Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Current News

One of the most constant complaints I get from people who live and work in and around Peckham is the need for a boost to the shopping and station area around Rye Lane.

I've been around long enough to remember when Rye Lane was a self-confident shopping ‘experience’ with lots of different sorts of shops- including M&S. Now, even the traders in the Rye Lane Traders Association are concerned that Rye Lane is not what it could be.

There's no reason that that should continue to be the case.  Local people should be able to look forward to walking down to a great shopping area and people should want to come in from outside Peckham to shop for what it has to offer.

And then there's the station.  Peckham Rye station is one of the gems of the old South East Railway.  But right now that's hard to spot because the area around the station has become closed in and uninviting.

Again, there's no reason that should continue to be the case. 

So I'm strongly in favour of the redevelopment around the station which can give the area a real boost.

But the redevelopment plans put forward by Network Rail have caused dismay and Southwark Council have rightly called for a rethink.

Nearly everyone agrees that redevelopment is needed around the station. But it’s harder to get agreement on what that redevelopment should include.  It’s right that the Council has decided to take extra time to rethink the plans and consult the local community. 

After further consultation the next steps will be the Council considering the granting of planning permission.

There are a number of key issues which should be addressed in the new plans which are brought forward.

*There's a real shortage of affordable housing in Southwark. More housing is a good idea but it must include homes which local people can afford to rent or buy.

* The new scheme must ‘open up’ the area in front of the station so it can be seen and admired in all its glory.

*But, at the same time, the lovely 1930s Art Deco buildings like 12-16 Blenheim Grove home of the Peckham Refreshment Rooms and the Sunday Painter must be kept - not torn down.

*The redevelopment should support the growing and dynamic arts scene in Peckham and ensure that local independent enterprises are not squeezed out by Starbucks and Costa.  This can be done by a ‘lettings strategy’ which would give priority to local independents and ensure a mixture of uses including light industrial i.e. not only commercial or retail.

*The whole scheme must be financially viable - the sums must add up or we will end up with no redevelopment at all.

The Council, Network Rail and the local community are all working together now to get the right balance for Peckham. It’s a great opportunity. Let’s keep the best of the past - Peckham heritage and history, the best of today - the vibrancy of the local community and for tomorrow - get a development which is fit for a dynamic future for Peckham.

Southwark News Column - Peckham Rye Station regeneration - 13/2/2014

One of the most constant complaints I get from people who live and work in and around Peckham is the need for a boost to the shopping and station area...

There’s no doubt that people here in Southwark are feeling the squeeze right now.  Prices are going up, with big heating bills and rising food prices – while pay has been at a standstill.

Southwark News Column: Cost of Living Crisis - 13/02/2014

There’s no doubt that people here in Southwark are feeling the squeeze right now.  Prices are going up, with big heating bills and rising food prices – while pay has... Read more

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In 2012, I drew together a ‘Creative Camberwell & Peckham Advisory Panel’ so local creative people can share their views, advise me on my national brief as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, and help guide me as I support our creative sector in Southwark. This morning I met with over 50 members of the local creative community at the Camberwell College of Arts to hear their views on the development of the arts and creative industries in Camberwell & Peckham. We discussed the re-development of the Peckham Rye station area, the importance of inclusion and access, affordability of art space, and arts in the school curriculum

Creative Camberwell & Peckham Advisory Panel - 13/2/14

In 2012, I drew together a ‘Creative Camberwell & Peckham Advisory Panel’ so local creative people can share their views, advise me on my national brief as Shadow Secretary of...

There’s no doubt that people here in Southwark are feeling the squeeze right now.  Prices are going up, with big heating bills and rising food prices – while pay has been at a standstill.

Southwark News Column: Cost of Living Crisis - 13/2/14

There’s no doubt that people here in Southwark are feeling the squeeze right now.  Prices are going up, with big heating bills and rising food prices – while pay has... Read more

PMQs 20131204
Today I asked Nick Clegg about the Government’s response to the flooding in the UK and asked him to assure the House that the Government will bring together the insurance companies and co-ordinate all the Government compensation processes.

Challenging Nick Clegg at Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions – 11

Today I asked Nick Clegg about the Government’s response to the flooding in the UK and asked him to assure the House that the Government will bring together the insurance... Read more

Southwark Council, in partnership with Network Rail and the Mayor of London, is making plans to develop the area around Peckham Rye station.This will involve the creation of new public spaces and re-development of the railway yards and arches as part of a broader programme of works to revitalise the station area. Today I met with Cllr Fiona Colley who is leading the Council's regeneration plans, Sally Green the project lead for Peckham Station area, and local ward councillor Nick Dolezal for a progress update and to raise the concerns my constituents have about some of the proposals.

Peckham Rye Station Re-Development Update - 11/2/14

Southwark Council, in partnership with Network Rail and the Mayor of London, is making plans to develop the area around Peckham Rye station.This will involve the creation of new public...

Labour Organisers training_06022014
Today 50 of Labour’s newest trainee organisers met in Parliament as part of their week long residential training course. Each organiser is responsible for one or two of the key constituencies Labour is targeting in 2015. I spoke about the importance of their job in the next 15 months in helping Labour meet its aim of being a one term only opposition.  

Trainee Labour Organisers day – 05/02/2014

Today 50 of Labour’s newest trainee organisers met in Parliament as part of their week long residential training course. Each organiser is responsible for one or two of the key...

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On 31 January 2014, Peckham Space re-launched under the new name Peckham Platform and I was pleased to be invited to open the new organisation. They will continue to deliver an exciting exhibition programme, in the same space opposite the library at the heart of Peckham’s community, working with local schools and partners to increase local public involvement in the arts. Joined by local councillors Cleo Soanes, Veronica Ward and Ian Wingfield, along with candidate Johnson Situ, it was great to see the new space packed to overflowing!

Peckham Platform Launch - 31/01/14

On 31 January 2014, Peckham Space re-launched under the new name Peckham Platform and I was pleased to be invited to open the new organisation. They will continue to deliver...

Following powerful new analysis by Labour of the unfair impact of council cuts in the most deprived areas, which compounds my concern about the impact of cuts to Arts Council funding, I raised this issue in Parliament.  As council funding is even more important for the arts than central Government funding, this will have a massive impact on the arts in deprived communities, especially as they are the least able to mobilise philanthropy and people have less money in their pockets to spend on participating in the arts.

DMCS - unfair council cuts will hit the arts - 30/01/14

Following powerful new analysis by Labour of the unfair impact of council cuts in the most deprived areas, which compounds my concern about the impact of cuts to Arts Council...

Family Room

Families and family relationships are being hard hit by the stresses of austerity and cuts to childcare, and to family services like women’s refuges.  Good relationships are so important and we need more reflection of this in family policy.  These were just some of the though-provoking views I heard at the Family Room roundtable organised by the Family and Childcare Trust and chaired by Sam Smethers of Grandparents First, and involving Chief Executives from across the family sector, including Anne Longfield of 4Children, Ruth Sutherland of Relate, David Holmes of Family Action, Fiona Weir of Gingerbread and Carol Homden of Coram.

Family Room meeting - 29/01/2014

Families and family relationships are being hard hit by the stresses of austerity and cuts to childcare, and to family services like women’s refuges.  Good relationships are so important and...

Tessa Jowell and Simon Hughes joined me for an update meeting with senior Met police officers today to discuss progress on the police handling of allegations of rape and serious sexual offences following an IPCC investigation into the failures of a Southwark police unit to properly investigate rape and other serious sexual offences in 2008-09.

Southwark MP’s meeting with Met Police - 29/01/2014

Tessa Jowell and Simon Hughes joined me for an update meeting with senior Met police officers today to discuss progress on the police handling of allegations of rape and serious...

Peckham Platform is a public arts space next to Peckham Library that aims to increase local public involvement in the arts by working closely with community partners and established artists in Peckham. It works especially with young people and local schools including Harris Academy. This morning I met the Director, Emily Druiff and Richard Watts, Chair of the Trustees, to discuss how to widen local participation in the arts.

Peckham Platform meeting on local involvement in the arts - 29/01/2014

Peckham Platform is a public arts space next to Peckham Library that aims to increase local public involvement in the arts by working closely with community partners and established artists...

This evening was the launch of a new independent review for the Labour Party, led by John Woodward, of policy options for the Creative Industries with a particular focus on the Digital Economy.


The review has been asked to focus on opportunities and policy options to promote further growth in the UK's creative industries as well as looking at practical safeguards to promote and protect the interest of British Citizens more effectively in the digital world.

Digital Review Launch - 28/01/2014

This evening was the launch of a new independent review for the Labour Party, led by John Woodward, of policy options for the Creative Industries with a particular focus on...

Progress conference speaking

Team Labour in Watford_20140126

Progress held their ‘Third Place First’ conference in Watford on Saturday. The conference looked at how Labour can organise, campaign and win in seats where Labour is currently in third place.After meeting Matthew Turbaine, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate and team Labour in Watford to discuss local issues, I joined Richard Howitt, Labour’s Eastern region MEP; Darren Jones, Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol North West;  Keith Dibble, Chair of the Third Place First network and Angela Gunning, Councillor on Guildford Borough council for a panel discussion on the challenges for Labour in 2014 and 2015. I spoke about the fact that Labour’s aim is to win a majority and not to form a coalition with the Lib Dems. Talk of coalition undermines our candidates and makes us commentators rather than campaigners. It undermines the clarity of Labour’s message and puts people off politics. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/24/harriet-harman-labour-deal-lib-dems-coalitions

Matt Turmaine and Richard Howitt

Progress Conference in Watford – 25/01/2014

Progress held their ‘Third Place First’ conference in Watford on Saturday. The conference looked at how Labour can organise, campaign and win in seats where Labour is currently in third...

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This morning over 20 local child care providers from Camberwell & Peckham and representatives from Southwark Council attended a roundtable in the House of Commons to discuss the cost and availability of childcare in the constituency. A number of important issues were raised including the rising costs of childcare and the impact this is having on working parents especially those on low incomes; the recruitment, training and retention of staff; and the difficulties these small businesses face finding funding for overheads and investment.

Roundtable on Childcare in Camberwell & Peckham - 23.01.2014

This morning over 20 local child care providers from Camberwell & Peckham and representatives from Southwark Council attended a roundtable in the House of Commons to discuss the cost and...

One of the things parents are most concerned about is secondary school choice. I met with the Schools Minister, David Laws MP, together with Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Children's Services, to raise my concerns. We discussed ways of improving the performance and perception of schools in the constituency and he offered to arrange further meetings including with Ofsted.

Meeting Schools Minister to discuss secondary school choice - 22/01/2014

One of the things parents are most concerned about is secondary school choice. I met with the Schools Minister, David Laws MP, together with Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, Southwark Council Cabinet...

Meeting Women MPs Tanzanian_20140121
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association fosters the cooperation and understanding between parliaments, promoting good parliamentary practices and advancing parliamentary democracy. The Tanzanian Women’s Parliamentary Group are currently on a visit from Tanzania. We spoke about how politics in Tanzania is changing and the importance of women working together globally.

Meeting the Tanzanian Women's Parliamentary Group - 21/01/2014

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association fosters the cooperation and understanding between parliaments, promoting good parliamentary practices and advancing parliamentary democracy. The Tanzanian Women’s Parliamentary Group are currently on a visit from Tanzania. We... Read more

Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, commenting on Nick Clegg’s comments on Lord Rennard, said:

“The Lib Dem women who complained about Lord Rennard did a brave thing in coming forward and making an official complaint. But now they are being hung out to dry and accused of suffering from "distress".

Lord Rennard - 20/01/2014

Harriet Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, commenting on Nick Clegg’s comments on Lord Rennard, said:“The Lib Dem women who complained about Lord Rennard did a brave thing... Read more

Cowdenbeath DoorKnock

On Friday, in Cowdenbeath, along with Margaret Curran MP, Alex Rowley, candidate for Scottish Parliament and a great team of local members we campaigned on the doorstep of Rosyth. We discussed with local residents the cost of living crisis, the need for more & better quality childcare and more jobs and training for young people in the local area.

Cowdenbeath By-Election Campaign Day - 17/01/14

On Friday, in Cowdenbeath, along with Margaret Curran MP, Alex Rowley, candidate for Scottish Parliament and a great team of local members we campaigned on the doorstep of Rosyth. We... Read more

More people end up going to Accident and Emergency (A&E) during the winter - because there's more illnesses and accidents when it’s cold.  Most of us have experienced first-hand the excellent care given by Kings College Hospital A&E - or seen it on TV in "24 hours in A&E".  But with A&E’s already stretched with increased demand, this winter could be really tough and not just because of the weather.

South London Press column: Winter Crisis at A&E - 17.01.2014

More people end up going to Accident and Emergency (A&E) during the winter - because there's more illnesses and accidents when it’s cold.  Most of us have experienced first-hand the... Read more

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