Monday, 1 March 2010

Does 'crime' exist in Lewisham??

After a 3 and half month hiatus compounded by illness and work, I'm back. The campaign is in full swing, canvassing twice a week. Wish I was doing more.

Strange event occured yesterday evening evening while I was canvassing in Oakwood Close at Meridian South. I was talking to a constituent at Fairfield House when this kid ran past at lightning speed up the road being chased by a man shouting. At first I thought it was prank, but approaching the man who was outside the Tesco store, he was saying the kid attacked him from behind, took something and ran off. He was in shock but was okay; i asked him if he was going to report the incident, he responded;

'what's the point, nothing is going to happen, got to look out for yourself',

I felt the man's anger of what happened. And I can bet there's many more people out there who's experienced the same thing and feel helpless. Why, are you asking, they are not reporting incidents to the police? The problem is there isn't many about to report it too, hence there could be many incidents like the one I experienced go unreported.

There are some local politicians who genuinely believe that crime doesn't exist and that its all a fantasy. They shouldn't be in politics in Lewisham, they should be in a circus.

PS: As I'm running in the local elections in May, any blog entry I make, I am legally required to give the details of my electoral agent.

Printed, published, promoted by Rob Blackie on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at 8 Woodham Road, Catford

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Battle of Lewisham Central

Bad back has been inhibiting my day-to-day routine as of late and last Monday I decided to see the doctor, she just prescribed pain-killers.

A key reason why I decided to run in Lewisham Central is the enormous opportunities that 2 key developments in Lewisham Town Centre, Lewisham Gateway and Loampit Vale, could bring to, not only the immediate area, the whole of Lewisham. For me, its the liveblood of the borough, the heartbeat.

In its current incarnation, both the plans fall way short in making the Centre a place that citizens feel proud of and I believe if the area is developed, it is going to create more problems than solutions. The Action4Lewisham site goes into detail on all the shortcomings of the proposed Lewisham Gateway Development

Members of the community are extremely frustrated about how the decision has come about and the attitude of the current Council administration when responding to genuine concerns. It has been appalling and reminds me of my dark days in Lewisham over the location of the secondary school.

I saw that frustration myself at the Action4Lewisham Public Meeting last night and I have to give it to them for not giving up. I won't go into too much detail here but my fellow Candidate in Lewisham Central, Max Calo spent early this morning writing an account of it ( Thats dedication!). The feeling I got from the meeting; from the speakers to the three ladies sitting beside me, that people are not willing to accept the current outcome and they are willing to take this far.

Whatever happens, I feel the need to stand by this campaign as it affects the very future of the area and the borough as whole. We need to change the way we approach large scale developments. Communities throughout London are speaking out in droves on whether they are sustainable to current and future communities.

Let the Battle commence!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Is this the shape of things to come?

I have had to keep myself calm and composed as I was at City Hall yesterday and I made a comment on Facebook which could have been expressed in a more 'formal' way. I got a stern telling from my wife :-(

Yesterday the Mayor of London announced an above inflation fare increase starting 2010.

I'm not going to go into detail about the proposals but one thing I recognise is that there has been falling numbers on the Tube due the recession. That's about it.

His justifications doesn't make sense; one minute he blames Ken Livingstone for creating a £80 million shortfall in the TfL budget by freezing fares in the run-up to mayoral election of 2008, the next he talks about the monies being invested into 'London's future'.

I didn't have time for Ken when he decided to sign the fuel deal with the Venezuala 'dictator' Hugo Chavez ( he isn't one technically has he was 'elected', but sure as hell acts like one), but aside from that, the majority of his transport decsisions were good ones and I will say when he did raise fares, while I slightly disappointed I believed him that they would be invested into improvement programmes.

His CO2 charge on the most polluting cars was a brilliant idea, that would have raised between £30 - 50 million and, while I acknowledge the process could have been handled better, especially with businesses in the area, the Western Extension of the C-charge was necessary to ease congestion in the Central London area, improve the air quality and most importantly encourage people to use transport.

Both these programmes have been/about to be scraped by the current Mayor in keeping with his manifesto commitments. That leaves a £100million shortfall in funding and along with lower numbers on the tube, costs in replacing the bendy buses which is going to be a lot he has to find the money somewhere. Yes its us! So all this talk about future investment and plugging a previous administration's hole doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Its HIS hole that he has created and we are paying for it.

This is going to have a major impact on those people in Lewisham who are not in receipt of any benefits, who work part time and have to rely heavily on transport to get them from A -to-B.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Local Democracy

yes I know I did promise I will try to post more..........

Anyways, this week is Local Democracy Week where Councils up and down the country highlight their innovative ways they liaise with their citizens. A poll conducted by London Councils show that 68% of respondents feel that their Council makes a positive difference. Wow! thats a huge a number considering every other week in the South London Press and News Shopper we seem to see the not so nice side of Councils.

Well I was at the Lewisham Central Local Assembly meeting on Monday and I just wanted to pass my congratulations onto Youth Village Project, the Tamil Academy of Languages and Arts and Get The Message Murials Project for obtaining money from the Mayor's Fund; and the Hither Green Society, Ahoy, and Scout Association for obtaining money from the Locality Fund.

One group that did miss out was the Church of God, asking for additional funding to support their summer activity programme for 5-11 year olds. This was my favourite programme as its a issue that is close to my heart; support and provision for the 5-11s. That period is critical in a child's development and there isn't a programme or initiative in place locally, regionally or nationally to address this ( correct me if i'm wrong). Its a shame as we could sort so many problems such as children achieving their full potential in schools, prevent them going down the wrong path in gangs and crime etc.....

I spoke to group, and although they were disappointed they will carry and will look for other channels for additional funding.

Keep going!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Bits and bobs

Good Morning everyone

Its my day off work today ( as I do compressed working which means I do a 5 day week in 4 days). I did say that I was going post more often and I haven't kept that promise, sorry!

Well my e-mail has been buzzing following the news that the Loampit Vale development was approved at the Strategic Planning Meeting yesterday evening much to the anger of the audience. While I support in principle any development for the area, i am concerned about the the potential pressure on infrustructure the development will bring. Max Calo spoke at the meeting last night and you can see his comments here.

Today is the 8th anniversary of the awful attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. 2993 people died including the 19 hijackers of the 2 American Airlines and 2 United Airline jets.

Also the new Child vetting and barring scheme comes into effect. Whether you have something to hide or not, this is going to make people think twice about working with children and vulnerable groups. The scheme was brought in following the recommendations from the Bichard Review into the Soham murders which showed that it was the police's fault for not sharing information. And given government incompetence in handling information, I have no trust it.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Lewisham Town Centre 'Low Carbon Neighbourood'

Well hello again, this is the first of what I hope many posts and I will do my upmost to publish on a regular basis.

I originally set up the blog as part of my campaign to become the Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham Deptford. Now thats over ( and I want to congratulate Tamora Langley!) I have now to concentrate on getting myself, Dave Edgerton and Max Calo elected in Lewisham Central ward in next year's local elections.

* * * *

Well despite the pains of businesses in the Town Centre area due to the recession, Lewisham Town Centre yesterday recieved some good news that the area was one of 10 of the London boroughs selected by the Greater London Authrority to become a 'Low Carbon Neighbourhood'. Credit goes to the officers and local agencies for getting this bid together.

See More here.

Well the GLA has awarded the area £200k to pioneer enegery busting measures in the low carbon zone.

What do you think the money should be spent on??

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

'You've come out'

That was the comment from an old work chum in Lewisham when he saw me at the Lib Dem store at People Day's. He knew of my intentions and despite our difference of opinion, there is mutual respect between us. I saw his partner whom I haven't seen in 2 years and hopefully we'll catch up.

These last 2 days have been manic with canvassing, work and training all rolled into one. Hopefully now no more training for a long time. Also got selected for a ward in the local election which I'm pleased about

In the news, it seems the Local election campaign has started in earnest. hahahahahahahaha!!! Why now, why not a few years ago? We'll never know.................