Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Sydenham Centre, 44A Sydenham Road, SE26 5QX

Contact: Laura Luckhurst 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair

Welcome, Introductions, Apologies


Cllr Curran opened the meeting and explained that Cllrs Best and Onikosi were detained at another council meeting and would join the meeting as soon as possible



Review of Action Plan and Priorities for 2018/19


Attendees discussed the current priorities and headline Action Plan on their tables, responding to the following questions: Are these still the top 5 priorities for Sydenham?  If not, what issue would you like to make a priority? For each priority you agree with, are the headline actions the right ones?  Any other actions the community could develop?  Cllr Curran asked people to hand in their notes at the end of the meeting – the Co-group will draw on these in formulating the priorities for 2018/19 which will be formally agreed at the summer Assembly.



Sydenham Fun Palace 2018

Kirsty Lothian, Fun Palaces

Formation of Community Steering Group


Kirsty Lothian of Fun Palaces gave a short and inspiring presentation explaining that Fun Palaces are about “Culture for all, with all, by all” and involve sharing cultural and science-based knowledge, including “secret” skills.  Key points included that Fun Palaces do not rely on external funding, they are about celebrating and enjoying what is already there in the community; and that a Fun Palace does not necessary take place at only one venue.  At least 36 Fun Palaces are already signed up for 2018 and the events will take place over the weekend of October 6/7th.  There were a number of enthusiastic discussions on tables, and people noted down their ideas.  A number of people came forward to be involved and a Steering Group is being formed which will meet in the next few weeks to begin planning.  

Deniz Amoah of TNG said that they are open to the possibility of hosting this event, they have many great resources for the community and it is a great opportunity to integrate between generations.

If you would like to be involved, please contact Laura Luckhurst on 020 8314 3830 or email



Neighbourhood Community Development Partnership

Mandeep Kullar, Community Connections


Mandeep Kullar of Community Connections introduced herself and explained that Community connections exists to connect people over 18 to access support in the community to help them improve their health and wellbeing.  They have received 60 referrals from Sydenham this year. Referrals can be from GPs, Social care or self-referral. The NCDP’s are an initiative by Public Health to develop the networks underpinning this.  The borough is covered by 4 Neighbourhoods and Sydenham falls under the South West area.  A fund of £25,000 was available and following a process to determine Neighbourhood priorities, this has been awarded to a partnership project to support local community groups with recruiting and retaining volunteers.  VSL, Carers Lewisham, VAL Lewisham and Ageing Well in Lewisham are all partners in this project.



Bakerloo Line Community Resolution


Cllr Curran introduced the resolution by reminding people that community lobbying has been effective in the past, for example the re-instatement of the Greyhound pub. The following resolution was proposed by Cllr Curran and carried:

The residents of Sydenham attending the Sydenham Assembly today are pleased to learn that Transport for London have announced that they would like eventually to extend the Bakerloo Line to Catford. We welcome the significant benefits that this extension will bring and ask Transport for London to consider further extending the line from Catford Bridge station along the rest of the Hayes line to its terminus at Hayes in Kent. This logical extension will benefit enormously the residents living near the stations of Lower Sydenham, New Beckenham, Clock House, Elmers End, Eden Park, West Wickham and Hayes, and help to reduce traffic and improve air quality. We send this resolution to residents’ groups and civic societies in these area to ask if they will consider sending a similar community resolution to Transport for London.

Q: Can action be taken to improve the security issues around Lower Sydenham station?

A: This will be taken up elsewhere

Cllr Curran also mentioned the lack of bus shelter and digital display outside Sydenham Station.



Funded projects updates


Updates were received from

·         Sydenham Community Library, who are running a range of classes including Craft classes for children and for adults, Rhyme time for under 5-s and a seated exercise class. Ilse Towler mentioned the enthusiasm of people for these classes, attending a session on January 2nd!  They have had to reduce the number of sessions of Adults Crafts but have increased the variety of crafts. The library is closed on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

·         VSL who ran a successful Christmas Hampers and Christmas meals project.  A number of primary and special schools were involved and 54 primary school children came along to see how their donations are used. Xmas day lunch was provided for approx. 100 people. (presentation to be embedded)

·         Deniz Amoah of TNG are developing their intergenerational film project, and planning a big intergenerational screening in the summer. They operate an Open Door policy.  Events and activities are publicised on the Youth First website but recognised they need to do more on publicity.

·         SEE3 – Cllr Best reported on the successful Christmas shows and the participation of OLSPN and Sydenham singers Choir in Xmas celebrations on the high street and at Sydenham Library.  The Easter Bonnet parade and workshop is on Saturday 31st March (details in Newsletter and the poster displayed in participating shops).



Safer Neighbourhood Team Update

PC Shaun Rodway


PC Shaun Rodway mentioned that they are very keen on the proposed Fun Palace and want to be involved.

Crime rates for Sydenham currently are “OK” compared with the rest of Lewisham. The top reported crimes are vandalism, residential burglary and miscellaneous theft.

PC Rodway mentioned Smartwater which is being offered in streets where burglary is a particular problem.  If other residents want to take advantage of this it can be bought online.  He also urged people to take the usual precautions to prevent car theft which is usually opportunistic.



Community Updates

Including Sydenham Mural Proposal, GCDA, Clear Air App, Girton Road Car Park.


Sydenham Mural: Jonathan Fagan introduce this community grassroots project which is in its early stages. The project is to create a mural in Sydenham Station approach and has attracted a great deal of community support, with so far 300 followers on Twitter and 300 Facebook posts. A spec has been drawn up and designers, all of whom live or work in Sydenham invited to submit designs. The project aims to carry out wide consultation. The winning designs will be put up for crowdfunding. 

Q: could the designs be displayed in the Sydenham Centre window.

A: This would be for the Centre Users Group to agree

Clean Air App: Cllr Onikosi said that Lewisham is at the forefront of initiatives to improve air quality.  We will be launching our own bespoke Clean Air app on Friday 16th March, and have launched an Anti-Idling campaign to reduce pollution near schools.

Girton Road Car Park: Cllr best reported that council have worked with LIDL to agree a scheme allowing some free parking but also raising some funds to enable better management of the car park and deterring car dumping.  There will be a consultation period and a reduced fee for traders.

Q: Can we have an update on the shop (previously Safeway/Coop)

A: The freeholder wishes to retain as retail and we are hoping a new tenant will be in shortly.   The Agent is also working with the owner of 22 – 24A.  We are aiming for sustainability at this location.  In the meantime the owners are keeping the lights on as a deterrent to burglars.

Sydenham station update – Barry Milton mentioned that consultation has led to improvements in the offer from Network Rail and services will not be reduced as much as initially proposed.  Details on Sydenham Society website.



Questions and Answers with councillors


Q: Does Girton Car Park have CCTV?

A: Yes and it is fully operational.

Q: Can anything similar to the Clean Air app be done for litter?

A: Agree we need innovative ideas, the council has made strong pledges around fly-tipping.

Q: Concern about condition of pavements especially around Syviers.

A: Council have regularly objected to their license as a waste disposal service, as this is no longer appropriate at this location. 

Q: we did not receive our newsletter

A: give your details to Laura at the end of meeting.



Feedback and Close


Attendees were asked to complete their feedback sheets. The meeting closed at 9pm