Venue: The Sydenham Centre, 44A Sydenham Road, SE26 5QX
Contact: Winston Castello
Welcome from the Chair
Cost of living crisis
Councillor Curran introduced an item on the cost of living crisis for discussion. He outlined the Council’s arrangements for supporting residents, including providing information and accessing government support schemes. The Council’s strategy also involves working with the voluntary and community sector to develop warm “spaces” where residents can spend time during the day to save on energy costs. Local spaces are likely to include Sydenham Library, and the Sydenham Centre/Ignition Brewery are working to coordinate a number of initiatives. The Council website also provides helpful advice and information: https://lewisham.gov.uk/support
A number of community updates were referenced, and attendees were informed that a written update was available for further information. The update would be attached to the meeting minutes, which would be publicly available.
Amongst the items that were raised for discussion by meeting attendees were:
Our Lady and St Philip Neri – a concern was raised regarding the delay in the agreed work being undertaken. Councillors responded by providing information on the reasons for the delay, including difficulties in sourcing the required building material. It was confirmed that the work was due to start imminently.
Update on proposed train timetable changes – a verbal update was given. The background to the reduced services was outlined, including reductions in passenger numbers since the start of the pandemic. Comments were received regarding the possible impact on commuter journeys into London Bridge.
Markwell Close - questions were raised regarding possible loss of amenities, including green space, the drying area, lockups, emergency access and parking if the development goes ahead. Examples given of requirements for emergency access included a recent fie and a fallen tree. It was pointed out that, if the proposal were implemented, access would be blocked.
Councillors responded that no decision had been made as yet but that the points raised would be provided to the relevant officers.
A number of residents formally highlighted their objections to the outlined proposal.
Bell Green Neighbourhood - Councillor Curran outlined Planning Officers’ decision to reduce the proposed neighbourhood forum area. Julia Webb proposed a resolution to express the Assembly’s objection in response to this decision.
The following resolution was passed:
The Sydenham Assembly is concerned about the integrity and conduct of local planning consultations.
The Bell Green Neighbourhood Area was approved by democratic public consultation. However, this appears to have been overturned as a result of pressure from five unnamed councillors.
We therefore request the following:
· Please will the Mayor identify the councillors involved, and produce their responses to the consultation.
· Please will the Mayor produce the legally required documentation to justify the radical reduction of the NA by two-thirds.
· Please will the Mayor ensure that Planning Enforcement are to be transparent in their processes, and respect local democracy.
It was agreed that the resolution would be conveyed to Lewisham Council’s Mayor and Cabinet.
Following the decision to award NCIL funds to a number of projects at the January meeting, the projects had been invited to provide an update on their planned activities.
The following updates were provided:
· James Ross Hunter Foundation: An update was provided on the plans to deliver a series of workshops to young people to increase resilience and wellbeing. It was reported that a number of workshops had taken place over the summer, particularly with young people at the TNG Centre. A programme of activities with schools was planned for the autumn.
· Friends of Sydenham Library provided an update on their projects, stating that the programme of workshops had started and had proved to be very popular, with all activities being over-subscribed. The workshops were also being attended by an increased number of residents from Home Park.
· Venner Road Hall - a representative from Venner Road Hall provided details of the work which had been undertaken. This includes new carpeting and furniture, which had improved the appearance of the Hall. Quotes were still awaited for work on the roof and gardens. Attendees were reminded that the Hall is available for hire.
Question: What are the future plans regarding controlled parking zones?
Response: Councillors agreed to provide updates once a planned report on future plans for CPZs was available.
Question: What is the timescale for reviewing Modal Filters on Silverdale and Bishopsthorpe Road?
Response: Councillors responded by saying that the review of the scheme had been delayed due to difficulty in assessing the impact of the project as a result of informal local intervention in the placement of the filters.
Question: What are the plans for increased signage to Girton Road Car Park?
Response: Councillors confirmed that officers have confirmed their commitment to improve the signage. Councillors would provide further details when available.
The date for the next Assembly meeting was confirmed as being 3rd December.
There was no other business