Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Civic Suite. View directions
Contact: Lucy Formolli
Welcome from the Chair
Ralph Wilkinson took the attendees through the big budget challenge presentation. And explained that the challenge was to cut £1 in every £3. with the total of £85 million to be saved over all, £40 million of which will be in the first year. Many savings have already been made but there are many more to come.
He emphasised that this was the start of a conversation, not a formal consultation – that will come later based on the outcome of these investigations. It is for you to let us know where you think the council can make some savings.
Details of the figures and numbers involved are on the presentation delivered by Ralph. Ralph took the attendees through the big budget simulator on the Lewisham Council website. You can see the savings you can make and the consequences of those savings.
Finally the decision making process was detailed for the attendees including an overview of the scrutiny and select committees that will challenge officers on their recommendations for savings – what the consequences are and how these will be mitigate. Then a formal periods of consultation. The Council will set its budget on the 25th of February 2015.
Ralph advised that that attendees take full advantage of the exercise to let the council know their thoughts and what matters to the community.
Q. What percentage of Council Tax is actually collected – do the council collect what has been budgeted for?
A. 96%of Council Tax is collected. Can’t collect 100%, most councils set an in year target. We achieve ours
Q. Can we increase Council Tax
A. to do that we would need to hold a referendum, which is expensive, cost can out-way the benefit. The Mayor has given a guarantee not to raise the tax for 2 years as he feels people are pushed enough without having to deal with a tax rise.
Q. How satisfied is the Council that it is doing enough to prevent fraud – reducing this can bring in revenue without making a ct
A. The Council have an anti fraud team. However you can never be 100% sure as you don’t necessarily know fraud exists until you find it
Q. Why are the council paying for things such as crime reduction, shouldn’t that be the police
A. The council pays for such items as CCTV, signage etc
Q. All the building in the area – more people coming into the area using resources, cant the council control the number of new homes being built
A. There is a housing crisis, the number of residents is rising. The only way out of that crisis is to build more
Q. was surprised to see that Sir Steve Bullock earns more than the PM. The Amount spent on consultancy fees – what is the benefit of that
How many empty properties does Lewisham have and have the council considered solar panels on roofs of council buildings
A. The Council uses consultants for short term work, ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Darren Green from Lewisham Regeneration Team delivered a presentation update on the things happening in Catford Town Centre. This included items on the pedestrianised zone, and issues raised over the enforcement of this. It is not perfect yet but exploring working with community services to enforce through cctv and parking fines
The continued TFL study into the re routing of the south circular. Officers are reviewing the findings of the draft TFL report but can not report on the outcomes of this as yet.
Support and interest remains high from investors and developers in the area. The sale of change is under review – in some ways due to the cuts on the table at the moment.
Looking to improve the standard of the retail outlets in Catford improve on the proliferation of pound shops. But these are more palatable than boarded up shops
Bakerloo line extension proposed to come through Catford. The consultation is happening now but the line would not reach Catford for many, many years. See the TFL website
The Catford Stadium development has been named Catford Green. There will be small retail outlets. This is delivering much needed housing provision. Barratt London are preparing a marketing launch on the 17thadn 18th of October.
Reported on the success of the pop up cinema event on The Broadway showing ‘Flash Gordon’ a tater event in the hope of bringing a full film festival to Catford next year.
There is a £20,000 fund to support projects that enhance the high street and civic space. This is open to community groups. Specialist support is provided by the GLA. The deadline is the first of December so time is short
Councillor Klier proposed that Darren update at every assembly.
Q. Review of the South Circular - This has been done many times before – we don’t want to pay for it again
A. We don’t pay for it – TFL do
Q. Can the Catford Green development only be marketed locally
A. They are a commercial enterprise and wouldn’t want to limit themselves. There is social hosing available to the authority within this development
Q. There are social problems at Milford Towers. Is the plan for them to be demolished Is this why there are more street drinkers again?
A. Cant say for certain but there is a strong consideration for demolition
Q. Who has decided to call it Catford Green, we have had lots of input then suddenly it has been named with no consultation
A. Barratt have taken the decision what to name their development
Neighbourhood Safety Team Rushey Green Update
Police Constable Robert Pearson SNT
Here to introduce himself, been in Rushey Green only a few weeks. Updated on the current crime statistics and successes that have come from intelligence from residents including dealing with drug dealing around the Kaleidoscope area. Robert assured attendees that he wants to see people and talk to people face to face, as well as using the technology now available. We are more visible on the streets but also much of the intelligence is gathered through plain clothes officers. And trends and patterns are being looked into. Regarding street drinkers the policy is to issue a £500 fine but often the people doing it are not able to pay so moving people on but working with Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation organisation to help tackle the route causes of the issue.
Discussion about speeding cars on Sangley Road, Robert suggested speaking to the council to try and get speed camera in that area. Issue of a number of burglaries on Blyth Hill road earlier in the year.
Rushey Green Community Hub Update
Gayle Wallace – She has been commissioned to work on the Community Hub development. Discussion around the things being discussed at the meetings. Will the hub be a space or is it more of a concept. It is all about building a sense of community in the area and bringing groups together to hear different ideas. 30 people and groups have so far got involved. Right now the group are really assessing the viability of the project and if it is viable how will it be taken forward. Not trying to reinvent the wheel and building on work already done. The next meeting is the 9th of October at 7.30, the meeting after that is the 6th of November. Please come and get involved and share your ideas. Contact Gayle on firstname.lastname@example.org
Rushey Green Festival
Philippe from the Rushey Green Time Bank attended and showed the wonderful photographs from the summers event. A review of the kinds of things that happened at the festival, from stalls, martial arts, art, bouncy castle, bike repair and so on. Over 1500 people attended the event. The event had the best cat costume competition and the winner got an ipad. Want next year to be bigger and better, already People are asking when it is happening and what’s going to be there this time. Please be involved and join up as a volunteer. We need funding, from the assembly and from sponsors. We really want to involve all members of the community in this event and make it bigger than last year, so contact Philippe at the Rushey Green Time Bank for more information and to get involved.
Reminder that the Rushey Green Assembly fund is now open for application. The total amount of the fund is £15000. The deadline to receive applications is 11pm, Wednesday 5th November 2014. All applications must be emailed to Lucy Formolli. For full and complete information, guidance notes, ideas for projects and the application form, go to the Rushey Green Assembly web page
Please support the Youth Village in Ladywell – it is a brilliant resource for young people and is very well used. It has been earmarked for a potential closure.
Ravensbourne Park Gardens now have a user group. Working with Lewisham Homes to try and bring forward a proposal for pedestrian access / footpath through Iona Close to link up Blyth Hill, Ravenbourne park and Ladywell fields. It is a wonderful opportunity for the regeneration of Catford and really open it up. Funding is a real issue so looking for ways to get the project funded. Come along and see for yourself and sign up to the Ravensbourne park user group
Next meeting is on Saturday 6th December 2014, 12-2pm. We will be voting on the funding applications at this meeting. To help steer the agenda for this meeting please contact Lucy to be a part of the coordinating group.