BOWIE’S BRIXTON MURAL SET TO BE ‘LISTED’….CHURCH FINED FOR DISTURBING NEIGHBOURS…..SOUTHWARK UNITES TO TACKLE FGM……DAWN RAIDS ON ILLEGAL TOBACCO FACTORIES – IN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES
BOWIE MURAL SET TO BE LISTED
Lambeth council are set to locally ‘list’ the David Bowie mural beside Morleys in Brixton which became a shrine to the artist who died in January.
“Local listing would protect the mural and the council is also considering renaming the area where the mural is in Tunstall Place” explained a council spokesperson.
“The council are in contact with Bowie’s family about the many suggestions for a permanent memorial, including statues and place naming.”
Lambeth council leader Cllr Lib Peck, said: “It is ultimately the family’s decision as to what may be appropriate. “We must respect that and be patient.
“Lambeth residents have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection visibly demonstrated by floral tributes, messages and people visiting the Bowie mural to pay their respects to this unique ‘Brixton boy’.
“We are also in contact with the Bowie fan club and other Brixton organisations who want to honour the memory and legacy of this extraordinary artist. “We will share any word we get from his family that will determine what we do next.”
Lambeth council have commissioned photographs of the posters, mural, tributes and messages as a permanent record which will be mounted and given to Morleys, the 02, Pop Brixton and any other organisations that wish to display them.
Morleys will preserve messages on the brick wall and non-perishable items like drawings and cards will be stored in the council archives. (Source: Lambeth council press release.)
CHURCH FINED FOR DISTURBING NEIGHBOURS
Southwark council have taken action against a Camberwell-based church following floods of complaints from residents about persistent and excessive noise levels from almost daily church services.
Residents were continually disturbed by amplified music and loud preaching occurring as early as 3am.
Council officers initially approached the leaders of Kingdom Church, otherwise known as Bishop Climate Ministries, with advice on measures to reduce the noise issue. Despite this, the issue persisted leading to enforcement action.
The church were issued a £7,740.50 fine at a court hearing at Camberwell Green magistrates court on 22 February the defendant was found guilty of two charges under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1980.
Southwark’s cabinet member for communities and safety Cllr Michael Situ said: “We would have preferred to settle this matter out of court, but unfortunately our attempts to work with the church leaders were ignored.
“We hope the penalty helps to remind both the leaders, and the wider community, anti-social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated and wrongdoers will be made to pay one way or another.”
Despite shrinking noise units across the country, Southwark council say they are strengthening its provision with a more responsive and timely service.
“Southwark’s noise team now operates from Monday to Thursday between 7am to 2:30am and provides 24 hours cover over the weekend” said a council spokesperson. “If the noise is ‘on going’ residents can expect contact from a noise team officer within an hour of reporting the nuisance.” (Source: Southwark council press release)
SOUTHWARK UNITES TO TACKLE FGM
One hundred and eighty professionals from across Southwark came together for the borough’s first major conference about female genital mutilation (FGM).
The event was organised by Southwark Council’s children and adults safeguarding boards, to look at how the council, NHS, police, schools, local churches, and other community groups can join forces to combat this brutal crime.
A number of high profile speakers addressed the broad challenges around treating and preventing FGM, and a survivor spoke about her own experience, before delegates broke into smaller groups to discuss practical issues including community engagement, data collection, education and faith and culture.
Dr Comfort Momoh MBE and Professor Janice Rymer, who have worked tirelessly for nearly twenty years in their clinic at Guy’s Hospital to help women subjected to FGM, talked about the huge progress that has been made in recent years in raising awareness of FGM.
The clinic was set up in 1997, with 108 patients in its first year. Now 400 women attend the clinic each year for advice, support, and reversal surgery which can normally be done under local anaesthetic without an overnight stay.
Professor Rymer said “I do think the media has done a fantastic job to raise awareness of FGM,” but added that there is still a huge amount of work to do in raising awareness, challenging myths, changing perceptions, and preventing FGM from happening.”
In a sometimes harrowing presentation, Professor Rymer described some of the effects of FGM, which include shock, tetanus, blood loss and death, as well as low self-esteem and depression. “Many women are traumatised all their life because of FGM,” she added.
Communities often celebrate FGM as a rite of passage into womanhood, and a wide range of myths ensure the practice continues; it can be seen as a way to encourage cleanliness, while some believe women will have stillbirths if they haven’t had FGM.
Other reasons for FGM include reducing the women’s desire for sex and increasing male sexual pleasure, although sex is often impossible if FGM has been carried out.
Southwark’s cabinet member for children and schools Cllr Victoria Mills said: “We know that FGM is a serious issue in Southwark, because we are home to so many communities from parts of the world where FGM is practised.
“This conference was a real eye-opener in terms of the range of complex challenges we face, from changing long-held beliefs to stopping girls being taken abroad for FGM, but the size of the audience in itself shows that Southwark is ready and willing to tackle FGM, and stop girls and women suffering such horrendous abuse.
“No one organisation can tackle FGM alone, but I’m confident that if the council, NHS, schools and police join forces with our communities, we can make a real impact in both preventing FGM and helping its victims move on positively with their lives.”
The conference was organised jointly by the safeguarding boards for both adults and children, because FGM can affect women at any age. Dr Momoh told the story of a 40 year old woman, who was planning to leave a violent marriage. As a punishment her husband organised for her to be held down while she was sleeping and have her clitoris removed.
Southwark’s cabinet member for adult care and financial inclusion Cllr Stephanie Cryan said: “There is rightly a focus on protecting young girls from FGM, but women can be forced to undergo this procedure at any age, and we need to make every effort to protect all women from this unbelievably awful procedure.
“I was genuinely shocked by what I saw and heard at the conference, and if we can educate our communities about the damage that FGM does to women, and demonstrate a zero tolerance approach, I’m confident that in time we will see the back of FGM.”
Female genital mutilation is illegal in the UK, but to date there has not been a successful prosecution of those carrying it out.
But in a statement Southwark council say they recently successfully applied to the High Court for an FGM protection order to prevent a child from being removed from the country, as it was feared she would be subject to FGM. (Source: Southwark council press release)
DAWN RAIDS ON ILLEGAL TOBACCO FACTORIES – IN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES
Counterfeit rolling tobacco with a street value in excess of £30,000 has been seized by Southwark council in two dawn raids.
In a joint operation with HM Revenue & Customs, immigration enforcement and local police teams, entry warrants were executed at two residential properties in the borough.
At one Peckham address, a mini- tobacco processing factory was discovered as well as counterfeit Amber Leaf and Golden Virginia branded pouches prepared ready for sale.
At the second address in Walworth a substantial amount of counterfeit tobacco packaging was found concealed around the premises.
“The packaging found displayed foreign language health warnings with the intention to fool purchasers into thinking they were getting a genuine, but duty evaded, product” said a Southwark council spokesman.
“Seven suspects were arrested on site and a number of phones and laptops seized for forensic analysis. “One male was subsequently sent for deportation and the rest have been bailed pending further investigations.
“The sale of illegal tobacco products undermines the health objectives of high taxation and steals business away from legitimate tobacco sellers. “Southwark council are committed to working with all our enforcement partners to tackle this damaging trade.”
The intelligence led operation was part of an ongoing trading standards project with the South East London Illicit Tobacco Network targeting organised criminal gangs involved in the supply of illegal tobacco. (Source: Southwark council press release)