Most Notorious East Dulwich Junction

Our most notorious road junction in East Dulwich is where East Dulwich Grove (EDG) meets Lordship Lane. It feels dangerous and you have be razor sharp crossing with confidence. Over the last 5 years 10 crashes have occurred.

Putting full traffic lights would significantly reduce the capacity of Lordship Lane there and result in lots more rat running. It would also see significant parking removed to make it happen – both along Lordship Lane and East Dulwich Grove – which is predicted to speed traffic up countering any safety.

On a site visit with council officials we noted the following potential improvements:

1. Tactile pavement indicated where to cross is set back along EDG away from the sightlines of cars turing from Lordsihp lane in EDG. Propose move this towards Lordship Lane.
2. Move the Bell Bollard so it actually protects pedestrians.
3. Why was the coloured raised treatment replaced with black tarmac. REnew in different colour to inidcate a pedestrian crossing.
4. Place anti skid surface to allow better braking.
5. Resurface Lordship Lane.
6. Place hatching on whole junction after resurfacing
It was agreed at the site meeting and post meeting review that drivers could be mentally or cogniticely overloaded with so many different visual ques. To reduce this we could:
1. Remove yellow hatching,
2. Mark the correct turning circle, as they do on some roundabouts, to reduce incidence of drivers cutting the corner.
Further thoughts:
1. What would it cost to raise the whole junction up to slow all vehicles?
2. Could we install average speed cameras around this junction to ensure no speeding?
What do you think – how can we make this junction safe?

Meals On Wheels Price Hike

Elderly face 260% meals on wheels price hike

Many elderly residents in Southwark are paying 260% more for their meals on wheels service this year after price hikes introduced by the Labour council.

In May 2010, Southwark Labour’s manifesto pledged to reduce the cost of meals on wheels by half to £1.71.  This target was reached in November 2013.

But service users have been notified by the Council that under its new ‘Fairer Contributions’ policy for adult social care the previous flat-rate charge has been abolished and replaced by a new rate based on people’s presumed ability to pay.

While some Southwark residents will pay nothing, others face increases of up to 260% with the cost of a meal spiralling to £6.24.  The new charges started in April.

Service users were required to complete a financial assessment and return it to the Council. The assessment considers the resident’s income, savings and outgoings and then calculates how much they have to contribute for their meals service.  Any user who did not respond by the deadline has to pay the full £6.24 cost as a default irrespective of income.

Labour made a clear promise to halve the cost to residents of its meals on wheels service.  Yet just two and a half years later some users are facing a 260% price increase.

The introduction of a free service for some while others struggle to find the money for this huge increase has created a two-tier system of care in Southwark.  It’s also a bit Big Brother that the Council is demanding to know all about older people’s savings and income.

The Council must monitor the impact of these massive price hikes and make sure people are not choosing to go without food because they can no longer afford meals on wheels.

It’s a complete betrayal of everything Labour promised older people just a few years ago.

Getting The Station Hump

By 2020 all public places and transport must be fully accessible. No excuses. That includes our whole train network.

Locally work has been done to make some of our local train stations more accessible from the public highway to the platform. Canada Water, Denmark Hill station, Herne Hill, Peckham Queens Road, Peckham Rye. London Bridge is being redeveloped and will be accessible form the pavement to platform – although most of the new shiny lifts are for staff only curiously.

But this leaves, East Dulwich, Elephant & Castle, Nunhead, Rotherhithe, South Bermondsey, Sydenham Hill, West Dulwich without this type of access.

But once on those platforms you have a step toad from the train. This ia a major obstacle for many. It also slows down passengers getting on or of from trains. To make matters worse local station platforms don’t meet the UK platform standard of being 915mm +0mm/-25mm above the top of the rail. Our platforms are lower making that step even bigger.

On the London Underground they’ve copied the Harrington Hump idea of an area of the platform raised to meet the train platform. So either we need to raise all our station platforms to the height of trains or we need to install Harrington Humps on all our platforms. The former typically costs £250,000 and latter costs £25,000 per platform. So across Southwark’s 40 platforms deploying Harrington Humps would cost.

PS When they rebuilt London Bridge station they could make their minds up whether to rebuild exactly as before – sub standard, meet the national UK standard, or higher to align with trains. After lots of dithering they rebuilt like for like.

 

Labour’s ‘Right to Remain’ shambles is terrible for the NHS

The Labour party has recently had one of its biggest meltdowns yet. They voted for, then against the amendment to protect the rights of EU citizens who already live in the UK to stay here. Unreal.

Nobody knows where Labour stand on Brexit, they’re trying desperately to play both sides. People in this country are wise to it and people cannot respect a party that will not stand up for what it believes in – or have something it believes in.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said Labour had the chance to block Theresa May’s hard Brexit, but chose to sit on their hands. There will now be families fearful that they are going to be torn apart and feeling they are no longer welcome in Britain. Shame on the government for using people as bargaining chips, and shame on Labour for letting them.

Locally the NHS relies on many many hundreds of EU nationals, both doctors and nurses, to sure up an already underfunded service. This is a huge problem for every person in our country but especially the Dulwich area, and we shouldn’t let hard working EU nationals and their families be treated as second class citizens.

As Lib Dems we believe in an open, tolerant and united future for our country. We want them to stay, they’re part of our country and our community. We will do all we can to fight for their rights and make them feel welcome. Join the Lib Dems.  If you agree please join us.</a></strong>

MPs voted down the amendment on EU nationalsí rights by 335 to 287, a majority of 48, with peers later accepting the decision by 274 to 135. The second amendment on whether to hold a meaningful final vote on any deal after the conclusion of Brexit talks was voted down by 331 to 286, a majority of 45, in the Commons band only possible with Labour colluding with the Tories.

Most New Southwark Homes Sold Overseas

Southwark Lib Dems have criticised Labour Southwark for taking no action about the selling of new Southwark homes to overseas owners.

A damning ‘Transparency International’ report revealed that 100% of the 51 apartments sold at South Gardens by the Australian property tycoon LendLease were sold to overseas investors. No locals getting to buy a local homes.

This flagship development at Elephant and Castle, replacing the now-demolished Heygate Estate, had previously been criticised for failing to provide  affordable homes demanded by the council’s own planning policy.

Southwark Labour councillors have often told us how good their relationship is with Lendlease, and claimed this allows them to get the best deal for our residents. Now that properties are being sold, it is clear that they are unable or unwilling to put any pressure on these developers.

Lendlease are building empty apartments for overseas investors, not homes for local Southwark residents. We are calling on the council to urgently investigate this and demand that homes built in Southwark are sold to UK residents first, not flogged off to overseas investors often with laundered money.

 

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 housingregeneration@southwark.gov.uk ASAP.

Widow’s Pension Cuts: Cruel and Unnecessary

The Widow’s Pension is designed to help create security and safety for families when they lose a loved one. But this week it is under attack from a new wave of Government cuts. With less money being paid to widows, widowers and surviving civil partners from April 2017 onward.

The changes will only effect those families who lose a loved one after 6 April 2017.

The new rules will add pressure to families when they’re struggling the most. Families who’ve just lost a parent are learning to cope on a single income and with one fewer parent. The previous system helped to ease the financial stress with a ‘parachute payment’ which is now greatly decreased.

Families with a terminally ill parent are facing the worst of it, with many having planned for life under the old system now having to look again at the support they can offer to their children or loved ones.

If you want the Government to change its mind and reverse cuts to bereavement benefits, then please share this article with friends and family.

If these changes effect you, friends or family you should visit www.turn2us.org.uk to get support and help.

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?

 

GLA Transport Committee- BUS Feedback

I’ve responded to the Greater London authority request for inputs about their bus deliberations. Based on receive resident feedback and my own experiences using bus services:
1. Countdown.
I often don’t feel safe getting my smart phone out to check when buses are due. I find countdown really helpful. With modern technology I find it remarkable that Countdown displays are so antiquated and not universal.
Do you have research about how they or if they increase or change bus usage?
If you don’t then you should seek such research being initiated by TfL.
I would imagine mass producing such displays and using 4G data services would result in £500/bus stop for a 5 year period total cost of ownership – my day job is estimating and procuring telecoms and devices.
2. Changing Drivers.
Why does this occur in the middle of bus routes and take so very long?
I despair when it happens and I’ve never seen it take less than 3-5 minutes and often longer. This can mean the end to end journey time has large variability beyond traffic congestion and makes buses less attractive.
Could buses have a light if this is going to occur – I would often choose not to get on a bus indicating a change of driver was going to occur.
3. Bus Announcements.
We hear so many I’m now finding I’m tuning out from hearing them.
Can the announcements have different voices at different times or randomly. Something so they ‘re harder to tune out please. They’re also rather dull. A bit of variety would be welcome and could be fun.
4. Noise and Pollution
Great the bus fleet is gradually improving. But this need to accelerate. Night buses especially are often way too noisy for very quiet residential routes.
What changes and improvements do you think TfL buses need to make?

Free Motorbike Ground Anchors

For some time we’ve had a worrying amount of motorbike and scooter thefts. Often they’re used to undertake further crimes.

To deter this Lib Dems in East Dulwich ward have organised funding for free motorbike ground anchors to be installed in front gardens and side returns.

If you would like a free motorbike ground anchor to really deter your precious motorbike or scooter being stolen contact me via cllrjamesbarber@gmail.com

I send you a consent form to get an initial site survey and assuming no snags you get a free ground anchor.

Over to you – if you don’t have a motorbike but a neighbour or friend does please tell them about this.