Clive joined local businesses, councillors, council officers and others at the topping out cermony for the new Eltham Centre (for more details on the topping out ceremony and its origins, click here)
Clive said he was delighted with the rapid progress the constructors had made in the last year. “I have been working for so many years to get to this stage” Clive said after the ceremony, “I am delighted that the project is on budget and on schedule to open next year. This location is ideal and its excellent public transport links means that it is accessible for all the community”.
Clive is pictured, right, with Mark Tant, Managing Director of the contractors Willmott Dixon.
The centre has three swimming pools. The new eight lane main pool will be competition standard which means it will be a venue for accredited swimming galas that currently cannot be held at Eltham Pools. Greenwich Community College has also invested in the scheme and will occupy two floors in the new building. The library will also get a £1.7 million refurbishment and the centre will be a one-stop-shop for council services.
The town centre location was chosen by local people following an extensive consultation. It will be easily accessible by all members of the community, even those without a car.
Clive attended a site meeting in Eltham Park North with the local police Safer Neighbourhood Team, the Eltham Park Residents Association and council officers in an attempt to find a way to tackle antisocial behaviour in the Park.
“There have been a number of complaints about antisocial and criminal behaviour in the Park,” explained Clive, “The illegal use of motorbikes was highlighted as one of the biggest and most persistent problems. We looked at a variety of solutions including limiting access to the park by motorcycles, a co-ordinated police presence in the park, especially when the days start to get longer and other measures.”
I will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure that effective action is taken to tackle this problem.”
Clive joined thousands of local people when he turned on the Christmas lights in Eltham High Street.
“This event gets bigger and better every year” said Clive. “I want to congratulate everyone who did so much to make this a night to remember”.
As well as a lantern-lit procession of local school children there were jugglers, dancers on stilts and even fire breathers. There was also a stage highlighting local musical talent. After the parade there was a spectacular firework display from the roof of Marks and Spencers.
Clive has sent a message to the Government calling for a ban on the UK import of seal products. He was one of over two hundred MPs who signed a motion in the Commons calling for the ban. He is also urging people in Eltham and Plumstead to voice their opposition to the trade in products from Canada’s commercial seal hunt, which is now bigger than it has been for 50 years.
Clive met campaigners from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester in September and saw their stand, which graphically illustrated why Canada’s cruel and unnecessary seal hunt must end. A life-size animatronic sealer wielded a hakapik (a spiked club used by sealers to kill seals) while footage captured by IFAW at this year’s seal hunt was played.
Clive said: “It is shocking that products from Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt can be imported into the UK. I believe it is important we end this trade to show Canada that the UK wants no part in this. By reducing demand for products, I hope we can also help end the hunt.”
IFAW opposes the seal hunt on the grounds that it is cruel, unnecessary and unsustainable.
More than one million seals have been killed over the last three years alone. The majority of seals killed are pups aged between two weeks and three months, and all veterinary reports have documented unacceptable levels of cruelty.
Ellie Dickson, Marine Campaigner for IFAW, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Clive. The British public overwhelmingly support a ban on the trade in seal products and it is fantastic that Clive is voicing this on behalf of his constituents.”
For more information about IFAW, click here
Clive has visited a number of schools to give his presentation about climate change. After launching his campaign at Eltham Hill (for more details click here), Clive has been to Riverstone and Crown Woods.
“If my generation fail to tackle climate change the price paid by people currently at school will be very high. The Stern report has proved that if we do not reduce our carbon emissions there will be a heavy economic as well as environmental price to pay. Young people at school now are already well informed and concerned about this issue. I want them to keep the pressure on politicians like me to ensure that we take the steps to ensure that we reduce green house emissions before it is too late.”
As part of Clive’s presentation he lists the 10 Steps to Save Energy (click here) as well as talking to students about the cause of global warming and some of the solutions.
As well as the presentation Clive has worked with local schools to send thousands of letters to parents and pupils explaining how to save energy and cut bills.