"Millwall Football Club welcomes the two announcements today from the Mayor
of Lewisham and his Cabinet members that the CPO process should not proceed. The
CPO threat has been hanging over us, our community scheme and our local friends
and neighbours for far too long. The Mayor refers to it having started in
February 2016, but that is incorrect. CPOs were agreed in principle by the
Cabinet in 2012, and the New Bermondsey CPO item first appeared on the Council's
'Key Decisions' list in the summer of 2014 and remained there.
Today's statements are not formal announcements by Lewisham Council. They are
expressions of views by the individuals concerned. We hope that they will become
formal Council policy, but until the Council makes its position unambiguously
clear, we cannot be sure. The Mayor chose to become a member of the board of the
Surrey Canal Sports Foundation and, as he has made clear, has no powers nor
involvement in the CPO decision. Therefore, we call on the Council as a matter
of urgency to make a formal announcement and to confirm that the CPO process has
not just been suspended but formally withdrawn, removing the threat that has
hung over all involved since 2012.
At the same time, we insist that Lewisham Council proceeds with the independent
investigation into all aspects of the process to date including, but not limited
to, the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation and the claims about its funding that
have been repeatedly made since 2014. It is essential to restore credibility and
trust. This must be a recognisably independent review with no involvement from
the Council's Chief Executive, Mayor or Cabinet.
Millwall Football Club has always supported the regeneration of this area and
has offered to play its part. We make it clear that we remain ready to
participate in a scheme in which we are, in the Council's words, at the heart of
any proposed redevelopment and which will appropriately benefit the club, its
community scheme and the people and businesses of Lewisham."