Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: TNG Youth Centre, 111 Wells Park Road, Sydenham SE26 6AD

Contact: Laura Luckhurst 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair


The Chair, Cllr Tom Copley, welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited them to take one of our new Assembly re-usable cups which are replacing the single-use plastic cups previously used.  The Assembly was combined with a careers fair for your people aged 13 – 25 which was taking place around the TNG building.  The Chair introduced Nike Ajijola, Deputy Young Mayor, and Josh Brown-Smith, who is one of the team of Young Mayor’s advisors.



Careers+ Fair

Local employers, training and further education providers, and others will be there to showcase their offerings to young people. Come along a say hello.


Careers Fair

The following local employers, training, apprenticeship, work placement, volunteering and further education providers showcased their opportunities to young people aged 13 – 25 and their parents/carers. 


Capital Hoist                                               

Croydon College                                       

Lewisham Construction Hub                 

Lewisham College                                    

Lewisham Homes                                     

Southwark College                                   



Serious About Youth (SAY) Construkt Programme            

LB Lewisham Apprentices: Che Stott, Effie Tierney           

Sydenham Arts


Lewisham Young Mayor

The Young Mayor’s Team will introduce themselves, say what their “hot” issues are and how you can stand to be the next Young Mayor of Lewisham.


Nike Ajijola, Deputy Young Mayor, thanked those present for coming and explained she had been motivated to run for Deputy Young Mayor by her passion to change things for the better for her community.  Her special interest was tackling knife crime.  She also campaigns for schools to broaden their offer to include more music sports etc. in order to be more inclusive and inspire young people. 

Josh Brown-Smith invited all young people to attend the mayor’s advisors meetings, whatever their age.



SAFE project


The Chair invited Collet Hunter to speak as she was having to leave the meeting early.  Collet reported on the successful performance of the SAFE project play written and performed by young people, which had taken place at the TNG on 31 May.  This had been very well attended (standing room only) and had an enthusiastic reception.  TNG had now asked for this to be performed at alltheir sites and the feedback had been very positive with many offers of support and involvement.  Collet thanked Sydenham Assembly for funding this project which was a partnership with Spontaneous Productions, and said she would continue to work with them.  Collect has launched a book of her memoirs.



Public Health approach to reducing violent crime


Cllr Chris Best spoke to a presentation on the council’s new public health approach to violent crime.  It was suggested that the Safe Havens project, in which shops agree to provide a safe space for anyone not feeling safe on the high street, could receive renewed support and promotion.  The Traders Newsletter could include an item on this along with Community Toilets.


The Powerpoint presentation is available from


Air Quality campaign


Cllr McGeevor spoke to a presentation on the work the council is doing around raising awareness and working with the community to improve air quality in the borough and reduce pollution from vehicles.  The presentation is available from and you can also visit our website at: for more information on our Air Quality campaign and how to help.


Q: Can air quality monitoring be installed at Bell Green?  There are 5 lanes of traffic and local people are very concerned about poor air quality at Haseltine School nearby.

A: Monitoring at other stations nearby allows us to very accurately predict air quality in the area around Haseltine School. We are aware of poor air quality there and are taking steps to address this.  This will involve going through planning and consultation processes.

Q: We do not agree that the worst air pollution is in the north of the borough.  We would like more air monitoring in this area.

A: We do monitor all across the borough, and the data shows that overall air quality is clearly worse to the north of the borough.  However, we have listened to concerns expressed about air quality in the Bell Green area, and for this reason we have included it as part of the East Sydenham Healthy Neighbourhood, which is in the first phase of rolling out the Healthy Neighbourhood programme borough-wide.



Sydenham Priorities for 2019/20


Attendees were given post-it notes and asked to use these to indicate their level of agreement with the current priorities posted up on the walls on flip chart paper.  The results were collated and can be seen at Appendix A.

These inputs will be taken into account as part of the wider NCIL Fund Priorities on-line consultation taking place this autumn and closing on 21 October.


Safer Neighbourhood Team update

To include update on #Together event on 15th June


Update not available due to staff rotas.


Fun Palaces

Shout out for Fun Palace Makers for the Sydenham Fun Palaces on 5 and 6 October 2019


A brief update was given and attendees were encouraged to get involved.



Community updates

Including update on the former Budgen’s store and Sydenham Society project with Arriva to enhance the entrance to Sydenham Station.


The council is hoping to introduce new rules to tackle rogue landlords and strengthen the rights of private tenants.  We are currently consulting on these.

Q: Will the new system be similar to that in place in Tower hamlets?

A: Yes.  It has been introduced in other boroughs.  The process requires us to carry out consultation then apply to the Secretary of State.

Q: Can a group of friends in shared occupation register a HMO?

A: Yes, and we also intend removing permitted development rights to control the rise of unreasonable rent levels and poor quality accommodation.

Air Quality

Q: Could there be air quality monitoring at the Sydenham Centre – concern at need to leave windows open in hot weather and pollution from busy road.  The building needs air conditioning and upgraded windows.

A: Cllr Best agreed to feed back on this issue to council officers.

Other updates and questions
Cllr Copley agreed to raise the problem of the overgrown electricity sub-station with National Grid.

Sydenham Society Motion re Our Lady and St Philip Neri School

The Sydenham Society presented the following motion:

“The Sydenham Assembly is dismayed at the long drawn out process of rectifying the planning breaches at Our Lady & St Philip Neri School. We were assured that Lewisham would insist on a new full planning application, yet a 'minor variations' application has been registered instead. 

This leaves many breaches unaddressed, above all that the main entrance to the school will continue to be from Sydenham Road instead of Home Park.

The park entrance was a major condition of the consented application in October 2016, protecting the children from exposure to toxic air on Sydenham Road and the dangers from speeding traffic along this busy highway. It would also have reduced the impact of short-term car parking in surrounding streets, especially Fairlawn Park.

We insist that this condition must be met and should form part of a new full planning application.”

Councillors noted that the council had worked closely with the developer throughout the process, and that there would be no winners from an enforcement action.  The legal framework requires the council to show it is acting reasonably in taking decisions.

The motion was carried as follows:

Proposed: Annabel Mclaren

Seconded: Julia Webb

Agreed nem con on show of hands.