Grenfall Tower Tragedy

The tragic events of last Wednesday morning at Grenfall Tower couldn’t fail to move you, and my thoughts and best wishes are with both the victims, and the families of those who were hurt or killed in this national tragedy. Our thanks should also be given to those emergency services and volunteers who witnessed first hand this terrible story unfold, I hope they get all the aftercare and support they need.

As a local councillor, I and the rest of my colleagues in Lewisham Labour Group, are clear that we want to ensure the safety of our residents, either directly in Lewisham Homes or in partner Registered Social Landlords. Sir Steve Bullock – Mayor of Lewisham has been quick to task the relevant Executive Officers to move forward to ensure that we’re doing everything possible to mitigate risks. A letter detailing this actions is laid out below.


I and other councillors will be meeting with key Lewisham Council staff tonight to discuss further our response and to review any learning, as well as consider our political response — the UK needs to ensure that it upholds the highest standards of health and safety and in particular fire safety; there are going to be some serious questions from the public enquiry.

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Prime Minister Theresa May last week setting out his and the Parliamentary Labour Party initial questions about the Public Enquiry, support for families, and outlining the Labour Party’s gratitude to those Emergency Services who dealt with the aftermath.

How Lewisham is helping

Lewisham Council also hasn’t been inwards looking during this horrific incident, we sent a number of officers to Kensington and Chelsea to help their staff in running rest centres and supporting residents made homeless by the fire, and stand ready to offer further support along with our fellow boroughs across London. 

How you can help

Lewisham Council are also encouraging those residents who want to help to donate to the Grenfell Tower Appeal set up by the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation.

https://thekandcfoundation.com/donate/
https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/kandcfoundation/grenfell-tower

Fighting racism, xenophobia and bigotry: that’s a “Peace of Cake”…

All faiths mosaic built by Lewishams Community

All faiths mosaic built by Lewishams Community


This morning I had the pleasure of sharing a good old cuppa and a piece of cake at a pan-community peace event in Catford. 


Like most brilliant ideas the concept is simple – get our communities together to bust myths and stereotypes, and build a proper community, all through the medium of shared experiences and cake!

PEACE OF CAKE EVENT – Goldsmiths Community Centre

As a born’n’bred Lewisham lad, I’ve grown up in and around diversity my whole life – I believe I’ve become a richer person from it, and I know Lewisham has too. From those vital migrant workers that keep our NHS and Lewisham Hospital going, to the work of our faith communities: Masjids and Synagogues; Churches and Meeting Houses, that have provided our young with youth groups to play in, community actions to improve our ‘health and wellbeing’, and worked tirelessly to build a united and tolerant community for us to live in. We are also blessed with scores of excellent community groups that ensure those of us either: smaller in number; or less likely to have a say, have an equal voice at the table – Lewisham’s Disability Coalition, Lewisham’s LGBT+ group, Association for Refugees in Lewisham (AfRIL), and Lewisham’s Pensioners Forum, to name but a few from a near endless list.

For those of you that know me in the slightest, you’ll know I’ve always had a strong sense of justice, and fighting inequality is something I’ve been passionate about for most of my life. I’ve never liked bullies, I certainly am not going to allow them to divide our community. The best way for us to beat these ‘bullies’ is to stand united, and don’t let complacency aide them – we are the majority.

Get involved:

Adversity brings the best out in our community time and time again and there’s loads of ways that you can show your support of a multicultural diverse community:

Talk about it: let people know that we’re better for it, the strange irony of the rise in intolerance is that’s it’s coming from those communities where diversity is often lacking. Communities like Lewisham’s that have been multicultural for decades, seen a high libel of migrants join our communities aren’t so much bothered by it, because we’ve been exposed, our presumptions confounded and crucially we’ve all lived and benefitted from it. From the fun and spectacle of things like Nottinghill Carnival to the everyday: our children being best friends, our colleagues at work coming from diverse 

Sign the Pledge: I’m proud to have got Lewisham Council to talk and do something around the rise of racism, xenophobia and bigotry, you can add your voice too. Click here to sign the pledge.

Get involved: with Hope not Hate’s More in Common campaign in Lewisham. The country was rocked and saddened by the assassination of Jo Cox MP, no more so than her Labour Party colleagues, but out of adversity comes hope, and as part of Jo’s Legacy Hope not Hate are delivering a local task forces to deliver community action activities. You can get involved in Lewisham’s here.

Host a ‘Peace of Cake’ event of your own!

The “Peace of Cake” team are keen for more community coffee mornings to be organised, so much so they’ll be producing a “How to” guide shortly on how to get a good community conversation going. To find out more visit here.

Sign up to say no to xenophobia racism and bigotry…

Lewisham Labour just reasserted our commitment to fighting xenophobia, racism and bigotry, and set up a way you can join too!

Sign @LewishamCouncil’s statement against hate crime here 

Grants for community activity in #RusheyGreen, Catford

 Rushey Green Ward – Assembly Fund 2016 -17

On Tuesday evening I had pleasure in launching this years Rushey Green Assembly fund for local community led activities and initiatives, and I’m looking forward to seeing and judging all the applications that come in.

Our funding priorities are:

1. Activities and opportunities for children (under 18) and young people (under 25)

2. Increasing opportunities for older people (55+)

3. Community cohesion – including events, activities and projects designed to create a sense of community in Rushey Green

4. Culture and the arts with particular reference to improving the wellbeing of people in the Rushey Green Area

5. Improving your local area including local ‘streetscape’, environment and ecology

The deadline for completed applications is:

1st September 2016

How to apply:

For an application form and guidance on how to apply, please contact Laura Luckhurst, Community Development Officer:

Email:

laura.luckhurst@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: ​​020 8314 3830

You can also view and download the application forms and guidance at: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/localassemblies

Rushey Green Ward Boundary

London’s toxic air is killing 9,500 people annually

My speech to Lewisham Council calling for a Mayor of London who will sort out the toxic mess left behind by Boris, I know there’s only one mayoral candidate who KHAN, do you?

===Begins===

I want to start this evening by thanking colleagues for prioritising this motion in council; as I know we are pressed for time and have many contemporaneous motions to consider. I know that the vast majority of you in this chamber are keen to send a clear signal that we, and our constituents, no longer want to live in a city where noxious pollutants are a perpetual element of our life, that must be tolerated. Boris Johnson as Mayor of London has consistently failed to adequately deal with London’s illegal level of air quality; the situation is so dire now that London breached its annual air pollution limits within the first week of 2016.

And what is being done… Well we’ll be getting an ultra low emission zone, 5 years too late and with more caveats than I can count, the biggest one being privately owned passenger cars being exempt, and all of this additional time is costing the lives of over 47,000 Londoners. But this malaise, from a now part time Mayor, who’s more puff than substance is thankfully almost over — but let’s be clear, undoing this mess is going to take time but for every year it takes nine & a half thousands lives will be lost in London. Sadly those lives will be disproportionately from the less socio-economically mobile and Black and Asian communities. Members of Sustainable Development Committee will remember the expert evidence that we received last year on the latest science of ‘vehicle pollution’, and how now instead of carbon dioxide and monoxide emissions, the latest research shows that diesel engines, and in particular the particulates released from them, are by far the biggest causes of damage to health and loss of life.

So what do we do? Sit on the side lines and wring our hands, or do we as a Council look at how we can take matters into our own hands and help save Lewisham lives? I know what I want to do, and I hope that members will join me.

This motion empowers this Council to bring forward an action plan that looks at how we as a Local Authority can use the instruments at our disposal to reduce these emissions locally, researching and publishing a broad spectrum of proposals that includes, but isn’t limited to, incentivising drivers to make the shift to greener and cleaner modes of transport.

Council I move.

===Ends===

Delivery may vary from text.

Partnerships against crime

Lewisham Council’s Multi-Agency Operation on Catford Broadway

Following concerns I have raised on behalf of local residence about the The Broadway in Catford I’m pleased to announce Council Officers organised a targeted multi-agency operation to clean up the main market street in our Ward, this work formed part of a day of action across the borough.

Officers from the Police, UK Border Agency, Council Crime Reduction Service, Environmental Enforcement, Food Safety, Trading Standards and Parking, visited the Broadway from 9:30am to undertake visits to premises and deal with any ‘on the street issues’ as they were identified. There was a very strong visible presence on the Broadway which was recognised by the local businesses and visitors to the area.

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