Can I welcome yet another Lewisham councillor to the ‘sphere. On this occasion Dean Walton. Dean is one of the new Green councillors for Brockley ward, and has started by looking at what has traditionally been the biggest part of any councillors case load housing issues:
… dealing with the issues of homelessness on a case by case basis is not really good enough. As a Councillor I need to be sure that the issue is also addressed at a political level. I recently received some figures whereby the numbers classed as ‘homeless’ in Lewisham jumped in August 2006. This jump was not due to an influx of rough sleepers in Lewisham but due to work undertaken by the Council to address a backlog of cases. In other words these were people who had approached the Council for help but whose ‘cases’ (personal tragedies) had not been ‘processed’. Being ‘processed’ is of course the first step to having a ‘home’.
Ultimately it comes down to ‘resources’. Not just having the staff in place to ‘process’ cases but also the actual homes to offer people.
As you’d expect there’s some trenchant partisan, but evidenced, criticism of the situation in Lewisham and the current administration, which you’ll have to go over there to read. But despite the difference in our politics I welcome Dean’s contribution to helping us understand Lewisham politics and hope he’ll come to the next Lewisham bloggers’ meet up when I organise it.
Now shouldn’t my friends in the Labour Group start to worry that they’re being left behind in this online direct communication m’larky.