Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Council Assembly signals end of Administration, The India Club, Scotland win in Dublin and Hibs lose at Tynecastle!!

We have the final Council Assembly of the current Administration tomorrow evening and hopefully the last one with a Tory/Lib Dem Coalition in power!!
In Brunswick Park Ward we have all our leaflet material and Nomination paperwork complete and are out helping our "twinned" ward in South Camberwell!
This is really the last week of Council Meetings then I am off to Edinburgh for Easter and then straight into the Election campaign!!
Met up with "Alderman" Ian Driver last night for a drink in the Princes Louise and then off to the India Club, my favorite curry house!!!
Saying farewell to my colleagues Susan Elan Jones and Andrew Pakes as they leave London to fight in their respective Parliamentary Contituencies with Alison McGovern having her farewell next week which i unfortunately will miss as I am in Scotland!! Good luck to them all and would be great to have all three of them in the House of Commons in May!!

Scotland at last performed as we all know they can with a fantastic victory over Ireland at Croke Park!! All in all a poor season but some very good signs and lots to work on for next year's World Cup!!

Hibs played very poorly again against Hearts going down 2-1 but from the highlights could have been much worse! The slump continues an we are struggling badly!! Sad highlights below:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Campaigning in full swing, Housing in a mess, a Cinema for Camberwell and Hibs and Scotland throw away leads to draw!

It feels like the Election is already in full swing with lots of leafleting and Campaigning in Brunswick Park , our "twinned" ward of South Camberwell and of course our Target Wards!
Trying to keep engaged with Camberwell Green issues including the Gala Bingo Hall, St. Michaels and All Angels new build, Mid- Elmington redevelopment, the D'Eynesford Pit and the Grosvenor Terrace T&RA and plans to sell off their Tenants Hall.
I am also going to Brunswick Park T&RA Meetings, good to go to Sceaux Gardens AGM last week and see a lots of familiar faces from 8 years ago and get a very nice welcome back. Hope to go to Wilson's Road and Lettsom Meetings in the next month. Of course the D'Eynesford Estate is split betwen both wards so no continuity problems there!
Steve Lancashire has made a really good You Tube video on Housing repair problems and you can see it below:
It will be great to have someone of Steve's ability back on the Council again!!
It is good to read that the Cinema for Camberwell campaigners met with the Gala Bingo Hall owners Medinbrand and the RCCG to discuss the future and the idea of a "Camberwell Village Hall" is developing which sounds promising but apparently there is the suggestion of a "moral veto" on uses which i think may be problematic and in any case any arrangements would have to be backed up by a Legal Agreement at Planning Committee to protect the range of uses before any Change of Use could be considered.
But at least the two sides are talking and that has to be a good thing so I will watch from afar with interest!!
There is still much concern at the new St. Micheals and All Angels plans for their new School. It would be a real pity if the plans go to committee without local residents support after all the efforts that have been made so I hope that the two sides can get some agreement ahead of Committee but again i wont be involved as it will be after May.

Hibs struggled against Ross County at home and face a difficult away game in Dingwall (about as far North as you can get!) on the 23rd March! A win will give us a Semi-Final game against Celtic at Hampden!!Details below: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8563556.stm

Scotland were a bit unlucky to draw with England with Dan Parkes hitting the post twice with kicks but overall am playing well below par and finish off with against Ireland in Dublin which looks a very tricky match!
Highlights of Calcutta Cup game below:
As I would rather see Ireland win that France or England I wont be too upset if Scotland are put to the sword on Saturday!! The Friary name allows me to support both teams so I cant lose!!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Busy at Town Hall, Gala Bingo and Hibs and Arsenal win!!

It is another busy week at the Town Hall and around as the last meetings of the current Administration take place. I attended my last OSC last night and have my last Scrutiny A Meeting on Wednesday where hopefully we can agree the Housing Repairs Scrutiny Report!
Campaigning in Brunswick Park and around Southwark continues and builds up pace as we more closer to the Election deadline with a real feeling of confidence amongst Labour members about both the National and the Local Election Results a so all to fight for!!

As I expected I have had a mixed reaction to my comments on the Gala Bingo Hall and it's future and the reality is of course that this is not and will not become a debate on race or religion but one of Planning Policy and "Change of Use". This is the last of the 4 Cinemas of Camberwell and I think that the Council has a duty to preserve it for public, community and entertainment use which is what the current classification does. It will not reach Planning committee until after May so I will not be the Ward Councillor anyway but way make my views known as a local resident which it is my right to do. it would be very unfortunate and rather cynical if anyone attempts to suggest any sinister motivation behind this campaign as the Group established to have a Cinema in Camberwell was created before any news of the Church sale was made public!!
Hibs got back to winning ways and hopefully ended the slump with a 1-0 win over Kilmarnoock in the strangely quiet Easter Road with the demolition of the old East Stand underway:

I was at the Emirates on Saturday to see Arsenal beat Burnley rather comfortably 3 -1 in the end but struggle with lots of the play and poor finishing but a really good day out and great to see Tsui and James again!

There is a brilliant mural at the Emirates with all the players past and present in a Group Photo, I picked out the Wenger Generation!!
Worth a look next time you are in the area or at a match!!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gala Bingo Hall, BPK Campaigning very positive, Hibs need to beat Killie and going to watch Arsenal vs Burnley tomorrow!

There was a very well attended Camberwell Community Council in the week and a discussion on the Gala Bingo Hall.
This is the last of the 4 old Camberwell Cinemas that could be brought back to use and I am disappointed that Gala were not even prepared to talk to us but sell to an Evangelical Church RCCG who will now seek a Change of Use Permission at Planning.
This is the last chance to bring back into use an old cinema and really develop an entertainment cnetre for all but looks like the opportunity has gone although I think with 5 churches in the area and a change of use required there is a strong possibility of Planning Permission being refused as has happened in Crystal Palace where Gala again sold their building to the RCCG without any local consultation. I will watch with interest !!
Great to see the new Tiger Pub at Camberwell Green open with the original frontage back for all to see!! Hope it is a big success and plan to visit very very soon!!

Brunswick Park Campaigning going extremely well and reassuring to see the vote on the big estates as strong as ever!!
It is going to be a long hard 10 weeks til polling day but critical to do as much as we can to keep the Tories and the Lib Dems out of the House of Commons and the Town Hall!!!
Hibs take on Killie tomorrow and need to get back to winning ways!!
I am at the Emirates to see Arsenal take on Burnley and perhaps go top of the Premiership even for a day!
Interested to see ex-Hibs Stephen Fletcher line up for Burnley!!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Budget Setting, a Cinema for Camberwell, Opinion Polls looking good and Hibs come out of slump slowly!!

A busy week in the Town Hall with the Budget Setting Council Assembly and a very nervy performance from the Lib Dems as they realise how popular our budget proposals, especially our plans for Free School Meals!!
Sad to hear that Kim Humphries is standing down and it is a real pity that the Tories dont recognise Kim's ability and experience with a seat but I dont blame him for saying enough is enough! A real loss to the Council even although he is a Tory!! In fact I will miss Richard thomas, Caroline Pidgeon and Lorraine Zuleta( assuming I am re-elected!) and I recognise their commitment and hard work over the years even although I have not always agreed with them!!
The SLP covered a Campaign to get a Cinema in Camberwell, a long standing goal given impetus by the closure of Gala Bingo Hall, a fantastic old Cinema which would be perfect to convert back to a Cinema a which I am sure would be very successful in Camberwell!
It appears to have been bought by a Church and that of course will be a matter for the Planning Committee in the future!

The Opinion Polls continue to look good for us and the possibility of a historic 4th Labour Term in Government!! The BBC have a great site showing the closing of the Polls over time, all looking good for a may Election!! See site below:

Hibs are hopefully coming out of their slump having at least picked up a pount at home against our bogey team for this season St. Johnstone!
Wehave dropped to 4th behind Dundee Utd. but need to get back on track soon with important Scottish Cup and SPL Games coming up!
Highlights at link: