Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Sydenham Community Library

Contact: Laura Luckhurst 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair


Cllr Curran welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Assembly Fund Presentations and Voting


The organisations bidding for funding were given 2 minutes each to present their project to the Assembly, after which voting took place by ballot paper.  The organisations presenting were:

·         Friends of Sydenham Library projects: Adults Crafts, Children's Crafts, Rhyme Time for under 5's

·         Sydenham Arts - #Sixty Project

·         SEE 3 Portas Pilot - High Street Happenings

·         James Ross Hunter Youth Support - SAFE Project

·         Voluntary Services Lewisham Christmas Project

·         Lockwood Close Community Garden

Cllr Curran stated that the Kirkdale Green Improvement Group had been invited to submit for a reduced amount and were unable to run the project on this basis, so were not presenting today and were removed from the ballot.



Fun Palaces Feedback with slide show


Cllr Curran gave a verbal report and slide presentation on the Fun Palaces, which had been a great success.  Fun Palaces happened in four different venues across the ward and were visited by over 500 people over the weekend.  An amazing range of arts and science-based activities were shared and enjoyed. Many people met and made new connections from all ages and backgrounds and found out about the fantastic facilities offered by the four venues (TNG Youth Centre, Grove Church Centre, Sydenham Centre and Sydenham Library).  It was agreed we would like to see the Fun Palaces go ahead again in 2019.

It was agreed to take the Local Democracy Review item ahead of the Mayor’s Question time.



Local Democracy Review


The presentation was given by Deputy Mayor Cllr Chris Best.  The Council’s democracy review aims to explore how people can better engage with the Council to have their voices heard and play a bigger role in decision-making. The presentation is available here

Q: How do we find out about consultations?

A: All LB Lewisham’s consultations can be found on our website.  Go to “Get Involved” and click on “Consultations” for a full list of consultations currently open.  (Or here: ).  When possible we also include information on them in our written communications e.g. Sydenham Assembly Newsletter.  You can also sign up to the council’s e-newsletter by going on the website.

Q: When will the consultation report back?
A: We hope to report back at the council AGM (in May).

The consultation phase closes on 27th January 2019



Mayor's Questions with Damien Egan


Mayor Damien Egan opened the session with some remarks about areas where Lewisham is working hard to improve – for example school results. He mentioned the budget cuts that the borough is having to make. Previously we have already had our budget cut from approx. £400 million to now £232 million, but this year we have to cut another £30 million.  This will be a huge challenge and means we have to rely on the community to do more.


Q: How much does the mayoral system cost and it is money well spent?

A: Our governance is amongst the lowest cost in London and cheaper than our neighbouring boroughs.  Unlike other boroughs we have open voting.

Q: Natalie Wright of Nxt Steps Association asked what the council is doing to create support for the issue of knife crime, and what is being offered to support voluntary groups who are creating programmes of support?

A: Knife crime is an issue right across South London for which we need tough enforcement and prevention.  We need to invest in young people who are often the hardest hit by austerity.  We invest a lot in youth services through Youth First and community groups also do a lot.  We understand this is not enough and as a result we have put on hold a proposal to cut youth services by £800,000.  Cuts to policing and young people’s mental health services make our task harder.

Q: Vehicle emissions are a nuisance.  It is an offence to leave a car engine running whilst the vehicle is stationary – except when in traffic jams.  Some councils e.g. Westminster and Camden, issue fixed penalty fines, should Lewisham do the same?

A: We are looking into measures to reduce pollution from car idling.  Cllr Louise Krupski has campaigned on air quality.  We are considering whether we can close roads around school time, but this may be unpopular with motorists.  If we were to introduce fines, we should ensure the proceeds are ring-fenced to other measures to improve air quality.

Q: Julia Webb
The St. Philip Neri School planning breaches have compounded since they were reported in April.  Seven months later, the school has moved in, so the consts of enforcement are huge.  Why has the council not taken action earlier? And are there any private arrangements with the Archbishopric about the future of the Mayow Road site, that may be impacting decisions?

A: The Mayor has personally spoken with the Archbishop himself and is very committed to getting this right.  There are no secret meetings with the Diocese.

Q: Margot Wilson
Can you make it easier to communicate with the housing benefit office, in order to encourage private landlords to take tenants who are on housing benefit? (Online forms are not enough).

A: We agree that our website needs updating.  We support private landlords to take Housing Benefit tenants.

Q: Can the light be repaired on the Dacres Footbridge?

A: We will look into this.

Q: Speeding on Sydenham  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Announcement of votes and funding awarded


The votes cast and projects funded were announced. 45 people who live, learn or work in the ward took part in the ballot.  The votes cast and funding awarded were as follows: 

Organisation and Project

Votes Cast

Amount funded

Friends of Sydenham Library - Adults Crafts           



Friends of Sydenham Library - Children's Crafts



Friends of Sydenham Library - Rhyme Time for under 5's



Sydenham Arts - #Sixty



SEE 3 Portas Pilot - High Street Happenings



James Ross Hunter Youth Support - SAFE Project



Voluntary Services Lewisham Christmas Project



Lockwood Close Community Garden






Remaining in Assembly Fund





Close of formal Assembly Business

Please vacate the Assembly meeting space promptly to allow the Spontaneous Productions team to set up the stage for the Pantomime


Please feel free to enjoy the licensed bar, tea, coffee and mince pies.






Those present were encouraged to complete their feedbacks and to stay for the afternoon’s festive entertainment and refreshments. The meeting closed at 1.30 pm



Festive programme

Festive entertainment at Sydenham Library
















All entertainment free except licensed bar.





13.30                Bar opens

A paying licensed bar will operate until 4 pm to raise funds for
Friends of Sydenham Library

14.00 – 14.30 Cinderella performance

14.30 – 15.30 Lantern workshop and kids entertainment in the Library

15.30 – 16.00 Carols by the Xmas tree

16.00              Xmas tree switch-on with Mayor Damien Egan


16:00              Bar closes