26 March 2006

26 March 2006

Man shot at for telling travellers to leave his flat

A TRAVELLER who shot two bullets inside a flat after his plans for an early morning drinking session were rejected has been jailed for four years. Michael Ward, 28, pulled out his Smith and Wesson revolver and fired into a wall and a kitchen boiler. The Old Bailey heard on Tuesday how the men had turned up at the flat in Arnulf Street, Bellingham, at 4am on April 26 last year.

Danger as scientists predict rapid sea level rise for Lewisham

Sea levels will rise much faster than previously thought leading to the flooding of many cities unless major steps are taken to curb carbon dioxide emissions this century, scientists warn today.

In the London area, much of Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Bexley and Barking and Dagenham would be under water, along with large areas of south Essex and north Kent earmarked for the Thames Gateway Development.

Roadside lifesaver given parking ticket

Kelly Harry, 29, who works in Devonshire Street, near Regent's Park, had stopped in a 20-minute parking bay in Lewisham when she spotted a crowd around a man.

She realised he had no pulse and used her first aid training to try to revive him until an ambulance arrived. Returning to find a £100 ticket on her car, she spoke to a warden who said she could not cancel the ticket but would note the circumstances.

Socialist Party takes up the fight against ALMOs

"For some weeks we have been using a petition from our two councillors Ian Page and Chris Flood, which nearly everyone we spoke to signed, demanding a fourth option. Lewisham council recently announced that they have appointed a 'shadow ALMO board' and aim to set up an ALMO company over the next few months.

The council claims that ALMOs give tenants and leaseholders a bigger say. But the board that will manage many of our homes is designed to make sure that the seven tenants' and leaseholder reps on this board are in a minority. Most places go to appointed councillors (Blairites at present) and business representatives."

Leisure centre should be knocked down

LADYWELL Leisure Centre should be knocked down to make way for a new school, according to an independent body. The School Organisation Committee (SOC) voted in favour of Lewisham council's plans on Thursday.

Afterwards Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock said: "This decision is recognition that our plans for building a new school in the north of the borough are justified and necessary.

School revamps are axed

A DECISION to scrap refurbishment plans for two schools has meant pupils will have to go on learning in cramped conditions. Lewisham council had drawn up proposals to revamp Ashmead, Childeric, Downderry and Gordonbrock primary schools.

But at last Wednesday's Mayor and cabinet meeting, Mayor Steve Bullock decided that only the first two would benefit from a £9million Government grant.

MPs approach the disengaged

Parliament has attempted to reach places it doesn't normally reach with the launch of a scheme for people from black and ethnic minorities to shadow MPs from all parties.

Bridget Prentice, Labour MP for Lewisham East, referred to the Power Inquiry's suggestion of reducing the voting and candidacy age to 16, saying: "government is keeping this decision in active consideration".

She also spoke of projects where youth are directly involving themselves in the political arena such as the newly established Young Citizens Panel in Wales, where approximately 300 young people discuss current issues affecting them.

Fury at back garden flats

RESIDENTS in Lee have been angered for the third time over fresh plans to build on a back garden. Plumstead-based developer Kallar Investments Ltd caused concern last year with plans to build three flats behind 17 and 19 Northbrook Road.

Neighbours objected, saying the timber-clad, flat-roofed extension would not blend in with the surrounding Victorian houses and would take away their privacy.

24 March 2006

Jessica Tilbury

Appeal for information with regards to missing local girl

We are growing increasingly concerned about the welfare of fifteen year old Jessica Tilbury.

The last reported sighting of Jessica was on Sunday 19 March 2006 at approximately 23:15 getting off a bus in Burnt Ash Hill, London SE12. It has been reported to police by Jessica's friend who was travelling with her that Jessica left the bus to speak to two young men whom she thought she knew. It is believed Jessica may have walked in the direction of Lee, London SE12 at approximately 23:30 in the company of the two men. Jessica has not been seen or heard from since.

Jessica has gone missing before but has always kept in touch and returned after a short period of time. Jessica is known to use public transport in London and Kent.
Acting Detective Sergeant Declan Goddard of Lewisham CID said: "We are now very concerned about Jessica as she has not been in touch with any of her family or friends.

"I would like appeal directly to anyone who has seen or spoken to Jessica since Sunday or anyone who may have heard of her whereabouts to contact police as soon as possible.

"I would like to assure anyone contacting the police, in particular any younger members of the community, that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

"I would also like to appeal to Jessica directly and ask her to contact the police or if she prefers the National Missing Persons help line on 0808 800 70 70.

"Jessica is not in any trouble and our main concern is her welfare."
Jessica is a white and has fair complexion. She is of thin build and has black hair which she sometimes wears in a ponytail.

It is believed that on the day Jessica went missing she was wearing a white shirt, a grey fur-trimmed cardigan and blue jeans. She was also wearing a casual jacket which has fur trimming on the hood and black suede boots. It is believed that Jessica was also wearing a yellow metal teddy bear and clown on two yellow metal necklace's.

The two young men Jessica was seen with are described as:
Man one: White, approximately sixteen years old and possibly wearing a dark hooded top and Reebok Trainer. Man two: White, approximately eighteen to nineteen years old. This man has fair or ginger hair, blue eye's and was also wearing a dark hooded top and trainers.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Lewisham CID on 020 8297 1212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Please click on this link for a photograph of Jessica.

23 March 2006

23 March 2006

Missing girl alert
Taken from the Evening Standard today, I can't find this article online yet so this scan will have to do for now. Jessica Tilbury - last seen near Lee Station on Burnt Ash Hill. Anyone with information should contact Lewisham Police on 020 8297 1212.

Englishman in New York

RETURNING from battle on the mean streets of New York, a young Lewisham MC is forging a business career in hip-hop. Richard Price, aka Mic Assassin, recently flew stateside to take part a series of freestyle rap battles.

Richard is completing a business studies course at Lewisham College. He has set up a recording label, Elite Team Entertainment. To hear Mic Assassin and for details of gigs and releases, visit www.eliteteament.com

New entrant in election race

AN EDUCATION campaigner has decided to stand for Mayor of Lewisham because he feels the current incumbent is "failing the children of this borough". New School Campaign secretary John Hamilton says if elected he would keep Ladywell Leisure Centre and build a new secondary school in the north of the borough.

And he would make sure his cabinet would be made up of all parties represented in the council to "end the one-party state which has dominated Lewisam".

Opposition to licence plan

AN APPLICATION for a 24-hour alcohol licence is being opposed by residents. The Euro Supermarket wants a licence allowing it to stay open and sell alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Lewisham Council's licensing committee has received a petition containing 250 signatures from residents objecting to the application. They fear if the store, in Downham Way, Downham, gets the licence it will lead to an increase in the level of violence and anti-social behaviour in the area.

It's unlucky seven for big yellow warehouse

ANGRY neighbours saw red when the Big Yellow Self Storage Company tried to build a large warehouse near their homes for the SEVENTH time. In its latest planning application, the company tried to disguise the warehouse by designing a row of homes along the sides to face on to Baring Road and St Mildred's Road in Lee.

The Big Yellow Self Storage Company did not send a representative to the meeting at Lewisham Town Hall in Catford, which was packed with residents who were joined by Lewisham East MP Bridget Prentice. Before the committee unanimously voted to refuse planning permission, Councillor David Britton said: "What part of the word 'no' don't they understand."

Students' to take condom test

Students at a south-east London college are to receive tutorials and take tests on condom use in a new drive to cut teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, it was revealed today.

Under the scheme 16 to 19-year-olds at Lewisham College will attend classes on how to use condoms. They will then have to pass a test on the subject before being issued with a certificate - dubbed a Condom Card or C-Card - which entitles them to collect free condoms at the college and at sites nearby.

Borough by Borough Average Class Sizes

Borough Average Class Sizes - Source : Evening Standard. Making the "Hit List" for improvement was 'Athelney Primary'.

19 March 2006

19 March 2006

Text pest is spared jail after finding new love

AN OBSESSED ex-boyfriend who bombarded a woman with unwanted telephone calls has been spared jail because he has found a new love. When Michael Josephs, 20, did not hear anymore from former girlfriend Zoe Snelgrove, from Catford, he even pestered her mother at work. But on Monday he had a 40-week prison sentence suspended for two years after the judge heard he had found a new love in Southampton.

16 hurt in bus crash

PASSENGERS were left injured and in shock after a packed bus smashed into a tree. The front doors of the 172 from Brockley Rise to St Paul's were mangled by the impact, trapping the distraught driver inside. Firefighters cut through the wreckage to reach him. The crash happened in New Kent Road, by the junction with Rodney Place, just after 4pm on Wednesday.

Schools setback as revamp is scrapped

PUPILS at two schools will have to continue learning in cramped conditions after refurbishment plans were scrapped. Lewisham council had drawn up proposals to revamp Ashmead, Childeric, Downderry and Gordonbrock primary schools. But at Wednesday's Mayor and cabinet meeting, Mayor Steve Bullock decided only the first two would benefit from a £9million Government grant.

Visitors can help improve care services

LEWISHAM Hospital has drawn up a new visitors' charter in partnership with its patients' forum. The charter recognises the important role visitors play in helping patients and sets out how they can best help the hospital, in Lewisham High Street, improve its patient care. It is part of a series of initiatives taken by the hospital to improve its services.

Do Elected Mayors make a difference?

A new collection of essays published yesterday by independent think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN) concludes that elected mayors are improving local democratic engagement with the local media and the public, and are a stronger focal point for business and inward investors, acting as decision-makers for the whole community and not simply for council services.

Including essays from a number of the established mayors – Steve Bullock in Lewisham, Robin Wales in Newham, Dorothy Thornhill in Watford and Stuart Drummond in Hartlepool - Mayors making a difference reveals how elected Mayors are demonstrating leadership and communicating with the electorate.

“69% of Lewisham's residents think the Council is doing a good job - the third consecutive year this figure has increased and one which is now 5% above the London average. Recognition of the Mayor is at an all time high – at 38% in November 2005, compared to 16% two years previously”

Postie is dyslexic

Royal Mail bosses have hired a dyslexic postman. Jason Johnson sees door numbers the opposite way round. He tried to hide his condition when he applied for the job - but delivery office staff quickly spotted he was struggling.

Jason has been handed a regular route in Blackheath, South East London. He added: "They are giving me help. I'm on the same walk every day so I can get used to the numbers and the names."

Cash to pay for new safety barriers

THE area christened "Crapford" by one unimpressed News Shopper reader is set for a £5,200 makeover. The money, from the council's Catford Town Centre Improvement Grant, will be used to put up new safety barriers along Catford Broadway. Some of the cash will also go towards repairing damaged pillars and bollards and pay for 17 new stall covers for market traders.

Deputy mayor Councillor Gavin Moore said: "It is important we continue to enhance Catford market as it brings life and character to the area."

Planners set to reject Yellow firm’s proposal

A MULTINATIONAL company hoping to build a yellow-bricked warehouse on a "prime" residential site is set to have its seventh application rejected. Planning bosses look likely to confirm it will be unlucky seven for The Big Yellow Self Storage Company, which wants to build a warehouse in Baring Road, Lee.

Since 2001 the firm has had six applications rejected, to build a trademark yellow-bricked warehouse on the site. It hoped to make it seventh time lucky with its proposal, which would see the warehouse hidden' by 32 flats. But a Lewisham Council planning committee is recommending the application be rejected because the building would be "out of character" with the rest of the area.

16 March 2006

Lewisham to Bank - DLR

Proof that most sites have Lewisham content! Google Video presents....

Clive R Robertson's 27 min 17 sec film of his DLR journey from Lewisham to Bank.

10 March 2006

10 March 06

Serco signs new £400m DLR deal

Serco has signed a new franchise agreement to continue to operate, maintain and support the Docklands Light Railway, the outsource specialist said today. The seven year contract, which is scheduled to start on 28 May, may be extended for a further two years and is valued at around £400m over this extended period.

The new franchise will see improvements for passengers such as a maximum of ten minutes between trains at any time and trains every three minutes at peak times on the Lewisham to Bank line.

Police appeal to find sex attacker

POLICE are hunting a man responsible for two sexual assaults. The man was travelling on a number 75 bus from Lewisham to Croydon at 9.30am on February 4.

He sat next to an 18-year-old woman and began chatting to her before sexually assaulting her. The victim was able to get away from him and got off the bus. A short time later the man approached a 17-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her. After she complained he spat at her, followed her off the bus and punched her in the face.

At 3.40pm on November 10 a woman was also assaulted by the same man, who sat next to her on a number 75 bus. Detective Sergeant Jeff Edwards from the Croydon Sapphire Unit, which investigates rape cases, said: "There may be other victims out there who are yet to come forward." Anyone with information should call 020 8649 1379.

Water firm says pipe ban looks ‘increasingly likely’

WATER firm bosses say hosepipe bans will probably come into effect this summer. London supplier Thameswater says hosepipe and sprinkler bans are likely to be slapped on residents due to last year being the third driest since records began in 1897.

In January this year, 19mm of rain fell across south London just 29 per cent of the rainfall level of 66mm expected for the month. However, February bucked the trend with 39mm of rainfall 2mm more than the expected 37mm for the month. But water bosses say Lewisham and Greenwich's underground water reserves are still low and more rainfall is needed to replenish supplies.

Call to unite after attacks on centre

AN IMAM is calling for greater unity within the non-muslim and muslim community following two racial attacks at an Islamic centre. Shakeel Begg, from Lewisham and Kent Islamic Centre, is supporting Greenwich Islamic Centre in its fight to find the culprits, who damaged the property twice within three days last week. The first incident happened at the centre in Plumstead Road, Woolwich, at 1.30am on March 2, when the offenders started a fire after breaking a window and pouring fuel through it.

Free Condom Cards for college students

More than 1,000 students at Lewisham College are set to receive a Condom Card which will give them free access to the contraceptives at the college and in sexual health clinics across the borough.

Students aged between 16 and 19 will receive tutorials on condom use over the coming months. They will then have to pass a test about condom use to qualify for the Condom Card.

Inspection success for school

Catford Business Enterprise College, Bellingham Road, received a "good" rating from inspectors last month, recognising its "significant" improvement since its last inspection six years ago.

The school, formerly known as Catford Girls' School, has doubled the number of pupils gaining five A*-C GCSE grades from 21 per cent to 42 per cent since 2001.

Looking out for Army recruits

SOLDIERS are to pay a visit to talk to people interested in a career in the Army. Blackheath Army careers adviser sergeant Jeff White said: "This is a great chance for everyone to meet the soldiers. "The Army is committed to developing individual skills and offering opportunities for personal development through training, sport and travel." To find out more about the Army, call 020 8852 1464.

06 March 2006

Goodbyes to old friends.

So today I took a trip into Central Lewisham and the Riverdale Centre. It's been a while but I always end up needing to stop there for something.

Coming out of the lifts by WH Smiths I noticed the first loss of the day - the Childrens Play Area has not only gone, but the area has been filled with concrete. The climbing camels went many years ago but it's nice to have a central point of reference for the toddlers and this area always seemed packed and well loved. In recent times I've even seen a clown (no truth it was an ex-mayor) painting faces and making balloon animals. Oh well - another link to my early years has gone!

If you've ever found yourself standing outside by the Clocktower I'm sure you've seen Bill - the little old man who sold the Evening Standard in a booth outside Barclays Bank.
Through rain and storm, heatwave and hail I've seen the old guy stand in his dirty old coat and cloth cap selling the paper. Always friendly and happy - he made a great alternative to WH Smiths.

Imagine my sadness to find out that Bill has passed away. Sad news.

05 March 2006

05 March 06

And another delay on posting as I sort out the next few steps in the stumble that is my life! Two weeks left before I leave Lewisham for good and despite looking forward to the challenge ahead I still have a tinge of sadness about cutting ties with the area. But that's in two weeks so lets get back to some news...

Leicester Robbery with Lewisham link.

A man who robbed two teenagers after offering to sell them cannabis will have to prove to a judge he can keep out of trouble if he wants to avoid imprisonment.

Leicester Crown Court heard that Timothy Nicol had been drinking when he approached two 15-year-old boys in St Mary's car park, Melton. Nicol, formerly of Melton, who later moved to Lewisham High Street, London, admitted two charges of robbery on September 9, last year. Judge Michael Stokes QC deferred sentencing Nicol for six months and told him to prove he had changed his ways - or he would receive a custodial sentence.

Teens groped by bus sex attacker

A BRUTAL sex attacker has struck at least three times on the same bus route. The beast has groped two teenage girls and pounced on a third young woman on board the No 75 route through Lewisham. When one 17-year-old victim fought back he spat on her, followed her off the bus and punched her in the face in broad daylight.

Gardener is sacked 24 hours after his death

Michael O'Connor, 39, had a fall at his home on November 22, just 24 hours before he was due to have an interview about his absence from work. Mr O'Connor, of Montpelier Row, Blackheath, suffered from epilepsy and had not been at work for several weeks.

The council fired him because he didn't turn up for the hearing. A verdict of accidental death was recorded by Southwark Coroner's court last month.

Future of London's oldest baths secured

THE future of London's oldest swimming baths has been secured, after council bosses agreed to give the building a multi-million pound revamp. Residents feared the 120-year-old Forest Hill Pools would be knocked down and replaced with a new, smaller facility.

But Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock has now confirmed the Victorian building, in Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, will be spruced up and retained, thanks to the £4m investment.

Developer to oversee homes project

PLANS to build hundreds of new homes have moved a step closer after a developer was chosen to front the project. Last year Lewisham Council announced around 1,250 new homes will be built on the Heathbridge and Lethbridge estates in Lewisham by 2010.

Now the Family Housing Association has seen off more than 50 competitors to win the right to oversee the development. Up to 470 of the homes will be reserved for current residents who want to stay in the area.

Cocaine use in men's lavs at town halls

A SPECIAL South London Press investigation has uncovered damning evidence of cocaine abuse inside town halls. Our undercover team gained access to town halls in Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Wandsworth.

Our team found no traces of class-A drug cocaine in the toilets at Wandsworth and Lewisham. A Lewisham spokesman said: "We take the issue of drugs extremely seriously.