PM highlights Eltham MP’s somersault on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Fixed Odds Betting TerminalPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

There were signs of the beginnings of a rare consensus developing at PMQs today, over the deeply worrying problem of the spread of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals that can see high street gamblers lose up to £300 a minute.

Labour’s motion in the House of Commons this afternoon seems to have been accompanied by a slightly bizarre political somersault from Eltham MP Clive Efford, who spends a good deal of his time enjoying being Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport.  The Prime Minister pointed out during PMQs that as recently as November, Mr Efford was arguing that there is “no evidence to support a change to stakes and prizes” on the machines – and yet today he has been talking in totally contradictory terms about “pulling the plug” on them. Continue reading PM highlights Eltham MP’s somersault on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

It’s time for the devolution of commuter rail in South East London

SoutheasternPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

There are many wonderful things about living in South East London – to me it is the perfect compromise between the pace, excitement and opportunities of London and the many virtues of life in Kent. It does come, however, with a particular curse – a curse with a name: Southeastern.

I have been moved to write this blog now – after having been meaning to pen these words for months – by the latest in a long series of reminders of why Southeastern is a company wholly undeserving of its franchise. Continue reading It’s time for the devolution of commuter rail in South East London

Huge public support for our campaign to #MendTheMound

Mend The Mound posterPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Today was the last day for signatures on the Mend The Mound petition that I helped launch at the end of October – part of our new campaign to force the council to end its neglect of the shops at the heart of the Coldharbour estate.

I’m delighted to report that 642 residents have signed the petition in the shops, online and at our busy Saturday street stalls on William Barefoot Drive. Continue reading Huge public support for our campaign to #MendTheMound

Machine politics alive and well at Greenwich council

Save Our ShopsPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Last night’s Greenwich council meeting started, appropriately enough, with the Mayor Angela Cornforth announcing that she had turned down a request for the meeting to be filmed.  This comes despite government guidance to the contrary, and despite the main issue on the agenda – the council’s new Pavement Tax on local traders – being one that has probably generated more controversy and public interest than any other in the last year.

After sitting through the meeting that followed in the public gallery, it is little wonder why the Royal Borough’s Labour Mayor – also in the running to be Labour’s new prospective MP for Greenwich & Woolwich – did not want the ruling Labour group’s actions to be filmed yesterday evening. Continue reading Machine politics alive and well at Greenwich council

Launching our new campaign to Mend The Mound

Mend The MoundPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks, and this post in part explains why!  Today we are launching a new campaign on behalf of Coldharbour residents called Mend The Mound – with a petition to force the council to take long-overdue action to regenerate the local shops.

Over the last couple of months, Cllr John Hills, Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst and I have been conducting a survey across the Coldharbour.  Continue reading Launching our new campaign to Mend The Mound

Small businesses don’t deserve this Pavement Tax

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.
I’m writing this, after a busy few weeks away from the blog, on the train up to #cpc13 in Manchester – the first chance I’ve had to commit words to screen since Thursday’s public meeting on Labour’s new Pavement Tax in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
 
Supporting small businesses are three words guaranteed to get a good airing in Manchester this week – and it was curious to hear these same words bandied about a fair bit by Ed Miliband last week at the Labour Party gathering in Brighton.  In Ed’s case, his warm words about cutting business rates sound pretty hollow here in Greenwich, where his own Labour council has introduced a punitive new charge on local traders who use the pavement outside their shops.  Think grocers, florists, cafes – and in actual fact almost every type of business that is being hit by this Pavement Tax at a time when many are struggling and need support. Continue reading Small businesses don’t deserve this Pavement Tax

Why council meetings should be streamed online

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

As a candidate in the Royal Borough of Greenwich council elections next year, I’m making it my business to pop along to council meetings to sit in the public gallery – which is where I was last night for a three-and-a-half hour sitting that as usual, was pretty disheartening stuff.

Labour’s tactics in silencing debate on two opposition motions put forward by the Conservative group were nothing short of a disgrace. Continue reading Why council meetings should be streamed online

Do we want the private sector to contribute or not?

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

An interesting idea for investing in London’s infrastructure has been greeted with a chorus of cynicism this month – and in so doing has exposed a deep contradiction in attitudes towards the private sector’s obligations to the rest of us.

Untapped Resource, a report published by the GLA Conservative Group, makes a compelling case for private sponsorship of London Underground stations and lines.  No doubt with his eye on securing for this idea the media attention it deserves, the report’s author Gareth Bacon even came up with an eye-catching example of what it might mean for our treasured tube map.   Step forward, Burberry by Bond Street and Virgin Euston;

Continue reading Do we want the private sector to contribute or not?