The Millwall General Election
The Association of Millwall Supporters is making an open invitation to all candidates standing in the forthcoming General Election for the following constituencies: Lewisham West & Penge – Lewisham East – Lewisham & Deptford – Bermondsey & Old Southwark.
We are calling on the candidates from all of the political parties to make their position clear in relation to our club’s fight to remain in the borough of Lewisham – and at the heart of Bermondsey life.
Our question is simple:
Do you back Millwall FC’s case that it must be included as a participant within any future New Bermondsey regeneration; and thereby to ensure both its and the highly respected Community Scheme’s long term future within the London Borough of Lewisham?
What message do you wish to send to Millwall supporters living in your constituency regarding the club’s fight against Lewisham Council?
All responses will be carried word-for-word on the AMS website as a service to Millwall fans living in each of these Parliamentary seats. Any non replies will also be listed as such.
The Battle of The Den 2017 – where do YOU stand?
First to submit their statement was Neil Coyle Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark.
Many thanks to the Association of Millwall Supporters for the invitation – and for the campaign to keep Millwall local. It was an amazing campaign and I was happy to support you.
I’ve worked with the Millwall Community Trust for some time – on projects to engage more young people in sport and to help young people avoid crime. Millwall leapt in to help Harvey get the treatment for Morquio he needed – and I thank the club for supporting his successful campaign.
I was at the St George’s Day fundraiser at The Den for the Mayor of Southwark’s Common Good Trust last week – which is just one more positive contribution the club makes. I know the club hosts the Irish Pensioners’ annually and makes a huge difference in thousands of people’s lives well beyond the football!
I was happy to work with the club to avoid the previous CPO plans and was pleased to see Labour spokespeople from Mayor Sadiq Khan and our national deputy leader, Tom Watson, speak up for the club. Lewisham council must not put the club at risk and it is essential that any future plans include working with the club.
You claim no one likes you and you don’t care – but it is clear from the campaign and from the huge number of people involved that lots of people like you! And I certainly care that the club and your voice is heard fully in all future plans for the area. I will work with you every step of the way to ensure the future of the club is not put at risk.
The second statement we’ve received is from the Liberal Democrats and is below in full.
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidates Simon Hughes (Bermondsey & Old Southwark), Bobby Dean (Lewisham Deptford), Emily Frith (Lewisham East) and John Russell (Lewisham West & Penger) welcome the open invitation from the Association of Millwall Supporters and issue a joint reply supportive of its call:
We completely and enthusiastically back Millwall Football Club’s case that it must be included as a participant within any future new Bermondsey regeneration; and thereby ensure the long term future both of the club and Millwall Community Trust within SE16 and the London Borough of Lewisham.
Liberal Democrats in Lewisham and Southwark have publicly stood by Millwall FC for years in its battle with Lewisham Council and against the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).
The Lewisham Labour Mayor and Councillors have now been forced to hold a public inquiry thanks to great pressure from your group, Millwall Supporters Club and many others.
The current regeneration scheme is not fit for purpose for the club, the local community or our part of South East London. The ridiculously small number of affordable homes proposed in the scheme is a disgrace. The cost to council taxpayers is already unacceptable.
We say no to a CPO under any circumstances, now or in the future. Only regeneration that has the support of the club and Millwall Community Trust will be good regeneration for SE16, for Bermondsey and for Lewisham.
As Tim Farron, Simon Hughes and Bobby Dean have said on radio, TV and to the press, we are 100% committed as a party to supporting the club, the trust and supporters in this great campaign.
Sir Simon Hughes (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)
Bobby Dean (Lewisham Deptford)
Emily Frith (Lewisham East)
John Russell (Lewisham West and Penge)
The Green Party is absolutely committed to keeping Millwall FC at their historic stadium in Lewisham. A big part of Green philosophy is localism, so we want fans to be able to travel easily to the ground to support their local team without having to go ridiculous distances. We also want the team to be embedded in our community, offering all the benefits that this brings. Inspiring youngsters to pursue sport and be physically active is good for them and good for the environment. Localism – decisions being taken by people affected at the nearest level to them – is an important Green belief. The situation with the Compulsory Purchase Order proposed earlier this year by Labour’s Lewisham council may have partly arisen due to a monolithic political culture featuring few voices of dissent, where the Green’s John Coughlin is the only opposition councillor. A fundamental lack of transparency has dogged the CPO procedure from the outset, and the apparent inconsistencies and conflicts of interest which continue to surround the Millwall CPO affair are doing material harm to the council’s reputation for fairness and probity. We need to ensure that Millwall are included as a participant in any future New Bermondsey regeneration, and that the upcoming inquiry is transparent and examines the matter impartially and in detail. The Green Party is committed to maintaining Millwall Football Club’s presence in Lewisham at all costs and to reassuring the club that they are a valued and irreplaceable asset in our community.
Cllr. John Coughlin (Green Candidate for Lewisham and Deptford)
Green Party Councillor for Brockley
Member of the New Bermondsey Inquiry Committee
John Tyson (Green Candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Picture to follow