That’s Life

Another fortnight, another copy of Lambeth Life comes through the letterbox – hurrah!

Oh, hide ye cynicism away. At least until after the local elections, anyway. There’s actually a really rather decent story hidden away on p20 of the current edition:

Cross the Digital Divide with CDI

The UK’s first Centre for Digital Inclusion has opened up in Lambeth to help resident’s bridge the digital divide. Iris Lapinski, the programmer director said…

“We are setting up a programme to get the young people coming up with smartphone applications for community based projects. The Apps for Good scheme will not only provide the practical skills needed to create smartphone apps, it will also get young people thinking about issues affecting their communities”

The long term aim is to get graduates from the scheme teaching others.

What a truly wonderful idea – teaching technology, to then become an empowering and enabling force within the local community. I like it. A lot.

Elsewhere within Lambeth Life and there’s further reason to keep smiling.

Cripes.

The photo opportunity that we thought would never happen is buried away on p13, with a beaming smile from @LambethLabour leader @cllrstevereed captured next to his rivals council colleagues @LambethLibDems leader Ashley Lumsden and Tory leader John Whelan.

Photo opp

The smiles look anything but false, and with good reason too. The story covers the amazing achievements of Samuel Manley, the Youth Mayor for Lambeth in 2009.

Samuel’s fine efforts in promoting democracy and community participation led to over 10,000 young people in Lambeth exercising their right to vote in the 2010 Youth Mayor elections.

Congratulations to Darren Tenkorang on winning an incredibly tight contest. Samuel is a tough act to follow.

The photo itself has something of a ‘he’s behind you!‘ element to it. Cllr’s Reed, Lumsden and Whelan have good reason to be looking over their shoulders, with youth democracy on the rise in Lambeth.

Elsewhere…

Want to talk about leisure? Oh, go on. I knew this spring optimism wouldn’t last long. Back to a Beware the Ides of March nonsense piece in which the closure of Clap’ham Leisure Centre is celebrated.

Seriously.

Only in the Rotten Borough…

Under the headline of: The Future of Sport – the race to 2012 and Beyond, we get the bonkers story of:

A sporting celebration was held on Clap’ham Common to mark the work to close replace Clap’ham Leisure Centre.

Note the “and beyond” disclaimer in the headline. Only a fool (or a Lambeth politician) would set firm dates on the completion of leisure projects.

Our friend, the good Councillor Lib Peck, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, states:

The Olympic and Paralympics Games coming to London in 2012 gives us a fantastic opportunity to create a lasting legacy by inspiring more people to get interested and involved in sport.

No mention of how many swimmers from Lambeth will be representing GB at 2012. Sadly the legacy of Lib’s Labour cabinet is one of two closed swimming pools, and one which is *still* only open between 7-9am in the morning.

Moving on…

The silly season starts slightly early in Lambeth Life with a puff piece Star Letter, the sort of which gives the elected politicians the opportunity to back slap during cabinet:

I am writing to commend you all at Lambeth Life for producing an excellent publication …I enjoy reading it very much and I do recycle it.

Sweet.

Star letter

A picture of an empty Windswept Square can be found on p21, which is almost forgiven as there is a really rather moving interview with three veterans of the Windrush generation in the panel opposite.

Windswept Square

But let’s not let the phoney election campaign get in the way of what is a half decent edition of Lambeth Life for this fortnight. I think there’s a compliment hidden away in there somewhere.

How to Service Your Bike for Spring

…can be found on p19. It’s a very insightful read as well, with a once over on basic bicycle mechanics being given by the lovely Lincoln from Brixton Cycles Co-op.

Hang on – a co-op you say? Ah, you could even call the brilliant Brixton Cycles something of a John Lewis model of management. Each employee is treated equally, owning, and sharing in the profit.

Now there’s an idea for you…

See ya in two weeks time.

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