Fighting police station closures
It was time to get back to campaigning this weekend for the Southwark Labour borough-wide campaign in Dulwich. It was my first campaigning of 2013 and in all I did 4 sessions over the weekend with 10-15 councillors and 3-4 activists. It was great to join fellow campaigners again. Everyone was enthusiastic and raring to go.
We had an important reason to contact voters. Mayor Boris Johnson is planning to close East Dulwich and Gipsy Hill police stations without an alternative opening in their place. This is despite the Mayor pledging not to close any stations without creating other provisions locally.
After the closures, residents will have to travel much further, all the way to Peckham in many cases, to speak to the police.
Generally residents were supportive of our petition and appreciative of Labour’s efforts against the closures. Many were of course very concerned. One I spoke to, a single Asian woman in her mid-thirties and living on her own, said she’s used the police stations and their closure will certainly make her feel vulnerable and less safe.
Cllr Andy Simmons reported that we contacted 500 voters over the weekend – more than Labour’s College ward team has done over the past 8 months. Borough-wide campaigns are clearly making a difference and credit should go to Andy, Cllr Helen Hayes and Ali Craft for organising – not forgetting Fiona Twycross AM who kept us all warm with hot soup!
Labour will keep fighting this issue and other threats to our emergency services in London. You can register your support at www.999sos.org.uk