Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: St Matthew Academy St Josephs Vale, SE3 0XX

Contact: Paul Gale 020 8314 3387 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair


Councillor Gareth Siddorn welcomed everyone to the Blackheath Assembly and introduced Cllr Kevin Bonavia and Cllr Amanda De Ryk



Talk about Art


Cllr Kevin Bonavia told the assembly that about a year ago St Matthew Academy was having anti-social behaviour issues with some pupils and as a result of this there was the possibility that they could face possible exclusion. Sir Ian Mills (who cannot be here today) a local resident came up with this project to encourage students to get more involved with art and to sell and curate to the public. In this case it was pre-Raphaelite and the exhibition is at St Margaret’s Church. The idea was for the students to explain the exhibition, to steward it and get to understand the Art and create some projects for themselves. The exhibition will run until 24 October and is open between 1000 and 1400 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and between 1030 and 1630 on Saturdays.


Councillor Bonavia then introduced Simon Hughes a visual artist who had made a film detailing the student involvement in the exhibition.


After the presentation Cllr Bonavia explained that this exhibition will tour the borough and go to Downham Community Centre, Deptford Lounge, and the Civic Suite at Catford. He encouraged people to see the exhibition and support it as it gives the students real confidence and a sense of achievement.


Overview of Neighbourhood Forums


Cllr De Ryk explained that Neighbourhood Planning is a new method of planning as part of the Localism Act. Neighbourhood Plans are led by the local community rather than the Council or the Government and it is about how they want their local area to develop. They must take account of national planning laws and conform to the exiting planning framework. They are there to promote development, not to stop it.

Developing a neighbourhood plan for your area involves submitting three applications to the Council


1.Neighbourhood area application: this application sets out the boundaries of the neighbourhood.

2.Neighbourhood forum application: this application sets out the composition and constitution of the forum, which is the neighbourhood organisation which will produce the neighbourhood plan.

3.Neighbourhood plan application: the neighbourhood forum submits the neighbourhood plan to us for evaluation by an independent examiner.

After this it will go to the local community for a referendum and if adopted it will become a statutory plan. It will then need to be considered when planning applications are made.


There are several Neighbourhood Forums they are in Crofton Park, Grove Park and Corbett Estate. We are currently looking at whether ward assemblies can become Neighbourhood Forums, but this is very early in the process. Some of the streets close to the Lee Green neighbourhood Plan have responded very favourably, but the boundaries cannot overlap so if they join the Lee Green Neighbourhood Forum they cannot join a future Blackheath one.



A Better Lee Green Neighbourhood Plan


Sarah McMichael and Julie Williams from the Lee Forum explained that they are currently consulting with both Lewisham and Greenwich Councils and are in the process of setting up the Forum so that it can be recognised by the two Councils. Sarah explained that it is important to draw a distinction between this and ‘A Better Lee Green’ which is a campaign group. They want to set up a Forum so they can make Neighbourhood Plans to protect sites and Green Spaces and play an active part in developments. From 8 October to 20 November both Lewisham and Greenwich Council will be listening to views on the proposed areas. Most of the area is Lee Green, with Sutcliffe Park in Greenwich and a small part of Blackheath ward around Lee Green town centre. After several meetings they were asked to extend it into part of Blackheath and they consulted and added Celestial Gardens and around that area. Sarah encouraged people to go to the Better Lee Green website as all the details are can be found at and click on Neighbourhood Forum. A total of 53 people came to the first meeting and 26 local groups were represented, this is where we they received all the feedback for the boundaries and it was quite clear that many of the Blackheath ward residents close to Lee Green identified themselves to Lee Green This was not necessarily more than Blackheath, but they had a genuine concern and interest for the Lee High Road area. After this meeting the Forum will need to consult quite widely and then further consult on the plan itself, this is before it goes to the Independent Planner, there will then be a local referendum. If you want to be a member all you need to do is leave your address, you can then be part of the AGM and vote. A member is someone who lives in the boundary or has an interest in it. Whilst no road can be in more than one forum, a person can.

Q I am a bit confused because you said that you are from the Lee Forum, yet here you are saying that you are applying to become the Lee Forum?

A Yes we are hoping to become the Lee Forum and we are in the application process, so at present we are more of an informal group


Q What is your focal point, is it Manor House or the shopping area?

A There is no focal point, just different sections within the proposed area.


Q How is it being financed?

A We will apply for £8,000 from Locality if we become established and another £6,000 from Urban Forums. We can also apply for the Big Lottery so there will be no Council Funding.

Cllr De Ryk – The DCLG can also reimburse the Council for this and once set-up the Forum will have a say in how in how the Community Interest Levy (CIL) is spent as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Recycling Consultation


Cllr Kevin Bonavia reminded the assembly that last spring the Head of Environmental Services came to the meeting to give a full appraisal of the service. At present there is a consultation on how we deal with waste as things have to change. This is due to several reasons, with budget cuts and the law being the primary reasons. We have to now separate recyclable items at source wherever possible. If we do this we get to save money, we are also consulting about food waste collections and garden waste. This will mean that we get our recycling rate up as we only recycle 17% of our waste at present as we mainly incinerate. This is better than landfill, but is not actually recycling.


The assembly then viewed a short video called ‘Let’s talk rubbish’ which explained the current situation and the ongoing survey.

Cllr Bonavia asked attendees to complete the survey either online or by completing the hard copies available at the meeting. The deadline for completing the applications is Sunday 18 October.


Age Exchange Project update


Rebecca Packwood Chief Executive of Age Exchange thanked the assembly for the £2,980 that it awarded towards outreach projects. These consisted of workshops for older people based in Heathside and Lethbridge projects based at the Darby and Joan Club. The money has been extremely useful as it brings people together and we have a variety of activities including music and using people’s life experiences to stimulate conversation. Within these groups people develop shared interests and reminisce. The projects are about making connections and are still ongoing. There are 5 sessions with each of the groups and these will culminate with a project at Age Exchange.


The Councillors also gave some of their discretionary fund to us and we will be starting computer classes for over 55s including a range of classes at different levels. There will also be classes around using Ipads and other tablets. In addition to this there will be exercise classes and these are free to people who live in the ward.

For those with young people we will have a children’s poet in residence during half-term and we will be doing a project at St Matthews based around the Holocaust and diary of Anne Frank as well as the Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas.


Launch of the Blackheath Assembly Fund


Paul Gale told the assembly that the Blackheath Assembly Fund is now open. All applications must meet at least one of the assembly priorities, these are:

·         Environment and community

·         Provision for old people young people and children

·         Parking streets and waste

·         Crime and anti-social behaviour


Ideally it would be really good to see some new organisations applying for funding, so if you have an idea let me know and I will work with you to fill in the form. We do have a bid limit of £2,000 this year, however if you have a really good idea which costs more than this the Coordinating Group will consider it.

Applications can be submitted online and the form will soon be on the website. We will also accept handwritten applications.


Cllr Bonavia – There may an alternative funding option for anything that enhances the Heath as we anticipate On Blackheath will give £15,000 for this purpose. So please do speak to me about this as I Chair the Blackheath Joint Working Party and we will administer this fund.



Community information

·         OnBlackheath

·        Lewisham Gateway

·        Library Consultation


OnBlackheath– Cllr Bonavia - This was the second year of the Festival and it was larger this year with 25,000 attendees permitted. On Saturday about 23,000 attended and on Sunday approximately 15,000 people attended. There were improvements this year to transport and they appeared to work well, I have received no complaints about this and I have not received any complaints about noise. However, I know that there were some complaints in Greenwich. The weather was not very good and the organisers have agreed to restore the grass in the area of the festival. There will be a post event consultation meeting and we will circulate the date when we have it. The Blackheath Society has also carried out a survey and the results will be given in due course.


Blackheath Village Day – Cllr De Ryk - This will happen on Saturday 5 December and it will be better this year with lots of street entertainment.


Platform 4 Lewisham Station – Cllr De Ryk - Heidi Alexander MP has arranged a meeting tomorrow of what will be a Platform 4 Users Group tomorrow night at St Stephens Church from 7pm and the Chairman of South Eastern will be at this meeting.


Drop off / Collection at St Matthew Academy – Cllr De Ryk - This is coming up again as an issue and the School is not really listening. It affects many residents particularly those from St Joseph’s Vale, so we will be reviewing this and trying to rectify the issue and we will set-up a public meeting.


Lewisham Gateway – (from handout provided)The structure of our first building (next to the entrance of the DLR) is now complete and work on windows and façade is nearly complete. Removal of scaffolding will start in November 2015.Construction of the second building has reached level 20, with the structure due for completion towards the end of January 2016. Work on windows and façade has started on the lower levels.

Replacement of the zebra crossing with a signalised pedestrian crossing on Lewisham Road. The zebra crossing on Lewisham Road next to the Texaco Garage has been suspended. There is currently a temporary signalised crossing 20 meters to the north with signs directing pedestrians to the temporary crossing. This closure will remain in place until mid December, when a permanent signalised pedestrian crossing will replace the zebra crossing permanently

Taxis - The new final taxi rank on Station Road is due to open on 21 October 2015. Taxis will access the new Station Road rank via Lewisham Road and exit via Loampit Vale (very similar to how they operated before the work started). Details are currently being ironed out and once the details of the works are confirmed we will provide updates to the community.

Transport and access - Access from the DLR and station to the town centre is currently diverted via Station Road/Molesworth St until works are completed by spring 2016. In the meantime bus users  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.