Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: TNG ,111 Wells Park Road, SE26 6AD

Contact: Maya Onyett 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair, Cllr Chris Best


Cllr Chris Best welcomed everyone to the Sydenham Assembly.



Updates from previous meetings

2.1             Planning issues                                                                        written reply

·     The Greyhound – public meeting 23 Sept

·     Enforcement issues

·     Progress on vacant sites


2.2           Highways issues                                                                        written reply

·     Station Approach

·     Traffic flow

·     Footbridge on Dacres Road


2.3       Refuse issues                                                                                 written reply

·     Letters to residents and traders

·     Jet spray high street


2.4       Skanska Street lighting issues                                                   written reply


2.5       Zanzibar Night Club – appeal hearing


2.1Planning Issues –

  • The Greyhound

Following the last Assembly meeting a meeting took place between Purelake, the owner/ developer of The Greyhound, Lewisham planners, representatives from the Sydenham Society, local residents and Hexagon Housing Association. 


The meeting was chaired by Cllr Chris Best and the various conditions were discussed.  The key point from the community was to ensure an A3/A4 use and to get a timetable agreed.


The latest information the planning officers have received from the developer is that they are getting the application submission together, which includes additional detailed drawing information to hopefully minimise the need for conditions beyond that which have been previously discussed but should enable a faster start on site in the event that planning permission is granted. They intend submitting a new planning application sometime after the 15th September 2014.


Given the complex nature of this scheme planning officers are seeking further legal advice and the proposal is to hold a separate meeting to discuss the whole situation.


It is also proposed that the Assembly refer this matter to the Mayor so that a full report can be discussed by the Mayor and Cabinet including what options are available to the Council to progress the rebuilding of The Greyhound.



The Assembly agreed the referral to the next available Mayor & Cabinet meeting.


The Sydenham Society then proposed and seconded the following motion which was passed with no-one voting against and 3 abstentions:

This Assembly will object to any new planning application for the Greyhound that does not contain a timetable for the rebuild of the pub and which does not limit Use Classes to A3/A4


  • Enforcement issues

There are a number of breaches of planning law in the high street including the removal of shop fronts. These matters are a low priority for the Council in accordance with the Council’s agreed planning enforcement priorities. However, a request has been made to ensure that new shop fronts comply with access requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act. 


  • Progress on vacant sites

Discussions are ongoing with the developer for 22a – 24 Sydenham Road and a

planning application is expecting very soon.  Work continues on 278 -280 Kirkdale

although it is unlikely to complete until into the New Year.


2.2 Highways issues                                                                                

  • Station Approach

The demolishing of the toilet block has been temporarily stopped by Network Rail.

The Council are waiting to hear from Network Rail and the contractor on when it can be resumed and completed.

Following this the new toilets will be installed and the paving around reset with yorkstone. The brickwork and planter bed will also be cleaned and restored.

Contact officer for Sydenham Road Improvement Scheme is Tom Henry – any queries to:


  • Traffic Flow

The Council has been informed that Transport for London has completed the traffic signal works. The Council has provided feedback concerning the delayed signals and build-up of traffic. This is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.


Presentation on Street Trees


See Appendix 1 for Briefing


There were concerns on the pollarding of trees on Longton Avenue. Vince explained that they were pruned to the British standard and will prolong their health and longevity. In an urban environment. Other considerations such as housing, pedestrian safety and traffic needs to be taken into account so trees cannot be left to grow too large if this could have a negative effect within that environment.

He explained that there are budgetary limitations, so replacing trees in parks such as Wells Park is difficult, but possibilities of finding funding , for example via the assembly funds, could be looked into.

If you have a tree related enquiry and would like to arrange for an inspection of a council managed tree please contact the Customer Service Centre on: 020 8314717



Presentation on supporting Residents Associations To Be Confirmed


  • Creating a new Residents Association for Wells Park

Cllr Best highlighted the strengths of being in a group and forming a Resident Association with a collective voice and providing a sense of community spirit. There are several Resident Associations currently in the area:

  • Longton Avenue - LARA
  • Beaulieu Avenue and Longton Grove - BALGRA
  • The Thorpes Residents Association
  • Trewsbury Road Residents Association
  • Waverley Court Tenants & Residents Association


Lewisham Homes and other housing associations welcome the setting up of residents associations but find that groups come together over a specific issue and find it hard to keep residents involved.  


Following the tragic death of James Hunter in Wells Park Road, Cllr Curran has been liaising with local residents and introduced Cynthia ,Luzolo and Nzilla who are interested in setting up a Community Association in the Wells Park area, made up of housing estates, roads and local businesses, to represent the myriad of people who live in the area of Wells Park road.

Lazola explained that the group is called Reach for Changes:


REACH - Raising.Expectations.And.Creating.Hope.

CHANGES -Community.Hope.And.Nurturing.Group.for Elders and Seedlings.


They would like to start by creating a Peace garden to improve the area and provide a focal point for the community to encourage older people as well as the younger generation. Events have started and they would like to expand from there.

If you would like to get involved in Reach for Changes contact Cynthia on 07983295706




Lewisham's Big Budget Challenge


Presented by Genevieve Macklin, Head of Housing.

She explained that the challenge Lewisham faces is that the Council has to reduce its spending by a considerable amount; £1 in every £3. This is driven by central Government reducing its grants within Lewisham and every other local authority across England.

In Lewisham, savings of £85 million needs to be found over the next 3 years.

She explained that this was not a formal consultation but a means to get a conversation started and gain initial feedback on the subject and what lies ahead.


The purpose of the presentation was to explain:


         How the Council currently spends its money

         Where that money comes from

         How our income is being cut

         How and when decisions will be made

         How you can influence those decisions

See appendix 2 for presentation details.


Feedback cards were completed and handed in.

To give your views or have a go on the online budget simulator go to


This will be open until 22 October 2014. Consultation and scrutiny will follow and the Council will set the new budget on 25 February 2015.


Summary of questions/ comments raised:

Q. Is it fair to say that because the cut is so big (£85 million) a cut would have to come from Children and Adult Social Care?

A. It is fair enough to say that if 50% of the net budget goes to Children and Adult Social care and you didn’t reduce spending within these services, then you would have to take significantly more from the other remaining services.


A resident commented on the Barnet Graph of Gloom, a PowerPoint slide  showing that within 20 years, unless things change dramatically, the north London council will be unable to provide any services except adult social care and children's services. No libraries, no parks, no leisure centre’s – not even bin collections. He fears that the reduced spending will continue further than 3 years, irrelevant of what government is in place.


Q. On a positive note, if residents in the borough are increasing, wont they be contributing to Lewisham’s income?

A. Yes, certainly through things like council tax.  In terms of the way the government grant funding settlement works there may be a bigger contribution based on increased residents, however it will probably never match in the way the current grant is distributed.


Q. Is Lewisham Council looking at sharing services across other borough’s to reduce spending?

A. Yes they have been proactive on this, already our IT and finance services are shared and have saved money. (Borough’s include Bromley, Croydon and Greenwich) .We are looking at other services, eg Housing and staff reduction as well. Plus services have been put on line to reduce costs . 600 staff members have already been cut.


Q. Are Lewisham’s assets being looked at?

A . Lewisham has been proactively looking at its assets, including looking at selling, but also working on making better use of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.


Priorities for Sydenham Assembly funds £12,500

·      Funding Street Trees

·      Support for setting up new Residents Associations

·      Funding creative surface on rear wall at Station Approach

·      Funding to support Sydenham library piazza 

·      Funding events in Sydenham high street



Cllr Best highlighted the following priorities that have come from previous assemblies and the Sydenham Assembly Action Plan, and the assembly agreed to inviting community groups and organisations to submit bids to support and deliver on these priorities:


·              Funding events in Sydenham high street

Jonathan Kaufman spoke about the various events he was hoping to take forward under Sydenham Arts including more activities in the high street alongside Easter, Halloween, Christmas and other events

·              Funding to enable events on the Sydenham library piazza

IlseTowler spoke about the library piazza and It is hoped that the space can hold literacy events, provide markets, café, entertainmentand the lighting of a Christmas tree in Lower Sydenham

·              Funding Street Trees

Following the earlier presentation the cost of a street tree is around £250 that includes delivery, preparation and planting. Trees need watering and nurturing and if local groups wanted to support trees then bids would be welcome to provide some funding for trees

·                Support for setting up new Residents Associations

Following the earlier presentation the aim is to support new residents associations/community groups that bring the community together and support activities that give residents a voice 

·              Funding creative surface on rear wall at Station Approach

With the completion of the works to Station Approach there is a need to make the area as you walk out of the station more appealing – ideas have included street art, artistic map of the area or a notice board.



Join the Sydenham Assembly Coordinating Group Pat Trembath


·        Feedback forms - agenda items next meeting

Pat Trembath highlighted the importance of completing the feedback forms and invited members to join the coordinating group which plans the assembly and discusses local issues and updates. If you would like to join contact for further information.



Information items and open questions and answers

·        Volunteers for Christmas events and activities

·        Entertainment for Sydenham market on 2nd Saturday of the month



Sydenham Arts festival was given thanks and recognition as being a brilliant community festival.

Jonathan Kaufman explained that they have started the process for the Sydenham Arts Festival (SAF) to become a charity and hopes to have funding by the end of the year to provide activities all year round. They are also looking for people to join some 'focus group' meetings, exploring the future of SAF.

Any community groups or organisations who want to get involved with this can email him on 


·                          Volunteers for Christmas events and activities


Cllr Best welcomed any local choirs that would like to sing at the event following the next assembly on Saturday 6 December or if anyone has ideas on other activities, for example, drumming sessions are taking place at the next market.

Saturday 13 December will hold the Christmas market and any offers for help would be greatly received, including delivering activities such as face painting, helping make Christmas lanterns and any other activities that are fun and create a great community spirit.

If you would like to get involved contact Cllr Best


Cllr Best wanted to check that every Sydenham resident received a newsletter inviting them to the assembly. It was noted that Taylors Lane didn’t receive them.


A resident raised the problem of fly posting and stickers on the high street. He highlighted two solutions;

  1. To get the street cleaners to take them down
  2. Lewisham Council should contact the number on the posters/ stickers and prosecute.

Cllr Best outlined that they have previously got together in groups and have cleaned the high street getting rid of graffiti and fly posting. Time Credits can also be used for this kind of activity whereby an hour credit (gained from an hour spent cleaning the high street) is given to be spent on another activity chosen from a list. Cllr Best said she was happy to organise this if people were interested.


Another resident asked why the street cleaners couldn’t notify the council of fly tipping instead of relying on residents to contact Love Lewisham.

Cllr Onikosi said she would look into this. She advised that if people have any issues with waste to contact her on


An update was requested on the overhanging trees and hedges at the top of Berrymans Lane, corner with Mayow Road. The derelict bungalow at 127 Mayow is managed by Lewisham Homes and is a long term void. Cllr Best has previously emailed on the subject and will follow up as the hedges are still overhanging causing problems for pedestrians.




Dates for the next Assembly meetings

·      Saturday 6 December – 2pm at Sydenham Community Library followed by carols and lighting up the Christmas



·      Wednesday 11 March 2015 – 7pm at Sydenham Centre



  • Saturday 6 December – 2pm at Sydenham Community Library followed by carols and lighting up the Christmas Tree


  • Wednesday 11 March 2015 – 7pm at Sydenham Centre


Cllr Best thanked everyone for attending the meeting.


The meeting closed at 9.00pm.



Appendix 1 Briefing Note - Tree Management pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents: