Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More knife attacks in Southwark and we allocate the Camberwell Community Council Fund!

There was more shocking news over the weekend of 3 more young people stabbed in Southwark, one in Bermondsey and most shockingly 2 in Walworth aged 9 and 10! A 15 year old has been arrested.

Whilst gun crime is a real concern it does for the most part revolve around gang culture, unless you are caught in the crossfire like the nurse in New Cross! (Good to see a long sentence for the man responsible on the back of a number of 20-30 year sentences currently being given out at the moment which I welcome!)
Knife crime can be the more random and I do worry about the levels of youths carrying knives and therefore do accept the need for more stop and search and more positive action like the Met Police's current Operation Blunt in Southwark and Lambeth where over have been 200 blades seized and over 210 arrested. This followed over 4000 stop and searches over a two week period, a really intense operation but one which did deliver results! Of course there are dangers of youth alienation but of course it is that very same group that are most likely to be the victims so I believe that it is the right thing to do!
Another concern is the availability of knives especially in bargain shops and Trading Standards do have a role here to ensure that traders are not selling knives to underage people and we will be asking questions of the Executive as to what we are doing in Southwark to tackle this!

On a brighter note we awarded in principle the Camberwell Community Council Communiuty Fund of £15,000 (plus £2,000 carry over from last year) and the projects in Camberwell Green Ward recieving cash are( subject to ratification at the next Camberwell Community Council):

1. Camberwell Fair £1,000
2. BonkersFest Camberwell Green £400
3. Educational Alliance Africa Summer School on the Elmington Estate £977
4. Castlemead T&RA Arts and Crafts Fun Day £750
5. Poets Corner Healthy Living Day £750
6. Elmington T&RA Healthy Living Day £750
7. Grosvenor T&RA and Sheltered Unit Sewing Project £1,000
8. Warrior Princess Jedi Training Academy £350
9. Wyndham & Comber Grand Opening Day for New Play Area £661

All in all a nice total of £7,388 for projects in Camberwell Green Ward!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Memorial Benches Unveiled and West End Live!

Last Thursday I attended the unveiling of 2 Memorial benches to Charlie Robinson and Angela Occamore.
They were funded by the Camberwell Community Council and a large number of people were there to remember Charlie and Angela. People were asked to sit on the benches as they spoke about them and the picture shows Ian Wingfield remembering Charlie. Cleo and I also spoke. The other pictures show Russell Occamore talking about his sister, Father Nick saying a commemorative prayer and Charlie's bench with the inscription. All in all a lovely ceremony and we all had a drink in the Crypt afterwards.

On Saturday I went with Clair and Shauna to West End Live!, a Festival with many best known productions presenting excerpts from their shows. Shauna had a picture taken as part of the Narnia Film Poster looking mean and moody !

I just scanned in this picture taken the year after I became a Councillor in 1995 by my old College Napier and it appeared on the front page of the University Magazine, probably the only time in my life that I will appear on the front cover of anything!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

David Davis, a Weekend sightseeing, Task and Finish Scrutiny, Scotland get good result against Pumas and Hibs kick off Inter-Toto Cup this weekend!

The decison by David Davis to resign his seat is nothing more than pathetic political posturing and it is good to see that both the press and the public have so clealry rumbled him!
It is a bit rich for a man who has voted for the reintroduction of the death penalty to claim to be the saviour of human rights in the UK and I hope that the Labour Party do not stand a candidate to ensure that the whole process is seen as nothing more than a farce!
Interesting to see Calamity "Cameron Lite" Clegg give Davis his fulsome support as the edges between Lib Dem and Tory get more and more blurred, not only in the Town Hall but in Westminster!
My sister was down for a quiet weeeknd and it was amazing just how much was going on, the Coin Street Festival, Borough Market , a Thai Festival in Trafalgar Square, the Queen's Birthday with flypass and we even saw the London Naked Bike Ride go right past us! We saw the Telecroscope by City Hall designed and built by a London Met Lecturer!

Everything we saw that day was free and it really does astonish me when people say that they have nothing to do in a place like London and my weeeknd really proved the point!
On Sunday we went to the British Museum, always a favourite place of mine, where there was an exhibition on American art including works by Jackson Pollock which gives me the opportunity to remember the famous Fosters Lager advert with Paul Hogan in the Art Gallery when someone says to him "this one's Pollock's!" to which he of course replies "Steady on mate! it is'nt that bad!"
It is a busy week in the Town Hall for me with meetings every night and last night at OSC we had a really positive meeting agreeing scrutiny subjects for the "Task and Finish" Scrutiny Committees. I have taken Burgess Park as my major project with Peckham Rye Park and Employment and Enterprise as my two smaller subjects.
I am looking forward to this new way of working and feel that it will be very positive and successful!
Scotland had a really great result against Argentina in Beunos Aires at the weekend winning 14-26 and a personal triumph for Chris Patterson winning a record 88th Cap and kicking 16 points.
It was a great win after a series of poor results which may result in Scotland dropping from a Second to Third Group seed for the next World Cup and make it all the harder for us to qualify out of the intiial Group Stages!
Good news from UEFA is that the Scotland will get an extra UEFA Cup place next season thanks to the good performances from Scotland in the Euro Qualifiers and of course Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen in the Champions League and UEFA Cup competitions last season.
Hibs will be taking part in the Inter-Toto Cup again next season (picture is of Hibs against Odense 2 years ago) Hibernian are the only team taking part in the Intertoto Cup. They must make it through two rounds over the summer if they are to form a trio of Scottish clubs in the 2008/09 Uefa Cup.Mixu Paatelainen's men take on either the Swedes Elfsborg or HB Torshavn from the Faroe Islands. If they were to progress, they would play a team from Latvia, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland or Wales. The first round kicks off this weekend so good luck to Hibs!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trying to get get the Town Hall listed, closing Tenants Halls back on the Tory/Lib Dem Agenda!

The Tory/Lib Dem Coalition are desperate to flog off the Town Hall asap to justify their move to the Tooley Street Titanic and therefore I have requested that English Heritage consider requesting the listing of Southwark Town Hall so that the building can remain a monument to civic pride and to the people honoured on it's walls!
My press quote is as follows:
“The Lib Dem/Tory coalition seems set on selling off the Southwark Town Hall complex, which is not only the borough’s democratic centre but is also an important part of the history of Camberwell. Flogging it off opens up the potential for the building to be demolished which would rip the heart out of Camberwell and destroy the commemorative monuments inside such as those to Camberwell residents who were awarded the Victoria Cross and died in combat. I hope that by getting it listed we can avoid such a travesty.”
Southwark News reported plans are afoot again to flog of Tenants Halls, something atempted and put on hold just before the last Council elections in 2006! Then there was a cynical attempt to to use disability legislation , the DDA, as their excuse and now it is apparently "Health & Safety"? As an H&S Adviser myself I cant wait to hear officers stumbling over their justifications to OSC! It really is quite pathetic and really shows if more evidence is needed that the Tory tail is most definately wagging the Lib Dem dog!!

Good to see Rotten Boroughs in Private Eye pick up on the £6,000 Champers party with Veolia which we all footed the bill for, as they say "trebles all round!" Southwark may soon have to have it's very own page in that esteemed organ?

On the Hibs front rumours still abound about Real Madrid's interest in Stephen Fletcher and it also seems that Anderlecht have their sights on Benjouloun. It would be a real loss to lose both our main strikers but at this moment in time Benji looks a more likely one to leave but not at any less a price than £1M!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Weekend of the Boss and the Bard!... and I take a taxi! ...and the Hibs clear out begins!

My sister was down for the weekend primarily to see Bruce Springsteen play at the Emirates but we also took in a bit of the Bard as well! We spend the afternoon in the Camden Passage Antique Market at the Angel and then on Upper Street before making our way to the Emirates.
Bruce was his usual excellent energetic self and the E Street Band sounded fantastic. Not bad going for a 59 year old! I saw him in 1985 at Wembley and he sounded just as good! The Emirates was a really good venue as well!

On Sunday we went to the Globe to see King Lear after lunch in the Globe's Swan Brasserie. David Calder was brilliant as Lear and deserving of his great reviews and the eye plucking scene was especially gory!
We ended up with a few drinks in the George Pub in Borough High Street so all in all a good if busy weekend!
back to normnal tonight with OSC, then the Camberwell Community Council on Tuesday and the Camberwell Branch Labour Paty meeting on thursday!
Good news is that the University Academic Year ends on Friday!!!

At OSC I agreed to Chair one of the new "Taxi Rank" Scrutiny Committes with Barrie taking over at Education and Children's Services. I do like the idea of these new Committees as Scrutiny may become far more responsive and community focussed so I am looking forward to taking part in the exercise and no doubt making mistakes along the way!
We have a Camberwell Community Council meeting tomorrow night and are agreeing the Cleaner, Greener, Safer bids for the year.
I hope that we can support some really good projects within Camberwell Green Ward such as making planters out of old ventilation shafts on the Wyndham Estate, refurbishing the green space on Grimsell Path on Brandon 3, funding security fencing on the Crawford and lighting the car park and the trees on Castlemead!

On the Hibs front the end of season clear out is underway with Beuzelin off to Coventry, and rumours that Ma-Kalamby, Benjouloun and O'Brien are on their way out? Antii Niemi may be on his way to Easter Road from Fulham which I think will be a very good signing! Looks like we are also after Liverpool's Adam Hammill who cost us a place in last season's Scottish Cup Final almost single handedly when on loan to Dunfermline, also looks like a very good buy!
It looks like Mixu is after less style and more substance in order to get a more disciplined and consistent approach which is desperatley needed so long as we keep enough quality to keep scoring!