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Val Shawcross

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Wednesday 21 April 2010 7.45am
Hi Gary,

Thank you for responding to my post.

Why would I choose to stand against councilors who work very hard for the area I live in and I am happy with?

You chose to come onto the forum and post. You also chose not to answer my original questions about what was on your website as your view.

Why would I choose to stand against councilors who work very hard for the area I live in and I am happy with?

It is difficult to discuss someones views when they do not respond to questions, and so assumptions are what is left.
However I will apologise for those assumptions if they are wrong, and will try again.

Q1. Does this apply to all young people, or just those who get pregnant?
Q2. If you intend this to apply to all young people why choose one subset and not be clear this would apply to all?
Q3. In either situation, what will be the position of young people coming out of care - either provided by council or through fostering?
Q4. If aimed only at pregnant girls, what of those who are pregnant due to rape, or suffer abuse from family or in the family home?
Q5. In one local neighbourhood 2007 - 2008 only 24% of students achieved 5 GCSE A* - C. (figure from neighbourhood statistics website) You have complained on here yourself about the indices of deprivation for children. Problems with those wanting university places and not enough spaces are well documented. How are these youngsters supposed to meet your requirements and why the emphasis for university over alternatives routes into work which would be more accessible to these young people?
Q6. At what point do you believe people should be entitled to social housing?
Q7. What do homeless people do prior to being able to meet your criteria?
Wednesday 21 April 2010 8.58am
Sorry Gary,

Just realised I have done what I have complained you have done.

'If you are not already standing to be a councillor yourself why don't you stand up and put your head above the parapet? If you were once a councillor, come back. You demonstrate a passion, which is great, and a view of what the problems are in the borough, but don't be an armchair politician and be happy to make a dig at people who are actually trying to make a difference rather than making a difference yourself.'

As I said in the previous post, I am more than happy with our standing candidates and see no point standing against them.

Whether I agree with someone's politics or not I do respect those who care enough to do something about what they are concerened about. And as you are well aware there are various ways of doing this other than entering politics (local or national)

I agree with you about the problems and issues with children / young people. While I don't pretend to have all the answers I don't agree with policies that setting targets that are simply going to be out of reach for many of those concerned. Which is exactly what I believe your intentions would do.

'A local councillor is not the same as a Member of Parliament. Most local councillors do not have an executive position therefore their role does not carry a salary; unlike an MP, it is a voluntary position. However, although a councillors role is as a volunteer it requires 30 to 40 hours of their own time every week of the year; not exactly part time.'

A point well worth making. One of the things I have come to appreciate about Bermondsy and the surrounding areas is the number of ordinary people who gladly give up their time, some matching these hours, often without any recognition.

'One more point I'd like to raise. In order for you to make your comments about my views you get to read them from my website. How many people who are already councillors have their own website? For the few that may have how many give their personal views rather than party-line comments? How many people running to be a councillor for the very first time have their own website, such as myself? I am not sure how many there are but there must be some. Most websites say very little which is typical of the typical MP website. I, on the other hand, give my views.'

And full credit to you on that. And you have recently said you are happy to discuss your views. On page 2 of this discussion I asked for clarification on some points which went unanswered. If I have missed your reply I fully apologise.

While I appreciate that this is a very busy time for yourself and others standing for election you chose to post here so it would not seem unreasonable to me that you would be prepared to enter into discussion. You should also appreciate failure to engage after posting leads to a degree of frustration and those choosing to read your site will make assumptions of your views and stated intentions if you do not respond.

'but your comments are no better than Brown and Cameron having a constant dig at each other which is such a pain in the backside and resolves nothing. However, your digs can only be one-sided. Everyone I know wants this bickering to stop.'

Agreed, part of the reason peoples response to your original post on here was not well received. One of the most common comments I hear is that local people are being forced out of the area, and there is no longer local homes for local people, especially young people. As in my original post part of the reason for polarising and segregating people.

So when someone standing for election expresses a view which suggests that homes should not be available for young people, either a section that should be getting support, or all young people unless they jump through impossible loops I will question what they mean.

If those questions are not answered then I will make assumptions right or wrong. Personally I believe I gave you the curtesy to respond and a clear indication how I was reading your views.

If I am wrong in my assumptions of your views please feel free to correct me.
Wednesday 21 April 2010 1.25pm
Hi dgeorgea

Lovely response; thank you.

I try to get onto SE1 often, but time constraints are not always my best friend, which would be the only reason for not responding to a direct question. As there have been many comments in the debate, which is great, I may have missed one or two.

There are no points you made in this communication I would contest.

Take care and have a good summer.



Gary Bland
Wednesday 21 April 2010 2.13pm
Hello Bermondseyboy

Thank you for making me smile. I believe the main parties, within reason, want the same things, but each has their own route to getting there. For me I believe the conservative route is by far the best.
Voting on a national level and voting locally are completely different in my view, and I know many places in the UK that have a Labour or LibDem MP, but who are run by a conservative led council. Year after year local residents across the UK are seeing the results in neighbouring Conservative led councils and they vote for change. The Conservative Party has more councillors across the UK than the LibDems and Labour put together.

The Office of National Statistics released data which said that 16 of the top 20 councils in the UK are Conservative controlled. The remaining four councils are neither Labour or LibDem led. My focus is purely on local matters, because I believe I could make a real difference to South Bermondsey.

I was born in Stepney and left school at 16 before taking exams, therefore I wasn't exposed to the politics of university life. When I had my first vote I, like many young adults, I voted for the same party as my parents, which was not conservative. However, I got a job in the print (the Guardian) and read a huge amount of information from all the major papers including, the Morning Star, and I firmly established that my views and opinions are conservative.
If your last comment is about, Loanna Morrison, the Parliamentary Candidate for Bermondsey & Old Southwark, she is good'en. What I like about Loanna is she is very direct, which is unusual, and she is a very hard worker - smart too. She once called herself a “Ghetto Tory”, which was based on her background and people often saying all Tories are toffs, which is not even close to the truth.

I'll be sticking with the conservatives, but that does not mean there are not shared goals and that councillors shouldn't work together just because they believe in a certain way of doing things.

Take care



Gary Bland
Wednesday 21 April 2010 8.46pm
Hi Gary,

Just got around to re reading your section on teenage mums.

While it probably would not surprise you to know I will not be voting Conversative, and besides which I don't live in your area, I did want to say I am impressed.

The three times I have read your page it has changed, for the better and is much better thought out. It also shows that you have listened to what people say, and have reflected on this.

Politics would be much richer if more politicians, local or national were more like this.
Wednesday 21 April 2010 9.33pm
Hi dgeorgea

Thank you very much for your kind words, they really are appreciated.

I have spoken to many people who, like you, are going to vote for Labour or LibDems for their MP. But I have been very surprised, and of course very pleased, that these non-conservatives have said they are going to vote for me at a local level, because of my work, views and because I live here.

The enormity of the task ahead is not lost to me; however, I will continue to work hard, especially when kind comments like yours gives me that extra lift.

Once again take care and thank you.



Gary Bland
Thursday 22 April 2010 8.22am
Hi Gary,

In a much earlier post, you mention that Simon Hughes "In one of his most recent leaflets [he] promises to give everyone in the constituency, who wants one, an allotment."

As far as I'm aware, this is something the council is legally obliged to do so under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 and is enabled to compulsorily purchase land to make this possible, so the parks would not need to be dug up.

This does not appear to be high on the priorities of Southwark Council.

Thursday 22 April 2010 10.30am
Rambling Phil wrote:
As far as I'm aware, this is something the council is legally obliged to do so under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 and is enabled to compulsorily purchase land to make this possible, so the parks would not need to be dug up.

Local Councils do indeed have this obligation. However for Inner London Boroughs it is optional (see Local Government Act 1963, s55(4))
Thursday 22 April 2010 11.04am
Hi Rambling Phil and Truthmonkey

You guys are resourceful. It's amazing how many laws we have no idea about until a question is posed or a point is raised.

Still a strange promise though.

Thank you both for your input.




Gary Bland
Thursday 22 April 2010 11.09am
Truthmonkey - I'm not very good at reading legislation.

Does that mean the council doesn't have an obligation to provide but, if it chose to do so, does still have the powers of compulsory purchase?
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