Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

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JRW
Posts: 346
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by JRW » 10 Aug 2019 10:58

http://chng.it/TdvXdshwCg

#Tidemill #ConvoysWharf #MaisHouse #Millwall #StPhilipNeri #Hillcrest #Achilles #LewishamGateway #BeckenhamPlacePark #bellgreense26

michael
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Joined: 26 Sep 2006 12:56
Location: Forest Hill

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by michael » 10 Aug 2019 17:07

Genuine question:
What difference would it make when every single councillor is from a single party?

JRW
Posts: 346
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by JRW » 10 Aug 2019 17:19

It would return to votes after proper discussion at committees, involving larger numbers of councillors. Harder to stage than now, where everything is sorted behind closed doors, then quickly rubber-stamped at the Mayor and cabinet meeting. A long agenda there can be waved through in 30 min. No sign of who actually decided what.

Mind you, an opposition party would be even better, but in the meanwhile, that has to be us!

mikej
Posts: 400
Joined: 14 Dec 2006 21:55
Location: New Beckenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by mikej » 10 Aug 2019 19:19

I wish this campaign every success, BUT if Bromley is anything to go by, it won't make much difference. Bromley doesn't have an elected mayor, but similarly to Lewisham, everything is sorted by the Tory leader of the council and his cabal, and the general council meetings are rather a sham, especially since even though there are about a dozen Labour councillors in opposition, they seem to be rather ineffectual. Good luck!

Syd_Stone
Posts: 49
Joined: 3 Sep 2009 17:52
Location: Sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by Syd_Stone » 11 Aug 2019 14:47

Another genuine question: can individual London boroughs vote to introduce proportional representation in the same way some have brought in mayoral systems instead of leader-cabinet? Such a system in Lewisham would break 60 per cent Labour to 40 per cent other party councillors (based on the most recent election). You don't have to support opposition parties to see the democratic advantages of this.

JRW
Posts: 346
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by JRW » 11 Aug 2019 15:31

Proportional representation would be the best possible outcome, but I don't know the law for councils. Funnily enough, the Mayor himself claims to be a fan of proportional representation; perhaps we should ask him to look into the possibility.....

Robin Orton
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Joined: 9 Sep 2008 07:30
Location: London SE26

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by Robin Orton » 11 Aug 2019 15:45

This came up on another local forum. It was stated pretty authoritatively that election methods for local authorities could be changed only by Parliament.

John H
Posts: 278
Joined: 17 Aug 2017 18:15
Location: Sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by John H » 11 Aug 2019 19:18

The main problem with the present electoral system is the boundaries. I have suggested elsewhere a "proportionate" system of voting should be adopted both for Parliament and for local authorities. Boundaries need to reflect true communities. Elected members have a weighted vote according to the size of the electorate in their ward/constituency. Then there is no need for regular boundary reviews. Lewisham's main problem, however, would not be entirely cured by this.

Clearly the New Cross/Deptford area has more in common with Greenwich or perhaps Southwark. The South of the borough has more in common with Bromley. The revision of boundaries has, however, to be removed from insidious political influence. It should be a straight forward process determined by an independent body and the recommendations confirmed by means of a referendum. Should the London Borough of Lewisham exist as it stands?

Lewisham is a peculiar shape. It follows the pattern created by the principal railway routes that pass through it. Catford is the administrative centre but it bears the name Lewisham. A large part of the town of Bromley lies within Lewisham while most of the London Borough of Bromley is other towns or districts such as Beckenham, Orpington et al with only a small part of Bromley lying within it.

The results in Lewisham are at best unsatisfactory for democracy and there is good reason to suspect postal votes have delivered a disproportionate share of the vote to one party. Frankly, if people are too lazy to walk to the polling station, I believe they are not entitled to a vote UNLESS they are physically incapable of attending.

The mayoral system has made matters worse. We live in a one party state. That is not good for democracy and helps hinder the democratic process. If there is no hope of winning then why bother to vote or even stand? Elected members have little or no influence even if they belong to the major party!

For democracy to work there has to be a contest. Unfortunately one party in Lewisham does not hold that view. Its view is that it should hold power at all costs and no matter how much damage that does to the community and to democracy.

Parliament does decide how elections are held. There is, however, no reason why the local authority should not promote a London Borough of Lewisham Act providing for the essential reforms to remedy the democratic deficit. Don't hold your breath though.

In the end people will vote with their feet.

Growsydenham
Posts: 98
Joined: 27 Jan 2018 09:23
Location: sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by Growsydenham » 13 Aug 2019 14:54

From the people who brought you the asbestos rumour mill.

mosy
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by mosy » 14 Aug 2019 00:44

Over the last half dozen years, cash has been so restricted that it doesn't seem to matter much which party controls a council. I agree though that if a council has a regal head who can determine or override all or even some decisions with the sweep of a pen it does defeat the object. Perhaps a mayor's powers should be redefined.

John H
Posts: 278
Joined: 17 Aug 2017 18:15
Location: Sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by John H » 14 Aug 2019 10:51

mosy wrote:
14 Aug 2019 00:44
Over the last half dozen years, cash has been so restricted that it doesn't seem to matter much which party controls a council. I agree though that if a council has a regal head who can determine or override all or even some decisions with the sweep of a pen it does defeat the object. Perhaps a mayor's powers should be redefined.
or preferably removed!

stone-penge
Posts: 273
Joined: 5 Nov 2004 14:40
Location: Newlands park

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by stone-penge » 15 Aug 2019 09:34

10 people have signed .
This is really gaining momentum!

Growsydenham
Posts: 98
Joined: 27 Jan 2018 09:23
Location: sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by Growsydenham » 15 Aug 2019 13:39

The creator now has an online vendetta against a councillor over the fact the toilets in Home Park haven't been converted into a restaurant (?).

carty
Posts: 20
Joined: 21 Mar 2019 18:00

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by carty » 15 Aug 2019 13:57

She is a nightmare!!

Trying to do good things but goes around it in a very wrong way.

Bovine Juice
Posts: 257
Joined: 14 Oct 2007 11:35
Location: Penge

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by Bovine Juice » 15 Aug 2019 15:59

mikej wrote:
10 Aug 2019 19:19
I wish this campaign every success, BUT if Bromley is anything to go by, it won't make much difference. Bromley doesn't have an elected mayor, but similarly to Lewisham, everything is sorted by the Tory leader of the council and his cabal, and the general council meetings are rather a sham, especially since even though there are about a dozen Labour councillors in opposition, they seem to be rather ineffectual. Good luck!
Ineffectual? Labour has 8 councillors in Bromley (not twelve) versus 50 Tories. It's never easy to change things when you're that outnumbered. You have to hope that at least some of the Tories are decent and don't interfere too much in planning applications in the three wards represented by Labour and occasionally put some funds in their direction (they don't, it's usually funding from GLA or other pots).

syd
Posts: 259
Joined: 23 Aug 2006 18:30
Location: lower sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by syd » 18 Aug 2019 08:02

I’m still learning about politics but what I’ve noticed is ever other ward has seen major improvements this decade. Some are unrecognisable but Sydenham seems the be struggling and for me it’s the little things like street maintenance and cleaning.

The trees on my road were literally hacked to pieces by someone who was cheap and inexperienced and I know for a fact that wouldn’t happen in upper Sydenham or on the “nicer “ streets.

The contempt for the blue collar streets is my problem and why anything that will make the bloated lazy labour council sit up and listen gets my vote.

John H
Posts: 278
Joined: 17 Aug 2017 18:15
Location: Sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by John H » 18 Aug 2019 08:37

syd wrote:
18 Aug 2019 08:02
I’m still learning about politics but what I’ve noticed is ever other ward has seen major improvements this decade. Some are unrecognisable but Sydenham seems the be struggling and for me it’s the little things like street maintenance and cleaning.

The trees on my road were literally hacked to pieces by someone who was cheap and inexperienced and I know for a fact that wouldn’t happen in upper Sydenham or on the “nicer “ streets.

The contempt for the blue collar streets is my problem and why anything that will make the bloated lazy labour council sit up and listen gets my vote.
Most of the councillors used to live in Forest Hill... I am not sure whether that still applies but there is a Forest Hill clique at the heart of Lewisham Council. Sydenham is regarded by Lewisham Council as the privileged corner of the borough and as such they choose not to spend on it. Indeed they seem actively to set out to destroy Sydenham. Thus we were subjected to the blight caused by the ridiculous three proposals for the South Circular and this depressed property prices here for more than a decade. Interesting that given the winning route was through Forest Hill the scheme was promptly dumped (unannounced).

syd
Posts: 259
Joined: 23 Aug 2006 18:30
Location: lower sydenham

Re: Petition. Lewisham isn't working: end the directly-elected mayoral system now

Post by syd » 18 Aug 2019 08:50

John H wrote:
18 Aug 2019 08:37
syd wrote:
18 Aug 2019 08:02
I’m still learning about politics but what I’ve noticed is ever other ward has seen major improvements this decade. Some are unrecognisable but Sydenham seems the be struggling and for me it’s the little things like street maintenance and cleaning.

The trees on my road were literally hacked to pieces by someone who was cheap and inexperienced and I know for a fact that wouldn’t happen in upper Sydenham or on the “nicer “ streets.

The contempt for the blue collar streets is my problem and why anything that will make the bloated lazy labour council sit up and listen gets my vote.
Most of the councillors used to live in Forest Hill... I am not sure whether that still applies but there is a Forest Hill clique at the heart of Lewisham Council. Sydenham is regarded by Lewisham Council as the privileged corner of the borough and as such they choose not to spend on it. Indeed they seem actively to set out to destroy Sydenham. Thus we were subjected to the blight caused by the ridiculous three proposals for the South Circular and this depressed property prices here for more than a decade. Interesting that given the winning route was through Forest Hill the scheme was promptly dumped (unannounced).
That does explain why Forest Hill looks so loved!!. Sydenham is like Lewisham bastard child and I should clarify lower Sydenham.

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