Venue: Civic Suite, Catford
Contact: Lucy Formolli
Welcome from the Chair
Councillor Krupski welcomed everyone to the meeting and ran through the agenda and welcomed our first speakers.
Dr Catherine Mbema, Director of Public Health Lewisham, Gemma King, Cost of Living Programme Manager, Programme Management Office, Martin Dittus, Data Scientist, Strategic transformation and organisational development team.
Catherine, Gemma and
Martin delivered an excellent presentation on Lewisham’s
Response to the cost of living crisis and the support available to
people in need.
The presentation included information on the following topics:
The main causes of the
crisis, Lewisham statistics and experience, Emergence of new
vulnerabilities, details of Lewisham Council’s cost-of-living
programme, Key work areas, What Lewisham have done so far, and
Key achievements so far include but are not limited to:
· Launch of ‘warm welcomes’ in libraries and community assets
· Food justice action plan – consultation launched
· Supporting improvement of the least energy efficient housing stock
· Highlighting Warmer Homes Fund to residents
· Rolling out national benefit initiatives
· Rolling out national benefit initiatives
· Improving take-up of pension credits
· Lewisham Works – supporting residents into work
· Develop resources for residents worried about money – where they can go for support
For full information please
read the PowerPoint presentation delivered by the team.
Questions and group discussions included: Clarity around the centralised places where people can go. Such as Citizens advice, SELCE, Libraries etc. Ensuring that the grants are getting through to those most in need, taking into account digital inclusion. Individual experiences with getting insulation and the changes to the acceptance criteria to be able to apply for free support was discussed and if warm homes being considered as part of social prescribing. A suggestion from the room that this information is cascaded to all schools was also taken forward.
Ron Bourne, Voluntary Sector Programmes Manager, Lewisham Local
Elisha Roberts, Rushey Green Community Development Worker, Lewisham Local
Councillor Krupski gave a brief overview of how the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure levy, the tax councils charge developers, has been used in Rushey Green to recruit a dedicated community development worker for the Rushey Green ward – hot-housed at Lewisham Local. She explained how the process worked and how the assembly had influence in the decision making.
Ron Bourne talked through the Lewisham Local Rushey Green Development eco system slide which detailed how the Rushey Green development worker, Elisha Roberts, would link directly to the following outputs of Lewisham Locals current work which would add value to the Community development workers role, including, but not limited to the following:
· Funding – 4 new community fundraisers recruited around cold-spot, equalities, arts and sports
· Information – through a new community directory, community asset mapping and social prescribing
· Giving – volunteering, mentorship, cash in kind
· Strengthening communities – development advice, network development and social prescribing
· Giving a voice – Steering group, Network events, community events and the broader remit of Lewisham Local
· Connecting people – through advice and guidance, partnerships with Catbytes organisation around digital inclusion providing laptops and mobiles and Wi-Fi data
Ron detailed how Elisha’s role and explained her role will be very much as a conduit and support to many of the residents, stakeholders who are interested in and who are passionate about making change in the borough.
Ron highlighted that capacity building of new and existing groups will be a major part of Elisha’s role and a focus on identifying and supporting people and groups from seldom heard from voices in the community. They are also developing a Rushey Green community steering group, to help mould Elisha’s work in the ward over the next year and a half and hoped that some people at the meeting would be prepared to sign up to be a part of that Steering group. Ron then handed over to Elisha.
Elisha Roberts introduced herself to the community at the meeting and expressed her passion for the role and how she was very keen to get started by hearing from the residents and groups in the meeting, to begin to understand the immediate priority areas for the ward.
Elisha and Ron introduced an interactive engagement activity for the meeting attendees. People logged into ‘mentimeter.com’ to answer questions about their priorities for the area and how they would like to engage with others to help resolve some of the issues. Attendees of the meeting were able to see their opinions live on the big screen with the most common areas for improvement displaying bigger the more people identified them. Here is an example of the priorities people identified as they were displayed in the meeting.
After the activity was finished Councillor Krupski reminded attendees that this was just the start of the conversation and that Elisha will be attending future engagement ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Public Spaces Protection Order presentation– online presentation
James Lee. Director of Communities, Partnerships and Leisure - Lewisham Council
Please see the presentation slides for full information of this item
James Lee introduced himself and the item of Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) – explaining that the council were in the very early stages of looking into applying for a PSPO and was showing meeting attendees the evidence pack that was taken to Mayor and Cabinet in order to seek agreement for that to be a public consultation on the introduction of a public space protection order in motion. James explained that the consultation has been approved and it will run between January and February 2023.
The following issues were identified through scoping exercises undertaken by the council and detailed in the presentation:
· Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and disorder
· Consumption of drugs and psychoactive substances
· Amplified speech or music in open spaces
· Dog-related anti-social behaviour in public spaces and parks
· Illegal encampments
· Public urination and defecation
The presentation attached gives a full breakdown of who the PSPO consultation will be conducted and what the new powers will be for the police and the council. James stated he would be happy to run an additional bespoke consultation session for Rushey Green residents if requested by Cllrs.
Cllr Walsh took a non-binding ‘straw poll’ of attendees for who was in favour of this at the start of James presentation and at that point, the attendees were fairly evenly split in favour and against it. Once James had delivered his presentation the room was predominantly in favour of the PSPO although there was one abstention.
Questions around this issue and the presentation included clarification over why additional enforcement powers were needed when these issues are already illegal? It was explained that although these issues may be unlawful, three are currently limited powers to issue on the spot fines or move people along etc. the PSPO cuts out much of the red tape need to take more immediate action by both police and council enforcement. Another question asked to clarify if there is indeed enough capacity within the council to take this on where there is limited time already for officers and police officers? James agreed this was a valid point and although the current team was small the PSPO could mean that any council officer to become part of the team to carry out this work. There was also concern expressed around how issues will be identified in the future and could individuals be subject to a PSPO based on limited number of complaints for instance? James highlighted the level of evidence required to get the PSPO and that would be a democratic process going forward as these issues have been agreed to democratically.
Community groups in the meeting introduced themselves and gave a brief overview of their work. These groups included:
Street Trees for Living – who provided a notification of an upcoming meeting the following week to discuss street trees specifically in the Rushey Green ward.
Catford Active Travel who’s aim is to improve walking and cycling across the borough.
Stanstead Lodge Seniors Club, reminded the room that they do an enormous amount of activities for older people.
Lewisham Pensioners Forum, who campaign on behalf of older people.
Councillor Krupski reminded the attendees about the Rushey Green Christmas tree light up event on the 27th of November at 4.15 pm and trailed some of the highlights of the event such as Cats Chorus and Time Bank Choirs and inviting people to bring their own decorations for the tree.
She also alerted attendees to the next assembly meeting date: Wednesday 15 March 2022, 7-9pm, venue TBC.
Councillor Krupski said that she and her fellow councillors Cllr James Walsh and Cllr John Muldoon would be happy to stay after the meeting if anyone had any individual questions for them and closed the meeting.