Council votes unanimously to oppose TSA proposals

At the Council meeting earlier this week, Councillors from all four political parties elected in Lewisham voted unanimously against proposals to close the A&E and Maternity services at Lewisham Hospital. 

Everyone was in agreement that the proposals will be detrimental to the health and well-being of Lewisham residents and I have written to the Special Administrator and the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to inform them of our collective views

The Council will be submitting a detailed response to the proposals as part of the consultation, which closes on 13 December. We are holding a joint meeting of Mayor and Cabinet, Healthier Communities Select Committee and Overview and Scrutiny Business Panel on 10 December to agree the response collectively. We will make the response public when it has been agreed.

We need as many people as possible to respond to the consultation. You can find out how to do so by visiting theTSA’s website Alternatively you can email them using tsaconsultation@nhs.net.

Thousands March to Save Lewisham Hospital

I was stunned by the turn out at the Save Lewisham Hospital march on Saturday. Never before have I seen the people of this borough so united and angry. That thousands of people came out in such awful weather shows the strength of opposition to the proposals. My thanks go to those involved in organising the march for ensuring so many were there. 

The march got a significant amount of coverage in the London media, with BBC London and ITV London both running reports on the evening news. This coverage will help to raise awareness of the Special Administrator’s (TSA) proposals and helps to keep the momentum of the campaign going. 

The fight for A&E and maternity services doesn’t stop here though. The Council is formulating it’s response to the proposals and it’s important that everyone who was on the march does the same. The consultation ends on 13 December, you can find out how to respond on the TSA’s website. 

The Save Lewisham Hopsital campaign is continuing to hold events, with the next being a public meeting at 7pm on 28 November at the Broadway Theatre in Catford. Visit their website to find out more information about that and future events. 

Finally, if you haven’t signed the petition yet, you can do so here. Almost 20,000 people have so far and we need as many as possible to make the maximum impact.

Caring Christmas Trees

The Jericho Project do great work with the homeless and this year they are again selling Christmas trees locally to help fund their work. The trees are excellent quality and can be ordered from their website.

Fight to Save Lewisham’s A&E

Last night I spoke a public meeting attended by approximately 1,000 people organised by the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign. I was heartened by the number of residents who turned up and squeezed into not just the main room but several over flow rooms as well. It was clear that our community opposes the Special Administrators proposals and are united in their desire to fight them. I gave a commitment to put the full weight of the councils resources behind this and to examine the draft report to identify the weaknesses with the analysis that has been put forward.

It’s important to remember that at the moment these are draft proposals and we have until 13th December to respond to them. I would urge as many people as possible to respond directly to the Special Administrator. You can find out how to do this by visiting the Special Administrator’s website.

But as well as responding we need to campaign. I urge you to join the thousands of people who have already signed the petition against the proposals which can be found here.. The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign has organised a ‘hands around our hospital’ and march on Saturday 24th November from 2pm. Full details on the website here.

The Special Administrator has also organised a number of consultation meetings for Lewisham residents. The dates and venues of these meetings are as follows:

Friday 16th November, 10am-12pm, Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW

    Monday 26th November, 2pm-4pm, St Andrew’s Centre, Wickham & Brockley Roads, Brockley, SE4 2SA
    Tuesday 4th December, 7pm-9pm, Calabash Day Centre, 26 George Lane, Lewisham, SE13 6HH
      Other meetings have been organised in South East London, the full calendar is on the Special Administrator’s website

here.

Congratulations to Steve Bullock – Governor of Montana!

It’s been election time across the Atlantic this week and while the celebrations for Barack Obama’s historic re-election have been raging, I was keeping an eye on the Montana Governor result. 

This was not because Lewisham and Montana have any special relationship of our own, but because the Democrat candidate was called Steve Bullock. I just want to reassure Lewisham residents that it wasn’t me! But I’m delighted that yesterday, my namesake was announced as victorious over his Republican rival. 

Montana has little in common with Lewisham, it is the fourth largest US State by area with a population of just 998,000, but Governor Bullock and I share some of the same priorities of creating jobs and improving the education of our young people. 

My congratulations go to Governor Bullock, and I wish him well when he takes up office in January next year.

Lewisham A&E, Fireworks and the BBC

LEWISHAM HOSPITAL 
An online petition has been launched opposing the plans to close Lewisham A&E – you can sign it here.
There is a Public Meeting to hear more about the plans and what you can do to save the hospital we rely onon Thursday, 8th November, 6-8pm, Lessoff Auditorium. Speakers include Jim Dowd MP, Heidi Alexander MP, Dr Louise Irvine, local GP and BMA council member and me.

BLACKHEATH FIREWORKS THIS SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER
The traditional Fireworks on Blackheath are on again this year – get more details here.

BBC CANCELS THE DANNY BAKER SHOW
The BBC yesterday cancelled Blackheath resident Danny Baker’s show on BBC London. He is one of the most original broadcasters around and their decision makes no sense at all. If you’ve got some time this weekend have a listen to his final show here. Then have a listen to this track by Mark Germino.