Friday, September 18, 2009

It Just Gets Better!

No sooner have I finished celebrating the good news about The Hamlet than I discover that Grove Park, another road which has suffered with a terrible carriageway and pavements, will get some major work done this year. Money has already been allocated for the carriageway works in this year's main Council budget, and now we have been able to allocate some further funding for at least some of the pavement to be improved this year from our Camberwell budget.

Veronica has been badgering officers for ages about Grove Park - so a big "well done" to her for getting such a great result.

This really does show that even though it might take time, councillors can make a real difference in their wards!

The Hamlet Will be Resurfaced!

Ring the bells and sound the trumpets! The Hamlet - untouched by new tarmac for over 40 years - is to be resurfaced!

After a prolonged campaign Veronica and I got our colleagues agreement to spend £80,000 on resurfacing the road. It has been a long haul, as it has been an issue raised throughout the 7 1/2 year period that I have been a councillor. But our persistence has paid off!

Working with the residents of The Hamlet we have got press coverage of the issue and it has been raised in Council Assembly a number of times.

The campaigning meant that in the last couple of months The Hamlet found itself on a list of roads in Camberwell which might be suitable for work - although officers did not give it a high priority. However, as other roads fell off the list The Hamlet rose to the top! And in a final selection we won for The Hamlet and South Camberwell! This is great news and I know that the residents are delighted.

This Weekend

Residents in South Camberwell might get fed up of seeing Veronica, myself and our colleagues this weekend, as we undertake our latest Mobile Surgery and have an Action Weekend in the ward at the same time!

For those we will be visiting on our mobile surgery you are welcome and encouraged to raise any issue that is concerning you concerning your area and council services.

But around other parts of the ward we will be asking residents questions about recycling and how we can make it easier. In Southwark we recycle just over 20% of our rubbish, but we need to see a major improvement and increase in that figure.

Some parts of the borough have single bag recycling - all your recycling material goes into one clear bag and is collected weekly. Would you like to see this in your street and for your home? Some people with single bag recycling on estates would like to see a collection point for the bags, rather than having to keep the bag until it is collected. So we will be asking about that as well.

Hopefully we will get a clear view of what residents of South Camberwell want and how we can improve our borough's low recycling rate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Southwark Labour Conference 2009

Saturday saw the 3rd Annual Southwark Labour Conference, which we held in Bermondsey at the Beormund Centre. It was a terrific day with speeches from Harriet Harman MP, Ed Milliband MP, Cllr Steve Reed and Val Shawcross AM.

We also held two working group sessions which discussed policies for the local elections which will be taking place on the 6th of May next year.

The day was really well attended,and it was terrific that so many members wanted to contribute to the debate about ideas for making Southwark a better place to live.
Ed Milliband, the Environment Secretary, spoke about the need for us to make the case for wind farms - over 70% of the population think they are a good idea, but 'NIMBY'ism takes over when a planning application is submitted. Even on the Isle of Wight, where the Vesta Wind Turbine factory has recently closed, the Tory Council and Tory MP opposed the erection of wind turbines! So people have to be consistent in how they want us to generate power in future.

In Southwark the administration cannot portray itself as 'green' yet sell off our metropolitan open land and green spaces. We do have to preserve what little green space we have in our borough!
Harriet Harman has been a great supporter of our borough conferences - and I hope that we will be able to welcome her back next year when we celebrate the first 100 days of a Labour Council back in Southwark!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Springfield Lodge

The Salvation Army has proposals to rebuild Springfield Lodge on Grove Hill Road and last week held an Open Evening for local residents to look at the plans and make comments on the pending planning application.

There are undoubtedly some problems with the current plans - the size of the building will be substantially increased in order to house only one additional resident (35 instead of 34), and neighbouring properties will be overlooked and suffer a loss of daylight. These are all problems which I am sure can be resolved before the planning application is formally considered.

It was significant that all of the residents of the neighbouring properties who attended the Open Evening were extremely supportive of the work of Springfield Lodge which resettles young men aged between 16 and 21. It has been operating for over 20 years. So I hoep that the Salvation Army will take on board the comments of its neighbours so that Springfield Lodge can continue its vital work in 21st Century premises.

Malfort Road Traffic Calming

A new traffic calming table has been installed at the top of Malfort Road at the junction with Grove Hill Road. It looks like some "finishing-off" work still needs to be done, but with the installation of speed humps on the road it can be hoped that residents will see a decrease in traffic speeds by car drivers.

Although Veronica and I have continued to argue for a 'Home Zone' in this area, local campaigns which we have been involved with have already seen the diversion of the P13 onto its' new Pytchley Road route away from Malfort Road and the introduction of these new traffic calming measures. Small steps, but hopefully a big improvement in making this a safer and quieter road for residents.