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Community Council Mergers good or bad idea??

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Wednesday 18 January 2012 11.42pm
Borough/Bankside CC is recommended to be merged with Walworth Community Council.....Also Bermondsey CC is recommended to be merged with Rotherhithe Community Council. what do people think Good or Bad idea??
Thursday 19 January 2012 9.55am
For the Elephant this is a great idea - we'll be the center of the area rather than divided between two.

It's going to make the journeys longer for people, and means there's more to get through (so less time) but if it saves a significant amount of money it seems like it's worth trying.
Thursday 19 January 2012 7.13pm
I can't see it saving significant amounts of money, how expensive are the occasional meeting and a few staff. I don't want it as it dilutes the discussions about particular areas. However the council has to save money so it's understandable what they are doing, and at least we keep the community councils.
Monday 23 January 2012 8.20am
It will ultimately translate into decisions affecting your street being taken by a councilor from another ward on whom you have no control whatsoever.

The decisions taken by your community councils when it comes to planning applications are quite significant. The current system sees broadly each ward responsible and its councilors held to account by their voters for the decision they’ve taken. The proposed system will instead dilute all this in two ill-defined bodies which will take all the decisions for half the borough.

It is plain and simply a power grab from Labour at the expense of all the wards that did not vote for them in the last election. Labour will simply stack the new bodies with their representatives and get to decide for the whole of Southwark.
Monday 23 January 2012 9.54pm
Southwark Liberal Democrats are proud to have introduced Community Councils in Southwark 10 years ago - a way of giving local people a say over how money is spent and council decisions are made in their area.

Liberal Democrats believe in local democracy and local residents making their own decisions. In difficult economic times the council should be giving more powers to communities to make choices, not less.

Sadly, Labour-run Southwark are determined to give local people less say about the future of their communities. By merging Southwark's 8 Community Council areas into 5, and taking away funding as well as planning decisions from the local community, Southwark Labour will destroy completely the principle of Community Councils and the local decision-making that comes with it.

As 4 out of the 6 Community Councils being merged are in the north of Southwark, these changes will especially affect SE1 residents. Residents on Bermondsey Street will have to attend the same meetings as people on Rotherhithe Street, and residents from the Aylesbury Estate with those from Southwark Street.

And planning decisions which are so important in SE1 will no longer be taken by local ward councillors elected to represent residents in those areas.

Labour will say that it isn't possible to keep things the same because of the finances – this is the same group of councillors who have been able to find millions to put away for a rainy day, to spend on school meals for richer families and to pay for a VIP roof terrace in the council offices.

There are alternatives, and there is still time to do something about these plans. Please do sign our petition at
Thursday 26 January 2012 10.36am
This thread was mentioned at Council Assembly last night in an exchange between Cllr Al-Samerai and the council leader, Peter John:

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Thursday 26 January 2012 7.51pm
Oh no, I think Cllr John thinks I'm in favour if he's saying there's two positive posts.

I think it's bad for Borough and Bankside community council, and in reality I'll probably stop going. I can respect what Jamesup says, but for B&B it's a loss not a gain. Local democracy is important, and needs to be local.

The stray dog was a worry though, it's not surprising it got so many posts.
Thursday 26 January 2012 8.16pm
in theory, there's an argument for smaller, perhaps ward-level areas 'assemblies' or something to that effect, with as little 'top-down' management as possible?
Thursday 26 January 2012 10.52pm
Cllr John's answer is simply amazing: because no more than 4 people noticed the little coup he and his mates are organising then it is irrelevant.

For him, it does not matter that he is stripping your local wards from any say whatsoever in what is going on....he completely fails to answer the question. He does not even try..

To summarise Cllr John's thoughts: "Yes, we are removing a lot of accountability from elected officials when it comes to important planing permissions and we get to decide for wards that did not elect us and for which we do not care because there is not a chance in hell we will win an election there but it does not matter because no one able to mobilise a camera crew has noticed it so far"..... Quality!.

Fundamentaly, I am not surprised by being sh*fted by (old) Labour but I think they should have at least tried to not make it that obvious. Could you be more creative, please? The let's-merge-everything-into-something-we-control ploy is so obvious.

I guess Cllr John's meaning of the word "democracy" is the same as in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

All hail the dear (council) Leader!
Tuesday 31 January 2012 1.02pm
I went to the Borough and Bankside meeting before last and there seemed both a lot of business to get through and a good attendance of several dozen residents. Something on twice that scale would be unwieldy, overlong, and often discussing issues in which half the room had little or no interest.

Like it or not, the Elephant does form a natural boundary, and that's how it should stay. I'm not party-affiliated, having at various times voted Labour, Lib Dem and Green. But if Cllr John and his cabinet push through this clunking plan, it'll certainly not be Labour that gets my vote next time.
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