Great article in the New Statesman explaining how the Royal Parks are actively destroying charity social capital and more:
What the Royal Parks is doing to a charity softball league should matter to us all
Instead of the charity workers having free access to the Old Football Pitches, they will have to pay a total of an estimated £6,000 each summer, and if the charges are not paid then the police will be called. These charges are supposedly for the “management” of the space, but nothing has actually been done to improve the Old Football Pitches. The only change is that there are now charges when there were no charges before.
Does this part sound familiar?
This is part of a trend. Hyde Park, like many other public spaces, is now shifting into becoming a “venue” and usage is becoming a revenue stream. What are public goods are being turned slowly into private goods: you will get what you pay for. The deputy chief executive of the Royal Parks even assured the charity softball players at a recent meeting that one often only appreciates something if it is paid for.
Disgraceful. There’s a petition here.
There’s a plan afoot to build a Hack Space in South London. It’s not Blackheath specifically – currently it’s known as the Brixton Tinker Space, but I thought it was worth sharing as it could be a fantastic place to learn new skills and meet new people.
A hack space is a workspace where members pay a few pounds every month to go and work on their personal projects, inventions and designs. There’s an amazing one in Hackney, but nothing in South London yet. Think of it as an allotment for your mind.
I met up with them in a pub in Brixton for one of their first meetings. They’re still looking for a space to use, and it doesn’t have to be in Brixton, so if anyone here is interested, or knows of a suitable location at a reasonable rent, please drop them a line.
Their website is:
And they’re also on Twitter and Facebook, and Google Groups.
Some of the organisers are also involved in a Mini Maker Faire in Elephant & Castle taking place on 6th July. It’s free to attend, and could be a great introduction to all this making business.
There’s a plan to close the A&E unit at Lewisham hospital. This is a bad thing. Please sign the petition, write to your mp, and attend the march on Saturday 24th November at 2pm.
Also tell the special adminsitrator what you think and why. Advice on how to complete the form from the savelewishamhospital website:
If you don’t understand questions 1-6, just click ‘strongly disagree’ or ‘next’. (Q1 – Q3 relate to ‘financial efficiency’. Q4 – Q6 relate to Queen Mary’s Sidcup becoming a ‘health campus’)
Answer ‘strongly disagree’ to question 7 if you can – it relates to selling off hospital buildings. They want to sell 60% of Lewisham Hospital’s buildings. Once they are gone, there is no turning back.
If you don’t understand questions 8 to 12, click ‘strongly disagree or ‘next’. (Q8 – Q12 relate to PFI and community care. It is worth noting there is no suggestion to re-negotiate the PFI debt. So it would still be paid in full, from your taxes, but would come out of the Department of Health’s budget)
Answer ‘strongly disagree’ to question 13! It is about Lewisham A&E. And use question 14 to tell them why you want to save it and any ideas you may have.
Answer ‘neither of these options’ to question 15! – This is a complex question about maternity services. If the A&E closes, they may have to close the maternity wards (obstetric-led units) because emergencies during labour could be risky.
Question 16. This is a place to say you believe Lewisham A&E is crucial to safe maternity care in Lewisham Hospital, so please don’t close either.
Question 17 – 20, keep clicking ‘strongly disagree’ or ‘next’ if you like. (Q17-18 relate to surgery. Q19-20 relate to merging South London and Lewisham trusts.)
Question 21 wants to know if you want Kings College Hospital or another (maybe private) company to run Princess Royal Hospital, Farnborough. Click next or support Kings taking over.
Question 22 wants to know if you would like some debts at South London Hospital to be written off. Support that idea, or click ‘next’.
Click through questions 23 and 24 if you want. Or write any comments you may want to make in question 24.
You have to answer question 25.
Answer the remaining questions about you. You do not need to say you live in Lewisham or that Lewisham is your nearest hospital, if that is the case. To date, the administrator has undermined our opposition by portraying it as local selfishness. So, if you don’t want the administrator to argue that only people in Lewisham oppose his plans, don’t let them know you are in Lewisham (if you aren’t in Lewisham, please answer the questions).
SUBMIT the form. Make sure you don’t fall asleep before submitting the form.
Part of an email last week from Heidi Alexander MP:
I am extremely concerned about these proposals. I don’t see why Lewisham should pay the price for financial failures elsewhere in the NHS. I believe the A&E departments at other hospitals such as Kings and Woolwich are already at capacity and I am very concerned about the impact that the proposed changes could have on patient safety. I also believe local mums should be able to have their babies in their local hospital and that it is just wrong to ask women and their families to travel to unfamiliar places to give birth.
Yesterday I set up a petition which calls for a full, admitting A&E and full maternity service to be retained at Lewisham. You can sign the petition by clicking on the link below:
I will also be speaking at a public meeting about the proposals next Thursday (8 November 2012). The meeting will be from 6pm to 8pm and will take place at the Lessoff Auditorium, Lewisham Hospital . It would be great to see you there.
It would also be useful if you could encourage everyone you know to sign the petition, so feel free to forward this email to your contacts. We have a huge fight on our hands and the community needs to be clear in its opposition to these proposals.
Tragic sight this morning doing the shopping.
UPDATED: Please note that this story is from September 16th, and is referring to Saturday September 15th.
From BBC News: Lee stabbing: Kevin Ssali, 14, killed at bus stop
A 14-year-old boy, who had been missing since July, has been stabbed to death in south-east London.
Kevin Ssali, of Whitworth Road in South Norwood, was attacked after he got off a route 202 bus in Lee.
Police and paramedics were called to Burnt Ash Road at about 21:45 BST on Saturday where they found him with multiple stab wounds.
Three teenage males have been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said.
8 minutes walk away, on the 202 route, Jimmy Mizen was killed in 2008 in a bakery.
This Farmers Market happens on the first Saturday of each month (i.e today if you’re reading this on Saturday 4th Feb).
It’s smaller than the one in Blackheath station car park, but still good value. When I went, there was a fairly comprehensive vegetable stall, a nice bakery, meat and a pickle stall.
Google Map below:
Betfred are making a fourth (and hopefully final) attempt to turn Deptford’s old
Nationwide Halifax Building Society into a betting shop. They’ve been turned down twice by Lewisham Council, and once by the Planning Inspectorate, but they only need to succeed once to permanently install yet another betting shop into their high street.
Over on The Deptford Dame, you can find out more info.
But you can stop it! Adding your comments isn’t hard:
Go to this link, scroll to the bottom and click “Comment on this case”. Fill in some details, and add some comments… Here are the objections from the Dame’s post:
I am objecting to this application because I feel we already have more than enough betting shops; not only does it reduce the diversity of the businesses on the high street, but this clustering encourages anti-social behaviour, street drinking and fights in a small, concentrated area, putting people off using the street at night and making them fear for their personal safety.
The deadline for objections is 17 February 2012. Please pass this on.
From Sue, on Betfred’s reapplication to open another betting shop on Deptford High Street.
If you don’t want any more betting shops in Deptford, take a look at Sue’s letter here, then write your own, and email it to email@example.com.
You’ll probably know that when Lewisham Planning turned them down in June, they appealed to the government Planning Inspectorate, who also turned them down (in August). Originally they were asking for the condition on the premises (that it was A2 Financial Use for a Building Society only) to be lifted to include Betting Shops. The Inspector agreed to lift the condition and then applied a new one – so that the present permission for the premises is now ANY A2 FINANCIAL USE EXCEPT AS A BETTING SHOP.
They have since reapplied to Lewisham to have this altered to include Betting Shops, claiming that it is unfair to judge them based on the behaviour of the clientele outside other betting establishments.
This application can be found on the Lewisham Planning Portal here and their covering letter is in the Documents section here.
Here’s a sneak preview of the crime screens coming to Blackheath on Monday. Photo by @Nicole_Nation in Lewisham. That is some seriously tacky looking screenage. I really hope the police aren’t paying promogroup for those terrible looking screens. Nice to see private enterprise working hand in hand with the police.
Interesting post here from The Greenwich Phantom. Seems my suggestion for tracking the fences with a GPS mapper may not have been totally paranoid, as LOCOG may already be fencing off areas that they promised not to touch.
Nothing on the NOGOE 2012 site about this yet, though…
If I had more time (which I don’t right now), I would take my GPS phone, and walk around all of the Olympic encroachments within Greenwich park. Trace a line exactly around the boundaries, and see that they match up exactly with what was promised. Trails is a good app to use for this. If anyone else has time, please send me the trails that you make! I can understand certain areas being fenced off, but is is really necessary to hang sheets over the fences to block the view?