Following the Mayor’s proposals to close police stations across London, and to open other police front counters to replace them, Simon Hughes MP and Southwark Liberal Democrats are asking for views from SE16 residents on where they would like most to see the new Rotherhithe front counter to open.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has told the MP that Rotherhithe Police Station will not close without opening a suitable alternative that is able to serve both Bermondsey and Rotherhithe.

However, Southwark Council leader Peter John this week told council assembly that MOPAC and the Met has not been able to tell the local authority how much it is willing to spend on the new front counters and this is hampering council efforts to identify possible locations.

Simon Hughes MP the Southwark Liberal Democrats are asking for people to put in order of preference the following potential sites for a new SE16 police counter, and to make any other suggestions.

Sites suggested by Simon Hughes MP and Liberal Democrats in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe are:

  1. Southwark Council’s new ‘My Southwark‘ shop in the square at the Blue
  2. A London Underground Station
  3. Surrey Quays Shopping Centre
  4. Lower Road shops [opposite Osprey Estate]
  5. Albion Street
  6. Jamaica Road
  7. Canada Water tube and bus station
  8. Bermondsey tube station
  9. Surrey Docks overground station
  10. Rotherhithe overground station
  11. Nearest available place to the Jamaica Road/Lower Road roundabout

Rank your five top suggestions here.

“Most people in our local communities do not want to see the closure of any existing police station. But if Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, decides that Rotherhithe will close on its present site, then the community needs to find the best possible alternative,” said Simon Hughes MP.

“I hope that with a large response from people who live in SE16, we can give a clear indication to the Mayor as to where we want the Rotherhithe to be based in the years ahead.

“I am clear that the police should be based where the public can easily find them, talk to them and report crime and other information. I shall do all I can to make sure that we end up with the best possible alternative police base as well as the maximum number of police and police community support officers on our streets and around SE16.”

This week’s creation of a magnificent Dr Salter snowman provides a timely reminder that the Salter Statues campaign to replace the stolen statue of Alfred Salter and create a new Ada Salter statue to complement it has recently added an online donation facility to its website.

Time and Talents is a small charity based in Rotherhithe and founded over 125 years ago. Today it runs our own projects (including those for older and younger people) and offers space for a range of groups and individuals to use as well as providing volunteering opportunities for the whole community.

Time and Talents offers :

  • Guaranteed Gold Bond places
  • Fundraising and training advice
  • Your own web page
  • A team running vest

Minimum sponsorship required £1500

Register on the Time & Talents page at www.crunch.org.uk/time or call 020 7232 5660 for more information.

See also www.timeandtalents.org.uk

Last month Southwark Council’s cabinet agreed to the next stage of work towards the rejuvenation of Albion Street.

The council says it will work with local residents on the Albion Street Regeneration Framework which will have four main strands.

The next stages include proposals to expand Albion Primary School, further consultation with residents on the Albion Estate to see how they can benefit from wider regeneration, ensuring that the redevelopment of the former Rotherhithe Library on Albion Street supports the hopes of local people and enhancing public spaces in the area.

Cllr Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration and corporate strategy said: “Albion Street was once a lively and successful area – home to a popular street market and at the heart of the Rotherhithe community.

“Despite the tremendous changes we have seen in the Rotherhithe and Canada Water area, Albion Street area has not really felt the benefits.

“We are fortunate that there is a lot of enthusiasm and many great ideas coming forward from local tenants, residents, councillors, businesses and groups such as the Scandinavian churches. We want to make sure that there is a role for all local representatives to get involved in improving the area.”

Three mature plane trees on Rotherhithe New Road are likely to be felled, says Southwark Council.

The trees, which the council says are encroaching on the pedestrian space on the public highway, could be felled after adjacent landowners refused to sell the council a small plot of land to enable the pavement to be widened.

“I am extremely disappointed that the only course of action available to the council is to remove these trees from the local community,” said Cllr Peter John, leader of the council.

“Not only are they great for the environment but they add a unique vibrancy.  We would not normally fell healthy trees of this age but in this case we have no option. Sadly the landowners have refused to cooperate in helping us to resolve the situation so our hands are tied.”

Whilst the council has pointed the finger at the Residential Management Group, the firm has responded on Twitter:

Three replacement new trees will be planted in a nearby location.

Lib Dem councillor Graham Neale said: “I have suggested that the pavement is built out into the road to make room for the trees rather than removing the wall, which could save the trees from the chop and improve the road at the same time.

“The pavement opposite is more than wide enough to provide a ‘chicane’ traffic calming system. This is a chance to start managing roads in a way that puts pedestrians and cyclists at the front of road management in our borough.

“Instead of listening to alternatives, Labour have decided to chainsaw the trees which date back to Dr Salter. After all the warm words and phoney consultation we’re back to Plan A, which is to take the easy option and get rid of the trees. How many times must we listen to hollow promises?

“Residents and campaigners have spent a lot of time and effort trying to save these trees. It’s a waste of our time, and a waste of a great opportunity, but I’m afraid that’s the way Labour are running Southwark.”

 

The new ‘My Southwark’ office has opened in the Market Place at the Blue, replacing the former Bermondsey One Stop Shop in Spa Road.

“It is our mission statement as a council to treat every resident as if they were a member of our own family, and that starts with the council’s customer service, which has needed improving,” said council leader Cllr Peter John.

“The new customer service point at The Blue is great because it is right in the heart of Bermondsey and provides a focal point for local residents to come and carry out a whole range of services – from paying council tax to dealing with rent account queries.

“It will give people the freedom to choose when they access a particular service and will let them choose between talking to an advisor and accessing their own online account.

“I want this to be the blue print for the delivery of much improved customer services from the council across the whole of Southwark.”

For further information visit: www.southwark.gov.uk/servicepoints

Simon Hughes MP has written to the Mayor of London to raise residents’ concerns about slow broadband speeds in Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks.

The Mayor of London is responsible for distributing the government’s £25 million Urban Broadband Fund.

Following several complaints from residents in Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks, earlier this year Simon Hughes MP raised the issue with BT, internet service providers and the culture secretary Maria Miller MP.

Despite Ofcom’s recent report that the average broadband speed in the UK is 9Mbps, with some internet service providers advertising considerably higher speeds, Rotherhithe residents have reported speeds which struggle to reach 2Mbps.

“I am very concerned that people in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe are experiencing unacceptably low broadband speeds,” said Simon Hughes.

“Not only is this incredibly frustrating for people using internet in their homes, it is also harmful for businesses in the area. It is unbelievable that people living and working in between the major hubs of London Bridge and Docklands have such poor download speeds.

“Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of passing the buck on this issue between BT, internet service providers and the government. I am urging the Mayor of London to use the extra government funding to improve broadband connections for residents and businesses in Rotherhithe and I will continue to do all I can to make sure my constituents enjoy broadband speeds which you would expect from a global city in the 21st century.”

However, according to a recent written answer to Lib Dem London Assembly member Stephen Knight, there is little hope of the £25 million allocated by the Mayor being used to help SE16 residents and businesses.

Boris Johnson says that the cash will be spent on four projects including fibre broadband in ‘Tech City’, wireless provision along the Docklands Light Railway, gigabit internet for the Royal Docks area and ultrafast broadband for high-density social housing estates.