Author Archives: Clive Efford

Local MPs join forces to call for an end to whaling

MPs John Austin and Clive Efford have teamed up together to call on the Government to take action to protect whales from the threat of whaling and are urging people in their constituencies to add their voice in opposition to the practise.

John and Clive met with campaigners from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) on its Song of the Whale marine research vessel last week to learn more about IFAW’s work protecting marine mammals from a variety of man-made threats, including commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling.

Although there has been a ban on commercial whaling since 1986, large numbers of whales are still being killed by commercial fleets in Norway and Iceland, and by Japan, which exploits a loophole in the ban permitting whaling for ‘scientific’ reasons. Last year, Japan and its supporters gained a simple majority at the whaling regulatory body, the International Whaling Commission (IWC), sparking fears that the IWC is in danger of coming under the control of whaling countries.

John Austin MP said: “The governments of pro-whaling countries are active all year round in enlisting support for their whaling agenda, so it is crucial the British government works at the highest diplomatic levels to protect the future of these magnificent, yet vulnerable creatures.”

Clive Efford added: It is disgraceful that whales are still being killed in the name of ‘scientific research’. I will do all that I can to ensure that the UK continues to put as much pressure as possible on countries which allow whaling like Japan and Norway so that we can protect these beautiful and unique creatures.

IFAW campaigns against commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling as it is cruel and unnecessary. There is no humane why to kill a whale and it can take up to 30 minutes for a whale to die. Last year, Iceland started commercial whaling again. Since adopting the policy, seven endangered fin whales have been killed – despite a lack of demand for the meat, which has been left unsold. IFAW believes Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling is merely commercial whaling in disguise, as little scientific research has been produced as a result, and the whale meat is put on sale in restaurants and supermarkets.

Ellie Dickson, IFAW marine campaigner, said: “We are delighted to have John and Clive’s support. Some people believe that whales were saved in the 1980s, but the reality is that today whales are under renewed threat. We urge everyone in Eltham and Erith and Thamesmead and across the UK who cares about whales to take action now to protect these spectacular animals.”

To take action and find out more about IFAW’s work to end whaling visit http://www.ifaw.org.

Clive asks transport minister to help ensure Southeastern compensates overcharged passengers

Clive Efford used transport questions in the House of Commons to demand that Southeastern properly compensate overcharged passengers.

He asked the minister responsible for the railways to help ensure that Southeastern make a public apology for overcharging passengers travelling from zone four to zone three, for example those travelling from Eltham to Blackheath.

The minister, Tom Harris MP, praised Clive for identifying the problem and bringing it to his attention.

Clive told the minister that he was pleased that Southeastern had finally admitted their mistake and had apologised. When his constituents originally complained to Southeastern they chose to ignore the complaints, instead blaming the Government for the 66 per cent. increase in fares. It took several weeks even after Clive wrote to Southeastern for them to apologise for their mistake.

To see the background to the story click here

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill

Clive Efford (Eltham, Labour) : I welcome parts of the Bill; there are other parts that bemuse me, and others to which I am violently opposed. As we are considering the role of local authorities in scrutiny, I will make my contribution in that spirit. Continue reading

Clive gives evidence against GAA playing field development to planning inquiry

Clive Efford gave evidence to a planning inquiry into the future of the Gaelic Athletic Association playing fields in New Eltham. He stressed that allowing the site to be redesignated to allow it to be built on would set a terrible precedent.

The site has been allowed to become derelict by the GAA for the last 15 years. The GAA has now teamed up with a developer to ask for the site to be redisignated to allow them to build houses on it. Greenwich Council refused to allow this to happen and now the developers are appealing to a planning inquiry.

Clive told the inquiry that if they allowed the site to be redesignated then they would be giving a green light to other owners of playing fields to let them become derelict for a number of years before making huge profits by getting permission to develop them.

Clive is pictured on the right talking to a local resident outside the inquiry and with other residents protesting earlier in the year.

Clive forces fares reduction

Clive Efford MP has forced Southeastern trains to accept that they got their new fares wrong.

Clive says, “In fact Southeastern left out zone three entirely. Anyone travelling from zone four to zone three paid the same fare as if they had travelled to zone two.”

For monthly season ticket holders this meant that their fare was £60.70 rather than £44.60. Passengers were being charged £4.00 for a peak return to Blackheath from Eltham instead of £3.30 Clive explained.

This matter was brought to Clive’s attention by constituents who had seen their season tickets go up by 63 per cent. Clive says, “My constituents wrote to Southeastern to complain about the scale of these increases before the new fares came in to force, so there is no excuse for them implementing the wrong fares. They chose to ignore their complaints and now they must compensate everyone who has been overcharged.”

Southeastern have now admitted that they have been overcharging passengers and have agreed to reimburse passengers.

The error also relates to passengers on the Woolwich Arsenal line and the New Eltham line. Anyone who has bought a ticket from stations in zone four travelling to stations in zone three should contact Southeastern for compensation. Clive would also like to hear from them.