Monstrous Tory Human Right Act Destruction

The Tories are proposing to replace the Human Right Act and block British citizens from being protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Winston Churchill led the UK’s and Commonwealth in winning help;ing win World War 2. He then tirelessly pushed for the ECHR. He considered it critical to winning the peace. So the irony of a Tory government, whilst we have the disaster of Russia in all but name invading Ukraine i.e. European peace crumbling, destroying Winston Churchill’s arguably equally important legacy to European peace as winning the war is quite simply monstrous.

If you can;t bare the thought of such barbarism please support our campaign to save the Human Rights Act.


The Future of Democracy

The recent UK general election was the most unproportional UK election of all time. When only 66% of the electorate bothered to vote and just 36% of the people who voted, voted for the winning party. It is hard to stomach radical changes from a political party with only 24% of the total electorate voting for them.

In fact just 16% of UK voters say they trust us politicians. I’m pretty tired of hearing “you politicians are all in it for yourselves”, “you’re all the same”, etc. For the record we’re not. Most politicians I’ve met are really decent public spirited local residents who want to improve things.

Clearly we need electoral reform to start changing these perceptions but winning parties in the UK are unlikely to allow this unless they feel it’s in their interests. A real Catch-22.

In the short-term a Lib Dem Lord Jeremy Purvis is proposing a new Constitutional Convention Bill about how we thoughtfully consider how we run our country – the system we vote under, House of Lords, etc. Fab. Long overdue. I suspect tories will sink it at the first opportunity but you can but hope.

Longer-term how do we make voting easier and the number of issues voters can influence far higher. In Scotland we’ve seen how passionate the referendum became and how high the turnout resulting. Locally we’ve seen huge interest generated by a junction being changed – Townley Road/East Dulwich Grove.

The flip side to this is the huge increase in support for campaigning groups, online petitions. 38 degrees is a great example of harnessing people power.

It was one of the reasons I signed-up to MyMP2015. It feels a logical extension to making myself so available on the EastDulwichForum and trying to get a step increase in how people can participate in decisions.

But with the internet how much more participatory could we be?

One successful mode is Podemos the Spanish political party. They use a mix of offline citizen assemblies and online forums so all members can get to shape party policy. Expanding this to a council or parliament would give everyone a say in how our country in run.

What do you think? How would you shape our

GP Services

NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) makes all the decisions about GP services. The CCG is a club of all Gp practices across the borough – replacing what was previously called the PCT.

They’re investing £2M in GP services but are they doing it in the right way?

They’ve created two hubs for overflow GP appointments. One in Bermondsey Spa to cover the north of Southwark and one in the middle at the Lister Primary Care Centre covering the south of Southwark.

The assumption is patients don’t care where they can be seen by a GP. That GP practices will never have sufficient appointment slots so sending patients elsewhere means GP practices don’t have to plan so thoroughly.

if you think this doesn’t make sense please email your thoughts to the CCG consultatoon manager –

you our can also tell her what services you think should be on the new Dulwich Hospital replacement facilities.







Lordship Lane Post Office – Modernisation Approved

For decades the Post Office network had been shrinking. Under Labour and Conservatives governments a number of local and many Post Offices nationally were closed. Between 1960-2010 the network plummeted from 25,000 to 11,500 Post Offices. As part of the coalition lib Dems ensured an investment fund was created to stop this rot continuing.

A key Lib Dem achievement in the Coalition was securing the future of Britain’s post office network. Business Secretary, Vince Cable, working with Postal Affairs Minister, Edward Davey, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, secured £1.34 billion of funding for Britain’s post offices and a Government commitment that there will be no programme of post office closures under the Coalition.

So I’m chuffed to announce that some of that money is being used to completely modernise our Crown Post Office on Lordship Lane. Planning Permission for this has just been granted. It will have self-service, better counters. The next challenge is getting more modern opening hours…


Magna Carta 800th anniversary

19 June 2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

seal Magna Carta was an attempt to find an antidote to the challenges from an over mighty king.

With the ideas of freedom from the Magna Carta being signed 19 June 1215,  it had been shown that not even the king was above the Common Law of the land. Over time Magna Carta became an idea which could never be uninvented, or unimagined.

Thirteen copies of Magna Carta were quickly made and sent throughout the kingdom. Magna Carta had gone viral. With so many important witnesses to the events Magna Carta to be ever denied or forgotten.

Over the course of the subsequent 800 years, the idea of Magna Carta gathered momentum and assumed a greater and greater importance around the ideas of liberty and justice. These central clauses, usually referred to as 38 and 39, have not only stood the test of time, but have a potency of their own which has seen off hundreds of attempts at annulment, repeal, modification and suspension by successive monarchs and governments. Of the original 63 original clauses three remain part of our law to this day.

Are you celebrating 800 years of liberty and justice?

London Taffic Casualties Up

Crashes involving people being injured are up. They’re up 13% on last year.

Killed and serious injuries are down for all categories except motorcyclists. But overall casualties are up due to slight injuries which have been rising since 2007.

One line of inquiry for TfL is that the rising London population and resulting journeys is to cause this. So effectively the rate of crashes involving injuries would be down. I hope they reach a conclusion soon. Those slight injuries could preclude a rapid rise in more serious injuries.

Labour Bakerloo Line Extension Sell-Out

Today’s Southwark News carries a depressing story where Labour GLA Assembly Member Val Shawcross states about the Bakerloo line having two seperate routes from Elephant&Castle “Realistically, only one option will be taken forward.”

Up until the general election one month ago Simon Hughes had been campaigning for the Bakerloo Line to be extended and Lib Dems suggested two separate routes. Labour told everyone it was there idea. Now the election has gone they say two routes was never feasible.

And we wonder why people are cynical about politicians.

Come on Labour if two routes for the Bakerloo line was good enough for your election campaign – one via Camberwell the other via the Old Kent Road – why isn’t it good enough for the residents of Lambeth & Southwark now?

It certainly makes sense about why Southwark Labour have been promoting a Thameslink station at Camberwell when this station originally closed from competition from a mass transit tram system. It really doesn’t look like they were serious about a Camberwell route for the Bakerloo line as well as an Old Kent Road route.

It isn’t too late to sign the petition to extend the Bakerloo Line via Camberwell AND the Old Kent Road.

Night Bus Consultation

With the changes to London Underground services – operating through out Friday and Saturday night – plans are afoot to change London buses running at night.

The consultation is open until the 1 July.

TfL have no plans to improve the night buses that serve Each Dulwich or the wider area. Please do take part and tell TfL that we want improve nigh bus provision locally.

This is the response I gave:

I don’t understand why the night buses to East Dulwich/Forest Hill 12 & 176 and West Norwood N68 aren’t being proposed. These areas don’t have tube lines so won’t benefit from those being 24 hours. We totally rely upon night buses and no improvements are proposed.

12 bus route is every 30 mins BUT with huge gap between midnight and 01:25 going north – this should change to every 20 mins or at the very least run EVERY 30 minute without a big gap between last and first buses.

176 bus route has similar problem. This should change to every 20 mins or at the very least run EVERY 30 mins without a big gap between last and first buses.

68 / N68 bus routes. Huge gap between last 68 and first N68. The N68 runs every 30 mins. This should change to every 20 mins or at the very least run EVERY 30 mins though out without big gaps between 68 & N68.

Whatever your view – please do take part in this consultation.

Cycle Parking Limit The Cycle Revolution

Cycling in London has dramatically increased for London residents commuting into central London. In 2011 London 8.3% of such commuters cycle – it feels much higher now.

Apart from safer routes to encourage more people to cycle, and they appear to be on the way now, people cycling have to have somewhere to park their bicycles – at both ends. Without such parking the Cycling Revolution will stall.

We need a step increase in cycling to improve public heath helping the NHS cope with its financial pressures, longevity, better mental health, fitter citizens, less social exclusion. Cycling has a strategic imperative for our society.

Home Cycle Parking – Most cyclists have to parking their bikes in hallways, outside homes insecurely, blocks of flats basements – often behind many doors. We will never have a cycling revolution with such crap cycle parking. In East Dulwich we’ve been supporting new Bikehangars which are a start. We’ll need 200 for East Dulwich alone to support half of the 25% cycling levels we could reach within the next 10 years. So far we have 4 on order!

Our planning rules must change to ensure cycle parking is really accessible to all new homes – not hidden away in marginal spaces. New houses in London only have to have 1 or 2 cycle parking spaces but in Holland it would be 5 in a proper 4m2 shed. Flats 1 o2 in London, 2-5 in Holland and easily accessible.

Destination Cycle Parking – We currently rely upon ‘free’ cycle parking – locking bikes to lamp posts, railings and the like which only gets you so far. For a step increase in cycling you must have proper cycle parking and lots of it. In London secondary schools are supposed to have 1 cycle parking space for every 8 pupils or staff or 12.5%. Dutch schools have 50-100%. London offices has 1 space for every 90m2, Dutch offices 1.7/100m2. At my workplace – a modern building – the cycle parking is so obscurely placed in the basement that I ‘free’ park outside. So we must not just box tick that parking has been provided for people cycling but that it easily accessible.

If we get cycle parking fixed at both end we will see a cycling revolution.

Are you going to be part of it?

Human Capital

Energy company SSE have just published a report, the first report in the UK, where they’ve commissioned PWC to calculate the value of their ‘human capital’. They’ve calculated it to be £3.4bn.

The calculations are based on assessing the expected lifetime earning of each SSE employee based other skills and qualifications and then factored of how long each employee was likely to stay with SSE. With nearly 20,000 employees these predictions based on averages make sense. In fact they calculated the average ‘human capital’ at £173,000 per head.

A really nice finding was that each apprentices generated £4.29 for all apprentice types, £7.65 for technical apprentices, for every one pound spent.

I wonder what the human capital for the whole of Southwark would be?