Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2010

Local people endorsing Peckham Rye Labour . . .

"I’m supporting Labour because Renata, Gavin and Victoria are really hard workers and they live locally. If we want champions for our community on the council, I think they should live here, not a half hour bus ride away."
Judith Harries, Barforth Road resident

"One of the reasons I’m voting Labour is because I know Victoria, Gavin, and Renata will fight hard for the extension of the 63 bus to Honor Oak Park Station."
Jonathan Sale , Honor Oak Rise resident

"I’m voting Labour because I want my home to be warm, dry and safe now, not the twenty or thirty years’ time that the Lib Dems are planning."
Sulaiman Baul, Rother House resident

"I’m voting Labour so all our children will get free, healthy school meals at primary school."
Jenny Wickham, Mundania Road resident

"I’m supporting Labour because Gavin, Renata and Victoria are committed to doubling recycling rates in our area. Under the Lib Dems and Tories Southwark has the 6th worst recycling rate i…

Parents give the thumbs up to free school meals

We spent yesterday afternoon speaking to parents whose children attend Ivydale Primary School about Southwark Labour's pledge to introduce free school meals for all primary school children. This is a pledge that I'm particularly proud to be standing on at the forthcoming local elections.

Parents of children at Ivydale School gave an overwhelmingly positive reaction to these plans. Labour's policy is to take money that is currently being wasted on consultants, lawyers and spin doctors and invest it to deliver free school meals. This will provide every child in a Southwark primary school with a healthy meal in the middle of the school day. Study after study shows the educational benefits that can come with a healthy meal during the school day. Removing the stigma attached to free school meals will also ensure that the many children eligible for meals, but who currently don't take them up, will do so.
We will be spreading the word about this proposal at all of the primary s…

Our April Newsletter

CLICK HERE to download the latest local news:
Peckham Rye Park and Common children's and sports facilities plus the Lib Dems' plans to cut Peckham Rye's Park Manager.The latest on the shortage of primary school places in East Dulwich, Nunhead and Honor Oak.Flytipping, poor housing repairs, bus services, traffic and recycling across the ward and the disused toilet block on Peckham Rye Common.

A link to make you think . . .

We normally post links to other blogs via Twitter, but I thought I'd give this one extra prominence with a post. Anyone wanting a quick run-down of the failings of the Lib Dem-Tory alliance in Southwark since 2002 should take a look at Peter John's blog here.

I'll repeat his list here in any case:

1. We now have the worst run council in inner-London. That's not just my verdict, it is the verdict of the Audit Commission.
2. We have the 3rd worst council tax collection rate in the country - over £7 million goes uncollected each year. In the rest of the country they would collect at least another £5 million!
3. Our recycling rate is the 6th worst in the country. See the story below!
4. Our adult social care service has fallen from an excellent rating to being one of the 8 worst in the country - again, not just my view, but the view of the independent CQC watchdog.
5. Our housing service has been red flagged by the Audit Commission - they don't think the council is capable o…

Some candidates are more local than others...

Home sweet home in Peckham Rye

All the Peckham Rye Labour candidates live locally and we have all been involved in a variety of community groups for some time. As I tell many people on the doorstep, I would never have dreamed of standing to be a councillor had it not been clear to me how much the Lib Dems and Tories were failing our part of Southwark.

Fighting Peckham Rye ward is very personal for me - it's about making sure that the services me, my family and my neighbours rely on are high quality and that we work hard to ensure that the most vulnerable in Peckham Rye get a better deal than they do at present.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems and Tories couldn't find a single local person to represent them, instead parachuting in candidates from Camberwell and elsewhere in the borough who presumably are interested in propping up their colleagues in the Town Hall rather than in standing up for their own community.

The local choice on 6th May is Labour.

Peckham Rye Park & Common development - compare the manifestos

For people concerned about the new natural play area, the new One O'Clock Club and changing facilities on Peckham Rye, it's worth taking a look at the respective Southwark Labour and Lib Dem manifestos and making a comparison. The plans for new facilities have crept along at a snails pace under the Lib Dem-Tory council, leaving residents of Peckham Rye wondering what was happening and if the scheme was at risk.

As local Labour candidates we have ensured that the Southwark Labour's manifesto included a commitment to "turn the plans for a new One O'Clock Club and changing rooms and pitches for local teams into a reality." This means that if residents of Southwark elect a Labour council, we guarantee that this too-long-delayed redevelopment with actually be delivered.
So when the the Southwark Lib Dem Manifesto was published the other day, I was extremely surprised to see there was no reference whatsoever to the new One O'Clock Club, the natural play area or…

Southwark Labour's Manifesto now available online

If you want to make an informed choice about the policies of the different parties seeking to control Southwark council, a good place to start is the local manifestos. I'm really proud to be standing on a a series of pledges which will make out borough a cleaner, safer and fairer place to live. For me the most important changes that Labour is seeking to make are:

1. The introduction of free school meals for all primary school kids
2. The doubling of Southwark's currently woeful recycling rate.
3. Halving the price of meals on wheels (after the Lib Dems and Tories hiked it up)
4. turning plans for a new one O'clock club on Peckham Rye and changing rooms and pitches for local sports teams into a reality. (The Lib Dems and Tories have been dragging their feet for years)

If you'd like to see a full version of the manifesto online, you can do so by clicking here. Or if you would like a hard copy posted to you, just e-mail us at

Canvassers beware!

No sure if it was us, the Lib Dems, the Tories or the Greens who'd upset this household! Still, I took the point and refrained from asking for their support. I'll just make a universal apology for all the bath-times, tea-times and dinner times that have been (and may still be) disturbed by our campaigning.

Southwark Labour's pledges for improving the environment

We all know that Southwark council has the 6th worst recycling rate in the country and has a generally terrible record on environmental issues. But we're fully aware that it's not enough for Labour candidates in Southwark to just point at the inadequacies of the Lib Dem-Tory Coalition.

That's why I'm setting out Southwark Labour's pledges for improving the environment. These are the green policies which will be delivered if enough Labour councillors are elected on May 6th:

- Labour will double the recycling rate in our borough

- We will introduce combined heat power for our heating systems , and conduct a full green audit of the council's energy use by 2010.

- We will create a publicly available register of tree protection orders in the borough.

- Labour will reopen two air quality test stations that Lib Dems and Tories inexplicably shut down.

- Where possible, we will open up green spaces on vacant land

- We will introduce cycle parking on our estates, to encourage …

Extend the 63 Campaign Latest

Thanks to all those who have been emailing Boris through the blog asking him to extend the 63 bus to Honor Oak Park station. If you haven't already done so, you can add your voice to the campaign by simply clicking here. Please do change the text if you want to make the email more personal.

Today we've received a new response to our campaign from TfL about the campaign. It again stresses that only around a quarter of the extra costs involved in extending the route (whilst maintaining the frequency) would be recouped by the extension. This is not considered a high enough return to be a good use of the bus subsidy especially at a time when the subsidy is being reduced (by Boris...)

However it's clear that TfL are now sensing the pressure from local residents so a final push is needed. Please send that email or send a message to Boris by signing one of our campaign postcards.

TfL are committed to monitoring the effects of the East London Line extension on local bus demand. So, a…

Change at the Ivy House

Thanks to the excellent Nunhead Forum for information on the changes taking place at the Ivy House on Stuart Road.

I've been here a few times to watch the footie and it's a very friendly if slightly cavernous pub that is a little the worse for wear. It seems like it's potential as both a pub and a venue has now being spotted and redevelopment is now afoot. This is great news as I'm keen that our area retains its pubs as sometimes it's nice not to have to wander too far from Ivydale Road.

The pub's recent closure and the skip outside provided clues that something was going on and it seems that the owners of The Alma in Crystal Palace are taking over the Ivy House. A quick look at their website seems to indicate they have made The Alma into a vibrant local pub with nice food, bar games, a market in the garden(?!) and that they also have TVs showing the sport. I'm not a huge fan of locals becoming expensive gastro pubs and The Alma does look like they have manag…

The case for tetra-pak doorstep recycling

Peckham Rye Labour has made doubling the recycling rate a key election promise. After eight years of Lib Dem failure on recycling (and goodness knows how many tonnes of rubbish needlessly ending up in landfill) we believe only a change at the Town Hall will deliver the boost to recycling we need.

Part of our commitment to boosting recycling is to increase the amount of stuff that the council is willing to collect and recycle. Many councils that have successfully increased recycling are those willing to collect items that may be more challenging or expensive to collect. Labour is committed to recycling a wider variety of items including plastic bags and tetra paks and also to introducing food scraps recycling.

The case for this policy is clear if you check out the stuff people currently put into their clear bags or their blue bags and boxes. Nearly every clear bag I spotted when out in Peckham Rye last week contained a tetra pak or two. Providing three or four locations to take your tetr…

Peckham Rye Adventure Playground Opening Tomorrow (Tues 6 April)

I'd heard at the last Friends of Peckham Rye Park meeting that the Adventure Playground on Peckham Rye would be opening at Easter. Walking past over the last few days it's been very much closed and it's clear work still needs to be done.

However, Gavin and I noticed a sign up today giving opening times for the next week or so. I understand that further work is still needed but the playground will now be open on the following dates and times:
Tues 6 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Weds 7 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Thurs 8 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Fri 9 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Mon 12 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Tues 13 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Weds 14 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Thurs 15 April 11.00am - 5.00pm
Fri 16 April 11.00am - 5.00pm

I know that lots of local parents, including Renata, have chased the council about the playground many times over the last year or so. I'm glad that progress is now being made but it does seem painfully slow. The Lib Dems' do have a terrible record on delivering project…

Southwark Lib Dems - Is it ever their fault?

Southwark Liberal Democrats have a habit of talking about council services as if they have no control over them. Their approach to the crises or policy failures for which they have responsibility almost always involves one or more of the following:

1. Blaming the government
2. Pretending they don't run the council
3. Blaming the residents of Southwark

However, up until now, the Lib Dems have refrained from pointing the finger at their partners in power at the Town Hall - the Conservatives.

Short of an overall majority after the 2006 elections, the Lib Dems asked the Conservatives to form a coalition with them to run Southwark. So far, they haven't been bare-faced enough to blame the very people that they installed in power. In fact, almost the only successfully implemented policy from the Lib Dems over the last eight years has been ensuring that a tiny group of Tory councillors have a role in running our council. Not very liberal and not very democratic.

But guess what? Now even th…

Are you registered to vote?

Speaking to many residents of Peckham Rye in recent months, it's clear that interest is growing in the forthcoming local and national elections. However, there has been a small but significant number of people we've met on the doorstep who thought they were registered to vote but who weren't actually on the electoral register.

Regardless of which party or candidates people are thinking of voting for, we want to see as many people as possible registered to vote for the May 6th local elections (which is also a possible date for the general election.)

The deadline for registering to vote and applying for a postal vote in the 2010 elections is Tuesday 20th April. If you would like to check if you are registered to vote, or if you would like to have a registration/postal vote application form sent out to you, you can ring Southwark electoral services on 020 7525 7373. You can also get further information about registering to vote from Southwark's dedicated 2010 elections page…

Concern growing for missing Lib Dem and Tory candidates....

Concern is growing for the well-being of Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates standing for Peckham Rye Ward in the 2010 elections. All six candidates set out for Peckham Rye from their homes on Sunday afternoon, but haven’t been seen since. Unconfirmed reports suggest that they may have run out of supplies during the long, arduous journey and have taken refuge in Southwark Town Hall.

The six candidates have been making visits to Peckham Rye in recent months in an attempt to convince residents that they understand local issues. However, it appears that the treks across the borough of Southwark may have finally taken their toll.

Labour candidates have been accused of having an unfair advantage in the race to become councillors for the ward. By selecting candidates who live in Peckham Rye, they have not had to develop the complex orienteering and mountain climbing skills which the Tory and Lib Dems candidates have been forced to master.

Statements issued by the Lib Dems and Tories t…