Monday, March 30, 2009

Lib Dem/Tory repeated mis-use of Council Publications, Conference Season at work and Scotland lose to the Dutch!

I really am getting very angry about this Lib Dem/Tory Administrations flagrant and repeated mis-use of the Council's Communications, Southwark Life, Website, Council Tax Statement to make deliberate and misleading party political attacks blaming the Government for all their negligence and incompetence. I see again in the current Southwark life Nick Stanton blaming the wicked Labour Government for all his decisions to cut services and vastly hike up charges!! The real reason is course is to protect his "War Chest" for next year's Council Elections and I really hope that his disgraceful cynicism is justly rewarded by Southwark residents next May!!

I am off to Birmingham University tomorrow for the Higher Education Business Continuity Network Annual Conference. The Campus is fantastic so hope the weather is nice!

Cardiff University follows the week after for the Universities Health & Safety Annual Conference and then off to Edinburgh for Easter so pretty hectic couple of weeks!

Scotland were rather rolled over by the dutch tank in a 3-0 defeat to Holland in Rotterdam on Saturday!

The home tie against Iceland on Wednesday really is a "must win"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quiet week ahead, Hibs cant win and Scotland lose 5 out of 6!

It is a relatively quiet week for me at London Met and at the Town Hall as we move ever closer top the Easter break.
I had a weekend looking after Shauna and going to see Oliver! which was fantastic!!
I have a couple of T&RA Meetings at Crawford and Castlemead this week and am reserving on the Full Planning Committee tomorrow evening. I enjoy it as long as I don't have to do it too often!!
Hibs could not do better than a no scoring draw at home to Aberdeen despite having numerous chances during the match but failing to take any of them!! Hibs need to start winning and getting up the table to leave a fight on for one of the two UEFA Cup places for next season.
Scotland ended the 6 Nations with their fifth defeat against the English at Twickenham but all in all did not play badly over the series with the exception of the poor opener at home against the Welsh. Something to build on?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good News on Burgess park, War Memorial challenge, Oliver! on Saturday and Hibs and Scotland with tough matches at the weekend!!

Had a good Scrutiny Meeting last night with very positive news about Burgess Park, not only now with a £6M pot to spend over the next 2 years but an additional £1M to open up a new Entrance and Cafe and Play Area at Chumleigh Gardens. i made the point that people expect to see change happening soon so hopefully by the late Summer the Chumleigh works will be complete and other "quick win" projects will be underway to really start the dramatic changes which will take place over the next 2 years!! Really exciting!!

I also put in a last minute bid to CGS for some more funds for Camberwell Green to really start on some of the key elements of the unsuccessfull Mayors Bid to make some key changes in that park as well!
I have a new War Memorial challenge given to me by a constituent to find or replace an old Memorial which used to be positioned on some buildings by the Park on Albany Road commemorating a WW1 Zeppelin attack which left more than 20 dead. i am on the case and hope to have something in place as soon as i can as I think that it is important to remember these events!

I am off to see Oliver ! with Shauna on Saturday and looking forward to it. I saw the last production with the excellent Robert Lindsay as Fagin, a role he repeated on a non musical BBC production a few years later! looking forward to seeing Rowan Atkinson tackle it and have heard very good reports about the whole production, backed up by record ticket sales so should be good!!
Hibs play Aberdeen at home on the back of last week's Derby win so confidence should be high but Aberdeen are a very well organised team and a win of any type will be a good result!!
Looks like Motherwell Goalie Graeme Smith is likely to join on next season so may be farewell to Ma-Kalamby who has been very hit and miss for us.
Scotland end a disappointing 6 Nations with a trip to Twickenham without much hope after England's display against France last week!!! With the exception of the opener against Wales some good overall performances but just not good enough to hold on over 80 minutes and that is the challenge for next year!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Walk Through Burgess Park and Hibs beat Hearts at last!!

I am Chairing the Scrutiny A Meeting this week on Burgess Park and had a walk through the Park last week and took lots of pics and plan to do a presentation of them to show the good the bad and the ugly and of course where the £6M needs to be spent!

Hibs had a good and much needed victory over Hearts at the weekend even although it was with the help of a rather fluky header from Fletcher! Anyway they all count and hopefully signals a strong end to the season!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Victory over Child Care Charges at OSC and a Weekend on the South Coat of Kent!

A rather heated night in the Town Hall last night at OSC at the Call-In of the executive's decision to massively increase charges of child care by around 25%, meaning a real cost increase for some parents of up to £50 per week!
The reasoning behind it was really quite laughable (if it was not so serious!) eg."by putting our prices up private providers look more attractive!". Non of the reasoning made any sense and was quite ridiculous after just setting a 0% increase in Council Tax and cutting over £2M from thew Childrens' Services Budget!
The Lib Dems and Tories were, of course, all whipped in a "non-whipped Committee" to vote the referral back motion down forgetting of the Parent Governor Rep who voted with us making 4-4 with Fiona as Chair having the casting vote so we sent it back!! A great result and hopefully the Executive will give more thought to what they are doing before they do it? ( mind you I am not betting any money on it!)
My only slight regret on the night was that I had the chance of seeing Franz Ferdinand at the Hammersmith Apollo last night but passed on it to do my duty!! DOH!!!
I spent the weekend with the "Alderman" as I call him Ian Driver, and we explored the Cinq Ports and visited Dungeness and Derek Jarman's place and went on a funky miniature railway which was fun!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Rememberrring the Miners Strike and why I became involved in Trades Unions and Politics!!

It is an important Anniversary today for British society as well as me personally. The Miners Strike began on this day in 1984, orchestrated by a vicious Thatcher Government to crush the Miners Union once and for all. The consequences were profound for British society and it made my blood boil to hear that stupid old dinosaur and buffon, Peter Walker, thje then Secretary of State for Energy, on TV this morning still trying to justify it, although her did a deservedly very hard time form the BBC Journalist!!
I saw the stage show of Billy Elliot a few weeks ago with stark imagery of the strike including Met Police on duty at the Durham Picket Lines waving tenners in the faces of the Miners!!
My first ever direct political action was to take part in the Miners March in Birmingham when I was a Post Grad Student at Aston University and when I came to work for Southwark Council in December 1984 I joined NALGO and collected money for Kent Miners every Friday afternoon on the steps of Spa Road Town Hall.
I recall collecting money from cars stuck t the traffic lights at Southwark Town Hall and getting over £200 an hour in our buckets!!!
I was clear then why I wanted to be involved with politics and be in the only party seriously intent on making society fairer, the Labour Party!! A decision I have never regretted or doubted since and I have now been in the Party for 23 years and an Elected Councillor for 15 years!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sad News at Death of Anne Worseley, Burgess Park wins and Camberwell Green loses out in Mayor's Fund and Blue Elephants in Camberwell!

On an otherwise very good day we had the very sad news about the death of my friend and former Labour Group Colleague Anne Worseley who dies after suffering a major stroke on Saturday. Anne was a hard worker all her like and and believed passionately about good education,music and the Labour Party.
I last saw Anne at the Labour Group Christmas Dinner and took this picture of her having a great time with friends, on the left between Peter and Mark. She will be greatly missed!!
Great news today about Burgess Park receiving the Mayor's top award of £2M with another £4M from the Aylesbury Regeneration we can make a real difference. I had an early morning meeting to discuss the Burgess Park Scrutiny report and had to plan for two outcomes but now can look forward to the positive outcome and bringing about real change to Burgess Park over the next couple of years!Fantastic News!!!
Of course all tempered slightly by the news that Camberwell Green missed out on the £400K pot so it is back to Plan B to spend the CGS Funds available and I plan to put in another CGS bid for this year to really improve things in the Green! The Boris wigs did not work I am afraid but a really good campaign and support from the Council so no criticism there!
Finally I attended the Wyndham and Comber T&RA Meeting last night and there was a really good drama presentation from the Blue Elephant Youth Project which they take around local schools. It was very good and again shows how lucky we are to have such an innovative Theatre in the Ward!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Brilliant Sculpture in Camberwell, Scotland win and Hibs dont again!

On Saturday I went along to the unveiling of a new Sculpture on Camberwell Grove/Champion Hill Junction of a wolf on the prowl with a ram protecting a ewe with her young. it looks fantastic and everyone was stopping to have a look whilst we were there.
I would love more sculptures around Southwark and Camberwell in particular . This was funder through the CGS scheme of Camberell Community Council and the next round has just kicked off so we are looking around for projects to support for this year.

Scotland played well on Saturday beating Italy comfortably 22-6 and looked much more like the team that can give everyone a hard time. it really shows that the wrong team was put out against Wales and how much we rely on the Evans Brothers! I think we can beat the English now!
Hibs put on another laboured performance against Falkirk at home and a 0-0 draw the almost inevitable result! More points dropped as we slide further away from those EUFA Cup places!!