Leaders Question Time
Mark Brearley attended Leaders Public Question Time at the St. Peter's Church, Walworth Road, in an effort to address Southwark Council Leader Peter John and Councillor Johnson Situ (cabinet member for business, culture and social regeneration.
Marks Question was:
"My name is Mark Brearley, proprietor of Southwark business Kaymet, who have been manufacturing in this part of London for 70 years. I am also a member of Vital OKR, the business association for the Old Kent Road.
Southwark has a vibrant industrial economy that is growing strongly, but now severely constrained because the supply of suitable accommodation is shrinking. This is being allowed, indeed promoted, by your Council, whose narrowly focused handling of urban change is now threatening many thousands of jobs and causing a steady loss of economic diversity.
Will you today commit to opening a proper dialogue with industrial businesses in Southwark, promise to develop an understanding of their reasons for being here, their growth dynamic, and their accommodation needs?
Will you commit, here this evening, to halting the loss of industrial accommodation from Southwark? Will you offer to urgently revise your several emerging planning documents so that they embrace the Mayor of London's call for nil further loss?
Can you also agree to push hard to create extensive new space for our job generating industrial and workshop enterprises, weaving that space in with new developments across the borough?"
Unfortunately the panel were unable to take Mark's questions on the evening. However we did get to discuss our question briefly with Peter John and Johnson Situ, who confirmed they would welcome a further meeting to discuss the matter in more depth.
In the meantime we have submitted our questions via e-mail and will post any responses that we get.