Dear Lewisham Council,
I work for Deloitte, and I’d like you to let us build a massive ASDA right opposite the massive Sainsbury’s. The reasons you should do this are manifold:
1) It’s not an environmentally sensitive area. There aren’t lots of fancy trees and shit, so fuck it, right? A new ASDA is going to look really pretty.
2) It will “increase the choice and value of food shopping locally which, complemented by an enhanced range of smaller shops, cafés and services, will cater to the community’s everyday needs”. That’s right. Think about it for a minute. If we build a really big shop full of cheap stuff, loads of other small shops selling more expensive stuff will make loads of cash, right? Totes obvious.
3) What we really need are 230 new flats in the area. Because the trains aren’t crowded enough already in the mornings, amirite?
4) We’d also LOVE to build a car park for 420 cars. But don’t worry, the roads won’t get busier, or more polluted. They’re for MAGIC CARS.
5) If you could ask the local MP to write a lukewarm, slightly hand-wringing letter about this, and make sure the Environment Agency only frets about flooding, that’d be grand too.
6) If you reject our plan, we’ll just keep appealing with a few changes until you have no choice but to accept. If you lose an appeal, your council will have to pay hundreds of thousands in damages. If we lose an appeal – well… We made £840m in profit last year. We can afford to keep doing this. You can’t.
Looks like the John Lewis / OnBlackheath music festival on the heath has now been postponed until September 2014, according to this comment from councillor Kevin Bonavia:
Lewisham Council has just been notified by OnBlackheath that they have decided not to go ahead with the event this year. I understand that OnBlackheath are now working on plans for September 2014, which we are likely to hear more about towards the end of this year.
By running a web service, I should be able to access the council’s website out of hours. It’s a great idea, because it means that even when the staff aren’t in the office, I can still pay my council tax, or order some green garden bags.
Except that I can’t. For some reason I always end up attempting this task at the end of a weekend. By which time their web services usually look like the screen grab shown above.
Here’s what’s supposed to happen. You’re running some web apps. You monitor the servers that those apps are hosted on. You monitor their vital signs, (are the hard drives ok, has one of the power supplies gone a bit iffy, is it too hot in the server room), then you monitor the services running on that server. Finally you run some sanity checks on the actual web front end every so often. Can you still access the server, is the SQL database still accepting connections, etc etc. If any one of these things fails, someone in your team should be on call, and receive a text message. Then they proxy in, and fix it (or at least reboot something!).
To do this, you use a wonderful system called Nagios. It’s free and open-source, but a bit of a pain to set up, but it’s also highly configurable. You can get it to only fire messages to your on-call person when two minor faults have occurred. You can set it to wait a specific number of minutes to see if a fault resolves itself. You can even start firing text messages and emails to the on-call person’s boss if it’s still broken after a couple of hours!
If you work for Lewisham council, you should ask your IT people about this. It’s not that hard, and if it’s done well, it means that you’ll know about a fault before any of your users do.
Please, for the sake of my untidy garden.
UPDATE: Name removed because Mrs Bugle said the problem was not down to one individual.
I don’t want Lewisham council to teach people how to compost. I want them to teach themselves how to compost. I’ve left several branded lewisham bags of garden waste outside. I’ve requested them to be collected, and they haven’t been. I’ve tried to re-request it, and got the screenshot above.
Greenwich collects garden waste by default. Lewisham’s recycling is pretty pathetic by comparison.
From the council:
I am writing regarding free workshops by Lewisham Council that I’d like to put on your blog. One workshop theme is about Love Food Hate Waste and the other theme is on home composting.
I can provide flyers with all the necessary details to go on the blog, but with so many workshops available I’ve decided to list them below as well in case that’s easier to see in one hit. Could you let me know if it is possible for these to go on your blog as soon as you’re able, as many of the workshops are coming up soon?
Many thanks, ####
Booking is essential. To book, please email ######
Please title email ‘compost workshop’, state which session you will be booking and how many people will attend. Please also include your phone details.
Alternatively call 020 8314 2145 to leave a detailed message. Please state which session you will be booking and how many people will attend, and leave your contact details.
Love Food Hate Waste and Composting workshops
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.
Above is a hastily knocked up chart showing the bidding so far on Lewisham Council’s Blackheath Fireworks eBay page.
The x-axis isn’t correct, as it doesn’t show the dates & times properly. If anyone wants to make a better one, the data so far is here as a google doc. I won’t be updating it this week, as I’m on holiday, but will try and make a better one on my return. Apparently the mayor of Lewisham was on LBC Radio yesterday, complaining to Shouty Nick Ferrari about Greenwich council failing to stump up any cash… I looked for a podcast or recording of it, but couldn’t find it on LBC’s website. See you in a week.
Classy. From their website:
Lewisham Council is aiming to boost its public appeal for donations towards this year’s Blackheath fireworks on 6 November by offering the chance to bid on eBay for a VIP night out at South London’s largest firework display. The VIP package includes the privilege of starting the firework display itself.
The successful bidder will not only win the chance to launch the firework display but a VIP package that includes:
* access for up to ten people to an exclusive VIP viewing area for the duration of the display
* a private tour of the firing zone by experts from Pains Fireworks where all the fireworks will be laid out ready to fire (the tour will take place at 6pm, two hours before the display itself)
* VIP parking for three cars in the very heart of the event
* 10 meal vouchers from the Fine Food Company
* 10 drink vouchers to be used at any of the mobile bar units supplied by Creative Bars
* 10 hot chocolate vouchers supplied by Jaz and Jules
* Glo sticks for the whole party provided by Limelight Entertainment Ltd.
The eBay auction will start at 7pm on Thursday 21 October with a starting price of just 99p. Bidding will continue until 7pm on Sunday 31 October.
This is not the first time that land on the common has been auctioned on eBay. Although the last one was a lot funnier.