Saturday, May 27, 2006

Car pools/Car clubs

I've had an enquiry from a resident about the possibility of setting up a car club in Ladywell. This seems an excellent way of reducing both overall car use and the number of cars parked in the area. We have a number of narrow streets with more cars than there is space for in Ladywell, and any way of reducing the need for people to have their own car should be welcomed.

Car clubs have been set up in a number of new developments in Lewisham, including one at One SE8 which was called Urbigo but may be Avis now? Londoncarclubs. Another company streetcar has a club in New Cross and a number of sites in Greenwich.

So my question is, if there was a car club near where you lived in Ladywell, would you consider joining it, and if you are a car owner, would you consider giving up your own car?

T-mobile appeal turned down!

I'm delighted to hear that T-Mobile's appeal re their application to put a mast on the water tower in Dressington Ave has been turned down. They applied for permission to install 6 antennae and a base station at Ladywell Water Tower earlier this year. Lewisham Planning Office turned the application down earlier this year and T-Mobile lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate. This appeal has been unsuccessful.

The reasons given for turning the application down were that the Tower's potential has been exhausted (para 4), how further changes to the external appearance of the Tower would "undermine the architectural integrity of the listed building" (para 5), and how the proposed installation "would be inconsistent with the objectives of Policies URB11 and URB18 of the London Borough of Lewisham Unitary Development Plan 2001 as well as with advice in PPG8 and PPG15" (para 6).

Residents against the Mast (RAM) are of course delighted. They believe that Lewisham Planning Office can cite these as the basis for refusing any further applications they might receive and can't see how, unless the technology gets physically smaller, Lewisham Planning Office can ever give permission for another installation in or on the Tower.

Well done to all the residents who campaigned so hard on this issue.

Ladywell Safer Neighbourhood Panel Meeting

Thursday was the first mtg of the Ladywell Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting. The group has been set up for Ladywell residents to tell the local police team what they think the local policing priorities should be for the next few months. Quite a green way of doing things, very bottom up. Interesting first mtg, with a fair amount of consensus among those present that there is a lack of youth provision in the area (which the closure of the leisure centre will exacerbate!), and concerns over motoring offences, specifically speeding and drivers using mobiles. Also discussed 'signal crimes' which means things like graffiti, which can sometimes be the first indication that someone is drifting towards crime. The priorities we set for the Safer Neighbourhood Team for the next 2 months are:

1.Speeding motorists in Ladywell Road
2.Communicating the existence of the team and the panel to the community
3.Graffiti and environmental crime.

With reference to point 2, we still need more members for the panel, particularly younger people and also to advertise its existence more widely. If you live in Ladywell and would be interested in joining the panel, e-mail Sergeant David Deuchar for more info ( The Safer Neighbourhood Team will be at the Hilly Fields Fayre on 24th June.

Any suggestions on what extra facilities there should be for young people in the area welcome!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Council AGM, committee appointments

Not v exciting posting, but I thought I'd mention what committees we're on, as decided at council AGM on Wednesday. As there are 6 of us, we have got on a good range:

Sue: planning committee A, pensions investment committee.
Mike: planning committee b (vice-chair), strategic planning committee, Healthier Communities select committee, Lewisham Environment Trust.
Ute: Health and Safety Committee, Public Accounts Select Committee and the Ladywell Centre.
Darren: Sustainable Development (Chair) licensing committee and licensing supplementary committee, elections committee, Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust
Dean: Safer and Stronger Communities (Vice-Chair) planning committee b, constitution working party,
Romayne: Chidren and Young People, standards committee, Lewisham Community/Police Consultative Group,

plus we're all on the overview and scrutiny committee.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

control arms, Save Ladywell Pool, baby birds!

Went to Nunhead Cemetary Open Day today - windy and showery, but well attended. I was there with my Lewisham Oxfam Campaigns hat on and we were collecting 'faces' for our million faces petition to control the arms trade. control arms. Over a thousand people are killed around the world every day in incidents involving small arms. There are around 639 million small arms and light weapons in the world today. Eight million more are produced every year.The campaign is calling for the UN small arms conference in June to work towards an international arms trade treaty. 960,000 people have signed up to the campaign so far, another 40,000 needed in the next 35 days!

Yesterday evening I went along to the Save Ladywell Pool Campaign meeting - one of the best attended of their meetings I've been to - people certainly aren't ready to give up now Steve Bullock has been re-elected. Interesting things planned, but I'd better leave it to the pool campaign to announce in due course. The opposition group will also be putting a motion to the June council meeting (can't do this at the AGM next week).

Popping along to 'Healthy Brockley' at Brockley Primary School tomorrow afternoon, an event organised by Brockley Community Church. Includes advice on healthy eating, wildlife walk and laughter yoga, which all sounds good. Visit Brockley Community Churchfor more info.

Off to Darren's 40th birthday party at Toad's Mouth Too now . . .

Wildlife update: baby Robin and baby blackbird in the garden this evening. I think something used one of the nest boxes I have on the wall, but I've hardly been in the garden this year so don't know if it was the robins or the blackbirds. At least they haven't built their nest within reach of the cats, which one lot of blackbirds did last year, with tragic consequences.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Anyone know where you can buy these stickers from? I think it's high time for a revival.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Walking Festival, Compost, First Surgery, Vivisection

The Lewisham Walking Festival kicked off this weekend and runs until 28th May - loads of walks planned, including one around Ladywell led by Mike. For further details see:
Lewisham Walking Festival.

I did my first surgery at Lewisham Library yesterday - at least it was one scheduled by the previous councillors and we thought one of us should go along just in case any one turned up. Someone did come along, so it's as well I did. We will be finalising details of our new surgery times and venues soon. General feeling seems to be that one or two surgeries a month are useful, but that street surgeries can be more effective for reaching more people, so we will probably do a combination of both. We're thinking of having a surgery in the Old Bothy on Hilly Fields on the second Saturday of the month, to coincide with the farmer's market, but details tbc very soon. I was also wondering whether to try a weekday evening surgery instead of just Saturdays. Would like a good venue in the middle of Ladywell, but finding somewhere with disabled access hasn't been easy. Any suggestions welcome.

Mike was helping with the clean up of the Ravensbourne River today, but I took some time catching up in my garden which has been suffering months of neglect while canvassing. I marked the end of National Compost Awareness Week with a ceremonial opening of my compost bin, to discover there was loads of excellent compost at the bottom - enough to last me through the summer hopefully. Campaigning for a green waste collection was part of Lewisham Green's local election manifesto and hopefully it will move forward as the mayor also pledged to introduce such a scheme. Nevertheless, composting what you can in your garden, if you have one, is still greener than all your kitchen waste being collected (less carbon emissions). You can either make your own compost bin or buy one at a subsidised (by the council) price from Shannon's Garden Centre for just £10 ( the council subsidises the cost) : composting .

Got a new local magazine through the door today - SE4U, which looks good. Lots of local info as well as the obligatory estate agents' ads. It's going to be published monthly.

Greens won their first seat on Scarborough Council in a by-election on Thursday, bringing the number of seats we've won in the past week to 21, and a total of 92 councillors on principal authorities in England. We've made excellent progress in these elections, but infuriatingly the media prefers to devote column after column to the BNP, even though we have double the number of councillors they do.

Other events in the news: I'm very worried by the announcement that the new environment minister is "open-minded on nuclear power" BBC article - it sounds like code for "pro-nuclear" and more compliant than his predecessor, Margaret Beckett, who I suspect has been removed from the post due to her lack of enthusiasm for nuclear power. Hope I'm proved wrong. BTW, did you know that there is a consultation on the council website about putting a wind turbine on Laurence House in Catford? wind turbine consultation. I think it's a great idea, and is a good start even if it's only a very tokenistic fraction of what's needed.

I'm also not impressed with the prime minister using the behaviour of a small minority in the animal rights movement as an excuse to dismiss the whole case against vivisection and portray the big pharma companies as the innocent victims. PM criticised over animal testing. I'm as disgusted as anyone else at the actions of a few extremists in using violence, intimidation and even digging up a grave, all of which are clearly counter-productive to the cause, but we need to shift away from focussing on these few and start looking seriously at alternatives to animal testing, which already exist. The government lacks the political willpower to reduce the number of animal tests - it seems it's much easier to attack animal rights campaigners than to face up to the might of big business. The Green Party has excellent animal rights policies, which can be viewed at: Green Party policy on animal rights

Thursday, May 11, 2006

oops - only just realised there was a tab called 'moderate comments' with loads of comments waiting to be approved - thought I wasn't get much feedback for the number of hits the blog has been getting, d'oh! So sorry, spam deleted and other comments uploaded now. Thanks to everyone who has been in touch.

Tomorrow is the induction mtg for new councillors, looking forward to getting going with things, have a very ambitious to do list . . .

Friday, May 05, 2006

6 Greens elected in Lewisham!

Just a quick post to say that we won 6 seats in Brockley and Ladywell. Thanks to everyone who voted for us. Ladywell residents sent a strong message to Labour that they oppose the planned demolition of Ladywell Leisure Centre. Been awake for 24 hours now, absolutely shattered, time to get some sleep!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Interesting sounding new series starting on BBC 2 from tomorrow called 'The Happiness Formula' about what makes people happy and why a higher GDP doesn't equal a happier nation.

Chimes with part of the Green Party manifesto which reads "the pursuit of economic growth as a force driving over-exploitation of the Earth must cease to be an automatic aim of human societies. We should instead aim to develop sustainable economies, which improve well-being focused on human values rather than consumerism. Traditional measures of economic activity, such as GDP, should be replaced by new indicators that measure progress towards this aim."

That said, work life balance and a healthy lifestyle have completely gone out the window for me in the last few days of the campaign (although my mum has been here cooking for us :)) . The positive response we've been getting on the doorstep means that I'm feeling quite happy, but stress levels are high too! When the election is over I definitely need to start going for a regular swim in Ladywell Pool again having campaigned so hard to try and save it! I started off the year with very good intentions and went to the gym and pool for a few weeks, but then election campaigning took over.

Only one more day until election day, and it's looking very promising for us in Ladywell . . .

Monday, May 01, 2006

Carbon trading/Congestion charge

Typically rainy start to bank holiday Monday - hopefully it will blow over in time for us to do some more door knocking. My mum has arrived to help out over the last few days and with the polling day operation. She's also a recent new recruit to Worcester Green Party.

Just read an article on BBC news about how power companies are set to make an extra £1bn windfall profit due to the EU carbon emissions trading scheme. Don't know all the ins and outs of it, but it seems scandalous that shareholders are getting this 'free money' at a time when householders are seeing massive prices increases in their energy bills and when we really need to see a big investment in renewables. We need desperately need carbon quotas and tougher control on carbon emissions, but this seems to be benefitting big business more than people or planet:

In another article, the BBC reports that the US Embassy now owes £271,000 in unpaid congestion charges in London. They are claiming diplomatic privilege. What a load of rubbish. It is a road toll, British diplomats pay road tolls in the US, if they want to dodge the congestion charge then they should switch to low emissions vehicles or take the bus like the rest of us. Also amazed that the diplomats from Nigeria, Sudan and Angola have run up such huge unpaid congestion charge bills - take the tube guys!