Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's Over 2 Months!

Since I last posted on the blog! Don't worry, it's not because I have been inconsolable at Ken's removal from office (although obviously I have been). So what's been going on in Southwark and South Camberwell.

Amazingly Camberwell Grove has re-opened after the installation of traffic lights, metal barriers, concrete barriers, crossings and signs. It's not a very elegant solution, and certainly does nothing to enhance the conservation area, but as far as I am aware it has not caused the traffic queues which I feared. Although it will take some time for word to spread that the road has re-opened, I hope that Camberwell Grove will be able to avoid a return to the busy rat-run which it had become. With petrol costs increasing, I am sure that many people will be thinking twice before they use their cars instead of public transport in any event!

For the past few weeks I have been pursuing a particularly worrying piece of casework involving a lift on the Denmark Hill Estate. Today is the deadline for completion of works, so I hope that it will be back in action. But it is unacceptable that elderly residents in the block have been forced to remain in their flats because a lift could not be properly repaired. Whenever I am told that a job is being done as speedily as possible in a council-owned block, I try and contrast that with how things would be done if the block was privately owned. There is absolutely no reason why residents in social housing should have to wait any longer for repairs than if they were paying privately. Yet within our housing management system in Southwark there does sometimes appear to be a lack of urgency in getting repairs done, and getting them done properly. On numerous occasions workmen make three or four visits to get a single job done. I am not sure whether this has anything to do with the fact that they get paid per visit or whether the work genuinely needs so many repeat visits. But it is certainly an aspect of our borough's housing management which requires urgent attention.

Council Assembly takes place tomorrow. I will report more fully after it has taken place. But I can safely predict that any motion which is vaguely critical of the Council's performance will be amended or defeated by the LibDem/Tory administration. Never mind that people want their services from the Council to be improved - so long as the LibDems and Tories don't have to hear about it!

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