The Mayor of Lewisham?

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
- Stephen Colbert

Brockley Councillor Dean Walton has launched a bid to become Lewisham's first Green Mayor.

The Greens point to their position in the European elections - where they polled in second place across the borough - as evidence that Walton has a realistic chance of ousting the encumbent Bullock.

In Brockley Central's experience, Cllr Walton is a good egg who belongs to the reality-based wing of the Green Party. He lists his priorities as:

- free insulation for every home to cut fuel bills and save energy
- ensuring 50% affordable housing in new developments
- borough-wide recycling of kitchen and garden waste
- no cuts to social care support for elderly and disabled people
- expansion of the operating hours of Safer Neighbourhoods teams to ensure more visible community policing
- an extensive programme of tree-planting across the borough
- working to keep new and existing schools in local authority control

Brockley Central will be covering this year's elections in detail and will return to the Mayoral race at a later date.

37 comments:

Sutton Plumbing and heating said...

His priorities are certainly excellent, the question is if he is elected will he keep to them.

david said...

I do like the concept of a "reality-based wing of the green party"

Anonymous said...

"I do like the concept of a reality-based wing of the green party"

Me too ;)

Green Roofs said...

We went off the Greens after they allowed through the redevelopment at Ashby Mews. A decision that is going to impact hugely on the Conservation Area. Their stated reason: the developer tempted them by offering 'green roofs'.

Brockley Nick said...

@Green Roofs - which Ashby Mews development are you referring to please? The office development? I didn't think that had been approved yet?

Anonymous said...

Green roofs? Now that's a "reality-based' concept on behalf of the Green Party.

Anonymous said...

@Green Roofs:
there are 10 members on each of Lewisham's 3 planning committees, and only 1 on each of these is a Green, so there will have been up to 9 other committee members also eligible to take part in that decision, if they turned up of course.

All planning committee members are supposed to put aside any political allegiances and vote based on the application in front of them, and whether or not it conforms to the borough's (often sadly inadequate and outdated) planning policies.

Whether or not that always happens is of course a matter for debate, but that's the theory.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see some other goals too:
1. maximising jobs and job opportunities in the Borough,
2. A Beautiful streets policy (making Lewisham and Ladywell lovelier, Blackheath and Brockley beautiful, Deptford delectable etc) - i.e. to make the borough more attractive wherever and whenever possible.
3. A high street's first policy - to save small independent shops on the high streets, save post offices and pubs from closure in these hard times.
James

Brockley Nick said...

Good manifesto, James.

Headhunter said...

I have been wondering what happened to the multitude of developments that were threatened around Manor Ave and Ashby Rd/Mews. What happened with the nursery on Manor Ave in the end? I know the firm concerned appealed against the 1st rejection then there was some hoo ha about who was on the committee and the decision had to go back to square 1 or something but was it ultimately approved? What about the 2-3 developments planned on Ashby Mews?

On the subject of nurseries, I see one has opened on Lewisham Way between just down from the Flower of Kent pub and up from where Big Yellow want to open their mega storage block.

Anonymous said...

would his chances improve if he grew a beard like Sir Steve?

John said...

"Brockley Central will be covering this year's elections in detail and will return to the Mayoral race at a later date."

Preferably with a little impartiality...or is this website now formally recognised as being Green Party-leaning?

Brockley Nick said...

@John on what basis do you suggest that this blog is Green party leaning?

John said...

Nick, I didn't suggest it. I asked whether that was the case. But the following could be considered as support:

"In Brockley Central's experience, Cllr Walton is a good egg who belongs to the reality-based wing of the Green Party"

I know you may argue that you are saying that the Green Party have their heads in the clouds and this guy is an exception but it is still support for a councillor who is a member of the Green Party.

By the way, I'm not against the Green Party but I don't think individual opinions of politicians should be put forward on these blogs by editors except in designated 'opinion columns'. Is this an 'opinion column'?

Brockley Nick said...

@John you obviously did suggest it with the line "or is this website now formally recognised as being Green Party-leaning?" but hey ho, that's a side issue.

I mix reporting the facts of stories with personal opinions and the distinction in this case is very clear. Having met Dean, I like him and it's not a party political point to say so.

Brockley Nick said...

Having said that, yes this site will remain impartial to the extent that it will offer candidates the opportunity to do their own thing and we won't be campaigning for any candidates. Jon, Kate and I do reserve the right to express an opinion from time to time.

The Rational Mung said...

Yeah, BC hardly has a public service remit.

Anonymous said...

Nick, have you thought about organizing a Mayoral husting?

In 2006 the Save Ladywell Pool campaign did it and all those that came found it excellent, I'd do it again if I was impartial, but I'm not.

I think that BC is the natural guest for what is a very good service to local democracy.

Anonymous said...

BC's election plans are already underway and will be unveiled at a later date ;)

Anonymous said...

Yawn Yawn,Promises Promises.

Tamsin said...

As long as you don't have your hustings on the morning of Tuesday April 20th when Lewisham Pensioners Forum are - by long tradition - doing the same.

Tamsin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cat Man said...

Do the greens actually have a credible economic policy yet?

They seem great for hugging trees, but what all the important stuff?

patrick1971 said...

"50% affordable housing" sounds nice & fuzzy, but what does this actually mean? Everything built will be affordable to someone, or it won't sell and the price will need to be lowered until it is. Most shared ownership stuff now requires you earn less than £60K. According to Polly Toynbee, earning more than £40K puts you in top 10% of the population. Ergo, more than 90% of people are eligible for "affordable" housing...

Note I say this as a Green voter and as someone who thinks that we need a lot more restrictions on multiple property ownership in this country.

patrick1971 said...

Ignore the maths in the previous post! I meant to say, "you can earn up to £60K and still be eligible for shared ownership, so now even people in the top 10% of income can be eligible for 'affordable' housing".

I must not try to type and concentrate on something else at the same time!

The Cat Man said...

Excellent - thanks for the tip - i'm going to get myself a 'affordable' house for holidays/weekends away.

Anonymous said...

@ Cat Man

They seem great for hugging trees, but what all the important stuff?

Here we go, the usual tired, wilfully-ill-informed bollocks about the Greens being 'single-issue'. Cat Man, you spend so much time online, you could easily spend some of it on going to the party website and find its very wide-ranging policies on the economy and everything else under the sun instead of chucking turds out of your pram. If economics is your particular concern, try also Googling the Green New Deal Group report, a body which includes Caroline Lucas whose prescriptions are very close to the party's policies.

GreenRoofs said...

@BrockleyNick

It was the development at 2-5 Ashby Mews.

Councillor Walton had, rightly, insisted as Chair on a site visit before a decision was made.

However, Kath Nicholson, Head of Law, expressed concerns that Cllr Walton 'may' have had a conflict of interest. (She would not and will not state what this conflict or interest was (IS) and it later became clear is was ONLY her hunch, which did not later stack up.)

The result was that the decision was passed to another committee, which did not undertake a site visit.

One Green Party member (Mike Keogh, I think) asked the developer if he might include 'green rooves' (actually) in his development. He answered, somewhat flustered, Yes. The Committee then allowed the controversial decision to knock down the current buildings in the mews - and the redevelopment and inclusion of additional floors (rather controversial)on top of the existing units.

A dangerous decision that will now impact on the whole of the Conservation Area. (And one that was not reported widely?...)

So, guided by a Head of Law, who, following a hunch, got a duly elected member to stand down, the planning system at Lewisham and the preservation of the mews was railroaded.

Hope that rather longwinded explanation helps.

Brockley Nick said...

Thank you - I do recall the potential conflict of interest, I didn't know that the decision had now been reached.

I'll remedy the lack of coverage it's had on here.

love detective said...

"Ignore the maths in the previous post! I meant to say, "you can earn up to £60K and still be eligible for shared ownership, so now even people in the top 10% of income can be eligible for 'affordable' housing"

To be fair though, the 60,000 is the joint household income is it not?

I noticed when sian ran for london mayor a year or two ago they had a 60% target for 'affordable' homes, and more importantly a change of the definition of 'affordable' and to make sure they stayed affordable and not just flipped in the market like you can do with the LWI schemes

Anonymous said...

It is against planning regulations for councillors to take instructions from their political parties about how to vote on planning applications. As Group Leader I am not allowed to crack the whip and insist councillors in my group vote a certain way on planning matters and it is something I have never done and never attempted. I was disappointed that the Committee voted in favour of the Ashby Mews application and as a ward councillor I submitted a formal objection. But Cllr Keogh and the other committee members had to make their own minds up based on the evidence presented, even though I think they got it wrong on this occasion.

Cllr Darren Johnson

Tamsin said...

And at least they attended - it is when bad decisions are made by only a majority vote at a barely quorate meeting that you wonder at the process.

Anonymous said...

And councillors who don't turn up to their planning committee meetings when there's a controversial application to judge conveniently manage to avoid the resulting flak. That's a cushy deal, isn't it. So kudos to those who do their duty and risk a backlash by turning up and voting, even if you do think they got a particular decision wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally. But I am not a planning committee and have no vote on planning applications. If residents have asked me to support them in commenting on an application I do try and attend the relevant committee meeting to speak. But on the night Ashby Mews came up I had another engagement so I had just submitted a written objection.

Cllr Darren Johnson

ppp said...

Green Roofs could you elaborate how the Ashby Mews development will impact the Cons. Area hugely? There are bye laws in place and if this development contravenes them then action can be taken.

Green Roofs said...

Sorry, PPP, just saw your question to my previous post, and Councillor Johnson's response; which I would like to deal with first.

He said: "But Cllr Keogh and the other committee members had to make their own minds up based on the evidence presented, even though I think they got it wrong on this occasion."

However, if Councillor Keogh, his prejudiced mind (and the barely quorated committee) did not undertake a site visit, then I would suggest that 'based on the evidence' presented - which was none - that they did indeed get it wrong. And they had already made their minds up BEFORE the committtee sat. Evidence being absent of whipping, I could smell the whelts.
And what was the evidence? Well, the development called for the demolition of the existing building, and the turning of 90 degrees the 'roofs' (which will now be green) and an additional height added to the existing single story buildings. Any gardens nearby will be overshadowed.

the claim is that these structures will be worksapce, but this is unlikely given the proposed layout, and live space by the back door is likely - depsite the conditions set down by the Council.

PPP this sets a precedent. Any developer seeking to do the same in any mews may now apply to knock down the old building and reinstate double height modern structures. If they are challenged they will simply refer to Ashby Mews, a landmark case.

The machinations of the head of law, and the absence of very important local councillors, will not be forgotten. In fact, Freeedom of Information requests are being undertaken in order to establish what went on in this very mysterious planning case.

In order that a very important point doesn't escape discussion, i reiterate (and await Councillor Walton's or Johnson's comments):

"However, Kath Nicholson, Head of Law, expressed concerns that Cllr Walton 'may' have had a conflict of interest. (She would not and will not state what this conflict or interest was (IS) and it later became clear is was ONLY her hunch, which did not later stack up.)"

rubbish clearance said...

yes, great list. lets hope you stick to them.

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