in Weekly report

Weekly wrap-up, 14 August

Another slow-ish week council-wise, as the summer slow-down truly takes hold.

But a few things to include this week.

GoogleLocalgov
My weekly wrap-up last week was posted during the lunch break of GoogleLocalgov. Google are clearly targetting local government as a market and, as part of that hosted a whole group of local government types to a day at their offices. The morning was a sales pitch, frankly, for their AdWords and AdSense services.

I’ve always assumed I wouldn’t run ads on this site – so didn’t see it as terribly relevant.

The afternoon session, for which I had high hopes, covered the more creative offering of Google’s business. While better, it seemed to miss the needs of local government and just a little tacked on.

So while I got a few ideas from it, I can’t say I came away buzzing with them as I expected I would (and have to admit that Google’s offices lacked the buzz I was expecting). The upside of this is that you won’t have to put up with endless new ‘features’ being introduced just for the sake of it!

Balham Street Festival
Continuing the recent tradition of street festivals and events (in Lavender Hill and Northcote Road, with more to come in St John’s Hill, Wandsworth and – I understand – Southfields) Balham had their event last Sunday. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it, but have heard nothing but praise for the event. You can read the Balham Town Centre manager’s review of it on the Balham Blog.

19 Lavender Hill
I usually don’t report on casework on this blog, because of the fairly obvious privacy issues. However, I have been asked what is happening with 19, Lavender Hill – a property I blogged about last April. Some months on and the property still looks fairly derelict.

It is still in council ownership, since some of the legal issues took longer to wrap up than anticipated. However, it is expected to go to sale within the next two months and the sale will be covenanted to ensure the new owner brings it back into use quickly. So hopefully it won’t be long before we finally see some improvement.

Chuggers
Finally, I have to highlight my post on chugging. There have already been a number of comments on the post, largely supportive of my view. You would perhaps expect that – but I would encourage anyone, whatever their view, to comment. I do genuinely like to see debate and have never deleted or edited a post just because I disagree. So, please, add your voice.

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  1. Hats off to the Council for biting the bullet on 19 Lavender Hill – compulsory purchases are a risky business, and looking around London it’s obvious that a lot of authorities just quietly ignore similar eyesores (the shambolic & roofless buildings on The Pavement in Clapham stand out as a prime example). It’s still a tip of course, and smells of pigeons as you walk past though – I wouldn’t want to be the estate agent trying to shift it!…

    • It has taken a long time to get this stage. We much prefer to get the current owner to take responsibility for their property. In this case the previous owner would start, then stop, drawing out the process for much longer than it need have run.

      Hopefully the property will go at auction, pigeons or not!