Category Archives: News

Demelza unveils plans for south London’s first residential children’s hospice

Clive joined Charlton manger Alan Pardew at Eltham Palace to unveil new plans for a £6.5 million residential children’s hospice in Wensley Close in Eltham.

The event also marked the official start of the Capital Appeal to raise funds for this vital new service for children and families in the area.

There are an estimated 1700 children with life-limiting illnesses within the area that Demelza cover and 780 are in the South London area alone.

The Capital Appeal will be asking for fund raising support from all areas of the South London community. Demelza relies almost entirely on fundraising and with the services already provided costing over £7,000 a day, extending those services will need the help of local companies, local groups and the individuals in the community.

Anyone wanting to get involved in the project should contact the Capital Appeal Office at 1 Wensley Close, London, SE9 5AB T: 0208 859 7766 or visit Demelza’s website by clicking here.

Clive backs law to tackle mini-motorbike problem

Clive is one of the sponsoring the Off-Road Vehicles (Registration) Bill which has been tabled by Graham Stringer MP.

The Bill calls for a registration scheme to be introduced for mini motorcycles, trikes and quads.

Speaking after the Bill passed its second reading, Clive explained: “The nuisance caused by these vehicles – and especially the mini motorbikes – has grown enormously over the last five years. According to the Home Office, complaints about these machines account for 40 per cent. of all complaints made nationally about antisocial behaviour.

Most sadly, these bikes are responsible for one death a month either to pedestrians and other road users or to the riders themselves.”

The current law does not give the police the powers to deal with this problem effectively.

A registration scheme that requires those bikes to have a number on them, so that failure to register and number the bike means its immediate removal and destruction, is a tool that will give the police powers to deal with the problem without delay.

The Bill would mean that the current system of registration for vehicles on the road be extended to off-road vehicles meaning that the machine and its keeper were required to be registered at the time of sale.

The Bill would require the manufacturers to put registration marks on the machines. It would also give police officers the right, if they have due cause, to stop a bike without warning and if it does not comply with registration measures take it away and squash it.

Speaking on the debate in Parliament Clive explained: “People who live near every green space in my constituency, including Eltham Park, Middle Park, Horn Park, Shooters Hill Park, Eaglesfield Park, Plumstead Common, the Course, and Woodlands Farm, face a problem with the bikes week in, week out.”

The problem has grown as the number of mini motorbikes imported into the UK has grown. The number has rocketed from 7,000 in 2001 to 144,000 in 2005.

“A registration scheme that requires those bikes to have a number on them, so that failure to register and number the bike means its immediate removal and destruction, is a tool that will give the police powers to deal with the problem without delay.” Clive told Parliament.

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

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.