Sunday, December 28, 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I am now back in Edinburgh for the Christmas and New Year break with my family and having a good chance to unwind and relax in my home City!
I have been going to the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland after a few trips to the London version to soak up the atmosphere of a German Christmas Market and Fair

Hibs went down 1-0 to Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday to a spectacular overhead kick from Kris Boyd. We had a bit of criticism in the press for playing so defensively which is not our usual style but I really dont know what they expect when palying away to a team with players each one virtually more that the value of the entire Hibs team (except Fletcher!) put together.

For the first time in ages I wont be able to catch a Hibs matches they have 3 matches away from home on the trot!! Really unfair to returning ex pats like me!! I wonder if Celtic or Rangers would ever be timetabled for 3 away matches over the Christmas/New Year Holidays? Somehow I think not!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A quieter time in the Town Hall but yesterday I spoke to over 50 14 year olds at Walworth Academy about being a Councillor.
It is part of their citizenship studies and they certainly asked all the right questions! I really enjoyed it and hope to do more in the future! The image is of the new school and how it will look by 2010.
Tomorrow I am attending the Southwark Violent Crime Summit with some of the Key players so that should be interesting to see what arises and develops for the broader Community Summit in January!

The rest of the past week has been Christmas Dinners and parties at London Met and the Labour Group and of course another visit to the Winter Wonderland Festival in Hyde Park with Clair, Shauna, Sophie and Charlie!!

Hibs had another comfortable home win on Saturday beating Hamilton Accies 2-0 and look like they are on a good run of form with confidence high! Rumours abound about Fletcher and even Dean Sheils going in the January window but at the moment all is looking good and the 3rd place spot is a real possibility this season!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Council Assembly, a Campaigning Weekend, Camberwell Green Park and Hibs great Victory over the "Lesser Greens"!!!

We had a heavy night last night with a full OSC Committe starting at 5pm moving on to an Extraordinary Council Assembly straight after to discuss our no confidence motion in the Executive Member for Health & Social Care.
The Lib Dem/Tory coalition stood shoulder to shoulder on this describing it as "party political" and a "personal attack" which of course was exactly what the motion was not!
It was about the way in which information was shared and it is clear that if the SLP had not revealed that they were going to go with the story there would not have been the hastily released council statement and that was wrong!! And much as we all like and respect David Noakes it was under his watch and "with great power comes great responsibility!"
And true to Lib Dem from it did not take Stanton or Noblet long to conclude who was really to guessed it the horrible Labour Government!!!
Tonight is a night of lighter relief with the Labour Group Christmas Dinner at Caravaggio's in Camberwell and I will, as ever, be on Facebook Photo duty!
I had a very good Campaigning weekend with an excellent session on the Brandon Estate in my own ward on Saturday and a positive session in Chaucer Ward on Sunday as part of the Borough wide Campaigning programme.
Sandra Rhule and I went to Kings to see our friend and colleague Tony Squires and the good news is that he is recovering well and should be home this week! We were there for a visit from the salvation Army band so it was a very Christmassy time!!
I am working hard to get as many people as I know to vote for Camberwell Green Park to receive the £400K award from the Mayor and we are now down to a shortlist for the 10 awards.
Whilst absolutely not the right way to go about it, he and his staff are paid to make decisions based on research and need, not on a public vote based on how well people can lobby!
The Banner is up on the Green and we need to work as hard as we can over the next couple of months to get the votes in for Camberwell Green!!

The Link : Vote for Camberwell Green Park
Hibs had a fantastic 2-0 victory over Celtic at Easter Road on Sunday with John Rankin scoring a quite extraordinary goal from 45 yards, he was in the centre circle when he hit it!!
The ball bounced right in front of Boric and over him into the net!
A great team performance all round with an unusually solid looking defence so long may it continue!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Burgess, Peckham Rye and Camberwell Green Park, Winter Wonderland and Hibs get Hearts in the Scottish Cup!

I will be Chairing Scrutiny A tonight and signing off the Peckham Rye Park Scrutiny and taking evidence on Burgess Park.
I hope that rumours are true in that Burgess Park is the front runner for the £2M Mayor's award as it will really make a difference to the whole area!
I have also been encouraging everyone to vote for Camberwell Green for one of the smaller £400,000 awards so it would be fantastic if both came in so here's hoping!!
I took Shauna to the Winter Wonderland Festival at Hyde Park on Saturday and a good (but expensive!) time was had by all!!
My big mistake was taking her to Hamleys afterwards!!! Oh my Lord that was not fun!!!

It was a good way to kick off the Christmas season and the lunches and parties kick off with the Labour Group Dinner at Caravaggio's next Monday!

Hibs got a last minute equaliser against Falkirk away at the weekend but the big news is that we have drawn Hearts in the first Round proper of the Scottish Cup !

Thursday, November 27, 2008

After a blogging break whilst I have been running some training at Bath university I am back and the priority matter in hand is the recently announced London Mayor Parks Makeover with our very own Camberwell Green in the running to be one of the 10 successful Parks to be awarded £400,000! But as we know from X-Factor you need to vote to win and the link below takes you directly through to vote for Camberwell Green so do it is your duty! -

The other big political news of the week was the Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget Report which will inject £20 Billion into the UK Economy over the next year and it has to be the right thing to do! Certainly it is what President Elect Obama and many other World Leaders will be doing.....but of course not the Tories or the Lib Dems if they were in power!! What a surprise that it!!!

I have spend some enjoyable days at Bath University over the past 2 weeks delivering some training for their staff with more to come next year. It is a very beautiful City and the pic is of the lovely venue that i used for the training!

After a string of very poor results Hibs had a stunning 4-1 away win at Motherwell with 4 fantastic strikes to easily beat Motherwell (even their goal was a great free-kick!)
This is much more like it from Hibs and hopefully will rebuild a knocked confidence as we run into the critical Christmas and New Year programme with games against all the big teams coming up.
It looks like Fletcher will go in the January transfer window and I suspect it will be to Celtic? Rangers have plenty of strikers not even getting on the bench so hard to see them wanting him? Hopefully he will go for good money as he has recently signed a new contract but impossible to keep players after the Old Firm come knocking!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Camberwell Community Council and the Arts, SE5 Forum and Knife Crime and the mysterious Hibs slump goes on!!

I attended the Camberwell Community Council Meeting last night at the Synergy Centre which focussed on the Arts in Camberwell and how they could be developed and play a key role in the Regeneration of Camberwell.
It was a really positive meeting with lots of good initiatives outlined and evidence of clear cooperative working between the main players, Camberwell College of Art, Camberwell Arts, CoolTan Arts and the South London Gallery all now working togther under the banner of "Creative Camberwell".
This is all very positve and timely as we seek some key funding for the area and we agreed to fed all the comments from last night through to the current Camberwell Scrutiny process.
Other interesting news was to hear that the Camberwell College of Art are very interested in the Council complex of offices which are soon to be disposed of as everyone moves to the "Tooley Street Titanic" and it would be really fantastic to have those buildings retained for an educational and community use rather than the sites be flogged off for more flats!

Tonight I am attending an SE5 Forum Meeting on Knife Crime which should be very interesting and useful for me on the back of the recent BBC programme that I was involved in on Tuesday! With a number of serious incidents in camberwell in recent months and the knife death of a young man from Camberwell last week (although it took place in Wandsworth!) has raised concerns locally, even although all of these deaths have been gang and drug related rather than more generally there was a fatlal shooting in Walworth during the summer based on mistaken identity so it does happen and it needs to be tackled!
It should be an interesting discussion?

I am off to Bath very early Monday morning for the first of a double header of visits to run some courses at The University of Bath. I have never been to Bath so am looking forward to it even though it means getting up at 4.30am for the next couple of Mondays! !!

Another shocking Hibs performance to report with a 2-o defeat to Dundee united at Tannadice last night!
After some good performances and defeats to Celitc and Rangers a couple of really poor performances and two more defeats with a slide all the way down the table form 3rd spot last month!!
The fans are unhappy and Mixu is a bit perplexed but serious improvement needed for Saturday and a tricky home game against Aberdeen!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

World Have Your Say BBC Broadcast from Camberwell 11th November 2008

Last night I was involved in a really interesting BBC World Service Broadcast live from the Crawfors Estate in Camberwell talking about the probelms of gangs.
The show was held in AJ's bedroom (pictured) a young man, originally from Nigeria, who has been involved in gangs and now involved in a group called Alpha Juniors which campaigns against gangs, knives and guns.
I was invited as a local Councillor to join the discussion and there were also direct calls taken from people in New York, California, Soweto, Nigeria and kenya so it was a really exciting broadcast which you can listen to through the link below:

The Producer and Presenter Ros actually lives in Camberwell so he had a lot of local knowledge and kept the show together really well giving everyone a fair crack of the whip so all in all a really interesting experience and I would love to do it again soon!
This is a really good project so wel done BBC World Service!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Sunday at Camberwell Green Memorial, Arsenal are Super and Hibs are Shocking!!!

On Remembrance Sunday I laid a wreath for the Camberwell Councillors at the Camberwell Green Memorial with Bernie, Barbara and Connie, all relatives of the Wright family who were so tragically killed in the bombing during WW2.
It was really good to be there with them and to show them that we have not forgotten the sacrifice that their family made!

I spent Saturday at the Emirates with Tsui watching an absolutely fantastic game as Arsenal took on Manchester United and beat them 2-1! It really was end to end stuf of incredibly high quality for 96 Minutes and Sami Nasri scored both Arsenal's goals to get a crucial victory which keeps them in the chase with the other "Big Three"!
This is me in the Coronet Pub on Holloway Road after the match where the Doormen checked as to whether you were an Arsenal fan!

Hibs miserably performance and 1 -2 defeat at home at the hands of Invernes Caley is probably best glossed over as a bad day at the office but this is a nice picture of the Hibs shirts with a poppy woven into them.
This was copied at every League match in the UK along with a minutes silence at the start of every game!
The plan is that the shirts are raffled with money going to ex-serviceman's funds! A great initiative which I hope is repeated every year!! Well done to the FA and the SFA!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Glenrothes is held by Labour!, Obama Wins a stunning victory, Armistice Day and a visit to the Emirates!

Good news at last for the Government with a comfortable victory in the Glenrothes By-Election after the last few bad results.
Labour's majority of 10,664 at the 2005 election was reduced to 6,737, although the number of votes it polled actually increased.
This confirms the Labour Party's current revival in the Polls as people now see Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling as the people they want to lead the UK out of the current financial difficulties over "Tory Boy's" Cameron and George "Oik" Osborne!
Not really that much of a surprise though is it?
Really exciting to see the Obama victory and the early days of him putting his team together. I stayed up most of the night to see that remarkable victory which has really shaken up world politics!
I am sure that Obama and Brown will work well together and signal the start of a left of centre coalition dominating world politics! No place for the Burlington Club policies of Cameron, Osborne and Boris!!

I shall be laying a wreath at the Camberwell Green War Memorial on Sunday marking the 90th Anniversary of Armistace Day when the unimaginable slaughter of World War 1 came to an end on he 11th November 1918 at 11am.
It is important to remember all of those who have fallen or were injured in all wars and conflicts since then up to the present day and to never forget their sacrifices!
I am looking forward to going to the Emirates tomorrow to see Arsenal take on Man Utd. ("Manure" ) in the early kick off!
Arsenal are on the back of a few bad results and need to turn it around tomorrow but it is a very tough ask !

Hibs take on Inverness Caley at Easter Road tomorrow, a bit of a bogey team for us, and we need a win to get us back on track after a few bad results in recent weeks despite all round good performances!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Well today is the day when hopefully record crowds will get out across the USA and sweep Barack Obama to the Presidency!
This is a really exciting and pivotal moment, as someone said to Stephen Fry in his programme, "shooting a black man was not a crime in some states 40 years ago!"
I have booked the day off work to stay at home and watch the end game and hopefully the new President Elect Obama accept victory!!

It is a busy week for me in and out of the Town Hall this week with a long OSC looking at the Elephant and Castle and Council Assembly on Wednesday night! At least we have now agreed on a cross-party motion on violent crime which is good news and ensures that we can progress to the Summit positively and focus on the areas where we can learn form others and improve! Having some sort of strategic approach is in my view essential and I will keep the pressure up on the Administration to swallow their pride on this one, admit we were right and get on with it!
Sunday is of course Remembrance Sunday and the 90th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice so it will be a day of particular poignancy and I will of course be at the Walworth Service which I always really like and I will lay a wreath at the Camberwell Green Memorial.

Hibs fought out a really dull 0-0 draw away at St. Mirren on Saturday but there are promising signs of a really good sqaud coming together with Ma-Kalamby building on his Olympic confidence in goal, Van Zanten looking good (Man of the Match on Saturday!), Murray looking back to his best in Midfield and the strike force of Nish, Fletcher and Riordan looking very strong (obviously not on Saturday!).
I really like the look of Uruguayan Fabian Yantorno who now looks fully fit and playing well and could be one of our players of the season so things looking up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In a quiter than usual Council week I did recieve disapointing news from English Heritage to say that they would not be recommending the listing of Southwark Town Hall as it was not of enough merit, apart from the front elevation that is!
It is a disappointment although the imminent risk of sale and demolition has been put off I dont trust the Tory/Lib Dem Administration and forsee another fight to save the Town Hall in the future!

I spent a sunny but very windy weekend in Broadstairs with my friend "Alderman" Ian Driver and visited Whitstable for a pub crawl and walked to Ramsgate on the Saturday which was an impressive place!

Hibs went down 4-2 to Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday but played very well coming back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before losing a couple of late goals.
Our attack of Nish, Fletcher and Riordan, as Gordon Strachan said after the match, are the best in the coutry and a real threat to every team. Unfortunatley our defence is leaking goals, even with Keeper Ma-Kalambay on form, and we need someone like Keenan to really take command in the midfield. Murray and Riordan had fantastic games again and are back to their best and must be due international call- ups.
Still we are looking like a third place team and certainly good to watch!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Enough Campaign" Launch, Lib Dem/Tories at it again!, a weekend in Broadstairs and Hibs take on the "Lesser Greens"!

Tonight the ENOUGH! campaign, made up of organisations from Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, will launch an appeal for hundreds of Londoners to form a new ‘volunteer army’ to reinforce and extend the work of London’s existing community organisations working with young people.
The ENOUGH! campaign will be formally launched this evening at the Royal Festival Hall. It is a campaign driven and inspired by young people, and friends and families of victims. It aims to:

- Bolster support for existing community organisations
Inspire new volunteers to work to end youth violence
Secure funding from central and local government, charities, companies and individuals
Keep the danger of youth violence on the agenda and promote positive images of young people

This sounds like another excellent initiative which must be supported to encourage those who are trying to tackle the scourge of youth violent crime.

The Lib Dem/Tory Coalition are putting a silly and unnecessary motion to the next Council Assembly back slapping themselves on what they are doing to tackling violent crime and praising the Exec. Member for Community Safety for organising a Summit!
Whilst a lot of positive initiatives are underway there has been no real positive results to show for it with Southwark's rate of fall in violent crime numbers much less than neighbouring boroughs so this motion is self-indulgent and totally misplaced and ill-judged.
The Lib Dems ask for cross-party support and then put this dross on the Agenda hoping we will meekly support well I am afraid it does not work like that!! We will praise actions not words and outcomes and not sound bites!

I am off to Broadstairs for the weekend to see Ian Driver and family and hope to do a bit of babysitting and of course hostelry visiting over the weekend and hope that the weather is not too rough!
The donkeys pictured have retired and a motion was passed by Thanet Council wishing them a long and happy retirement! Well Done Thanet!!

Hibs play Celtic at Parkhead this weekend and maybe a good game after they were soundly beaten by Man U. at Old Trafford... but again maybe not?
Hope Riordinho teaches them a lesson anyway!!!