News Diary: What the Dickens?

Admin (28 February, 2019)

The council's Fizz Free February campaign and developer Roger's outspoken comments feature in this week's column


Fizz failings

Bad news for councillors hoping to sneak a can of coke at the council’s Tooley Street offices during its much-publicised ‘Fizz Free February’ campaign.

The vending machines in the building serving fizzy pop and chocolate has been empty for well over three months.

“Is this an extreme public health measure to get us all healthy?” asks one sugar-deprived councillor.

Foul play can be ruled out as the contractor, Rotherhithe New Road’s Seymour Valentine Ltd, went into administration in September, owing creditors £349,131 – including £33,356 to Southwark Council.

Cabinet members have meanwhile managed to swear off the sweet stuff, it seems – although other unhealthy drinks are still firmly on the menu. Cllrs Stephanie Cryan (Rotherhithe, Lab) and Richard Livingstone (OKR, Lab) were spotted at a party quiz night on a table surrounded by beers and wine. The drinks may rot the liver, but at least they won’t rot the teeth!

Martin’s pledge

As splits threaten the Labour Party, members have taken to circulating #pledges4labour on social media in a show of solidarity with the leadership.

Among them is Cllr Martin Seaton (Lab, N Walworth). “Agreed,” he said, posting the declaration committing himself to working for a Labour government “under whatever leadership the members elect.”

Eagle-eyed constituents will notice that the space set aside for his signature was blank, however.

Developer Roger speaks out

“Planning in London has never been more difficult than now,” bemoaned Roger Madelin, head of British Land’s Canada Water development to an exclusive Mayfair property conference earlier this month – partly, he said, because of left-wing activists’ distrust.

Appropriately, the day before his remarks were published, the left-wing Southwark Green Party unveiled its opposition to the masterplan. “Serious concerns” remained, it said, over building height, environmental impact and transport.

However, no-one can accuse Madelin of political bias.

Ire was also reserved for former Conservative PM, David Cameron, whose decision to scrap affordable housing grants was reportedly labelled “the most stupid thing” he could have done.

The nose knows best

A stink has caused trouble for residents of Rotherhithe’s Aylton Estate, who have reported seeing ‘human waste’ outside their nearby children’s park. Inspecting officers insist it wasn’t waste, but ‘grey water’, a run-off from baths and sinks.

Not so, one resident replied. “It’s sh*t, end of, come round … smell it for yourself!” he demanded. The flaw has now been fixed but it’s not known whether council officers took up the pungent offer.

Cold comfort

A partnership of councils are working together to give practical advice on cutting the costs of keeping homes warm, announced town hall bosses to mark Fuel Poverty Day last week.

Laudable, but it might be a little on the nose for council tenants currently suffering weeks long outages of heating, forking out their cash on portable heaters.

One disgruntled Brandon Estate resident took to the council’s Facebook comments to point out money-saving advice for your heating doesn’t help when your heating doesn’t work to begin with.

There was no reply.


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