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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 the money will be brought forward and spent early to look at what the best options are for this junction and that any changes fit the plan for FHR as a ‘whole’.

Honor Oak Recreation Ground
Following substantial levels of theft and vandalism to Camberwell New Cemetery and Honor Oak Crematorium officers and police recommended that the pedestrian access to Honor Oak Rec be locked from approx. dust until dawn. We have been supportive of this idea as the levels of damage were so costly to the council and because the police believed this to be the best option. However, a number of local residents, particularly early morning dog walkers, have raised concerns about this and Vikki met with them and walked round the rec area prior to Christmas. We are now trying to see if a compromise can be found so that legitimate users of the rec are not inconvenienced.

Friern Road traffic problems
There have been problems with increased levels of traffic on the lower part of Friern Road as a result of the opening of the Harris Boys Academy. Gavin arranged a joint meeting between officers, representatives of the school and local residents to help sort out these problems. Various measures are being looked at and there will another update meeting in February.

Housing Repairs KPI Scrutiny
As Chair of Southwark’s Housing Scrutiny Committee Gavin has been leading an investigation into the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the repairs service. The KPIs show outstanding performance whilst anecdotal evidence suggests the service is poor.

Through the scrutiny process carried out over the last few months we have found:-

- The interim results from a newly commissioned repairs survey show dramatically different levels of satisfaction, appointments kept, etc, than are shown in the KPIs

- A high proportion of missed appointments were found during a listening in exercise on in-bound calls to the repairs hotline

- We also discovered during the the listening-in exercise that a significant proportion of repairs are being left incomplete, but reported by the contractors as complete.

- A significant proportion of respondents to the satisfaction survey (which is used to measure satisfaction with repairs) stated that their repair was not complete, even though the survey is supposed to only include those who have recently had a repair completed.

- Evidence of mis-reporting of the completion of work and attendance at appointments by contract operatives was found during a case-tracking process.

- The fact that officers have already made changes to two of the KPIs (overall satisfaction rating and appointments made and kept) pre-empting this report.

- Contractors themselves have admitted that their performance does not live up to the KPIs.

The draft report, which also makes reccomendations on how to improve the KPIs, will be discussed at next week’s scrutiny meeting. There may be a number of additions/changes to the report following that meeting. It will then go to Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and then, hopefully, before Southwark’s Cabinet.

Borough Wide Campaigning this weekend
We need as many local members as possible to come along to the borough wide campaigning weekend this Saturday and Sunday. If you can make it, come along at 11am or 2pm if you'd like to ensure you go out in a larger group. The place to come to is 340 Ivydale Road, Nunhead, SE15 3DG. Do give me a call or email if you need more information on 07866022825 or


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