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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:


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.

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

Letter Southwark 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:

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.