Thursday - Alarm clock failure for first thing on Thursday morning. Whoops. Hurrah for the kitten call in my face at 6am. I made the train in good time. It was a morn...
13 hours ago
"Although the cycle superhighways are designed to provide safer cycling routes, it is not clear the pilot routes are achieving this." p27and
"Whilst in some places there are full advance stop lines of 5 metres depth and mandatory cycle lanes of 2 metres width, elsewhere there are just narrow ‘ghost’ lanes (sections of blue paint without any legal status). However, it is most concerned that there are virtually no measures to reduce motor traffic volumes or speeds." p27I was very excited about the announcement of the Cycle Superhighways, but despite my initial enthusiasm, back in May 2010, I noted that "the Superhighways are rather rash ideas when they do not give cyclists the room they need to co-exist with buses and cars on trunk routes".
"There has been a lack of bikes and available docking points in certain areas, particularly at peak periods. The Committee’s survey revealed [ac lack of bikes and was a particular problem in Covent Garden, Holborn, Kennington, Westminster and Waterloo. One respondent commented: "There is a shocking lack of available docking points in Vauxhall and Kennington. Twice I had to cycle further than I had to travel from where I picked the bike up. Once I was told to take the bike home. Not fun to carry up 4 flights of stairs. I was charged £50…and told to wait 5 days for a refund.""
"These Co-op ideas were in our Labour manifesto. This officer is taking a lot of questions, and I hope to come in with some answers... We're trying to say that we don't assume that services are run in the best way that they can be run. We know that there's some great expertise out there. We're saying that if you can run a service better, we'd like to catch that... It's about making people realise that services might not be run by the Council any more or that they can run them themselves...."And then, controversially, Cllr Edbrooke went on to note that we have an excellent co-operative venture in our midst, at the heart of the Oval Ward...
"I know that people have been speaking to those that run the [Triangle] Adventure playground. It's a controversial subject at the moment, but the playground is run very well. How can we run that elsewhere?"Controversial subject?! Well, yes. For those that don't regularly read this blog, you ought to know that Lambeth Council are currently taking legal action against the Triangle Association to evict them from the site, in order to make room for a school expansion. So, that might not have been the best example to choose re. co-operative working!
"At heart I am a capitalist as we have seen that other systems don't work. But the trust in banks has gone. The Co-op was not deemed sexy - we were old-fashioned because we took deposits before loaning money. But old-fashioned is the new cool in banking."With one breath, it seems that "old fashioned" is cool again, both in banking and in local authority government, but in the next breath (same Guardian article)...
"If another person says to me 'I can remember my granny's divi number', I could get arrested for physical violence. That's old baggage, people are always looking back. We are a modern business now."The question is, can Lambeth Council be "cool" and "old-fashioned" without "looking back" at "old baggage"? Cam Lambeth be a modern co-operative Council, or will it end up ushering in a greater era of privatisation under the noses of an unsuspecting public, who think that co-operative means, well, co-operative.
"You're fine giving political leadership, but actually, you're not a particularly good community leader. You don't listen particularly well... If the Council are serious about this, there has to be some fundamental change to the way the organisation works... in partnership, as opposed to an organisation which attempts to consult, but doesn't do as well as it should do".It is thought that addressing such a matter will be a major challenge for the Council.
"Closing Mail Centres in London will lead to a poorer service and will hit Business and homes alike at a time when it can ill afford it. We will fight these ridiculous plans of closure to ensure not only jobs are protected for our members but business & people across London are protected with essential services they require."The Wandsworth Guardian quote Mr Charles accusing Royal Mail of attempting to make "a fast buck" through selling the site. Obviously, a sale would make sound commercial sense, but Mr Charles is concerned that service and jobs will be affected by the closure and relocation of the sorting office. Before everybody jumps in with the likely comments that the internet has resulted in a decline of post etc and that sorting office closures are inevitable, do read the complaints of SE1 residents, who are served by alternative sorting stations. (Comments are here, here and here). Also, remember that the VNEB opportunity area will contain the same number of residents as Welwyn Garden City, and imagine how this would stretch the Royal Mail capabilities in the local area.