Heidi Alexander MP asked the following to Jeremy Hunt (from Hansard):
Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East, Labour)
Last week, the Secretary of State refused my request to meet a small group of local GPs, hospital doctors and residents who are opposed to the closure of accident and emergency and maternity at Lewisham hospital, yet in his former role he seemed very happy to trade hundreds of texts with Rupert Murdoch’s lobbyists about the purchase of BSkyB by News Corp. Why is it one rule for Rupert Murdoch’s lobbyists and another for doctors in Lewisham?
Jeremy Hunt (South West Surrey, Conservative)
I think that the hon. Lady might perhaps read Lord Leveson’s conclusions before she starts hurling about allegations, many of which came from her side of the House, that were later shown to be totally false. With respect to the decision on Lewisham hospital, I thought that we had a very useful meeting last night with the south London MPs who are directly affected. She understands that the process put into law by her party and her Government means that I cannot reopen the entire consultation and start seeing some groups without seeing all groups that are affected. That is why I am limiting the discussions I have with colleagues, but I think that that is the right thing to do.
The Blackheath Society has emailed its members:
Further to our email yesterday regarding the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign we have now been asked to let you know about an additional mass rally which is taking place on the same day – 26 January to highlight all the other plans to cut the local health services. All those who care about their local hospitals and health services are being urged to join this rally starting on Blackheath – near All Saints Church – at 12 noon. The group will move on to join the Lewisham campaigners who are meeting at the roundabout near Lewisham station and all will march to the rally in Mountsfield Park.
For more information: email@example.com 020 8856 3682
From 853blog today:
Failing Blackheath Bluecoat School Faces Closure
I know next to nothing about schools in this area, I’m ashamed to say. Being just the wrong age – no kids yet, and too old to have have gone to school around here, I try to avoid writing about subjects I have no experience of (hence the endless posts about wandering down the high street).
Bluecoats is highly visible on Twitter, and I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this. It’s always sad when a school has problems.
The fight back against Lewisham Council continues – over 4000 people have signed the petition against closing Blackheath library, and in the blog below, Alan Gibbons suggests that the council were already planning the cuts before the new government came into power:
Latest from Lewisham Libraries Campaign
What Lewisham are proposing is intellectual vandalism. It should be stopped. If only that building was listed!
If you didn’t find the Blackheath Society people outside the Farmers Market at the weekend, they’ve now put up the online petition:
Takes about a minute, and you don’t have to register with the site.
Lewisham Council are planning to close Blackheath Library (opposite the Post Office). There’s a meeting about the closure on Wednesday (tomorrow as I write this) 28th July at 7pm, at the Leemore Centre, Clarendon Rise, Lewisham SE13 5ES. Please go if you care about your library. I can’t make it (really bad timing), so please let me know what happens. Very conveniently, it is nowhere near the library itself (see map above).
Take the 108 bus towards Lewisham, and get off at Lockmead Road. Buses are every 3-8 minutes. Journey is less than 12 minutes. Less than 5 minutes walk from the bus stop to Leemore Centre.
As spotted by Catheeuk on Twitter. Lewisham council wants to save a mighty £830k by closing a few libraries, including Blackheath. See the proposal below, squirrelled away on page 13 of Item 4 Appendix 1, of the Public Accounts Select Committee (emphasis is mine):
An overall saving of £830k is proposed.
Around £80k will be achieved by reshaping service delivery in the Home Library Service with a proposed staff restructure and reduction in posts. The remainder of the saving will be achieved by reducing the number of libraries and associated restructure of staff. A public consultation will commence in the summer to seek views on a proposal to close 5 libraries (Sydenham, Blackheath, Crofton Park, Grove Park and New Cross). Proposals will include options as to how residents in affected neighbourhoods could access some library services. Library buildings should be considered as assets for the whole Council, the community and its partners. Service co-location, community management and asset transfer are all being considered as part of these proposals. This work is being undertaken jointly with Property Services. It should be noted that the existing lease on Blackheath Library runs until Jan 2013. We will be looking at an alternative use for the facility in the interim.
Full document is here, unhelpfully split into 11 separate chunks..
So Antonio Rizzo, what now?!
Photo by Flickr user altemark, (not in Blackheath).
I hope this is a typo. Wandered back home last night to see “Closing Down Sale” signs plastered all over the strangest and best movie shop in the world. This could be disastrous. I even cancelled our LoveFilm subscription on the basis that poking around Prime Time’s dusty shelves was more fun than waiting for a film that you didn’t care about to land on the doormat. Perhaps it’s just a renovation? I’ll find out more.