10 January 2006

10 January 2006

Teen 'killed sister in arson attack'

A teenager set his family home ablaze, killing his youngest sister, because he wanted to be adopted by a rich couple, the Old Bailey heard today. The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was just 14 when he torched his home in Lewisham, south-east London, during the early hours of April 24, 2004 while the rest of the family slept, the court heard.

'I don't want to be treated like a coolie'

Sinna Mani, president of the British Organisation for People of Indian Origin, is livid. He has been attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual conclave of overseas Indians, every year. But this year, he says, "The event has been organised so badly that no one knew what is happening here." Mani, who was the mayor of the London borough of Lewisham and a member of the Investment Regulatory Authority in the United Kingdom, says he is currently involved in investment projects worth nearly 100 million pounds. His projects include a theme park in Haridwar, Uttaranchal, and a holiday home in Amritsar, Punjab.

Group campaigns over parking costs

PENSIONERS are continuing their fight against "unfair" parking charges at a hospital. Lewisham Hospital is set to review its policy of charging blue badge holders to park in the hospital car park. But Deptford Action Group for the Elderly is still angry hospital bosses will not commit to allowing elderly motorists to park for free.

Councils forecast efficiency miss despite initial success

Lewisham Council has reduced projected housing efficiency gains from £935,000 to £535,000 and Newham Council has said it will not meet its predicted gains of £76,000 by the end of the year.

Prison sentences for gang of four

A GANG caught with £25,000 of fake DVDs has been jailed. The four men were snared by police after they were spotted loading boxes of pirate movies into a car, in Creekside Depot, Deptford, on September 1, last year. Blackfriars Crown Court heard how the quartet Kenneth Ho, aged 33; Ah-Ming Wong, aged 33; Xing Wang, aged 46 and Chang Wang, aged 32 got involved in the scam to make extra cash.

Battered by thief - over a can of coke

A SHOPLIFTER attacked a terrified store worker who caught him pinching a can of Coke and a sausage roll. Anthony Marks, 32, repeatedly kicked and punched middle-aged Azhar Awan before threatening him with a bottle. Southwark Crown Court heard how Mr Awan had challenged the defendant after he caught him stuffing his pockets with stolen goods at a branch of Budgens in Deptford. Marks, of Deptford High Road, Deptford, was arrested at the shop after the assault on November 19.

Parents celebrating New Year arrivals

Nine babies were born on News Year's Day at Lewisham Hospital in Lewisham High Street.

Town is not a cat-astrophe

CATFORD "crap" town or cool town? This is the debate which has dominated News Shopper's letters page ever since one distinctly unimpressed visitor re-christened Catford as "Crap-ford". Now council chiefs are fighting back to defend the honour of the "vibrant and diverse" town.

See The Man From Catford for a local view.

New Gateway homes under fire

Higher-income earners, all from Lewisham and Bexley, were not keen to move to the Thames Gateway. Only areas with fast transport links and a strong cultural heritage would attract them. They also shot down the idea of mixed communities. "You don't want to get your perfect house, then have a burnt out Ford Cortina at the end of your drive," said one Bexley resident.

Tube network gets £450m boost

THE vital East London line project to strengthen South London's link to the Tube network has been given a £450million boost. Phase one of the £900million extension will see it extend down to West Croydon via Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, Sydenham, Crystal Palace, Penge West, Anerley and Norwood Junction.

Pirate radio has its plug pulled

A PIRATE radio station that disrupted frequencies used by firefighters has been closed down. Whoa FM broadcast hip-hop and R'n'B across London from the top of Countisbury House in Crescent Wood Road, Sydenham, until it was raided last Tuesday.

Ex-leader in bid for mayor’s job

A FORMER Bromley Council leader is launching a bid for the top job in Lewisham. Chris Maines has been announced as the man the Liberal Democrats hope will bring them to power and unseat current Labour Mayor Steve Bullock. If elected, Mr Maines says his first priority will be to scrap the directly-elected mayoral system, which was introduced in 2002.

Guide book bringing village history to life

The Blackheath Society has published a pocket-sized book, detailing the history behind the buildings and shops found in the village, which dates back to 1790. Lewisham's deputy mayor and ward councillor Gavin Moore said: "The Blackheath Society's expertise and unparalleled knowledge has brought this history to life in their fascinating new Village Trail and Guide." For copies of the guide, call 020 8297 1937.

Corner shops' future 'very bleak'

The future for Britain's corner shops is "very, very bleak indeed", a Labour MP has warned amid suggestions that supermarkets could wipe them out in under a decade. Jim Dowd warned that the expansion of Tesco and other retail giants to the High Street could spell the end for small, independent stores. The MP for Lewisham West chairs the cross-party small shops group which has conducted an in-depth inquiry into the current state of the sector. Its preliminary findings were reported by the Sunday Telegraph to include a fear that such retailers are "not expected to survive" beyond 2015.

See also - Wise men trying to save corner shops are the very ones who put Tesco there

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