March 2019 latest...
This is the second of our monthly reports on what’s happening at Lewisham Council. Although Lewisham is a one-party state, that doesn’t stop us from doing our best to scrutinise what’s happening in the council through the monthly public questions at Full Council meetings and in freedom of information requests.
So what’s new this month?
Crime and anti-social behaviour are real concerns for many people who I speak to in London. We all want to feel safe in our communities and we want to know that the police are doing everything they can to tackle local crime.
Figures to be revealed at today's (Wednesday 23/01/19) Full Lewisham Council meeting show that spending on security at Old Tidemill Garden has topped £1 million in just three months. Local Liberal Democrat campaigners have obtained the information in a public question as part of the Full Council meeting on 23rd January.
Chris Maines, Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate in Lewisham has called on the Government to announce this week an amnesty for families of the Windrush community threatened with deportation and a loss of rights.
Lewisham is a one-party state - it only has Labour councillors. And those councillors have a strong interest in not rocking the boat. But Lewisham Lib Dems are committed to keeping tabs on what Labour are doing in Lewisham.
Another enjoyable day chatting to people out and about on a chilly but bright day in Blackheath. As Chris so eloquently says in this video, overwhelming support for Liberal Democrats' policy of a People's Vote.
A great atmosphere in Parliament Square and of course a huge cheer when the result of the vote was heard.
Well done to everyone who has helped with the Brexitometer, delivered leaflets asking for a People's Vote, emailed or written to your MP or signed petitions asking for a People's Vote. Of course this is only a step on the road to remaining in the most successful trading body in the world but it is a significant step.
Now we have to keep up the pressure to have a People's Vote, a chance to make an informed decision. As one speaker said last night now is the time to start Project Hope.
We had a great day in Lewisham High Street listening to people share their concerns about Brexit. The overwhelming majority of people we spoke to want the chance to make an informed decision in a Peoples' Vote.
Very moving as well to hear the stories of people who had moved here from EU nations, worked and paid taxes here, raised children here and suddenly being made to feel they were no longer welcome. What have we unleashed?
Following Damien Egan's decision to make a "change of direction", it would seem that Lewisham's loss is Kingston's gain. While Ian Thomas' talents appear to be under appreciated in Lewisham, others obviously have another view, evidenced by his receiving a CBE in the New Year's Honours List. Here is an extract from the Kingston Council website:
Mr Thomas has more than 30 years local government experience and has held senior leadership positions at Derbyshire County and Trafford Metropolitan councils. His reputation for transforming Rotherham Council’s troubled children’s service earned him the top job at Lewisham Council where he has continued to demonstrate his ability to unite communities and form strategic partnerships.
Mr Thomas emerged as Kingston’s preferred candidate for CEO, following a robust selection process.
As Kingston’s permanent CEO, Ian will lead a team of five directors taking over from interim CEO, Roy Thompson, who has been holding the position since July 2018.
Speaking about the appointment,
Leader of the Council, Councillor Liz Green, said:
“Ian’s local government knowledge and expertise, particularly in relation to children’s services, makes him the right person for the job. Ian joins us at an exciting time, at the start of a new Liberal Democrat Administration, which is committed to putting residents and communities at the heart of the council’s decision-making.
The death of Paddy Ashdown leaves us all the poorer but we can give thanks for a life lived to the full. Let us all aspire to keep alive the liberal ideals for which he worked so tirelessly to see implemented to the benefit of all. See more
It was a pleasure to have Siobhan Benita, London Mayoral Candidate, with us in Forest Hill on 17th December. She is clearly the candidate with the experience and the vision that London deserves. We look forward to supporting her campaign and telling our fellow Londoners about Liberal Democrat policies for London. Policies that will ensure that London continues to be a world leading city, financially and for business but also environmentally and for the health & well-being of all its citizens.
Join Lewisham Liberal Democrats on Monday 17th December in Forest Hill, to meet Siobhan and find out more about her and the Lib Dem's plans for London. This event is open to anyone to attend.
On Radio 4 this morning Mr Gove was informing us the vote would go ahead. Now apparently it is not going ahead. If this is "strong and stable" heaven help us when chaos arrives!