National Park City

Finally after four years of saying no Southwark Labour have joined Southwark Lib Dems and even Southwark Conservatives to support the Greater London National Park City campaign.

The campaign aims to create a joined-up network of parks, water and open spaces across the capital for East Dulwich, Southwark and London residents to enjoy.

“A city where people and nature are better connected. A city that is rich with wildlife and every child benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors. A city where we all enjoy high-quality green spaces, the air is clean to breathe, it’s a pleasure to swim in its rivers and green homes are affordable. Together we can make London a greener, healthier and fairer place to live. Together we can make London a National Park City.”

Bizarrely Labour councillors such as Charlie Smith in our own East Dulwich ward have refused to engage in this idea – until now. So well done to everyone who helped put enough pressure on Charlie and his peers to U turn on this and accept that East Dulwich deserve a greener place to live.

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

Southwark Labour Selling School Land

Southwark Labour have started the legal process to sell Southwark school Land at three locations.:

  1. 5,172m2 of playing fields at Angel Oak Academy (formerly Gloucester School) SE15 6FL
  2. 2,452m2 of plying fields Beormund Primary School SE1 3PS
  3. 1,078m2 Cherry Road Gardens School SE16 3XU

That’s a lot of school playing fields. Once lost impossible in Southwark to recreate o replace. They say they and will be used for housing. Also much needed. But the one thing we can sure of with an ever increasing Southwark population and huge home building plans is we will need more schools and often have to increase the size of existing schools. This school land should not be sold robbing children into the future of sufficient land to play.

Labour Southwark have a record of doing this sort of thing. Hence why The Charter School is so deficient of playing fields. Albion school was robbed of space only last year August 2016.

If you object to these school land and playing field sales email ASAP.

London National Park City

A great charity is trying to make London a greener place to live, work and study. The idea is to use U National Park methodologies to promote the greening of our great city. To make it happen they need to get two-thirds of london councillors to support them scheme. If they dontreach this target by Summer 2018 they have to start again after new local election for London.

As you can imagine Lib Dem councillors are fully signed-up to support this. Both Cllr Rosie Shimell and myself pledged our support several years ago as East Dulwich councillors when we first heard about it. But try as we may we can’t get Labour councillors in Southwark to sign-up to this.

How can we break this deadlock? Why would the East Dulwich Labour councillor in East Dulwich not support this?


Scrap the rubbish tax, LibDems demand

The Council’s £16 tax on residents who want to get rid of their bulky waste items must be scrapped, Liberal Democrat councillors have demanded.

Government figures which show that Southwark has the fourth worst level of flytipping in England, Liberal Democrats have called for the Council to make reporting flytips easier and for more regular clean-ups of streets and estates.

Southwark Labour councillors introduced a £16 tax for all residents who wanted to have their bulky waste items collected from their home. Using the Council’s own figures, flytipping on Southwark’s streets then increased by 10%.

Liberal Democrat councillors have also highlighted how:

  • the bulky waste collection service can now only be ordered online and only by those residents with a debit or credit card. This excludes a large number of Southwark residents without access to the internet or a bank account
  • the Council has removed recycling points from public areas such as supermarket car parks because of the level of flytipping – you could not make this up!

Southwark Liberal Democrats have repeatedly called on the Labour administration to scrap the bulky waste collection tax, make it easier to order bulky waste collections and count all flytipping incidents. Labour councillors have avoided debating this repeatedly.

Southwark now has the fourth worst level of flytipping in the whole of England and Labour’s new bulky waste tax is just making things worse. Everyone can see that Southwark’s streets and estates are getting dirtier. Despite our warnings though, ruling Labour councillors don’t seem to make the connection between their £16 tax and increased flytipping.


2016 Christmas Information – we hope you find it useful

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:
Dulwich Library
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.

Fixing East Dulwich Roads

Some good news. Wednesday night East Dulwich councillors allocated our devolved road maintenance budget as per my proposals. All this maintenance is long over due and completes partially completed work funded by Southwark Council – we’re having to use our devolved budget to finish these incomplete works,

Rodwell Road  – £29,870 to resurface parts of Rodwell Road not resurfaced previously. Not enough to do the pavements as well. Another year.

Landcroft Road – £20,000 to resurface middle third of Landcroft Road not previously resurfaced.

Landells road – £47,250 to replace half of all the pavements of Landells Road.

The works should take place between November and March 2017. When we have more details of exactly when the work will take place we’ll let everyone know.

Bakerloo Line Extension Short Changed

This week Transport for London have announced they are proposing two new Bakerloo Line stations in Southwark as part of extending it to the south east to Lewisham and beyond. It should drastically reduce traffic providing a much better alternative for people travelling into the centre of London.

This sounds good until you start looking into it. This part of the extension, from Elephant & Castle to New Cross Gate, will be about 4.5km long. But the existing Bakerloo Line is 23.2km long with 25 stations. So a station near enough ever kilometre on the current Bakerloo Line.

So why aren’t TfL proposing at least three stations along this section?

That would be a station every 1.125km. So a station at the Bricklayers Arms Roundabout, Burgess Park/Albany Road, Ilderton Road junction.

Come on TfL don’t short change the people of Bermondsey or Southwark. We want three stations not two.

Tree Root Subsidence Claims

Southwark Council with so many tens of thousands of trees receives a number of lciams for subsidence caused by those trees routes every year.

The latest stats I have after submitting a Freedom of Information request:
2010   69 claims
2011   70
2012   47
2013   41
2014   34 claims – but residents have up to 6 years to make a tree subsidence claim

Average time to resolve – 12-18 months to resolve a subsidence claim which is apparently is pretty average for councils. The council logs when a claim is raised and when the claim file is ultimately closed. However this does not measure how long a claim takes to resolve. For instance, a building insurer may raise a claim, ask for initial pruning to be introduced and then the claims handlers hear nothing further from the claimant. However they are required to keep the claim open for a significant period of time in case further communication from the claimant is received.

Tree root liability claims take longer to resolve than most other types of public liability claims as various sets of technical data are generally required along with a period of movement monitoring through a growing cycle, normally 12 months.

Top 3 Reasons cases take longer than the industry average/ best practice:
1. Technical data is not complete or provided – the council must ensure that the technical data is sufficient to show the cause of the subsidence before it moves to take remedial action, especially if it relates to a tree removal. People get very upset when well loved trees have to be removed. Occasionally a further period of monitoring may be required if the monitoring results did not show significant movement or the nature of movement was inconclusive requiring additional period of monitoring. There may be another cause to subsidence movement such as leaking drains, or unusually wet or dry periods.
2. Receipt of arboriculture reports – speeding up this process would in particular improve the average time to resolve the smaller less complex claims such as boundary walls and driveways.
3. Challenge to proposed tree removal – once the process begins to fell trees, delays can arise when challenges are received to the proposed felling. In addition this can also impact the speed at which arboriculture reports can be finalised.