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Lewisham Labour Statement on new Bermondsey/ Surrey Canal Independent Inquiry

Cllr Brenda Dacres, Chair of Labour Group, said "I am pleased Lewisham Council has just agreed to set up an Independent Inquiry to look at the New Bermondsey/Surrey Canal scheme. Public interest, following a series of reports in the media and the concerns expressed by the Council’s own Scrutiny Committee, will be best served if we make sure every effort is made to discover the facts.

Our priorities have been that the inquiry is independent and that all relevant matters are investigated.

Lewisham Council has been a model for good services and engaging the community. The Council's reputation has been undermined, and it is of vital concern to all Labour councillors that we restore that reputation and public confidence in the Council. We also want to reassure all our residents, as well as Millwall Football Club and its supporters, and others who were affected by the proposed CPO, that we take this matter extremely seriously.

 The investigation must be full and proper and, while it is urgent, we must allow it to take its course.

We all want to get at the truth. Our tasks now are to make sure we allow the Inquiry to be set up in a genuinely independent manner, let whoever is appointed get on with job, free of any obstruction, and await the outcome. I hope all those who share our ambition will join us in so doing. We owe it to the people of Lewisham."

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