We’re suspending publication of the SE16.com website

Dear all,

After six years, I’ve taken the decision to put SE16.com on hold for the time being.

As many of you know, this has always been a side project to our much more comprehensive website for the SE1 area.

Both the SE1 and SE16 sites are published by a small family-run Southwark-based business.

Funding and sustaining local web publishing is hard work. And many of you have high expectations that I have struggled to meet.

Those of you who follow our SE1 site may be aware that we have recently launched a membership scheme in order to secure the future of our local reporting in that area.

The response so far has been heartening and I am hopeful that with the help of local people we can keep the SE1 site going.

At the moment I need to do fewer things, and do them better, so for the time being SE16.com needs to go on the back burner.

In the meantime I commend WISE16 and The Quay Point to you as sources of local information. Sadly the I Live in SE16 website also recently announced its closure.

I’ll continue to tweet bits and pieces about SE16 on the @SE16 Twitter account.

Hopefully there will come a time when we’ll be able to resume our events listings and other coverage of SE16 life.

With very many thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me in the SE16 area – especially to the What’s on in Rotherhithe Group who originally asked us to consider setting up a website for SE16.

James Hatts

Sadiq Khan answers Rotherhithe Bridge and cycle hire questions

At his first Mayor’s Question Time on Wednesday morning, Sadiq Khan was questioned by Caroline Pidgeon AM about plans for the proposed Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf walking and cycling bridge as well as the prospects for extending the cycle hire scheme to SE16.

Hear his responses:

Six candidates to contest Surrey Docks by-election

The final list of candidates for the Surrey Docks by-election on 9 June has now been published.

You can hear from the candidates next monday at the Canada Water Consultative Forum.


Rotherhithe transport: Sadiq Khan faces questions at City Hall

_SKMembers of the London Assembly have tabled questions to the new Labour mayor Sadiq Khan about his plans for transport in the Rotherhithe area.

Florence Eshalomi, newly elected as Labour’s London Assembly member for the Lambeth & Southwark constituency (in succession to Val Shawcross) has asked the mayor:

What steps will the Mayor take to improve transport at Canada Water, specifically will he support a new pedestrian and cycling bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf, the extension of the cycle hire, additional Jubilee Line services, the improvement of the local road network and approach to the Rotherhithe Tunnel, including removal of the Lower Road Gyratory and additional bus capacity?

Meanwhile Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon has asked Mr Khan the following question:

Will you re-examine the case for introducing a shuttle bus service running round the Rotherhithe peninsula to meet the growing transport needs of this area?

Answers from Mr Khan should be published soon after the Spring Bank Holiday – we’ll let you know what he says,

Lib Dems and Labour pick candidates for Surrey Docks by-election

Southwark Liberal Democrats and Southwark Labour have selected their candidates for the Surrey Docks by-election to be held on Thursday 9 June.

The poll has been triggered by the resignation of incumbent Lib Dem councillor Lisa Rajan.

The Liberal Democrat candidate will be Daniel Whitehead (Twitter: @LibDemDan)

Labour has selected Will Holmes (Twitter: @Willtholmes) to contest the election.

The deadline for all candidates to submit their nomination papers is 4pm on Thursday 12 May. A full list of candidates will be published by the returning officer soon afterwards.

By-election in Surrey Docks ward as Lib Dem councillor Lisa Rajan resigns

notice_of_vacancy___surrey_docks_ward-2Residents in Surrey Docks Ward will be asked to elect a new councillor at a by-election on Thursday 9 June.

Lisa Rajan – a Lib Dem councillor since 2002 – has resigned her council seat because her husband now works in Manchester.

“It is with huge sadness that I am standing down as one of the Liberal Democrat councillors for Surrey Docks,” said Lisa Rajan.

“For fourteen years I have had the greatest privilege of representing an incredible community and helping win the fights for the new Canada Water Library and the C10 bus route.

“Being a councillor needs serious commitment though and I’m very sorry that changes in my personal life mean that I can no longer serve residents the way Liberal Democrat councillors believe we should always do.

“Fourteen years after first being elected, there are still huge issues in Surrey Docks.  Most importantly, we need to make the council’s regeneration process happen ‘with’ residents and not ‘to’ them.  We also need proper infrastructure in place – GPs, schools and transport – before further huge development takes place at Canada Water.

“I really want to thank residents for their support over the years and hope they will continue to back the Liberal Democrats as the best choice to fight residents’ corner in Surrey Docks.”

Lisa Rajan is the author of the ‘Tara Binns’ series of children’s books.

Tall buildings at Canada Water: council leader questioned

Watch Cllr Anood Al-Samerai (Southwark Lib Dem leader) question Cllr Peter John (Labour leader of the council) about the impact of tall buildings at Canada Water and elsewhere in the borough.

The video is from the Council Assembly meeting on 16 March.

David Cameron visits Harris Academy Bermondsey

David Cameron visits the Harris Academy Bermondsey where he meets with students and teachers.

Bermondsey might not be normally be associated with its love of Tory politicians, but prime minister David Cameron certainly received a rapturous response from Harris Academy Bermondsey pupils when he dropped in on Monday morning.

If Justin Bieber had visited the Bermondsey girls’ secondary school he would scarcely have caused more of a stir than the prime minister.

Pupils crowded round Mr Cameron during the mid-morning break and clamoured for autographs and selfies.

David Cameron visits the Harris Academy Bermondsey where he meets with students and teachers.

The PM’s visit was to launch a £12 million Government initiative to promote mentoring schemes in secondary schools.

Once the scheme is up and running, Downing Street claims that 25,000 young people a year who are at risk of under achieving or dropping out from education will receive extra support from “high-flying professionals”.

Harris Academy Bermondsey has run a mentoring scheme for its pupils for a decade. Employees from several Southwark-based firms – including News UK, PwC and the Financial Times – act as mentors to girls preparing for GCSE exams at the Southwark Park Road academy.

Harris Academy Bermondsey is part of the Harris Federation of schools founded by the Conservative peer Lord Harris of Peckham.

David Cameron visits the Harris Academy Bermondsey where he meets with students and teachers.

Southwark Park Road Day Centre to move to East Dulwich

Southwark Council has launched a consultation on proposals to close Southwark Park Road Day centre for elderly people with dementia and complex needs

Details at www.southwark.gov.uk/southwarkparkdaycentre.

The service will be moved to Fred Francis Day Centre in East Dulwich until the council’s new centre in Cator Street, Peckham, is ready in two years’ time.

Rotherhithe broadband update from Southwark Council

Cllr Fiona Colley

It’s nearly two years since the last local elections. The Southwark Labour manifesto included a pledge to “bring superfast broadband to the Rotherhithe peninsula” and next week the Borough’s cabinet will receive a progress report.

In her foreword to the cabinet report, Cllr Fiona Colley writes:

This report provides Cabinet with an update on the work the council is doing to bring superfast broadband to the Rotherhithe peninsula.

Crucially a constructive working relationship has been established with BT Openreach, a major provider of broadband infrastructure, who is now offering a combination of solutions to improve broadband coverage in Rotherhithe.

BT has committed to the deployment of new green boxes, which bring fibre cables and improved connection speeds and will deliver superfast broadband to an additional 4,000 homes in Southwark, with a particular focus in Rotherhithe, by 31 March 2016.

BT and the council are also proposing to run a pilot in a number of council housing blocks in Rotherhithe where BT will install smaller, condensed versions of green boxes in the building. This is new technology and is known as Fibre to the Internal Cabinet (FTTIC). If successful we will look to expand this provision to more estates.

A Rotherhithe Broadband working party has been established which includes officers from the Planning and Highways departments as well as Housing & Modernisation. The group will manage liaison with BT Openreach (and potentially other broadband infrastructure providers) and push for speedy and complete deployment of fibre cabling in Rotherhithe and elsewhere in Southwark.

Overall good progress is being made in improving broadband services but we are still some distance from the 100% coverage that we are seeking and so our work continues.

Click here to read the full report.