Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflections on my time at Southwark, Scotland beat Wallabies and Hibs drop points. George Best remembered at Hibs!!

I have had many email and texts etc. of support over the weekend so many thanks for that!
I wrote this letter to Southwark News:
Dear Editor,Can I firstly thank you for your kind and generous words about me last week and the many emails, texts, tweets, Facebook and Blog Messages from political friends and foes and the community of Camberwell.
In my 25 years living in Camberwell I have been a member of staff for 7 and an Councillor for 16 so I have invested a lot of my heart and soul into Southwark and Camberwell and I am extremely grateful to the Labour Party and the people of Camberwell for allowing me to do the most fulfilling thing of my life and represent them.
I am of course very disappointed not to have the opportunity to stand as a Labour Party Candidate in Camberwell Green Ward in 2010 as it will a challenging time no matter what the political outcome of the Elections but also a time of opportunity for Camberwell to regenerate and produce some very positive outcomes for the area.
Of course I believe that by far the best chances of this happening will be with a Labour Government and a Labour Council in Southwark and I will work very hard to that end!Once again it has been a real privilege to have represented Camberwell for so long and I hope to be able to continue to contribute in some way in future out of the Town Hall.

Scotland had a fantastic and unexpected victory over Australia at the weekend ending a 27 year losing run! Great result for new Coach Andy Robinson and a great boost ahead of the 5 Nations in January.
Link to game highlights below:

Hibs picked up a point away in a 1-1 draw against St. Mirren in atrocious weather conditions which in the past would have been a decent result but is seen as 2 points dropped.
Link to match highlights below:

BBC have a page of pictures of George Best when he was at Hibs and I actually saw him play in his first game against Rangers when we won 2-0 and guess what he scored one goal and made the other! Great memories of someone past his best but still a fantastic talent!! Not sure how sober he was for most of it but we loved him!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

End of the Road!!!! Alf Wallis Remembered!!

Well the word has gotten out pretty quickly about my Deselection on Tuesday and there is really little for me to say on the matter. Everyone who needs to know what happened knows what happens so probably better for me to keep quiet!
Southwark News covered the story today and you can read it on the link:
I have seen too many people go through the bitter and twisted reaction to setbacks like this to know that that serves no one's interest's least not my own and, although still feeling very raw about it all, will look forward to a Christmas break in Edinburgh and come back to move on with my life after Southwark Council!
It will be strange as this building has played a very important part in my life over the past 25 years, 6 years as a Southwark Employee and nearly 16 years as a Councillor so it will take a bit of getting used to walking past it and not feeling the urge to go to a Meeting! I am sad that there are a number of key things going on in Camberwell over the next four years that I would have liked to be involved with and trust that all those unfamiliar faces who appeared at the Selection Meeting and those who orchestrated it will play their part in a critical time for the Camberwell!!
I am grateful to the Southwark News Editorial and to the comments here and on Facebook of support, a bit like reading your own Obituary!! Thanks again!
I attended the Funeral of Alf Wallis on Wednesday at the Salvation Army Church on Lomond Grove which was a nice send of for a remarkable man with "I am what I am" from Shirley Bassey at the start, Family memories and a bit of Abba and "Auld Lange's Ayne" at the end to send him off!! I will miss him!! Helped put my previous night's experience into perspective!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mid-Elmington and OSC, Camberwell Green selects and Burley foir the chop!!

Another busy week kicks off with Overview and Scrutiny Committee tonight and the Mid-Elmington Estate Redevelopment call-In which I am responsible for!
I took a bit of flack from Cllrs Humphries and McNally for it but i was absolutely shocked at how little the affected tenants knew about what their options were and a decision was taken on abysmal consultation so I am simply asking the council to do it properly!!
I attended both Poets Corner and the Mid-Elmington T&RA last week and hope to have some of the tenants affected attending tonight. of course I want to see the Estate improved but only if it is for the benefit of the exciting tenants and not just private property developers, whether the Tory/Lib Dem bunch like it or not! One way or another this will be a significant project over the next four years!
The Elephant Briefing due today has been called off so dont know whether that is good or bad news?
Crunch time tomorrow as Camberwell Green Ward selects it's Candidates for the 2010 Southwark Council Elections with me seeking my 5th nomination! Wish me luck!!
It may be the end of the road for Scotland Coach George Burley after the absolute shocker of a 3-0 defeat to Wales in Cardiff!
Rumours are rife that he will be sacked this week and not before time! He really lost it with the Ferguson/McGregor affair when he failed to send them home after a drunken session and then let them sit on the bench, no doubt hungover, putting their fingers up to the cameras!! Interesting to see names in the frame for his replacement? We do have some good players who look completely demotivated so we need someone new!!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Broadstairs Weekend, Remembrance Sunday, T&RA's and OSC Call-In and Hibs draw at Hearts!

Had a great time in Broadstairs with "Alderman" Ian Driver this weekend and visited Sandwich, Deal and Faversham, catching up with Stuart "Wolfie" Witcher and Jackie for a Beer and Curry night!!
I was not able to get back to Southwark in time for the Remembrance Sunday tribute but attended the Service in Broadstairs befoer catching the train back to London.
Sandra Rhule laid the wreath at the Camberwell Memorial for the Camberwell Community Councillors and I have the Burgess Park wreath to lay when the new Memorial is dedicated within the next month or so.
Some worry as my dad went into hospital over the weekend but he is back home and comfortable so hopefully it was just a warning!!
I have a week of T&RA Meetings at Poets Corner, D'Eynesford and Mid-Elmington and the redevelopment of the Elmington estates will be the main topic of conversation with the OSC Call-In on Monday so hope to get plenty of tenants there to hear in detail what the plans mean for them!
Camberwell Green Short-listing on Thursday with Selection next Monday so at least we will all be clear by then!!
Hibs fought out a fairly "dour" 0-0 draw against Hearts at Tynecastle. Usually a good result but the way Hibs are playing it was described a s " 2 points dropped!"
Good to see all teams with Poppies on their shirts !
See Highlights below:

Good to see Liam Miller picking up SPL Player of the Month showing what good buys he and Stokes have been! Good for the Republic of Ireland as well!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Council Assembly and weekend in Broadstairs!

Council Assembly on Wednesday night was very good for us and we got through the business with a good debate on the Housing Crisis which was what we wanted from the evening.
My fears of fillibustering were unfounded so have to give the opposition some credit for allowing the debate.
I was angry at Camberwell still being ignored in the Core Strategy despite our pressure but an amendment was accepted which at least keeps the door open for Camberwell regeneration but it is clear that it is not aq priority for this bunch in power
We really exposed the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition on the shambes in Housing with unfunded plans, poor management leading of course to them being "Red Flagged" by the Audit Commission!!
We also witnessed another incoherent and unhinged performance from Columbo Blango who said that the Labour Party were no different to the BNP and stupidly Adele Morris agreed!!!
We then got to the Extraordinary Council Assembly on the new arrangements and although I was first to speak Stanton shouted "move to the vote" twice, a real democrat!!
I am spending the weekend in Broadstairs and met up with old Camberwellians Stuart "Wolfie" and Jacqui Witcher in their new home of Faversham.
Lots of lovely Shepherd Neame beer and a nice curry and a very late train home so a great time had by all!!
I did some training and health and safety inspections for Ian Driver at his Citrizens Advice Bureau Offices in Margate and Broadstairs.

Hibs play Hearts today and again will be wearing special Poppy shirts for auctioning for the British Legion, see story below:

Going to the Rememberance Service in Broadstairs on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Another busy Town Hall week as we get into the "AGM" period with both Camberwell Neighbourhood Forum AGM's Meeting and a number of T&RA AGM's coming up!!

We have a full night tonight with 2 Council Assembly meetings back to back!
In the first meeting the new Core Stategy is comes back after a round of consultation with no plans to regenerate or develop Camberwell but word is there may be an agreement to end that tonight will be a mayor step forward!! There must be a strategic view of Camberwell which recognises the need to develop and regenerate in one of the few areas of the borough which has had no Council attention and perhaps we really can "Revitalise5" the area!!
We expect some "ill- liberal" and undemocratic" tricks tonight with lots of Lib Dems and Tories uncharacteristically wanting to contribute (from prepared notes no doubt) in a pathetic attempt to "fillibuster" a debate of the shocking state of Southwark Housing with apparently a CPA "Red Flag" imminent due to the on-going chaos!! Latest thing is getting rid of some Resident Involvement staff and sticking the rest in the Tooley Street Ivory Tower!! What are they thinking about!!
It will take us a long time to sort out the mess left when we take over in May!!!
Good campaigning session in Newington Ward over the weekend with val and the rest of the Team and a good chance to be reacquainted with the fantastic Henry Moore in the middle of the Brandon Estate!!

Hibs are now 2nd in the SPL with a pretty poor performance but a good 2-0 win over 9 man Aberdeen, highlights below:
Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday!! Should be fun!!!