This week 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 Years Ago

Sweeping changes to policing will see 11 police stations in South London closed and hundreds of officers being put on the beat.

City Hall and the Met have set out plans to slash Met spending by £514million by 2015.

London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Mayor’s Office For Policing And Crime (MOPAC) has confirmed that 65 police stations, with front-counter access for the public to report crimes face to face, will be axed.

Concerns have been raised that the closures – especially of stations in East Dulwich, Rotherhithe, Gipsy Hill and Sydenham – would leave communities without a police base.

City Hall has been criticised for not giving Lambeth taxpayers a say on a new £1billion transport upgrade.

The investment into extending the Northern Line Tube from Kennington to Nine Elms and Battersea has been criticised by Liberal Democrats in Lambeth.

The party is petitioning City Hall to rethink the proposals or make the developers of the regeneration project foot the bill.

The Government has already agreed a £1billion loan to complete the extension, much to the chagrin of Vauxhall Lib Dem chairman George Turner.

Campaigners trying to save vital services at Lewisham Hospital have vowed to continue fighting after a report concluded that it should be downgraded.

Government-appointed Trust Special Administrator Matthew Kershaw published his final recommendations on the future of healthcare in South London on Tuesday this week.

The report concludes that the South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT), which ran up debts of £150million before being put into administration in July, should be dissolved.

20 Years Ago

A top cop told South Londoners not to wait for a national gun amnesty to hand in their weapons.

Lambeth’s acting commander Brian Moore made the comments after two girls were shot dead in Birmingham.

After the drive-by shooting which shocked the nation, a man ran into Brixton police station and dumped a Colt 45 rifle before running off.

Branding the Birmingham shooting a “horrendous catalyst” the officer said there was no need to wait for the Government to act and urged Lambeth councillors to set up a gun amnesty in the borough.

Lambeth ranked as the worst affected area, with 10 per cent of London’s gun crime committed in the borough.

A Window cleaner penned a protest song about the Congestion Charge, which was due to be introduced in February 2003.

Terry Burrowes, the frontman of the group the Squeegees, changed the lyrics of George Formby’s When I’m Cleaning Windows to voice his opposition at having to pay £5 a day to go into the zone.

Hundreds of pupils faced an agonising wait to find out which school they were going to amid a places crisis.

In Lewisham, 1,130 Year 7 students were not offered their choice of school.

Parents reacted angrily, but the council insisted most children would be offered a place once parents with more than one offer had decided which school to send their child to.

30 Years Ago

A Prime riverside site with planning permission for a multimillion pound development was put on the market.

Owner Rank Hovis McDougall put up for sale the disused Battersea Flour Mills site in Battersea Church Road, which was to be turned into a business and housing complex, with shops, a wine bar and parking for 240 cars.

The 1920s building was due to be turned into flats as part of a trade-off for preserving the mill.

Wandsworth council received 12 complaints about the plan, including a petition from residents of Somerset Estate.

An angler who mounted a marlin on his roof further angered planners by posting a 25-tonne tank to stand guard outside his home.

John Gladden surrounded his 14ft catch with military hardware, barbed wire and defused land mines in St Oswald’s Road, Norbury, in defiance of planning inspectors from Croydon council.

But irate neighbours said his plans to bring in a Spitfire and an inflatable Winston Churchill were a step too far.

Mr Gladden said he had spent £30,000 netting the fish and vowed to protect it, saying he wanted to protect it and had nowhere else to put it.

Two charities were landed with a massive VAT bill amid a row over building work.

The Elimination of Leukaemia Fund raised more than £400,000 to build a suite at King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, but were given a £25,000 VAT bill.

The South London Mission was told to pay £75,000 for extending accommodation for doctors and for homeless people in Bermondsey, and the Dulwich MP Tessa Jowell said the situation was “scandalous”.

But Prime Minister John Major cited European Court rules stating that civil engineering works could attract the full rate of VAT.


Picture: Pixabay Skitterphoto

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