Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Public Meetings Coming Up this Week

A few anti-cuts events coming up locally this week that I wanted to highlight:

Wed 24th Nov: Lewisham Right to Work Public meeting with PCS Gen Sec Mark Serwotka, 7pm, Lewisham Methodist Church, Albion Way. Details here.

Thurs 25th Nov: Goldsmiths University Rally Against the cuts with Tony Benn. 6.30pm, Great Hall, Goldsmiths College, Lewisham Way. Details here.

Mon 29th Nov: Lobby of Full Council to oppose cuts. 6.30pm. Details here.

I don't see eye to eye with everything some members of the Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance say (personally I don't support the idea of setting an illegal council budget in Lewisham), but it's a fairly broad church and I do share with them utter opposition and horror at what the impact of the ConDem government's cuts are going to have at both a local and national level, often on the most vulnerable in society.

Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance
are on Twitter, if you would like to follow them, and they also have a blog, as do Lewisham Right to Work.

LVIG mtg tonight - community garden in Church Grove on Agenda

Ladywell Village Improvement Group is holding a meeting at the St Mary's Centre, Ladywell Road, TONIGHT (Tuesday November 23 at 7.30pm.) On the agenda are: Ladywell Christmas Market, an update on the streetscape plans, help organise a tree sponsorship campaign in the high street, and find out the latest on the Playtower.

The item that caught my eye is the proposal for a community garden scheme on the former Watergate School in Church Grove. My understanding is that residents are working with the council to get a short-term (12-months) lease on the site, pending a decision about its longer term future, and the tentative plan is to use builders bags, or similar to grow fruit and veg, a bit like has been done in Hackney and elsewhere with temporary lots. It sounds like a great idea, and if it works well, I can think of at least one other site in Ladywell that would be ideally suited to doing something similar. There is certainly local demand for more space to grow fruit and veg, and a long waiting list for local allotments, and this seems like a pragmatic way to help bridge that gap.

By-election results - belatedly

It's a little bit after the event now, but in case there's anyone who doesn't know, Labour held the seat in the recent Ladywell ward by-election, although it was a pretty close run thing in the end. Both Labour and the Green vote went up, while the Lib Dems and Tories both went down. The Green vote up by the most, and we have narrowed the gap between us and Labour a bit more. The results were:

Carl Handley, Labour 1231 (41%, up 2.4% since May)
Ute Michel, Green 1041 (35%, up 4.3% since May)
Ingrid Chetram Lib Dem 314 (11%, down 6.5% since May)
Helen Mercer L4PNP 233 (8%)
Ben Appleby, Conservative 153 (5%, down 4.9% since May)

Turnout: 29.9% (not a bad turnout for a November by-election).

Obviously we're disappointed not to have won, but I think this election makes it clear that this is still very much a Labour/Green marginal ward and keeps us in contention for 2014 (unless there is another by-election before then, of course).

Many thanks to all those who supported us, whether at the ballot box, by displaying a poster or helping us with leafleting/canvassing.