Lonely: For the speakers at the Business Forum it was a big lonely stage in front of a big audience.
Lonely: For the speakers it was a big lonely stage in front of a big audience.

A few bits that I’ve not posted about separately during the week.

Clapham Junction
This week saw the (superficially) good news that Clapham Junction is to receive some funding for improvements, combined with the bad news – which we all sort of knew – that it’s the country’s second worst station. I’ve not written anything about this because I have been trying, and failing, to get some more information. It doesn’t seem like there’s much out there, just that the total pot is £50 million. Obviously any improvements to the station are good, but my fear is that the amounts suggested are nowhere near enough to make the difference needed. The major problem is congestion in the tunnel, and there’s no easy solution to that.

Wandsworth Business Forum
Thursday saw one of the regular, council organised, Business Forums. I don’t think there are many equivalents elsewhere in the country, but these serve two purposes. Part is information, they usually have a few interesting speakers and part is networking. Thursday’s event saw over 350 local businesses gather at the Wandsworth Palais for an evening largely focused on culture and the creative sector.

A great night, and I understand it continued long after I left at 9pm – and when people linger it’s usually a good sign.

If you are a business and aren’t already on the guest list and getting regular invites you can get more information from the council’s website.

Battersea Poems
Following on the culture theme; this morning I served as the token Philistine on the judging panel for Battersea Poems. There were some excellent poems submitted and going through and selecting the poems for the anthology was a lengthy process. The winners will be notified in coming days and the book should be published in time for Christmas.

SW Literary Festival ProgrammeThe launch of the SW11 Literary Festival takes place tomorrow night, which made me think it’s probably a good time to highlight Battersea Poems again.

Taking the text directly from the literary festival programme:

Text in your poem and be part of creating a biography of SW11 written by you, the people who live, work and visit Battersea.

Start a text message with Battersea then a space, then your poem, in one text only, and send it to 07786 202 844.

Take the people, places, and history of Battersea as your inspiration, but your poem doesn’t have to be about SW11, so a poem inspired by Clapham Junction might be about a journey…

You can submit as many poems as you like. Your poem will be published instantly on: www.thumbprintcity.com/london/battersea

The best Battersea Poems will then be selected by a panel led by Apples and Snakes to be published in a printed anthology.

Sending a poem only costs the same as sending a normal text to your friend’s phone. You will not be signed up for anything, ever.

Competition closes 31/10/09

There are already some great poems on there. One of my favourites is:

Summer in battersea park
picnics and cricket
and two names in bark.

I’m going to pretend I know what I’m talking about and say I like it because it’s short and simple – and paints a vivid picture with the cricket match on the wider scale but the two names (which begs further questions, whose, when, why?) adding a little element of human detail.

I probably shouldn’t have identified it as a one I liked because I’m part of the panel… but I’ll try and balance things by saying that, of course, my fondness for the imagery is exactly balanced by my concern that the poem may be glamorising vandalism to a Battersea Park tree.

I mentioned Battersea Poems in my weekly wrap-up last Friday and the service is now live.

It’s good to see there are a few poems on there already – you can read them (and hopefully be inspired to write your own) on the Thumbprint City website.

If you want to submit a poem you just have to text BATTERSEA followed by a space and then your poem to 07786 202844. It is a standard mobile number, so will cost you the same as any other text you send.

Battersea Poems runs until the end of October and the best poems will be included in an anthology published later this year.

Also published is the programme for the 2009 SW11 Literary Festival (which runs from 7 – 30 September). You can download the programme from the Clapham Junction town centre website.

As I have mentioned summer is a quieter time on the council than the rest of the year. While last week saw no trips to the Town Hall this week saw only one for my regular briefing and policy meeting with officers.

Much of the rest of the week has been, not to put to fine a point on it, slightly geeky.

Managing conversations
The week started meeting a couple of guys who are developing a product that (and I can’t think of a better way to put this) manages and centralises conversations. So, for example, the debate about CCTV or councillor surgeries took place over a number of blog posts and on Twitter, making it difficult to follow unless you were watching both – this would mean there would be a central place to see them all. It’s quite an exciting idea and I’m hoping to try it out in the near-ish future.

Battersea Poems
Another meeting was about a scheme called ‘Battersea Poems’ which will be part of the SW11 Literary Festival. Poetry itself isn’t geeky, of course, but Battersea Poems is a scheme whereby individuals can text their poetry in. The poems will be visible on a website and later this year the best will be chosen for publication in an anthology.

Google Localgov
And today I’m at Google’s London offices for their ‘Localgov’ event. It has, so far, been interesting – but the afternoon promises to be much better, looking at some of the creative options Google offer. I’m hoping to pick up some things to bore visitors to this blog with!