Venue: Online meeting
Contact: Laura Luckhurst 020 8314 3830
Welcome from the Chair
DRAFT Notes of Forest Hill Assembly
Meeting held online on Teams.
Chair: Cllr Sophie Davis
1 Chair’s Welcome
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and set out the main purpose of the meeting, which was to agree Ward NCIL funding recommendations to Mayor and Cabinet.
NCIL Overview and recommendations
2 Ward NCIL Fund presentation
A short presentation was given by officers, outlining the process followed in allocating the Ward NCIL Fund. This included consultation with residents via the Commonplace platform, priority setting at the Forest Hill Assembly in February 2020, and opening up the fund to residents for applications in September 2021. A programme of support had been offered to enable less experienced residents to present bids for funding.
Forest Hill Ward had £65,926 available for distribution, and received 12 applications to the value of £200,412. The priorities set by Forest Hill Assembly following the Commonplace consultation were:
The projects recommended for funding were presented, together with a list of all applications and those that are unable to be recommended.
The list of projects can be viewed here: https://communityfunding.lewisham.gov.uk/forest-hill
For a copy of the presentation, please email email@example.com
3 NCIL Fund questions and feedback
Q: Noted that the Forest Hill Children’s Library application included funding for new artwork to be commissioned. Was the funding granted sufficient to enable this?
A: The costings provided for the project have been assessed as deliverable.
Q: If a project which is being recommended for funding will need to order materials with a long lead-in time, can they order in advance of Mayor and Cabinet on 9 March?
A: No – funding will not be released until after 1 April 2022, following the signing of grants agreements. The grants are being made in respect of projects expected to be delivered from April 2022 to March 2024.
Q: It would be helpful to understand the rationale behind the decision not to recommend certain projects.
A: The process consisted initially of a very strict scoring system based on criteria applied equally across all applications. This was followed by a further process of assessment which looked at wider considerations such as feasibility of delivery, balance of projects across individual wards, and enabling the maximum number of projects to receive support. The fund was very highly oversubscribed, and it would not have been possible to fund all projects, therefore difficult choices had to be made.
With reference to Forest Hill Ward specifically, the following projects are not being recommended:
Forest Hill Society Traffic Monitoring – this was not one of the higher scoring projects. Highways Panel experts assessed it and advised that it was not recommended.
Rock-iorganisation Community Wellbeing project – this project will be delivered outside of the ward, from Ewart Hall in Crofton Park ward. The project has been recommended for funding from Crofton Park Ward.
Sustainable Christmas Tree – an alternative funding stream has been identified for Christmas Trees, this project will be signposted to that funding source.
Lewisham Homes Community Ball Court – this project would have required significantly over half of the Forest Hill Ward NCIL funds available, if fully-funded. Lewisham Homes submitted a number of bids in wards across the borough. Managers will be holding discussions with them on the ways forward.
It was also noted that those projects not recommended for Ward NCIL funding, will be offered a programme of on-going support with bid-writing techniques, together with information sessions and workshops on identifying suitable funders including different council funding streams. This is additional to the support which has previously been provided at the bid preparation stage.
Q: What processes will be carried out now to ensure those recommended for less than they initially requested will be able to deliver their projects?
A: Decisions on reducing recommended amounts were made following intense scrutiny of bids, to identify areas for reduction which would not compromise the integrity of their projects. For example, some project budgets were “modular”, enabling a substantial part of the project to be implemented with less funding. Discussions will take place with groups following the Mayor and Cabinet meeting on 9 March, to establish and agree deliverables and ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Summary of Assembly feedback on NCIL
4 Summary of Assembly feedback on NCIL
The Chair summarised by saying that the broad feeling of the meeting appeared to be in favour of the recommended projects, and that this will be the feedback given to Mayor and Cabinet. There were no objections.
Community updates and AOB
5 Community Updates
Friends of Mais House group gave an update. The group is applying for a second judicial review of the planning permission granted to City of London to build 110 social homes on Sydenham Hill Ridge. Further updates will be available at https://www.friendsofmaishouse.com/
The group were thanked for this update.
Q: Councillors were asked for an update on the trial School Street on Thorpewood Avenue. A resident called for clarity on the timeline of any consultation and transparency in reporting on the results of this.
A: Councillors informed the meeting that the initial emergency traffic order was introduced in response to COVID, with a deadline to implement in order to receive government funding; this has now moved to being an experimental traffic order. The council is actively monitoring feedback on this scheme, including via email and on the Commonplace platform, and also monitoring effects on traffic flows and air quality. To date, feedback received included significant numbers welcoming the changes and the improvements in air quality, as well as those who did not welcome the change. Assessing the impacts of this type of intervention requires time for behaviours to change. Councillors agreed to communicate with officers on the period of statutory consultation.
6 Meeting close
The meeting ended at 12.35 pm