A last-minute reminder that tonight is the Shaftesbury Listening to You session, so if you like sitting in school halls for public meeting type things you should get along to John Burn’s school for 7.30pm tonight. And you never know, we might try something other than a traditional public meeting format (fingers crossed).

You can get full details from the Listening to You leaflet.

The Shaftesbury ward ‘listening to you’ meeting takes place in just under two weeks time on 20 July at 7.30pm in John Burns School.

It is a public meeting, so anyone can attend and raise any issues they wish. The meeting is attended by the three ward councillors, along with the council leader, leader of the opposition and senior council officers.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the format, mainly because I’m aware many people do not like speaking up in public meetings and they can sometimes be dominated by a vocal few. However, you can always feel free to raise something beforehand (you can get my details from my contact page) or we general linger after the meeting so people can talk to us individually.

The council has delivered a leaflet advertising the event to every household in the ward, but a soft copy is available for those of a more digital bent.

I’m a little late in picking up on this, but John Burns School, situated in the north-eastern corner of the ward, has been named as one of the best in the country by Ofsted.

Ofsted included the school in its report ‘Twenty Outstanding Primary Schools’ which “showcases 20 primary schools in very challenging circumstances that have been rated ‘outstanding’ at least twice.”

The report concludes John Burns is a “very successful, heavily oversubscribed and highly regarded school.” I spent four years as a governor at the school shortly after the current headteacher, Maura Keady, started in post and can attest to her drive and determination for the school.

Recognition like this from Ofsted speaks volumes for the work she, and other staff, have done in the school over the years.

I’ve been producing these weekly reports for a few weeks now, you can read why and some of my thoughts about it. As I commented in there, it’s far from complete, it misses out a lot of the ‘private’ meetings and casework but you may find it interesting…

Lavender Hill Street Party
I take no credit for the Street Party, as I posted on Monday, all the credit belongs else where – but it took up a good chuck of my Sunday and was a truly fantastic event, if you were there I know you’ll agree, if you weren’t then make sure you don’t miss it next year.

Local Strategic Partnership
I attended, as one of the council’s representatives, the Local Strategic Partnership on Wednesday. The Partnership comprises bodies like the council, police, local NHS as well as representatives from local business, the voluntary sector and community groups.

Wednesday saw us spending a lot of time discussing the services we provide for young people, which provided a great example of the importance of partnership working. The council has a target of reducing the number of young people entering the criminal justice system, but the police are meant to increase their arrests – meaning that, unless we co-operate, we are undermining each other’s work!

John Burns School
As posted earlier today I went along for the opening of John Burns School’s new playground. Which is also a new community playground! It is really well equipped, so worth popping along if you have children in the 5-12 age range. It was also great to have a look around the school. I was a school governor there up until around 2002, so it was also good to see how the school had changed and improved over the years.

David Walden and I hog a piece of the new playground equipment
David Walden and I hog a piece of the new playground equipment

Yesterday I attended the official opening of the new ‘dual-use’ playground at John Burns School.

Pleasingly the playground looks interesting, with plenty of exciting features.  When I see the playground in which I spent many hours of my childhood it’s more like a graveyard of ‘dangerous’ playground equipment, tarmac scars marking each piece’s passing.

What makes the playground even better is the dual-use, not just for the school.  While the school will have exclusive use during the school day, in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays the playground will be available for the local community to use.  Access will be through a new gate on Wickersley Road, meaning the main school site remains secure.

The playground, funded by Wandsworth Council to the tune of £105,000, is aimed at 5 to 12 year olds features a gyro, climbing wall, turbo slide, climbing rope net, spinning dish, balancing unit and a shelter with seats.