Friday, January 30, 2009

Council Assembly, Camberwell green vote, London Met Quiz team and Hibs need to go on a winning run!!

Another busy week in the Town Hall with Labour Groups, Community Council Planning Meetings, T@RA's and of course Council Assembly on Wednesday!!

The Tory/Lib Dem set one of the lowest council tax collection rates in London for a borough with the second lowest collection rate all ready despite our amendment for a higher rate and there are clearly serious problems with Liberata but the Executive has no idea what do apart from lamely berate them for the next 2 years by which time I am sure that we will clearly have the worst collection rate in London as even Hackney are improving.
The Lib Dem/Tories then followed this up with a typically tedious "what have the Romans ever don't for us" rant about Government spending and the Southwark settlement so I really felt obliged to remind them of the record and the current policies of the Tories and Lib Dems should they ever be in charge!!
Poor old Caroline Pidgeon who has to second motions supporting Boris in the Council Chamber only to go to City Hall and support the Labour members attacking him looks so uncomfortable that her Lib Dem chums were reduced to Gerrymandering on the previous motion to prevent us asking her which side she was on!! Quite pathetic really!!!But what does she expect as a Lib Dem ,surely not political principles or consistency????
Tomorrow is the final day to vote for Camberwell Green Park in the Mayor of London's Parks Fund so please get your mobile phone out and go out: or text parks and your full postcode to 62967
Camberwell is apparently doing very well so every vote counts!!!
In a very difficult time for London Met it was good to be part of the winning Pub Quiz team at the AUA Pub Quiz 2009 held at UCL!!

I took this picture of the smiling winning team and we even had a chance to talk to journalists from the Times Higher Education Supplement who promised us that they were sympathetic to our plight and would continue to report favourably of our case and the wider HEFCE failings"!!!

Hibs take on Motherwell at Easter Road tomorrow and need to pick up the 3 points and put a run together to get back into a 3rd place challenging spot! Hearts, Aberdeen, Motherwell and Dundee Untied are all playing well and we need to keep in touch and not fizzle out a the tail end of the season if we are to have any chance of the third spot!!At this moment in time that does not look very likely!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On Sunday it was Burns Night and a very special one with the 250th Anniversary of the Scottish Bard Robert Burns and a day for plenty of haggis, tatties and neeps and a dram or two!!!

All very cliched but i have been watching the excellent History of Scotland on the BBC so forgive me for a bit of ott patriotism please!

The Scottish Government have declared 2009 as the Homecoming Year a call to people of Scots descent from around the Globe to return to Scotland to celebrate their roots and have produced this really good advert which can be seen via the link below:

Hibs went down 3-1 to Celtic at Parkhead but as usual gave them a hard match with the Polish Keeper and of course Rob Jones playing well and new player, Hungarian Denes Rosa, came on to hit a shot from 35 yards which game back of the post with Borac beaten so all in all a good performance and Rosa looks alike a good midfield buy fro us from Wolves!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Camberwell Regeneration - a Good Week now lets see some action to make it all happen!!

It has been a very interesting and I think positive week for Camberwell, staring with the "Thumbs Up" campaign for the £400K bid to the Mayors Parks Fund and rumours that we are doing very well!
Followed up with a visit from the Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe MP to meet with Harriet, Exec Member Lewis Robinson, Councillors and Friends of Camberwell Leisure Centre to discuss the future of the building and it's redevelopment potential, and in the same week the Scrutiny Committee A released the first draft Report on the Regeneration of Camberwell!

I have to take it on good faith that this Tory/Lib Dem have had a "Paulian Conversion" to regenerating Camberwell even though a year ago they were not apparently interested as "there were no votes in it!" and the threat of the Leisure Centre closure seemed a constant threat.
The Tory/Lib Dem Administration are putting up a bit of a back slapping exercise motion at next week's

Council Assembly which is a bit premature to say the least and a bit presumptous because they had to be led screaming and kicking to where we are now! However we have to be pragmatic on this and let the inflated egos have their way if it is in the longer term good for Camberwell so we may have to keep quiet and support it!! Whether they see some party political advantage in it is not clear but I am sure that they will be putting out Newsletters soon claiming that they have saved Camberwell ! I am happy to hold my fire and clarify the reality of the situation come election time!!
I hope that this does represent a real and meaningful change of direction and attitude from this Administration and think that if we can progress all these areas successfully then Camberwell will really begin to change for the better and for good!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Inauguration Inspirational and Minister for Sport visits Camberwell Leisure Centre!

It was a very special day yesterday watching the 44th President of the United States of America and the first African American President, Barack Obama swear the oath of allegiance and take over the reigns of power at the Whitehouse watched by 2 million people live in Washington and hundreds of millions across the world!
President Obama again struck exactly the right note in his Inauguration speech giving a clear message of the tough road ahead and the need for all nations and people to work together !

Good to see "Dubya" exit stage left on his helicopter hopefully never to be seen or heard of again!!!

Rumours are that President Obama's first official visit will be to the UK to meet with Gordon Brown and a good working relationship will be very helpful to both parties!

We had an early start this morning to meet Gerry Sutcliffe,MP, Minister for Sport, at Camberwell Leisure Centre together with the Friends of Camberwell Leisure Centre, Executive member Lewis Robinson, Camberwell Councillors and kids from local schools.
The purpose was to keep the pressure on this Executive to pursue a viable redevelopment of the Centre and a Government bid for funds is part of that so it was a very positive event and keeps the momentum going to give the people of Camberwell a Leisure Centre they want and deserve!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

On Saturday we publicised the Mayor's Parks Vote with the "Thumbs Up for Camberwell Green!" event in the Park and were compelled by the Press Office and the Press to done Green T Shirts and "Boris" wigs!!! Sometimes you have to do what is required so we gritted out teeth and donned the wigs!
It was all in all good fun and the inside story is that our bid is going very well as is the Burgess Park bid so hopefully we could have very good news on both fronts very soon??

Vote today: or text parks and your postcode to 62967

The campaign to redevelop Camberwell Baths takes another important step forward this week with a Ministerial Visit at 8am on Wednesday !
Apparently the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition will put a motion to the next Council Assembly declaring that Camberwell Baths and in fact Camberwell has in fact been saved but all the key issues are still in the balance so we will want hard guarantees before we will be putting any flags out!!
The Camberwell Scrutiny Report is due any day so things are definitely moving in the right direction but still a long way to go and a few elections in the way as well!!

Hibs had a good solid 2-0 win over St. Mirren, a team on a go0d winning run.
Hibs looked far more up for the match with Jones again playing very well, his best season since he came to us and so much better than last season when I thought he was on the way out!! Here he is scoring the first goal on Saturday with Riordan getting the second.
New signing Polish Keeper Szamotulski looked good and kept us ahead in the second half so looks a good buy!
This BBC link has the goals :

Friday, January 16, 2009

Busy week in the Town Hall,Thumbs up to Camberwell Green and Hibs out of Cup!!!

It was a busy first full week back at the Town Hall with OSC (a very long OSC!), Planning(Aylesbury), Camberwell Community Council(Transport) and GOL this morning with a filmed interview with Althea Smith on radicalisation amongst young Muslims in the borough for an interactive DVD being produced for Councillors!!

Tomorrow there is an event on Camberwell Green called "Thumbs up to Camberwell Green Park" to encourage everyone to vote for the £400,000 in the Mayor's Parks Fund.
The deadline is the end of the month so every vote counts!!!!
The event is from 11am until 2pm tomorrow!!

On the Hibs front the team imploded in the Homecoming Cup game against Hearts on Sunday with Stephen Fletcher being sent of in the first half hour and losing a second goal in the last minute in atrocious weather conditions to go out 2-0 to our Edinburgh rivals!!

Back to SPL action tomorrow against St. Mirren who have become a bit of a bogey team for Hibs recently so 3 points a must!!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Back to the Grind, Tooley Street madness, OBE madness, Camberwell Green Park and Hibs Vs Hearts double header!

Well I am back to London, back to work at London Met and back to Southwark Council!!

A busy time ahead with 3 Elections in the next 15 months so important for us to be working at full tilt over that period to deliver solid Labour majorities in Camberwell, Southwark, the UK and Europe!

We will be running a full Euro Campaign in Camberwell this year and if course selecting candidates to represent Camberwell Green Ward in the 2010 Southwark Elections!

We have just put out an Excellent Seasons Greetings Card and a Newsletter and continue with our very positive regular Campaigning sessions around the ward as well as the Borough Campaigning sessions all over the borough.
Southwark Council staff will very soon start moving into the Tooley Street "Titanic" and we now hear that as well as the many millions of pounds that we will have to pay rent every year and the £2M pounds for Consultants to tell everyone where to sit there will be an extra £2M on staff furniture!!

You may think that staff will relish the move but I am told, by Lib Dem/Tory Councillors no less, that everyone will have to be crammed into large open plan areas and seated like a Call Centre with long rows of desks facing each other!! It also appears that other buildings will have to be kept and that buildings up for sale will make far less that estimated so all in all a very expensive cock-up all round!!!

But never mind cos, guess what? Nick Stanton is getting an OBE!!!!??? What?????

I recall an old episode of "Not the Nine O'Clock News" when the team sang a song after a US Election describing all the outlandish things they believed in but ending with the line "....I cant believe Ronald Reagan is President!" Now I know how they felt!!! I can only assume that he floated to the top of a very short list of Lib Dem Honours Political Nominations because I am really struggling to list his "services to local government"!!!
The voting for the Mayor's Park Fund is almost at an end and there will be an event in Camberwell Green on Saturday 17th January from 11am until 2pm to act as a last push to get those votes in!!

We really need that £400,000 investment in the Park to bring it back to something of it's former glory!!!Please Vote for Camberwell Green Park!!!!
I watched Hibs play Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday on Setanta and they actually played quite well in a surprisingly entertaining 0-0 game, with Ma-Kalamby really pulling off some good saves but Hibs always looking dangerous in attack!

On Sunday at Easter Road they meet again in the Homecoming Cup which will be on Sky(hope to see live if I can get back from borough wide campaigning!)

Both sides are very close and very inconsistent so really impossible to call, just got to hope for the best!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year for 2009 from Edinburgh where I am still with my mum and dad having a complete rest and preparing to re-enter the fray next week!!
Above are some images of Edinburgh over Christmas and the New Year!
Next year holds of course the European Elections and even the possibility of a General Election although I dont see that happening until May 2010 but who knows!! Good to see the Labour Party ending the year with good poll ratings with the Cameron's Tories and "Nick "Cameron Lite" Clegg's lib Dems seen as more and more irrelevant by the British public!!
Hibs schizophrenic season continues with a shockingly bad 2-4 home defeat to Kilmarnock who plyed most fo the second half with 10 men, a crucial game for uis to win and we blew it big time!!
With 2 games against Hearts away at Tynecastle in the next two weeks it could not come at a worst time and I really fear that we will end up out of the Cup and out of the running for 3rd place in the SPL at the hands of our Nemesis in the space of 14 days!! I am worried!!!!