News and Views

Select a topic from the menu(s) above, or keep reading for all our latest news and views. You can also download copies of our community newsletters, or read A Green Voice For Southwark, our blog about Southwark news and local issues, with a focus on Camberwell and Peckham.

Helping to fix repairs

Challenging Southwark Council's repairs service

Ever needed a repair from the council? How long did you have to wait? Was it done to a decent standard?

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Following our own walkabout, we reported 11 communal repairs on the Rockingham Estate in one day. We believe our council, and their contractors, are failing to keep our homes safe and secure.

Chaucer Green candidate, John Tyson, says, “As a resident of 6 years on the Rockingham, I know first hand the terrible repairs service we have: weeks and months to get repairs done, poor quality, lack of follow up. As councillor, I’d ensure there was a thorough review, particularly focused on finding failing contractors, and reducing wait times.”

John wrote the petition with the Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations that kept the telephone repair line free to call.

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Chaucer ward roundup: Working to make our neighbourhoods cleaner, safer and greener

So many residents in our communities are making a positive difference, and we’re working hard to support them. The voluntary sector adds an estimated £50bn to the UK economy a year, while unpaid carers save £60bn. We really value all that, and think you’re amazing.

John_Tyson.jpgJohn Tyson, the Green Party candidate for Chaucer Ward says: ‘So many in our community volunteer their time, through local groups, but also as parents and carers. We need to recognise, support and champion them.’

  • We’ve been helping Rocking Village plant new flower beds on Rockingham Street – reviving plant diversity and improving air quality.
  • We’ve been involved with consultations on Harper Road cycle safety and reducing traffic, working with Friends of Harper Road Triangle.
  • Green activist John Tyson is an active member of Tabard Growers, a community gardening project working with residents across Tabard Estate.
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Air pollution in Southwark is illegal

Last week, Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell delivered on our behalf our petition to the Mayor, asking for buses through Camberwell Green to be replaced with electric, hydrogen or hybrid buses. The petition got 525 signatures in total (online and on paper). Thanks to everyone who signed, tweeted and helped collect signatures - 

The South London Press also published the results of our nitrogen dioxide monitoring. Out of 20 sites, only two were within the legal limit - and one of these, Camberwell Grove, has no through traffic at the moment.

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Southwark Green Party's response to TfL's Camberwell Green proposals

Camberwell_Green_stock_image.jpgOverview: Some of the elements are genuinely useful. We support the new pedestrian crossing between Camberwell Passage and the Green, and the repositioning of the St Giles bus stop, to improve sight-lines.

But the plans offer far too little to improve safety. We cannot see that it is worthwhile doing this 'interim' work at great cost when it offers so little. We urge TfL to withdraw the plans and replace them with plans that consider Camberwell as a town centre with shops and community services, and consider how people actually need to move around it on foot or on bike. This is an essential step in tackling the current dangers of the junction as well as the wider public health emergency of air pollution.

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Thames clean up

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Photo: John Tyson

We joined Thames 21 for the Big Bottle Count on Saturday 2 September. We picked up and counted plastic bottles, clear bottles for still water, fizzy drinks bottles, and milk bottles. Then we picked up a lot of plastic, mostly brightly coloured broken fragments gleaming against the pebbles and gravel. Here's a list of some of the things we found...

[Read more...]
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Camberwell Green Consultation Response

Caroline_R_Eleanor_pointing.jpgTransport for London has published plans for changes to the junction at Camberwell Green. Full details and drawings can be found here.

Some of the proposals are genuinely useful. Much needed changes include: a new pedestrian crossing between Camberwell Passage and the Green, and the repositioning of the St Giles bus stop, setting it a few metres back from Vicarage Grove, to improve sight-lines.

But the plans offer far too little to improve safety.

[Read more...]
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Concerns about conditions for residents on Ledbury Estate

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Southwark Green Party has serious concerns about the escalating situation for residents on the Ledbury Estate in Peckham.

Safety issues on the estate were first raised over 30 years ago, and the blocks have since been the subject of reports by industry experts. While we recognise that control of the council has changed over the years, and mistakes made in the past are not the responsibility of the current leadership, it should not have taken the tragedy of Grenfell Tower for Council leaders to acknowledge problems on the Ledbury.

Residents have been without hot water and proper cooking facilities since 10 August. They should not have to heat water on a stove or with kettles to have a bath, or travel to a sports centre to use showers.

[Read more...]
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Fire safety: Stop risking lives

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After the Grenfell fire, Green activist John Tyson started a petition aimed at getting the Department for Communities and Local Government to implement the findings from the Lakanal fire inquest.

Recommendations from the report include:

  • use of fire resistant materials
  • regular fire assessments
  • providing residents with full instructions about what to do in the event of a fire.

The petition has received over 104,000 signatures, from people up and down the UK. 

On 22 August, John (right) delivered the petition to the Department for Communities and Local Government, with the support of Green London Assembly member Sian Berry (centre) and Dave Lewis, of Sceaux Gardens TRA and a witness of the Lakanal House fire (left). You can still sign it to keep up the pressure. 

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Standing up for democracy in Poland

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Southwark Green Party member Ania Marzec-Manser has been supporting pro-democracy protests in Poland this month. She writes:

At the Global Greens and European Greens congress in Liverpool this year, I made contacts with the Polish Green party. I was asked to meet and help with setting up structures in the Gdansk branch of the party.

Two weeks ago I attended an international summer school where besides representatives of Polish Green party, there were representatives from Czech, German, Ukrainian and Dutch parties as well as foundations and Brussels institutions supporting green NGOs. I also met the sole Green councillor in Poland. Next year there will be local elections and for the first time the Greens want to have candidates in at least half of constituencies. It's a massive task.

[Read more...]
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Not One Day More: Southwark Greens join national #ToriesOut demo

On Saturday 1 July, Green Party members from Southwark joined thousands of people from across the UK at a march on Parliament organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity to demand an end to Theresa May’s minority government.

Many of the protesters carried placards calling for justice for victims of Grenfell Tower, and a minute’s silence was held to remember them. Speakers at Westminster included the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Fire Brigades Union leader Matt Wrack and the Green Party’s Siân Berry, who chairs the London Assembly’s housing committee.

[Read more...]
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Post-GE17 statement by Southwark Green Party

It was great to see Labour adopting some Green Party policies in its manifesto for the General Election in June. Our anti-austerity policies on social justice and abolishing student debt are clearly popular with voters! But Labour continues to support disastrous projects such as Heathrow expansion, the Hinkley Point nuclear power station and the renewal of Trident – not to mention leaving the EU. We need decisive action on air pollution, with a new Clean Air Act, and a commitment to protect the environment in the Brexit negotiations. While the UK political scene is very much on our minds, Southwark Greens continue to take practical steps to support environmental and social justice.

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Will our MPs oppose airport expansion?

Southwark_News_no_new_runways.jpgWe're asking our three Southwark MPs if they will oppose airport expansion - both to protect residents from noise and pollution and to combat climate change. The question has been asked in Southwark News and by individual members. We are still waiting for the MPs to let us know where they stand. If you live in Southwark, you can help by emailing your MP:

  • Neil Coyle (Bermondsey and Old Southwark): neil.coyle.mp@parliament.uk
  • Harriet Harman (Camberwell and Peckham): harriet.harman.mp@parliament.uk
  • Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood): helen.hayes.mp@parliament.uk

Please remember to include your address, so that they know you live in their constituency.

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Sunday 4 June 2017

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. … Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. - John Donne, 1624

This is a day of shock and deep sadness. Our hearts go out to all those affected by last night's tragic events. Thank you to Southwark's emergency services, who responded with such speed and bravery, and to the countless Southwark residents who offered shelter and support.

Today we are remembering the seven people killed yesterday at London Bridge, the injured and affected. We also remember Abdirahman Mohamed, a boy of 17 who was fatally stabbed on Southampton Way on Friday night.

[Read more...]
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Make your vote count on 8 June!

Every Green vote counts. With more support, we will influence the direction of British politics.

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In two Southwark constituencies, Camberwell & Peckham and Dulwich & West Norwood, the previous Labour MPs had huge majorities. They are not marginal seats.

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Our homes are not investment opportunities

John_Tyson_campaigning_for_fair_housing.jpgJohn Tyson, the Green Party candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, says: "The demolition of the Heygate Estate is the worst example of a council pushing out tenants and destroying communities, allowing absentee investors to benefit at the
expense of renters. We need better housing solutions."

The Green Party would:
abolish the cruel Bedroom Tax,
• set up a Renters Union,
refurbish, insulate and improve homes instead of demolishing,
• work with communities to find solutions that work for them.

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The NHS: Based on need, not ability to pay

Greens_support_the_NHS.jpgWhy is the government charging nurses to train, when we have a national shortage? Why is it paying private agencies millions for locum staff, instead of recruiting permanent staff and making sure their workinglife is sustainable?

The Green Party believes in an NHS that looks after us all. Molly Scott Cato, MEP says: ‘A fair tax system goes to the heart of what it means to be a just and equitable society, and it’s necessary to fund our increasingly stretched NHS.’ 60% of people in a recent poll said they thought corporations should pay more tax. Do you agree?

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Standing up for democracy on Europe

Molly_Scott_Cato_second_referendum.jpgGreen Party calls for a second referendum - this time with the facts

Southwark voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, with 72.3% of votes for Remain. The Green Party is making the case for a second referendum on the precise terms of the deal. We want voters to have an informed choice: sign up to the deal, or stay with what we have now and remain in the EU.

Would you buy a new phone without asking how much it’s going to cost? And yet, when it comes to the biggest decision for the future of our country, Theresa May has said that we will leave Europe whatever the outcome of her negotiations! It doesn’t make sense. Make sure your voice is heard.

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Shocking levels of air pollution in Southwark

Photo: Eleanor puts up a diffusion tube monitor in Peckham

We are demanding cleaner buses after our tests found pollution levels in Southwark more than double legal limit. We have  launched a petition demanding London Mayor Sadiq Khan take action this year to clean up every bus driving through Camberwell Green.

Pollution monitors placed around Southwark by local members recorded levels of nitrogen dioxide at more than twice the legal EU limit outside McDonalds on Denmark Hill. Just two of the 20 locations monitored for the full month of February fell within the legal limit.

[Read more...]
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Ask the Mayor to clean up Camberwell's air

We are calling on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to  replace buses on all routes passing through Camberwell Green with hybrid, hydrogen or electric buses by 2018. This is not just about Camberwell! Cleaning up the 15 dirty diesel bus routes will be good for the health of people all along those routes: in Elephant and Castle, Walworth, Vauxhall, Oval, Brixton, Herne Hill, Forest Hill and so on...

Southwark Green Party's recent monitoring of nitrogen dioxide pollution around Camberwell Green has shown that annual levels at the bus stops outside Butterfly Walk/McDonalds on Denmark Hill are more than twice the legal EU limit. The monitor outside McDonalds measured 84 micrograms per cubic metre, while the legal EU limit is 40.

[Read more...]
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Candidates for General Election June 2017

We're delighted to announce our candidates for the 2017 General Election.

hustings2015_1008_ehust_0027.jpgFor Camberwell and Peckham, we have selected Eleanor Margolies. Eleanor is an outstanding campaigner, currently working on highlighting toxic air pollution levels throughout the constituency, and is also Co-Chair of Southwark Green Party.

John_Tyson.jpgBermondsey and Old Southwark will be contested by John Tyson, a Chartered Accountant and housing campaigner, highly active in his local community.

rsz_rashid_nix.jpgIn Dulwich and West Norwood, Rashid Nix will be looking to build on his excellent result in the London Assembly Elections, where he got the highest vote share of any Green constituency candidate.

[Read more...]
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