Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sad deaths of Peter Moore and Joan Katchik!

Very sad news about the death of Peter Moore, Southwark's and London's Town Crier for many years!

I knew Peter very well over my near 16 years as a Councillor and he was a truly lovely man who really believed in what he was doing and gave his heart and soul to the job, and was especially fond , I know, of Southwark! He was due to be given a Lifetime Achievement awartd at this year's London New Year Parade and I know he would have been very proud of that. Hope I am back in time to attend his Funeral in Southwark Cathedral, again a fitting tribute to him!
The BBC covered his death in thier local news:
This follows on from the sad death of ex-Mayor and Southwark Labour Group Colleague Joan Katchik who died earlier in the month. Again I worked closely with her and know how much she loved her signing and acting and of course her beloved Leicester City!!
Two very sad losses at the end of the year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brunswick Park Decides and Hibs lose but Stokes gets fastest SPL Goal!!

I have now heard that the Brunswick Park Ward Shortlisting and Selection Meetings will take place next week so this is the "last chance saloon" for me in terms of next year's Elections so I will take my chanes with the other candidates and see what happens!!I still think that I have something to offer to Camberwell and Southwark over the next four years so hopefully I can convince the Party members of that next week?
Hibs lost surprisingly heavily at home to Rangers, 4-1 but it looks like it was just one of those days with Miller, Boyd and Novo on fire for Rangers and our central defenders awol, even with Bamba playing before his month away with the Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup!!
The real highlight was Anthony Stokes goal after 12.4 seconds, the SPL's fastest ever. See video below:
Unfortunately after that great start we lost four see below for highlights:
No need to panic with the Hearts Derby next and a good win needed!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas from a Snowy Edinburgh!!

Just resting after last day shopping in a very cold wintery Edinburgh. Took some nice pics of the castle and the City and some very tired reindeers in Princess Street Gardens!
Have a good Christmas and a good year in 2010 especially if you are a Labour Party member or Supporter!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

More evidence of Southwark failing, Alison selected, BPK re-run, back in Scotland and Stokes wins it for Hibs again!!

Southwark News covered the story this week of the apparently unstoppable slide of Southwark Council from an improving borough to one of the worst performing in the Country!! Looks like the Tory/Lib Dem Administration have aready given up and are treading water until they are booted out in May, just a pity that Southwark Residents have another 5 months to suffer of this pathetic bunch!!
Fantastic news about my good friend and Camberwell Councillor collegue Alison McGovern who on Saturday was selected by her home Constituency of Wirral South as their PPC at next year's Generasl Election!! Congratuations to her and good news for the people of Wirral South!!
The Brunswick Park Ward Party have decided to re-open the Shortlist and Selection process and obviously I shall be putting my name forward. I have no expectations from this and wil have to put my case on an equal basis with the other canidadates but hopefully it will all be sorted out by Mid-January and I shall know my fate!
I am back homne in a very cold and wintery Edinburgh for the Christmas and New Year Break! Good battery charging exercise for the rigours of the first half of 2010!!
Hibs and Anthony Stokes going great guns with an excellent 2-0 victory over a very good Aberdeen side at Pittodrie on Saturday! Rangers next at Easter Road!
Highlights through the link below:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Chance Saloon for me in BPK, Christmas Lunches, Wonderlands and Markets!!!!

Brunswick Ward members meet tomorrow night to either ratify the 3 shortlisted names or re-open the shortlist which is now my only possible route to being a Councillor in Camberwell past May next year. I have no part to play in it so just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow night!! At least I will know by tomorow whether the door has been firmly slammed in my face or if my foot remains slightly trapped in the door letting a little light in!!!
We had our office Lunch at Grapeshot in Shoreditch yesterday and the food was as good as ever so a nice time had by all. The Estates lunch is this afternoon in N1 at Kings Cross!
I went with Clair and Shauna and Sophie to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park on Sunday. Kids loved it very busy and very very expensive!!!
The Camberwell Christmas Market is on the Green on Saturday but I will be long gone back to Edinburgh by then but hope it goes well!!
Hibs are solidly in 3rd place in the SPL with the important holiday programme about to begin with an easy home match against Rangers on the 26th and Hearts in the New Year!! if we come out of it still in 3rd place I will be pretty confident of keeping that spot til the ned of the Season!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Town Hall problems, OSC, London Met in trouble and Hibs keep on winning!!

More signs perhaps of the wheels falling off at Southwark with the very critical Report from the Care Quality Commission and the Secretary of State making Southwark "a priority for improvement"! This follows on the from the Audit Commissions "Red Flagging" Southwark Housing, two major areas of work where Southwark are clearly failing!!!

I spent over 5 hours at the Town Hall at OSC going over the Elephant and Castle deal with Lend Lease in fine detail, well as much detail as we had which was not very much really!!
The crunch time is with the Regeneration Agreement due next March 2010 just ahead of the Elections and we plan to spend a lot of Scrutiny time between now and then going over it as it is the point of no return. There is an argument for not taking any such decision without the endorsement of the new Administration so i hope that sense will prevail and that there will be no mad run to sign ahead of that and risk repenting at leisure!!
Lots of worries about London Met University with HEFcE , the Governors and Executive at loggerheads! There are lots of very good people at London Met and it would be a real tragedy if they had to go in order to tie up loose ends!! a real high price to pay!!
The Indie reported it yesterday

Hibs had another good win against a good Motherwell side on Saturday and still doggedly hanging on to 3rd spot ahead of the crunch time over the Festive break!! Hope to see them a couple of times including against the Gers!
Match report below:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Southwark News followed up on my Deselection with a piece and printed some letters, one from me:


Letters from my friends Ian Driver and Stephen Boyer and of course from me
Pretty much nothing more to be said on the matter!!

Hibs kept the 3rd place spot with a professional if not inspiring 2-0 win over Falkirk, highlights below:

The Christmas/New Year period is critical for us so we need to keep it up over the next month and see where we are after the New year game with Hearts! Hope to see a couple of games at Easter Road over the holidays including Rangers on the 26th December!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflections on my time at Southwark, Scotland beat Wallabies and Hibs drop points. George Best remembered at Hibs!!

I have had many email and texts etc. of support over the weekend so many thanks for that!
I wrote this letter to Southwark News:
Dear Editor,Can I firstly thank you for your kind and generous words about me last week and the many emails, texts, tweets, Facebook and Blog Messages from political friends and foes and the community of Camberwell.
In my 25 years living in Camberwell I have been a member of staff for 7 and an Councillor for 16 so I have invested a lot of my heart and soul into Southwark and Camberwell and I am extremely grateful to the Labour Party and the people of Camberwell for allowing me to do the most fulfilling thing of my life and represent them.
I am of course very disappointed not to have the opportunity to stand as a Labour Party Candidate in Camberwell Green Ward in 2010 as it will a challenging time no matter what the political outcome of the Elections but also a time of opportunity for Camberwell to regenerate and produce some very positive outcomes for the area.
Of course I believe that by far the best chances of this happening will be with a Labour Government and a Labour Council in Southwark and I will work very hard to that end!Once again it has been a real privilege to have represented Camberwell for so long and I hope to be able to continue to contribute in some way in future out of the Town Hall.

Scotland had a fantastic and unexpected victory over Australia at the weekend ending a 27 year losing run! Great result for new Coach Andy Robinson and a great boost ahead of the 5 Nations in January.
Link to game highlights below:

Hibs picked up a point away in a 1-1 draw against St. Mirren in atrocious weather conditions which in the past would have been a decent result but is seen as 2 points dropped.
Link to match highlights below:

BBC have a page of pictures of George Best when he was at Hibs and I actually saw him play in his first game against Rangers when we won 2-0 and guess what he scored one goal and made the other! Great memories of someone past his best but still a fantastic talent!! Not sure how sober he was for most of it but we loved him!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

End of the Road!!!! Alf Wallis Remembered!!

Well the word has gotten out pretty quickly about my Deselection on Tuesday and there is really little for me to say on the matter. Everyone who needs to know what happened knows what happens so probably better for me to keep quiet!
Southwark News covered the story today and you can read it on the link:
I have seen too many people go through the bitter and twisted reaction to setbacks like this to know that that serves no one's interest's least not my own and, although still feeling very raw about it all, will look forward to a Christmas break in Edinburgh and come back to move on with my life after Southwark Council!
It will be strange as this building has played a very important part in my life over the past 25 years, 6 years as a Southwark Employee and nearly 16 years as a Councillor so it will take a bit of getting used to walking past it and not feeling the urge to go to a Meeting! I am sad that there are a number of key things going on in Camberwell over the next four years that I would have liked to be involved with and trust that all those unfamiliar faces who appeared at the Selection Meeting and those who orchestrated it will play their part in a critical time for the Camberwell!!
I am grateful to the Southwark News Editorial and to the comments here and on Facebook of support, a bit like reading your own Obituary!! Thanks again!
I attended the Funeral of Alf Wallis on Wednesday at the Salvation Army Church on Lomond Grove which was a nice send of for a remarkable man with "I am what I am" from Shirley Bassey at the start, Family memories and a bit of Abba and "Auld Lange's Ayne" at the end to send him off!! I will miss him!! Helped put my previous night's experience into perspective!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mid-Elmington and OSC, Camberwell Green selects and Burley foir the chop!!

Another busy week kicks off with Overview and Scrutiny Committee tonight and the Mid-Elmington Estate Redevelopment call-In which I am responsible for!
I took a bit of flack from Cllrs Humphries and McNally for it but i was absolutely shocked at how little the affected tenants knew about what their options were and a decision was taken on abysmal consultation so I am simply asking the council to do it properly!!
I attended both Poets Corner and the Mid-Elmington T&RA last week and hope to have some of the tenants affected attending tonight. of course I want to see the Estate improved but only if it is for the benefit of the exciting tenants and not just private property developers, whether the Tory/Lib Dem bunch like it or not! One way or another this will be a significant project over the next four years!
The Elephant Briefing due today has been called off so dont know whether that is good or bad news?
Crunch time tomorrow as Camberwell Green Ward selects it's Candidates for the 2010 Southwark Council Elections with me seeking my 5th nomination! Wish me luck!!
It may be the end of the road for Scotland Coach George Burley after the absolute shocker of a 3-0 defeat to Wales in Cardiff!
Rumours are rife that he will be sacked this week and not before time! He really lost it with the Ferguson/McGregor affair when he failed to send them home after a drunken session and then let them sit on the bench, no doubt hungover, putting their fingers up to the cameras!! Interesting to see names in the frame for his replacement? We do have some good players who look completely demotivated so we need someone new!!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Broadstairs Weekend, Remembrance Sunday, T&RA's and OSC Call-In and Hibs draw at Hearts!

Had a great time in Broadstairs with "Alderman" Ian Driver this weekend and visited Sandwich, Deal and Faversham, catching up with Stuart "Wolfie" Witcher and Jackie for a Beer and Curry night!!
I was not able to get back to Southwark in time for the Remembrance Sunday tribute but attended the Service in Broadstairs befoer catching the train back to London.
Sandra Rhule laid the wreath at the Camberwell Memorial for the Camberwell Community Councillors and I have the Burgess Park wreath to lay when the new Memorial is dedicated within the next month or so.
Some worry as my dad went into hospital over the weekend but he is back home and comfortable so hopefully it was just a warning!!
I have a week of T&RA Meetings at Poets Corner, D'Eynesford and Mid-Elmington and the redevelopment of the Elmington estates will be the main topic of conversation with the OSC Call-In on Monday so hope to get plenty of tenants there to hear in detail what the plans mean for them!
Camberwell Green Short-listing on Thursday with Selection next Monday so at least we will all be clear by then!!
Hibs fought out a fairly "dour" 0-0 draw against Hearts at Tynecastle. Usually a good result but the way Hibs are playing it was described a s " 2 points dropped!"
Good to see all teams with Poppies on their shirts !
See Highlights below:

Good to see Liam Miller picking up SPL Player of the Month showing what good buys he and Stokes have been! Good for the Republic of Ireland as well!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Council Assembly and weekend in Broadstairs!

Council Assembly on Wednesday night was very good for us and we got through the business with a good debate on the Housing Crisis which was what we wanted from the evening.
My fears of fillibustering were unfounded so have to give the opposition some credit for allowing the debate.
I was angry at Camberwell still being ignored in the Core Strategy despite our pressure but an amendment was accepted which at least keeps the door open for Camberwell regeneration but it is clear that it is not aq priority for this bunch in power
We really exposed the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition on the shambes in Housing with unfunded plans, poor management leading of course to them being "Red Flagged" by the Audit Commission!!
We also witnessed another incoherent and unhinged performance from Columbo Blango who said that the Labour Party were no different to the BNP and stupidly Adele Morris agreed!!!
We then got to the Extraordinary Council Assembly on the new arrangements and although I was first to speak Stanton shouted "move to the vote" twice, a real democrat!!
I am spending the weekend in Broadstairs and met up with old Camberwellians Stuart "Wolfie" and Jacqui Witcher in their new home of Faversham.
Lots of lovely Shepherd Neame beer and a nice curry and a very late train home so a great time had by all!!
I did some training and health and safety inspections for Ian Driver at his Citrizens Advice Bureau Offices in Margate and Broadstairs.

Hibs play Hearts today and again will be wearing special Poppy shirts for auctioning for the British Legion, see story below:

Going to the Rememberance Service in Broadstairs on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Another busy Town Hall week as we get into the "AGM" period with both Camberwell Neighbourhood Forum AGM's Meeting and a number of T&RA AGM's coming up!!

We have a full night tonight with 2 Council Assembly meetings back to back!
In the first meeting the new Core Stategy is comes back after a round of consultation with no plans to regenerate or develop Camberwell but word is there may be an agreement to end that tonight will be a mayor step forward!! There must be a strategic view of Camberwell which recognises the need to develop and regenerate in one of the few areas of the borough which has had no Council attention and perhaps we really can "Revitalise5" the area!!
We expect some "ill- liberal" and undemocratic" tricks tonight with lots of Lib Dems and Tories uncharacteristically wanting to contribute (from prepared notes no doubt) in a pathetic attempt to "fillibuster" a debate of the shocking state of Southwark Housing with apparently a CPA "Red Flag" imminent due to the on-going chaos!! Latest thing is getting rid of some Resident Involvement staff and sticking the rest in the Tooley Street Ivory Tower!! What are they thinking about!!
It will take us a long time to sort out the mess left when we take over in May!!!
Good campaigning session in Newington Ward over the weekend with val and the rest of the Team and a good chance to be reacquainted with the fantastic Henry Moore in the middle of the Brandon Estate!!

Hibs are now 2nd in the SPL with a pretty poor performance but a good 2-0 win over 9 man Aberdeen, highlights below:
Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday!! Should be fun!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Alf Wallis, Camberwell Community Council, Housing Crisisand Hibs keep 3rd Spot!!

It has been a very busy few weeks or so for me both in the Town Hall (and Tooley Street!) and at London Met as the Academic Year is in full flow!
But firstly I have to mark the sad passing of Alf Wallis(pictured on far left) from the D'Eynesford Estate. I have known Alf ever since I joined the Labour Party over 23 years ago, as fellow party members and of course since 1994 as his local Councillor. Alf had a long career in the Merchant Navy and Commercial Shipping and was a very hard working and straight talking Tenants Rep on the D'Eynesford Estate, in recent years becoming a key voice on the Southwark Pensioners Forum. I was very proud to have nominated Alf for a Civic Award some years ago and the Certificate has pride of place in his home.
Alf in recent years found a huge amount of enjoyment visiting West End Shows and his home is covered in signed opening Night posters of some of the biggest shows, he had also become for me a great source of good tickets!!
This picture was taken at the Armed Forces Day in June where Alf had a great day out with all of us at Potters Field. Shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer and he dies 3 days ago with his family and friends around him. We will all miss him very much!!
We had a very good Camberwell Communcity Council last week with lots of good news on Camberwell Leisure Centre, Burgess Park and Camberwell Green.
I do like the Council's "REVITALISE5" logo with the 5 by the SE even though I cant work out how 4 signs can cost £15,000!!
We had a long and frustrating Camberwell Community Council Planning Meeting last night with rogue developers carrying out conversions in spite of a Planning Permission refusal and coming back to us for retrospective permission as they know how limited the law is, very difficult for us and very hard for local people to understand the limits on what we can do!!! very frustrating!!!
I am extremely annoyed that despite expensive "Revitalise" signs springing up over Camberwell on the key Core Strategy Consultation there are no plans for investing in Camberwell apart from packing more flats into an overcrowded part of the borough to protect the North and South where this cynical Tory/Lib Dem Administration see all their votes coming from!!
We will be making this clear at Council Assembly next week and hopefully get our views taken seriously in the next round of consultation!! I hear that our beleaguered Housing Department is about to be "Red Flagged" as a failing service which for the largest landlord in London is nothing short of a disgrace and which can all be traced back to the now infamous "100 days of Change" which has wrecked the Housing Department and which is continuing to do so with the imminent reorganisation of Resident Involvement staff which means getting rid of some of them and moving the rest of them as far away from residents as they can to the Tooley Street Titanic!! This shambles may be this discredited Administrations real "Iceberg" upon which they will flounder next May!!
Rumours are rife that the Elephant and Castle deal with Lend Lease is soon to be signed and not before time!! Clearly the clock is ticking and the right deal has to be done before the end of this year or I feel it will be time to look elsewhere!!
Shortlisting and Selections are well underway within the Southwark Labour Party and some really excellent people have already been selected to stand next year, young and bright people who will be a real credit to the Labour Party and a real asset to Southwark Council. I am still clicking my heels but hope it will all be resolved in the next few weeks and the real fight commences!!
Hibs continue to impress with a fighting 1-1 draw against Rangers at Ibrox and looks like we were unlucky not to take all 3 points at the end!! Anthony Stokes continues to score and hit a fantastic skillful strike against Rangers on Saturday!!
You can see highlights of the game on the BBC site:
We remain in 3rd spot behind the Old Firm and take on Aberdeen at home tomorrow!! Good stuff at the moment!!!