Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Two important consultations

Sometimes as a councillor (and probably to local residents too) it seems like there is an endless round of consultations to respond to. Well there are two at the moment that I think are particularly important, which Lewisham Green Group will definitely be submitting responses to and I encourage others to do likewise.

A Picture of Health
A consultation on possible changes to how NHS services in south-east London are organised started yesterday and runs until 7th April. Everyone who lives in Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley should be getting details through their door, or the consultation can be viewed online at: There are four possible scenarios being consulted on, which include among other things proposals to close the A&E and maternity facililities at Lewisham Hospital. Suffice to say that this is controversial and will, I suspect, be a big issue in the forthcoming elections in London (even though the NHS is not really within the GLA or Mayor of London's remit). This consultation pre-empts the final publication of the Darzi report on healthcare in London.

Heathrow Expansion
The Department for Transport are currently consulting on proposals to expand Heathrow Airport. Putting aside arguments about climate change, not destroying historic villages etc, any expansion in capacity is likely to lead to increased noise and air pollution across much of London, including in south-east London which is directly under some flight paths. I would urge anyone concerned about how this may impact on their quality of life to respond. The consultation can be found at
For Friends of the Earth's take on the expansion, see

Of course there was also the pseudo consultation on a new generation of nuclear power stations, but that was too shambolic for words, and I await the outcome of the next legal challenge by Greenpeace and other NGOs to that.

Oh, and there's also the planning bill currently going through parliament, which you may wish to lobby your MP about, as that will enable the government to force through major developments such as airports, nuclear power station and motorways. More info on the Friends of the Earth website:

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