Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Labour Conference 2007
Last week was spent in Bournemouth at the Labour Party Conference. I took advantage of the opportunity to chat with the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, about the continuing problems of anti-social behaviour in the north of the borough on the Four Squares Estate, and the failure of the LibDem Council in Southwark to respond to the repeated requests of residents on the Estate to take tough action. Jacqui Smith called on the Council to respond to those requests and use all of the powers available to tackle the problems of anti-social behaviour.
I also noticed that it was reported this week that only 4 ASBO's had been issued against residents in Bermondsey over the past year, compared to 14 in Camberwell. Although there have been some historic issues concerning street drinking in Camberwell, it is surprising that so little seems to have been done in Bermondsey when this seems to have been one of the parts of Southwark which has suffered for so long from the sort of behaviour on estates which was supposed to be tackled by Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.
At another meeting at the Conference Yvette Cooper, the Housing Minister, told Southwark to get on with bringing its council housing up to the Decent Homes standard, given recent reports that the council is looking for an extension of up to two years after the 2010 deadline for the works to be completed. Southwark has dragged its feet unacceptably over the whole issue of Decent Homes, and at a time when other London Councils are completing their works it is amazing that Southwark is continuing to dither and delay.
The Conference was a good week for Labour, with excellent speeches from Gordon Brown, Ken Livingstone and Harriet Harman closing the Conference. This picture shows me with Gordon Brown at the Unite Reception on Wednesday evening.