Saturday, April 19, 2008

Caring About The Community

This afternoon, I spoke at a public meeting organised by the Queen Mary's Christian Care Foundation. It was open to all candidates for the London Assembly or a representative. Steve O'Connell was busy at a prearranged event in Croydon so I stepped in. Only David Campanale from the Christian People's Alliance joined me. The third person in the photo standing in the middle is Dr Richard Cooling of the Foundation.

They have a vision for a care village located on part or all of the Orchard Hill site in Carshalton that you can read about here. At present, there are two main plans being considered for the site, just housing and the new Stanley Park High School plus some housing. There are some fundamental issues that have to be resolved before anything can happen. Firstly, the NHS Primary Care Trust own the land. Their finances are not looking too clever at the moment so they need every penny to reprovision the service for the current residents of Orchard Hill. Secondly, Sutton Council have agreed that the proposal should be considered as part of the supplementary planning document which will determine what development will be allowed on the site, yet issued a document that fails to mention the Foundation. Finally, if the land is sold for housing, it is lost to public services forever. A care village can evolve over time as thoughts about service provision changes. Breaking up the plot into small parcels of privately-owned land precludes this.

Residents of Sovereign Park are happy to see this take shape. As a Governor of Stanley Park, I can see synergies between the new school and the centre with shared facilities and opportunities for vocational training and as a local politician, I would welcome any initiative that improves access to such services. The group have proved their committment over a number of years in pushing the Council and PCT to consider making them a preferred purchaser, giving them a level playing field. They are not asking for a step up. They are a good example of a group of organisations and committed individuals seeking to offer a service that Whitehall or even the Civic Office cannot provide. I say, trust people not bureaucracy to deliver.

14 comments:

London Calling said...

scully really needs to get a new suit. his waistline is stretching the shape of the one in the picture. he also appears in far too many publicity photographs wearing it. i would echo what he said about local governments needing to listen to the will of the people not the bureaucrats though. but then again i did read about him and his party siding with the same council bureaucrats so that his mates could receive fat pay rises. dunno if we can take scully at his word about anything.

Scully said...

Mr Calling

You don't have to take me at my word if you so choose. However this proposal will only come about through negotiation, not shouting. The PCT have a viable plan already which does not include the care village. They get the money, we end up with houses. I'll continue to work with the Foundation to see what can be done. I daresay you'll continue to resort to cheap lines and spending far too long on this blog posting under a few different pseudonyms.

London Calling said...

who needs cheap lines or pseudonyms when i can speak the facts. i have read all about you lot getting fat pay rises by doing deals with the lib dem council blokes. yet you claim to be against the bureaucrats. dunno how you scully can claim to be so different to all the rest. i suppose you reckon them conservative pay rises was for the good of your voters.

Scully said...

Er, unless your name really is London Calling then obviously you do.

London Calling said...

typical politician who wont even admit whether he was right or wrong. feeding time at the trough. greedy polticians whose first concern is filling their own pockets. i wont be voting for the likes of you scully or the conservatives if all you do is grab money first chance you get

RFK said...

I'm sorry to see the same old person is back on here under a different psedonym launching yet another dirty smear campaign (it also extremely sad that this person has so much time to do so).

Paul - As much as I would love to discuss your particular choice of suit, I'm more interested to know how, in light of the recent developments over tax, what steps could be taken immediately to alleviate the tax burden on local residents? As a resident I would be keen to see no more wasteful spending on laptops for Councillors, bus stops, totem poles etc. Hold on, all things that the Conservatives have opposed already!! :)

David said...

I believe your candidate for GLA is a Crystal Palace fan (Saw him leafletting at the Scunthorpe match of all things!)

The waistline isnt that bad, but thats what happens at 40!

I'm not going to accept the laptop from LBS, I dont personally need one but reckon all Councillors should be e-mailable etc, will increase efficiency and service without any doubt IMHO.

Enough with the Totem Poles already!

London Calling said...

dunno what you lot are going on about but if you want to lift the tax burdon so bad then why did tim shields take that pay rise of 6 grand when the last tory bloke in his position never got nothing more than a normal salary. it has been in the paper so dunno why you have a site if you dont want people to leave their veiws probably just another politician trying to get his face in the paper.
those stupid libs should offer us skint residents a free computer too cos all you politicians want to do is spend our money on yourselves

RFK said...

David, ok ok, no more totem poles, I promise!

I must admit I have no idea who Steve O'Connell supports, Palace are ok by me though. Although I'm not quite sure a footie match is the time to be political. It would be interesting to know who all the Councillors support though!?

You are right, Cllrs should be contactable by e-mail. But I think the allowance should already cover a computer and internet connection.

Scully said...

David

Steve mentioned that he saw you at the match. I've supported Palace since my dad and uncle used to take a few of us to Selhurst Park from my Gran's house in Thornton Heath.

This was at the end of the seventies in the days of Kember, Swindlehurst, Sansom and Hilaire. They were then dubbed the team of the eighties before they sank without trace for a few years! I moved to Bedford, so was a fairweather fan ever since, I'm afraid.

London Calling said...

scully you are also a fairweather fan of lifting the tax burdon too. why else would you make sure your councillor mate got an unfair pay rise

David said...

Cllr Whitham is a diehard Brentford man, Cllr Richard Butt is a Colchester Utd fan (It was either that or community service!!!!), Cllr Crowley is partial to the Palace but most councillors, if asked, would say "Whats football?"

Cllr Barry Russell said...

David

If you were talking Rugby Football, then my support is with Harlequins (Cllr Eric Howell is the same).

On a political note there is a very unhealthy section of Liberal Democrats who are opposed to competitive sport. They seem to support the ridiculous notion that no one must be made to feel that they have lost.

At a recent meeting of the Full Council it was most amusing to see the LibDems squirm when Tony Shields was highlighting their lack of support for leisure in the Borough evidenced by the neglect of Cheam baths etc. Joan Hartfield led the way by trying to draw the conversation onto libraries because they fall into the local category of Leisure. Maybe we will see a new sport 'full contact poetry reading'.

Though the funniest moment in the last few years was the very diminutive Councillor, John Keys, talking in full Council about this weight lifting sessions at the Westcroft centre. This was followed by a silent disbelief whilst colleagues on both sides fought the urge to cry with laughter. A few on each side lost the battle! Still 100% for effort John.

As the Chair of Governors of a local school I am very keen to make as many different leisure activities available for the children as possible. I believe sport, be it individual or team, should be an integral part of education.

For the record I regret the rather puerile behaviour that created a need for you to moderate this Blog. Let's hope that the future will see healthy debate (and argument) based on facts and opinions rather than repetitive half truths and outright untruths. Here's hoping.

David said...

I can see no valid argument against competitive sports. Its importance is always underestimated for a town/city/region. I notice that Sutton United have just been relegated again and Carshalton Athletic are just about there. This town needs a sporting and artistic enema!