Sunday, October 05, 2008

By-Election looms, a Violent Crime Strategy, City Hall visit and Hibs win again!

On the wider politician front Peter "Mandy" Mandelson is back and clearly the Press love it as the man they love to hate is back in the front line.
I was surprised by the decision but peter is a good organiser and motivator and will be very helpful to Gordon Brown and to the Labour Government is keeping us on track up to the next Election.
Talking about Elections we have the Rotherhithe By-Election on Thursday and I will be up there on the day. I hope that loyal Simon Hughes voters there will think twice now that the Lib Dems and Tories have been become an indistinguishable lump both at local and now national levels and think about the consequences of having the Tories running the Town Hall, City Hall and No. 10! A truly frightening thought for anyone!! Kath Whittam is a great candidate and would be a great Councillor representing Rotherhithe so good luck to her!
I met Lib Dem Exec Member for Community Safety, Paul Kyriacou on Wednesday at his request to talk about a cross party approach to violent crime. I have a lot of time for Paul and he suggested a Summit before Christmas to come up with some clear objectives. Strangely enough we came up with the same idea at our Southwark Labour Party Conference last month where I Chaired a workshop on Community Safety. I have to say I was a bit surprised when he suggested that this would lead to the development of a violent Crime Strategy for Southwark, something we have repeatedly called for at Council Assembly(4 times!) and which has been rejected by the Lib Dems and Tories!
We will of course support a cross party position on violent crime as it is too important or party politics to get in the way off but I think can justifying point out that this should have started 2 years ago as we suggested!
Some recent good news on the Community Safety front with 55 new Police Officers for the Borough and £700K extra money given to Southwark from the Government. If we can work cross party on this then hopefully we can ensure that these extra resources are used to their best effect!
Some good news on the Camberwell regeneration front with money from English Heritage being agreed over the next 3 years with match funding (could mean £200K each year!) to improve the shop frontages and the overall appearance of the Town centre. Also significant money from TfL to spend in the Town Centre and a £400K bid to the Mayor of London to improve Camberwell Green. If this all comes through we could make significant improvements in Camberwell over the next 3 years, this alongside the potential redevelopment of Camberwell Leisure Centre, further development plans for Butterfly Walk and the Community Council's continuing CGS Projects there is a lot to be positive about. It also comes during a major Scrutiny looking at Camberwell Regeneration so I feel very positive about the future of Camberwell and that all of our efforts over the past 15 years may be starting to pay off!
On Thursday Val Shawcross hosted a Camberwell Community event in City Hall which was extremely successful and we must make it a regular event! I even spotted Boris on his bike leaving City Hall at 7.30pm! I was impressed that he was working late but he had just "sacked" Sir Ian Blair so probably had quiet a busy day! It was a crass politically motivated decision and is a clear indication of what we can expect from Boris and his "Tory Boy" gang who are now terrorising everyone at City Hall!!
Great result for Hibs yesterday with Derek "Riordinho" Riordan scoring twice to beat Aberdeen 1-2 at Pittodrie! He is still not fully match fit but really showing his quality and he may be the best Hibs buy for some years! It was also a brilliant performance from Yves Ma-Kalamby who made 4 outstanding saves to keep us in the match so things are picking up at Easter Road and we are now up to 4th place in the SLP! Next Week it is Scotland against Norway at Hampden in a vital World Cup Qualifier, we need a win!
Finally I am up in Edinburgh and mum is recovering well after getting out of Hospital on Wednesday. Many thanks for the best wishes and I will be back in harness on Wednesday!