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!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Freshers fair at london Met, Isligton green Giant Awards and C&P CLP Fundraiser with Lord Kinnock!

The Freshers Fair dominated last week at work for me with hundreds of students to talk to and give away goodies!
looks like a bumper year for students so a really good opportunity to meet them. Two good long days at the Hub and Rocket!!

On Tuesday I attended my first posh dinner of the week at the Islington Council Giant Green Awards where we were nominated for Waste Minimisation and Environmental Champions. We did not win but I learned a lot about what we need to go and it was a nice lunch and Chris Packham was an excellent host!!
It was a busy Council week with OSC Meeting in East Dulwich to talk about Primary school places and I learned about the "bulge" in numbers expected over the next few years and how we need top accommodate it!!

I Chaired Scrutiny A where we interviewed the Executive Member for Community Safety and started scoping the Housing Repairs Scrutiny!!
On Thursday evening we had the Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party Fundraising Dinner in Caravaggio's with Guest Speaker Lord Neil Kinnock who was a truly memorable and inspirational speaker who was just fantastic and makes you remember why you joined the Labour Party! A truly great evening and I even won a Raffle Prize!!!
The impromptu singalong with Joan Amodio was a really special moment and the whole night was fantastic and a real boost for us with some very hard and long Campaigning ahead of us!!
Hibs are still doing well and in third spot after another good win against Kilmarnock with Benji scoring the winner. Good to see Benji and Zemmama back playing after Ramadan and looking fit and in-form!!
We look to have a good squad together so will just have to see how they fare in the winter months but so far are looking good!!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Conference Season over, Selections underway and Hibs playing well!

Well the Conference Season is over and I got a first hand look at it in Brighton and clealry the battle lines are being drawn and it is interesteing to see how nervous the Tories are as they know the result is not "in the bag"! The austerity promised with savage cuts (I presume supported by Calamity Clegg?) is now in the open for all to see and the choice is now clear which I think is no bad thing! Let battle commence!!!
Southwark Labour Party are now in the miidst of shortlisitng and selection for the 2010 Local Council Elections next may so lots of excellent new members on the list and the Group will have a very diffferent feel to it, not least in terms of age with me definately at the older end of the scale!!!
Some really good Camberwell Branch members up for the fight and hoping to see them all elecetd Councillors in the Chamber next May!!
Hibs decent start to the season continues with a 3-1 win at Motherwell and a 1-1 draw against Dundee United! Good results with a decent sqaud and Zemmama back after Ramadan looking good and scoring a fantastic goal against the Dundee Utd!!
Good to see Riordan back in the Scotland sqaud for the Japan game!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Day 2 to Day 5 of Conference

My attempts for a daily Blog were blighted by a very slow server at the Hotel so here is a synopsis from Day 2 to the end of Conference!
day 2 started with good sessions on Campaigning and the manifesto from Douglas Alexander and Ed Milliband.
Highlight of the day was a real barnstrorming speech from Lord Mandelson who really got the crowd going and was a real boost to Conference!!
There was a session of the Environment and the Olympics and I voted fro Stephen Twigg for the Conference Arrangements Committee and he was duly Elected alongside Marge Carey!
I attended 2 Fringe Meeting from the Fabian Society and the Fabian Society called "Who are the new Tories" with a very scary Panel of right Wing Tory Lobbyists and Journalists!!!
Day 3 of course was the Leader's Speech Day but started with sessions on Culture,Media and Sport, Local Government and Housing and Crime and Justice.
All building to Gordon Brown's Brilliant speech!
All throughout Conference I kept bumping into Southwark Councillors and members, even met a Constituent who asked me for advice on Brighton Promenade!! Pic here of me and Barrie at the Conference Centre!
Vote on National Constitutional Committee CLP's I voted for John Wiseman and Judith Blake was Elected.
I attended 3 Fringe meetings on Digital Media, IOSH and the Local Government Reception and a visit by Gordon Brown!
I became very familiar with this bridge between the Grand and the Hilton and lost count of how many times I crossed it from Fringe meeting to Fringe Meeting!!

Day 4 began with this front page from the Sun which was a quite disgraceful and pre-planned spoiler from this horrible rag!! Lots of fun throughout the day at their expense and not a Sun to be seen anywhere!!
There was an Emergency Motion on the Post Office pension Defecit which I supported and which was unanimously agreed!
Sessions in NEC Finances, Citizenship and Equalities,Health, Education and skills.
There were a number of votes on the NEC and NFP membership which were all unanimously agreed apart from one on OMOV for NFP which was oppossed by the NEC but which I voted for and it was agreed by 67% of Conference delegates!
Day 5 had Sessions on Northern Ireland, European Parliament, and Britain in the World with an Emergency resolution on keeping the East Coast Main Line in Public ownership which again was agreed! Finished with a great speech from Harriet and a rousing chorus of the Red Flag!!
In conclusion a fantastic experience for me and a really positive Conference with a unified Party fighting back and in good shape for the Elections of 2010!! Fantastic!!