Friday, July 14, 2006

Fun and games

Went to Ladywell Centre fayre on Thursday afternoon - very enjoyable, lots of groups doing karate demonstrations, performing music etc. Spent some time talking to people and had a tour of the centre by the manager.

Saturday was our surgery in the Old Bothy on Hilly Fields - 5 people came to see us, on a variety of issues.

In the afternoon of course it was Lewisham People's Day. Ute and I were somewhat surprised to be told by the security and police on the gate that we couldn't take our bikes in, given that it was the entrance advertised on the programmes for cyclists to use because there was a secure bike park. Tried to explain this to people on the gate but they had their orders, so had to chain our bikes up to the railings outside. Later returned to the gate with the council cycling officer, Carole Crankshaw, just as word came through on their walkie talkies that they could let cyclist in afterall! Lewisham Cyclists were understandably annoyed, as people couldn't get through to their Dr Bike stall and it didn't exactly give out a cyclist friendly message!

Other than this initial irritation and the somewhat patchy recycling provision (both of which I will be following up on), I thought People's Day was excellent. Ute and I spent a couple of hours wandering round the stalls and talking to various groups, and left Mike to do the Green Party stall! Had a long conversation (through an interpreter as my sign language is limited to the alphabet) with Lewisham Sign Language Community group and we will be following up on some of their concerns about access to interpreters.

On Saturday evening I went to see Deptford Stories at the Albany - a combined walk around the historical streets of Deptford and sketches depicting the history of the Albany over the last 100 or so years. Highly enjoyable and v informative. Lots of local groups and schools were involved, ranging from local primary school children to the Sunshine Grannies.

We had a local party mtg on Monday. We have just about outgrown members' living rooms now and are looking for a bigger venue, so if anyone knows of any cafe/pub/community centre located fairly centrally (Ladywell/Crofton Park area) that we could hire for a fairly small fee on the second Monday of every month, I'd be interested to know. Monday is the best night to meet, as it doesn't clash with other council/Green Party mtgs, but it rules out several local cafes as they close on Mondays. Of course, if you are thinking of joining the Green Party, you can do so here ;)

I spent a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday catching up on casework. Quite a lot of queries coming through from residents at the moment, some more politely phrased than others. I think the post-election honeymoon period, when lots of the e-mails we received were congratulating us on our election, is definitely over now!

Some residents expressed concern that the traffic calming consultation in the Crofton Park/Ladywell South area had not been delivered to all of the area, so I knocked on a few doors in each street to check. I'm confident it went to most of the area, but it doesn't seem to have been delivered to Ivy Road, Huxbear Street or all of Ladywell Rd, which I have followed up on with the trasport team.

Some small successes lately, with graffiti removal and getting a green bin to a private residential block that hadn't got recycling facilities before - sounds simple, but took an awful lot of negotiation and convincing to get it in place. Also chased why e-mails to the envirocall address were bouncing - didn't get an entirely satisfying response, but it's best to either phone to report flytipping etc (020 8314 7171) or to use the lovelewisham site now.

Am off to deliver Ladywell Green News to the last few streets now, then later going to a public mtg with Joan Ruddock at the town hall about her recent trip to Africa as part of the International Development Select Committee.


Max said...

Do you think that there's anything that can be done to make the DLR to allow bicyles on its trains?

Anonymous said...

I doubt it, I don't think it's got the capacity for that. I believe you can take folding bikes on it, though, as with the tube. Or ride your bike, of course!

Mike State said...

Oh Sue, don't tease...Do tell us how Joan got on.....has she got any more junkets in the pipeline?

Anonymous said...

mmm, not sure to be honest, she is on the International Development Select Committee, and they do have trips to see how money is being spent, so it's quite likely. The fact that there is such poor infrastructure in Africa that they had to keep flying back to Johannesburg to then go back to a neighbouring country couldn't have done much for reducing carbon emissions either!

Mike State said...

It might be worth calculating Joan's carbon footprint and extrapolating the net benefit to Africa....