21 November 2005

21 November 2005

Apologies for the downtime - family business etc etc. Without further delay!....

ELEVEN Labour councillors to stand down

ELEVEN Labour councillors will stand down at next year's elections, with two more high-profile members set to be parachuted into other wards.

Those leaving the council chamber include cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Katy Donnelly.

Others standing down include Lee Green ward councillor Simeon Baker, Lewisham Central member Heidi Nash and Les Eytle from Whitefoot.

Deputy Labour group leader Madeliene Long will stand in New Cross after 20 years serving Lee Green.

Cabinet member for housing Susan Wise is also on the move from Forest Hill to Perry Vale.

The full list of candidates for the elections, which take place next May, is expected to be announced next week.

Parking fine appeals increase across city

THE number of parking ticket appeals has increased by nearly a quarter across London.

Figures show more than 54,000 drivers challenged parking fines in the 12 months to March, compared to more than 44,000 in the previous year.

And 63 per cent of appeals to the London Traffic and Parking Appeals Service were successful.

Motorists are believed to be turning to independent adjudicators because they do not trust councils to sort out their problems.

The Association of London Government figures show 52 per cent of 437 appeals in Bexley were won by motorists.

More than 40 per cent of parking fines were overturned in Lewisham and in Bromley, while 39 per cent of 578 appeals were won in Greenwich.

Barrie Segal, founder of the website AppealNow.Com said: "People don't have any faith in the system and believe it's only there to raise money.

"They believe they can't take the council on because it has technical skills and vast financial resources and decide to just pay up.

"They shouldn't do that if the ticket is wrong."

Calm magnet for the young and fashionable

Anyone who visits Blackheath or Greenwich by car needs patience, determination and a large map.
If you go there at weekends, set off early as its roads get clogged by drivers seeking the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and, of course, the Cutty Sark.

It's precisely because it is so unstreetwise that this unspoilt part of south-east London has so much charm. Stroll down its side roads and alleyways and you end up in Fifties-style villages with specialist shops and curiosities - such as the fan museum in Greenwich's Crooms Hill which has 3,500 varieties of every shape, size and colour including a hand-painted version by Victorian watercolourist Walter Sickert.

Blackheath was the birthplace of Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, home of the diarist Samuel Pepys and one of Charles Dickens's regular drinking haunts. It also has some of Britain's finest 17th-century architecture, including Sir Christopher Wren's baroque-style Old Royal Naval College, Inigo Jones's Queen's House, which was the model for the White House in Washington, and Vanbrugh Castle, former home of the architect and dramatist Sir John Vanbrugh.

Little surprise then that it's become a favourite spot for the young City set who can hop on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and reach Canary Wharf or the Square Mile in less than 20 minutes.

You can buy a one-bedroom apartment in a Victorian conversion in Blackheath for between £150,000 and £190,000 and a two-bedder for just under £250,000, thus neatly avoiding 3 per cent stamp duty. 'They're a little cheaper and a lot less bland than apartments in Canary Wharf. Instead of waking and looking out on a cluster of dull grey towers you are surrounded by the thin, elegant spires and turrets of 17th- and 18th-century churches and manor houses,' says Rita Tinney of estate agents Felicity J Lord.

Living in London SE10 or SE3 also means that, instead of dashing out to the local deli or mega-metro store to buy your groceries, you can stroll across Blackheath's famous green patch to the local butcher, greengrocer and village shop, dropping in to the 400-year-old Hare and Billet pub for a civilised drink on the way home. Continued...

Hospital 'hit by TV trouble'

SERIOUSLY ill patients are being left bored and demoralised by broken television sets, according to a health-care assistant.

Beds in Lewisham Hospital have a TV set at the end but many of them are said to be out of order.

The sets are supplied and maintained by a firm called Patientline.

The healthcare assistant, who did not want to be named, said relatives and patients were frustrated by the problems, with nearly half the TVs not working at one point.

He said: "I care about patients and like to see them happy, but half of them are bored stiff. They are getting an appalling service.

"One particular TV has been out of action for three weeks. They are not getting repaired."

He said the system was put in this year and costs patients £3.50 a day, or £1.70 for the over-60s.

The man added: "If a TV goes wrong at the weekend no engineer can be called out."

A spokesman for Patientline said: "Our team of on-site staff at Lewisham regularly check to ensure our units are working properly and we are not aware of any significant problems at the hospital.

"However, we know many patients rely on our service and we will ensure a full check is carried out immediate-ly.

"Our units are extremely reliable. However, if any problems do exist we apologise for any inconvenience."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lewisham University Hospital and Lewisham Primary Care Trust are seriously in debt and have plans to make Nurses redundant in the next few months. So worrying about a TV seems a bit daft.