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Extracts from Southwark Labour Rose Spring 2002

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Lib Dems propose police cut

The Lib Dem Chair of a Metropolitan police authority panel has proposed cutting the number of police in Southwark by more than 40 officers in a move that has infuriated local police officers and outraged local residents. Lord Tope, a Liberal Democrat peer said the borough did not need more police.

Labour Council Leader, Stephanie Elsy, Labour Greater London Authority member Valerie Shawcross and Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Tessa Jowell have successfully campaigned to stop the cuts and have won an extra 38 police. With crime a top concern for local people, Southwark Labour will carry on arguing for more police on our streets, not less. Councillor John Friary, Southwark’s Labour cabinet member for community safety was amazed. ‘The Lib Dems must be either mad or just plain stupid’ said Cllr Friary. ‘I’ve not met a single person who wants police numbers to be cut in Southwark.’ But this is only the latest loony Liberal idea to be condemned by local residents. It comes on the back of the Liberals voting against Labour's proposal for 2 million to be spent on making our streets and open spaces safer. In contrast, Southwark Labour has been working closely with the police to tackle crime. In December, Southwark Police and Southwark Council launched the Karrott Scheme for local school children offering a wide range of rewards for good behaviour in and out of school, the first such scheme in the UK.

Tories say NO! to police homes…

At a time when Southwark Labour is fighting for more police in the Borough, local Tories unbelievably voted against proposals to provide affordable homes for key workers including nurses, teachers and police. Not content with selling off police homes in the first
place, local Tories won't admit they were wrong and back Labour in supporting homes for police in Southwark.

Labour backs parents in bid for new Bermondsey Academy

Labour councillors are demanding that Ken Livingston urgently re-thinks his decision to turn down plans for a new City Academy for Bermondsey.

Leader of the council Stephanie Elsy and Councillor Ian Wingfield joined angry parents and children at the GLA headquarters in a protest demanding that Ken meet with them to discuss his decision. ‘Labour is fully behind the new school and will fight with the parents and children to pursue the plans, unlike the Lib Dems who are completely split over the issue and couldn’t even come and support the parents at the protest, which is unbelievable considering they were the ones who drew up the plans in the first place’ said Councillor Wingfield. The new school is part of Labour’s plans to radically boost education in Southwark.

Councillor Stephanie Elsy, Leader of the Council is backing local parents in their campaign for a new school in the East Dulwich and Nunhead area. This follows the runaway success of the Charter school in Dulwich, which was set up by the Labour council in the face of opposition from Liberal Democrats. Now in its second year, Charter is exceptionally popular with local parents. Council figures show that if there were a new local school in East Dulwich and Nunhead, parents would flock to it. Governors at Waverley – currently a girls only school – have proposed using their old building on Peckham Rye as a boys annexe.

That is one of the ideas which officials will study – along with proposals for a City Academy similar to ones the council is backing in Peckham and Bermondsey.

Cllr Elsy said: ‘It is clear that there is a demand for another successful school in the area and we intend to get one. We will discuss any proposals with parents and take our case to the government.’

Boost for Libraries

The Council is investing 90,000 more on new books, tapes and CDs in Southwark's libraries. And from this year, you'll be able to borrow DVDs from your local library. A recent survey showed that the library service in Southwark – has a 75 per cent satisfaction rate – the highest of any council service. It also showed that when it comes to a choice of spending more on books or extending opening hours, most people wanted more invested in books. In addition the council is also improving the look of our libraries – spending nearly 1million on improvements to Dulwich, Newington, Brandon and Camberwell libraries. This will help to bring these libraries up to the high standard of the award winning library in Peckham.

Top Liberal Democrat Councillor Joins Labour

Councillor Graham Nash, one of the Liberal Democrats most senior and respected Councillors, has dramatically quit the Lib Dems to join the Labour Party. Councillor Nash hit out at the Lib Dem’s negative politics saying: ‘The Liberal Democrats have failed to provide any vision or ambition for Southwark. They rarely have ideas for improving schools, homes, the environment or making the streets safer. Instead they sit on the sidelines creating negative debates merely to point score’

Labour Leader Stephanie Elsy said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Graham to Southwark Labour Party. It speaks volumes that someone of Graham’s calibre has got sick of the negative game playing of the Liberal Democrat leadership and their constant alliances with the Tories. Quite rightly, he just wants to see the best for local people and he knows that they are not in a fit state to deliver that.’

‘The Tory-Lib alliance could be on its way’

THE TIMES February 2nd 2002

Don't believe us, believe the National Newspapers. The Tories and Liberal Democrats are increasingly working in coalition with one another and are hopeful that together they will be running the Town Hall after May. Together they voted against 1.5 million being spent on fostering and adoption services that would help vunerable children find good homes in Southwark. In an internal Lib Dem paper David Laws MP said: ‘We seem to have become the most conservative of all the political parties on health policy...’. This is no surprise in Southwark where the Tories and Lib Dems have been working together against Labours plans to improve the borough.

This revelation comes as a real blow to many long-term Bermondsey residents who thought they had seen the back of the Tories in power. Mrs G. Jones from Bermondsey says: ‘I've always voted for Simon Hughes but I don't want the Tories to get in through the back-door in Southwark, so I'll be supporting Labour in future!’

‘After 18 years of Thatcherism the last thing Southwark needs is more cuts to essential services. Only Labour is committed to investing in and reforming our local public services. A Tory-Lib Dem Council would cut services to those most in need - the elderly, the young and the vulnerable.’ said Labour Group Chief Whip Ian Wingfield.

More Street Wardens for Southwark

Councillor Andy Simmons has welcomed the announcement of a new team of street wardens for Peckham after a two year campaign by local Labour Councillors. The new wardens will patrol the streets around the town centre and deal with problems such as street cleaning, dumped rubbish, abandoned cars and other anti-social behaviour.

‘Local residents and businesses want a clean, bright and safe town centre,’ said Andy Simmons ‘and the new rangers will be making Peckham cleaner and safer.’ The new Peckham rangers are being introduced because of the success of guards on the Aylesbury Estate and surrounding estates in Walworth. The Aylesbury New Deal for Community scheme also includes funds for neighbourhood wardens in the future. In addition there are new wardens based around the Blue in Bermondsey.

Labour Making Southwark Safer

Southwark Labour Council showed its determination to reduce crime by investing 2m in new schemes across the borough. The money will be used to make parks and open spaces safer and to create safer routes to schools for all our children. The areas to be improved are:

Safer Parks and Open Spaces

Safer Routes to School tc ‘Safer Routes to School’ 50%

Safer Streets

CCTV tc ‘CCTV’ 50%


Total 1,133,000

In addition, a further 500,000 will go to youth projects aimed at reducing crime in the most deprived neighbourhoods. Councillor John Friary, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, says: ‘This programme demonstrates Southwark Labour Council’s commitment to tackling crime. Practical projects like the Millwall Walkway, CCTV in the Blue, and the development of Youth Projects around the borough will target problem areas and deal with the real causes of crime. Every resident will find something in their area in this wide-ranging package of measures’.

Tate Modern Award
Councillor Stephanie Elsy, leader of the council was delighted to learn that the Tate Modern has won a top award for architecture. The announcement comes hot on the heels of a series of awards for the new Peckham library. ‘This is brilliant news’ said Stephanie ‘It shows the increasing confidence in Southwark and the remarkable strides that have been made over recent years.’

Building a brighter future for all
Val Shawcross GLA

Val Shawcross is your elected member for London’s strategic authority. She is there to speak up for Lambeth and Southwark.

Congestion Charging working for Southwark?
Val Shawcross, Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark, invited local people to a meeting in January to share their views about the congestion charge with a panel including local Labour Councillors. ‘People at the meeting raised a whole range of problems with the Major’s congestion charge’ said Val. ‘Feeling in South London is running high and the Mayor is in real danger of losing Londoner’s support. He needs to slow down to make sure he gets this scheme right – the and only then it will be of real benefit to London.’

You can write to Val at:
Romney House
Marsham Street
London SW1P 3PY
Phone on (020) 7983 4407
Fax on (020) 7983 4418
Or email
Working for you at the Greater London Authority

Lib Dems Soft on Football Hooligans

Southwark Labour Council supports the police campaign to get tough with football hooligans spoiling the enjoyment of decent Millwall fans, terrorising local people and risking the club’s achievements on the field.

But North Southwark and Bermondsey MP Simon Hughes’ only concern appears to be the civil liberties of the hooligans!! He argued to Parliament on October 15th 2001 during a debate on football (disorder) Bill. Councillor John Friary, Labour's Cabinet Member for Community Safety says: ‘Football hooliganism is a major threat to British football and to Millwall in particular. A small minority of thugs could destroy all the great progress of the past few years. Local people living in Ilderton Road have also had their life made a misery. Although the walkway will greatly improve things for them next season, my main concern is with the rights of decent people watching football or living in the area, not the ‘rights’ of hooligans. What is Simon Hughes on about?’

Millwall Football Route

Labour in Southwark and Lewisham have agreed to fund a new walkway at Millwall football ground to reduce hooliganism and improve residents safety. The two Labour councils have agreed to underwrite the 250,000 needed to build the walkway in time for next season. Councillor John Friary, Southwark's cabinet Member for Community Safety, says: ‘This is a very welcome gesture from Lewisham and shows real partnership working between Southwark, Lewisham and Millwall. This walkway will also help protect the residents of Ilderton Road.’

It’s easier to pay council tax

Last year Southwark had the most improved council tax collection rate of any Council in the country and Labour is determined to build on this success. Councillor Andy Simmons, Labour's Cabinet member for Finance said: ‘Labour is determined to make it easy for those who want to pay, but at the same time we’re cracking down on deliberate non-payers too.’ It’s now even easier to pay Council Tax in Southwark thanks to two new initiatives: the 24 hour credit card payment hotline (020 7525 1850) and the payment service on the internet via the council’s website (

Rent Collection Record

Councillor Andy Simmons, Southwark’s cabinet member for Finance, has welcomed news that housing rent collection has hit a record high of 99.9 per cent. ‘This is brilliant news,’ said Andy, ‘The council has been working hard to ensure that all of the rent comes in so that more money is available for repairs and improvements to council homes.’

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