Monday, April 14, 2008

Election campaign hots up and the Camberwell Bible is on it's way! Hibs sign Yantorno!

Life is pretty hectic with the University still in full swing, the Council still operating as usual and a full of election campaign to get on with! I think I spent 5 hours yesterday working in the ward to go along with the 3 hours on Saturday! We are getting a very very good response so actually it is a very positive experience. The polls are looking much better for Ken and bottoming out for Paddick who I saw on the Politics Show yesterday again floundering under some very basic questioning, arguing against Lib Dem policy on at least 2 occasions!!! I am feeling ever more confident that Ken and Val will win but have no clear idea about the bigger picture in terms of how many GLA Seats we will get! Lots more to do as we are about maximising the vote in Camberwell and so it really is foot to the pedal until May 2nd!! Peter John's Blog mentions that Boris was in East Dulwich walking around the Estate with local people and was heard to say to one of his flunkies "who would want to live here?" Is he real or what??

My colleague Sandra Rhule has coined the expression " The Camberwell Bible" after a meeting with the Council Leader who has agreed to resource a project to put all of the miriad of Camberwell Strategy documents into one integrated document. It is a great idea and a great name and follows on from Veronica Ward and I's questioning of the Leader at OSC when we asked about regenerating Camberwell. Stanton said that he had no idea about a Vision for camberwell and asked me to sum it up in one line, an offer I did not take up but we then had a quite positive discussion about Town Centre Management within Camberwell.
It is clear that this Tory/Lib Dem Administration have absolutely no interest in Camberwell as "there are no votes in it!" but can be pushed and prodded over time to take some action and even on the Camberwell Baths front there are expressions of interest from a few developers so we have to continue to work in this vein, almost always against the grain, to get things done until we kick them out of the Town Hall (or anonymous Office block in Tooley Street!) in 2010!

Hibs have offered a contract to Gretna player Fabian Yantorno for next season as most of the Gretna first team have been sacked! He is injured but looked one of their best players and scored from a great free kick in the opeing game of the season which i was at where we eventua;lly won 4-2!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Val has failed to accomplish anything for Camberwell. She's rushed here at the last minute to suggest otherwise but I see nothing. As for the vision thing, Labour had decades and never did anything - and there were votes in it! I'm not sure the Lib Dems will do any better. A bible will be nothing more than a book of missed opportunities. Most notably, your failure as a Labour-controlled Council years back to secure the Bakerloo line extension in the 10 year plan. Failure. We're still paying.

Cllr. John Friary Blog said...

Dear Anonymous, I cant take personal responsibility for every Council decision since 1974 but am happy to conceed that opportunities probably were missed although the Bakerloo extension was never seen as a practical option by LT as far as I recall although our constant lobbying for better transsport links in camberwell including tube, tram and rail links have had an effect and I think that all three are realistic over the next 10 years even if it is a tube stop at Denmark Hill and not camberwell Green. Val has been a very strong and effective advocate to get some of that moving and I think that the "Bible" will focus this Administration's attention even although it is quite clear that they have no interest as they dont see any electroal benefit! They cant hide behind the arguement of ignorance but have to admit their real motives and as the redevelopment of Camberwell Leisure Centre dicsuiions progress we will see just how comitted or otherwise the Tory?Lib Dem Coalition really is to Camberwell wont we?? I am not sure what you rpersonally are doing to make things better in Camberwell but I am absolutley comitted to dpoing all I can and if you want to join us you will be welcomed with open arms! However if you just want to whine from the sidelines......?
Thanks again!
John

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