Contact: Katie Drew
Welcome from the Chair
1.1.Cllr Lahai-Taylor welcomed everyone to the meeting, introduced colleagues, passed on the apologies of Cllr Eiles (due to illness) and gave an outline of the day’s agenda.
1.2.Attendees were invited to introduce themselves and to sign in if they hadn’t already done so.
2.1. Cllr Penfold talked through the Cost-of-Living Presentation prepared by Council colleagues, which detailed some of the resources and sources of information available to residents in Lewisham.
2.2. It was confirmed by an attendee that the warm space/café offer at St Peters is on both the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month from 10.30-12noon. It was also confirmed that the telephone number for Advice Lewisham is 0800 231 5453. The presentation has been updated to reflect these additions.
2.3. Attendees also gave details of information available via SELCE (webinars) https://selce.org.uk/ .
2.4. As part of the Climate Action Network, Green Conversations are being hosted by St John’s Society. Talks are held at the Brookmill pub on Mondays throughout the year https://st-johns-soc.org or check their Facebook page for up-to-date information: https://www.facebook.com/thestjohnssociety/
2.5. Information relating a toolkit giving retrofitting measures for warmer homes in conservation areas was to be shared at a coming Green Conversations meeting and a link to the webinar launching the Climate Emergency Conservation Area Toolkit was shared with attendees and those on the mailing list following the meeting.
Q: An attendee raised a query about the Council’s work with private landlords. Landlords will be required to register for a licence, and a condition of registration will mean committing to several conditions. Concern was expressed that landlords would have to pass this cost on to tenants, and that some measures required may also incur additional costs for the landlord. In addition, the view was held that social landlords did not always fulfil their obligations, and where works do take place, costs are passed to tenants and residents. The increase in energy efficiency ratings from E to C for new tenancies starting in 2025/26 was also raised as an additional factor which may contribute to landlords choosing not to rent properties privately.
A: The concerns were discussed along with the aims of the licence scheme which are to tackle landlords who are not treating tenants fairly and/or providing substandard housing. It was shared that the cost of a licence is relatively low as they are normally for 5 years. The requirement for all homes to be as energy efficient as possible due to climate change and cost of living was also highlighted.
Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) - update on projects from Brockley Ward
3.1. Katie Drew gave a brief rundown of all the projects who had been offered NCIL funding, most recent update as follows:
3.2. Moira from Brockley Max gave a verbal update relating to the festival this year, which was a great success and was the first ‘Festival of Sanctuary’. She also reported that funding for the festival was becoming increasingly difficult to source for several reasons, and that she needed £12-15k to put it on. An additional £30k is raised through sponsorship and advertising. A request was made that if anyone knew of any possible funding sources, to let Moira know.
3.3. Chris from the Brockley Society confirmed that the funds needed to be transferred to the Brockley Society to enable the project to go forward. Katie agreed to follow up on this.
3.4. An update was also given by Litsa from the St John’s Society relating to the ‘Songs for the Battle of Lewisham’ project. A concert is due to be held at the church in March to raise awareness of the restoration of the church organ (c£100k). It is hoped that the event may raise the profile of the cause, and that English Heritage may develop an interest.
Observations were made that developers sometimes submit false plans to avoid paying the level of NCIL required, and it was queried whether council officers followed up on this. Katie Drew noted this point and will seek clarification from colleagues in planning.
There were also observations relating to trees – that some were being removed and/or poisoned by developers, which councillors expressed concern over. A suggestion was made to undertake a tree survey of the area.
4.1. Cllr Lahai Taylor led a small group exercise. Attendees were placed in groups of up to 4 people and asked to capture their responses to the following questions on mentimeter or on paper:
• Which community issues are you most concerned about in Brockley?
• Which issues would you like to work with others to address?
• If you could choose three priorities for Brockley Assembly to work towards, what would they be?
4.2. The responses to each question captured via mentimeter are in Appendix 1
4.3. The responses to each question captured on paper are in Appendix 2
4.4. The following points were raised in discussions following this exercise:
• The Assembly meets and discusses, but then we don’t hear back
• Councillors/The Council need to listen
• Consultation should be meaningful – it can feel like decisions have already been reached
• Could there be a Brockley Assembly page? (Katie Drew to share the link) - https://lewisham.gov.uk/mayorandcouncil/local-assemblies
• Minutes of the meeting on 25th Jan are outstanding (Katie Drew to follow up)
• Could the Assembly have a ‘You said, we did’ approach?
• TFL – could they be invited to the meeting?
• Sharing success stories would be positive – like St Donatt’s Road
4.5 Responses submitted online following the meeting are captured in Appendix 3
· Brockley Max has received Mayor of London funding for hidden histories. Work is underway to create murals of 3 Black Female Icons of Lewisham. The shortlist which includes politicians, activists and educators can be found here: https://brockleymax.co.uk/murals/. The vote for the final 3 will close at the end of March, and the murals will be produced during the festival in May 2023.
· The St John’s Society also reminded attendees of their Green Conversations at the Brookmill pub on the 1st Monday of each month. Talks are free and include information about climate action, retrofitting in conservation areas. You can find more information on their Facebook and Twitter accounts and on their website: https://st-johns-soc.org/greening-conversations-the-brookmill-from-november
· Brockley Christmas Market on 10th December hosted by the Brockley Cross Action Group https://www.brockleycrossactiongroup.co.uk/christmasmarket. The market is self-funding, and funds raised from refreshment sales support the community garden work in the area.
· The Brockley Society Newsletter is out. The archive can be accessed here: https://brockleysociety.org.uk/newsletters/ The November 2022 edition includes information about events over the last quarter, forthcoming events and articles relating to residents of note, including sculptor Fowokan George Kelly and the retirement of Cllr Obajimi Adefiraniye.
· It was noted that it has been 50 years since the Brockley Conservation Area was formed.
· Attention was drawn to the Solar Together scheme and there was a question over the quality of the solution that has been offered
· A request for more charging points for cars was raised.
· A petition has been started by Cllr Lahai-Taylor to respond to the proposed cuts to trains at St John’s station – a link to this is to be circulated following the meeting.
6.1. There were no requests for AOB. A reminder to complete feedback forms and leave details if wishing to join mailing list was given by Cllr Lahai-Taylor who thanked the attendees for coming.
6.2. Katie Drew agreed to circulate a map of the ward, the link for the petition (https://chng.it/yTbJCz5T) and details of forthcoming local events.