Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Task and Finsh Scrutiny on Peckham Rye Park, more murders in Southwark, Hibs in Intertoto and Murray marches on!

Last night I Chaired the first"Task and Finish" Scrutiny Committees in the Town Hall and topic number one was the current use of Peckham Rye Park.
As well as my old colleague Mick Bernard, we had a number of the Carrib FC Football players as well as representatives from other football clubs, Southwark Tigers Rubgy and the Dulwich Harps Gaelic Football Team pictures below.

It was a good chance for everyone to air their views and concerns and I am confident that we will be able to make sensible recommendations on a way forward when we next meet in Peckham in September. I will of course be in the Park this Saturday for the Southwark Irish Festival so I will have a chance to use the cafe and have an informal look around as it has been some time since I have been in the Park. There are clearly some tensions between the user groups and we will have to come up with a way for them to work together in the future probably by establishing some sort of Management Committee? it was good to see young people come to the meeting and hopefully we can really use this type of Committee to really engage with people outwardly rather than being an internalised naval gazing group!
Yesterday there was a March from local people in Islington condemning the murder of 16 year old Ben Kinsella and in Southwark we have had 2 more murders, one in the Old Kent Road and the other last night in Bellenden Road, all knife attacks! This in a week when the TV have been focussing on youth crime and gun and knife attacks. Whilst I accept the need to examine the real root cause of all of this violence, and hopefully our Youth Scrutiny and the work we are currently doing in the Parks, may find a way forward in engaging young people, but there is really no excuse or rationale for people who carry and use knives and guns and I am all for stricter punishments and more stop and search to get weapons off the streets! I did watch some of the programmes and listen to some of the people involved and it was all about easy money and not having to work, one said why should he work in a chicken factory when he can run his own little "hustle" from his own home, the "Hustle being selling crack and pimping prostitutes!!

Hibs play their first competitive game of the season on Saturday at home against Swedish Club Elfsborg in the first round of the Intertoto Cup. The swedes are currently playing their season so will be sharper so it will not be an easy tie to get past them! It will be interesting to see Mixu's first real team selection with his own players since he took over!

There is another cautionary tale for rising stars in Scotland as Derek Riordan looks like he is on his way to Burnley! A few years ago he was Hibs top scorer, Young Player of the Year and had his first full Scotland Cap. Then came the inevitable move to Celtic, long periods on the subs bench and now he is on his way out to, no disrespect intended, a lowly English Club! It is hard to know what else he could have done at Celtic as every time he came on he seemed to score and the fans loved him but Strachan clearly did not! It was rumoured that he was coming back on loan but Celtic want him out so that is not going to happen. Still a really good player and a real natural goal scorer who I hope can "do a Kenny Miller!" and come back to play at the top level where I think he belongs?

Great to see Scot and Hibs supporter Andy Murray still in the mix at Wimbledon after that fantastic come back against Gasquet on Monday! All he has to do is beat Nadal today in the Quarters and he has a great chance of getting to the Final! Should not be a problem for him!