Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

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stuart
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Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by stuart »

JRW wrote: 26 Feb 2021 11:18 They are assuming that they will win, unchallenged.
May be - but no excuse. Remember the red wall? Disruptive politics will change certainties. And while you are right to point out that this is about a local microcosm - you will have noticed that it can quickly be put into the context of national and even Scottish politics. That's why even though you know you are going to win in Sydenham you still should put in the work to make you and the party look good.

We vote elsewhere, we talk and argue with friends who vote elsewhere and where those votes may count for more. That's why the Labour Party should be doing a good election selling job here to secure its base.

So - again I ask - who is Jack Lavery and what is he going to do for the community and me?

Stuart
JGD
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Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by JGD »

stuart wrote: 26 Feb 2021 11:48 Remember the red wall? Disruptive politics will change certainties. And while you are right to point out that this is about a local microcosm - you will have noticed that it can quickly be put into the context of national and even Scottish politics. That's why even though you know you are going to win in Sydenham you still should put in the work to make you and the party look good.

We vote elsewhere, we talk and argue with friends who vote elsewhere and where those votes may count for more. That's why the Labour Party should be doing a good election selling job here to secure its base.
Very perceptive.

Hugely important too.

Modern media streams have an unseen impact - an actual reduction of real-time face-to-face dialogue with friends - and others - who live elsewhere.

We can wrongly and misguidedly believe that everyone reads everything that everyone else posts.

Cummings used this misconception during the Brexit referendum to fully capitalise on this disruption of "normal" dialogue by narrow-casting specifically shaped messages to targeted audiences that had been pre-identified by the Analytica methodologies

Very difficult to get accurate info on what the measure of that impact was - but in the dramatization of those events, "Brexit: The Uncivil War", it was boasted that 4m voters could be delivered by those means.

Many classed this as superficial, but to date no one has declared it to be unlawful. More like they are all busy getting on board.

It is incumbent upon us to have an old fashioned chat too.

Continue to demand hard information. So Labour Party - as Stuart has asked - can some be published please.
JRW
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by JRW »

I couldn't agree with you more (shock horror)!

I think Labour is heading for a precarious elections across London, as a lot of people feel their support has been taken for granted. We could have another red wall situation here, or at least a number of opposition councillors of various parties. Even if you vote Labour nationally, I think, personally, that a local authority vote is about their ability to deliver services. An opposition is the only way to have proper scrutiny.
stuart
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by stuart »

JRW wrote: 26 Feb 2021 20:17An opposition is the only way to have proper scrutiny.
An effective opposition is a group who able to take control if the elected leaders fail. But most councils are pretty much one party states. Bromley will never go Labour as Lewisham will never go Conservative for the foreseeable future. Oppositions there can do sweet Fanny Adams or have any prospect of power. How does one impose oversight? The Government Department responsibility isn't much use as it will be dominated by either one or the other. The media is also mostly dominated by one side. Plus even Ward Assemblies are a no-no during the pandemic.

But back to the thread subject. How do we get to know and grill these candidates? Anybody running a virtual hustings? Admin and/or Sydenham Society - I'm looking to you!

Stuart
JRW
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by JRW »

When Jack Lavery was elected candidate for Sydenham, I emailed him, and went on to have a phone call. I explained some of the current issues in Sydenham, and stressed that he needed to get active, and prove he intended to make a difference. I suggested he follow this forum, and SE26.life, so have been very disappointed to see absolutely nada happen.

As for scrutiny, Alan Hall is doing brilliant work, asking questions. Only with scrutiny will Lewisham learn from the inevitable mistakes, and improve. You shouldn't need an opposition to do scrutiny: it's the duty of every backbencher, but Lewisham Labour's lavish use of the party whip disrupts this.
admin
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by admin »

I found this on the local Labour party's webpage:

Jack Lavery has been selected as Lewisham Labour’s candidate for Sydenham in the upcoming by-election due on 6 May 2021. Jack is a local economics teacher and school governor who hopes to bring his experience as an educator and of living in Lewisham’s private rented sector into the council chamber. Jack said:

“I am incredibly proud to have been selected as Labour’s candidate for Sydenham. I am looking forward to working hard on behalf of everyone living in Sydenham. Lewisham Council are doing a huge amount of work in improving education attainment and opportunities. If elected, I hope I can bring my experience as a teacher and school governor into the role. I also want to advocate for the thousands who are living in the private rented sector, like myself, and help deliver more council housing across the borough. Sydenham has such a wonderful sense of community and I am eager, as soon as it is safe, to get on the doorstep, speak with local residents and earn their trust.”

Both myself and Cllr Liam Curran are delighted Sydenham Labour Party has selected Jack to be our candidate. I have been very impressed with his hard work and I know that, if elected, he will be a fantastic councillor for Sydenham and an asset to the council. Please join in the campaign to ensure Jack is elected on Thursday 6 May.

Cllr Chris Best

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

Hello everyone. Jack Lavery here.

For those that didn’t spot it, there’s a link at the bottom of the original post with a brief bio – however, someone has helpfully posted the contents on this thread.

Since I was selected as the LP candidate, it’s been a pleasure to talk to Sydenham residents– albeit only over the phone at the moment. If we haven’t had a chance to talk, please do get in touch via Twitter @jack_lavery or via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JackLaveryforSydenham. I'd be delighted to talk on the phone.

I very much agree with Julia that we need councillors that are prepared to scrutinise the work of the council, so we get the very best for local residents.
mosy
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by mosy »

Hi Jack Lavery and thank you for joining in with us here.

Can you say what is your USP that sets you above other contenders? I find that optimistic tombstone lists for tackling or changing often cash-starved deficiencies in services to be meaningless. Why do you think you can make a difference and in what areas given government restrictions?
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

mosy wrote: 28 Feb 2021 18:51 Hi Jack Lavery and thank you for joining in with us here.

Can you say what is your USP that sets you above other contenders? I find that optimistic tombstone lists for tackling or changing often cash-starved deficiencies in services to be meaningless. Why do you think you can make a difference and in what areas given government restrictions?
You are right to point out that council budgets are under significant pressure because of years of Tory cuts to local government funding. All councils will need to be increasingly innovative to support families.

Thanks for the question about my unique selling points. Happy to outline some information about my background that should help me make a difference in the role.

I’d hope I can bring my experience as a teacher and school governor to support the continuing improvement of Lewisham’s 40+ schools and colleges. Lewisham Council is doing a huge amount of work in improving educational attainment and opportunities, but there is more to be done. The pandemic has hit local children hard. The achievement gap has widened, and disadvantaged pupils are now even further behind.

I would be good at harnessing the strength of the local community. I am effective at bringing individuals and groups together. I am doing this already as a school governor, community volunteer, and coordinating Lewisham UCAS support. Our community faces many challenges that need addressing quickly - improving our natural environment, building more homes for families, ensuring the high street remains vibrant and preserving services despite Tory government cuts. It would be arrogant to suggest I have all the answers – but lots of great solutions are out there. I would support individuals and groups who are keen to step up and support the local community – of which there are many in Sydenham! Often those closest to problems have the best solutions.

I understand the perspective of the Sydenham families living in insecure, low-quality, and expensive housing. I was raised in a low-income single-parent family in a council home and I currently live in private rented accommodation. I can bring these underrepresented perspectives to the council. Housing issues are the biggest source of casework for Lewisham councillors as the housing crisis is one of the main causes of poverty. I’ll do whatever I can to advocate on local residents’ behalf and push the council to be ambitious in providing new truly affordable homes.

@Mosy, what do you want from a local councillor in the context you outlined?
mosy
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by mosy »

Hi again Jack Lavery and thank you. I am encouraged that you feel effective in bringing people and groups together and am hopeful that will translate well to working within the council should you be elected.

You ask what I personally want from a local councillor. One who will:

- Promote the centuries old high street (Sydenham Road) as a vibrant community area for local businesses and residents of all ages and not allow it die or be killed off by council action or inaction nor gradually be converted to residential use.

- Promote decent housing standards above minimum standards and below maximum densities and preferably congruent low rise rather than high rise featureless light-blocking buildings. (As you Mr Lavery seem passionate about housing, I hope your passion goes beyond increasing housing numbers.)

- Ensure recognition that medical, school, parking or drop-off etc infrastructure services associated with increased housing are provided for at planning stage - and realized either within or alongside particular or cumulative projects.

- Keep alive the need to bring back or expand lost services, like health and social youth and adult activities and venues (indoor and out), including clean swimming pools competently managed.

- Encourage prospective small-scale shops and eateries, rather than discouraging via excessive (seemingly sometimes spurious) planning requirements.

- Promote increased regularity and follow-up on Food Standard checks of existing food outlets in the borough, especially at this time.

- Re-assess inadequate street lighting where better lighting is plainly needed for safety concerns.

- Emphasise the need to bring back recycling banks or for a depot closer and more accessible than New Cross to public transport users.

The above would be easy just to tick box, but that would be meaningless as I said.
-----
In general, my concern is that it’s become the norm for there to be a “focus of the day”, thus leaving many other things that are part and parcel of the quality of lives dwindling away, sometimes so much so it's as if they’d never existed. Even simple things like seating benches or litter bins. So what I’d like from a councillor is someone who’ll bring enthusiasm and apply it wisely to the wider range of welfare matters of concern to all Sydenham dwellers that I think are still within the Council's purview.

Funding will no doubt remain tight, but there are various instances where council costs paid seem inordinately high, although whether a councillor can influence others in such financing matters I don't know. "Getting better value" ought to be a council's motto.

I'm sure we'd all welcome any response from you, or indeed other contenders who care about Sydenham as you clearly do.

mosy
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

mosy wrote: 1 Mar 2021 18:34 Hi again Jack Lavery and thank you. I am encouraged that you feel effective in bringing people and groups together and am hopeful that will translate well to working within the council should you be elected.

You ask what I personally want from a local councillor. One who will:

- Promote the centuries old high street (Sydenham Road) as a vibrant community area for local businesses and residents of all ages and not allow it die or be killed off by council action or inaction nor gradually be converted to residential use.

- Promote decent housing standards above minimum standards and below maximum densities and preferably congruent low rise rather than high rise featureless light-blocking buildings. (As you Mr Lavery seem passionate about housing, I hope your passion goes beyond increasing housing numbers.)

- Ensure recognition that medical, school, parking or drop-off etc infrastructure services associated with increased housing are provided for at planning stage - and realized either within or alongside particular or cumulative projects.

- Keep alive the need to bring back or expand lost services, like health and social youth and adult activities and venues (indoor and out), including clean swimming pools competently managed.

- Encourage prospective small-scale shops and eateries, rather than discouraging via excessive (seemingly sometimes spurious) planning requirements.

- Promote increased regularity and follow-up on Food Standard checks of existing food outlets in the borough, especially at this time.

- Re-assess inadequate street lighting where better lighting is plainly needed for safety concerns.

- Emphasise the need to bring back recycling banks or for a depot closer and more accessible than New Cross to public transport users.

The above would be easy just to tick box, but that would be meaningless as I said.
-----
In general, my concern is that it’s become the norm for there to be a “focus of the day”, thus leaving many other things that are part and parcel of the quality of lives dwindling away, sometimes so much so it's as if they’d never existed. Even simple things like seating benches or litter bins. So what I’d like from a councillor is someone who’ll bring enthusiasm and apply it wisely to the wider range of welfare matters of concern to all Sydenham dwellers that I think are still within the Council's purview.

Funding will no doubt remain tight, but there are various instances where council costs paid seem inordinately high, although whether a councillor can influence others in such financing matters I don't know. "Getting better value" ought to be a council's motto.

I'm sure we'd all welcome any response from you, or indeed other contenders who care about Sydenham as you clearly do.

mosy
Thanks for your comments.

I agree the council and its councillors need to concern themselves with a broad range of issues. This includes working with the local community to improve “the simple thing” (as you put it). Councillors need to actively seek casework on the full range of issues that impact our local community and follow this up with council officers and cabinet members.

You are right to highlight value for money. Although the central government cuts to local council funding are so great, the ability to find further ‘efficiency savings’ is very limited. But the council shouldn’t give up trying!

In response to a few of the points you raised:

High street - I absolutely agree. We need to protect the high street. Not all local high streets have fared as well as Sydenham’s in recent years! This is, in part, due to hard work from the community. We need to continue with what has worked well - including events and initiatives which encourage people to shop locally. But more is needed. Many thanks to Chris Best for her work chairing the Sydenham Town Centre Steering Group and SEE3. I am keen to support and build on this work. Many local favourites have burnt through any reserves they had and are desperate for our support. Without it, many may fail.

Leisure services - If elected, I am looking forward to scrutinising the work of GLL who now run most of the borough’s leisure centres. The quality of provision has been poor in recent years - due to poor management from Fusion. I’ve watched many friends cancel their membership in recent years, frustrated at the customer service. If the service isn’t good enough, revenue will continue to fall, and these services will be at further risk.

Housing – Take a look at this development in Greenwich. A fine example of new (social) homes fitting in with (and improving?) the aesthetics of the area. https://www.dezeen.com/2020/12/10/socia ... ch-london/

Jack
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

I will keep an eye on this thread - but I’m likely to pick up any questions on Facebook or Twitter more quickly. Details in an earlier post. If you live in Sydenham ward, I’d love to hear from you!

Jack
Growsydenham
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by Growsydenham »

jack_lavery wrote: 28 Feb 2021 22:07
I understand the perspective of the Sydenham families living in insecure, low-quality, and expensive housing. I was raised in a low-income single-parent family in a council home and I currently live in private rented accommodation. I can bring these underrepresented perspectives to the council. Housing issues are the biggest source of casework for Lewisham councillors as the housing crisis is one of the main causes of poverty. I’ll do whatever I can to advocate on local residents’ behalf and push the council to be ambitious in providing new truly affordable homes.
Sounds good to me Jack, undoubtedly the biggest problem in Lewisham in my view
Clovers
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by Clovers »

jack_lavery wrote: 2 Mar 2021 19:30 I will keep an eye on this thread - but I’m likely to pick up any questions on Facebook or Twitter more quickly. Details in an earlier post. If you live in Sydenham ward, I’d love to hear from you!

Jack
Hi @jack_lavery - what are your views on making Sydenham more green? We have barely any greenery on our high street/pavements and a lot of pollution from the high volume of traffic. Do you have anything in mind to help the air quality level by making Sydenham more green?
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

Clovers wrote: 7 Mar 2021 15:56 Hi @jack_lavery - what are your views on making Sydenham more green? We have barely any greenery on our high street/pavements and a lot of pollution from the high volume of traffic. Do you have anything in mind to help the air quality level by making Sydenham more green?
A greener high street is good for our health, the environment and for the viability of high street businesses. We do need more trees and other plants on the high street. The planters at Sydenham station have really brightened up that spot. Thanks to those involved with that initiative.

Street Trees for Living have done a great job at planting trees in the borough. They are the experts here, but there must be sites on the high street that are viable for new trees. I'd love to get the community together to form a plan to raise the necessary funds. There may be future NCIL funds to bid for.

The pandemic has made many of us look closer to home with a new focus. As soon as lockdown ends, we need to exploit this.
Syd_Stone
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by Syd_Stone »

Afternoon Jack, good to see you taking questions and your answer about dealing with the procurement of GLL is a particularly interesting one. I'd like to ask your personal take on proportional representation as it relates to councils. 40 per cent of voters actively vote for someone other than Labour in Lewisham, yet representation is 100% Labour compared to 60% actual Labour support. Views? Winner take all OK at this level?
alywin
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by alywin »

I've been very confused by the title of this post: why would Sydenham be having a by-election? Firstly, I wasn't aware that the present incumbent had stepped down, secondly the constituency is called something odd like West Lewisham and Penge, isn't it - I can never remember? Are we actually talking about the local elections, which might be taking place in May - although since London seems to be on a separate timetable to the rest of the country it's possible that they're not?
mikej
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by mikej »

One of the three councillors (Copley I think) stood down last year. So that's why there's a by-election in May, at the same time as the London Mayoral and GLA elections.
Our local elections are due in 2022.
Have a good day.
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

alywin wrote: 15 Mar 2021 01:30 I've been very confused by the title of this post: why would Sydenham be having a by-election? Firstly, I wasn't aware that the present incumbent had stepped down, secondly the constituency is called something odd like West Lewisham and Penge, isn't it - I can never remember? Are we actually talking about the local elections, which might be taking place in May - although since London seems to be on a separate timetable to the rest of the country it's possible that they're not?
Hello Mike. Tom Copley was a Sydenham councillor on Lewisham Council. He was was offered a job with Sadiq Khan as the Deputy Mayor for Housing which meant he had to resign as a councillor. That triggers a by-election for Sydenham ward. It will be the same day as other local elections in the country and London Mayor etc. There will be full elections to Lewisham Council in 2022. Jack
jack_lavery
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Re: Who's standing in the Sydenham by election in May?

Post by jack_lavery »

Syd_Stone wrote: 14 Mar 2021 13:25 Afternoon Jack, good to see you taking questions and your answer about dealing with the procurement of GLL is a particularly interesting one. I'd like to ask your personal take on proportional representation as it relates to councils. 40 per cent of voters actively vote for someone other than Labour in Lewisham, yet representation is 100% Labour compared to 60% actual Labour support. Views? Winner take all OK at this level?
I'd like to see a national conversation about electoral reform. Think I have an old "Yes to AV" t-shirt somewhere! Scottish local authorities use STV which I'm interested in. I wouldn't support a system that didn't have a strong local ward (or constituency) link. However, the reality is this and the 2022 elections will take place using the first-past-the-post voting system. What I can offer is an independent mind that will work with the local community.
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