Sunday, 28 February 2010

Merry Carrots Mr Lawrence

I mentioned before that some of the local shops are taking part in the 'nine carrots' scheme to help them invest in environmentally friendly improvements in their businesses.

The way it works is that you go in, make your purchase as normal, pay the normal price but you ask for a 'green receipt'. The business then puts a portion of that money towards improvements.

No one loses, but we're helping increase the investment in a low carbon economy. Little steps, but no less important for all that.

One of those local businesses is Mr Lawrence wine bar who've made a commitment to make their business more environmentally friendly, starting with their lighting.

Here I am holding my green receipt, smiling away due to the lovely coffee I'd just had. I should point out that this picture was taken last week and I'd just been snowed on in this picture, I've not been afflicted with a terrible case of dandruff despite how it looks!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Greens on Channel Four

I missed it when it was on the box last night but have just discovered that you can watch the Green Party's Channel Four Political Slot on YouTube. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Local boy on Radio Four

In the haze that is everything before 10am this morning I suddenly realised I was listening to local musician Billy Jenkins on Radio Four. He was rather good I thought, particularly as he was really focused on bigging up the local community. Great stuff.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Crofton Pot Holes

The heavy snow about a month ago had the knock on effect of creating a swathe of pot holes across the country. It was news to me that it could have this effect, but you learn something everyday don't you?

Some parts of Lewisham have been pretty badly hit, a few of the roads I've been on over the last few weeks have been ridiculous. Thankfully, Crofton Park has escaped reasonably unscathed although some of the more residential roads have seen a few holes appear here and there.

Brockley Grove was one of those roads which was badly effected, which simultaneously had quite a serious burst water main - so the last couple of weeks has seen quite a bit of disruption on the road.

This was the scene at the beginning of last week as roadworks tried to sort out the problems.

This was the position today where all the work seems to have been completed (nice job too) and the only thing left to do is lay the white paint.

Do get in touch with us if your road still has problem pot holes though, as the weather has made this problem worse. Just because we've got off lightly round here doesn't mean we want to ignore pot holes when they do appear.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Upcoming: Lewisham Peace and Justice 7th March

On the 7th March there's an excellent event coming up which I thought I'd let people know about.

It's an evening of discussions, short films, food and music with a radical twist. We'll be discussing climate change, combating racism, the situation in Afghanistan and Palestine as well as socialising and having some fun. Do come along!

It's at the Albany from 4 pm and I've popped the flier for the event here (front and back) with the details, click on the images to enlarge and get the full benefit.

The market in public services: expensive, inefficient and unaccountable

Many public services in Lewisham are now being run by private companies. Whether that’s through outsourcing schemes like PFI, straight sell offs or the piece meal farming out of cleaning contracts, catering and maintenance.

This obsession with getting the market to run our public services has resulted in a worse service at a higher price. More than that because the services are now at arm’s length from elected officials they are all too often unaccountable.

Time after time on the doorstep in Crofton Park we hear horror stories about badly run services doing a shoddy job of housing repairs, paying their staff poverty wages or simply not delivering at all. But because these are private companies it is far harder to hold them to account than council run services.

Housing, schools, the health service and not to mention public transport all suffer when they are sold off to private companies. Far from improving these services free market dogma has gutted them so we end up paying more for less.

The Greens want to safeguard public services to provide quality and value for money under democratic control. That means resisting the drive to privatisation, and outsourcing. We believe in publicly owned public services where the focus is on the needs of the community not the bank balances of share holders.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Loampit Vale

The Loampit Vale development isn't in Crofton Park, but if it does go ahead we'll have no problem seeing the twenty four storey development that's been proposed from here.

It's an extraordinary proposal to build a development that will loom over and dominate the surrounding area with something completely out of local character. The pressure of the hundreds or thousands of new people all slap-bang in one place would have a huge impact which really does not seem to be have been properly assessed.

Not surprisingly when the council approved the building a number of residents were less than happy.

These decisions aren't meant to be party political but on this occasion there were very clear party lines with the Greens and Lib Dems voting against and Labour voting for (and then the Labour chair used his casting vote to approve). I've never heard a convincing reason from Labour as to why they voted en bloc for a proposal that seems so ill conceived.

Of course, the planning requests were put together before the financial bubble burst so who knows whether this will really go ahead. If the economic climate gives residents more time to make their voices heard then it's just as well as it will be an uphill struggle ever since Labour got the rubber stamp out for the developers.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Northern Line misery

Have people seen this? I find it difficult to express how dissatisfied I am with the transport system in London. It seems there is a proposal to shut the Northern Line every weekday after 8.30 pm. What a nightmare.

Starting next month! The article says that;
Tube Lines said the schedule for the Northern Line upgrade was still being discussed with TfL. "We have worked very closely with London Underground to find a way of getting access to the track while producing minimum disruption to the service. It is an ongoing discussion between us,"
I'm fairly sure closing the line down early every working day does not count as "minimum disruption".

The private contractors responsible are still making plenty of money for their share holders but refusing to provide anything like the service a city like London needs to function. Oh well, we'll see what happens I suppose.