7th September 2016, is a date that Millwall fans will never forget that was the day that the Labour Lewisham Cabinet by 6-1 voted in favour of CPO on three pieces of land around Millwall Football Club.
Lion’s fans since the start of this saga have taken the view that the Mayor of Lewisham and his Cabinet have got into bed with a property developer and that vote confirmed that for them.
Call them cynics if you like but Lions fans reckon this is the first stage of a plan to drive the football club out of the Borough. Yet it is ironic that Newham Council have practically given the Olympic stadium to West Ham. And in South West London, the local council are falling over themselves to get Wimbledon back to Plough Lane.
A Petition of over 26,000 has been signed and given to Lewisham Council – a campaign that has even gained the support of ex-England forward, Gary Lineker.
The 10-member Council Scrutiny Panel have said that the cabinet must be able to justify its decision, it now seems that the committee was asking questions that the cabinet should have been asking such as is the developer which has no track record of regeneration schemes like what is being proposed had done enough to prove it could deliver the project. Another question asked why there is need for secrecy surrounding the identity of Renewal Directors and the company being registered off shore.
In fact, on the Lions Live radio show last week, Millwall Chairman, John Berlyson told listeners that over a number of years Millwall through the Freedom of Information act have requested the same information but have always been denied.
It would appear there is a lack of transparency, as financial documents have only just become available. The amount of affordable housing is low and the amount of social housing is non-existent
Whether this a turning point could be too early to say, but what is in no doubt that the Lewisham Labour Cabinet are seen not just by Millwall supporters but local residents in around the Den as disciples of Property developers.
As in this case, Millwall fans and people associated with the club are finding it hard to get their head around the way it seems the Council has turned against us. The relationship between Millwall and Lewisham Council has changed forever and Millwall fans will never trust them again; where we have had in the past. We have had the press and police stitch us up and it is not forgotten or forgiven.
But for the record it is a fact that the Labour Group on Lewisham Council fully supports the Football Club and Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft has been fully supportive of the Club and fans.