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.
From the excellent 38 degrees site:
The government’s plans to privatise and fragment our NHS are taking shape in Lewisham East.
Local doctors are forming a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the area. They’re going to get new powers to decide what health services you and your neighbours are able to access and who provides them. 
Whether it’s treatment for diabetes, skin conditions, a broken arm or depression, profit-hungry companies like Virgin Care and Serco are circling, ready to bid for contracts by promising to slash costs. 
The doctors on your local CCG will be under pressure from the government to hand out contracts to private companies. That could put vital services at risk.  But the last thing most doctors want is to carve up our NHS for private profit. Plus, the new CCG has a legal duty to listen to local people. 
So right now, we’ve got a big chance to ask local doctors to use their new powers to protect our NHS, not privatise it. Together, we can make sure they hear from hundreds of local people as they make these crucial decisions.
Can you add your name to the petition to your local CCG now?
Sorry for the lack of posts this week – been busy.
The Pagoda appeared on London Tonight a few days back.
853blog has a great post about the changes afoot on Blackheath and in Greenwich park as the Olympics bear down upon us… Can’t believe Greenwich council were considering raising the speed limit in the park. What were they thinking?!
Both Greenwich and Lewisham councils are intent on selling as much of their council housing to private developers as possible. Above is a leaflet being handed out at Blackheath station by Lewisham People Before Profit.
They’re occupying five family homes that Lewisham council are attempting to dispose of. More info here: http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk/lewisham/lewisham-pbp-news/
The petition is here:
It’s not just Lewisham. Take a 178 bus through Kidbrooke, and you too can witness this happening in a real time Ballardian fever-dream. Council housing ripped down, next to NHS surgeries, and schools with children playing next to the rubble. Massive Berkley homes signs say “For London, for Everyone”.
The council flats were for everyone. We owned them. The luxury flats are not. The council are selling our land to developers. It’s short term profit for long term misery.
I tweeted this story from The Telegraph yesterday, but I think it’s worth mentioning here, given that there is a local assembly tonight:
London 2012 Olympics: Games organisers purchase new Blackheath lease from Crown Estate for equestrian event
“London 2012 Olympic officials have purchased a Crown Estate lease on a pocket of land called Circus Field adjacent to the controversial Greenwich equestrian site after negotiations with three Government agencies.
But such is the confidential nature of the new agreement that the local Greenwich councillors will not be given a copy of the lease and the lease will not be registered with the Land Registry…. …it needs to be enclosed, which is forbidden by the relevant Metropolitan Commons Act of 1866 and the Supplemental Act for Blackheath of 1871.”
Excellent piece of investigation here, showing how a search for an ancestor lead to a discovery of chicken theft in the family! But does “Conduit Lodge, Blackheath Park” still exist?
There are some beautiful (copyrighted) photos from a scrapbook here and here, showing a Conduit Lodge, but with no more info.
This archive.org source suggests that it was in Eltham, not Blackheath, but perhaps Conduit House in Eltham is a different property? It doesn’t look the same as the flickr images in this photo.
If anyone can shed any light, please do! I’m off to rustle some chickens from CostCutter.
If you would like us to collect your real Christmas tree you must remember to remove all decorations then leave it next to your green-top bin on your normal collection day. Make sure you leave your tree where it can be easily seen by the collection team.
Take it to one of these designated places, or pay £15 to have the council collect it from your door. Note that the pins on the map are VERY approximate – please correct them if they’re in the wrong places.
I sometimes think local councils should be unified into a single body. I can’t understand why the two adjacent councils differ so much in their provision of services.
These boundary changes are completely baffling me. Because we live on the threshold of what would be called “Deptford & Greenwich” and “Lewisham & Catford” I’ve merged the two maps together as best I could. Hope it helps you make more sense of it.
The Graun have now put together an interactive map. Billed as “The map the boundary commission wouldn’t give out: England’s new constituencies”.
There aren’t hundreds of youths stalking across the heath towards your home. Anyone who tweeted that doesn’t realise the consequences of stirring up fear. Neither it seems are the National Front heading into Lewisham, or if they are they’re taking a very long time about it…
You really don’t want the army called in, or martial law declared. Encouraging vigilante groups isn’t going to help, even though I’m not sure how a pub vigil is any different from just sitting in the pub (a procedure I would usually be in favour of). Certain people who aren’t going to be dignified with a link here should stop criticising local councillors, and try and behave more responsibly. It’s not a great time to be scoring cheap political points in either direction.
The scariest thing about the rioters is that there is no agenda. There is no manifesto. It’s not “for” anything, except rage or theft.
Great post here from the Phantom.
Surprisingly good editorial here in the Telegraph.
Photo by twitter user @CharlieBeaumont
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…