Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes


Contact: Sara Wickert 020 8314 9218 

No. Item


Welcome from the Chair


The Chair, Cllr Chris Best, welcomed everyone to the meeting.  The Assembly is the first to be held online via Teams. The Chair introduced Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan.



#FutureLewisham - Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham


Mayor Damien Egan thanked everyone for their efforts over the past 15 months towards the COVID pandemic and made a special mention for the great work carried out by Lewisham Foodbank. The full economic impact of the pandemic is still unknown. Vaccine roll-out is going well, supported by COVID champions. He outlines the current financial situation and need for cuts. Recent successes include building new homes, school meals and holiday programme, Lewisham has been awarded Borough of Sanctuary, 200 jobs have been insourced, giving staff greater security. Also lots of work being done to respond to the climate emergency including launch of the Greening Fund, school streets, LTNs and more. Diversity and race equality also key focus areas. Lewisham’s recovery plan, FutureLewisham includes themes of A greener future, A healthy and well future, An economically sound future and A future we all have part in.


Q: 7th Day Adventists are looking forward to restarting activities, shows, talks with elders and young people.

A: That sounds great and we look forward to hearing more.


Q: Great work around supporting small businesses. Are there any plans to attract medium to large employers?

A: The Catford development plans are set to bring more local jobs to the area as well as work, such as the apprenticeship programme, which will provide more opportunities in Lewisham businesses.


Q: Money has been wasted as a result of the planning issue that is currently being reviewed for Our Lady St. Phillip Neri School. What is being done about this?

A: Conversations are currently being had to reach a compromise on the matter, however most importantly we need to ensure that the children who attend the school are not negatively affected by any decisions.


Q: The flower pots on Silverdale as part of the LTN are causing more traffic in neighbouring streets.

A: We are aware that the LTN has not been rolled out well and working with communities to make changes. It’s important that the comments we gather are not just online, to give everyone a chance to voice their views. We plan to write to everyone in the LTN neighbourhoods. Sat Navs also pose a big problem and deprivation also needs to be taken into account.


Q: Will Lewisham be applying for any of the Transport for London funding for LTNs? Tannsfeld Road- and others are becoming rat runs and the Sydenham area could certainly be more cycle friendly. Also, is it also possible for the local police to do random enforcement on major roads such as the South Circular of possible road traffic offences such as speeding, driving without insurance?

A: Currently we are unable to enforce speed limits, although work is needed, perhaps in the form of a petition, to enable the Council to have this permission.


Q: What interventions are being put in place to keep children safe this summer?

A: There will be a summer programme, with further details coming soon and funding for Youth First is being maintained.




Community Safety Update - Angela Hall Chair of the SNT Ward Panel


Angela Hall reported that PC Matthew Arnott continues to work in Sydenham, joined by PC Charlotte Holmshaw, and Peter Okonji.  PC Christian Van der Berg will be leaving the ward at the end of July. The office has recently moved to just off Bromley road. Officers will be getting bikes to be able to reach the ward quicker.

Violent theft and crime continues to be an issue, particularly when people leave valuables in their cars.  A programme is being rolled out to make catalytic converters identifiable. Burglaries are down. Street beggars outside NatWest have been given a warning. Lots of E-scooters are not legal. Speeding – first offence gets a warning, but second offence will result in a ticket and points.

We would like to increase diversity in our ward panel which meets every 3 months. Please email to get involved.



Fun Palaces - Cllr Chris Best


The Chair invited any Sydenham residents or organisations wishing to share their skills to participate in Fun Palaces which will be held the first weekend in October this year. The event will take place over 2 days. It is hoped that the event will be able to take place face to face, with the Sydenham Centre as a focal point. It will also be promoted in the Sydenham Society Newsletter.



Community Updates - to include: Spontaneous Productions, Sydenham Arts, The Grove Centre & Sydenham Community Project


Sydenham Arts – James Hodgson announced that Sydenham Arts are planning a proper reopening. There is a film screening later this month with Hunt for the Wilderpeople on 24th July and Kung Fu Hustle on 29th July, both taking place at the Grove Centre. The Artists Trail is back from 11th-19th September and we are currently looking for people to take part. Classical music concerts will take place later this year, starting in September and another one planned for later in the year. Movement for Parkinsons restarting from 20th Sept. Go to for further details. Future plans to be in a position to lead on community projects in response to need. There are ambitious for a programme to support creative young people to help support them into careers.


Spontaneous Productions – Jonathan Kaufmann reported a successful run of the Gingerbread Man with Animal Farm (for adults and kids 11+) coming up next in Mayow Park for 3 weekends only from Saturday 26th June. Around the World in Eighty Days starts Saturday 31st July and runs for 8 weekends (no show on 4th August). The SAFE theatre project, exploring the impact of knife crime on young people, will be also be touring from September 2021. For details see


Sydenham Community Project – Alex Bourdelon announced the 6 months of Christmas project – whereby money for Christmas lights needs to be raised well in advance of the event in order to get everything ordered and installed in time. There will be a fundraising Karaoke event at Ignition Brewery on 25th June with free entry and a raffle to raise funds as well as a silent auction. For more info go to .This year the project also received a donation of Christmas decorations from the company that decorates Oxford street.


The Grove Centre – Alison Cutts reported that the Grove Centre’s lunch club was turned into a successful food delivery project throughout the pandemic, with 4000 meals being delivered locally. Some groups have now returned to the Grove Centre. There are sessions for learning how to use a laptop. Some fully booked, but one space available on 3rd September and more sessions to come. Ageing Well are also due to return to the centre from September. Contact information can be found at


Vaccine Pop Ups – Antonia Makinde from the local PCN gave an update on the vaccine programme, which is going well locally. There will be pop up clinics on Saturday 3rd July in Mayow Park and on Saturday 10th July in Sydenham Wells Park.


Livesey Hall – Julia Webb announced that the Livesey and some of the grounds next to it have been put up for sale. She welcomed people to sign up to oppose this and agreed to put something in the next Sydenham Society news.


The Sydenham Society – Annabel McLaren announced that the Green Group will be getting planters at the stations, a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Residents questions and answers


Q: Please could the council write to George Irwin to demand they remove flyposters.

A: There will be a Cleaner Lewisham Campaign event on Saturday 26th June between 11.00 and 13.00. Flyposters and graffiti will be removed from street furniture as part of this event. Volunteers are invited to come help with litter picking. Litter pickers and gloves will be provided.


Q: Why are there so many nail bars and fitness centres on the high street?

A: We can’t control who takes over businesses as it comes down to who has money to open up a new business. However in positive news we will be getting a Blackbird Bakery to the old Party Days shop.



Feedback and Close


The meeting closed at 1pm.



Community Updates


The following Community Updates were distributed via email in advance of the Assembly meeting:


Sydenham Community Updates on our top five priorities

Sydenham Assembly on Saturday 12 June 2021


Working with the community

This is our first Assembly since the cancellation of our meeting planned for 21 March 2020 due to the Corona virus pandemic.  We would like to thank everyone who has helped our community during this difficult times and look forward to meeting you in person when the Government restrictions are lifted.   


Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) Funding - Open 28 May – 25 July 2021

The amount of money available varies each year as the NCIL process receives a proportion of all Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) collected in Lewisham. Currently the NCIL Borough Wide Fund has a total of £977,094. Of this total £100,000 will be allocated to the development of borough wide air quality initiatives that promote community involvement. The remaining £877,094 will be allocated to projects that address the Borough’s 4 project criteria:

Initiatives that seek to support local community groups to contributing to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour

Provision of high quality mentoring services and those designated to keep Lewisham’s children and young people safe from exploitation, violence and serious youth crime

Support for people with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems to find employment opportunities

Projects that will assist in Lewisham’s Covid-19 recovery by demonstrating a benefit to Lewisham’s communities at a borough wide level

Applicants may apply for a small grant of up to £35,000 or a large grant of between £35,001 and £100,000 - more information here


Latest on Our Lady and St Philip Neri school

The RC Archdiocese of Southwark has applied for a Judicial Review of the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to reject their appeal against the Council in relation to Our Lady and St Philip Neri School. The Judicial Review is against the Planning Inspectorate, rather than the Council, so the Council is only an interested party.

We are currently waiting to hear whether their application for a Judicial Review will be granted – we will seek to keep residents updated with any further developments.

We remain committed to finding the best possible solution for residents and the parents and students of OLSPN, while ensuring we fulfil our duty to uphold compliance with planning law.


Community safety

Since the last Assembly in 2020 there has been a lot of change on Sydenham SNT, with officers leaving and new faces coming in. PC Arnott joined last July, and is now the acting Sergeant on the ward, alongside PC Homshaw who is the new Dedicated Ward Officer. PCSO Peter Okonji is still here though, walking the beat day in day out. As part of the new rotation process for new officers, we have had PC Van Der Berg on Sydenham ward since late January, but will be departing for pastures new as part of his development in July.

With all the change that has happened, we have still managed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.