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  • OMG

    Report from the anti-fracking camp in Blackpool.

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  • Elephant endangered

    Monday to Wednesday next week, the Crypt at St Peter's Church on Liverpool Grove will host the 'Elephant Endangered', sound piece by artist Sherry Ostapovich.

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  • Developers need your help

    The glorious regenerators of the Heygate and the Aylesbury are appealing for community 'involvement'.

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  • Buy now

    or repent at leisure

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  • No attack on Syria

    Stop the War Coalition are calling for a national protest against UK involvement in Syria this Saturday, 31st August, from 12:00 noon.

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  • Make Tate sustainable

    The Learning Planet are asking the Tate to end their sponsorship with BP and other oil companies complicit in climate change catastrophy.

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  • Walk with Aurora

    On 15th September 2013, Greenpeace are organising a parade through central London, to highlight the devastation caused by the Arctic ice melting.

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  • Future of mental health day services

    Southwark Council is currently 'consulting' on what type of day care support services people with mental health problems and those who care for them need.

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  • Fight to save the orchard continues

    How do council arguments stack up against those of the campaign to save the Camberwell Green orchard?

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  • No Borders camp in Rotterdam

    From 2nd - 10th August 2013, No Borders held a camp in Rotterdam. All photos © Hassan 2013

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  • Southwark's halls of shame

    Earlier this week, we were stunned to read that, allegedly, British Cycling has called Southwark a 'cycling Mecca'. It may well be that, if someone from British Cycling did indeed say that, they simply aren't aware of Southwark's abysmal policies and practices when it comes to cycling. Or environment. Or democracy. Or planning. Or housing.

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  • Free bat walk

    Friends of Dog Kennel Hill Wood are hosting a bat walk on Sunday 25th August, starting from 8pm.

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  • New Leaf barbecue

    Friends of Belair Park are hosting a barbecue today, Thursday 22nd August, from 14:00 outside the New Leaf Shop at West Dulwich Station, Thurlow Park Road SE21.

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  • Boris' inferno

    Yesterday, Boris Johnson approved the massive waste incinerator in South London.

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  • Brandon Estate festival

    On Sunday 18th August, Brandon Tenants and Residents Association hosted a festival on the estate.

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  • Southwark Balcombe Falkirk the world

    The Balcombe protest was, from the word go, about much more than the village itself. And it continues to be about all our futures, here in the UK and the rest of the world.

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  • The mass sleep out in Brixton

    The national mass sleep out event is taking place on Saturday 24th/Sunday 25th August and Brixton and other local campaigners will be sleeping out in Windrush Square.

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  • South London People's Assembly August meeting

    South London People's Assembly are holding a meeting this Tuesday 20th August, from 18:30 at Bread & Roses pub, 68 Clapham Manor Street SW4 6DZ.

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  • Lambeth health not for privatisation

    Lambeth Keep our NHS Public (KONP) are asking Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to drop the AQP method of privatisation of the NHS.

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  • March for a frack-free future

    Milena reports from Reclaim the Power arrival to the Balcombe anti-fracking protest.

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  • No eggs were harmed

    In case you were on the Moon and missed it, Ed Milliband's visit to the East Street market yesterday ended up truly scrambled.

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  • The autumn of discontent

    Southwark Save Our Services have published a list of anti-cuts events and actions which may be of interest.

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  • 'Go Home' vans workshop

    Last night saw a fantastic turnout to a workshop about the racist vans and immigration issues in the UK.

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  • Council spending talk

    Camberwell Community Council have announced a number of council and community events which may be of interest to Camberwell residents.

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  • Reel news night on fracking

    Reel News are hosting their regular film night on Thursday 15th August, from 19:30 at the Grosvenor, 17 Sydney Road, Stockwell SW9 0TP.

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  • Ed Miliband to visit East Street

    Ed Miliband, Labour party leader, is to visit East Street market later today.

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  • Justice for Jason

    Protest in solidarity with Jason O'Connor will take place outside Camberwell Magistrates Court from 09:30 tomorrow, Thursday 15th August 2013.

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  • All aboard the people's train to Manchester

    People's Assembly have charted a special train to take people from London to Manchester, to protest at the Conservative Party conference on 29th September 2013.

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  • Photography workshop for carers

    Southwark Carers are running three workshops this week.

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  • Nunhead myths and legends

    Cooltan Arts are hosting a walk called 'Nunhead myths and legends' on 31st August, from 12:00 noon to 15:30.

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  • Benefit caps are sadistic

    London Green Party have condemned the government's benefit caps, currently being rolled out across London, as 'sadistic', and are calling on London councillors to show compassion in implementing the policy.

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  • 'Go home' campaign victory for migrants

    Following a legal challenge from Deighton Pierce Glynn on behalf of members of RAMFEL (Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London), Home Office has confirmed they would carry out consultation with local authorities and communities before running a similar campaign in the future.

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  • Green flag for Belair Park

    Belair Park is another Southwark Park to win the prestigious Green Flag award.

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  • 'Go home' vans and immigration workshop

    The Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL), Migrants Rights Network (MRN), Bhatt Murphy and Deighton Pierce Glynn will host a series of public meetings/workshops to support people opposing the 'Go Home' campaign.

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  • The Mass sleep out

    The Mass Sleep Out, action to highlight the mass homelessness which the bedroom tax will cause, is taking place on Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th August, across the UK.

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  • Considerate contractors

    Oswin Street residents continue to live and breathe in dust on a daily basis, as the considerate contractors carry out the 'redevelopment' of the leisure centre and One the Elephant.

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  • Notting Hill Housing rents to go up

    Notting Hill Trust Housing Association rents to go up 35%.

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  • Biodiversity and green spaces survey

    London Assembly's Enironment Committee are doing a survey about green spaces in London and are encouraging residents to share their views.

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  • Are you being fracked?

    People around the UK are rapidly waking up to the realities of the destruction fracking brings.

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  • Protest at Vedanta AGM

    Last week, as Vedanta, Anglo-Indian mining company, held their AGM in central London, campaigners held a protest outside the venue to highlight the disasters the company is causing around the world.

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  • Orchard campaign could go to court

    The fight to save Camberwell Green Orchard from destruction could go to court, unless Southwark Council withdraw their decision.

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  • Libraries and orchards can coexist shocker

    Earlier today, local residents trying to save Camberwell Green Orchard from destruction were out at the orchard, conducting a poll about what local people thought about the proposals.

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  • Balcombe is everywhere

    Yesterday, we went down to Balcombe protest camp, in solidarity with the residents and all those trying to prevent this ecological disaster from happening.

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  • Welcome to the workhouse

    Boris Johnson and Chris Grayling, 'Employment Minister' have come up with a brilliant plan to help the young unemployed Londoners into workhouses find work.

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  • Walworth Society September 2012 news

    Next meeting of the Walworth Society will take place on Thursday 6th September, at the Hub, 182-184 Walworth Road, from 19:00.

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  • Four Accident and Emergency Services to close

    In the latest 'Black is White' operation, NHS North West London is proposing to 'Shape a Healthier Future' by closing down four A&E departments.

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  • Top of the policies

    Southwark Labour party are hosting a 'Top of the Policies' event on Saturday 1st September, upstairs at the Roebuck Pub, Great Dover Street SE1 4YG from 16:00.

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  • South Eastern rail consultation

    Department for Transport is now consulting on the South Eastern Franchise, which will have a significant impact on Southwark residents who use the Thameslink and South London line.

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  • A hive fit for a queen

    Rotherhithe beekeepers have had a busy bank holiday at the newly rebuilt beehives in the Stave Hill Ecology Park.

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  • Mental health and policing

    Sean Rigg died in police custody four years ago, and, on 21st August, his family and campaign supporters gathered in Brixton to commemorate this, Milena reports.

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  • Toxicology unit under threat

    Unite the Union are warning that closing the toxicology unit at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital could cost lives.

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  • The chainsaw works

    Council has announced that the 'works' on the problem trees on Rotherhithe New Road is to start in September.

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  • Centres of excellence

    LINK Southwark are encouraging people to comment on the council's proposals for the new 'Centre of Excellence' for Dementia and complex needs.

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  • The autumn of our discontent

    Southwark Save our Services are urging everyone to join them in the fight against the cuts.

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  • Objecting to the Heygate plans

    Elephant Amenity Network have put together templates to help anyone wishing to object to the proposals for the Heygate.

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  • Evening of Danish cycling culture

    Bikeminded and Danish Embassy will host an evening of the Danish cycling culture on Thursday 11th October, from 18:30 at Chelsea Old Town Hall.

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  • The energy glut

    Movement for Liveable London's September Street Talk will take place on Monday 10th September, from 19:00 at The Yorkshire Grey pub (upstairs), 2 Theobalds Road WC1X 8PN.

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  • Nursery Row goes rural

    Friends of Nursery Row Park are hosting a couple of fun events in September this year.

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  • The Heygate grand prix

    Release the wolves are hositng London's only grand prix on Saturday 1st September on the Heygate.

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  • Community Infrastructure Levy explained

    Community Action Southwark will host an event about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on Monday 3rd Septmber, 18:30 - 19:30 at Cambridge House, Addington Square, Camberwell.

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  • Looking back in anger

    Last week has seen a whole host of Elephant and Castle nightmares become very real, with two 'live' planning applications, Phase 1 objections and compulsory purchase orders for the few remaining residents on the Heygate.

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  • Who will benefit from Phase 1?

    Local residents are extremely concerned about Lend Lease's proposals for the Rodney Road/Balfour Street area (Phase 1).

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  • Yet another council survey

    Council is, yet again, asking 'for our opinion', this time on Paralympics.

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  • Ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry chop

    From tomorrow, Tuesday 14th August, the council's contractors will start chopping down the Reverdy Road cherry trees.

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  • Events in Burgess Park this week

    Friends of Burgess Park and other local groups have organised a number of fun events in the park this week.

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  • Peckham Rye Fete on 1st September

    Friends of Peckham Rye Park have organised another fete, to take place on Saturday 1st September, 12:00 - 17:00.

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  • Imagining...Southwark

    A proposal to make many more streets in Southwark people-friendly.

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  • No to Sainsbury's Pharmacies

    Unite the Union continue their fight against the Sainsbury's takeover of hospital pharmacies.

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  • Burgess Park to fully open in September

    The Council have announced that Burgess Park will be fully reopened on Sunday 2nd September 2012.

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  • New Elephant exhibition

    An exhibiton of architecture students' projects will be on show at Crossways Church, New Kent Road, on Tuesday 14th August, Friday 17th August and Wednesday 22nd August.

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  • Vigil for Dan Harris

    A vigil ride to mark the death of Dan Harris, cyclist killed by the Olympic media bus last week.

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  • Council IS

    Start here and then read on

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  • Summerfest in Archbishop's Park

    Friends of Archbishop's Park are hosting a full day of fun on Friday 17th August.

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  • Council tax changes, continued

    Community Action Southwark (CAS) are working on a co-ordinated response to the council's consultation about the proposed changes to the council tax benefits.

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  • Dry stone walling at Walworth Garden Farm

    Walworth Garden Farm will run two weekends of workshops and training in dry stone walling in October 2012.

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  • Viability in planning

    The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) will host a free seminar on 'Viability in Town Planning' on Wednesday 12th September, from 16:00, at the University College London.

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  • Peckham Settlement building to close down

    Peckham Settlement will be closing down their building on 20th August, due to financial constraints.

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  • Bee urban open day

    This weekend, Barnaby Shaw, local bee-keeper, will host the bee urban open day at Kennington Park Keeper's Lodge.

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  • Critical Mass is not a crime

    Following the totally unacceptable police behaviour at the July Critical Mass, a petition has been set up to overturn the bail conditions imposed on 182 cyclists.

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  • Southwark Cyclists August 2012 meeting

    The monthly meeting of Southwark Cyclists is taking place tonight, from 18:30, at Better Bankside Community Space, 18 Great Guildford Street, SE1 0YS (corner with Zoar Street).

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  • Mad about the maps

    We have now completed three maps based on the existing residential and parking permits data we published earlier this year.

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  • Localism Act, what is it good for?

    Last week, National Coalition for Independent Action and Trades Unions Council launched a publication called 'Localism Guide'.

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  • Can't see the road for the cars

    As we recently managed to get the information about residential properties by street, we looked at the relationship between the number of people living on any one street and car ownership.

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  • Local government ™

    Last week's Southwark News published that the council had created a brand new post for a Facebook/Twitter manager.

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  • Nationwide Adidas day of action

    War on Want are organising a nationwide day of action against Adidas on Saturday 4th August.

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  • Bat walk in Ruskin Park

    Embrace Cooperation Ltd and Friends of Carnegie Library are hosting a free bat walk in Ruskin Park on Saturday 4th August, 19:45 - 21:00.

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  • Myatt's Field greenhouse open day

    Myatt's Field Park Greenhouse will host their regular open day on Sunday 5th August, 11:30 - 14:00.

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  • Transition Town Brixton shared space

    On Monday 6th August, 18:00 - 21:00, Transition Town Brixton are running a 'shared space' evening of art and skill-share activities.

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  • William Blake Visionary Anarchist

    Freedom Bookshop is hosting an exhibition inspired by William Blake from Thursday 2nd August – Sunday 5th August 2012.

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  • The Elephant and the Nun is back

    The council have announced that the Elephant and the Nun festival will take place on Sunday 2nd September 2012.

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  • Not rich enough to matter

    Protest against evictions took place in front of the heavily secured and locked Southwark Town Hall, free of anyone even remotely resembling a Southwark councillor.
    'Our friendly community wardens', according to community warden Bannerman, who claimed to be in charge of tonight's operation, were there to stop Southwark residents from 'trespassing' on 'private property', adding 'there is no need for people to be here.' That is, there was no need for people to be in front of their local seat of power where their elected local representatives made unacceptable and not-voted-for decisions on their behalf. To add insult to injury, the same community warden claimed Burgess Park was council=private property earlier this year, when the protesters (trespassers?) successfully stopped the trees' massacre. On that occasion, the protesters themselves called the police who in turn called off and told off the community wardens.
    The protest itself was peaceful. There were some 50-60 protesters, some new and many familiar local ones, including Jenny Jones AM. There was some chanting to start off with, asking that the real looters, the bankers and the government, be evicted. Speakers spontaneously took over, and included representatives from Southwark Save our Services, Southwark Pensioners Action Group, local activists and Cllr Tony Belton of Wandsworth Council.
    All of the speakers condemned Southwark Council for threatening those found guilty of rioting and their families with eviction. Large numbers of people living in council housing are already deprived and disadvantaged. Council threatening those same people was unacceptable. Council tenants are not 'others', they are 'us'. Some thought the dissent and riots were a direct consequence of this government's policies, others saw both Labour and Conservative parties being against the poor and the disadvantaged, reminding everyone that here in Southwark, it was the Labour Party doing the government's 'dirty work'. Too many of the riot convictions were excessive and simply vengeance. One speaker pointed out that those who rioted on London streets were doing nothing different from what the country was doing in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. There were additional references to the wider context which is that of young ethnic minority people constantly being stopped and searched, of countless, never-prosecuted, deaths in police custody etc. And, as if anyone will ever forget, a speaker questioned Harriet Harman's claim to 'caring for her constituency' which she visits wearing a bullet-proof vest. As mentioned before, the only councillor present was from a different borough altogether, and, not only was he a Labour councillor but was, gasp, actively opposing the evictions and had been to the court with the residents.
    The behaviour of the community wardens tonight mirrored that of the (local) government – bullying and trampling on the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. Because that is precisely what is happening. The bankers, the politicians, the police etc continue to get away with 'it', but your neighbour you knew most of your life might be made homeless soon.
    Not because they are 'morally bankrupt' but rather not rich enough to matter.

    Saturday 3rd September 2011, Cllr Peter John in Peckham

    13th September 2011, Harriet Harman MP in St Giles' centre, Camberwell.

    More photos from tonight's protest can be seen on our Facebook page.

  • Community conversations

    Council will be running a series of 'community conversation stalls' to get residents' views on what took place during the recent riots and why.

    The first one will take place on Saturday 3rd September, from 10:00 – 15:00 on Saturday 3rd September in Peckham Square, where the residents will be able to talk to Cllr Peter John about issues around the riots.
    Updated: 3rd September 2011
    The council seemed quite pleased with the turnout to the first of the community conversations, considering the location and the fact that it was still fairly early in the day (around 11:00).
    We spoke to Cllr Wingfield about the eviction letters and he carified that Southwark's response was very different from Wandsworth Council's. The evictions, if they happened at all, would be the very last resource, following a long process of interviews, assessment of circumstances etc. We argued that, by sending the letters, the council was pre-judging the tenants, to which Cllr Wingfield replied that the letters were sent only to the people who had been convicted. Statement on the council website, however, clearly states,
    'We have written to a 35 tenants warning them that they may face eviction IF they or members of their household are convicted of offences related to the riots.' (our caps)
    We raised questions over the legality of this (both in the context of national legislation and the Human Rights Laws) and Cllr Wingfield replied that this was covered by the Housing Act 1985 and was part of the Tenants' Agreement (as it represented anti-social behaviour). He later added that, in the aftermath of the riots, it was the residents who were asking for very harsh measures against those involved in the events. He went on to say that the media distorted their response, to which we pointed out the timeline (BBC article followed by the council statement three-four days later), saying that the media distortions could have easily been clarified and the 'process' itself made public.
    There will be three more community conversation events, in Surrey Quays, Walworth and Dog Kennel Hill. There is also an online questionnaire which you can complete.
  • Nunhead and Peckham Rye community council September meeting

    The next Nunhead and Peckham Rye community council meeting will take place on 19th September, from 19:00, at St Mary Magdalene School, SE15 3RA.
    Before the meeting itself, there will be an 'Area Action Plan Walk', starting at 18:00 outside Nunhead Library on Gordon Road and will take in the former Nunhead Community Centre and Early Years Centre, then continue to the meeting venue.
    Meeting itself will include
    - workshops to discuss key themes and areas of the action plan
    - feedback from the Library Consultation
    - update on the Local Transport Schemes for 2012/13
  • Peckham Rye community fete

    On Saturday 3rd September, 12:00 – 17:00, Friends of Peckham Rye Park will host the 8th community fete, in front of the cafe near the park entrance.
    There will be children's races, home-made cakes, fancy dress from 13:00 and the famous dog show from 14:00.
  • September anti-cuts action

    Southwark Save Our Services have sent out a reminder about the upcoming anti-cuts protests and meetings.
    Saturday 3rd September, 11:00
    Stop the EDL in East London’. The English Defence League attempt to use racism and violence to divert opposition to cuts and austerity. Assemble from 11:00, Weavers Fields, London E2 6HW. Called by Unite Against Fascism http://uaf.org.uk/ and supported by two national trade unions, many local campaigns and Southwark UNISON (Phone 020 7525 6030 for Southwark meet-up details.)
    Tuesday 6th September, 19:00
    Southwark Keep Our NHS Public meeting at the Southwark Pensioners Centre, 305-307 Camberwell Road SE5 0HQ.
    Wednesday 7th September, from 18:30
    Action to mark the Third Reading of the Health & Social Care Bill.
    18:30 Demonstration assembling at St Thomas’ Hospital; Called by UNITE the Union, KONP, Health Workers Network, Right to Work
    21:30 Torchlight vigil for the NHS at Houses of Parliament. More information here. Called by UNISON and the TUC.
    Sunday 11th September, 13:30
    Rally & March calling for coordinated strike action on pensions throughout the public sector. Rally at Friends Meeting House, Euston (speakers to include Mark Serwotka and Bob Crow), then a march to the TUC. Organised by the National Shop Stewards Network supported by the PCS NEC. Petition and more details here.
    Tuesday 13th September, 18:00
    Emergency public meeting ‘Camberwell needs a Job Centre’

    Speakers: Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and others. At St Giles Church, 81 Camberwell Church Street SE5 8RB. Called by PCS Union. For details about publicity, speakers, latest info, contact Sarah Murdock (PCS DWP Lambeth and Southwark Vice Chair) or ring 07879424631.

    Sunday 18th September
    March Against the Lib Dems – Birmingham, Supported by the Midlands TUC and across the Midlands. For transport details, please contact Southwark Save Our Services.
    Sunday 2nd October
    March Against the Tories – Manchester. Supported by the TUC, several national campaigns and trade unions. Enquiries about transport from Southwark.
    Follow Southwark Save our Services on Twitter
    Join Southwark Save our Services on Facebook
  • Employment, business and retail liaison group meeting

    The first liaison group got off to a shaky start and a very ambitious agenda for the allocated hour and a half.

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  • Social Impact Bonds

    Social Impact Bonds are the latest innovation of the Big Society Initiative. The plan is to have private money from businesses, banks, pension funds and philanthorpists put into social charities - good eh!

    The part missing is that the philanthropists will not be philanthropists - the money will be raised in the form of bonds. It will take several years for these bonds to mature, if certain criteria are met then the bonds will be redeemed at a profit. The criteria will be an agreed reduction in recividism, cut in drug abuse, increase in literacy, etc.

    The initial difficulty is how are the measures made? There is social stigma to being illiterate, what happens when in a community it becomes accetable to declare oneslf illiterate and seek help? Literacy rates will plummet as more people came forward and the initial target becomes unreachable. Another problem is which social group made the cahnges? In Southwark how does anyone show that a recognised group funded by Social Impact Bonds make the changes and not a group of squatters running a free school?

    The philanthropists are not philanthropists as they are investors looking for a return on their capital. With the government looking at pension funds the investment becomes more crucial, pensions funds are only looking for safe returns, not high risk investments. To keep the scheme running when the first tranche of bonds become redeemable the results will become meaningless, as will exactly who is behind the changes. The bonds will have to be redeemable at a profit to gain further funding. The Social Impact Bonds will become an investment vehicle paid whether results are acheived or not, it is merely a method of putting off govermental social spending to a future date. We have been travelling this road for many years now in the form of PFI, a scheme which the National Audit Office has said has not worked. It is only now that much of PFI is begining to bite. Just how much of the national debt is due to paying millions in interest on these iniatives.


    There are already such schemes which are supposed to work in a similar fashion available. Many charities and community groups are now either changing into, or exploring, social enterprises - not for profit companies using business profits to support the charitable aims.

    There is the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to help this process. Due to company law a new company would have to be formed, one limited by shares. Up to one third of the shares are then taken by another company which are to be bought back (at cost but not quite sure). The business putting the capital into the social enterprise gets up to 20% tax releif against the capital lent, a reasonable return. There is a greater risk involved but the returns offset that, putting £10,000 into one set of shares is not a great idea - putting a £1,000 into ten sets of shares is a better bet. Two schemes going legs up will still bring the investment out at evens (except there is a £2,000 book loss too)

    Guess how we know this? We've tried it!

    Peoples Republic of Southwark is worth about £2,500 - £3,000 based on this web site (the only asset). We get a limited by shares company and have 10,000 shares at a nominal value of £2 each which values the company at £20,000. Then we make a deal with another business of 2,500 shares for £5,000 of their money. We can then get premises and have the people who want to write articles and the like come along. These volunteers then can put their cv on the site too if they want, this has the advantage that we are read by some large businesses regularly and the volunteer has a portfolio with their cv.

    Anyone who has been dropping by for some time will know that we have been looking for premises for some time (we are failures at this) so we can put on web development classes, quite inovative ones. We can raise some money on this as there are people willing to put some money in the kitty for us to publish some software training material online. Within a year we can look at larger sums by having trained help authors who can prepare material for companies and be employed to do so.

    Our requests for some dosh have not even been graced with a simple acknowledgement. If you would like to help us financially using EIS send an email and we can meet up and answer most of your questions

  • No to Southwark evictions

    Following alarming news that Southwark Council has sent letters to 35 residents involved in the riots, warning them that they might face eviction if found guilty, a protest will take place on Wednesday 31st August, 17:00 - 21:00 at the Southwark Town Hall, Peckham Road.

    For more information, please check the facebook event.

    Update 25th August:

    We have just received a letter Jenny Jones AM sent to Cllr Peter John, leader of the council. Jenny Jones writes

    I was appalled to read that Southwark had sent letters to tenants advising them that they could be evicted if convicted of riot related offences.
    Cllr Wingfield is right to say that people convicted of serious offences should face serious consequences, and that is exactly what the courts will provide. Sending them through prison or community payback will send a clear message to those people, punishing them appropriately. They can also be rehabilitated later and brought closer to the law abiding majority.
    Seeking eviction will only destabilise their lives, make it harder for them to find work, and send a message that not even their council cares about them. It will also cost tax payers thousands of pounds, money that could be better spent supporting damaged businesses and residents around Walworth Road and Rye Lane.
    You must realise that this is a terrible time to be weakening your tenants' security, and you will be seen as supporting the Government's idea of taking eviction decisions out of the hands of the courts.
    Instead of this rushed populist measure, you could have sent out a powerful and principled message of support for the police and courts, criticising the Government for promoting retribution through evictions and benefit cuts.
    Update 27th August 2011
    Southwark council publishes letter sent out to tenants involved in the riots on their website (three days after local and national press wrote about it)
  • Peckham and Nunhead free film festival is back

    The free film festival runs from 8th - 18th September 2011, and will include some 23 free events across SE15, all organised by local volunteers.
    'My SE15', a series of short films made by film-makers aged 11-25, will be shown on Thursday 8th September, 16:00 – 22:00 at Peckham Space.
    Other highlights include:
    Bike-powered screening of 'Flash Gordon' on Peckham Rye
    Silent classic ('Safety Last') with live piano accompaniment on Peckham Rye
    'Battleship Potemkin' on the roof of the Peckham multi-storey car park
    Lost cinemas of SE15 walk tour
    You can see full festival listings, venues, guidance and more information at the Free Film Festivals website.
  • Autumn events and workshops at Ratstar

    Ratstar social centre in Camberwell promises an exciting autumn, with a great number of events and workshops.

    Their open meetings are back from 30th August, and will subsequently run ever 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Everyone is welcome to propose projects, benefits, info nights films, discussions, workshops etc.
    Cafe is open every Wednesday, 19:30 onwards.
    Freeshop is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 15:00 – 18:00.
    Bike workshop will re-commence on 6th September, and run every Tuesday, 15:00 – 18:00.
    Ratrest continues to provide classes and sessions on wellbeing, such as free Taichi, yoga, massage and counselling. For more info, please contact Ratrest directly.
    Artrats is the Ratstar art group who meet every second week and run sewing, graphic design, b/w darkroom, screenprinting and more.
    Upcoming events:
    10th September, Pogo Cafe FUNraiser, 14:00 – midnight
    Raffles, quizzes, stalls, food, spoken word, poetry, acoustic performances.
    24th and 25th September, Mad skills workshop weekend (first of a series), 12:00 noon – 20:00
    Some of the confirmed free workshops are:
    plumbing (beginners and advanced), bike mechanics (beginners and advanced), screen printing, sewing, vegan baking, vegan raw food making, electrics (beginners and advanced), poetry, housing advice and much more. For more information, please contact Ratstar directly.
  • Walworth together bunting

    Following last week's 'Walworth Together' meeting, the organisers have announced that the community bunting will be going up at TD Sports (378 Walworth Road) tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd August, at 10:00.

    The bunting contains individual messages of support, wirtten by local residents, in the aftermath of the August riots. This will also be an opportunity to add your own message.

  • We have our own concept of time and motion

    Auto Italia in collaboration with Federico Campagna, Huw Lemmey, Michael Oswell and Charlie Woolley present We have our own concept of Time and Motion: a four day event devoted to the idea and practice of self-organisation.


    Featuring a temporary bookshop run by the new cooperative organisation Book Bloc, archival material selected by participating artists and commissioned furniture by Charlie Woolley, the exhibition space will become a base for the production of new work and ideas. Through a series of events this project will investigate pre-conceived ideas of self-organisation and the role of gender politics within this. The project will examine models of organisation especially from the position of an artist-run space, how this fits within a neo-liberal framework and is potentially complicit in the growing precarity of all labour. The project title references the fourth issue of the publication Class War, which controversially introduced Autonomist ideas to the London anarchist scene in the mid 1980s.
    Workshops and panel discussions will be held throughout the event by Auto Italia, Book Bloc and the Deterritorial Support Group, along with daily podcasts recorded and distributed online. A new publication will be produced outlining the live programme along with interviews and discussions from Art Torrents and AAAAARG amongst others, with an additional supplement made during the course of the project in the exhibition space by Michael Oswell.
    We have our own idea of Time and Motion comes from a network of artists who have formed around Auto Italia. It is a product of artists finding affinity with each others’ projects, ideas and aspirations. It draws on the intangible expertise, knowledge and network which Auto Italia is a part of and will produce new information that can develop a wider narrative for the future of grass-roots projects and artist-led organisations. 
    Thursday 25th August
    13:00, Workshop lead by the Free Association
    The Free Association is a developing network of people loosely based in Leeds exploring writing, collective reading and the notion of affinity.
    19:00, Mark Fisher in conversation with Marina Vishmidt
    Mark Fisher and Marina Vishmidt will be considering whether art work (as comparable to housework) provides a possibility for a post-capitalist future.
    Mark Fisher is the author of Capitalist Realism (Zer0, 2009). He writes regularly for Film Quarterly, Sight&Sound and The Wire, and on his own weblog, k-punk. He teaches at the University of East London, Goldsmiths, University of London and the City Literary Institute
    Marina Vishmidt is a writer, editor, and a Ph.D. candidate at Queen Mary, University of London, who works mainly on art, labour and the value-form. She contributes to Mute, Afterall, Texte zur Kunst, Ephemera, Kaleidoscope, Parkett, and related periodicals, collections and catalogues.
    Friday 26th August
    19:00, Presentation and workshop from Nina Wakeford
    Nina Wakeford discusses self-organisation versus policing within the Women’s Movement in London during the mid 1980s.
    Nina Wakeford initially trained as an anthropologist and sociologist. More recently she has developed an art practice.
    Saturday 27th August
    18:00, Book Bloc launch
    Featuring speakers from The Alliance of Radical Booksellers.
    The Alliance of Radical Booksellers is a network supporting independent radical bookstores in the UK. They help with a variety of practical aspects of bookselling, as well as providing a sense of community.
    Sunday 28th August
    15:00, Nina Power in conversation with Franco Berardi Bifo
    Federico Campagna, from online publishing platform Through Europe, chairs this discussion between two figures renowned both for their combination of critical thought and direct action.
    Nina Power teaches Philosophy at Roehampton University and writes on many topics including, most recently, police and protesting. She is a founding member of the Defend the Right to Protest campaign. 
    Franco Berardi Bifo is a contemporary writer, theorist and activist. He founded the magazine A/traverso (1975-1981) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976-1978).
    Auto Italia, 434 - 452 Old Kent Road, London, SE1 5AG (corner with Glengall Road). For more information, please visit their website.
  • Community play back in Camberwell

    Following last year's successful community play at Wyndham and Comber estate in Camberwell, Blue Elephant Theatre have announced they will be running another community play project from October 2011.

    Last year, residents of Wyndham and Comber estate wrote, devised and performed 'A Christmas Carol' at the theatre, and both performances were sold out.

    This year, Blue Elephant Theatre managed to secure funding from the council and Co-op and is calling all local residents who would like to get involved, either as writers, stage managers, costume designers, dancers, singers, actors, to get in touch.

    Rehearsals are due to start in October 2011, and the performance would be in January 2012. If you would like to be part of it, please contact Stuart Cox of Blue Elephant Theatre by phone on 0207 701 0100 or by email.

  • St Michael and All Angels redevelopment meeting

    4Futures are hoping to submit a planning application for St Michael and All Angels Academy on Wyndham Road, Camberwell, and have organised a public meeting on Thursday 25th August, from 18:30 – 20:30 at Jessie Duffett Hall, 92-94 Wyndham Road SE5 0UB.
    They hope to get feedback on the latest plans which, they say, reflect the previous comments residents made and include much more detail.
    For more information, please contact 4futures directly.
  • Walworth together meeting

    In-spire have organised a meeting called 'Walworth Together', taking place today, Wednesday 17th August, 17:30 - 20:30. If you are a local resident or a member of a community group, come along and show you care about Walworth.

    The meeting will take place at St Peter's Church, off Liverpool Grove, SE17 2HH. For more information, please contact In-Spire directly or download the flyer below.

  • The Elephant and the Nun Festival update


    As the festival finale has been rescheduled for the weekend of 18th/19th September 2011, there is still time to get involved.

    If you are a community group, a business, school or an artist and would like to run an activity or an event that celebrates the community, challenges stereotpes and is fun and creative, please fill in the form below and return it to the council's events team by Tuesday 23rd August.


  • Defending our communities public meeting

    Lambeth Save our Services have organised a meeting called 'Defending our Communities: The future of children and young people in Lambeth' which will take place on Thursday 18th August, from 18:30 at the Karibu Centre, 7 Gresham Road, SW9 7PH.
    Main topics of discussion will be the riots, the cuts, and the impact on young people in the borough.
    For more information, please visit Lambeth Save our Services website.
  • Bat workshop at the Urban Forest School

    This Thursday, 18th August, from 18:30 – 21:30, Elephant and Castle Urban Forest School will be running a free bat workshop.
    The session will include training on bat ecology and biology, use of bat detectors as well as a practical approach on identifying four of the main UK bat species.
    Xavier from the Bat Conservation Trust will lead the workshop and AV presentation, provide printed materials and a number of bat-box kits too.
    The training will start at 18:30 at 67 Balfour Street (SE17 1PB), then continue in the Urban Forest on the Heygate.
    Number of places is limited, so if you would like to attend, please let the Elephant and Castle Urban Forest School people know as soon as you can.
  • Don't get mad, get political!

    Mental Health Resistance Network have organised a discussion for Friday 19th August, 12:00 noon - 16:00 at the Students Union Bar, Goldsmiths University, SE14 6NW.

    Register to

  • Action to protect our services

    Southwark Save our Services have issued a newsletter, asking that we all protect our job centres, health and other public services under threat.
    The events of the past week have dramatically highlighted the need for services in our communities that are directly threathened by Government cuts. Please support events below:
    Saturday 13th August, Petitioning against the closure of Camberwell Green JobCentre Plus, 13:00 - 15:00 at Butterfly Walk SE5 8RW. Contact Fidel on 07595 959 227.
    Details of Job Centre closures here. There is an online petition to sign or write to your local MP. For enquiries about the local campaign and to offer practical help with leafleting, etc. contact 07879424631 or email .

    Also on Saturday 13th August

    Give Our Kids a Future! 12:00 noon onwards, central Lewisham, near the Clock Tower.

    Public rally with an open platform ‘aiming to turn the area into an anti-cuts, speakers corner of resistance’. Organised by Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance and supported by other local campaigns.
    Saturday 13th August, 13:00 - 15:00
    Give Our Kids a Future! North London: Assemble Gillet Square, Dalston, N16 at 1pm. March to Tottenham Green N15. Called by The North London Assembly, supported by Haringey and Hackney Alliances for Public Services and community organisations. More information on the Facebook event page.
    There are statements from a variety of campaigning organisations, here, here and here,  and an excellent article written for a Southwark-based website.
    15-20th August
    Other events related to the issue of the riots, may be organised at short notice. Check the SSOS website and Facebook page for updates.
    Friday 19th August, 12:00 - 16:00
    Fighting the Cuts to our Benefits’. Discussion & organising meeting. Including the Judicial Review of Government actions in the Courts, introduced by Solicitor Ravi Low-Beer. Venue: Students Union Bar, Goldsmiths Student Union, University of London, Dixon Road, London SE14 6NW. Organised by Mental Health Resistance Network

    Tuesday 23rd August, 19:00
    Lambeth Keep Our NHS Public Meeting at The Priory Arms, Lansdowne Way. Stockwell. SW8 2BP. It is 5 minutes from Stockwell tube
    Wednesday 31st August, 19:00
    Emergency Meeting of 'London Keep Our NHS Public'. Camden Town Hall (venue to be confirmed)

    3 – 9 September
    Week of action: NHS trade unions are planning local campaigning events between 3 and 9 September to coincide with the Bill returning to the Commons to include lobbying MPs, holding community stalls, petition- signing and press stunts. More details to follow.
    Saturday 3rd September
    Stop the EDL in East London’. The English Defence League attempt to use racism and violence to divert opposition to cuts and austerity. Assemble from 11am, Weavers Fields, London E2 6HW. Called by Unite Against Fascism http://uaf.org.uk/ and supported by two national trade unions, many local campaigns and Southwark UNISON (Phone 020 7525 6030 for Southwark meet-up details.)
    Wednesday 7th September
    Candle-lit vigil for the NHS at Houses of Parliament to mark the Third Reading of the Health & Social Care Bill. NHS staff and patients will gather for a candle lit vigil at the time that MPs are due to vote on the Bill. To find out more sign up at the Join the vigil for the NHS  website. (Trade unions and community groups are planning to hold vigils at local hospitals and at the offices of local MPs.)
    Sunday 11 September, 13:30
    Rally & March calling for coordinated strike action on pensions throughout the public sector.  Rally at Friends Meeting House, Euston (speakers to include Mark Serwotka and Bob Crow), then a march to the TUC. Organised by the National Shop Stewards Network, supported by the PCS NEC. Petition and more details.
    March Against the Lib Dems – Birmingham, Sunday 18th September. Supported by the Midlands TUC and anti-cuts groups across the Midlands.
    March Against the Tories – Manchester, Sunday 2nd October. Supported by NW Region TUC, several national campaigns and trade unions. Enquiries about transport from Southwark from Southwark Save Our Services.
    Join Southwark Save our Services' new Facebook group at “Southwark SSOS
    Visit their website www.southwarksaveourservices.blogspot.com/
    Twitter @southwarkSOS
    Facebook: Southwark SSOS
  • Listen to the people protest

    Following an emergency meeting last night, people in Lewisham have organised a peaceful march from Deptford Anchor (top of Deptford High Street/Deptford Broadway) to Lewisham Town Hall. The protest is about 'listening to the people' and opposition to the cuts.

    Protest will start at 18:30, so come along if you can.

  • Free training at Galleywall Nature Reserve

    Friends of Galleywall Nature Reserve will be running two free training courses on Thursday 11th August and Thursday 18th August 2011.

    Register to

  • Alive and spitting

    London, the morning after.
    Few would have missed the scenes of London burning our TV and computer screens were full of yesterday. Most of those with internet access felt compelled to express their thoughts and many their feelings. And there was a disconcerting amount of 'scum should get jobs', 'bring the army to sort them out', and, more or less, hang draw & quarter the lot. Because dailymailnation spirit is alive and spitting.
    That spirit may explain some of the hysterical reactions but can never be an excuse for refusing to think.
    Looting and violence underpins our own, and that includes the dailymailnation's, lives.
    Looting of the Earth's resources has been an ongoing practice for hundreds of years, and continues feverishly, as 'we' dig more oil holes wherever we can, as 'we' cut down rainforests wherever we can, etc. But this has nothing to do with any of the people calling other people 'scum'. No siree. They were 'taught right from wrong' when they were children.
    Violence, 'thuggery' (Theresa May) and 'pure criminality which has to be defeated' (David Cameron) is what our countries and governments do to other countries and governments with more natural resources (ie oil). Violence is what our governments do to peaceful protesters expressing their dissenting views on climate change, cuts to public services, loss of civil liberties, what our police do when they shoot innocent bystanders, etc. But this has nothing to do with any of the people calling for the army on the streets of London. No siree. They had good upbringing and have been taught respect.
    One of the, for the lack of better word, arguments, is that the government and the police are 'doing their jobs', implying that being paid to do something makes it legitimate. Or, to be more specific, being paid for violence makes violence legitimate. In recent British history this would mean that being paid for violence makes invading and looting other countries legitimate; or that as a 'paid' police person, killing of an innocent bystander is a 'legal' killing. Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Serbia, was a 'paid' president. As was Sadam Hussein. And many others in their respective governments. And many more around the world.
    It is because of the above reasons that I stopped being shocked by 'crime' or 'violence'. I despair at loss of life whenever it happens, regardless of whether it's Damilola Taylor, Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson, a Tottenham 'gangster' or any one of the millions of 'collateral damage' human beings, all with names, families and personal histories, in Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. To me there is no hierarchy of importance or legitimacy. Any one of them could've been me because I am no better and no worse than any other human being alive. And I most certainly do not, not for one second, believe that 'dem bad foreigners' were all on their way over to destroy everything around us.
    Some of us grow up knowing that we can't do many things our peers do because our parents can't afford it. Some of us grow up being shouted at most of the waking hours, as our parents aren't coping too well. Some of us grow up being told that, in spite of our circumstances, all authority must be respected. Some of us grow up in boarding schools and on private islands. Some of us are trying to do miracles with four children and meagre benefits. Some of us never have to earn our living as everything is paid for by others. Most of us are continuously told that the only way to 'be' is white and slim, wearing only those clothes, using only that shampoo and driving only that car.
    Some of us have enough time to spend reading with our children. Some of us are permanently stressed, stretched and unable to.
    Some of us keep typing furious yet articulate and educated arguments to those 'in power'. Some of us have learned the immediate effectiveness of shouting at the person next to them.
    Which is pretty much the context of the riots. When it's at home, the 'looting and violence' does not happen in Chipping Norton. It does not happen in Surrey. It happens in Tottenham, Brixton and Peckham. Let's say this together. Not Surrey, Brixton. Not Chipping Norton, Tottenham. Not rocket science.
    Tottenham started off with a peaceful protest following a death of a young black man also known as 'gangster' in some of the media. Partner and family are denying his gang involvement and, according to a Channel4 report, he may not have fired a gun at anyone, as the two bullets (one retrieved from the young black 'gangster's' body and the one retrieved from a police radio) both came from police guns.
    At some point, the police beat up a 16 year old girl on the streets of Tottenham.
    And then things just imploded.
  • And the winner is...

    Earlier today, Camberwell residents have again, for the nth consecutive time, been awarded the prestigious 'best audience' award. As the ceremony event is traditionally super-secretive, no photographs are available, but there have been a few excited tweets by (names removed for data protection reasons). Streets of Camberwell are full of thrilled residents going about their daily shopping, betting and praying.

    Register to

  • Camberwell Community Council September 2011 meeting

    The next Camberwell Community Council meeting will take place on 22nd September 2011, from 19:00, at Walworth Methodist Church, 54 Camberwell Road.

    Agenda items include

    • Review of library services
    • Southwark affordable housing consultation
    • Community Safety update.


  • Living Streets campaigns update

    Living Streets' reminder about a number of campaigns and initiatives which may be of interest.

    20mph survey

    You can make your views known on 20 mph speed limits and shared space through this survey on the Institute of Advanced Motoring's website
    Have you used the Sustainable Communities Act? - The Local Work campaigners would like to meet you
    Have you or your group used or been involved in the Sustainable Communities Act since it became law in 2007 – for example, by being on your council’s Citizens’ Panel, or putting forward a proposal under the Act?  If you have, members of the Local Works team would like to meet you and talk to you about your experience:  Please let them know by contacting Ai Yamauchi by email or on 020 7278 4443 ext 4.
    What you tell Steve Shaw and his colleagues will help Local Works to improve how local people are involved in the Act in the future.
    Campaign to protect local shops and services
    Unbelievably a bank can be turned into a pawnbroker or betting shop without planning permission or community say so. And the government is looking at making this kind of development even easier. Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities, is now reviewing the planning rules for when buildings change their use. Without immediate public support the shops and services that you walk to in your neighbourhood may be at risk. You can find out more and write to Mr Pickles here.
  • London Keep our NHS Public emergency meeting

    London Keep our NHS Public have brought forward their meeting for 31st August 2011, from 19:00 at Camden Town Hall (exact venue to be confirmed closer to date).

    Register to

  • Lambeth Stop the War organising meeting

    Lambeth Stop the War are having their organising meeting tonight, Monday 1st August, from 19:30 at the Methodist Church Hall, Nelson's Row, Clapham High Street (near Sainsbury's).

    Register to

  • NCIA August 2011 Newsletter

    NCIA (National Coalition for Independent Action) have published their August 2011 newsletter.

    Register to

  • Report and aNARCHIST

    Last weeks request from the Met for businesses and individuals to report anarchists could have some suprising resluts, far more interesting than swapping upper and lower case letters.

    First one needs to define an anarchist and that becomes problematic, there's Bakunin or Armand's inidvidual anarchist theories or Kropotkin's anarcho-communism and to the fringe with the mysticla anarchists on C20th Russia. Maybe the judiciary will come up with a sliding scale of sentences - being shot as an individualist, terrible people in the ME generation era; a hefty fine or community work in a bank for the communist and socialist flavours and enforced evangelical prayer and bible study for the mystics?

    All forms of anarchy require the abolition od state although many forms require the abolition of the state in favour of some other form of state, generally it is the removal of force from the state by the removal of soveriegnity - of course others will argue differently that being the nature of anarchy. This leads to an interesting view on who to report to the Met (the author is considering shopping himself but the Met should have managed that themsleves by now).

    Let us look at friend Friedman, Milton of that ilk.

    Friedman's economic philosophy is the driving mechanism of the present government's cost cutting reforms which includes the decreasing in size of the state! There is the philosophy of anarcho-capitalism, the main difference with the neo-con philosophy is that there can exist common property. The version that supports the concept of common property? anarcho-capitalism. Common property isn't property owned by share holders in a company, the share holders hold shares in the company: the company, an entity in itself, owns the land and therefore the land is privately owned. A pedantic difference in concept, the life blood of philosphy. As the neo-cons philosophy is for a greater individualism than the anarcho-capitalists on one point (and there are others) will the Met be adding all MPs forming the present government to the list of anarchists or is the list a politically motivated supression of speech tactic.

  • In which the wheels win

    A few days ago, someone had put a planter with flowers on the very contronversial bit of pavement on Camberwell Road. The controversy of this bit of pavement is that, until a few months back, it had a very clear 'no parking' note on the wall above it. The controversy is that it never, not once, stopped a minibus from parking on it. Yes, the pavement. Until a few days ago, that is, when the space opened to pedestrians and plants and beauty.

    And it lasted for the whole of two days because yesterday things were back to normal and the minibus was back in its rightful pavement-parking place.

    It looks like things could easily get worse very soon, as the government is likely to ban 'wheel clamp cowboys' who go around


  • Save the South London line August 2010 update

    The campaigners to Save the South London Line continue their battle to keep the line running between London Bridge and Victoria. If you'd like to be involved, please join the Facebook group. Here is where the campaign is at:


    20th October 2010: The Government’s Spending Review will be published, i.e. what each department will be permitted to spend. Each department is likely to be required to cut its budget by between 25% and 40%. The money available for projects in London – either direct government spending or via TfL, Network Rail etc – will therefore be cut significantly. In the coming weeks after 20th October, we will learn what projects will be cut.

    December 2011: Phase 1 of the Thameslink project is due to be up and running, with the new Blackfriars station open. It is unlikely to be affected by the spending review as a lot of work has already been done. The first phase will allow 16 trains an hour to operate between Farringdon and Blackfriars, some of them 12 car trains.

    Summer 2012: The East London Line Extension Phase 2 through Peckham Rye is due to open. The tender for the works is expected to be let by mid August 2010. TfL is therefore confident that the £75 million required will not be withdrawn when the Government’s Spending review is announced in the autumn.

    December 2012: Phase 2 of the Thameslink project, with work on the ‘low level’ terminating platforms at London Bridge, is scheduled to start if current budget and plans survive. This reduction in terminating platforms is what requires the SLL to stop operating.

    Autumn 2012: The first formal steps begin for the re-franchising process for the South Eastern franchise.

    April 2014: The South Eastern franchise is awarded. The new Government has said it is aiming to grant longer franchises and make them less specific, i.e. give the operators more commercial freedom with less micro-management by the Department for Transport.

    2016: The full Thameslink project is due for completion. This, in theory, would allow 24 trains an hour (including many more 12 car trains) to run between Blackfriars and Farringdon, though, in practice, many rail experts believe 20 will be the maximum possible. In the current financial climate there must be real doubts about this second phase of Thameslink. If it did not go ahead, a lot of the proposed work at London Bridge would not go ahead. This would mean there would be terminating space for the South London Line trains, though pathways might be a potential problem. If Thameslink did go ahead in 2016, even in a scaled-down version, it is likely there would be significant changes to the timetables across the network in South London.

    The South London Line will continue until at least 2012.

    It could still survive beyond that if the Thameslink Phase 2 works do not go ahead. This might become apparent in October 2010 when the budget cuts are announced or in the months that follow.

    In the meantime…..

    A small change to the current timetables would allow two trains an hour from Kent to Victoria to stop at Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill, peak and off-peak if the SLL were to go in 2012, at little cost to the operators or inconvenience to existing passengers. (This is part of the famous/infamous Option 7). These trains could not stop at Clapham High St or Wandsworth Road because it would require the platforms to be lengthened to accommodate 8 or 10 coach trains that will be in use. We understand the trains are not equipped with selective door opening and that the rail companies are, in any case, reluctant to use it on crowded trains so close to Central London.

    Campaigning possibilities: It would seem sensible to campaign for the small timetable change to allow the Kent trains to stop at Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill. I’m not sure how realistic it is to press for platform lengthening at Clapham High St and Wandsworth Rd in the current climate but the rail companies could be pressed harder on selective door opening (after all, the problem of packed trains is only in the peak times when most people are regular commuters who know which part of the train to travel in).

    The Victoria – Bromley service could be introduced in 2014 as part of the renewed South Eastern franchise. But timetabling difficulties might still mean it would not stop in the peaks at Clapham High St and Wandsworth Rd. That might not be possible until the wider timetable changes, associated with the second phase of Thameslink (if it goes ahead) are introduced in 2016. We should, though, press for the inclusion of a Victoria to Bromley service to be included in the 2014 franchise with a commitment that it will include stopping peak services at Clapham High St and Wandsworth Rd in the 2016 timetable. This lobbying needs to start well before the lead up to 2012 when the parameters will be set for the South Eastern refranchise. That outcome in 2016, though, is a long way off so we should use every opportunity to press for stopping trains at Clapham High St and Wandsworth Rd straightaway if the SLL is withdrawn.

  • Sustainable Communites:again

    Having a hunt around the council's web site to find out how the Sustainable Communities Act proposals are progressing the Responding to the Sustainable Communities Act documentation appears. The proposed time table suggests that the proposals should have gone before the Council Assembly by July. The next meeting of the Council Assembly is not scheduled until November, nothing happening then. This document also includes the 'panel' make up: well not really as the make up will depend on what the council decide - so there. It points out that proposals are "crucially are
    not already within our gift". Speed limits are, surely, within the gift of the council? Speed limits are implemented by the councils Highway Engineers and Road Safety Officers, the police get a say and on certain roads TfL. The other problem with this proposal is that it was alleged to have been suggested by a councillor - but it is against council's policy for its Road Safety Plan??????

    Next within the gift of the council is concerning Peramaculture, Sustainable Communities Act proposals – Addendum
    report. The council's own document requires staff training to implement this proposal - surely within the gift of the council, it is already in its Sustainability programme (maybe it is in the programme 'cos it looks nice but there is no intention to implement it). It gets tedious going through the rest of the proposals - as a member of the community have a look at what you have asked for in the documents.

    Can Southwark Council's implementation of the Sustainable Communities Act get more twisted - Yes. Have a read of the Responding to the Sustainable Communities Act, which we have added "(reecommondations)" to, and Nick Stanton declares no interest. This is true, how could he have known then that he would chair the panel? It is propbably not as true to say he had no interest at the panel meeting as it is alleged he proposed "Proposal A: A duty to be imposed on Network Rail and any other rail operators to work in partnership with local authorities and local communities to safeguard and improve the environment directly relating to railway land and infrastructure." Due to the Sustainable Community Act intention of allowing the community to take a greater part in local politics what individual proposed is a secret.

    Proposal A does show just how well that the privatisation of the rail system has worked, a council needs a nationally implemented law to be able to talk to the infrastructure owners over how nice the stations look. Using SCA to have Cambwerwell and Walworth Road stations re-opened would make too much sense.





  • G20 Kettle Horror

    {xtypo_info}The horror, the horrror{/xtypo_info}

    The police are also having trouble with "kettling" - read below Bank Clashes. Will the general public now be expected to fork out for domestic training for London'd finest? What of those heavy helmets? Did G20 protestors not wear protective head wear due to the weight or were they simply not prepared for violence?

    {xtypo_quote_right}The injuries show the level of violence that was shown towards police during the protest
    Paul Deller, Metropolitan Police Federation{/xtypo_quote_right} One has to ask if the statement by Paul Deller is true what wa happening at the Excel Centre? Many of the injuries to officers were from wooden objects - truncheons? Other injuries from thrown objects - who threw them? What of the female office crushed mercilessly by ... ? Why didn't her colleagues rescue her? How many protestors were badly squashed during this incident?
    Paul Deller welcomes public debate on the tactics used, not on wether the tactics needed using at all. Really he doesn't want the debate at all as he clearly states "we need as much equipment and resources as possible to stop our officers getting injured". Deller has already pre-judged what levels of equipment and resources are required along with the tactics demanded in any situation involving protest not condonded by the State.
    We here at PRoS suggest an outside caterers as a resource to start with.
  • We have lost i.n.t.e.l.l.i.g.e.n.c.e.

    Is possibly a slightly misleading headline.

    In the latest bid to prove that no park is sacred, the Aylesbury Regeneration developers have revealed plans to:

    - run an additional access road through Burgess Park which would go straight through the only wildlife area in north-east Southwark
    - remove the current open space protection from the entire park
    - demolish all the four storey buildings from the north side of the park and replace them, for almost the entire length, with 10, 15 and 20 storey blocks

    Donnachadh McCarthy, who has been campaigning for protection of this amazing green space, tells us that a number of local groups (Friends of Burgess Park, the Peckham Society and Camberwell Society) have all written to the Public Inquiry Inspector objecting to the lack of consultation regarding changes to the planning status of the park and the proposal to replace the northern boundary with a line of 10, 15 and 20 storey tower blocks.

    The campaign was unanimously supported at the public meeting at Aylesbury last night (organised by Defend Council Housing).

    What you can do:
    - email Barry Juniper, the Planning Inspector and Leonna Staple, the Planning Programme Officer, expressing your concerns about the lack of consultation, quoting the Aylesbury Area Action Plan Inquiry.

    - come to the public Planning Inquiry meeting at 10:00 on 2nd September 2009, at Thurlow Lodge Hall, 1 Thurlow Street, SE17

    - join the Burgess Park Action Group on facebook
  • Where to Camp in London

    {xtypo_info}Climate Camp{/xtypo_info}

    Map and further info

  • Climate Camp

    So with Climate Camp hardly even "Swooped" the Met are displaying thier understanding of community policing by having anyone who may, or may not be, a protestor moved on. The mass media is already, with the help of Jack Straw - he is called the Justice Secretary which shows just how little politicians know about the law (surely everyone is innocent until proven guilty).

    The Met are up the creek without a paddle or even the canoe as things financial go. Having a high profile aggro riddled Climate Camp will be a fine excuse for a few million more, Notting Hill Carnival full of steaming and drug dealers this year?

    Remember it's our planet: not the politicians.

  • One in Five with no Insurance

    One in five young drivers, seventeen to twenty year olds, do not have any insurance - that's almost quarter of a million uninsured drivers wandering around on the roads. This group is also the highest risk as they have little experience along with the belief that they are superhumans - a stage we all went through in our past. Not only is this group most statistically going to be the ones knocking people off bicycles they are the ones that will not be able to pay compensation, if the cyclist survives to go after compensation.

    The national average for uninsured drivers of any age is 5%, presumably this includes lorry drivers too. Large vehicles are one of the main vehicles involved in 'accidents' on city streets. It is about time the law became real with car crimes, not a few penalty points or a fine. It is already possible to confiscate and scrap the vehicle and this could easily become the minimum penalty. It has the advantage of cutting down pollution and the number of vehicles on the road.

    The excuse drivers offer is the cost of insurance, these individauls who jingle their change and flaunt their material possesions can not afford the insurance. The only people they have to blame is themselves, they are the group who cause the largest number of road accidents even though the largest, numerical, group has to be pedestrains.

    Many of us who cycle have insurance, third party cover is included as part of the membership fees of the LCC & CLC

  • Climate Camp 2009

    With Climate Camp 2009 due to set up somewhere inside the M25 from next Friday the war of words between Climate Camp organisers and the Met has begun. We wait with intrest for the Met's counter claim to the open letter published by Climate Camp 2009.


    {xtypo_info}Open Letter{/xtypo_info}

    To keep the States pre-environment stance in context the Big Green Gathering has just found out it will have to cancel over license issues.

    {xtypo_info}Big Green Gathering{/xtypo_info}


    From our Own Correspondent

    We attended Climate Camp 2007, the first difficulty was asking a police officer for directions to the camp site and being answered in silence. Arrival at the camp was a problem as the PRoS cycle trailer and cycles required lifting over a kiss-gate. This was not easy and was made more difficult with her majesty's finest standing closer to the trailer than it is wide - possibly they had not seen such transport before as thier own is so hi-tech and unfriendly to both the environment and the community.

    Inside the camp your very own correspondent got down to some serious bench building with reclaimed timber - it must be added that the nails were often recycled due to your correspondents unfamiliarity with a hammer. Many suggestions were available from the growing crowd of onlookers (audience?). Nobody told your correspondent what to do nor did they insisit they take over, it was a helpful and educative experience.

    The PRoS team did not chain their cycles nor the PRoS cycle trailer during the event, the tent was left with many items inside. The activities undertaken by the PRoS team included cooking, washing, stove watching (wood fired) and early morning urinal rebuilding. It was noticeable during the urinal rebuilding, collapsed due to inclement weather, that the low flying helicopter circling the camp ad nauseum with bright light shining never managed to over fly the urinal or illuminate it.

    Your correspondent woke one morning with a large angry boil on one thumb. Those in the London tent and the second member of the PRoS team decided the boil was rancid enough for medical attention. The attention to the thumb, or possibly the boil, was given by a qualified nurse. Finding a nurse and being taken to the medical centre took less time than the actual treatment. It may surprise some of our readers that not only was natural organic medicine offerd but so was standar NHS medicine. The advice was to see a GP on return where the treatment received at the Climate Camp was approved of, as it was at a later hospital appoinment organised by the GP (the final inspection to ensure all was well was roughly six weeks later). The thumb is still in position and works as well as ever.

    Burgess Park would be a good venue for your correspondents from PRoS as it is across the road and we are used to the low flying aircraft starting at 4:30 each morning.

  • Good New for Cyclists

    In the week that the BBC are putting the spotlight on the 'contentious' subject of cycling in London police Kensington & Chelsea are stepping up thier campaign to stop more rogue cyclists. Fair enough, they put the lives of other cyclists and pedestrians at risk. What is not reasonable is that motorists breaking the speed limit will carry on as usual - just how many cyclists have been doing nearly 20mph in a 20mph zone and had some driver blaring their horn as they need to get past?

    What makes cycling contenious? Could it be that central government does not raise nearly as much money through taxes and nor does the advertising industry. There is millions being sunk into the motor industry at the moment, any of them UK owned? Have a look how much is being spent on UK cycling businesses and there are some of the most innovative cycle builders in this country. It's the usual investment in industry scenario - retention over research & development.

    Don't hold your breath for a usable cycle lane near you

  • Scrap the Junkers

    The BNP is up in arms, not unusual, over the "Scrap the Junkers" scheme. The poor darlings are unsure why the Prussian young lords should be anhilated. A spokesperson (white, purebred) said

    {xtypo_quote}Our Prussian brethern are not environmentally unfriendly, they are organised, clean, hard working decent peolpe - unlike many of the toe-rags that come to our hallowed shores to do nothing more than claim benefits and mug our race ... rant continues ad nausem{/xtypo_quote}

    The BNP will be rallying their cohorts, often refered to as the Police, to have the scheme outlawed.


    As the Dead Kennedys put it

    I fought the law and I won/I am the law/so I won unngh

  • Sustainable Communities Act: What Now?

    The confusion about exactly who does what within the Sustainable Communities Act (SCA) continues in the aftermath of the just finished 'round one'.

    To give you a brief summary, in April this year, Active Citizens' Hub had set up a meeting for local community groups to explain and discuss the Act and the processes around it. Steve Shaw of Local Works gave an inspiring talk and provided information about existing Local Works guidelines. The Council had however already decided what the procedure will be, and simply informed the meeting about it. Someone had, at some stage, decided that the SCA panel should consist only of people/groups who submitted a proposal.

    The Council had 'received 20 proposals from across local communities' and then decided that only eight of those satisfied the SCA criteria.

    The first SCA panel meeting was cancelled and only the few token community groups representatives were informed about this. The only actual SCA panel meeting took place in June.

    In July this year, the proposals were presented at the Council Assembly and agreed on. In total, some 200 nation-wide proposals were submitted to the LGA.

    So what now?

    The Southwark Council were clearly in a hurry to tick some boxes and may not have acted in full accordance with the Act.

    It is also more than likely that very few community groups actually knew about the SCA, as this year's panel was everything but representative of the local people, let alone 'under-represented' or 'those not normally engaged in decision-making process.'

    We have written about the Act on a number of occasions. The local people, communities (those meant to be 'empowered' by the process) are justifiably angry - see Tom Chance's article.

    However, as this is the first time local governments have done this, there is plenty of room for improvement, and hopefully getting it right next time round. If you have a few minutes to spare, please answer the questions below and send them to info@peoplesrepublicofsouthwark.co.uk

    How much did you know about the SCA before April 2009?
    Where did you find out about the Act and any Southwark-related meetings/proposals?
    What would be the best way to inform and engage a wider range of community groups?

    Were you aware of any of the Southwark proposals?
    Do you think all proposals should be in public domain from the start?
    If the answer is yes, what would be the best way to make them public?

    Who should be on the SCA panel and what would make the panel truly representative of the local communities?


    For background information, please check the existing Council and Local Works documents

  • Met & Mediation

    The Joint Human Rights Committee (JHRC), a parliamentary body, have decided that the right to protest is not to be protected and that how police handle demonstrations needs to be reconsidered. There is also the question of "kettling", it's use and side effects. Does any of this mean that the right to protest is to be maintained.
    The right to protest has been steadily removed, far less by Thatcher than by the Blairite's. Detention, anti-terrorism, police photographt, SOCPA and a raft of other legislation has altered the ability of an individual to participate in a demonstration. SOCPA, Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, makes any protester sound like they are racketeers. This is a useful propaganda tool, although the original idea of the act was concerned with organised crime - drug smuggling, people trafficing and the money laundering involved with these sorts of crime - SOCPA is now used to restrict large groups from certain activities at what are considered key locations. Naturally the key locations are the best places to protest and reach the powers that be.
    Kettling has been in use since 2001, May Day that year saw hundreds trapped inside a ring of balaclved riot polce, with a second, looser ring about a hundred metres away. The kettle did not stop damage that year, the protestors had gone off to do there thing elsewhere when the damage happened later that night. One could leave from the second ring with the proviso of answering personal questions. Many have heard of these kettles from those contained in them previously and fell strongly about an issue but are too frightened to protest. Many others go once only to be put off for ever. There are othe Human Rights issued to be considered, beside that of protest , with kettling - how to go for a pee? Take a bottle for males and a funnel too for females. It is recognised that kettling is an aggressive tactic by the JHRC, things become fraught and lo! a bottle to hand.

    Earlier this year the right to protest was maintained with over one hudred individauls arrested on there way to protest at a power plant outside Nottingham. Hundreds of police officers were involved as well as transport for the police to the arrest scene was the transport to get the nasty evil protestors to jails. Police all over the country then raided the homes of all the arrested looking for ... ? At least half those arrested have not been charged and there will be an extra cost for wrongful imprisonment to come?
    The police have continually made there own judgements over right and wrong over climate policy. Each and every time the police have decided that the power producing corporations, flight providers, etc are right. This has recently been upheld in court as the judge would not allow a defence of the greater wrong. Protests and so many have been in the mass media on the day but zilch about what happens afterwards. Last years Climate Camp and the G20 being the exceptions and in both cases the protests can be seen as protesting for the right to protest.
    Now the JHRC are suggesting mediation between the police and protestors, what? Errrrrr surely the idea of the protest is against the "establishment". There is also the fact that the police have not been communicating for years else how did it reach the stage where mediation is required? Since May 2001 polcing of protests has become more and more heavy handed, intrusive (you will be filmed and photographed) with the riot police deployed before anyone even speaks.
    Stop the Protestors: Protest NOW
  • Camberwell Fire Appeal

    Following the tragedy at Sceaux Gardens, a facebook group has been set up calling for a clear national standard for the care and support of those involved in a major incident.

    Stephen Govier, the group creator, states:

    “The Lakanal fire in Camberwell left hundreds displaced and they are still struggling to cope with not just the trauma but the devastation that resulted to their lives.
    A poor, haphazard and, in my view disgraceful, way in which the London Borough of Southwark treated the displaced victims of the tragic Camberwell Fire suggests we cannot rely on the current “Non-Statutory Code”.
    To have any confidence that all Local Authorities, not just Southwark Council, will have fully trained staff and do put in place adequate pre-procedures, to ensure the care and support for displaced victims is not just cobbled together as an after-thought, we need a new combination of required insurance and a Statutory Standard.
    To prevent secondary victimization and, according to the research evidence at least 30% of those displaced will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), requires a great deal of understanding and special knowledge.
    I ask you to take a few moments to ask just a few of your friends to join the facebook group for we are nothing if we cannot care.”

    To join Standard of Care and Support of those involved in a Major Incident facebook group, click on the link.

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