Sunday, July 6, 2008

Recent news items from the newspapers

Oil slick hits dock after Rotherhithe boat sinks

Southwark News writer Jon Surtees reported in this week's Southwark News on the soil slick in Rotherhithe's South Dock, which links both to Greenland Dock and the Thames. It was caused by the sinking of a boat which was moored at the eastern end of the dock last Friday. The oil had already damaged some of the local bird life soon after the slick had formed, and was expected to have a negative impact on fish stocks. The Anglers' Co-Operative Association is looking at the possibility of bringing legal action against Southwark Council. Southwark Council, however, say that they have done everything possible to control the situation in close consulation with the Environment Agency.

Jenny Jones letter re proposed Downtown Development

A letter to the South London Press from Jenny Jones, from the Green Party Group, London Assembly, has raised some of the concerns about the Barratt Homes Downtown development proposals. She writes:
With Southwark Executive's decision to grant Barratt Homes a "new contract" for the sale ot the Downtown site in the north of Southwark, we have moved a step close to losing public land, plus its valuable 300 mature trees. Whilst most people accept that some development is necessary, it seems unwise to do this now, in a time of falling prices and unresolved planning applications with Barratt Homes.

Letters suggest that Southwark News Rotherhithe interview left out key issues

Pauline E. Adenwalla, Chair of the Canada Water Consultative Forum has highlighted various gaps in the interview with Tim Thompson in the June 26th edition of Southwark News. She says that the regeneration interview omitted to mention "a number of very important key issues, namely non river transport, employment, sustainability, poor air quality and commitment to deliver the swimming pool as per the Master Plan. All of which are major inter-related concerns of the current population - before regeneration has really started." Her points about the transport infrastrtucture (or lack of it) are most pertinent, and she adds that the Downtown proposals for over 200 dwellings include plans for minimal family units and limited employment opportunities which would raise overall levels of communter traffic in the area.

Councillors Paul Noblet and Lisa Rajan of the Surrey Docks ward also responed jointly to the interview. Whilst making it clear that they are not against all development discussions they say that they "are opposed to any plans to move Surrey Docks Farm". They go on "We are against plans to redevelop the cinema site and replace it with flats. And if the Quebec Way does not turn out to be the optimum site for the new Rotherhithe Academy, we will oppose any residential scheme which threatens the unique, low rise character of much of the area."

The staff at the Surrey Docks Farm were predictably and understandably angry about the proposals, with Kath Wittham saying that "No one in their right mind would want to get rid of it [the farm] to build another wharf."

See the newspaper for the full letters.

Locations of ten new police bases revealed

David Yuill from Southwark News has reported this week on the new locations proposed for the Safer Neighbourhood bases, to be introduced as part of police modernisation plans. Plans include the Rotherithe police station which will be replaced with a new base "with front counter provisions".

Bermondsey hit by wave of fake £20.00 notes

Southwark News have reported this week that fake twenty pound notes have been cirucalating in Bermondsey.

Leisure Park Developments

I posted about the proposed development of the Leisure Park by Frogmore last week. Southwark News added some details in their 26th June edition - the Odeon cinema, Hollywood Bowl and Gala Bingo, plus the restaurants, would be relocated under the new plans, into a multi-storey leisure complex. This will be located behind the newly enlarged Tesco store and the rest of the land will be taken up with over 400 houses and flats. The full planning application is expected to be unveiled in Autumn.

I still have the Frogmore flyer sitting on my desk - there is no mention of the 400 houses and flats on that page and it will be interesting to see how the space is going to be used when their initial proposals are unveiled on the 11th and 12th July at Alfred Salter Primary School.

Rotherhithe Festival - Saturday 9th August

The main festival is planned to take place in King George's Fields off Lower Road. It will include a live concert, face painting, stilt walkers, a bouncy fun run, Punch and Judy, a balloon race, fancy dress and a fishing competition. There will be food and information stalls which will include police and wardens, Southwark libraries, BL Canada Quays, Barratt Homes, Conrad Phoenix, St Crhisopher's Hospice, Army Cadets and Time and Talents. Opening days on various sites around Rotherhithe will include St Mary's Church, Sands Films, Time and Talents, Brunel Engine House, Lavender Pumphouse, Docklands Settlement, Surrey Docks Farm, Swedish and Finnish churches and Stave Hill Ecological Park.
Nominations wanted for the Our Heroes 2008 awards

Categories for 2008 are
  • Child of courage
  • Community campaigner
  • Young ambassador
  • Sport achiever
  • Carer of the year
  • Good samaritan
  • Community project
  • Fundraiser of the year
  • South London Press Award
  • Star of the South, London
Nominations can be submitted online at the South London Our Heroes Awards 2008 web page (or by a form in the newspaper itself). The closing date for nominations is September 19th 2008.

Redriff Primary School Centenary Celebrations

As part of their Centenery celebrations Redriff Primary school are holding two events to which they are inviting past pupils, parents and members of staff. The events are on Wendsday 9th July 2008 and Friday 11th July 2008. They are asking for memorabilia that you might have from any past connection with the school on a strictly loan basis. Contact the School Office on 020 7237 4272.

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