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Showing posts from 2011

Labour delivers a London Living Wage for Southwark

Great news for anyone interested in the campaign to end poverty wages in London. Southwark's Labour run council has given a cast iron, fully funded commitment to pay all staff providing services on behalf of Southwark Council a London Living Wage. The pledge came in recently published Southwark Cabinet documents which can be found here (page 24).

The London Living Wage (LLW) was introduced in 2005 by Mayor Ken Livingstone to provide a voluntary marker, above the National Minimum Wage, to stop working Londoners from falling into poverty.  The level is set each year by the Mayor's Living Wage Unit.  The introduction of LLW followed a very long and determined campaign by numerous organisations, most notably London Citizens.

In November 2008 Southwark's Council Assembly passed a motion (with cross party support) to pay all staff the London Living Wage including, crucially, all contracted out staff.  A higher proportion of directly employed local authority staff in London ar…

Report from One O'Clock Club Meeting

Below is the update from Renata on the One O'Clock Club Meeting posted by Renata on the East Dulwich Forum:

"Thank you to the parents who attended this morning's meeting at the One O clock Club.

To those of you unable to attend, local Councillors, myself (Peckham Rye) and Nick Dolezal (Lane) attended. Cabinet members Cllrs Catherine McDonald and Veronica Ward came and Catherine opened the meeting, talking about the severity of cuts to Southwark's budget from central goverment both to our core grant and to Child specific service funding. Council Officer Mike Smith explained where we currently are in terms of the club's future.

Southwark Children's Services will continue to operate the Club on its current stay and play basis until the current building is replaced. The One O Clock club uses a former POW hut, which is not fit for purpose and Capital has been allocated to build a new, for purpose facility for children's activities. Discussions are currently unde…

Reminder - One O'Clock Club Meeting tomorrow

There is a meeting at 9.30am at the One O'clock club tomorrow morning (Thursday 8th December) at 9.3Oam to discuss the future of the Club. Council Officers will be attending. This meeting follows on from the informal meeting which Renata held at the One O'Clock Club a couple of weeks ago.

Victoria, Renata and I have been working with council officers and Southwark Labour Cabinet members over the last year to find long-term funding for the Club. This meeting will, among other things, provide an update on that work. Funding for One O'Clock Clubs was cut following the Coalition Government's decision to cut Southwark council's funding by a third over four years.

Victoria on Nunhead Radio Show

Victoria was a guest on the radio show of Nunhead resident Lewis Schaffer tonight. The show, was broadcast at 10.30pm on Monday night on Resonance FM. It covered such varied topics as a new name for south Nunhead, World War II, Margaret Thatcher's legacy, Athenlay FC and Bredinghurst School.
You can listen to the show here.
Gentle Warning: Lewis is a straight-talking comedian, the show is broadcast at 10.30pm. The humour and language is not for kids or the very easily offended.

Cheltenham and Ivydale Road Resurfacing

Below is the text of a letter from the council that residents of Cheltenham and Ivydale Roads should have received today. Victoria, Renata and I are still working with officers to sort out the issues with the junction with Merttins Road - a more gentle profile on the raised junction to reduce vibration may be an option

"Dear Sir / Madam

Re: Advance notification of essential highway maintenance work
Ivydale Road / Cheltenham Road – carriageway resurfacing

As you may already be aware sections of Ivydale Road and Cheltenham Road carriageway are failing. The Council intends to carry out a full reconstruction of these stretches of carriageway. As part of these works the road cushions and raised humps within the pinch point will be removed.

The works are programmed to commence on Monday, 15 November 2011 and will be completed January 2012 subject to good weather and unforeseen events. The road works will be carried out between 08:00 hours and 15:30 hours Monday to Friday and on Saturdays if…

One O'Clock Club Meeting

There will be a meeting to discuss the future of the Peckham Rye One O'Clock Club on Wednesday 16th November at 2.15pm. The venue will be the One O'Clock Club itself.
Councillor Renata Hamvas will be representing Peckham Rye's Labour Councillors and the Cabinet member for Children's Services, Cllr Catherine McDonald will also be attending.
Victoria, Renata and I are focusing our efforts on making sure the One O'Clock club can stay open as a valued service for local parents. For a bit more background on the issues prompting the meeting, see this recent post.

Friern Road and Peckham Rye Junction - Experimental Road Closure

The Council is intending to carry out a trial closure of Friern Road at the junction with Peckham Rye.
The trial is planned to last up to 12 months and comes as a result of concerns about excessive traffic on the north eastern section of Friern Road. These concerns have grown for a number of local resident following the opening of the Harris Boys Academy on Peckham Rye.
Traffic surveys undertaken on Friern Road, near the junction with Peckham Rye have shown a significant increase in traffic volume during peak periods. There is also concern about the higher than expected number of large vehicles using the route, including some articulated vehicles that are likely to have difficulty negotiating these roads. The closure will not include cycles and emergency vehicles and access to the road will be maintained via Barry Road.
There is currently a consultation being carried out on the experimental closure. The consultation form has been posted through the doors of homes on a number of surr…

One O’Clock Club Update

As some readers will know, there is a great deal of community interest in the future of Peckham Rye One O’Clock Club, partly as a result of the budget cuts which have hit Southwark Council and also as a result of rumours that the club was soon to close.

We’re not sure where the rumours have come from and we remain committed to keeping the club open. We’re now at the stage where we want to set up a community ‘steering group’ for the club to make sure that happens.

The cuts mean that the staffing budget for One O’Clock Clubs across the borough will be cut from next April – the budget to cover maintenance and running costs (heating, lighting etc.) remains. Two One O’Clock Clubs are pretty certain to be run by local children’s centres – i.e. they will take on the club and run the club without charging the council as they will benefit from the use of buildings at other times. We had hoped that this might be a possibility for Peckham Rye and negotiations continue with Rye Oak. However, at the…

Lib Dems and the truth - a marriage of convenience?

Leave aside for a moment the betrayals, lies and right wing politics of the coalition. If you really want to know what Lib Dems are like, just take a very close look at the way they behave in your borough, Southwark. Sometimes I am left breathless at their behaviour. They will do and say simply anything if they think they can get a vote out of it.

Let me give you a recent example. In the neighbouring ward to our own is a Lib Dem Councillor, James Barber. He has recently written a blog post about what he calls Southwark Labour's "Wedding rip-off".

He is scathing in his criticism of the council for putting up wedding and civil parntership fees by 27%. He goes on: "Labour Southwark are penalising people for falling in love. Rather than saying 'I do' couples will be saying 'I’m sorry but I can’t afford it.' It is a heartless move from a mean spirited Labour Council ..."

First things first. It's clear to anyone who's been awake for the la…

Val's 2011 report

You can see the 2011 annual report from your Labour GLA Member Val Shawcross here:

Chart Breakthrough!

Exciting news for Peckham Rye Labour. This blog has has broken through into the national charts (err..sort of)

The Peckham Rye Labour Blog made it to the heady heights of number 28 in the top 35 Councillor Blogs in the country according to the Total Politics Website:

Despite the superstardom that will inevitably follow, we promise not to let it go to our heads!

Peckham and Nunhead Area Action Plan Meeting

Just a quick report from our very successful Community Council meeting on Monday 19 September. Over 90 people attended to have their say on the Peckham and Nunhead Area Action Plan (PNAAP) which the Council has been consulting on over the summer.

The plan will provide a planning framework that will help bring long lasting improvements to Peckham and Nunhead over the next 15 years. It will change the planning policies for Peckham and Nunhead to make sure that we get the right development needed to support a healthy, safe and prosperous community.

There are a number of stages in preparing the area action plan. The meeting on Monday was to help to Council develop some 'preferred options'. These will then come back to the community, possibly in early 2012.

The current consultation period will end on Friday 30 September 2011. So if you didn't attend on Monday and would still like to have your say and find out a bit more about what's going on, you can do so by clicking here.

Peckham Rye Fete

Just in case anyone needed reminding: Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Peckham Rye Fete organised by the Friends of Peckham Rye. This is always a fantastic event with lots to see and do for all ages. More details can be found here:
A huge amount of work goes into organising this event from lots of local people.
Earlier this year, your three Labour Councillors for Peckham Rye allocated funding assistance to the 2011 Fete. Just thought I'd mention that. Subtle like!

Southwark Labour - working hard for young people

There has understandably been lots of concern in recent weeks about the levels of help and support for young people in Southwark. I thought I’d post some information about what the Labour Council is doing in this area.
First things first, Southwark’s Labour Council believes in investing in our young people. That's why, despite receiving the worst government budget cuts in London, we are:

- keeping all our Children's Centres open and funded at last year's levels
- bringing in universal Free Healthy School Meals for our primary school pupils
- helping tackle child obesity and putting money in parents' pockets just when they need it most
- creating a new Youth Fund - investing £3m in helping young people stay on in education and get a foot on the jobs ladder.

There are three strands to the youth fund: support for further education, support for tuition fees for higher education and employment opportunities. The higher education tuition fees strand was launched this w…


Victoria, Renata and I would just like to add our voice to the many others calling for calm after the recent outbreaks of rioting and criminal behaviour. We welcome the decision to put more police on our streets, as reassuring local residents and shop owners at this time has to be everyone's top priority.
The police have asked that people stay home tonight and encourage their children stay home as any disturbances will be easier to police as there will be less by-standers. If you encounter any disturbances yourself they have asked that these are reported to them by phoning 101. Obviously, if you consider the matter to be an emergency, dial 999.
We're very proud that the council street cleaners, accompanied by local volunteers, made sure that our street were cleaned first thing this morning. We hope to see our community come together in the same way over the coming days and weeks, and not spoiled my a minority intent on violence and destruction.

Leaseholder charging review

Below is a news release from Southwark Labour which gives some details of a forthcoming review of leaseholder charging in the borough. My involvement comes from chairing the Council's Housing Scrutiny Committee. Leaseholders living in Peckham Rye may want to keep an eye on this. I'll post further updates as the review progresses.
The original release is here (with a pic of me looking even more grumpy than usual!)

Leaseholder charging review announced

The Labour Chair of Southwark’s Housing Scrutiny Committee has announced a review of leaseholder charging in the borough. The review will look into all aspects of leaseholder service charges - including customer service to leaseholders and the accuracy of billing arrangements – as well as charges for communal repairs and major works.

The review will also look at the progress being made in implementing the recommendations of the Grant Thornton audit of leaseholder service charges that was published in September 20…

Peckham Rye Playground Opens

Gavin and I were delighted to open the new playground on Peckham Rye this morning - and to test out the equipment! The opening marked a long year of campaigning to get the playground built after many years of delay.

As locals and regular visitors to the Rye may know, the new playground has been in the pipeline for some time. To make matters worse, back in August 2010, the Tory-Lib Dem Government ‘clawed back’ most of the funding for the project, leaving its future in doubt. Following a lot of hard work we are really pleased that in the end we secured the funding and that the work has been completed - just in time for the school holidays.

During the election last year we made a firm promise that we would get the playground sorted-out. Today has been brilliant because, despite Government cuts we have kept our promise and local children have another great area for play.

Cemetery Space in Southwark - Let the council hear your view

Just a quick post to encourage as many interested people as possible to contribute to the current consultation on the future of Southwark Cemeteries. We know that there has been concern locally about the future of Honor Oak Recreation Ground, and so it is important that as many people as possible make their voices heard.
On 19th April this year Southwark's Labour Cabinet responded to local concern and stated that using part of Honor Oak Recreation Ground for cemetery space is the least favoured option. You can let the council hear your views directly by clicking on the link below. The consultation goes on until the end of September.

Nunhead Cemetery Film on 9th September

A date for the diaries of any film buffs in Peckham Rye is Friday 9th September. This is the date of the this year's Nunhead Cemetery Free Film. Last year, Victoria, Renata and I went to see "A Matter of Life And Death" there, and it was FANTASTIC! Great atmosphere and a great film.

Details of the 9th September event can be found here. If you are coming along, I recommend you arrive early because there were some very long queues last year.
More details of other events included in the Nunhead Free Film Festival can be found here.

Playground campaign success!

After a long campaign to build a new playground on Peckham Rye, we are delighted that the new playground is about to open.

As regular visitors to the Rye will know, the new playground has been in the pipeline for some time. However, back in August 2010, the Tory-Lib Dem Government ‘clawed back’ most of the funding for the project, leaving its future in doubt.

Following a lot of campaigning, it's great news that the funding needed to allow the new playground to go ahead has been secured.

The new playground will be more 'natural' than the old playground and it will be similar to the new Goose Green playground. It will also feature ‘water play’.
Your Councillors will be opening the playground in July – just in time for the school holidays.

During the election last year we made a promise to local residents that we would get the delayed playground sorted-out. We are delighted that despite Government cuts we have kept our promise.

We are also pleased that the bid for better changing …

Athenlay FC prize-giving

From Renata:

Yesterday morning, even though a strong wind was blowing, many young players, families, and the Sunderland FC player, Anton Ferdinand turned out at Athenlay Road Football ground for their annual prize-giving and fun day.

The best footballers and those who had worked the hardest from each age group/team were presented with a trophy by the Deputy Mayor and Nunhead Councillor, Cllr Althea Smith. This was followed by a BBQ, beat the goalie and other games. The sun came out and I had the chance to talk to local residents and young footballers including new recruit Eseosa, aged 5.

A map of our first year's work

We've not long passed the one year mark as Councillors for Peckham Rye Ward. It's been a challenging and enjoyable first year for Victoria, Renata and I. To give local residents a better idea of the kind of issues we've been working on, we've produced a map showing some of the places and people we've been helping. Click on the image above to see the full map.

Exhibition at Peckham Rye Station

On Tuesday 7th June there will be an exhibition in ticket hall of Peckham Rye Station on improvements on improvements to the station. The exhibition is from 4.30pm - 6.30pm. It will include information on:

* Improvements to platform facilities - displays and reports on planned works, & discussion with Southern Rail project managers, see details below.

* Restoration of the Old Waiting Room & other historic parts of the station - latest news from Peckham Vision and the Peckham Society.

* Rail services to central London - latest news from SRUG on the ending of the South London Line, arrival of the East London Line, and the campaign to improve links into central London

For anyone that is interested in this it is a great chance find out more and give your views. With thanks to Peckham Residents Network for the information.

Have your say - Met Police's 'Public Access Review'

I wanted to highlight with residents the chance to have your say on the Met Police's 'Public Access Review'.

Firstly, if you are wondering what 'Public Access Review' means, this is essentially a review into the way you can contact the police and access police services. This could mean on the telephone, going to a police station, meeting your safer neighbourhood team (SNT) or fixing an appointment.

The focus of the review is non-emergency access - in an emergency you should just ring 999 and you should still expect the police to come to you. There are no proposals to change this.

The review has come about because of pressure on police budgets but also because the police think that a more personal service is possible and would be better for many people. The latter is probably true. At Community Council last week it was clear that very few people know about how they could fix appointments to meet with their local SNTs and many felt if they could this it would be better …

Lane Ward By-Election Result

Some Peckham Rye residents will be aware that there was a by-election yesterday in one of our neighbouring wards. The results were as follows:

Alex Berhanu, Liberal Democrat 471
Rowenna Davis, Labour Party, 2,670
Simon Fox, Tory, 423
Brian Kelly, TUSC, 107
Anna Plodowski, Green, 472

Many congratulations to Rowenna who will be a fantastic councillor for the Lane.

Rye Hill Park Party

Just a quick post to say well done to everyone involved in organising today's Royal Wedding Party at the Tenant's Hall at the Rye Hill Park Estate.
Victoria and I popped down and it was clear people were having a fantastic time - particularly the kids. There was a bouncy castle, face-painting and a barbecue to keep everyone amused.
The committee members at Rye Hill Park TRA have been doing some fantastic work over the last year to boost the community atmosphere on the estate. They have put on a number of other events in addition to today's party. Today I spoke with the TRA secretary, Angela, who told me that the "Pull the Other One" comedy nights have now moved permanently to the Rye Hill Park Tenant's Hall. This is great news for the TRA because it will raise funds that can then be re-invested in developing other activities.

Local Community Council meeting, 11th May 2011

Just a quick note to say that the next Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council meeting will now take place on 11th May (instead of 27th April). The meeting has been moved because there is currently a by-election taking place in Lane Ward and election rules mean that the meeting needed to be shifted. The meeting will take place at John Donne Primary School, Woods Road, London SE15 2SW and you can see further details here.

The agenda is packed and it promises to be a very interesting meeting. On the agenda is:

- Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport to answer questions on Environmental issues.

- An update from the Council's Environment Enforcement Team on issues such as waste collection and keeping streets clean.

- Superintendent Cheryl Burden is going to be taking the community safety slot (rather than the usual updates from our local police teams)

- More information about community council fund.

- A presentation on the application to turn the cen…

Peckham Rye - new playground UPDATE

Back in February I posted an update on the long-awaited new playground on Peckham Rye next to the cafe and One O'Clock Club.

I had hoped that work was about to start and that the new playground would be ready by the end of March. However, as regular visitors to the Rye will know, the new playground has not yet materialised. The planning application was a little delayed and there have been problems trying to get a contractor on site. I have been promised that work has now started and that the playground will completed over the next six weeks.

The delay is frustrating and the timing of the works during the school holidays isn't ideal but I am pleased that we should soon have the new playground that we promised residents during the elections last year. It's also great that we managed to secure the last bit of Southwark Council's 'playbuilder' funding, much of which has been clawed-back by the Government.

As the picture above isn't very big you can download the f…

Friends of Peckham Rye Park AGM

Victoria and I went to tonight's Friends of Peckham Rye Park AGM, so I thought I'd give a quick report on the meeting.

The Chair gave a report setting out the various achievements of FOPRP over the last year, including another very successful fete and securing funding (through the council and the Lottery) for the Wildlife Garden. The treasurer's report re-iterated the success of the fete and set out FOPR financial position.

Following the election of officers, Southwark's Parks and Open Spaces Manager gave a full and frank presentation on the re-structuring in her Department. The general approach is to ensure the availability of Park's staff at busy periods (particularly on the weekend) and make sure that there was enough back-office support to ensure the smooth running of the Park. Despite overall budget cuts to the department (Southwark has been hit hard by the coalition's cuts), it is expected that there will be no overall cut in resources dedicated to Peckha…

Funding for community events

The 2011-12 'community council fund' is now open. If you are involved in a community group and wish to bid for money to help you put on an event or events then apply now.

The Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council has £15,000 to support activities run by local groups for local people. You can apply for funding to hold events such as fun days, festivals, outings or a series of activities to bring local people together. If you have a good idea but are not part of a 'formal' group you may still be able to apply, so please do get in touch (details below) to discuss this.

You can apply for £100 up to £1,000 by downloading and filling in this form by Monday 16 May. You'll need to give details of your plans and the event must be held by 31 March 2012. There are also other criteria you must meet - check out the full details here.

Last year we funded 26 different groups/events in our area including the Friends of Peckham Rye Park Fete, lots of singing from the Nunhead Choir…

Simon Hughes urged to support secure tenancies for Southwark Council tenants

Tenants living on the Rye Hill Park Estate, Brookestone Court, Priory Court and other social housing in Peckham Rye Ward may want to know that Southwark Labour is piling the pressure on Southwark MP Simon Hughes to vote against a Government proposal to end secure tenancies for council and housing association tenants.

Ian Wingfield, Southwark Labour's Cabinet Member for Housing, has written to Simon Hughes MP urging him vote the right way. This week Labour Councillors voted for a motion condemning Conservative/ Liberal Democrat Government’s Localism Bill that will allow Local Authorities to introduce “fixed-term tenancies” for new council tenants.

Proposals in the Localism Bill will allow local authorities and housing associations to offer fixed tenancies for a minimum of 2 years, rather than secure lifetime tenancies, which are the norm at the moment. The proposals could mean tenants in Southwark have to go through an assessment of their income and family circumstances after just …

A council meeting that you'll want to go to..?

Changes to the way local council meetings are conducted are coming to Southwark. For too long Southwark Council Assembly meetings have lacked the kind of spark that would engage local people in the important decisions which are made at these meetings. It's hoped that some changes to the way they are run will get people more interested and provide an opportunity for a more direct say in what is discussed.
So from now on, Peckham Rye residents are able to have a more direct say in the agenda of these meetings which. The deadline for submitting questions to the 6th April council meeting has passed (I know, I should have posted this earlier) but there will be plenty of opportunities to submit questions to council meetings in the future.
We'll also be having "themed" meetings to try and get under the skin of some important local issues. Keep an eye on the council's democracy pages here for news on future meetings meeting and/or email to fin…

Marching for an alternative and decision time for Southwark Lib Dems

Tomorrow tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people will be marching in central London to show their opposition to the Tory-Lib Dem government's ideological attack on public services. I'm proud to be joining them, along with hundreds of colleagues from Southwark Labour Party and, I'm sure, thousands of residents from our local area.

The havoc caused by the depth and speed of the cuts is already having a direct impact on the quality of life of many people living in Peckham Rye. Victoria, Renata and I are receiving lots of casework from people who are losing out on services, support and help because the cuts have been so deep, and so disproportionately targeted on inner city areas such as Southwark.

So Southwark Labour's position on the cuts is clear, but the same can't be said of the Lib Dems.
Of course, not all Liberal Democrats in the UK are in favour of the cuts. At least some have signed a public letter to voice their opposition to the Government&#…

Community Speed Watch: Ivydale, Cheltenham and Merttins Roads

Do you live on Ivydale Road, Cheltenham Road or Merttins Road? Are you concerned about the speed of traffic (and in particular buses) on our residential roads? Then you now have the chance to get directly involved in sorting out the problem.

Back in February a number of residents of these roads came along to a local traffic sub group to voice their concern about the speed of buses travelling along their roads. (For the record, Victoria and I live on Ivydale Road too). The speed of the buses is a contributory factor in causing vibration to the homes of people living in this area. To be fair, the route the buses take, the quality of the road surfaces and traffic calming measures are also major concerns. But for now, let's stick with the speed of the buses...

One local campaigner suggested that we start a "Community Speed Watch" scheme to encourage drivers to stay within the speed limit. A scheme like this, I learned, involves the police lending residents speed monitoring eq…

TfL claim 63 extension would cost extra £525k per year

The letter above is the response to Val Shawcross (our Greater London Authority Representative) following questions that she had submitted regarding, among other things, the extension of the 63 Bus Route to Honor Oak Park.

As you will see, TfL are now saying that the extension of the bus route would cost £640,000 a year and would only generate 640 new journeys per day. These extra trips, Tfl say, would only generate £95,000 a year, meaning the extra money needed for an extension would be £525,000. Importantly they claim that this includes the impact of the opening of the East London Line at Honor Oak Park Station.

I am sure I am not the only person who believes that these figures look a bit odd. We are currently in the process of trying to find out exactly how that have been calculated. Our campaign to get this common sense extension needs to get under the skin of these figures before we can make any progress. Check back for updates on this soon.

We need to apply as much pressure as pos…

'Pull the other one' comedy at Rye Hill TRA

As locals will know, 'Pull the other one' has been a long-standing monthly Nunhead comedy event at the Ivyhouse on Stuart Road. Last month (25 Feb) it shifted to the Rye Hill TRA and will be taking place there again on 25 March.

I was at Rye Hill for surgery on Friday and heard that the event had been a huge success in it's new venue and that residents were looking forward to the next one - which I think will feature some Edinburgh Fringe acts 'trying-out' new material.

If you fancy a local night out then maybe see you on 25 March, doors 7.00pm, show at 9.00pm. Tickets are £10 available from Roy Brooks and online

Ivydale, Cheltenham and Merttins Road meeting report

Tonight we hosted a meeting of concerned local residents living on Ivydale, Cheltenham and Merttins Roads. Residents are very concerned about the shuddering caused to their homes by the 343 buses which drive (often too fast) down these residential roads. There are also major problems with the road surface and the quality of the traffic calming measures.

Below is a list of actions agreed at the meeting.


1. Setting up a community speed watch scheme to report speeding buses
Gavin has been in touch with the local police team to request Community Speed Watch Equipment. Currently awaiting a response from the police team Sergeant. A number of people at the meeting expressed their willingness to volunteer to help with the scheme when it is set up. Action: Gavin to update residents regarding to response to request. Action: Vikki to request from TfL/Abeillo information on what evidence is required in order for action to be taken against speeding bus drivers.

2. Lett…

Honor Oak Rec: The latest

There's been lots in the local media recently about the campaign to prevent Honor Oak Recreation Ground from being used as burial ground. As the local ward councillors we wanted to make it clear that we want the area to remain as recreation ground.

I think it's important to clarify two main issues:

- No decision has been made about using the Rec for burial space

- That a full and proper public consultation will take place before any decisions are made – and we will do all we can to make sure that local people's views are heard.

Southwark’s burial space is now very limited and a decision will need to be made in the next few months about the future of burial space provided by the council. Council officers have been asked to investigate the various options open to Southwark, these will be discussed by the Council Cabinet and then the public will be asked what they think and what their preferences might be.

As we feel very strongly about the Rec, and as it’s cl…

Fly-tipping on Peckham Rye Common

A very quick post. Many of you will have seen the building debris that was fly-tipped outside the toilet block on Peckham Rye Common (facing Nunhead Lane). I'd reported it to officers when I saw it from the bus on Monday morning. I've just had an email from them telling me that it has been cleared away (though I've not been down that way yet today). Obviously this is an issue we'll need to keep a close eye on.

Peckham Rye Playground - work about to start

We're delighted that work on the children's playground by the One O'Clock Club on Peckham Rye is about to start. Delivering this was one of our election pledges so it's great it should be all complete by 31 March, 11 months after becoming councillors.

This was a project that the Lib Dems and Tories failed to deliver whilst they were running the council and which was then at risk as the new Coalition Government clawed back some of the 'playbuilder' money (a Labour Government initiative) secured to deliver the scheme.

It's a bit difficult to provide a picture of the full plans but here goes -
And you can download the full details (better quality/includes pictures of various bits of play equipment) by clicking on the picture or here.
The idea is that the playground is more 'natural' than the current one - a bit like the new Goose Green playground.

Hopefully this is just the start of various improvements planned for Peckham Rye Common and Park.

Harris Girls' new wing opening

The report below is from Renata:

I've just been to Harris Girl's Academy ED for the opening of their new wing by Lord Adonis. Lord Harris, Harriet Harman MP and Cllrs Peter John, Catherine McDonald and Althea Smith also attended. This school has fantastic facilities and under the Head Jane Fletcher is going from strength to strength. We heard that the school is performing above the national average at GCSE and it has a thriving mixed sixth form, with 50% of pupils joining from other schools. We listened the school choir sing and were dazzled by an array of outfits produced by year 7 to 13 students in their textiles classes. The latter included winning designs in a competition where pupils redesigned the school uniform. Well done Harris Girls!

A report about housing repairs statistics - less boring than it sounds

I've mentioned my role as Chair of Southwark's Housing Scrutiny committee a couple of times on this blog. Since taking this on in May last year our biggest piece of work has been an investigation into the statistics used to measure performance in Southwark's housing repairs service. Sounds technical, remote and boring doesn't it? I will do my best to convince you otherwise.

Back in July 2010, the committee had to decide which housing issues we wanted to look into. Councillors on the committee (from all parties) had just been through an election campaign in which we'd knocked on lots and lots of doors. Among Southwark's tenants, by far the biggest concern was the quality of the contracted-out repairs service.

But there was a problem. All of the statistics used to measure the quality of the service showed not just good, but brilliant levels of performance. 99.9% of appointments made by contractors were kept. Satisfaction levels hovered around the 94% mark. 90%+ of…

You're recycling more!

Peckham Rye Residents will recall that during the 2010 election campaign the issue of recycling rates was a huge issue. People we spoke to on the doorstep simply could not believe that the Liberal Democrats who had run the council for 8 years had left Southwark as the 6th worst recycling authority in the country. In November 2009, official league tables showed that in Lib Dem Southwark less than 21% of household waste was recycled. In that year, the recycling rate had risen less than 1%.

Southwark Labour candidates made a pledge during that election campaign to double our borough's recycling rate. In order to meet that pledge Labour needed to prepare the ground for some big changes. The new Cabinet Member with responsibility for recycling, Barrie Hargrove, immediately took steps to introduce a pilot scheme in six wards, including Peckham Rye. In October the pilot started, introducing a weekly food and garden waste collections and supplying people with compostable bags to enable th…

Ivydale/Cheltenham Road surface and bus issues - meeting on the 10th February

As mentioned in the post below, finding a solution to the issues the road surface and speed of buses on Cheltenham and Ivydale Roads is a top priority for people in that area.Numerous people have contacted us about this issue.As you will see from posts here, here and here – this has been a long running issue.This is now on the agenda for the Nunhead and Peckham Rye Traffic and Transport Sub-Committee meeting taking place at 6.30pm on the 10th February at Southwark Town Hall, 35 Peckham Road SE5 8UB, Room B.If you're concerned about this issue, do come along to discuss it and help us to agree a way to resolve these issues.In the interests of openness and clarity, I should declare a personal interest in this issue: I am a resident of Ivydale Road myself.As Chair of the Committee it may be that I will need to "stand down" for this item.I'll be consulting with council officers to clarify if I need to do this.

Bus and road surface issues on Cheltenham and Ivydale Road

Below is an anonymised version of an email from Victoria (one of my fellow Ward Councillors) to a resident of our ward who contacted us about their concerns regarding the road surface and speed of buses on Ivydale Road. This is also an ongoing issue for a number of people on Cheltenham Road too. The email gives a full and detailed account of this issue and sets out a way forward. Clearly it is now important that we move this issue on by putting together a firm set of actions at the forthcoming Nunhead and Peckham Rye Traffic and Transport sub-committee meeting on the 10th February. More details on this to follow.

Read on to find out more:


Dear ------

I understand that you have also contacted my fellow councillors about this matter - I am cc'ing them in so that they are aware of the latest progress on this issue which I have been dealing with.

I live at 340 Ivydale so am very aware of the problematic road surface and also the impact the b…

Councillor's report - January 2011

Each month Victoria, Renata and I produce a written branch report for our local ward Labour Party. At last night's meeting we circulated a report which included an update on a number of local ward issues and news on campaigning. Councillors producing a written report like this for the branch is a long established convention, but for some reason we've never made it publicly available before. Well, we thought it was time to change that and to put the full report up on the blog on a regular basis. So, here is the January Councillors' report to our local branch. Get in touch if you have any views or comments on the issues raised:

Branch report

Forest Hill Road/Colyton Road Traffic Lights

Although the traffic lights here were put in on a ‘temporary’ basis we supported them remaining in place longer in the hope that the Council secured funding for improvement works along the length of Forest Hill Road. Approx. £560k has now been secured from TfL for improvements to FHR and some of …

Southwark Labour comes to Peckham Rye - 8th and 9th Jan

A quick advert for Southwark Labour's campaigning weekend in our ward on the Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th January. Labour Councillors and members from across the borough will be coming to Peckham Rye to talk to local people about the issues that concern them.

Lots of people in our ward are concerned about the impact on local services coming from the coalition's draconian cuts - so it's really important that people know that there is a progressive alternative to the Lib Dem Tory approach. Talking to people face to face is best way of finding out what they're thinking and informing keeping them up to date about Southwark Labour's work in running the council. If you're one of the many new Labour Party members in Peckham Rye or just interested in getting involved in your local party, come along and join us. You don't need to be experienced in knocking on doors and talking to people. There will always be people on hand to help out, and nobody is left on thei…