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COUNCILLORS by wuyunyi


									Vol. 37 No. 2                                                      Page 45

                       LONDON BOROUGH OF LEWISHAM

                      ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

                                24 MARCH 2004

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of the London Borough of
Lewisham, held in the Council Chamber, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford, SE6 4RU
on WEDNESDAY, 24 MARCH 2004 at 7.30 p.m.


                                Chair of Council
                               (Councillor Eytle)

                                   The Mayor
                                (Steve Bullock)


ADDISON, J.A.             HASTIE, J.                MULDOON, J.
ADEFIRANYE, O.            HOUGHTON, D.              NASH, H.
ANDERSON, B.              HUNTBACH, M.              NISBET, M.
BODIMEADE, D.D.           INGLEBY, M.               PADMORE, Stephen
BRITTON, D.               JOHNSON, D.               PAGE, I.
BROWN, A.K.               KLIER, H.                 SCOTT, S.
COLLINS, R.               LE FEVRE, H.              SCOTT, T.
DONNELLY, K.              McGARRIGLE, A.            SMITH, A.
FITZSIMMONS, P.           MASLIN, P.                TILL, A.
FLETCHER, J.              MILTON, A.                WHITING, D.
GARCHA, G.S.              MOORE, G.F.               WISE, S.
HASTIE, C.                MORRISON, P.


      Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Best, Dawson,
      Flood, Handley, Holder, Kisicki, Long, Massey, Morris, Onuegbu, Owolabi-
      Oluyole, Sabina Padmore, Stockbridge and Watt.

          The Chair reported that he had also received apologies from the three
          Lewisham MP's Jim Dowd, Bridget Prentice and Joan Ruddock.

          Apologies were also received from GLA Member, Len Duvall.

1.        Election of Chair of Council

          RESOLVED that Councillor Eytle be elected Chair of Council for the
          municipal year 2004/2005.

2.        Appointment of Vice-Chair of Council

          RESOLVED that Councillor Bodimeade be elected as Vice-Chair of
          Council for the municipal year 2004/2005.

3.        Minutes - 3 March 2004

          The Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 3 March 2004 were
          approved and signed as a true record.

4.        Review of Constitution

          Proposed terms of reference for the Children & Young People, Adult Care
          & Health and Quality Public Services Select Committees were circulated
          at the meeting.

          It was moved by Councillor Moore and seconded by Councillor Maslin
          that the recommendation in the report be agreed.

          RESOLVED that the Constitution be amended to reflect the content of
          the report.

5.        Announcements or Communications

          There were no announcements.

6.        Written notification from the Mayor of the Constitution and Composition
          of the Executive, including the Deputy Mayor

          RESOLVED that the report be received.

7.        Notification from the Mayor of the nature and extent of any decision
          making powers delegated by him in relation to Executive functions and
          to incorporate this in the Council's Constitution at Part VIII

          RESOLVED to note that there are no changes to the existing Mayoral
          Scheme of Delegation in Part VIII of the Council's Constitution.

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8.        The Terms of Reference for size and composition of an Overview and
          Scrutiny Committee, a Standards Committee and such other
          committees as the Council thinks fit to deal with matters which are
          neither reserved to Council nor Executive functions

          RESOLVED to note that there are no changes to the terms of reference
          of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Standards Committee or other
          committees, save those referred to in the report at item 4 above.

9.        Political Balance

          The table set out in the report was amended to read as follows:-

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Proportionality as at 5.12.03
                                                                           Council Proportionality              Overview & Scrutiny
Committee               Total   Majority Party   Minority Parties    Majority Party   Minority Parties   Majority Party  Minority Parties
                                                                      (76.36%)           (23.64%)         (71.11%)           (28.89%)
                                      Actual           Actual          Entitlement        Entitlement

Planning (A)             10            8                2                7.63              2.36
Planning (B)             10            8                2                7.63              2.36
Planning (C)             10            8                2                7.63              2.36
Strategic Planning       10            8                2                7.63              2.36
Licensing                10            8                2                7.63              2.36
Pensions Investment       8            6                2                6.11              1.89
Health, Safety &          6            5                1                4.58              1.42
Welfare at Work Cttee
Elections                 6            5                1                4.58              1.42
Standards                4            3                1                 3.05              0.95
Constitution W.P.        8             6                2                6.11              1.89
                         82           65               17

Select Committees
Adult Care & Health       9            6                3                                                    6.40              2.60
Children & Young          8            6                2                                                    5.69              2.31
Public Accounts           9            6                3                                                    6.40              2.60
Quality Public            7            5                2                                                    4.98              2.02
Social Inclusion         9            6                 3                                                    6.40              2.60
Environment               9            6                3                                                    6.40              2.60
                         51           35               16

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          It was moved by Councillor Moore and duly seconded that:

          (i)         the seats on the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committees be
                      allocated to each political group in the same proportion as is
                      borne by the number of members of that group on the Overview
                      and Scrutiny Committee to the total number of seats on the
                      Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The effect being that the
                      seats be allocated in the proportions set out in the amended
                      table circulated around the Chamber; and

          (ii)        the recommendation in the report be agreed.

          RESOLVED that the political make-up of the Council be confirmed and
          the allocation of seats on the committees set out in the revised table
          be agreed.

10.       Appointment of Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the Municipal Year

          RESOLVED that, with the exception of the members of the Executive,
          the Overview and Scrutiny Committee comprise the remaining
          members of the Council for the municipal year 2004/2005.

11.       Council Appointments to Committees etc. for the Municipal Year

          It was moved by Councillor Klier and seconded by Councillor J Hastie
          that members be appointed to serve on committees listed in (a) to (k)
          below. The motion was declared carried and it was

          RESOLVED that members be appointed to serve on committees, as
          indicated, for the municipal year 2004/2005.

                      (a)   Planning Committee (A)

                            Councillors Amrani, Britton, Dawson, Eytle, Fitzsimmons,
                            Huntbach, Long, Nash, Owolabi-Oluyole and Watt

                      (b)   Planning Committee (B)

                            Councillors Adefiranye, Chater, J Hastie, Johnson,
                            Ingleby, Maslin, Massey, Page, S Scott and Semple

                      (c)   Planning Committee (C)

                            Councillors Bodimeade, Collins, Garcha, C Hastie,

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                            Houghton, Klier, Nisbet, Stephen Padmore, T Scott and
                      (d)   Strategic Planning Committee

                            Councillors Amrani, Collins, Holder, Huntbach, Ingleby,
                            Klier, Long, Massey, T Scott and Whiting

                      (e)   Licensing Committee

                            Councillors Addison, Britton, Carlisle, Handley, Houghton,
                            Morrison, Muldoon, Stephen Padmore, Stockbridge and Till

                      (f)   Pensions Investment Committee

                            Councillors Best, Bodimeade, Dawson, Huntbach, Klier,
                            Maslin and Nisbet

                      (g)   Health, Safety and Welfare Committee

                            Councillors Morris, Muldoon, Sabina Padmore, S Scott,
                            Stockbridge and Till

                      (h)   Elections Committee

                            Councillors Bodimeade, Carlisle, Eytle, Huntbach, Maslin
                            and Massey

                      (i)   Standards Committee

                            Councillors Adefiranye, Eytle, Houghton and Morrison

                            Independent Members: Ms S Hawkins, N Hameed,
                                                 B Joseph and C Sullivan

                      (j)   Council Urgency Committee

                            The Mayor and Councillors Eytle, Moore, Morris and Smith

                            Substitutes: Councillor Bodimeade and Vice-Chair of
                                         Overview & Scrutiny Committee

                      (k)   Constitution Working Party

                            Councillors Anderson, Eytle, J Hastie, Moore, Morris, Smith and

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12.       Appointments to other committees and organisations for the Municipal
          Year 2004/2005

          It was moved by Councillor Moore and seconded by Councillor Smith
          that members be appointed to serve on other committees and
          organisations as set out in (a) to (v) below.

          The motion was declared carried and it was

          RESOLVED that members be appointed to serve on other committees
          and organisations as set out in (a) to (v) below:

                      (a)   Ackroyd Community Centre Management

                            Councillor S Scott

                      (b)   Age Concern Lewisham

                            Councillor Nisbet

                      (c)   Age Exchange Reminiscence Theatre

                            Councillor S Scott

                      (d)   Albany 2001 Council of Management

                            Councillor T Scott

                      (e)   Beckenham Place Park Working Party

                            Councillors Holder and Stockbridge

                      (f)   Blackheath Concert Halls - Board of Management

                            Councillor Klier

                      (g)   Blackheath Joint Working Party

                            Councillors Brown, Donnelly and Moore

                      (h)   Calabash Day Centre Management Committee

                            Councillors Garcha and Stephen Padmore

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                      (i)   Community Operations Service for Mental Health

                            Councillor S Scott

                      (j)   Forest Hill and Sydenham Voluntary Service Association

                            Councillor Till

                      (k)   Ladywell Centre

                            Councillor Morrison

                      (l)   Lewisham Citizen’s Advice Bureau Management

                            Councillor Carlisle

                      (m)   Lewisham Disability Coalition

                            Councillor Addison

                      (n)   Lewisham Local History Council/Society

                            Councillor Till

                      (o)   Lewisham Pensioner’s Forum Management Committee

                            Councillor Fitzsimmons

                      (p)   Lewisham Police/Community Consultative Group

                            Councillors Addison, C Hastie, Houghton, Klier and Onuegbu

                      (q)   London Youth Games

                            Councillor Eytle
                            Deputy: Councillor Till

                      (r)   Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust

                            Councillor Garcha

                      (s)   Race Equality Action Lewisham

                            Councillors Stephen Padmore and T Scott

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                      (t)   Rose Apple Centre Management Committee

                            Councillor Stephen Padmore (1 vacancy)

                      (u)   St Mary’s Centre Management Committee

                            Councillor Handley

                      (v)   Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education

                            Councillors Garcha and T Scott

13.       Programme of Council Meetings for the Municipal Year 2004/2005

          RESOLVED that subject to the addition of a meeting of the Council on
          21 July, ordinary meetings of the Council be held on 21 April, 16 June,
          15 September, 17 November 2004 and 26 January and 2 and 9 March
          2005 and that the Annual General Meeting be held on 23 March 2005.

14.       Appointments by the Mayor

          RESOLVED to note the appointments made by the Mayor to the
          following external bodies/committees etc:

                      (a)   Works Council

                            The Mayor and Councillors Best, Brown, Donnelly, Holder,
                            McGarrigle, Moore, Onuegbu, Whiting and Wise

                      (b)   Schools Organisation Committee

                            Councillor Donnelly

                      (c)   Adoption and Permanency Panel

                            Councillors Fitzsimmons, McGarrigle and Nash

                      (d)   Association of London Government

                            (i)    Leader's Committee

                                   The Mayor
                                   Deputy:   Councillor Moore

                            (ii)   Culture & Tourism Forum

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                                     Councillor McGarrigle

                            (iii)    Education Forum

                                     Councillor Donnelly
                                     Deputy:     Councillor Massey

                            (iv)     Transport & Environment Committee

                                     Councillor Moore
                                     Deputies: Councillors Brown and Muldoon

                            (v)      Economic Development Forum

                                     Councillor Moore

                            (vi)     Housing Panel

                                     Councillor Wise
                                     Deputy:     Councillor Moore

                            (vii)    Health & Social Services Forum

                                     Councillor Holder
                                     Deputy:     Councillor Fitzsimmons

                            (viii)   Community Safety & Policing Forum

                                     Councillor Onuegbu

                            (ix)     Grants Committee

                                     Councillor Best

                            (x)      London Housing Unit Committee

                                     Councillor Wise

                      (e)   Greater London Enterprise

                            Councillor Moore

                      (f)   Local Strategic Partnership

                            The Mayor and Councillors Donnelly, Holder and Moore

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                      (g)   Silwood SRB Management Board

                            Councillors Onuegbu and Owolabi-Oluyole

                      (h)   Thames Gateway London Partnership

                            Councillor Moore

                      (i)   Urban Renaissance in Lewisham SRB Board

                            Councillors Bodimeade and Morrison
                            Deputies: Councillors Nash and Handley

                      (j)   London Arts Board Local Authority Forum

                            Councillors Ingleby and McGarrigle

                      (k)   South East London Transport Strategy Group

                            Councillor Moore

                      (l)   Local Authorities Action for South Africa - National
                            Steering Committee

                            Councillor Garcha
                            Deputy:     Councillor Morrison

                      (m)   Race Equality Action for Lewisham Management Committee

                            Councillor McGarrigle

                      (n)   Art of Regeneration SRB Board

                            Councillors Adefiranye and McGarrigle

                      (o)   Downham Community Partnership Board

                            Councillors Eytle, Fletcher and McGarrigle

                      (p)   Greater London Provincial Council

                            Leader's Committee:      The Mayor
                            1st Deputy:              Councillor Moore
                            2nd Deputy:              Councillor Whiting

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                      (q)   Lewisham Health Partnership

                            Councillors Brown, Fitzsimmons, Holder and Owolabi-Oluyole

                      (r)   Local Government Association - General Assembly

                            The Mayor and Councillors Anderson, Morris and Moore

                      (s)   New Deal for Communities Board

                            Councillors Massey and Sabina Padmore

                      (t)   School Organisation Committee

                            Councillor Donnelly

                      (u)   Social Services (Access to Personal Files) Panel

                            All Members of the Adult Care and Health Select Committee

                      (v)   Social Services Complaints and Representations Panel

                            All Members of the Adult Care and Health Select Committee

                      (w)   South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP)

                            Councillor T Scott

                      (x)   South East London Waste Disposal Group

                            Councillor T Scott

                      (y)   Voluntary Action Lewisham

                            Councillors Amrani and Owolabi-Oluyole

                      (z)   Children and Young People Stakeholders Forum

                            The Mayor, Cabinet Members for Children & Young People
                            and Adult Care & Health and the Chairs of Children & Young
                            People and Adult Care & Health Select Committees

                      (aa) Housing Board

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                            Councillors Best, Moore, Kisicki, Owolabi-Oluyole, T Scott and

15.       Appointment of a Representative to serve on the Lee (Non-Educational)
          Charity of William Hatcliffe, Lee (Educational) Charity of William
          Hatcliffe and Boone's Education Charity

          RESOLVED          that

          (i)         the changes to the nomination rights in the case of the Hatcliffe
                      Charities be agreed; and

          (ii)        Councillor Donnelly be nominated to serve on the three charities
                      for a term of four years.

16.       Delegated Authority to make decisions in the event of a Catastrophic
          Incident in London

          RESOLVED that the London Local Authority Gold resolutions set out in
          Appendix 1 to the report be adopted.

17.       Lewisham's Young Mayor

          RESOLVED that the Mayor's decisions be endorsed.

18.       Annual Report from the Mayor

          The Mayor addressed the Council as follows:-

          "This is the third time I have stood here at the Council’s annual meeting
          to deliver a speech – and it is a little disconcerting to realise that I will
          only do this once more before there is another mayoral election in
          Lewisham. I want to take this opportunity to look at the state of
          Lewisham at this mid point of my administration and also to look
          forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

          It is not possible to do my job without the help and support of some
          very dedicated people. The staff of the Civic Suite have some of the
          more unpredictable jobs at the Town Hall but still manage to remain
          cheerful, courteous and helpful! They take the strange phone calls,
          open the letters written in green ink, respond politely to abusive emails
          and rescue those who have got lost looking for Committee Room 6 –
          and once they have finished dealing with elected members there is
          the general public to deal with as well. Without their assistance many
          of the things that we all take for granted would simply not happen -
          thanks to you all.

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          At Lewisham, the Council has a good record in delivering services and
          engaging with local communities. But our record can still be better.
          And so we have been learning from other councils how we can
          improve. Learning from councils around London and across the
          country. What is more I’ve made sure that we have developed our
          links of friendship and learning with local government in Europe and
          South Africa and that these links will continue to be developed.

          Kris and I had the pleasure of visiting Ekurhuleni in the autumn and
          seeing at first hand the miracle that is being delivered daily in that fine
          country. We were fortunate that our visit coincided with a celebration
          of the life of Oliver Tambo – President of the ANC from 1965 to 1991 and
          who spent over three decades in exile from South Africa. We were
          given the opportunity to lay a wreath at his graveside on behalf of
          Lewisham and I was honoured to be invited to contribute to a
          memorial event in the presence of his widow Dr Adelaide Tambo. The
          wisdom, courage and dignity of O R Tambo continues to inspire not
          only South Africans as they carry forward their young democracy to
          maturity but all people across our troubled globe who struggle against
          oppression, hatred and dictatorship.

          Our visit also allowed me to get to know Mayor Duma Nkosi better.
          Before visiting Ekurhuleni I knew him to be a leader of vision and ability
          but there I learned that he is something more. He is a man who inspires
          others to achieve more than they thought possible. In doing so he wins
          not only their respect but also their affection. These are characteristics
          that separate great leaders from those who are merely good. I am
          proud to call such a man my friend. We look forward to watching
          Ekurhuleni go from strength to strength just as I know the partnership will
          thrive in the years ahead. For those of you who want to know more
          about Ekurhuleni, there is a session next week here at the Town Hall and
          I am pleased to say we will shortly receive Mayor Nkosi and his wife
          Florence for an all too short visit to Lewisham.

          We have also continued to work closely with our friends from
          Charlottenberg- Wilmersdorf in Berlin and was delighted to welcome to
          Lewisham, Councillor Skrodzki and his wife along with their Twinning
          Officer, Ulrike Lskowski and her husband to celebrate the 35th
          anniversary of our twinning.

          The Charity has raised over £10,000 this year and we will shortly be
          presenting another cheque to the Lavender Trust, which will continue
          to be the principal beneficiary of our fund raising efforts. I believe that
          due to the personal efforts of the Chief Executive you will be able to
          enjoy a Lavender cup cake made to Nigella Lawson’s recipe and sold
          in support of the Trust!

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          Thanks are particularly due to Derek Johnson and his team of helpers
          whose tireless work made possible the successful events, including
          several at the Rivoli Ballroom – one of Lewisham’s gems – and our
          thanks are due to Bill Mannix who is always a great supporter of the
          charity’s work. The golfers among you should be getting ready for the
          Golf Day in July again but sadly there is one regular event that will no
          longer happen. The closure of the Greyhound stadium means our
          annual ‘Night at the Dogs’ is no more. Like many local residents I was
          deeply upset by the sudden closure of a much-loved local institution.
          Catford Dogs may not have been the height of fashion but it was
          something that thousands of us enjoyed over the years and even those
          for whom a “reverse forecast on traps 1 and 6” means nothing will feel
          the loss of a local landmark.

          Catford has been maligned from time to time – it is one of those parts of
          London like Neasden and Peckham that some people seem to think are
          fair game for humour. But we need to turn the joke on its head. Catford
          has the potential to play a significant role in the bright future of this city of
          ours – it has superb transport links, and we can identify sites – even
          including the Greyhound Stadium that are ripe for redevelopment.

          The progress that is being made in Deptford and Lewisham town centre
          will be well known to this audience but I say to you now that I have no
          intention of letting Catford become a poor relation – we will campaign
          hard to finally get the South Circular moved and thus open up the area
          immediately around us – the Council will need to take a long hard look at
          its buildings in Catford and out of this we and the local community will
          work together to plan and deliver new homes, better shops and leisure
          provision in the years ahead.

          But I am getting ahead of myself - during the last year I have continued
          to visit local groups, schools and partner organisations. A rough
          estimate is 400 such visits but sadly more than twice as many meetings!
          One of the characters in the Welsh writer Gwyn Thomas’s play The
          Keep says

          “My life’s been a meeting Dad, one long meeting. Even on the few
          committees I don’t yet belong too the agenda winks at me when I
          pass” - I know how he felt…

          But let me share with you some of the experiences from those visits –
          those chances to see the real Lewisham not the pale shadow you only
          see in meetings.

          Throughout the course of the year I have met and talked to literally
          hundreds of young people of all ages – in recent weeks I have been
          visiting schools to talk about the election for that Young Mayor I

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          alluded to last year. Yet again, I have been reminded that our
          borough is full of bright, enthusiastic kids – and one of them is going to
          have the chance to speak to us on their behalf. And believe me we
          had better be ready to listen because the usual platitudes and
          politician speak simply won’t cut it.

          Earlier in the year, I had the privilege to present awards to some of the
          police officers who had been involved in the dreadful events at the
          Millwall vs Birmingham game on the 2 May 2002. And having
          mentioned an event that everyone associated with the Club would
          prefer to forget, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Millwall on
          reaching the FA Cup semi final – the season is a long way from over but
          already it has been one of great achievement – I also want to extend
          my congratulations to the Millwall supporters whose behaviour before,
          during and after Sunday’s game with West Ham was exemplary.

          Last Friday I opened the Park nursery in a splendidly refurbished building
          on the old Hither Green Hospital site. I was particularly pleased to have
          the opportunity to do this having been involved at Lewisham Hospital
          Trust when the Hither Green Hospital closed but the project also
          exemplified so much that is good about Lewisham:

         •     A much loved building was being brought back into public use,
         •     A successful Lewisham business was growing,
         •     The public bodies – in this case the Council’s Early Years and
               Planning sections had been supportive and worked along side the
         •     Places at the nursery for parent who wanted to retrain or return to
               work are being supported through Neighbourhood nursery shemes,
         •     In short a really effective combination of private initiative and public
               support leading to a great facility for the community.

          But please don’t think our system operates like a one man band – I
          could not do my job without the help and support of other councillors.
          In particular, I want to thank the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gavin Moore, who
          despite the challenges of being a new father has continued to be
          energetic, committed and a source of invaluable advice. I thank the
          Chair of Council, Cllr Les Eytle and the former Vice Chair, Cllr Crada
          Onuegbu for their help and support in sharing the workload of civic
          engagements over the last year. I am delighted that Crada agreed to
          join the cabinet and I trust we will keep Dave Bodimeade busy over the
          coming year. I announced the membership of my cabinet earlier in
          the year and I have today written to the Chief Executive with details of
          the portfolios they will hold for the next year. These will, of course, be
          made available to members but the key points are that Katy Donnelly
          will take responsibility for Children and Young People, Mike Holder for
          Adult provision and relations with the Health Service, Adult Education

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          will in future be the responsibility of Alyson McGarrigle. To all the
          members of my cabinet many thanks for your help and support.

          I would like to thank Cllr Long for her work over the last two years as
          Chair of Overview and Scrutiny – it is not easy being the first occupant
          of a new job as I well know but Madeliene’s experience and deep
          knowledge of the key issues has been of immense value to this Council.

          I would like to thank Barrie Anderson and Matthew Huntbach for the
          courteous and constructive way they have acted as leaders of the
          major opposition groups within the Council. To Matthew who is
          standing down as leader of the opposition, I want to say a particular
          thank you – your commitment to Lewisham in general and Downham,
          in particular, is genuine and we should not let political differences
          prevent us recognising how important yet difficult it is to provide
          effective opposition - a task you have performed with great diligence.

          My four advisers Wozzy Brewster, Father Paul Butler, David Michael and
          Robin Stott are proving invaluable in offering thoughts, ideas and
          challenges that stimulate new thinking and good practice.

          The job of an elected mayor extends beyond those services provided
          by Lewisham Council to encompass the whole of the borough and I
          want to take this opportunity to salute some of the achievements of
          the public services of our Borough.

     •    Lewisham Hospital continues to be rated 3 star – the number of
          delayed discharges each day has been reduced from 70 – i.e. more
          than 2 full wards – to around 10 – this has happened through
          partnership working between the Hospital, Social Services and the
          Primary Care Trust – and that crucially means cross charging is largely
          avoided and the resources released can be ploughed back into
          developing community services to further improve the speed of

     •    Lewisham Police are not only meeting many targets but are exceeding
                some by a considerable margin

               o The Sapphire Team, dealing with Rape cases have a target for
                 judicial disposal of 25% and has achieved 52% so far this year

               o For Homophobic crimes the target is 18% and the achievement

               o For Race crimes the target is again 18% and the achievement

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     •    Later this year the Safer Neighbourhoods Programme will bring teams
          of locally based Police and PCSO’s to the first 3 locations. And before
          anyone else mentions it, yes, there have been concerns about the
          figures for street crimes but the figures for the last 8 weeks as at 18
          March show:

               o Street Crime down 5.4%
               o Vehicle Crime down 6.3%
               o Burglary down 10.6%

     •    Our Education partners at Lewisham College and Goldsmiths continue
          to display the leadership and innovation we have come to expect and
          both are critical to the future success of our borough, Tonight our
          thoughts and prayers are with the Warden of Goldsmiths, Ben Pimlott
          who is in hospital recovering from a serious illness. Your wisdom and
          good humour are much missed – we wish you a full and speedy

     •    A few weeks ago the Lewisham Faith Network was launched enabling
          the many active faith groups and communities of our borough to share
          ideas and information. Their contribution to the wider community must
          not be under estimated – let me share just one example – a scheme
          was launched a few weeks ago called the Street Pastors – trained
          volunteers are working in the small hours of Friday and Saturday
          mornings in the place where young people gather offering advice,
          guidance and support.

     •    Our Local Strategic Partnership which brings together the public,
          private and community sectors is finding its feet and becoming a place
          where we can develop ideas and strategies that capitalise on the
          ethos of partnership, which runs so deep in Lewisham.

          It would be easy to continue this listing and I have not even touched
          on the many successes achieved by council staff yet – I know you will
          be all be expecting to mention the refuse service – and I wouldn’t want
          to disappoint you – let me read you part of a genuine email received
          last week.

          “may I congratulate your dustmen on the truly excellent service they
          have given this block of flats over the last eight months.”

          There are many other things I could and should mention – the
          improved results in our schools, the success of our adoption services,
          the Honor Oak wardens who were named as team of the year by the
          Deputy Prime Minister, and whatever residents think about the level of
          our council tax, they certainly recognise that the team who collect it
          are good at doing a difficult job – and last but certainly not least

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          congratulations to everyone involved in bringing the London in Bloom
          title to Lewisham.

          To all those who deserved to be added to the list but weren’t
          mentioned please accept my apologies – your efforts are appreciated

          I am asked in different ways a recurring question – what is my vision for
          Lewisham? Tonight I am launching a document I have written titled
          “The Place we call Home” which tries to answer that question. When
          you leave you will find copies of it to take away. It is not a plan or a
          strategy – we have enough of those already – it is a personal statement
          and I hope it will encourage debate. I am also presenting the 10
          priorities which I believe should guide the Council’s work and we will
          have an opportunity to debate these at a Council meeting next
          month. Tonight I simply offer them as an indication of the practical
          implications of some of the issues I raise in my paper. I hope that those
          of you who share my concerns will feel free to comment on the issues
          and ideas I raise in the coming months.

          The place we call the London Borough of Lewisham has only existed
          since 1964. It is an artificial construct. Most of us when asked where we
          live are more likely to say London or our neighbourhood. Yet in those
          40 years Lewisham has grown together as a community and apart from
          its neighbours. As a community it has less crime, experiences less
          tensions and is more integrated than those neighbours. The Council
          has played a dual role throughout those years – as a provider of
          services and a source of leadership to the community.

          Lewisham is part of one of the great cities of the world – a city which is
          growing faster than it has for a 100 years – a city where a spectacular
          new business district has been built in the last 20 years on the old Isle of
          Dogs. From Lewisham Town Centre to Canary Wharf is a mere 7
          minutes, while Charing Cross is just 15 minutes away. Today the area of
          opportunity extends far to the East of London beyond Docklands – over
          the next six years more than a 100,000 news jobs will be created.
          Lewisham and its people can be part of this great revival of London
          but it won’t happen if we don’t work at it, if we don’t seize the
          opportunities provided by the DLR and the other changes that are
          coming, not least the East London Line extension.

          The task you have given me is to lead Lewisham and to find ways of
          reconciling different aspirations – to make sure that the public services
          are delivered – the streets swept, the parks made safe and attractive,
          the graffiti that some of our citizens feel compelled to create removed
          and a 101 other things but also to articulate what Lewisham can be –

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          to describe a future that locates us as a creative hub for the growing
          city and persuades others to join us in making that dream a reality.

          Standing here in this chamber before the splendid portrait of Martin
          Luther King I am reminded that to be effective leaders we also need to
          be able to dream. And I have a dream of what our home can
          become – a dream of what being the best place to live, work and
          learn might really mean.

          Think about a Lewisham where good neighbours are easy to find,
          where parents help their children to grow into responsible citizens, a
          place where we understand that we are the trustees of this earth for
          generations still to come, a place where talents are fulfilled and the
          wisdom of elders is valued.

          But to make progress towards that dream, we must begin with the
          world as we find it -

          Our immediate tasks are to:
     •    make sure every resident of Lewisham has a decent home;
     •    make our homes and our streets safe;
     •    give every child the opportunity to fulfil her or his potential;
     •    give our young people the chance to explore their talents and
     •    provide the training and support that enables every adult to make a
     •    give our elders the respect and care that their work and wisdom
          deserves; and
     •    treat each other with respect and compassion.

          That is more than I alone can deliver.

          It is more than 54 local councillors, 3 MPs and 1 GLA member can

          It is more than thousands of public employees can deliver

          But 250,000 people working together might just do it

          While I am mayor my aim, my mission, my ambition will be to try to
          make that dream live, to know that our combined efforts are bringing
          that ideal closer than when we started just two years ago.

          Few of us ever achieve our dreams in quite the way we hope but the
          pursuit of them is what makes us human and in that pursuit we will
          make Lewisham, our home, a better place to live, work and learn. We
          might even raise a generation who will laugh at our puny efforts as they

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          make their own dream live in their chosen way. But if we don’t try we
          will never know how much we really can achieve.
          We need to find a better way of working together – one that builds on
          the strengths of different types of organisation rather that trying to
          change effective community groups to meet a governmental
          template. All levels of government need to stop congratulating
          themselves for their unilateral acts of charity, of service, of largesse to
          “the community”. Instead we need to take the next step and
          recognize that every thing we do, every interaction has to become a
          way of saying and meaning "We need each other."

          We have to build trust locally - trust based on reciprocity and
          engagement, often in situations where distrust and alienation hold
          sway. I believe we need to support both individuals and organisations
          in ways which enable them to do the things they are good at in their
          own way – not according to our narrow template.

          I have direct responsibility for the services provided by the Council and
          in all that I do I will seek to ensure that the Council as a whole works in
          an open, consultative way. I want the Council to be:

               -      focused on serving its citizens
               -      passionate about the services it offers
               -      working as one team
               -      honest and confident
               -      listening and learning all the time

          But the commitment to working with the community must be reflected
          in the way those services are delivered. As individuals in our
          communities we are stronger when we act together, weaker when we
          act alone. The same is true of delivering the complex services for which
          the Council, and other public authorities, are responsible.

          Improvements in front line services to the people of Lewisham will come
          through the very successful and strong partnerships that have been
          established with key statutory agencies – like health, police, education,
          training, probation and many others as well as with voluntary sector

          Those partnerships need to be built upon to improve measurably
          outcomes for local people. Most people are understandably not very
          interested in the precise detail of who delivers services but they are
          concerned about access to, and the quality of, those services. Through
          joint commissioning of services the aim must be to ensure that service
          delivery becomes as seamless as possible.

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          Underpinning all that partnership work must be a commitment to
          involving the public, and specifically service users, in the development,
          improvement and delivery of services. To be effective this approach
          needs to be shared by all the agencies working in Lewisham. The
          challenge for the future is to build on the most successful initiatives and
          to extend the principles of public and user involvement more widely.
          But we need to go further.

          As citizens we only give governments powers to do things on our behalf
          because there are some things we just can’t do individually – or even
          as a family - build roads, train doctors or dispose of our rubbish for
          example. And I am convinced that it is the people who are closest to
          the ground who understand best what is needed in a given locality. I
          believe that the more room there is for localised decision making, the
          more commitment and innovation is released.

          That same argument is used by many in local government to urge
          Central government to hand power to localities – and it is a strong and
          valid argument – but it must be taken to its logical conclusion – are
          there things that the Council or other local public agencies are doing
          which could be handed over to the community itself? If the argument
          holds good for relations between central and local government it
          follows that local councils should also seek to hand back power to
          local people wherever possible.

          In a recent Fabian Pamphlet, Hazel Blears, the Home Office Minister

          “We need to change the culture of democracy, with the
          democratisation of huge swathes of public life. This does not mean
          more elections for more public officials…….A culture of democracy is
          not determined by how many votes you have to cast for others, but by
          what stake and say you have over decisions which affect you.”

          Many people in local government perceived that as a threat but I see
          it as a clarion call to create a new and infinitely healthier relationship
          between local government and local communities.                I offer no
          timetable as yet, no step by step plan but I hope to persuade my
          fellow citizens that it is a goal worth pursuing.

          I cannot end this speech without referring to an event which some
          members of our community have worked and prayed for but which is
          nevertheless, a most difficult and harrowing experience for them. The
          second inquest into the events of the 1981 New Cross Fire has been
          underway for several months now and should come to an end in a few
          weeks time. The parents, relatives and friends of those young people
          whose lives were lost have waited almost a quarter of a century for

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          answers to the questions that have haunted them. Whether after so
          many years the inquest will provide those answers is still unknown but
          the families waited far too long for this and whatever the outcome they
          will continue to be entitled to have our unequivocal and unstinting

          Can I thank you for coming this evening and for listening to me. I am
          proud to call Lewisham my home and to be its mayor. I look forward to
          working with you, debating with and perhaps even disagreeing with
          you in the coming year. Please now join me in a few moments in the
          foyer for some refreshments and a chance to chat and of course do
          some networking! Thank you’’.

          The meeting ended at 8.25 p.m.

                                                           Chair of Council

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