Saturday, 3 March 2012

Saturday extra - London News Roundup

First up - some great news. The forthcoming film, A Tale of Two Barnets is really starting to catch the publics imagination. The story about the film is currently the most read story on the Hendon Times website. Here's th screenshot (click on the image to view the story)
From the Times Series website
Check out the film website here - This is what the director, Charles Honderick has to say about the film.
My mother's family are from the London Borough of Barnet and I'd spent a lot of time growing up there, so in a way this film was a labour of love. I wasn't quite sure what direction the film was going to take when it began, but as I interviewed people a story emerged.  I wanted to give the people of Barnet a platform to talk about important local issues and put on record what life is like in this part of London in a year when the eyes of the world are on the great city of  London.

Although it's only a small film, I hope it makes a difference  and helps affect change for the better.
Another interesting story on the Times website is about Harrow Council taking enforcement action against a Shisha Cafe, which erected an illegal structure on Edgware High Street.

Many Barnet residents are watching with interest to see if Barnet Council will take a similar firm line with Belmont Childrens farm, which is reaching the end of the six month period to comply with the planning requirements. We understand that Mr Reid, former Conservative party deputy chairman is bullish about his prospects for keeping the park open, so we hope he has complied with the planning issues and the park can stay open.

On to the big issue facing London. An issue I have buried my head in the sand about for many years. Since Xmas, I've been volunteering at a day centre for homeless people - - if you are unaware of the issues facing homeless people, please check out The Pavement - a magazine for homeless people -  - I think a society which looks the other way is a society which fails.

A friend of mine and occasional guest blogger forwarded me  an appeal from Crisis, who she volunteers for at a Christmas centre. Here is the contents

Crisis Campaigns

Rough sleeping soars as cuts hit

Dear Hilda,
In my first week as the new Campaigns Manager at Crisis the Government has released its latest rough sleeping figures and I'm shocked.
Stats out today show a 23% rise in rough sleeping this year. And independent research for Crisis predicts that with unemployment climbing, soaring demand for limited affordable housing, and government cuts to benefits and services, things are set to get worse.
Sleeping rough is a dangerous and traumatising experience.

That's why we're calling for a change in the law to make sure local councils help anyone facing homelessness.

And that's why campaigners like you are so important to Crisis - we must not give up the fight to end homelessness.

Share this shocking rise in rough sleeping on Twitter and facebook today.

Thanks for your continued support. 

HelenCampaigns Manager

Thanks to photography by Amiran White


Perhaps an even bigger issue is youth violence. Dave Hill focusses on this in the Guardian - - only a fool would pretend that youth violence is something new. I certainly don't think that Boris Johnson is to blame for it, but I do think he has not followed up his words in the 2008 Mayoral election with action to deal with it. The cuts to safer neighbourhood teams is a tragic folly. I don't know about you, but I'd be quite happy to pay an extra 50p a week for Police on the street to make sure my kids are safe. I'd forego a bag of crisps a week, wouldn't you?

But lets not end on a low note. There is a good news story for all Londoners. The Cutty Sark is reopening to the public on April 26th - -  Greenwich is a great place for a day out. I also thoroughly recommend the planetarium show at the Royal Observatory - - booking recommended as it's very popular. We went there recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you want to really see this part of London, Here's my recommended itinery for a day out from the London Borough of Barnet. Get the train from Mill Hill Broadway to Blackfriars and take the clipper from Blackfriars pier to Greenwich. Visit the armaments musem, then do the planetarium show. For lunch, nip into the food hall in the market, cheap and tasty and then do the Cutty Sark. Get the DLR back, via Stratford and then get the North London Line to West Hampstead, to see the Olympic Park - very impressive. You will also get some great views of London and St Pancras Station. If you can time this for sunset, I believe this is a view worth it's weight in Gold.

Just before I sign off, I'd like to draw your attention to the latest Poem - Son - by local poet Paul David Hogan. Paul has set up a blog and is publishing his poetry on it. As a Father, I would say that this is probably the finest description of Fatherhood I've ever read. Please check out Paul's website -


I don't tell you to keep your chin up
because I'm afraid of how it looks if you don't.
It's important to know how to win and lose
and accept both with grace.

I'm not open and honest with you about everything
because I'm proud or boastful of all I've done.
But because I want you to learn from my mistakes
and for you to thrive on goodness.

I don't want you to be the mirror of me.
You are unique, not insular, strong, funny and kind.
You have already become your own person,
In spite of my failings as a man and father.

Your budding being, inspires me every waking hour,
to remember that no one is perfect, least of all me.
But I'm intelligent enough to know, that as long as we stay close,
I'm succeeding, for now, where many 'better' men have failed.

Son. Forever, my Son.

© Paul David Hogan 2012

Have a nice weekend


Mrs T said...

Isn't it odd how this blog never, ever attacks Ken Livingstone or Andrew Dismore? I wonder why that could be?

Mrs Angry said...

oh hello: Mrs T - presumably Mike Freer's only friend,rather than Rog's wife... no, it isn't at all odd,because no one in their right mind would vote for Brian Coleman rather than A Dismore, and Ken is preferable to another four years of waffle & waste from Boris Johnson ...