Tuesday, May 26, 2009

West End Car Free Day, Millwall, Hibs and Arsenal end the season disappointed!!

I was with Clair and the kids on Saturday at the West End Car Free Day Event on a beautiful day and a good feeling walking down Oxford Street in the middel of the road. The event was sponsored by Night at the Museum 2 so things for the kids to do an a Dinosaur to boot!

The rest of the Bank Holiday weekend was rather football obsessed with me going to the League One Play-Off at Wembley on Sunday where Milwall went down 2-3 to Scunthorpe after a great performance and a great game but just allowed too much tim,e on the ball inside their own area which cost them dear losing a third goal with less than 5 minutes left! The Millwall team and especially fans acquited themselves very well on a great but ultimately disappointing day!!
The highlight for me was Gary Alexander's incredible goal from over 35 yards into the top corner, probaly the best goal I have ever seen live!!

Hibs ended the season with a whimper and a 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen. The Assistant Manager has gone and looks like at the very least Fletcher and Jones on their way and the Goalkeeper apparently on his way to Leicester?
Not good enough really and questionable if Mixu will survive the summer? Rumours are that ex-Hibs Manager Tony Mowbury is the favourite for the Celtic job?
Arsenal ended on a high with a 4-1 demolition of Stoke with Van Persie the star! Need to strengthen sqaud and win something next season or the fans will demand change at the top I think!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Speaker resigns, Good news on the Gurkhas, Mayor Making and Constitutional Council, MORI and the Camberwell Society and "Come on you Lions!!"

So The Speaker of the House Michael Martin finally quit! Cant say I am sorry to see him go and his likely replacement Frank Field I think is the right man to take over and stop the "expenses " rot!!
I do however think that it was very helpful for the under pressure MP's to seek to transfer all the blame to the Speaker when in fact they are the culpable ones who were filling in the false claims and glad to see that the parties a now put pressure on them to stand down! I look forward to a light being shone on the MEP's on board the biggest "gravy train" ride of them all!!!
More revelations today including a Tory who claimed for a "Duck Home"!!

Sounds like common sense will prevail today over the Gurkhas rights with a statement due today and Joanna Lumley apparently very happy after a meeting with Gordon Brown, just a pity we could not have got it right first time!!!

A long night in the Town Hall last night with Mayor Making and Constitutional Council. Happy to see Jeff Hook as Mayor and he will be a very good first Citizen.
Most of our Constitutional amendments turned down but some support evident from the opposition for changes in deputation rights and strengthening the Community Councils. We did get one victory over more co-optees on Scrutiny Committees showing that perseverance does sometimes pay!!
Off to see the always entertaining Ben Page from MORI this afternoon take us throuhgh the most recent Southwark Residents Survey , always interesting although I have suggested to Ben that he highlight the fact that residents approval rating has been steadily rising since 1994, the year I was elected and , you know what they say.....statistice dont lie!!!

Tonight I will be going to the Camberwell Society AGM which I hope should be a very positive affair after some recent Camberwell successes and some indications of more to come!

Whilst Hibs and Arsenal end a pretty disappointing season over the weekend I shall be at Wembley Stadium on Sunday to support my local team Milwall take on Scunthorpe to earn a place in the Championship next season. Millwall must be favourites after knocking out Leeds in the Semis so going to the Home of Football with my Lib Dem and Labour colleagues unified in cheering on the Lions to get back to the Championship next season which will be a fantastic achievement after almost going down to League 2 last season!!
No one likes us we dont care!!
I also really support the idea of giving Freedom of the Borough of Southwark to Milwall Record Goal Scoring Striker Neil Harris , not just for his feats on the field, but his very public battle against testicular cancer and his high profile Campaign around it and of course his recovery and continued career with Milwall!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Expenses!, Civic Awards, H&S at the NEC, "Live Long and Prosper" and Hibs draw 1-1 with Rangers!

It has been a really horrible week for politics in Britain as the true extent of the expenses "gravy train" became clear!! No one abuses the system like the Tories can with claims for the cleaning of Chandeliers and Moats but all parties are sullied by this and the whole system needs urgent reform now!! But not apparently if you are Speaker Michael Martin who seems so completely out of touch with the public feelings on this and is now finding himself under severe pressure for his job!! This has to be dealt with once and for all as the Genie really is out of the bottle with expenses now open to public scrutiny and the public will make their choices cleasr at Election time I just hope that it does not discredit the entire system and even further reduce voter confidence and importantly turn-out at the Ballot!
I attended the Southwark Civic Awards on Saturday at St. Giles Church in Camberwell and saw my two Nominees, Kwende and Len (posthumously collected by his widow) pick up their Awards. Congratulations also to my good friends Declan, Stephen, Pat and John and again it was a really lovely Ceremony and a fitting tribute to the recipients.

The Southwark Labour Group AGM Part 1 was on Monday and I am now Assistant Secretary of the Labour Group!
Part 2 next Monday with me standing for the Shadow Executive (interview Saturday am) and as a Scrutiny Chair. Constitutional Council follows next Wednesday!
I spent yesterday at the NEC in Birmingham for the Health & Safety EXPO which was a useful day and picked up a lot of good stuff and made some good contacts for follow up!

As a completely unreconstructed "Trekkie!" I cant wait to go to the IMAX on Sunday evening to see the new STAR TREK prequel, looks great from the clips an should be the start of a new series of films
Hibs are strangely playing some of their best football of the season and after a good away win at Hearts, went very close to beating Rangers losing an equalising goal in the final 10 minutes following a great strike by Riordan! We may have just handed the title to Celtic?
Celtic at home on Sunday so we may still have an impact on the destination of the SPL Title but still a very disappointing season for us with no better than 5th place likely!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

"CCFA", CGS for CCC, Good on Joanna and Harriet, Weekend in Broadstairs and Hibs beat Hearts at Tynecastle!!

A busy week in the Town Hall even with the bank Holiday break with a Awayday of OSC talking about the latest acronym "CCFA" (Councillor Call For Action) and how we manage it in the next year. interested in the fact that there needs to be a Crime and Disorder Scrutiny established although we may link it to a "Task and Finish" Scrutiny Committee.
I am looking forward to the new provisions and hope we get some real community activity and involvement which you just know this Tory/ Lib Dem Administration will hate!
The Camberwell Community Council met and we agreed this years CGS Awards and there should be around £200,000 of works going into Camberwell Green projects across the Estates and in Camberwell Green Park itself to put into place the project outlined in the ultimately unsuccessful Mayors Bid.
Picked this pic up on the Council's Flickr site of the new sculpture in Champion Hill and I would love to see more of this in and around Camberwell!!

Whilst all very uncomfortable telly Phil Whollas did the right thing in meeting Joanna Lumley and agreeing to discuss things further with her and the group she represents over Gurkha rights, it is the right thing to do and hopefully the Government will accept this!!
I have to say that I think Harriet Harriet has been very impressive over the weekend with lots of pretty gruelling interviews stoked up by the Tory Press and has really acquited herself very well.
Harriet has been underestiomated in the past by all quarters and i think that her handling of PMQ's and the media is general has been excellent in very difficult times so well done to her!
Shauna and I had a great weekend in Broadstairs with Ian, Jo and the kids and the weather was nice but not too hot although I did venture into the water up to my ankles!!
We had a great time and Shauna really loves Broadstairs so we will be going back over the summer.
Strangest thing was to bump into Inspector David Gwyther ex SNT Leader of Camberwell Green whose brother lives in Broadstairs so good to catch up on the Broadstairs sands!!
I am pictured with the famous and enigmatic Broadstairs Stick and Ian and I set up a Facebook Group to support it!!
After a shockingly poor home defeat to Dundee United on Saturday Hibs beat Hearts 1-0 at Tynecastle last night with Riordan scoring with a penalty in the last 10 minutes.
I think that 4th place is beyond us and we will stagger to another poor season and some thinking to be done over the summer about players (Fletcher and Jones are definitely off !) and of course Manager!