Council meetings

Agenda item

Mayor's Question Time


New Mayor, Cllr Damien Egan was given a warm welcome to the meeting, and thanked the Assembly for his invitation.

Q: “What is the new Mayor’s position re. increasing stop and search in light of the rise in deaths of young people and knife crime?”

(In her verbal question Angela clarified that she was particularly concerned about disproportionate impact of Stop and Search on young black men).


A: the Mayor agreed that it was striking that so many young black men were stopped and searched, when white young people are not.  He noted the reduction in youth provision, contributing to more young people being out on the streets.  He stated that the Labour party is committed to ensuring that Stop and Search powers are used proportionately and not in a discriminatory way.


Q: What will happen when the Glendales contract for parks and green spaces management ends?


A: The Glendales contract will be reviewed, and there is a presumption in favour of bringing the contract back in-house if practical.


Q: Please would you do something about the pavement/kerb at the junction of Hindley’s Place and Perry Vale? Its shape, out of sync with the bend in the road makes this a dangerous spot for cyclists.  I’ve suffered several “close passes” over the years.  A young friend has also recently experienced the same thing a couple of times recently.


A: I am happy to look at this.


Q:  While new housing must be a priority in Perry Vale, do you agree that this should not be to the detriment of existing residents and their outlook?  Should Lewisham Homes build 5 storey blocks within 16m of people’s front rooms?


A: We need to build very large numbers of homes in the next few years. The new London Plan includes high levels of density in order to achieve this.  The Mayor is keen to build high quality with good interior space specifications. Also keen to create good places to live – including green spaces and other amenities for people.  The last Lewisham administration approved 500 new homes.  The council has now pledged to deliver 1000 new council homes.


Q: What plans do you have for controlling motor traffic to reduce pollution and stop speeding?


A: We are restricted in what we can do by the presence of the South Circular running alongside the ward.  However, these issues are high up on our agenda. Our initiatives will include challenging the ULEZ extension to the South Circular, which is feared could make traffic problems worse in the borough. We are lobbying Heidi Alexander on the Bakerloo Line extension, to help encourage more people to leave their cars at home.  And we are looking to develop more cycle super-highways and stopping car idling outside schools.


Q: How do you propose to improve response and accountability with council departments. Particularly those responsible for: Street lighting, illegal/dangerous parking on double yellow lines/replenishing road marking and refuse collection.


A: Iwill place great emphasis on customer service. We have to recognise that staffing is greatly reduced so responses may take longer than in the past, but we will aim to be clear with people on the timescales.  Agree there do need to be non-digital pathways to communication with the council. We need to make it easy for people to do the right thing.


Q:  What can you do to promote bicycle parking?  Many buildings and shopping areas have no parking – we need a few small racks in lots of places!


A: Services could potentially apply to the Local Assembly for funds for small local bike racks.


Q: Are Street Trees a priority for the council?

Community groups are supporting us with introducing more street trees in Lewisham, and we have a small team within the council.  We have been successful in winning a grant from the London Mayor’s fund for 1200 trees in Beckenham Place Park.