18 October 2009

More bling

I had the pleasure of accompanying Darren Johnson to Westminster today in the London Mayor's Association annual service at Westminster Abbey...the service was very pleasant, the choir sung very well (as they would). Here's the Mayors - Lewisham was represented by Cllr Barrie Anderson, Chair of the Council.

16 October 2009

Are these real savings?

Lewisham's Officers have published their initial proposals for achieving the efficiency savings that are required to both drive more efficient use of public money and also to provide new money for new services and/or changes in the Council Tax.

This aspect of the budget setting process always causes interest as the focus is on which of the services are 'up for the chop' - when the picture is probably better painted as being 'pruned' or 'shaped' or 'adapted' to reflect a change in the demand for the services or different ways of doing things.

Lewisham's Officers have proposed replacing some of own funded programmes with grants from other government initiatives including Sure Start (see CYP07 £56k, CYP08 £91k, CYP17 £6k, CYP18 £82k, CYP21 £40) totalling £275,000 a year. Of course this means that public money is being spent - but not from the Council tax in Lewisham. Each of these proposals is rightly described as having a 'neutral impact' in terms of 'Inspiring efficiency, effectiveness and equity' - simply because all they do is transfer funding for the service from Lewisham to another Government Body - and do little to determine whether the service could be better run altogether.

The full report is available here

13 October 2009

Meet the Manager

Following the motion to full Council, the Mayor has written the following letter on behalf of Lewisham Council.

I hope to get along to the 'Meet the Manager' session at London Bridge - however I regularly catch the 0532 direct service to Charing Cross (not sure if that's going to be cut - will need to check the timetable) and therefore could miss this session.

Nevertheless, if I'm not able to make this Thursday then I'll be sure to make any meeting that comes from the letter from the Mayor.

12 October 2009

Hanging baskets gone...Christmas on the way

Only this morning I commented that the now the hanging baskets had gone from Brockley Cross it won't be long before Christmas. Perhaps Lewisham's Highways Department heard me - I noticed that the lights have been installed on the lamp posts this evening.

Not got a date for when these will be switched on - but I'm hoping that there'll be a tree again in Brockley and that there'll be a market in Coulgate Street again - and I'm hoping that I won't have to hear Christmas music until 1 December.

What else do I want for Christmas - well a direct service to Charing Cross would be good for a start...