Top Of The Policies – Southwark 1 September 2012




Top Policy: Json Keto-Edwards – Building new lives for ex-offenders

No. 2 Policy: James Wise – Social entrepreneurs

No. 3 Policy: Clifton Nelson – Spaces for young people

When? 4pm Saturday 1st September,2012

Where? Upstairs at the Roebuck pub, Great Dover Street SE1 

What? Do you have a policy idea for Southwark? Do you know someone who does? Southwark’s Top of the Policies is set to be a fun afternoon that gives locals a chance to get their voices heard. Twenty people will have a chance to pitch their idea for the borough in 90 seconds to a large audience, be it about solar panels or dangerous dogs.

Speakers: Chaired by mayor Althea Smith, there will be prizes for the best speakers and council leader Peter John will be on hand to respond to the best ideas.


  • Up to 90 SECONDS PER SPEAKER TO PRESENT A POLICY IDEA (up to 20 speakers)

All Labour councillors and members are welcome, but we really want to get less active members and non-members involved. If you or someone you know fits the bill please contact us to reserve your space (see email address below). We’re looking for speakers and audience members.


First prize is media training from Whistledown Productions, the largest supplier of speech radio to the BBC who make programmes such as The Reunion and Feedback for BBC Radio.  For more info click here.


To  have the chance to present your 90 second policy idea on the on the night, please send it in the following format to

– Headline

– Explanation (3 sentences max)

– How you wish to be referred to on the night (ie job title, organisation, etc.


Adoption in Southwark: Make Southwark a shining example by delivering a fast, safe non racialised adoption service, the best in the country. Jasmine Ali – Lane Branch secretary and Policy Consultant.

The Southwark Elderly Care Contract: A radical solution to the funding of care for the elderly at a national level is missing. The Care Contract would allow those who are able to pay for their care in Southwark to do so when they die, allowing them to keep their home in their old age. Those who choose to enter the contract will pay an extra percentage of the proceeds on their home, when they die, to improve the elderly care of their fellow senior citizens who cannot afford to pay. Karl Eastham – Action team member for Chaucer and Cathedrals.

Combat domestic violence: A policy that allows women to be safe from fear and abuse should include, immediate eviction of council tenants proved of perpetrating domestic violence, suspending suspected council employees, compiling a register of perpetrators, establishing 24 hour help line staffed by volunteers who experienced domestic violence and the establishment of a Domestic Violence commissioner. Dr Chris Gonde – works at Kings College Hospital, he’s a director of London Mutual Credit Union and supports the domestic violence charity Refuge.

Soles for Consoles: Southwark has pioneered free school meals for all. On the back of this, and also after our brilliant showing at London 2012, Southwark will lead the way in inspiring a generation by offering children the chance to trade in old computer games consoles for a pair of proper running shoes. Lucas Green – Rotherhithe action team member and chair of governors at Redriff School.

A community media strategy for Southwark: We need to formulate a local media venture, bringing together primary schools and broadcast TV by bringing crumbliing local infrastructure into use. The aim should be to turn youngsters into radicalised – if apolitical – citizens. Chris Haydon – Director of Community TV Trust.

Compulsory voting in Southwark: Southwark should either make voting compulsory or, if that´s outside council powers, make eligibility for certain council services (e.g. being a member of a library) contingent on having voted in the last election. Tom Heys – Chaucer and Cathedrals member.

Creative spaces for creative purposes: Working with prominent arts venues in Southwark to ensure that their spaces and facilities are adequately utilized. Providing funding for community engagement programs, particularly involving youth in less economically privileged areas with placement and creative development opportunities. Megan Hunter – Manager at Central School for Speech and Drama.

A Next Steps Service for Southwark: A lot of time and money has gone into youth services. But we need to invest in the transition to adulthood. The Next Steps service would provide a holistic support service for 18-25 year olds, providing lectures, debates and coaching for new adults in the borough. Steve Jordan – Peckham resident and chair of Clifton estate. 

Building new lives for ex-offenders: People who have served time in prison often turn back to crime or benefits because no one will give them work. Businesses that offer second chances to ex-offenders who have tried hard to turn their lives around should be recognised by a new Lapel badge as a sign of best practice.  Json Keto-Edwards – Chief executive of XLJ, community activist, lawyer and chair of the Peckham branch Labour party.

Southwark Council officers going one step further to support the third sector: A proportion of Southwark councillors’ and council officers’ time and salary should be devoted to voluntary organisations in the borough. This would help build knowledge and experience on both sides, and give more resources to the third sector at a time when they need it most. Gordon McCullough – Head of Community Action. 

Spaces for young people: Young people need more free spaces to organise their own activities and programmes, and more volunteers to assist them. At the moment places like Cambridge House – which charge 20 pounds an hour – are prohibitive. Clifton Nelson – Student in Southwark.

Colour in the shutters: New York has rejuvinated inner city areas by designing colourful murals on shop shutters. We need communal regeneration of key impact areas to create a sense of community spirit and local identity. Michael O´Akuwanu – Recent graduate.

Southwark Citizens Fund: Every month citizens of Southwark can put aside money, which is invested in local businesses via the council, in a socially acceptable way. It will provide a return to Southwark residents, and extend credit and liquidity to local businesses. It could be managed by a independent third party, such as the Cooperative Bank, who have experience in this manner of ethical investments. Anthony Peters – Manager and consultant in the infrastructure industry.

Southwark Sports Day: An annual community sports day sponsored by Southwark Council would be a great way to contribute to the Olympic legacy as well as providing a social forum for Southwark residents. It would give both adults and children the opportunity to participate and try out events they’ve seen on the TV or to take part in different workshops, for example Zumba or street dance. Annie Powell – Local resident, school governor working for the Labour Party.

Restoring the glory of Borough High Street: A plan to spruce up the existing buildings and have them occupied, and put the brakes on the growth of fast food and betting shops. Erina Rayner – Campaigner for Southwark based charity Living Streets.

Generating apprenticeships in Southwark: Southwark council spends over 35 million pounds a year on contracts. My policy is to require that every contractor provides real apprenticeships for local people. This will get the firms Southwark spends on investing in the people of Southwark. Kate Robertson – Cathedrals and Chaucer member.

Job-creation linking unemployed to SME sector: We now want to build on the strong connections between neighbours to support local small businesses, and test a new model for job creation that will link the unemployed and the SME sector in a positive cycle of development. Niall Smith – Enterprise Manager at Backr (Backr launched in South London in February and is growing fast in Southwark).

The Forgotten: Southwark Council should conduct an in-depth, cross-party investigation (which would include the community at large) into the procedures and guidelines governing the control and treatment of dementia sufferers whilst in the care of the NHS and Social Services. Ellen Sutcliffe – Peckham resident. 

Share a Bin: Residents were horrified when the council’s new recycling policy covered Southwark with thousands of ugly big bins. This policy would beautify the borough, save public money and encourage neighbourliness. Sheila Taylor – Secretary of Bermondsey and Old Southwark Labour party.

Saving the Environment: All space must be utilitised by the local communities to enhance the environment. This has little or no cost implications but will vastly increase the value of areas thus becoming more valuable assets to dispose of! Lesley Wertheimer – Project co-ordinator at Growing Southwark.

Social entrepreneurs: A plan for Southwark council to make space and expertise available to social entrepreneurs, in partnership with local businesses and public services. James Wise – resident in the Borough, and runs a social enterprise charity based in London Bridge.

RESERVES (might not be presented)

Homes for Southwark: Bring housing association and private accomodation back into council ownership. Maureen Baker.

Remove the Potholes: Given the soaring cost of public transport and the increasing attraction of cycling as a cheap way of travelling, Southwark needs to invest in its roads and transport infrastructure, and the surface of the Walworth Road is the perfect place to start. We should start a campaign for all of the private sector contractors of public services in the Borough to make an ‘Environmental’ contribution to help improve the state of the roads for cyclists.  Nicholas Brown – Cathedrals and Chaucer member.

Sports for All: We need to start setting up a Southwark Olympic Squard, to give young people the opportunity and a chance of a lifetime to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Future investments for Sports in Southwark and
these facilities is very much needed, so as to continue and strengthened our sports facilities. What we are talking about is for sport to be accessible and inclusive for all. Colin Hunte – Member of South Camberwell Ward.

Calling All Dads: Southwark Council should actively reach out to all fathers of new babies in order to encourage them to play a greater part in the first 2 years of their kids’ lives. As well as sending a letter personally to the father after the birth of their child, in order to inform them of local services at children’s centres and libraries, the Council can send out a regular SMS with reminders and updates. Octavia Lamb – Branch Secretary South Camberwell and mother of a two year old! 

Unemployed to support the elderly: Southwark is struggling to meet costs to keep day centres open for the elderly. Meanwhile growing numbers of unemployed feel bored and have nothing to do. The council should introduce a scheme to encourage those who are out of work to care for and support our older people. Veronica Naraine – Peckham resident.

Co-operative Food Hubs and People’s Food Markets: That Southwark council builds upon the success of its free school meals initiative by working towards supporting through co-operatives the development of Food Hubs and People’s Food Markets. Supporting the development of  markets for the people – helping small scale local  and regional food producers/farmers and allotment growers to market their produce directly to the public. Michael Walker – Dulwich member.

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