March 12th, 2014 by James Barber
In Southwark planning applications for schemes up to 50 new homes were decided at local planning committees. Southwark had eight to cover the whole borough and one main planning committee for schemes greater than 50 new homes.
These were swept away Southwark Labour. Supposedly to save money but the amount of money spent on each community council meeting is now so huge that you could hold the dames number of meetings as used to be held for less money.
It is so embarrassing that local schemes aren’t decided locally that Labour cabinet councillor Barrie Hargrove pleaded a special case for the Flood Alleviation Planning Application.
Sadly even Barris didn’t make any progress against the entrenched decision that local planning decisions shouldn’t be heard anywhere convenient for residents.
March 11th, 2014 by James Barber
The legislation allowing Play Streets was passed in 1938. It allows for 3 hours per week for local residential streets to be closed and children get to play outside where they live.
But over time the number of Play Streets has declined from 700 in the 50′s to none by the 80′s. So a revival is long overdue.
Lambeth Council are trialling on Guernsey Grove in Herne Hill and Hexham Road in West Norwood Play Street days. Residents are allowed to close their street for up to 3 hours per week so their children can play in a great traffic free environment. Most often they do this during a weekend afternoon.
This has been inspired by schemes in Hackney, Bristol and even New York.
Should you street become a Play Street?
March 11th, 2014 by James Barber
Southwark is introducing 20mph speed limit on all roads except those controlled by TfL or the Dulwich Estate.
This has been a long time coming with the strategy agreed when Lib Dems led the council. Richard Thomas was the lead councillor on this years back.
But not much point making our roads 20mph without any enforcement.
The Association of Chief Police Officers have announced a course option for motorists exceeding 20mph as an alternative to a fine and or points on driving licences. The course would be for motorists travelling 24-31mph.
Avon and Somerset Police are the first ti pilot this course.
We need to persuade our Met Police in Southwark to also take this approach.
Do you agree most roads should be 20mph in Southwark?
March 10th, 2014 by James Barber
Recap – we have a looming primary school places crisis of 215-235 reception places September 2016. The East Dulwich Harris Primary School will provider 60 places to fill this gap with huge local parent support to make it happen.
Harris have appointed the Principal for the school. I’m hoping to meet them in April.
The former East Dulwich Police station has been bought to provide the site for this school. The full funding agreement has been signed off with governments Educational Finance Agency (EFA).
The EFA will have appointed their full technical team by the end of this week to ensure the new school is completed by September 2015 as the permanent site.
Discussions are ongoing about the temporary site the school will open on this September 2014. But it looks 99% likely that the temporary site will be the East Dulwich Harris Girls Academy site.
During the 1st week of April an admissions evening will be held for parents and families.
We just need to find a site for the second local Harris Primary school.
March 5th, 2014 by James Barber
The psychological needs of men and boys are often overlooked – males often don’t have someone to talk problems over with such that:
- Men are three times more likely to commit suicide
- Three quarters of missing people are men
- The majority of those who are homeless are men
- The rates on mental illness in the domestic homeless population are high
- Men are more likely to be victims of violence
- 5% of men (compared to 7% of women) have reported being a victim of domestic violence
- Men and boys can also be victims of physical abuse and sexual abuse
- Men make up the vast majority of the prison population and it is estimated that 90% of prisoners have mental health problems
- Men suffer more substance abuse and dependence
- Men account for 79% of drug related deaths
- Men are more likely to struggle with psychological problems following redundancy or the loss of a job
Men’s psychological wellbeing not only effects individuals themselves but also others, including women, children and other men. It is imperative that the psychological needs of men and boys are improved.
Did you realise things were this bad – I hadn’t?
Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Southwark Lib Dems
What a week!
On Monday evening, Southwark Liberal Democrats unveiled their manifesto for the borough’s council elections in May at a launch event in Borough.
The manifesto outlines a total of 50 policy priorities that a Liberal Democrat council would put into place if Lib Dem councillors are chosen by voters to run the council in May.
The main focus though is on four things: Homes. Kids. Jobs. And a council tax cut. We’ve even designed a new logo to help promote it!
The full 2014 manifesto is now published online at www.southwark-libdems.org.uk/manifesto.
We have also been publishing more detailed policy papers about each of the areas covered in the manifesto, putting a new paper up on the main Southwark Liberal Democrats website each day.
…and then there was the council budget meeting on Wednesday evening when Labour councillors voted to cut short debate on their own spending plans.
February 26th, 2014 by James Barber
I adore going to the cinema. I love the whole thing. All the way from the anticipation of going, watching the trailers to the credits and chatting about what you’ve seen.
For some time I’ve been encouraging cinema companies to consider East Dulwich. We recently had three chains consider East Dulwich and previously I’d even approached a real independent cinema Bermondsey Shortwave.
Finally the long awaited cinema company who have agreed, subject to planning permission, to open a cinema in East Dulwich on Lordship Lane is Picturehouse Cinemas – the people who run the Brixton Ritzy.
Next week they have public consultations about what they’re thinking of doing on the old Roman Catholic Community Centre, Thomas Moore Hall, 116A Lordship Lane.
DO PLEASE pop along and take a look at what they proposing….
Tuesday 4 March 6.30-9.30pm & Saturday 8 March 10am-1pm.
And let us know as your local councillors what you think.
Do you think it will bring extra vigour to Lordship Lane? Cause parking issues? Provide things for teens to do as well as us adults?
February 25th, 2014 by James Barber
Sunday afternoon at my home the first inaugral meeting of the steering group for a new East Dulwich free secondary school met.
Although I launched and have run with this campaign for many months it’s definately time to open it up to parents that have the time to help make it happen. I’m also keen that it becomes a cross party campaign. Ensuring enough good school places shouldn’t be political.
A dozen of us chewed over what we’d like to see. We agreed that it would be:
- co ed and non faith
- non selective but have good SEN provision and ensure boys and girls succeed and with gifted and talented.
- subject specialism of teachers and the school specialise working with some of our great world renouned South London institutions.
- engage with parents and supporters.
We also agreed to approach two school providers initially – Prendergast and Haberdashers - to see if either wanted or could fulfil our aspirations. At that point we would pass the baton to them to lead this campaign.
February 25th, 2014 by James Barber
East Dulwich is a hive of residents improving their homes. Sometimes these improvements cause neighbours problems and even distress.
When such works take place within 3 metres (10 foot) of a neighbours garden or property a Party Wall Notice should be agreed between both parties.
I’ve just been given suggested formal wording a neighbour should write to neighbours improving. Hope you find it useful.
“I understand that you have submitted Planning Drawings to the Council for works to your property, both to the grounds level and loft.
I refer only to the proposed extension at the rear of your property and believe this could come under the Party Wall Act. I have taken advice and understand this if this is the vase that by law you are required to issue Party Wall Notices to myself as an immediately adjoining owner. There are other aspect to the Act other than just work affecting party wall and I further understand that the Notices may cover Excavation Works within 3 metres of an adjoining property and building up to the boundary ( a Line of Junction Notice).
I the latter arises at all then the Notices must be service to me with the Planning Drawings showing the works.
If you do not comply with the above prior to the works starting on the site then I further understand that I can issue you with an injunction to prevent the works starting before issuing the Notices. Such legal costs will be recoverable from you though the courts including such other necessary costs.
I look forward to hearing from you concerning the above and of course also should you consider the scheme does not require such notices then please clarify this.