Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oops, a week's gone by since my last entry.

Had my first planning mtg on Thursday, which was quite daunting as there is a lot to take in and I quickly realised that it's the kind of thing where you won't be able to please everybody all the time. Full training for new councillors on planning issues isn't until this Wednesday, but we did have a short training beforehand. A bit frustrating that none of the applications included any renewable energy schemes. There's an urgent need to add this as a planning requirement when the local development plan is revised, glad to see that housing minister Yvette Cooper supports this, though it's something that should have happened years back and that the government should insist upon, not simply urge.

Had a surgery at the Old Bothy on Saturday, to coincide with the farmers' market. Will certainly be a good location for a surgery over the summer months, and I guess we'll see how it goes in the winter! Met lots of people, handed out flyers with our contact details and picked up a few bits of casework to deal with. Also spent a while looking round Art in the Park, which was part of the Brockley Max Festival. Loads of things for kids to do, ranging from drumming to woodwork.

Our post-election newsletter is finally back from the printers and we started delivering it on Saturday. If you are willing to deliver to your street please let me know. Any offers of help most welcome.

Went to the closing night of the Brockley Max Festival at the Wickham Arms on Saturday evening and saw Brockley band 'The Hands' who were excellent.

Monday 12th is the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, at which we will reconsider the minority report report on the decision making process in relation to the establishment of a new secondary school, aka the Ladywell Pool fiasco. Darren is proposing a motion to the full council meeting this Wednesday, calling on the mayor to reconsider the sites previously proposed by the opposition councillors. I'm proposing a motion calling on the council to redouble its efforts to increase the currently pretty dismal recycling and composting rates (11.98% in 2005/6).

Article on being green and saving money in the observer today which quotes Green Party member Noel Lynch:,,1794647,00.html

Unbelievably cynical response by the US to the news that three of the Guantanamo prisoners committed suicide, calling them a PR move.It really does beggar belief. These men might have been terrorists, they could equally have been innocent but as they were never even charged with any crime, let alone given a trial, I guess we'll never know. Meantime hundreds of others remained imprisoned without trial.

7 members of one family were killed while relaxing on a beach in Gaza, seemingly by stray Israeli rockets. Again and again innocent bystanders are being caught up in Israel's attacks on suspected militants, which only seems to act as a recruiting sergeant for more militants.

To end on a more positive note, I want to give a plug for the following event, which is to raise money for young people from Balata Refugee camp in Palestine to work with youth groups in London and create drama and dance together: Balata London Link Benefit Concert at Rivoli Ballroom on Thursday 29 June at 7.30pm. Attila the Stockbroker, David Rovics and Strawberry Thieves Socialist Choir. Fair traded Palestinian produce and handicrafts for sale. Tickets in advance £10 (£7 unwaged), on the door £12 (unwaged £10). Tickets and further information: or 07723 015926.

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