Newington

Betiel Mehari David Powell Ekaterina Belcheva
     

Latest articles about Newington

Clare Wood from Southwark Greens is taking part in a Southwark News experiment to debate local issues ahead of the elections for Southwark Council on 5 May. The filmed debates are then shown to local people in a Gogglebox-style programme to hear their reactions.

The Greens and Liberal Democrats asked why the Labour-led Southwark Council hasn't held developers to their commitment to build 35% social housing. Clare mentioned that there are some 16,000 people on the housing waiting list in Southwark and said, 'Labour does have a very bad track record on making sure that new developments have space for social housing and local residents... and how affordable is it really for the local people?'

Clare pointed out that council consultation is too often about the Southwark Council telling local people what is happening, rather than responding to residents' concerns and needs.

Watch the film and make up your own mind:

https www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjCkueq0xXo&t=197s

 

Betiel Mahari campaigning in the streets with her \Betiel Mehari is a single mother who became a housing activist to try to save her own home.

Betiel works in retail on a zero-hours contract. She lived on the Loughborough Park Estate in Brixton for 11 years, until her family lost their home when the estate was completely demolished by housing association Guinness Partnership in a £75m "regeneration" scheme. She was forced to leave Brixton, losing her much valued local community, with huge disruption to her family. ("That's what regeneration does," she says.) Rehoused in a smaller flat in Newington with no balcony, her two children (aged 11 and 10) are now commuting the lengthy distance from Newington to Brixton in order to maintain their educational stability and friends.

Furthermore, Guinness whacked up the rent in the family's new flat, from a "social rent" of £109 per week to a so-called "affordable rent" of £265 per week. Although Betiel had been a Guinness tenant for 11 years, Guinness claimed that demolishing her flat and rehousing her had created "a new tenancy".

Betiel says: "'Affordable' rent is a con. You'd assume it's based on wages, but it's not. It's set at 80% of market rents, not according to any measure of actual affordability. With two kids it requires an income of £35,000, which is higher than the national average. This measure puts us at the mercy of the housing market - it's absolute madness."

Ekaterina Belcheva - eco-friendly cleaning entrepreneurEco-friendly cleaning business owner Ekaterina Belcheva recently appeared on Sky News to showcase sustainable cleaning techniques.

New research suggests that lung function decline in women working as cleaners or regularly using cleaning products at home was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day over 10 to 20 years.

The researchers speculated chemicals in cleaning products irritate the fragile mucous membranes lining the lungs, which over time leads to lasting damage and “remodelling” of the airways. 

"When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all," said Øistein Svanes, a doctoral student who led the study.

David Powell and Ekaterina Belcheva outside Newington Town HallThe historic Walworth Town Hall building on Walworth Road, and the Newington Library next door which houses the Cuming Museum, suffered significant damage in a fire in 2013. In 2015 plans were drawn up for the comprehensive redevelopment of the buildings, but Southwark Council has now paused these plans. They were costed at around £40 million, almost twice as much as the original budget. Evidently there was no adequate fire insurance policy despite the fact that both these Edwardian buildings are Grade 2 listed.

Labour-run Southwark Council has never published the results of its last public consultation on the future of the building. Instead, it has published a glossy website walworthtownhall.com proclaiming an "opportunity" for "investors, developers, businesses, organisations or other consortia" to express their interest in "play[ing] their part in reviving this historic gem". The council proclaims its willingness to consider "ancillary and complementary commercial uses" alongside arts and culture uses retaining "some genuine public access to... parts of the site".

A governor of a local primary school has spoken of his great concern about the impact of budget cuts on our local schools.

More and more school tests, more and more stress on pupils and teachers alike

David Powell, who is also a visiting instrumental tutor in several Southwark primary schools, said: "It seems very likely that there will be a big reduction in Southwark this year, and possibly further cuts in future years. Despite some careful budgeting by schools aiming to protect excellence in teaching and learning, with the likely decrease in Pupil Premium it looks likely that children from poorer families are going to lose much-needed support. Many schools are already finding it difficult to cater for the significant rise in Special Educational Needs, particularly autism.

Southwark Soapbox

Clare Wood from Southwark Greens is taking part in a Southwark News experiment to debate local issues ahead of the elections for Southwark Council on 5 May. The filmed debates are then shown to local people in a Gogglebox-style programme to hear their reactions.

The Greens and Liberal Democrats asked why the Labour-led Southwark Council hasn't held developers to their commitment to build 35% social housing. Clare mentioned that there are some 16,000 people on the housing waiting list in Southwark and said, 'Labour does have a very bad track record on making sure that new developments have space for social housing and local residents... and how affordable is it really for the local people?'

Clare pointed out that council consultation is too often about the Southwark Council telling local people what is happening, rather than responding to residents' concerns and needs.

Watch the film and make up your own mind:

https www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjCkueq0xXo&t=197s

 


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  • Chris Henderson
    published this page in Walworth 2018-02-27 04:16:06 +0000