14 May 2010

Week one as Peckham Rye Councillors

Councillor allowances to be cut

Our first week as councillors has been a mix of developing some of the right links with inside the council bureaucracy and getting to grips with various issues that people need our help with.

On Monday we attended the AGM of Southwark Labour Group where we elected several of the positions within the Group (including the Leader and Deputy Leader) and made some important early decisions to show how this administration is going to differ to the last. Labour councillors delivered on our first manifesto pledge by agreeing a 10% cut in the Special Responsibility Allowances for councillors. Victoria, Renata and I are all proud that we are taking a lead on this issue.

On Tuesday we went into the council offices on Tooley Street to officially sign up as councillors and get our e-mail and contact details sorted out.

Casework is now coming in thick and fast. All three of us are having to learn quickly who to contact and how to get the best results for residents. Luckily we have the assistance of one or two more experienced Labour councillors to help out when we need some advice. We've also been signing up to the various training sessions that all new councillors need to go on: Southwark IT systems, safeguarding, casework management etc etc.

But as we said time and again during the campaign, we're determined not be couped up in the Town Hall as councillors. As often as possible we want to be out talking to people living in our area and finding out how we can improve things. Tomorrow we're going to Nunhead Cemetery open day (on the boundary of our ward). Nunhead Cemetery is an fascinating place, and we want to show our support for the work of the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery.

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