Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Sydenham Centre, 44A Sydenham Road SE26 5QX

Contact: Laura Luckhurst 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair


Cllr Copley welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Sydenham New Businesses Showcase


The Assembly welcomed several new businesses to Sydenham, including:

Zigghy’s Café

Zigghy’s is at 90 Sydenham Road and serves a range of food including cooked English and Mediterranean breakfasts.  Julia and her husband extended an invitation to all to try the café out.

Totu Polish Deli

Just along from Zigghy’s at number 104, this amazing deli stocks a wide range of delicious Polish specialities. Manager Anna Maka thanked the Assembly for inviting her to showcase the shop, which also stocks Polish bread!

South London therapy Group

They are now based in Regent’s Building, where they have a great space to be used for therapy sessions. They accept self-referrals.


Other new businesses which have recently opened or extended their business offerings in Sydenham include Bottle Cave, Cobbs Corner Café, UR-ID embroidery and printing service, and Cherry and Ice café which has introduced evening opening.


Fun Palaces


Kirsty Lothian of Fun Palaces HQ unfortunately had to give apologies due to illness. Cllr Liam Curran introduced the item saying how encouraging it had been seeing so many people embracing the spirit of Fun palaces last October by sharing their skills for free. This year’s Fun Palaces will take place on Sat 5 and Sun 6 Octrober and once again will be open to everyone of any age.

A number of people who had been involved in the Fun Palaces in 2018 spoke about how valuable the experience had been.

Collet Hunter spoke about the activities organised by JRHYS with young people at the TNG including making banana fritters. Hannah (SNT) spoke about the Crime Scene which had been tailored to children and how engaged they had been in the activity and the learning that had taken place.  There was an amazing range of skills and activities which were shared including the first ever Philosophy Escape Room in Sydenham, and kids painting a giant castle (which is still in Sydenham Library!).

People were encouraged to come forward if they are interested in being involved in this year’s Fun Palaces.  An initial planning meeting is scheduled for 28 March – for further details please contact


Assembly Fund Underspend

Proposal to support Fun Palaces 2019


Cllr Tom Copley proposed that the Assembly Fund underspend of £1,395 be set aside for funding the Fun Palaces in 2019.  This was approved nem con.  The funding will be shared among sites hosting a Fun Palace.

Under the Assembly funding heading, the Chair invited VSL to report back on their Christmas Project funded by the Assembly. Bettina Ganser spoke about the Christmas boxes and hampers that were distributed to children and families on low incomes at Christmas, referred by a range of statutory and community services providers.  The boxes were hugely appreciated by recipients, who feel more included in Christmas as an outcome.

Cllr Best also mentioned the Festival of Creative Ageing which will run in September and October, finishing on the weekend of the Fun Palaces.  A bid has been submitted for funding for an Old Time music Hall in Sydenham, this will complement the other activities of the Fun Palace.  The Assembly expressed support for this venture.


Waste and Recycling Consultation


Luke Ellis gave a presentation on the consultation, which runs till 8 April. The council wants to hear from people about how we can make it easier to recycle your waste.  The council is required to increase the proportion of waste which it recycles.

Questions and Answers

Q There is a problem with collection points at Lewisham Homes sites – which are on general view to the public, encouraging flytipping.

A Agreed that enforcement is needed to address the flytipping and the council will communicate with Lewisham Homes.

Q Flytipping is partly an access issue – not everyone drives or has a car and therefore cannot take their refuse to the recycling centre in New Cross.

A agreed that council are looking into solutions to this issue

Q How can textiles be recycled, now that they are not accepted in the green bins?

A There are a number of textile recycling sites and clothing banks around the borough.  Details on the website

Q Does the MRF actually recycle the waste that is taken there?

A Yes – a high proportion of our waste is actually recycled, not exported or burnt.

Q Where can lightbulbs be recycled?

A There are collection points in libraries.  However at some sites the contractors have not been collecting the boxes, which are full. Council agreed to action this.

Q Can blister packs and petfood pouches be recycled?

A No – anything which is composite cannot be recycled.  This type of waste is incinerated to produce power.

Shredded paper can be recycled, so long as not in black bags.


SAFE Project

Young People speaking out on gang culture and knife crime


Collet Hunter spoke about the SAFE Project which is taking place around the 5th Anniversary of the founding of FRHYS. The aim is to encourage positive values in young people and the community.  This project will bring young people together to share their stories of the impact of knife crime. It will then be staged, with young people being involved in all levels of the production, making people aware of the problem and how it can affect anyone. Young people have already been very involved for example in designing posters which have appeared on bus stops to provoke discussion and debate about the issues.

Jessica, a member of TNG spoke about the value she received from attending TNG, with activities such as cooking, IT training, studio, and bringing the local community together.  Another young person also spoke and said that TNG Youth Club is a safe place to get to know other people.

A production of the SAFE project play will be staged on 31 May, with young people involved both back stage and on stage.  Two more shows have already been booked. Thanks to Deniz and SNT for their support. Collet concluded by saying we can all do something positive for each other – whatever our age.


Community updates


Sydenham Arts

Rachel D’Cruze reported on plans for 2019.  The group has £16,000 project funding.  It’s audiences have been asking for more year-round programming, so this is what has been planned. A series of events have been programmed targeted to older people, including outreach to care homes.  Sydenham Arts are providing a platform for women performers, LGBT and BAME performers and events in partnerships with schools. The cut to their core grant has come as a huge challenge to the arts in Sydenham, but they are determined to carry on. 

Chair, Cllr Tom Copley urged people to support Sydenham Arts in their next move.

Montage Arts

Emma Hobday introduced Montage, who are new residents at the Sydenham Centre.  Established in 1998 they are a registered charity, providing performing arts for the community.  They offer concessions and bursary places to young people, and their programmes instil confidence and transferable life skills.  They also have an adults programme working with sheltered housing, and an adults choir.  They are looking for council endorsement.  Councillors agreed they will want to do all they can to support the arts in Sydenham.


Bell Green Masterplan

Annabel McClaren introduced the Bell Green Masterplan which is being developed in response to the planned demolition of the Gas Holders.  This is community-led and Sydenham Society want to involve as many people as possible.  There is an open meeting on Weds 6 March.  The aim is to influence housing provision at the site to be appropriate and to scale.


Love the Beat Radio

Edmund said that Love the Beat Radio have taken over running Sydenham Radio.  They invite everyone interested to come along and do a show on the



High Street

Cllr Best gave an update.

The former Budgens is expected to have a national discounting store take over the lease which is close to legal agreement.

KFH Estate Agents have finished fitting out but are at present unable to commit to an opening date.

In response to a question it was stated that the 24/7 lighting of the former Budgens is for security to prevent burglaries, squatting or vandalism.

Cllr Best referred people to the written update for other issues which are fully covered.



Julia Webb requested assurances with regard to the council’s approach to OLSPN school development and whether the authority would effectively enforce the planning process. How can this situation be prevented from arising in future?

Cllr Copley responded that the Diocese are now engageing fully with the council and the planning process.  He agreed with the need for Planning to learn lessons from this experience.

It was mentioned that OLSPN were expected to have done significant work in Home Park as part of the development.  This will be followed up with them.


Knife Crime

A question was raised on Knife Crime and what data exists within the council.  Councillors responded that some excellent work is being done in the community locally and the council is working with these groups to support them.

The council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Safer Neighbourhood Team


Sergeant Dave Moss reported.  In response to several knife crime incidents in the south London area, there is a new drive on Stop and Search.

Sydenham SNT are planning a community event called #Together, on Sat June 15th.  The aim is for everyone to come together to celebrate what’s good about Sydenham. There will be 2 planning meetings, please get in touch for details if you are interested in being involved.

In response to a question on burglaries in Longton Road, it was agreed there has been a significant problem in recent weeks.  Police patrol every road on the ward as often as possible, and have requested a CCTV van to visit the area.



Topics for future Assemblies


The following topics and ideas were suggested, and will be considered by the Co-group in planning Assemblies for 2019:


·         Motivate a wider range of ages to attend

·         Do dummy CCTV cameras act as a deterrent to fly-tippers?

·         Can we have a public noticeboard, digitally lit, showing the events in Sydenham every week, theatre, film, music, sport, leisure.  Planning for that please, How to do it.

·         Air Pollution

·         Events in the community

·         Funding for youth projects

·         Job opportunities for 16+

·         Serious youth violence

·         Knife crime

·         Ask young people what we can do to help support them in combatting knife crime

·         Sports for young people

·         Ways to bring people together (events in community)

·         A briefing on the London Plan/Housing targets would be useful!

·         Also an update on Neighbourhood Forums

·         Pub protection policies!


Feedback and Close


Those present were requested to complete feedback forms.  The meeting closed at 9.00 pm.