A little bit of politics

I’ll be back with a full post later today, but in the meantime I’ve managed to track down a copy of the Statement of Persons Nominated for the elections on May 4 (in PDF format) on the Southwark council site — rather than being clearly marked on the home page, it was about three levels down; and as for finding out which wards are represented, I ended up going to Wikipedia. When are Southwark going to sort that ridiculous site out?

In my ward (Brunswick Park) and the Camberwell Green ward, the Lib Dem ‘Focus Team’, Conservatives, Labour and Green parties are fielding three candidates each; there are no independents and, thankfully, no BNP or their hateful ilk. South Camberwell has a marginally more exciting time as they also have one independent candidate.

More later (circumstances permitting).

Update: So here I am at home, and I was all set to compare the many leaflets that have come through my door — unfortunately, they’re all from the Lib Dems, so there go my comparisons. Instead, I decided to try out the major parties’ local websites:

  • The Greens haven’t updated theirs since the last election.
  • Labour haven’t updated theirs since September 2005.
  • The Lib Dems have a well-updated site with plenty of local issues.
  • The Conservatives have an up-to-date site, although with little in the way of solid policy

None of them give much away in terms of concrete local policy.

Current incumbents are the Lib Dems with a majority of only two; of 63 seats on the council, the Lib Dems have 28, Labour 26, Conservatives 6 and the rest, 3. Lib Dem Southwark has had a recurring problem with accusations of racism (notably the Imperial Gardens fiasco), causing one councillor to quit recently. Their policy on street crime has been hailed as a success, however. Labour, who lost their majority in 2002, have a vision for the borough.

Well, this has been a pretty half-hearted political update. Local issues? Haven’t a clue. No-one’s knocked on my door, no-one’s stopped me in the street, the only leaflets I’ve had are from the Lib Dems (‘Save the Leisure Centre’ and ‘Parking on Shenley Road’).

In summary: make your own minds up.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

3 thoughts on “A little bit of politics”

  1. Another Brunswick Park-er here. Lib-Dems have dropped by and dropped leaflets most every weekend. Labour just sent through a survey giving me about 3 inches to fill in my ‘thoughts on regeneration’. I attached four pages…and sent it through to all councillors of all parties. Suspect their interest in my thoughts will wane post election.

  2. On the subject of independents it may interest people to know that a political party was formed specifically to defend the interests of local shops in Camberwell Green; the Clarendon Terrace Society. This is because local parking policy is to remove all free parking for visitors to the area, and partly because the Liberal Democrat Executive and Labour Community Council have ignored all representations from small businesses in the area. CTS proposals included bringing street furniture under the same planning regime as buildings, and giving small shops a similar level of free parking to that of supermarkets.

    All three candidates were disqualified on a technicality which was not mentioned prior to the deadline. A Green Party candidate for Dulwich was also “disqualified” for the same technicality.

    Based on my experience of Southwark’s corporate leanings, my personal opinion is that only the major party candidates received the standard level of service from Southwark Electoral Services.

    A quick summary of the Imperial Gardens affair; the Labour Executive incurred a suit of £1 million following suspect planning practices in Camberwell Green, and the Liberal Democrat Executive could have settled it for £1 million but now it has spiralled into a court case claim for £9 million. Take your pick, folks.

    Mark

  3. The current Southwark News devotes seven pages to the local elections. The three party leaders (Nick Stanton, Peter John and Kim Humphreys) give their views on a number of local issues — very useful, because it covers subjects not mentioned in the leaflets we’ve been getting. There is also a list of all the candidates, ward by ward, from which I learned for the first time that there are Green candidates standing in the ward where I live — they certainly haven’t made themselves known to us.

    The paper also has an interview with Tony Blair, again on local issues — Blair appears to be out of his depth most of the time.

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