwealth war Graves commission entry for Sidney Bates and a picture of his grave at Bayeux.
Sidney Bates VC

In fact I have a relative who was a VC Recipient, an ex-Celtic footballer who died in 1959 (the year I was born!) and was know in his Lanarkshire Home Town simply as "VC". He is in the only Scottish part of my lineage through my maternal Grandmothers family , the rest being 100% first or second generation Irish!
His VC is now on display in Edinburgh Castle and some yeasr agoo my mum was allowed to see the medal and read the associated documents, I hope to do that sometime soon.
Below is a link to a page of Willie Angus:
Willie Angus VC

Last night we had the second part of the Labour Group AGM and I was nominated for a Chair of Scrutiny and Labour Spokesperson on Community Safety again. I was also nominated as vice Chair of the Camberwell Community Council. All that remains now is for the Constitutional Council Assembly on Wednesday evening!


On the Hibs front John Collins is apparently trialling 12 players, including players from Benin, Nigeria, France and Brazil! and has his eyes on yet another Austrian, 26 year old forward Arno Kozelsky (pictured below) from DSV Leoben. At least he seems to be wearing the right colour. Hibs are also linked with Charleton's Islandic Striker Rurik Gisalon(pictured below). Rumours around that John is looking at 3 Goalkeepers, including 6foot 7inches Chelsea Reserve Goalkeeper Yves Makaba-Makalamby(pictured below and possibly as a loan deal?), and may sign one very shortly!