Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spineless Liberal Democrats and Hibs win 5 in a row!

Southwark News picked up a couple of good stories this week the most unbelievable is the one on the proposed new Fisher stradium in Southwark Park.

When the 9 local Lib Dem Councillors, including the Council Leader Nick stanton, were asked for an opinion 5 were apparently unable to give one!! Talk about spineless!! In fact Stanton was so inept that all he could say was "Hard to comment since I dont know what it is!" Surprising since it was the front page story of the SN last August!!
The SN also reports plans to sell of the Corporate Training Resource Centre at Cator Street one year after spending £1M pounds of public money refurbishing it!! What an appauling waste of our money and this at a time when they have just closed the Livesey for a fraction of that money!!

Hibs 2-0 away win over Falkirk last night was the fifth straight win in the past 3 weeks and has moved them up from 8th in the table to fourth and two points away from the 3rd place UEFA spot!!
A real topsy turvy season with a long unbeaten run at the start followed by a complete collapse and now a long winning run again.
The 3 men pictured Fletcher and new boys Rankin and Nish really are playing well and Ian Murray relly has fitted straight back in and looks as goods as when he left us for Rangers 3 years ago. in truth mixu has them palying with a lot of flair (perhaps a little less than with Collins) but has tightened up the defence and we look an all round stronger and more balanced team and are now favourites for the 3rd place spot. Celtic at home is the next match, dad will be there and I will be watching on Setanta!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Libs Dem/Tory Coalition set Tory 2006 Budget in 2008!

Wednesday night's Council Assembly of course went as expected with the budget agreed, the Livesey museum to close, Meals on Wheels to increase by 50%, social care removed from the elderly but never mind £2M agreed to pay Consultants to tell us how to move to an expensive new building!!!
Whilst the Lib Dem?Tory line was all about the poor Government settlement the Southwark News cleverly spotted that the budget proposals were very similar to the budget put forward by the tories in 2006!!
As SN writing comments it does make you wonder who is running the Council? We all know of course that the Tory tail is wagging the Lib Dem dog and Southwark Council has for the past 6 years been under Tory control! Well spotted Southwark News!
Best comment of the night goes to Ian Wingfield who said "I have always advocated consensus working but noone has ever agreed with me!" and strangest comment goes to Toby who said that this Government settlement was "the worst in local government history!". I really had to remind him about Margaret "there is no such thing as society!" Thatcher as I really think that he had forgotten about her!!!

I took Shauna and "boyfriend" Oscar to see Pinnochio yesterday for the half term and they behaved well and I sang along with the songs!
The picture is of them on the bus to Catford!

Hibs have their 3rd home game on the trot against Inverness Caley and a third win would really put them back in the running for the 3rd place UEFA spot in the SPL!
Dad's going and a full house expected as it looks as if Hibs have turned the corner?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Couple of Mentions in todays SLP, Council Assembly looms, Half Term outings and Hibs on the path to recovery?

I had a couple of mentions in the SLP today one on the plan to ask Housing Associations to pay for the Wardens to patrol which is all sounding a bit deperate and really shows how the Lib Dem/Tory Council have mismanaged a very expensive service costing £6M per year and are now rushing headlong to scrap it! What a waste of money and a wsted opportunity to really have an effective and popular warden service but it is now so discredited that I am not sure many tears will be shed if and when it is scraped which will be a real shame as there are some excellent and commited people working as wardens and there is a very positive contribution that they could still make but I think that the "black spot" is upon them!
The other was on Nick Stanton's stupid comment that the Camberwell Leisure Centre was top of his list for closure next year and it was a good chance to call him an "idiot" on record!

I have had a quieter week at the Town Hall just as well as I am moving office at the University (now complete!) and am taking 6 year old Shauna out to see Pinnochio on Thursday at the catford theatre and Tutankamun at the o2 on Friday!
I missed the Tut exhibition first time around and this will probably be the last time so i am looking forward to seeing it myself!

On the Hibs front a couple of back to back home wins against Gretna (4-2) and more impressively Aberdeen (3-1). Aberdeen are in great form and I saw them demolish us only 6 weeks ago so a real turnaround.
Mixu is now shaping the team with Nish and Rankin both playing well and Fletcher back to his best. Good to see Shiels playing so well as John Collins was always trying to send him on loan or sell him! Hibs now back in 5th place from 8th a week ago but really only a couple of wins of 3rd place and a European place and that must be their target!
Fletcher really is turning into something special and must be in line for a full Scotland cap very soon. Obviously Celtic and Rangers are already hovering overhead but with his new contract they will have to pay big money. Amazingly rumours abound that Real Madrid are interested in him!! I am pretty clear, and infact predicted so at the end of last season, that he will not be a Hibs player next season but will have moved onto bigger and better things!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lib Dem/Tory Administration use budget scaremongering to speed up the "hollowing out" of Camberwell!

On Tuesday the Executive laid out their cuts proposals after weeks of "softening up" the press including Nick Stanton using Southwark Life completely inapropriately to vent his political spleen !
All the soft targets are there of course including the elderly, disabled and children, a cut in the Wardens with a plan to get HA's to pay for having them cover their area? Hands up those who think that is going to work?
The Livesey wil close and the plans for a Discovery Centre seem as pie in the sky as well Bob Skelly went on about it in the last Administration! Mind you it appears that he will be getting his old Executive job back in May after serving his time for the crime? So that's all right then!
Whilst many of us are working with the local community to encourage investment into Camberwell Leisure Centre Stanton thought it sensible to say that the Centre was top of his list for closure next year! A real boost to the campaign scuppering any chance of a rescue plan! What an idiot!!! This after a Lib Dem Campaign in Brunswick Park not 2 years ago promising full redevelopment!! They have no morality and no shame about anything that they do! They are an embarassment to Southwark!

If that is not bad enough we now hear that the Town Hall will also be sold off stripping pretty much any Council presence out of Camberwell to relocate in Tooley Street! this will have serious consequences for the local economy but as an Executive member reported to us the Lib Dem line is "there are no votes in it for us!" unbelievable and unfortunatley these people are "running" this Council!
Good to know that they will give £2M to consultants to work out how to fit all of the staff into the new offices, money well spent and obviously more important than social care for the elderly!
This selling off the family silver is completely immoral and we will have to take over a Council in chaos and in tooley street when we win in 2010!

They are in for a long night with us next week at Council Assembly but the Lib Dem/Tory deal will no doubt hold firm whilst most of the Lib Dems will sit there in silence putting their hands up when their strings are pulled, a case of lie back and think of the Special Responsibility Allowance! Disgarceful!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Busy week at the refreshers Fair, campaigning and Hibs get a point at last!

I spent quite a lot of last week at the Refreshers Fair at London Met talking to Students as well as a very hectic week in the Town Hall.
I was hoping for a quiet weekend but got the last of the Calanders out on Saturday and was out campaigning in a Constituency action day on Sunday!
We have Labour Group tonight to talk through the Tory/lib dem budget which looks a real mess, they really are falling apart!!

I did see Hibs play Dundee United on Setanta on Saturday and they were lucky to go in at half time only a goal down to a very impressive Dundee utd team. They played better in the second half without any great fluency and should have won it in the last few minutes with 2 wasted chances!
Hibs look really poor disjointed and struggle at the back but Ma-Kalamby is playing well as is Murray who looks something like the form he was in when he left us in 2005! Nish and Rankine looked good and beuzalin had a good game in midfield but i think that it will be a long hard season for us and dont think we will take 3rd place as Dundee Utd and Motherwell are just playing too well at the moment although we have better players1

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Busy week in the Town Hall, Trip to Ireland and Hibs have Cup Replay with Rangers!

It is a busy week for me at the Town Hall with the Shadow executive and OSC last night, where Borough Commander Malcolm Tillyer discussed the future plans for policing in Southwark. My guess is that the Lib Dems saw an opportunity to make political capital over plans to close 3 stations in the borough but the rationale behind it all of course makes sense and we all agree that consultation on future uses for the buildings including some level of community use is essential!
We have the Camberwell Community Council this evening where we will be saying farewell to Sargeant David Gywther from the Camberwell Green SNT . He has been outstanding and will be sorely missed but I of course wish him well in Greenwich in his new Inspector's role. On Wednesday I Chair the Childrens Services and Education Scrutiny Sub Committee with feedback from early visits to Youth Clubs which I think of all of us have found really positive and useful.

On Thursday there is the Camberwell Branch Labour Party AGM and I think that we can reflect on a very positive year with our campaigning and successes across the two Wards. I am looking forward to a well attended and very positive meeting ahead of the Election Campaign.
I am going to Ireland with my parents and my sister for Easter to visit the family in both the North and South and visit our family's "home" towns of Sligo (in the case of my mothers family) and Longford where my dad was born and which is apparently the home of the Friary Family so it should be interesting? We shall of course see lots of our family in and around Monaghan and have booked a house in the village of Rockorry where many of my family live and which I last visited when I was 8 year old! I intend to sample lots of Guinness over the 5 days!
I watched the Cup game on Setanta on Sunday and was depressed at half time as Hibs were being completley outclassed by Rangers! Only a very on form Ma-Kalamby kept them at bay along with some desperate defending!But talk about a "game of two halves" we controlled the second half and were really unlucky noit to sneak a win. Fletcher and Sheils both were excellent and new boy, Inverness Caley, Rankin also impressed. So a replay to come at Ibrox where we beat them 3-0 two years ago!
I was full of expectation for a Scottish victory against France in the opeing game of the 6 Nations with France making so many changes but could not have been more wrong. It was a good French performance to win 27-6 but a really poor Scottish team and not a lot to look forward to this year it appears which is a shame after a pretty good World Cup only a few months ago?