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Posts Tagged ‘lambeth’

This was my second year attending the Metropolitan Society for the Blind Annual Church Service. This year it was held at the prestigious Methodist Central Hall in Westminster.

Mayor of Lambeth with Rev Robert Hufton

Mayor of Lambeth with Rev Robert Hufton

The service was lead by the Reverend Robert Hufton, Superintendent Minister of Clapham Methodist Church and the preacher The Reverend Lucy Winkett Canon Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Mayor of Lambeth with a Lambeth resident who attended the service

Mayor of Lambeth with a Lambeth resident who attended the service

I was pleased to meet residents from Lambeth, many of whom told me about their long historyin the borough. But most of all they spoke of the wonderful work done by the Metropolitan Society for the Blind – making a real difference in their lives.

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London in Bloom promotes, supports and encourages gardening, horticulture and environmental sustainability across the 31 boroughs and two cities of Greater London. As such, it is one of 17 regional campaigns which make up Britain in Bloom – Europe’s largest horticultural campaign.

Mayor and Mayoress with the Lambeth winning team

Mayor and Mayoress with the Lambeth winning team

This year Lambeth won two awards thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Lambeth team and residents.

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The Lambeth Summer Arts project ran over 5 weeks where Lambeth young people learned a variety of skills including protagraphy, film making and music.

The project worked with partners Photofusion, Raw Material and Noh Budget Films.

Mayor of Lambeth with one of the young men from project

Mayor of Lambeth with one of the young men from project

The quality of the work was fantastic and I was amazed that they had achieved so much in such a short time. Those who took in the project spoke passionately about how much they had enjoyed it and it was clear from the work that they have a lot of natural talent.

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Stockwell Green Community Services together with several organisations including the Foreign Commonwealth Office organised this visit to discus ‘Understanding identity and belonging of British Pakistanis’.

Pakistan delegation from the Youth Parliament in the Council Chamber

Pakistan delegation from the Youth Parliament in the Council Chamber

I welcomed the delegation including the Prime minister of the Youth Parliament and speaker from the Pakistani parliament.

There were presentations from the British Muslims talking about their experiences and I heard of the support they had received from within their community.

Pakistan delegation from the Youth Parliament in the Council Chamber

Pakistan delegation from the Youth Parliament in the Council Chamber

The event was extremely useful in sharing experiences and views.

I was presented with a beautiful plate by the delegation which is now on display in the Mayors parlour.

To engage youth in Pakistan in healthy discourse and expose them to the democratic process and practices,   PILDAT has launched the  Youth Parliament Pakistan.   The first ever  Youth Parliament  Pakistan was held in 2007.  Members of the Youth Parliament Pakistan are selected for the duration of a year from across the country in the same ratio as the National Assembly of Pakistan.

Establishment and facilitation of the Youth Parliament Pakistan is part of PILDAT’s focus on Youth in the country and Youth awareness, education and training in the norms of politics and democracy in the country. PILDAT strongly feels that sustainable democracy and the sustainability of sound democratic institutions in Pakistan is not possible without youth’s involvement in the democratic and political process even if this involvement is simply as a citizen or voter.

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Five Bridges is an educational charity which provides full time education to students from the summer term of year 9 to the end of year 11.

Located in a former convent between Vauxhall and Oval tube stations they work with students throughout the London area.

Mayor of Lambeth with student and teacher at Five Bridges

Mayor of Lambeth with student and teacher at Five Bridges

We were shown around by a star student from Lambeth who had clearly benefited from the work done at the school. It was great to see the wide variety of studies done by the students and hear from them how attending Five bridges had really changed their attitudes towards learning.

Mayor of Lambeth with his consort, a trustee of Five Bridges and Art Teacher

Mayor of Lambeth with his consort, a trustee of Five Bridges and Art Teacher

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The full council meeting is where all councillors come together to vote on key issues.  Full council is made up of 63 councillors and meets four or five times a year. Each year the full council appoints the leader of the council and other members of the cabinet, allocating their portfolios. The full council decides on the size and membership of the overview and scrutiny committee and other committees. The law requires the full council to agree the budget and key policies and strategies. The public may submit questions to each meeting and councillors debate options on important issues concerning the borough.

As Mayor it is my role to chair this meeting, which given that on some issues different people have very different views – together with a  great passion for their local community – means at times the meetings can get a little heated. It is important that the meeting is orderly to ensure all views are heard and that there is a balance in the debate.

Following a suggestion from former Mayor Clare Whelan I asked members to retire to the Mayors parlour after the meeting for some refreshments. I was pleased that a large number of members from all parties joined me and it was an excellent opportunity for members to catch up and discuss issues where there is common grounds. I hope that there will be support to continue this practice I will be looking at how this could be organised.

Mayor of Lambeth greets Councillor Mark Harrison election in the Prince's By-election

Mayor of Lambeth greets Councillor Mark Harrison election in the Prince's By-election

It was here that I had an opportunity to welcome Lambeth’s newest councillor, Councillor Mark Harrison, who was elected recently in a by-election in Prince’s Ward, and who spoke twice at his first full council meeting in the council chamber.

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This was my second year at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, as I attended last year when I was the Deputy Mayor of Lambeth.

Mayor of Lambeth with some of the Lambeth people who help organise the London Youth Games

Mayor of Lambeth with some of the Lambeth people who help organise the London Youth Games

The London Youth Games are a unique season of events at the heart of youth sport in the Capital, involving all 33 London Boroughs and 26 National Governing Bodies.  The Games are free and open to all young people, aged between 7 and 17, living in or going to school in the Capital.

Lambeth's Baseball team

Lambeth boys Basketball team

The Games offers competitive opportunities for participants of varying abilities and experience and has been a stepping stone in the careers of international and Olympic athletes.  For example, three of Great Britain’s gold medallists at Beijing 2008 – Bradley Wiggins, Mark Hunter and Christine Ohuruogu – competed at the London Youth Games.

Whilst at the games I got a chance to view Lambeth’s baseball team play Newham in the semi-finals. I am not going to claim to be a big baseball fan however was amazed by the speed, commitment and focus of our team. I am met and chatted with our football team which includes players who are on their way to bright futures in the sport.

On a beautiful sunny day I would have loved to have discarded my suit re-placed with some shorts and T-Shirts, though I don’t think that I would have been much help to either team and will stick to cycling.

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