Unless local voting patterns shift more dramatically than even the most ambitious Kremlin-sponsored election tinkerers could imagine, the future mayor of Lewisham became clear earlier today – decided by a fraction more than 1 per cent of the total registered voters in the borough.
Members of the Lewisham Labour Party comfortably voted to put forward Damien Egan, currently the council’s cabinet member for Housing, as the party’s candidate for the mayoral election next May, which will run simultaneously to the local council elections. His nearest rival was Paul Bell, a councillor for Telegraph Hill and a Jeremy Corbyn supporter whose candidacy was endorsed by the local Momentum movement.
In the final run-off, after other lower-scoring candidates had been eliminated and their second preferences transferred, Egan registered 1,434 voters in his favour, compared to 911 for Bell. Such is the dominance of the Labour Party in Lewisham at the moment, that bookmakers – if they paid much attention to local politics – would probably refuse to take bets on the outcome of the mayoral election in 2018. Continue reading “Damien Egan confirmed as new (Labour candidate for) Lewisham mayor”
This may interest politics watchers and Lewisham residents with a long memory. The Guardian has carried an obituary for Roland Moyle, who became the Labour MP for the now defunct constituency of Lewisham North in 1966.
Moyle, who passed away in July aged 89, was a minister of state for Northern Ireland under Harold Wilson and a minister of state for the Department of Health under James Callaghan.
He worked as a Member of Parliament for the area for 17 years. After serving as a Greenwich councillor, he defeated Chris Chataway, the former athlete and then Conservative MP for Lewisham North MP in the general election of 1966, and was ousted by Colin Moynihan for the then new (or rather newly reformed) constituency of Lewisham East in 1983.
He took his cue to go into politics from his father, Arthur Moyle, who worked as the private parliamentary secretary to Clement Attlee.
A third of all Lewisham councillors missed more than one in every four of their scheduled council meetings, recent figures show.
Of Lewisham’s 54 councillors, 18 of them were present at less than 75 per cent of their meetings from November last year until the end of last month.
The worst attendance was jointly held by Downham ward’s David Britton, who defected from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party in 2012, and Roy Kennedy, a councillor for Crofton Park, who also serves as Lord Kennedy of Southwark in the House of Lords. Both attended only one in every three of their scheduled meetings. Neither responded to emails from Lewisham Lately. (Update 16.09.17: a resident of Mr Britton’s ward has informed me he has been away due to his wife suffering from terminal cancer).
Will this help Lewisham’s bid to be London borough of culture?
Fiona Mozley, 29, just announced as one of the short-listed authors for this year’s Man Booker Prize, was living with five friends in Honor Oak Park when she wrote her debut novel.
She gained inspiration for the book, Elmet, when travelling on the train from York to London and she wrote the first chapter before pulling into King’s Cross. Much of it was written as she commuted between London and York. She kept its existence secret from her flatmates at the time.
Described by one reviewer as “a wonder to behold”, the book is up against five other novels, including Autumn by Ali Smith.
Although the setting for the novel is Yorkshire, it was fuelled in SE23, where Mozley was based while working as an intern at a literary agency a few years ago.
The park needs TLC. Lewisham Council propose to re-landscape using Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Completely OTT, all that is required is upgrading of what is there already and maintenance. The Mansion House, on the other hand, is a whole new ball game.