The Macpherson Inquiry was set up as a direct consequence of a Parliamentary question tabled by Clive in 1997. Speaking after the programme was broadcast, Clive said, “It was clear that there were major failings in the investigation that led to no one being convicted of this terrible crime. Macpherson highlighted concerns about the failure to arrest within the first few days of the inquiry and a lack of leadership in the police. The BBC programme suggested that one of the senior officers involved in the initial murder inquiry may have had been corrupt and receiving payment from the father of one of the suspects.”
Clive said, “I understand that these allegations will be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. However, the IPCC is extremely slow in its investigations. We cannot afford to leave this matter to an organisation that is going to take too long to complete its work. These investigations need to be thorough, but they need to be dealt with expeditiously.”
“Mr Putnam claims that he informed the Met that DC Davidson had taken money from people close to the suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case and that he was prevented from giving this evidence to Macpherson. The Met claim that he never made this allegation. Mr Putnam’s interviews were taped so these should be put in the public domain so that any allegation of cover-up on the part of the Met can be answered and the full confidence of the public restored. Without this, there will always be the fear that the Met are hiding the facts.”
“I was very surprised that Assistant Commissioner John Grieve did not appear to be aware of the allegations made by Mr Putnam. Having met John Grieve on several occasions I formed the opinion that he was determined to solve this crime before he retired and would leave no stone unturned. It is difficult to understand how an officer of his seniority would have had no idea of the existence of this kind of information if Mr Putnam had made these allegations. The only way to resolve this matter is for someone independent of the Met to publish the contents of the tapes that are relevant to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.”
The Macpherson Inquiry was set up because we owed it to Stephen and his family to get to the bottom of why no one was ever convicted of his murder. The conclusions of the inquiry showed that we were right to have concerns about how the investigation was conducted. Following publication of Lord Macpherson’s report I asked the advisors to the inquiry about the failure to find evidence of corruption and was told that they looked very hard, but found no proof. We all had suspicions of corruption and they have been reignited by this documentary. They need to be thoroughly investigated with the minimum of delay.”
Eltham MP Clive Efford has written to the Planning Inspectorate to express his anger at the decision of the Inspectorate to allow a mobile phone mast to be erected at the bottom of Oxleas Meadow.
The planning application from T Mobile for the mast had been turned down several times by Greenwich Council, following objections from Clive and many local residents. Clive [pictured right, at the top of Oxleas Meadows] explained “I pointed out to Greenwich planning that I could not think of a more unsuitable location for such a mast. The mast will be located in the middle of the vista seen from the top of the hill looking down from Oxleas Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is a landmark location for the local area and the view is enjoyed by many local residents. It is also close to residential housing. It is not an appropriate site for a phone mast”.
T Mobile then appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to ask them to override Greenwich’s decision. Clive wrote to the Inspector urging that he refuse permission for this development. Unfortunately the Inspectorate has now given the go ahead for the mast.
Clive has now written to T Mobile to ask for a meeting at the site. He will suggest that they move the mast’s position a few hundred meters eastward where there are already phone masts and few houses. “Moving the mast eastwards will mean that it would be lost in the trees and be less obtrusive. Ideally I would like to see phone companies co-locate their masts on the same base” said Clive.
The Crossrail Bill Select Committee in Parliament has backed the local compaign for a Crossrail station at Woolwich. The Committee has spent months looking at the details of the project. Its Chairman Alan Meale MP gave the Committee’s verdict on a Woolwich Station saying it was “clearly convinced of the essential need for a Crossrail station at Woolwich. He went on to say that such a station would provide “exceptional value for money”. He instructed Crossrail to work with Greenwich Council to ensure that the station is “fully integrated with the local transport infrastructure”.
Speaking after the announcement, Clive Efford said: “This is the news that we have been waiting and campaigning so long for. A Woolwich Station will have a massive impact on our local transport. Passengers will eventually be able to get a train from Woolwich direct to Heathrow and beyond. Crossrail is vital for the long-term prosperity of our city and the Woolwich Station is just as vital for our local area.”
Clive [pictured right campaigning for Crossrail in the snow and at start of work on Woolwich DLR extension] added “I am particularly pleased that the Committee has seen the importance of ensuring that the station is fully integrated into the local transport infrastructure. With Crossrail and the DLR coming to Woolwich it will become a major transport hub. It is vital that our local transport network helps people access that hub easily”.
Clive Efford was invited to Charlton Athletic’s training ground in Eltham for the opening of their Community Centre for Skills.
The centre will engage with young people through sport and offer advice on health and the opportunity to learn skills for employment.
The centre is supported by Charlton’s charitable trust, Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Football foundation.
Also at the opening was the new Charlton manager Ian Dowie, striker Darren Bent, Rugby world-cup winner Will Greenwood and Olympic Hockey gold medallist Sean Kerly [pictured with Clive right] as well over a hundred children from local schools.
Speaking at Prime Ministers Question Time on Wednesday Clive invited Mr Blair to come along, or to send a message of support. The Prime Minister congratulated Charlton Athletic on the excellent work they are doing to engage with young people and help tackle crime and antisocial behaviour. He also added that the Club should be congratulated on keeping hold of Darren Bent on a new contract.
Clive attended the opening of the dipping pond, a new educational resource at Woodlands Farm.
The new purpose built dipping pond on Woodlands Farm is a great new Educational Resource for groups of all ages.
”This is a great new facility for children and young adults in the Borough,” Clive explained. “The pond is full of water boatmen, frogs, tadpoles and a variety of other creatures. The children using the pond when I was there were having great fun whilst also learning about a wide range of subjects.”
As well as the pond the site includes: wind and solar energy demonstrations; creepy crawly corner; wheelchair friendly paths; and wildflowers (planted soon).
As well as school visits the site is also open to the general public.