The Liberal Democrat Environment Group is now 40 years old. It was formed in 1977 and at the time was considered beyond fringe and radical by the mainstream political parties. Lib Dems love environmental policies.
Christmas Information – we hope you find it usefulSouthwark Parks
All locked parks will be opened every day at 7.30am and closed at 4.30pm.
No bus services Christmas day. Other days Sunday services.
Services will be stop at around 8pm on Christmas eve – don’t get caught out.
Southern and Thameslink no services Christmas day or Boxing day via London Bridge. Limited services all other days and some planned strikes action.
London Overground no services Christmas and Boxing day. Reduced services other days.
Dulwich Leisure Centre
Christmas eve and New Years eve 7am-2pm; Christmas, Boxing and New Years days closed. Normal opening hours but closing at 7pm other holiday days.
Library Opening Hours
All Southwark libraries close Xmas eve at 1pm. For precise details please see:
Grove Vale Library
And if you have kids do get them involved with the Winter Reading Challenge
Rubbish and Recycling
Over the holidays recycling and rubbish collections will be one day later and return to normal Monday 2 January.
|Normal collection day||Christmas periods collection day|
|Mon 26 Dec||Tue 27 Dec|
|Tue 27 Dec||Wed 28 Dec|
|Wed 28 Dec||Thu 29 Dec|
|Thu 29 Dec||Fri 30 Dec|
|Fri 30 Dec||Sat 31 Dec|
If you have food/garden waste collections then you can just leave any real Christmas tree out on the next collection day.
Otherwise you can take real and plastic Christmas trees to the council waste collection centre on Devon Street, SE1 (just off the Old Kent Road).
We hope you have a great break over Christmas and New Year.
Southwark’s political parties have come together to demand that the Government guarantees the rights of EU residents living in Southwark via a motion I tabled at the recent full council assembly. This is aimed to help reassure residents by calling on the Councils Cabinet to lobby the Government and the borough’s MPs to secure the right to remain for EU citizens living in the borough.
Southwark Council in its role as a community leader, should join in fighting the corner of all our residents, so I’m pleased the Liberal Democrat motion received unanimous support from all councillors and parties. Thank you.
This contrasts with the complete lack of action at a national level. Conservative Party ministers are instead using the right to remain as a crude bargaining chip in its Brexit negotiations with the EU. This is playing with millions of people’s lives and is unacceptable. As a professional negotiator the UK would also gain significantly more leverage by offering these rights straight off. It would show compassion and realism. It would be hard for thE EU to not respond in kind.
Since the referendum vote to leave the European Union on 23 June, the lack of any Government response on the future rights of EU citizens already living in the country has created huge uncertainty. There are 22,000 registered EU voters in Southwark and the EU referendum result has made many people nervous about their future here.
There has been a rise in the number of hate crimes and incidents of racial abuse being reported against EU citizens with a 52% increase reported in London by the Police.
Liberal Democrat councillors also seconded a motion on hate crime that called on the Council to work with the police and local organisations to tackle all reported incidents of racism and xenophobia in Southwark, as well as support victims of hate crimes.
Nationally, the Liberal Democrats are calling for existing EU citizens to be given the right-to-remain with London MP Tom Brake introducing a Bill in Parliament earlier this month urging the Government to commit to this policy. The Party has also launched an online petition on EU citizen rights: http://change.libdems.org.uk/right-to-stay
The residents of St.Ives have voted via a new Neighbourhood Plan require that all new build homes must be occupied as principal residents – not holiday or second homes.
In Southwark many new homes are sold to foreign residents and sit idle. It means even the low new home build numbers are diluted further by so many homes being lost in this way.
Lib Dems have asked the labour Southwark administration whether they would support such a stance by neighbourhoods. They reacted by claiming no evidence of this problem in Southwark exists. That such homes generate receipts to be used for social housing. But they have said that for example if the Bankside Neighbourhood plan can justify such a scheme with damaging scheme viability ned meeting affordable housing they could support such a proposal.
Watch this space…
For several years now residents have been asking for cycle parking, in the form of BikeHangars, to be installed close to their homes. Without secure bicycle parking people can’t easily own bicycles let alone use them.
So far Southwark Council have organised 99 such BikeHangars each hosting 6 bicycles. But they have another 100 residents from across the borough requesting such bicycle parking. My experience in East Dulwich is that from expressing an interest to a BikeHangar happening or being told it wont happen takes 2-3 years. It is ridiculous that it takes so very long. Sadly the cabinet member responsible is under the impression it takes’ only’ one year.
Most people live in homes where cycle parking isn’t available. We want to reach Danish and Dutch levels of cycling of at least 25%. The benefits to residents and the community of this level of cycling would be profoundly positive- environment, air pollution, fitness, etc. We have 300,000 people living in Southwark of which around 42,000 are below the age of 10 and probably wont need full sized cycle parking. So we need cycle parking for around 25% of 258,000 = 64,500 bicycles or 11,000 BikeHangars.
This level bicycle parking need is so huge it needs to be treated as a strategic programme.
Do you want a BikeHangar close to your house?
Getting legally married when people have religious marriage isn’t compulsory. Big deal I hear you ask. But if you then become religiously unmarried you have no legal rights to alimony, splitting ownership of a home, who looks after the children, access rights to children.
An obvious example is where a marriage is annulled by a Sharia Court. I get why people might hold a court based on their religious text to decide cases only involving people of that religion where they agree to this – and communities can put a lot of pressure for people to religiously conform. But what I don’t get is where the outcome of such a case results in a burden on the state. Not splitting and deciding on how the split happens as per the laws of the UK can mean tax payers subsidise that outcome. So a call for all religious marriages having to be civilly reiterated in UK law seems a good way of resolving this issue.
What do you think?
Southwark Labour proposed earlier this year to have 10m of double yellow lines added to East Dulwich junctions. So for a 4 way junction 10m on each side of each junction would result in 80m of double yellow lines. We have a lot of junctions WOW circa 10km of parking would be removed across Dulwich.
We’ve objected and finally had agreement that ward councillors will review all such junctions and make our counter proposals. This is what I’ve proposed to my ward colleagues – maximum of 2m of double yellow lines from the apex of each corner. Cllr Rosie Shimell has confirmed she agrees so we’re now just waiting for the Labour councillor to agree or make alternate proposals for us to consider
What do you think?
After 18months of campaigning we’ve managed to get a second ticket machine at Denmark Hill station. I’ve chased the required planning permissions through. Caroline Pidgeon GLA AM has been super supportive nudging the train company. We met on site, with our new Lib Dem Dulwich and West Norwood parliamentary candidate, to see the new machine which is currently undergoing final testing before going live soon…
Community councils were set-up by Lib Dems when they led the council in 2002. Simple idea that power should be exercised as close to residents as possible. Community councils decided local planning applications, traffic schemes, devolved budgets around investing in local areas, devolved revenue spending to help create new projects, and generally gave local residents the power to directly influence local councillors in decisions about their neighbourhood.
Sadly not everyone wants to make local decisions. Community councils were stripped of making local planning decisions when Labour took control of Southwark council. They then dramatically reduced the number of meeting down from 10 a year to 5 each year. and the number of community councils from 8 to 5 making them much less local outside of the Dulwich area.
I’ve sat on the main planning committee deciding on local planning applications where all local Labour councillors had refused to be involved in a local planning decision because it was contentious. So clearly hiding such decisions behind a town hall in Tooley Street suits such councillors purposes.
Labour are now saying they want to centralise traffic scheme decision making to a single Labour councillor in the councils Tooley Street ivory towers.The fig leaf of saving money has been given. That a council officer attending a meeting is too expensive. With 5 meetings per year for 5 community councils at 4 hours (including travel time) the saving will amount to around £2,500 each year of officer time. But we’ve been given the option of talking about traffic schemes but with no expert officer present to explain what they’re trying to do and their ideas should work and we can only ask the Labour traffic tsar to consider issues and concerns we raise.
Academic research shows more people involved in decisions the more likely they are to catch problems and make good decisions. Three ward councillors, 6 fellow councillors on the community council, neighbouring residents and an expert council officer – I’ve seen this work really well. I’ve seen it save money; of daft schemes be canned, or tweaked to actually work. I’ve seen proposed scheme forget about pedestrians which we corrected for example.
If you think centralising traffic schemes, only discussing local issues 5 times a year, not deciding local planning schemes locally is a bad idea please respond to the councils consultation and tell them what you think.