Cross posted from Love Perry Vale
What a warm, sharing, caring Council we all are! (For now, I’m just talking about the councillors – please don’t give me 000’s of comments about anyone else!)
Political party differences aside, we all agreed about almost everything! Sadly though, talking mostly to ourselves with nobody on the press table and very few people (not even Max!) in the public gallery. We congratulated Lieutenant Colonel Conrad Graham, who’s retiring after seventeen years as Lewisham’s Deputy Lieutenant. The main ‘business’ item was the Community Safety Strategy – Lewisham is deadly serious about what we can do, and what we need the Police to do, to tackle violent crime locally – even though overall levels of all crimes are down since 1997.
Then we all wished Nelson Mandela a Happy Birthday on Friday – with Mayor Steve not forgetting to mention the partnership Lewisham has with Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, and other ways we’ve supported democracy in South Africa since years back.
Then, we all agreed with the LibDems’ motion that Southern Railways were “not very good at doing what their customers want” (I paraphrase lots of rhetoric here, partly to censor the rather more explicit feelings expressed, which probably won’t make it into the polite official minutes either ;->) in locking up station gates. I did point out that the LibDems had nearly missed this particular bandwaggon train, coming at it so late when councillors in Sydenham and Perry Vale (where people are most affected by the Oystergate fiasco) and the Sydenham and Forest Hill societies have been grappling with the rail companies over many months now. So they accepted the amendment from me and Cllr Chris Best – so that we didn’t look silly by “demanding that the Mayor..” do – what he’s already doing (see this Friday’s event at Forest Hill station).
The only thing we didn’t agree about was a bit of school debating society stuff from Cllr Maines (who likes his own voice a lot, and would like to be an MP) about how, although we all thought it was great that the NHS was 60 years old and going strong, it was a shame the Government had managed to get so much money invested in it through partnerships with the private sector – which it’s done since 1948 anyway, because GPs (and lots of other medical services) have always been independent. Cllr Barry Anderson (Chair of the Council) did a fine bit of stern chairing in shutting-up Cllr Feakes – who also likes making long speeches.