News in brief

Rats in Butterfield Green worry parents and residents.

Rats in Butterfield Green worry parents and residents Pic: Wikimedia Commons


Commuters angered as London Bridge stop dropped

Southern Rail Services’ trains to Cannon Street will no longer call at London Bridge, angering south-east London and Kent commuters.

While trains from Charing Cross will resume stopping at London Bridge, six south-east stations will have no service to London Bridge starting from August 2016 until January 2018.

The affected stations are St Johns, New Cross, Westcombe Park, Maze Hill, Greenwich and Deptford.

Online house price exposé reveals a better deal in Bexley  

Bexley homes are the second cheapest in London – but buyers can still expect an average price of £304,000.

The data was released earlier this week by estate agent eMoov to expose the increasingly “unobtainable” cost of London housing, where the average property now costs £550,000.

Only 46 per cent of London properties are equal to or less than the average price.

Potential buyers in other areas of south-east London will be pleased to know that Lewisham and Croydon are amongst the 13 boroughs where the majority of properties cost £550,000 or less.


Petition set up to save youth clubs

A petition has been set up by young people in Tower Hamlets in response to the council’s decision to close 18 of the 26 youth centres across the borough.

Save Our Youth Clubs” has gained over 700 signatures on and has the support of parents and community leaders. The petition website says: “Youth clubs provide a safe venue for our friends to meet, take part in activities and teach us important life skills.”

The Council’s decision is due to come into operation on the week of July 14.

Good Samaritan latest East End pub at risk over flat plans

Whitechapel residents are rallying to save a 79-year-old pub from plans to stack flats on top of it.

The Good Samaritan has been an institution in the East End since 1937. The plans were proposed the the Barts Charity which supports the Royal London Hospital. A petition was launched in an effort to save the popular pub which has gathered over 5000 signatures.

David Starbuck, manager of the Good Samaritan, told EastEndCitizen: “We’re in ongoing discussions with the hospital (WHAT??) to try and find out about the future of the pub. It’s all up in the air at the moment.

“We were founded by doctors in 1937 and are important to so many people. Our customers return after year after year for reunions. A lot of them have seen the plans for the pub and are so upset they’ve launched the petition to campaign for it to be saved.”


Croydon Council in multinational deal to lease part of HQ

Croydon Council has signed a £7.5 million deal to lease part of it’s headquarters with multinational company Arcadis.

The design and consultancy firm will begin a 10-year lease of 19,000 square feet of office space in the top two floors of Bernard Weatherill House in the summer.

Council leader Tony Newman welcomed the deal after the council announced last February that renting out part of its headquarters would ensure “property assets are optimised and used to generate income”

Newman said: “It’s fantastic news that yet another company of global stature wants to relocate to Croydon, further strengthening our position as London’s growth borough, and the place to do business.”

Police officer sacked after failing to respond to knife attack

 A police officer has been sacked in Croydon after ignoring calls to attend a knife attack which resulted in the death of a man.

Police Sergeant Kirsten Treasure “chose not to react” to the deadly knife attack just 700m away from Addington police station.

Father-of-three Andrew Else died after being stabbed more than 200 times by Ephraim Norman during a frenzied attack on April 24, 2014.

Treasure was dismissed without notice from the Metropolitan Police and was also found guilty of using “shockingly offensive” language about colleagues and members of the public.

Summarising the case against Sgt Treasure, Commander Julian Bennett said: “We found she deliberately ignored what PC Munday said and chose not to leave as promptly as she should have done.”


Calls for council to tackle rat problem

A Hackney park has been infested with rats for “over a year,” raising fears for children who play there.

The infestation in Butterfield Green has caused parents to avoid the area, but children are still entering the water feature, which is reportedly the worst-affected part of the little park off Shakespeare Walk.

Rats are running amok around the water feature, worrying residents who fear that the water might be harbouring deadly infections through a build-up of rat urine.

Dominic Young told the Hackney Gazette on Tuesday: “I’ve seen kids using the water in super soakers and taking water from the pump there to fill water pistols and even sometimes drink.

“It’s literally crawling with rats and it has been for at least a year.

“They really do spread disease and it’s irresponsible of the council to just ignore it.

“If they can’t get rid of the rats they should get rid of the water feature because it’s clearly designed for children.”

New options of London Fields residents after anger over road closures

A controversial plan to close 13 roads in London Fields to through traffic is likely to be scrapped, after it received high levels of opposition.

The plan to lock down the area was announced in September, and was aimed at dealing with “rat-running” and “high levels of non-local motor traffic using the residential streets.”

Public pressure forced the council to open a consultation, giving residents five options for alternative ways to reduce the problem.

The council will discuss the report on July 18 and decide which, if any, of the options it will take.

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