Below is a video and transcript of the powerful statement read by Anthony Comber-Badu on behalf of the Aylesbury Leaseholder Action Group.
Southwark Green Party stand fully behind these words and alongside everyone fighting for fair treatment by the council.
Video credit to Southwark Council
"As leaseholders and residents of the Aylesbury estate, and we are making this public statement because Southwark Council, the developers Notting Hill Housing Association, central government and those profiting from the housing crisis would prefer that we didn’t."
You can listen in at https://www.mixcloud.com/mujeresaldia/green-party-candidates-southwark/
The first minute is a Spanish-language introduction by Lina, before the other candidates are introduced in English.
Greens taking direct action to improve our area
Some of the work Green activists have done locally:
- put up air pollution monitors near schools in Peckham, Camberwell and Dulwich
- petitioned the Mayor for cleaner buses through our area
- run a free Travel Clinic at Brunswick Park summer fete
- reported flytipping
- chased Thames Water on 4 water leaks, speeding up the repair of a leak that had been gushing for weeks over a pavement on Dalwood Street
- reported 3 abandoned bikes for reuse by charity
- got protection for damaged trees on McNeil Road
- planted a pollution screen round a school playground
- asked the Mayor to challenge the council’s plans to demolish Peckham Arch – we want it to stay.
It's Labour or Greens here
The London Borough of Southwark is divided into 23 "wards". Each ward of Southwark will have its own election on 3rd May 2018, with the top three ward candidates elected to Southwark Council as your ward councillors.
In the previous Southwark Council elections in 2014, in which the Labour Party won the Faraday seats, the Green Party came second in the ward - comfortably ahead of the third-placed Conservatives. The All People's Party, further back in fourth, pushed the Liberal Democrats into fifth place. (The All People's Party are not on the ballot paper in 2018.)
The Green Party also came second here behind the Labour Party in the 2012 and 2016 London Assembly elections, on both ballots both times.
Historic Walworth Town Hall, and Newington Library next door which houses the Cuming Museum, suffered significant damage in a fire in 2013. In 2015 plans were drawn up for redevelopment of the buildings, but Southwark Council has now paused these plans. They were costed at around £40 million, almost twice the original budget. Evidently there was no adequate fire insurance policy despite both these Edwardian buildings being Grade 2 listed.
Labour-run Southwark Council has published a glossy website walworthtownhall.com proclaiming an “opportunity” for “investors, developers, businesses, organisations or other consortia” to express interest in “play[ing] their part in reviving this historic gem”. The council proclaims willingness to consider “ancillary and complementary commercial uses” alongside arts and culture uses retaining “some genuine public access to... parts of the site”.
As previously reported by Green News, local Green activist Peter Baffoe has been pushing Southwark Council for action on Victory Community Park’s unsafe bridge. The council have now safely sealed off the structure. Peter adds: “They’re now at least talking about allocating the repair budget to bring the bridge back into safe use.”
Property company Delancey has been forced by huge local community pressure to reconsider their redevelopment offer for Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre and the London College of Communication site. 700 formal objections were lodged. Less than 4% of the proposed 1,000 homes were to be at social rent. The plans failed to meaningfully address the future of existing traders, including the large cluster of Latin American businesses. Delancey, based in the Virgin Islands (an alleged tax haven), are projected to make a profit of £154 million from the scheme.
Camberwell & Peckham Green News previously reported on the campaign by local residents for a crossing of Denmark Hill at Love Walk – first consulted on by Southwark Council way back in 2011.
Eleanor Margolies says: "I’ve been asking council officers to update residents about their plans for Camberwell. In October, I spotted an official Traffic Order for the new crossing. When it’s built, this will make it much safer to get around – especially to King’s. But there’s still nothing about the start date on the council website. Communication could be so much better!"
Eleanor has been working with the ‘Green Growers’ group, volunteers who help Southwark groups that need help with their community gardens. The group has planted vegetables on the East Dulwich Estate and revived a herb garden on the Rockingham Estate near Elephant and Castle.
In Camberwell, they weeded Benhill Road Nature Garden, trimmed back shrubs ready for the winter, picked up litter and cleared the pond of weed.
Eleanor calls for cleaner buses and a zero emission delivery scheme
Local people have been telling us they are worried about air pollution and want fewer cars and trucks passing through their streets. Southwark Green Party measured nitrogen dioxide pollution. It was more than twice the legal limit in Camberwell, and way above the legal limit outside many local schools.
Eleanor Margolies says: "This is an urgent health issue. Over 500 people signed our petition to ask the Mayor of London to clean up dirty diesel buses. And Southwark Council needs to take action too. The council should:
- Keep long-distance traffic to main roads, not residential streets
- Support zero emission delivery schemes
- Tell drivers how they can help by turning engines off when they stop for a minute or more."