25 March 2011

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's approach. Others have even marched with Labour Councillors through their own city centres. But it is very noticeable that Lib Dems in Peckham Rye and Southwark have failed to join them. If they were really interested in standing up for our area, surely they'd be joining us in supporting the march tomorrow.

So it's decision time for Lib Dems in Southwark. When it comes to the crunch, who do they really represent? Is it their own sectional interests in Westminster, or are they prepared to join the march for an alternative? Will they back a different approach to deficit reduction which prioritises jobs, growth and social justice and which is backed by the vast majority of people in this ward and this borough? Or will they do what Nick Clegg wants them to do? We shall wait and see.

17 March 2011

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 equipment and local volunteers using the equipment. This information is then passed back to the police.

Since that meeting Renata and I have been in touch with the local police team, who have been very helpful. They've said they're prepared to lend us the equipment and take the time to train volunteers on how to use it.

The training would take place on a Saturday morning at a Police station in Southwark starting at 10am and lasting about two hours. The earliest the training could take place would be late April.

So, I'll finally get to the point: Can you help?

If live on these roads, and you're prepared to be one of the Community Speed Watch volunteers, let me know and I'll let you know what happens next. You can email me at gavin.edwards@southwark.gov.uk

PS: If you live in another part of Peckham Rye Ward and the speed of traffic is also a concern, get in touch. We may be able to help you get your own scheme going.

13 March 2011

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 possible on TfL and Boris Johnson. He, particular needs to start showing some genuine commitment to a joined up and improved transport system in our area.

6 March 2011

'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 www.kabodler.com/k/pulltheotherone