Leader's Column in Southwark News - July 2021

Football and Climate Change


Over the last month, the England team have inspired a generation. As I walked around our borough on Sunday (including the flag-covered Kirby Estate in my ward), the excitement was palpable... 

writes Cllr Hamish McCallum, leader of Southwark Liberal Democrats in this week's Southwark News … see full article here or read below

The England team may have not lifted the trophy, but they have lifted our spirits and demonstrated the very best of our country.

The racist abuse that some players have been subjected to has no place in our society and I condemn it in the strongest terms.


The young and diverse squad did themselves proud both on and off the pitch, and we can all learn from that.

Last week, Southwark Council finally published its long-awaited Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.  This is supposed to set out how Southwark will respond to the Climate Emergency, which councillors unanimously declared 28 months ago. 

The long-awaited climate change strategy is 'sparse, vague and lack-lustre'


But instead of a comprehensive plan to make Southwark carbon neutral by 2030, the sparse, vague and lack-lustre document lacks any detail and simply suggests that more information will follow at some unspecified point in the future.  This fails to make any meaningful difference to Southwark’s climate emergency and is a classic case of Labour ‘headlines, not-deadlines’.  

It is a disgrace. Labour’s lack of action poses a deadly threat for future generations of this borough. Last year, the Southwark Coroner’s Court made legal history when it ruled that air pollution made a material contribution to the death of a young girl in South London. Poor Air Quality is estimated to lead to over 200 premature deaths annually; and flooding and heatwaves are 30 times more likely than a decade ago.

The Liberal Democrats will not stand by while Southwark Labour’s dither and delay on climate change affects future generations.  Playing ping pong internal politics, wasting 28 months drafting an inadequate plan and failing to provide any meaningful action on Climate Change whilst we face what is effectively the biggest emergency this borough has ever seen, just goes to show how incompetent this Labour administration is. 

I will be doing everything we can to tackle climate change, but more importantly working to oust this Labour administration in 2022. 


The fact is that Southwark Labour are good at coming up with soundbites and headlines – but repeatedly fail to deliver any meaningful action on the issues that matter for our borough.

Please write to me any time at [email protected]


For more information please email: [email protected]