Monday, 9 February 2015

Evening chapter in Westminster

This evening to Portcullis House, the high tech extension to Parliament, for a meeting of the Deanery Chapter (the Anglican clergy of Bermondsey & Rotherhithe) with Simon Hughes MP.

It was an opportunity to talk about areas of mutual concern in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe such as the need for affordable housing, the shortage of schools places and the possible effects of over-development.

We had a chance to talk about particular development areas around the Old Kent Rd, at Canada Water, and the Southwark College/Biscuit factory sites in Bermondsey; and also the possibility of a new pier for Rotherhithe, a new pedestrian bridge over the Thames, and the extension of the Bakerloo Line to the Old Kent Rd.

With rapid changes in the area and a fast turnover in population (reckoned to be the highest in the country), there is always the danger that the long-term residents of the district are overlooked. However, they need to be listened to, and their views taken into account, too.

Our active and energetic MP is, among other things, a great advocate of door-knocking, meeting the people where they are and listening to their concerns.

So after we quizzed him on his work, his challenge to us was to get out on the streets for a bit of door-to-door visiting - on the basis of: if the MP can do it, why not the vicar?

That seemed to me to be a fair point. Watch this space.

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