Tag Archives: 2012

Election day – don’t forget to vote!

Polling Station, Blackheath, St Michael's Church, London, SE3
It’s election day. The polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm. However you choose to vote, please don’t forget!

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Olympic Route announced

Olympic Torch Relay Route Announced
Doesn’t pass directly through the village. From Saturday 21st July – Monday 23rd. More details here. I love the fact that it’s sponsored by Coca-cola. Beyond parody.

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Missile questions for our MPs

UPDATE: The response to this post from Heidi Alexander MP can be read here.

So we are to have missiles in our beautiful shared garden.

Clive Efford (Labour, MP for Eltham) criticised the Defence Minister for placing missiles in Olxeas Wood. But what about the ones planned on Blackheath?

Heidi Alexander (Labour, MP for Lewisham East) tweeted the following today:

MoD were looking at Blackheath suitability for potential olympic missile defence site last week. No decision yet taken. link
Have asked MoD for face to face briefing. link
I know it sounds surreal but sadly true. Nothing has been decided yet though. link
MoD describe it as some form of ground based air defence system. That’s all I know at the moment. link

Lewisham East Constituency

A commenter on my facebook page suggested the possible location of the missiles:

“The radar trial took place on Thursday just north east of the army cadet centre. the launcher was sans missile ( thank goodness)” — John Morris

As can just about be seen on the Ordnance Survey Election Maps, if the missile site is located north-east of the Territorial Army Barracks, this places it firmly in Heidi’s constituency.

However, assuming it is a Rapier missile, it has a range of 500m (seems very short to me?), meaning that it could also potentially kill people in the neighbouring “Greenwich and Woolwich Borough” constituency, the MP of which is Nick Raynsford (Labour).

I’d dearly love to attend the assembly meeting tomorrow, but I’m unlikely to be able to make it. If Heidi Alexander is at the assembly on Tuesday, here are some questions, you might like to consider asking:

* Who owns the land that the missiles will be placed on?
* Were any special orders required to place the missiles on the land?
* Who owns the missiles?
* Is there any way that you could have prevented this from happening?
* When did you first hear about it, and how was it presented to you?
* Do you think it is an appropriate course of action, taken by a supposedly sovereign nation, during peace time?

Guardian 13th Nov 2011: US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics

Washington’s need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials, who have privately raised concerns about the meddling, as well as the size of the US “footprint” in the UK during the games next year.

BBC News 14th Nov 2011: Ground-to-air missiles ‘may protect’ London 2012 games

Mr Hammond was asked by his predecessor to confirm whether there would be a “full range of multilayered defence and deterrents” in place for the 2012 Games including surface-to-air missiles.

He replied: “I can assure him that all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including – if the advice of the military is that it is required – appropriate ground-to-air defences.”

UPDATE: Reply from Councillor Chris Maines on my facebook page:

I can confirm that there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the Blackheath Assembly tonight – a senior police officer will be present. However, this is an MOD issue and they are a difficult organisation to engage in full consultation. Since my briefing last week I have raised question at cabinet committee level although it seems as a matter of national security it is difficult to get definative responses, Cllr Chris Maines – Chair, Blackheath Assembly

UPDATE:
BBC News article including quote from Heidi Alexander about the missiles
Olympics missile sites considered for Blackheath and Shooters Hill

On Facebook, Kevin Bonavia (local councillor) says that an MoD representative will attend the Assembly tonight.

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Missile base on Blackheath?

Missiles on Blakheath
Possibly something to bring up at the Blackheath Assembly tomorrow.

Eltham MP Clive Efford blasts Olympics missile plans for Blackheath and Oxleas Wood

PLANS to blast terrorists out of the sky above Greenwich during the Olympics have been attacked by an MP who says he was not consulted.

The Ministry of Defence is proposing placing batteries of surface to air missiles near Oxleas Wood cafe in Shooters Hill and on Blackheath during the Games. Some of the equipment was brought in last week as part of site evaluations.

Anyone know where it is? Time to get a kite up with a little camera on it, I think…

UPDATE – If you’ve got any idea where it is located, feel free to play Pin The Tail on the Missile Base.

Rapier missile photo from Wikipedia

UPDATE 2: The Daily Mail says they are using Rapier missiles. Added a photo from wikipedia, Here’s a link to a less outdated version of the missile, so that you all know what to look out for…. (thanks Rupert)

UPDATE 3: Attempted to make it clearer that the image at the top of the screen is “for illustration purposes only”…

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Torches on the heath for the Queen’s Jubilee


Local councillor Kevin Bonvia has emailed to say that plans are afoot in Lewisham to host two beacons in honour of the Queen’s Diamond jubilee. One is likely to be on the heath. See the PDF file here, and google map above, based on the grid coordinates TQ39501 76629 in the doc. More info on Liz’s homepage.

There’s also an excellent article here, with a foreword by Jeremy Hunt, explaining exactly how best to light a fire. Which could come in handy if the government’s austerity measures get any worse.

In the course of 2012, I’m also hopeful that our local councils (Lewisham and Greenwich) will manage to cook up a few high profile schemes that don’t involve the Olympics or the Monarchy, and will have a legacy longer than that of a few weeks.

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2012 Organisers buy Blackheath?

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.”

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The Olympic Washerwoman’s Bottom

Olympic live event plans next to the church
Plans are available now to see what is planned on the field next to the church during the Olympics. As spotted by the Blackheath Village Residents Group:

The proper name of this area is Washerwoman’s Bottom, but the Council has chosen the more demure Church Field.

Live showings from 9am until 11pm each day, with booze served from 12noon onwards from 27th July until 12th August 2012, with up to 4,999 people in the venue.

Full details here, and license application here.

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