Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye noughties, hello 2010!

Well as we say goodbye to the noughties and welcome in the tens, at times like these you look back over the past decade, both the good times and the bad times.

For most of the the past decade, I have also served on Merton Council representing Pollards Hill, this has been both a great honour and a privilege. Becoming Mayor last year was a great moment, along with some wonderful memories from my year in office that I will cherish for ever.

2010 will has many challenges ahead, I hope to be re-elected in Pollards Hill next May, but above all I want to see Labour win a 4th term in power.

I hope everyone enjoys the New Year and best wishes to all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

463 extended to Pollards Hill

On Saturday, the 463 bus service was extended to Pollards Hill. For me, this has been a long-running campaign and has been on-going since I became a councillor in 2002. Over that time there has been many delays along the way, but finally perseverance and campaigning has paid off, and the extension has finally came to fruition.

The bus service will provide a direct link to the tramlink stop at Beddington Lane, along with a direct service to ASDA in Beddington Lane which is used by many people living in Pollards Hill. With access to bus services important locally, this is very welcome news and I know that many people locally will use the service. The 463 will run every 20 minutes, seven days a week.

Below is a link to the press release:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merton Conservative leader blames Catholics for rising school places in Merton

Now I haven't blogged for a while - pressure of other things in my life has intervened, but I felt compelled to report the following remarks made by the Leader of Merton Council, David Williams at the Cabinet last Monday. At the meeting, following a statement by the Vicar of St Marks school, Rev Stephen Coulson about the Conservative administration's decision to not go forward with the modernisation plans for primary schools, he said as an aside "that rising school places were the fault of local Catholics”.

Many people were of course outraged by the remarks, for s start it was untrue, and secondly the rising birth rate is not a Catholic phenomena, but a problem that exists across London. As councillors we've a duty and a responsibility to respect the beliefs of other religion and not act in a discriminatory way. We may not agree with the principles of a faith, but people have a right to be respected for their religious beliefs.

The story has been reported on in the local Guardian this week, and when asked for a comment on his remarks in the Guardian he stated, “it was absolutely in jest. I wouldn't have wanted anyone to take offence. It was a flip remark, and maybe I should be more careful in making flip remarks”. He may believe that it was “in jest”, but to a large number of Catholics these remarks are not seen as some light-hearted joke. A link to the Guardian story is here:

The matter has now been reported to the Standards Committee of Merton Council for further consideration.