Council meetings

Draft minutes

Proposed venue: Sydenham Gardens Resource Centre, Wynell Road SE23

Contact: Laura Luckhurst 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair


Cllr Paschoud welcomed everyone to the meeting. He acknowledged that the country remained in a period of mourning following the death of the Queen, and stated that council officers had agreed that this community meeting could still go ahead.
Boundary changes across the borough were noted, and new Perry Vale residents in the area between Catford Hill and River Poole, previously part of Bellingham Ward, were warmly welcomed.


Community Assemblies into the Future


Laura Luckhurst outlined the cuts to council resources leading to a revised offer on Assemblies.  Going forward there will be a mix of online assemblies, and in-person events and assemblies, delivered by the council working in partnership with community organisations like Sydenham Garden, where they have the resources to support ward-based community engagement events and assemblies.
Beth Jaichand, CEO of Sydenham Garden, welcomed those present and explained that the organisation was in receipt of a Ward NCIL grant to enable it to deliver in-person assemblies, in collaboration with councillors and the community, and community engagement events.  This would usually include two in-person assemblies per year until 2024 and one community festival at Sydenham Garden.  It was hoped continuation funding would be found after 2024.  Beth encouraged people to visit the gardens.


Updates on Ward NCIL - funded Projects


Alona Sheridan (Friends of Mayow Park) updated on the Mayow Park Children’s Playground project.  The group continues to work closely with Glendales and LBL Green spaces team. Further funding is being sought to top up that awarded by Ward NCIL. 


James Dobson updated on the Stanstead Lodge Conservatory upgrade project.  This is well in hand and the Ward NCIL-funded stage will be completed shortly.  The improvements will result in a stunning space which will be available for e.g. weddings and other private bookings, bringing much-needed revenue to the community centre. It can also be used for community activities such as training courses and workshops.  Stanstead Lodge provides a range of free and low cost activities aimed mainly at older people over 50 (though open to all).


Sarah Chambers showed slides and gave an update on the Rockbourne Youth Engagement Hub.  A range of activities were run over the summer, and the youth club continues through the year.  The group has ambitious ideas including a Youth Parliament meeting and 5-a-side football tournament.  They are looking to partner with other groups/individuals to deliver inspiring activities for the young people.


Brent Knoll School provided a written update summarised below:

The School delivered holiday schemes from 25th July until 5th August for pupils at the two member schools Brent Knoll and Watergate, providing tailored provision using skilled and experienced staff familiar to the children and young people with special needs.  A range of activities from crafts to physical exercise and sport was provided.

No update was received from Kilmorie School, who were funded to develop an Early Years outdoor learning space.  They will report to a future meeting.



Development of Assembly Coordinating Group and community networks


Laura Luckhurst referred to the circulated paper asking people’s views on the Co-ordinating Group for assemblies and developing a new Community Network (see attached), and asked people to think about the questions over a short tea break and feed back to the main meeting.
There was very positive feedback about both the Co-group going forward, and the possibility of a Community Network.  A number of people put themselves forward at the meeting to join one or both of these. It was agreed that the first priority should be to revive the existing Co-group, and look at how a community network could develop building on this. The Development Officer will contact all those interested to take this forward.


Safer Neighbourhood Team update


Due to the Queen’s death and lying-in-state, no police officers were available.  An update will be provided at the next Assembly.  For the latest information on local police priorities and activities please visit


Community Updates


Dacres Road/Sydenham park footbridge: Cllr Wise informed the meeting that after significant lobbying by councillors and the community, refurbishment of the footbridge had now been started.  Work on the steps on both sides was now complete, and the replacement of the central bridge span is planned to be carried out in late October (hopefully coinciding with half term to minimise disruption to school children’s journeys). 

Bell Green planning questions: Cllr Paschoud informed the meeting that there are currently no submitted planning applications relating to Bell Green including the former gasholders site.  Any planning applications which are submitted will be required to carry out community consultation.  There are no plans to demolish Livesey Memorial Hall.

The basis for road closures on Bishopsthorpe and Silverdale, following end of COVID restrictions: An officer from Traffic Planning has been invited to attend the next Online Assembly on 13 December to provide information on traffic strategies and planned measures in the ward.

Missed bins, fly typping etc.: CDO to circulate information on reporting, council environmental services, and other community resources.

Cllr Paschoud announced Finches Macmillan coffee morning being held Friday 16 Sept – all welcome.


Feedback and Close


There being no other business, residents were thanked for attending and requested to complete feedback forms and hand in before departing.