Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Armed Forces Day, "Back to the Floor" with the Southwark Community Wardens, a Weekend in Kent, Andy survives and Yogi brings in new Faces at Hibs!

Had a really good day at the Armed Forces Day at Tower Bridge and Potters Field!
Took some nice pictures for Facebook and cheered on the Troops March Past!
Saw lots of familiar faces including the Mayor, Pearly King of Camberwell and a Councillor from Clichy!!
It was great to celebrate the Armed Forces and i bought a Cookbook for the Help for Heroes campaign and tasted some of the new Field Rashions, chicken curry and lentils which was fantastic!!

Tonight I am with the Southwark Community Wardens on a "Back to the Floor" Evening starting off at the CCTV Control Room at Borough Police Station, onto Burgess Park and ending up at the Camberwell Office! Should be good!
I was in Broadstairs for the weekend and visited Canterbury for the first time and Whitstable and had some of the famous Whitstable Oyster Stout!! Very nice it was too!!
Watched Andy Murray's marathon last night and at times did fear for the worst but he got through and now has a great chance of a final appearance but Federer is still in his path to picking up the trophy for the first time since Fred Perry!
Andy and his brother, Jaime, are big Hibs fans so he cant be all bad!!
John Hughes made his first signing at Hibs bringing in 23year old Irish midfielder Patrick Cregg from, you guessed it!, Falkirk! The Falkirk Spanish Goalkeper may follow?

Surprisingly new Celtic (and old Hibs!) Boss Tony Mowbury has gone cold on Stephen Fletcher opening up Premiership interest from Blackburn Rovers and now favourites for new boys Burney who may agree a deal worth £3.5Million to Hibs!
We should take the money and move on and see if Fletcher can progress for Scotland's sake!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I was pleased to see the election of John Bercow to the role of Speaker, not just because it pissed off the Tories no end but because he has been hthrough a real political journey, from hard right on the 1922 Committeee Repatriation Group through to being a virtual adviser to Gordon Brown and thought most liley to cross the floor!
It just shows how nasty and right wing those vindictive Tories are refusing to applaud his election and already threatening to replace him if they, god help us all!!, get into power! Have the Tories really changed? On this evidence it appears not!!!

In light of all the "expenses" interest good to see that Southwark has publicised Members Allowances for some time and as well as appearing in Southwark News you can look at expenses claimed over the past 3 years through the link below: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/YourCouncil/CouncillorsHome/memberallowances.html
I attended the Camberrwell East Area Housing Forum on Monday with an item on the re-writing of the Tenancy Agreement which was an atrociously poor document with incomplete amendments and more seriously revisions aimed at seriously weakening tenants right the most serious being the abolition of Housing Arbitration! Despite numerous promises to the contrary from the Executive and in particular the Deputy Leader it looks like it is on the cards so we are trying to trip them up now to mobilise tenants against this right wing Tory led attack on their rights!!
I am off to Broadstairs on Friday to renew my acquaintance with the Broadstairs Stick so hoping for some nice weather, good beer and a nice ice cream at Morelli's!!
....oh and a bit of babysitting thrown in for good measure!
Looking forward to seeing Alderman Ian Driver and the family again!
Poor old Ian got into trouble with the local Planners over his shed:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Community Safety Day in the Green and the Camberwell Arts Festival in Myatts Field with the Pearly King of Camberwell...and Hibs Pre-Season Progamme!

I went along to 2 really good events in Camberwell on Saturday!
The first was a Community Safety Day in Camberwell Green with the Camberwell Green SNT Police and the Camberwell Community Wardens and Junior Wardens present.
The Wardens have recently launched a Junior Community Warden Scheme and currently have 80 young people involved apparently with a log waiting list. this is an excellent initiative and , although I have been critical of the wardens in the past, I feel that they are on track organisationally, operationally and educationally so well done to them for that!!
I went on to "The Big Event" in Myatts Field to celebrate the £3M redevelopment of the Park thanks to National Lottery money and the launch of the Camberwell Arts Festival 2009. very good politically to open the festival in Lambeth Camberwell.
It was a really great day and the Park looks fantastic and will now be a regular place for me to go as it is beautiful and great for the kids with a brilliant water play area and pirates ship!! Loved it!!

Made a really good contact with the Pearly King of Camberwell and hope to help him have more of a presence in Camberwell which he is very keen to do!!
Hibs have announced a couple of Irish Tour dates for pre-season against Glentoran in the North and Shamrock Rovers in the Republic.
my cousin's husband Brian is a huge Hibs and Shamrock Rovers fan so am sending him over a new Hibs shirt although he may be swapping shirts at half time!! Hibs will be playing Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok and Preston North End at Easter Road so a good pre-season work out!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Talking CCTV Fiasco, Sacred Heart celebrates 50 years, the Camberwell Arts Festival begins and the P&P Green League 2009 published!!!

Southwark News carried a nice piece on the Talking CCTV Fiasco and a nice editorial with Linda Manchester quoted as saying that they were being removed for efficiency reasons!! Nice cartoon too but article can be viewed below:
This has been a completer fiasco and an utter waste of £85,000!!
I was with Harriet Harman this morning on a visit to Sacred Heart RC School to Celebrate it's 50th Anniversary.
Harriet spoke to teaching staff in the morning and then to a class during Assembly.
It was a really good day in an "outstanding " school!!!

The Camberwell Arts Festival 2009 kicks of tomorrow with the "Big Event" in Myatts Field as a double celebration after it's £3M refurbishment!
Should be a good day in the sun and a great Festival!!

Dont often Blog about the day job but a big week for us this week with the People and Planet Green League 2009 Publication in the Times Higher Educational Supplement! After last year's third bottom place we worked hard over the past year and have moved up 28 places from 117 to 89 and points total has increased from 9.5 to 28.
Lots more to do but we are well up the "third" list so well on our way to a "two-two" next year!!
A good result and reason to be happy with our efforts over the past year!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Camberwell Commmunity Council Meets in Lambeth and the death of the Talking CCTV for £85,000!!!

Last night I attended a really useful joint meeting of Camberwell Community Council and Lambeth Camberwell Councillors with Lambeth Leader Steve Reed and Southwark Leader Nick Stanton guest speakers.
It was another first as it was the first Southwark Community Council Meeting to
be held in Lambeth!
We were shown a really helpful vox-pop video highlighting cross-border problems of community safety, street drinking, planning, traffic and transport and street cleansing and we had an open discussion following.
Steve Reed spoke first and committed to closer working with Southwark on Cross-border issues and suggested a task group of councillors from both Boroughs to work on arrangement and protocols and to bring their findings back to another joint meeting, and Nick Stanton told the meeting that if you live in a border area you must expect these problems and have to live with them...eh and then he left!!! good to see long time colleagues from Lambeth, Steve Reed, Jim Gibson and Kirsty McHugh and look forward to working with them positively in the future, despite the Southwark leadership and probably not with their support!!
My Press release on the Talking CCTV Fiasco:

Lib Dem's £85,000 Talking CCTV Blunder!!

Lib Dem/Tory-run Southwark Council will spend £24,000 removing talking CCTV cameras under eighteen months after they were installed, having never been switched on. The cameras, which were designed to offer residents a direct line to a camera operative in an emergency, cost £61,000 to install, bringing the total cost of the pointless blunder to an eye-watering £85,000.

Lib Dem Community Safety Executive Members had made repeated promises to get the cameras online since their originally planned switch-on date in April 2008, but the "emergency help points" are now rusting having never been brought into use.

Southwark Labour's community safety spokesman Cllr John Friary said:

"After spending £50,000 on just fifty bikes for community wardens, wasting £85,000 on talking CCTV which has never even been turned on is another indictment of the Lib Dem's crime fighting priorities. The Lib Dems were quick to press release these new cameras, but not so quick to get them working or make the real changes to make the community safer.

The Lib Dem/Tory executive has basically paid contractors to dig a hole in the ground and fill it in again. These cameras could have made a real difference to a resident in an emergency. It's outrageous that they were never turned on, but bordering on the farcical that they've cost the council tax payer tens of thousands of pounds."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mr 10%, Camberwell Community Council crosses the border, Fones4Safety and Camberwell Arts Festival Launch!

After a week of media Labour bashing this week it is the Tories coming under the spotlight with Cameron's threat to reduce public spending by 10% which would be catastrophic for the provisions of services to vulnerable people in this country! At last the mists are clearing and the Tories "Age of Austerity" is beginning to clarify!! Good for us and very bad for the Tories exposing that behind the mealy mouth words of liberalism are the hard line "Thatcherites" ready to drag us all back to the 1980's where "greed was good" and there was "no such thing as society"!!

Rather pathetically the Lib Dems criticize them whilst working in coalition with them in Southwark and elsewhere and would no doubt form a pact from hell with them should there be a no overall majority after the next General Election, what a disgraceful unprincipled bunch the Lib Dems are!!!

There will be an interesting Camberwell Community Council tonight as it is taking place in Lambeth and is a joint meeting of the Southwark and Lambeth Community Councils covering Camberwell to discuss cross-border issues, problems and opportunities! Leaders of both Lambeth and Southwark Council are coming so should be very interesting!

In my day job capacity I went to the London Launch of Fones4Safety, a Southwark based scheme run through Elephant Jobs and CRISP, to recycle old mobiles and turn themn into emergency phones for women suffering domestic violence. A great idea and I hope to set it up in London Met over the summer.

Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse launched it and I met my old ex-Councillor colleague and friend Steve Lancashire there.
Good to see previous Councillors like Steve, Nick Dolezal and Andy Simmons in the Long List as we need experience especially sorting out the mess that the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition will leave when they are kicked out of office next May!
On Saturday the Camberwell Arts Festival begins with the Big Event in Myatts Field celebrating the £3M redevelopment of the Park and launching the Festival so promises to be a great day! The Programme is below:
I have been on the Management Committee of the Camberwell Arts Festival in the past so take a keen interest and plan to see as much as I can including the Breakfast Preview of the End of Year Show at Camberwell College of Art!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Elections and Rebellions, Constitutional Reform and "Yogi" is eventually Hibs Manager

Probably wisely I took the opportunity to go to Edinburgh to visit the family the day after the Elections on Thursday!
Clearly a bad day all round but the Press really were determined to build it up as disastrous and catastrophic whilst their own analysis suggested something less!
The low turnout was largely due to Labour voters staying at home as they could not bring themselves to vote for any other party! This suggests that they are not lost forever an we can reclaim them next year!
The Press even suggested that Labour had "let in" the BNP, clearly we were responsible for that as well! As well as the bad polls and the expenses scandal which has really deeply affected UK voters confidence in politicians the complete lack of engagement with the Euro Elections is a real problem across all Member States and perhaps the new MEP's can earn their £90K jobs by working out how they make themselves more relevant to the voters?
The rebellion stuff was very strange and incompetent and just plain stupid, and whilst most wont be missed John Hutton and James Purnell are both very capable and will be a loss to the Cabinet, just dont understand what they are playing at?
James spoke at last year's Southwark Labour Party Conference and was very good and very loyal at that time and inspirational so I am sad to see him leave the stage and him and John Hutton have no way back unless we lose the General Election!!
Harriet has never been off the box and has performed brilliantly in the face of very tough questioning, a real star in the Cabinet and deserves the Deputy PM position.
Have to say Lord Mandy was also very good especially with his yes/no answers to Andrew Marr when accused of taking too long to answer. A bit childish but I liked it!!
Important that Brown gets back onto Policy and deals with the Constitutional Reform but I hope that he stays well away from PR for Westminster which will probably ensure BNP MP's!

Great news that John "Yogi" Hughes was eventually appointed as Hibs Manager after being after the job for a number of years! He wants to keep hold of Fletcher and Jones but I think that they will both be off, especially Fletcher if Mowbray is appointed Celtic Manager as expected!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Euro Election Campaigning, Constitutional Reform, Shauna's 8th Birthday and Mixu leaves Hibs!

We enter the final week of the European Election Campaign and I was out door knocking in South Camberwell yesterday with a pretty good response!

Clearly the opinion polls are looking very bad for us and the current expenses rows are not helping any of the "major" parties with real concern that the "nutters" of UKIP or the BNP will do well and send the next 4 years representing the UK in the European Parliament which will be an absolute disgrace and embarrassment!!
For us it is just about putting out the clear message and reminding people of how much the Labour Government has achieved since 1997 and what we could return to if we dont win a 4th Term!!
I watched Gordon Brown of the Andrew Marr Show yesterday and actually thought that he did surprisingly well and absolutley agreed with him of the need for Constitutional Reform especially around fixed term governments and allowing 16 year olds to vote. Also agreed with him that MP's need a Constituency tie so I dont agree with PR for the General Election!!
We do need to get on with it as I am not sure that saving it all up for our Manifesto as it will not be a big vote winner and we just need to get on with it as I dont trust Cameron to follow through on any of it if we were to lose!!
I spent Saturday at Shauna's 8th Birthday with face painting, musical chairs , a Pinada and of course lots of Wii!!
Cant believe she is 8!!!
My friend Ian Wingfield is 50 this week so will be giving him my gift and card before going to Scotland on Friday!
I was never really convince by Mixu and felt that we needed a new Manager but he saved the day by resigning yesterday so we are looking for a replacement with John Hughes top of the list and probably inevitably the next Hibs Manager!"!"