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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: St Margaret's Crypt

Contact: Paul Gale 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome from the Chair

2.

Councillor and Community updates

Minutes:

Belmont Park Telephone Box Micro-Library – This funding has now come through with the Blackheath Society now the owner, it should be a community library within the new year.

Blackheath Fireworks – Taking place on 2nd November, will cost over £100,000. We are trying to crowdfund so please help us to donate or volunteer as it really does showcase Blackheath ward and the borough.

 

3.

Mayor's Question Time

Minutes:

Mayor Damian Egan told the assembly that Blackheath ward is the last ward to host a Mayor’s Question Time.

He then provided an update.

I was elected as Mayor 18 months ago, before this I was a Lewisham Councillor and led on the Lewisham Social Housing programme. We made over 100 commitments and promises as part of our manifesto and here are the updates.

Austerity is impacting on all service area. Since 2010 our funding from central government has been cut by £165m. This means that were we funded at 2010 levels our budget would be over £400m instead of £243m

Tomorrow we will be taking to M&C another 10 million cuts and then potentially another 12 million.

In Local Government austerity is not over. At the same time Lewisham is one of the fastest growing boroughs in London.

Housing - We now have 10,000 families on housing waiting list.

Two years ago there would be 450 families sleeping tonight in bed and breakfasts or temporary hostels. This number has now risen to 700. There is a similar story throughout London.

We need to build more homes that residents can afford, we are building or buying off the open market 1000 new homes.

Each of the 700 families we have to pay for every single night that they are in bed and breakfast or temporary accommodation. This is not just financially draining for the Council, but socially it is the worst type of housing that people can be in.

We are applying to government to introduce a Full Landlord Licence, this will mean that anybody who rents out a property in the borough will need to have a landlord licence, it also means that during the course of the licence the properties will be inspected.

The majority of Landlords are very good, but there are too many who are not. The housing tenure with the worst conditions is the private rented sector. Most Lewisham residents under the age of 40 are now in private rented accommodation. It is therefore critical that we provide licensing and ensure that people have safe and secure housing.

Planning - This is another area where I know that there are questions. We have had a focus during the last 18 months over how we get private developers to pay their fair share. I have been very frustrated over the very low levels of affordable housing in Lewisham Central.

A number of steps have been taken to address this, we have been a great deal clearer with Developers about what our targets are.

Our target is to try to get 50% of new homes built by private developers to be affordable. The Mayor of London’s minimum is 35%.

We have seen a dramatic increase over the last year with the number of new homes that have been approved in terms of social housing and affordable housing. This is very good news, but clearly these schemes do take a long time to build out.

If you  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Commonplace - NCIL Priority Setting

Minutes:

Chris Frazer explained that The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a levy that local authorities can choose to charge on certain new development.  CIL must be spent on infrastructure to support the development of an area, such as for schools, hospitals, roads, open space, and leisure facilities. Lewisham has been collecting CIL since 2015:

2015/16: £1,440,463.66

2016/17: £4,487,774.86

2017/18: £3,359,091.04

The CIL Regulations enable the Council to set aside 15% of CIL receipts (25% in areas with an adopted neighbourhood plan) to spend on priorities that should be agreed with the local community in areas where development is taking place (NCIL). Mayor & Cabinet agreed to allocate 25% of CIL to NCIL in all wards.

Agreed NCIL Process (Mayor & Cabinet 2019) for the borough is:

Stage 1: Priority setting workshop with ward assemblies (four year cycle)

Stage 2: ‘Open call’ for projects to all Lewisham residents (biennial or annual process)

Stage 3: Evaluate projects and publish long-list (biennial or annual process)

Stage 4: Develop ‘project bank’ by public vote (biennial or annual process)

Stage 5: Allocate and delivery through RCDB and M&C (annual process)

Stage 6: Monitoring, evaluation and reporting (annual process)

Chris then took the assembly through a presentation of the Blackheath NCIL a copy of which is available from paul.gale@lewisham.gov.uk

The current NCIL pot for Blackheath is £76,263.56

The five priorities as identified by Commonplace are:

·         Transport and Streets

·         Open/Green space and nature

·         Children’s services

·         Community facilities

·         Air Quality

The assembly was then split into small groups to discuss and agree these priorities with the option to add a further priority for Blackheath ward.

The assembly agreed with the 5 priorities but wanted to see a definition beside each priority for example, ‘Air Quality’ to include Climate Change and ‘Transport and Streets’ to include Streetscape and Children’s Services to include children of all ages and youth.

The assembly agreed to add Community Safety as a 6th priority with a broader definition supplied.

Therefore the 6 priorities for Blackheath will be:

·         Transport and Streets

·         Open/Green space and nature

·         Children’s services

·         Community facilities

·         Air Quality

·         Community Safety

Chris then explained that the next stage will be that the council will publish the list of agreed priorities via the council website and the ward specific commonplace site

·         An open call for projects will be launched that will run for 8 weeks

·         Workshops will be run to help develop project ideas

·         Long list of projects to be published

·         Local assemblies to agree and prioritise project bank

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.40pm, no declarations of interest were declared at the meeting.