“When I stand up, you sit down!”
(Wags finger at naughty children).
It’s always been my opinion that the *regeneration* of Beckenham Place Park is a metaphor for the endemic deceit, obfuscation, manipulation and arrogance within Lewisham Council. But not many people took much notice of such issues thrown up by this project.
Why would they?
It’s only a park.
It’s only a park right on the periphery of the borough, both geographically and in the Lewisham psyche.
It’s only a public park that used to contain a public golf course.
Golf is boring, golf is played by middle-aged, middle-class, white men. Obvs.
So why worry about the deceit, obfuscation and manipulation utilised to close the 90 acre public golf course and obtain a large grant of money for the *regeneration* of all 240 acres?
Except that not all 240 acres will benefit – the parts of the park nearest to Lewisham will not – and that’s another story!
Moving on, the attempt to compulsory purchase land crucial to the running of Millwall Football Club, both its business and community programmes, is another example of how Lewisham Council operate and, again, the wider Lewisham public weren’t too much bothered by it, for similar reasons.
It’s only football.
It’s only Millwall. No one likes them! 😂
Millwall are on the periphery of the borough.
Why be bothered? Luckily, Millwall FC itself and their fans proved a much tougher opponent than the people who wanted fair scrutiny of the golf course issue and the CPO has gone away. For now, at least.
But nothing escapes the Eagle Eyes of the Millwall fans!
Now, with the advent of the new executive mayor, who has the misfortune of 1) inheriting a number of contentious issues from his predecessor (although sympathy is in short supply because he was a Cabinet Member) and the fact that 2) Mayor Egan has presided over one gaff after another since his election, lots of people in mainstream Lewisham are up in arms. The penny has dropped in some cases and is plummeting in others.
All is not well in the heart of Lewisham, from people worried about needless destruction of council housing, even more needless destruction of a community garden, libraries under threat, perceived social cleansing dressed up as regeneration, an out of touch and arrogant council and the mysterious departure of a new Chief Executive Officer who arrived to a great fanfare with excellent credentials, including a reputation for tackling cover ups!
I’m not going to address all those issues but the latter is very interesting, insofar as the Council’s announcement about Ian Thomas’ departure said that the Council had parted company with him because of a change of direction. See my question to Full Council and the response below. I’m not sure where privacy and confidentiality fit into a simple issue as a “change of direction!”
Also of concern is that Lewisham Council really did not want the Press present at last week’s Full Council meeting.
So, without further ado, I will just leave some more screen shots on the other issues here for you to contemplate.
(I sympathise 👆having been one of three people *allowed* to make a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation when submitting a paper petition of 5,000 signatures to a council meeting. Councillors listened politely to our case for keeping the asset which was the public golf course, both for its value as a sport facility and its potential to grow business and earn income for the Council, with the right management. It could offer so much more than it was delivering, in conjunction with a regeneration scheme for the park to offer so much more. But then an officer was allowed to speak for an unlimited amount of time to obscure the picture and we were not allowed to ask her questions 🤔)
Yes, there were some members of other political parties and some single issue campaigners above, but also some people who are just fed up with how Lewisham Council operate, including some extremely upset people about the departure of the new CEO, and they are starting to see the light! Hallelujah!