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Showing posts from January, 2012

Leaseholder charging in Southwark - draft report published

Some months ago I posted on the leaseholder charging scrutiny which would be carried out by the Housing Scrutiny Committee.  Since then lots of hard work has gone into unpicking all of the issues surrounding leaseholder charges and we've just published the draft report.   You can see it here.

The report will be discussed by the sub-committee at next Monday's meeting and so there will be changes and additions following that discussion.  However, the central arguments and recommendations of the report are in place and will be of interest to leaseholders in Southwark who want to see a Labour council responding to their concerns.

Our aim from the outset has been make recommendations which would improve the process of leaseholder charging for the benefit of all residents of the borough. We've had excellent co-operation and engagement from council officers, the cabinet member and leaseholder representatives.

There are a number of recommendations, below are just some which are…

Democracy in Southwark: If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk

Turning up to meetings is just one part of a councillor’s job, but it’s an important part.  Scrutiny, Community Council and other meetings are a crucial opportunity to stand up for residents’ interests and hold the council to account.  It’s something that you know will take up lots of your time, but you’re fully aware of that before you make the decision to stand for election.  Thisthis and this show just a few examples of times when Vikki, Renata and I have been able to secure improvements for the Peckham Rye area by going along to these meetings.  I’m not saying they’re always riveting, but I am saying it’s important to turn up as often as possible.   Since the last election residents of Southwark have been able to monitor the attendance of their councillors via the Southwark Councilwebsite.  Now, I wouldn’t have mentioned this if Southwark’s Lib Dem Councillors hadn’t been going around in recent months, telling anyone that would listen, just how concerned they were about democrati…

Cheltenham and Ivydale Road Road works - What is going on?

Local residents will know that resurfacing and reconstruction works have been going on over a number of week on a section of Ivydale Road (west of Merttins Road) and Cheltenham Road. The works will improve residential roads which have become very bumpy, largely as a result of 343 and 484 buses travelling on these roads.  This has become a particular problem in recent years because the combination of heavy buses and deteriorating roads has lead to serious shaking of people homes.

Through a combination of Councillors' and local residents' campaigning in 2011 we were able to secure the funding for the works.  Prior to works starting there was a joint meeting between local residents, councillors and council officers out on the street.  At that meeting we were told by officers that the works would include full-depth reconstruction of the entire length of Cheltenham Road and the relevant section of Ivydale Road.

Since works have begun it's become clear that full-depth reconst…

Know Your Ryes!

A few weeks ago I was in a meeting with some local residents and council officers. During the meeting one person started referring to Rye Lane, when in fact they meant Peckham Rye East. Later on another started talking about Peckham Rye Common and it took us a little while to work out that they really meant Peckham Rye Park.  
You can't really blame people for getting a little confused. There are so many references to "Rye" in our little bit of South London that even the locals can get mixed up. So I thought I'd have a go at writing a little glossary of all the Ryes hereabout.  Clearly I'm making a rod for my own back here, so please point out any errors I've made in the comments box below. 
Anyway, here are my definitions of the ubiquitous Ryes. Some serious, some not so serious, and in no particular order:
Peckham Rye Ward - The council ward area. Peckham Rye Ward was created out of Rye Ward, Waverley Ward and Bellenden Ward following the Local Authority Bo…

Homestall Road Sports Ground

Residents of Homestall, Mundania and Colyton Road will be aware that there are some proposals to develop parts of the Homestall Road Sports Ground. The sports ground is the home of teams representing Athenlay Football Club.

Some residents are delighted that sports facilities are going to be improved for local young people, but for some this is tempered by an understandable concern that development will lead to over-intensive use of the site which will cause disturbance to their home life.

The problems which Southwark Council has been seeking to solve, in partnership with the club and local people, are:

- The general poor condition of the sports ground
- In particular the poor drainage and quality of the pitches
- The lack of decent changing provision on site.

I think it would be fair to say that early on in this project, the council’s communications with local residents were not good. A proposal (now abandoned) was developed with the local Harris Academy. These proposals were not …