As a born and bred Lewisham resident, who went to The Den to watch their first football matches, and now has the honour of serving as a Councillor for Lewisham – the CPO of land around Millwall is obviously a key consideration for me, both politically and personally, but sadly not a decision I get to make.
The position of The Lewisham Labour Party, which I also personally hold, is clear:
“The Lewisham Labour Group believes that the CPO of the Land leased to Millwall FC, and other stakeholders land, should not go ahead and calls on the Lewisham Council Cabinet not to proceed with the proposals as they are currently drafted. This Labour group believes that negotiations between Renewal, Millwall and other stakeholders have not yet been exhausted, and therefore the overriding public interest test has not been met.” Agreed – September 2016
What however I do find utterly unacceptable is the baseless claims by any group or individual implying that I, or any of my Labour colleagues, are in anyway corrupt.
“All members of Lewisham Labour Group, be they executive or non-executive members, work and apply themselves in their public service in the best interest of Lewisham. Whichever committee or area of responsibility, each endeavours with integrity, sincerity and probity to use the reports, their experience and perspective to inform their decisions. They do this in the belief that their decisions will benefit the residents and businesses of Lewisham. In that cause, we are united and supportive of one another.” December, 2016
Tensions are undoubtedly high. However, threats of violence; childish, and frankly shameful ‘hexes of cancer‘ on elected members, or staff of the Council and; and other vile comments and actions, are unbecoming of a Football Team (and it’s supporters) who are rooted in the community I grew up in, and now live and serve, what’s more it only serves to be counterproductive to the outcome Millwall seeks and undermine the proud history of the club, which has done so much good work to eradicate violence both on the terraces, and in our community, and frankly falls woefully short of the team I watched with wonder as a kid.
I don’t know what decisions will be made by the Mayor and Cabinet committee, but I do hope for both Millwall and for Lewisham, that the Lion’s roar will remain a feature in our neighbourhood for years to come.