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Southwark Council Most £100k Pay Packets In Britain

SOUTHWARK DISHES OUT MORE £100,000+ PAY PACKAGES THAN ANY OTHER LOCAL AUTHORITY IN BRITAIN

I was stunned to hear that Southwark Council has the highest number of staff on pay packages above £100,000 of any local authority across Britain.

The list, complied by the campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), also revealed that Southwark has increased the number of staff who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 by over 26 in the past year, again more than any other council in Britain.

With tough decisions currently being made on where to prioritise limited resources in Southwark this is a contentious decision to pay out such packages.

Further questioning revealed that the of the 12 most senior staff at Southwark 7 went up pay grades so had pay rises in the year of over 3%. Most staff have 1% pay rises. Of the remaining 5 several ere at the top of their spine pay scales.

Mountainous New BT Phone Boxes

BT have applied for 48 x 2.9m(8’8″) high advertising hoardings dressed partially as phone kiosks across Southwark. Three of these are proposed in East Dulwich.

Southwark should charge rent as they do for similar 90 such installations by JCDecaux free standing advertising hoardings and Southwark taxpayers benefit.  But only where it is safe to do so.

Ironic that we’ve spent so much time reducing street clutter for BT to propose this. Clearly their phone kiosks aren’t being used hence proposal to replace them with advertising hoardings. The idea of free phone calls from phone outdoors next to main roads is at best fanciful.

17/AP/0805 157 Lordship Lane – outside Franklins.
The new Harris East Dulwich Primary Academy, with the support of the local Police inspector, have requested that the bus stop outside its front door on Lordship Lane be swapped with the Pelican crossing nearly outside Franklins.
So this applications assumptions about the pavement are wrong and the schools/Police proposal will require the current phone box be removed. This alone should be reason enough to refuse permission.
Additionally the idea of prominent advertising being so close to a bus stop or pelican crossing is contrary to TfL guidance about the placing of advertising where extra cognitive lading occurs (tfL guidance section 2.4-2.6).

17/AP/0882 junction East Dulwich Road on Lordship Lane
This junction is notorious to local residents for crashes and fear of crashes. The reported crash data for this junction is 10 crashes for 2012-16 inclusive. i.e. 2 crashes pa. The classification of slight crashes has included a lady with multiple fractures still undergoing re constructive surgery.
Placing prominent screen advertising at this junction would make the junction more dangerous from cognitive overloading.

17/AP/0883 junction Crawthew Road on Lordship Lane – outside Foxtons.
Half the pavement width is owned by freeholders of 29-35 Lordship Lane. The current and proposed phone kiosks are reliant upon this to work. If the building is redeveloped the pavement would be blocking the pavement.
Equally the more prominent advertising hoarding proposed will distract drivers who must turn right exiting from Matham Grove onto Lordship Lane.

Generic issues for all these applications:
– these applications are being made to replace phone kiosks placed under Telecoms Apparatus applications. For telecomms apparatus the bulk of income and primary use would need be telecoms. But the vast bulk of use and revenues will be from advertising. On this basis telecoms rules and strategies should be secondary to following advertising consent rules for planning applications.
– the locations of the existing kiosks was motivated by being prominent for people to spot. But that same prominence makes these locations dangerous for much greater advertising prominence causing cognitive overload for people driving past. These advertising hoardings would be significantly safer on straight sections of roads that are not close to junctions or crossings.
– national planning policing encouraging telecomms and IT are aimed at broadband roll out, mobile mast roll-out and deploying fibre optics. These application are clearly advertising hoarding dressed as phone kiosks and these national, regional and borough strategies for telecomms/IT should not be applied to promote this advertising.
– The specs states the screens can operate from 0 to 50 degrees C. Temperatures regularly fall in winter locally below this temperature range.
Are the screens safe below their safe operating temperatures?
– poor urban design with the proposed new free standing advertising/phone kiosks being much more dominant in the street scape at 2.9m high. This is significantly higher than the 2.2 and 2.4m phone kiosks they replace.
– Protection of amenity. The free phone call offer. The applications give no details about how to ensure unrestricted free phones in the public domain won’t be abused and used to make malicious calls and how these will be stopped.
– un enclosed phones replacing enclosed phone kiosks. At all three sites these proposed free phones are overlooked by victorian flats with single glazing. What measures will be made to avoid these phones ringing and being nuisance – will BT fund double glazing for these flats? Make them outgoing only – especially to avoid use by drug dealers? Have Southwark Police been consulted about potential issues of drug dealing?
– they will bring at best only a very negligible benefit to the area far outweighed by the advertising.
Why hasn’t the applicant stated how important these phone boxes are by stating current revenue per phone box to demonstrate their importance to remain occupying such valuable public highway?
– other advertising companies pay Southwark annual rental to place such advertising hoardings on Southwark pavements.
Why are BT not required to do so?
– no detailed policy of what restrictions and controls on what would be advertised are stated. All are very close to primary and imminently secondary schools for the protection of minors.

Ministers “hypocrites” EU Workers In Parliament

Would you believe it.  It has been revealed that parliament employs almost 200 EU nationals – who might now have to return to their country of origin after Theresa May refused to guarantee their right to remain.

The figures, obtained through Freedom of Information requests by Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, reveal that 5.7% of parliamentary staff face an uncertain future due to Brexit.

Every MP or peer who fails to recognise the importance of EU workers should take a very careful look at their own workplace. EU citizens are playing a key role in the daily running of parliament.

It is crass hypocrisy for MP’s to vote against EU citizens being guaranteed the right to remain in the UK, and then spend the rest of the evening in a Commons’ bar staffed by EU citizens.

 

East Dulwich Benches

We have a small project to install some benches around East Dulwich.

I’ve proposed the following locations:
– Lordship Lane across the road from the Coop on the built out kerb.
– Lordship Lane outside Karavan eco shop area of kerb build out.
– Barry Road junction with Etherow Street – again the kerb build out area.
– North Cross Road
– Lordship Lane close to junction with North Cross Road.

What I’d also like to suggest after a walkabout are;
– Lordship Lane outside Sainsburys
– Lordship Lane outside Foxtons
– Outside East Dulwich station

Where would you like to see a bench in East Dulwich

Denmark Hill Station Passenger Flows

I’ve just obtained a copy of a study undertaken by Network Rail at Denmark Hill station over two days in July 2015, approximately two weeks before the start of state school holidays. So the many local private schools would have already started their summer school holidays. Video cameras captured the tops of all stairs to the platforms and also the gateline. Counts were completed for the AM (07:00 – 10:00) and PM (16:00 – 19:00) peaks and were classified by person type (i.e. person with large luggage, bicycle etc).

Counts were provided in 5 minute intervals and showed that flows were slightly higher in the AM on Wednesday at 10,700 (10,400 on Tuesday) and in the PM on Tuesday at 9,200 (8,800 on Wednesday). On both days the AM peak was considerably busier than the PM peak.

The AM flows were very balanced with similar numbers of passengers entering and exiting the station (52/48 in favour of exits).

The Access for All footbridge is used by approximately 30% of passengers in the AM peak, the remaining 70% using the original overbridge. So the decision by Southwark Planners to block widening the original footbridge is causing much of the congestion problem. This resulted in a new ticket office entrance which already isn’t wide enough exacerbated by stairs to reach it

Platform 4 (towards Bromley) only accounts for 7% of flows in the AM peak but 26% of flows in the PM peak.

The PM peak has a more tidal flow with station entries making up 60% of gateline movements. The Access for All overbridge is used by 32% of passengers in the PM peak, slightly more (2%) than in the AM peak.

We need to find out when the extra Windsor Walk station entrance can happen. The congestions for passengers feels decidedly dangerous.

Annual footfall at Denmark Hill station

The latest ORR footfall figure for Denmark Hill station is shown below. As mentioned on Friday, some of the difference between the 2015-16 and 2014-15 figure “is due to changes to the methodology” associated with the London Travelcard. The leap in passenger numbers in 2013-14 reflected the first full year of operation of the south-western branch of the London Overground network.

Thames Water Herne Hill Flooding Review

After some chasing this is the current situation:

“6 April 2017

Our Ref: 33301153

Dulwich / Herne Hill flooding

Dear Councillor Barber

I write further to my email of 27 March regarding the information that was requested by your constituent, Susan Badman, in relation to our flood prevention and plans for the local area moving forward.

I can confirm that we have looked at how we react to flooding and identify potential leaks and an independent forensic review has been carried out to cover the November/December 2016 trunk mains failures in the above areas. This has looked at all areas of these specific failures and has identified generic points relating to the management of our 3,200km of trunk main sewers that will now be discussed at a forthcoming strategic review meeting. The findings of our review are due to be released publicly later this month.

At this time, we have not reported back to the Local Authority, Southwark Council, as suggested. We will however, arrange meetings and consultations once our plans have been finalised. I will be responsible for arranging these meetings and would be more than happy to include you, should you so wish.

We are continuously looking to improve our services and invest in network upgrades where required. This includes an extensive mains replacement across London and we currently have several jobs in progress and also at a planning stage for both our distribution and trunk mains in the above area.

We are developing our programme of mains replacement across London. This includes looking at the distribution and trunk mains in the area. We have already replaced 0.5km in Grange Lane and are planning a further 2.1km in College Road. We are also investigating the mains around Dulwich to see if we need to replace any.

As well as the above investments and mains replacements, we also have our Victorian Mains Replacement (VMR) plan in place that is an independent scheme. This is to replace the aged Victorian mains across London with new and modern pipes that will offer more durability and less possibility of frequent bursts.

Leak detection also remains a key area for us as we seek to reduce the amount of water that becomes wasted. We actively look at new technology and are constantly trialling new methods to identify leaks at the earliest possible opportunity. We have dedicated teams that carry out proactive and regular sweeps of areas that have a high level of leaks. We have found that these teams operate best at night time when background noise is at a lower level.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you need to contact me regarding this matter, or wish to discuss any of our plans in more detail, please do not hesitate to call meWe are open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Yours sincerely

Getting Leaseholder Changes From Southwark

Being a leaseholder with Southwark Council as the freeholder can be beyond frustrating sometimes.

One aspect is to make changes to your property you need Southwark Council to give their permission. This can be a costly and time consuming process.

This table gives an idea of how the backlog of such requests grew over time:

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
How many leaseholders requests to improve their properties? 39 213 208 266 228
Max. charge per request? £203 £213 £325 £341 £368
How many refused? 0 1 0 2 0
How many agreed? 12 100 98 109 75
Outstanding/backlog 27 140 250 407 560
Total money charged? £20,235 £19,920 £24,908 £26,379

Where Is 20MPH Not Working In Southwark?

Council officials after the latest batch of speed surveys and crash reports have come up with the 12 roads where 20mph is being exceeded the most across Southwark:

  • BARRY ROAD
  • BRENCHLEY GARDENS
  • CROXTED ROAD
  • DULWICH WOOD PARK
  • FOREST HILL ROAD
  • GROVE LANE
  • LORDSHIP LANE
  • HERNE HILL
  • PLOUGH WAY
  • REDRIFF ROAD
  • SALTER ROAD
  • SYDENHAM HILL

Sadly many of these roads in in East Dulwich.

They will now review what measures could be taken to bring vehicles down to the speed limit of 20mph. The most effective has been shown to be average speed cameras. Close to 100% adherence where installed. But camera enforcement is a cross London enforcement via the London Camera Partnership – so we need TfL to agree as well as the Met Police.

While we wait if you’d like to try enforcing the speed limit please join us on the local Community Speed Watch – contact me directly for more details.

 

Cyclists Green Wave

In Copenhagen they have timed coordinated traffic lights to give cyclists a green flow at a sensible cycling speed along main roads. It gets rid of stop start for cyclists – helps reduce cyclist/vehicle conflicts and generally makes cycling more attractive. It also standardises cycle speed. From a vehicle drivers perspective it’s ideal as it largely keeps cyclists out of the way from them. Fewer stationary cyclists. http://www.copenhagenize.com/2014/08/the-green-waves-of-copenhagen.html

How could we get this trialled ideally in Southwark?

The Walworth Road from Camberwell to Waterloo would be a great place to start.

Police Numbers

Police numbers sadly have been a political football over recent years. With claims and counter claims. We all feel inherently more Police officers is a good thing.

Southwark Labour and Southwark Council have stated in official documents that since 2010 Southwark Borough Police has lost 300 police and PCSO’s.

The Met Police Service has been and continues to be restructured under the 20/20/20 plan. This restructures various units which would in the past have purely serviced one Borough Operational Command unit (OCU) such as Southwark Borough have been centralised and therefore now serve more that one OCU. This gives the appearance of drastic reduction in Southwark Police numbers. This is well known to politicians but is being used to suggest a huge reduction in Southwark Police number disingenuously knowing it is a falsehood. It needlessly causes fear.

Units such as Custody, Intelligence, Events planning/Duties and Roads Policing continue to serve the needs of Southwark but the officers deployed on these units no longer belong to Southwark Police.

Therefore the premise that Southwark has ‘lost 300 officers’ does not accurately convey the situation, because the ‘hubbed’ officers mentioned continue to perform core functions for Southwark Police.

Letter about Police numbers to confirm the above:

Southwark Police numbers