Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Laura Luckhurst 

Note: Launch of Assembly Fund and Borough of Culture consultation 

No. Item


Entertainment - Markus Michelucci/Sound Refuge


The meeting was preceded by a very enjoyable performance from local folk musicians Markus Michelucci and friend. 


Chair's Welcome and Introduction


Cllr Best thanked Markus and opened the meeting welcoming everyone and introducing Cllr Rachel Onikosi.  Apologies were received from: Pat Trembath (Assembly Co-group), Monika Sudek (SWPIG), Luisa Depaoli, Carers Lewisham.





Borough of Culture Consultation



James Lee, Head of Cultural and Community Development (joint)

The Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture initiative has been inspired by City of Culture, which has transformed cities such as Glasgow and this year Hull.  The aim of Cultural and Community Development team in promoting this, is to create greater community cohesion.  We have a very good chance of winning the bid – with world-leading work taking place in the borough such as Meet me at the Albany, and Entelechy Arts, Sydenham Garden, Heart and Soul and much more.  Borough of Culture could mean £1.5 million for Lewisham to invest in culture in 2019 or 2020.

The official launch of Lewisham’s Bid will be at Horniman Museum on 7th September.

James invited people to share their cultural secrets of Sydenham, and contribute their ideas for what should go in the bid, and to tweet using the hashtag #loveitlewisham and #mylocalculture

Contributions from the floor:

·         We would like more opportunities for young people to take part in theatre, availability needs to increase

·         Noted the growth of cinema in the borough e.g. Curzon Goldsmiths, Deptford Lounge, but film is lagging behind other culture and needs support

A: James Lee acknowledged the strength of community action around film in the borough and the demand for it.

·         Amazing pool of talent at TNG but it’s very under-resourced.  How would the funding for Borough of Culture reach down to local community groups?

A: we will look at how we can best divide up the money between “big ticket” events and initiatives, and smaller more community-led things.  We want your input to help us deliver more on community initiatives.

Q: How many young people will be at the launch and how many can get involved with the bid?

A: We are working with 4 or 5 Young Mayor’s Advisors.  We will also work with our staff who work with YP and schools, and we will use social media.  Please also give us your recommendations.

·         James mentioned that a wide range of current projects are due to complete in 2019, which ties in especially well with the bid, e.g. Goldsmiths Cultural centre, Beckenham Place Park, there are plans to refurbish Catford Broadway Theatre with a Heritage Lottery Fund application.



Lewisham Sugar Smart Campaign




Danny Ruta – Lewisham SugarSmart campaign

Danny spoke about the obesity “epidemic” that is spreading amongst our young people.  The statistics were given: 22% of children in Lewisham in their reception year are already overweight or obese. This rises to 40% in year 6.

Danny encouraged all those present to join the campaign by asking their local businesses to go SugarSmart.  This involves small steps such as placing lower sugar items within easier reach of customers and moving higher sugar items to the back of shelving (or stocking less of them).

Those interested should visit our website for more details:

or email:

Businesses who come on board get a certificate signed by Jamie Oliver and stickers for their shop windows.



Creating a dementia-friendly Sydenham


Dementia Friends – Karin Barthel (Lewisham CCG/LB Lewisham) with Lucy Formolli (Cultural Lead – Older People).

The Dementia-friendly community is about enabling people with dementia to live well with this condition, by small actions like just being more patient.  The dementia friends initiative also works with small businesses to help them to become more accessible to people with dementia.  A presentation was shown explaining how Sydenham can take first steps in become part of Dementia Friendly Lewisham.

It was not possible to show the video clip on the day due to an IT problem, but here’s a link to it. There are already approx. 35 local organisations signed up to Lewisham Dementia Action Alliance (LPAA).

Lucy explained how Catford South had become the first local ward to be accredited as dementia-friendly by the Alzheimer’s Society.  She reassured people that it is not about expertise, it is about being involved.  In Catford South, they arranged a special event, 36 organisations showed up from the ward, to hear experts deliver a dementia – friendly session.  Local people became Champions.  Sydenham is well-placed as it already has organisations with expertise in working with people with dementia e.g. Sydenham Garden.


If your organisation or community group would like to sign up to the Lewisham Dementia Action Alliance, please contact for more information.



Updates from funded projects in 2016

Sydenham Arts

Sydenham Garden

Greener Homecroft

Carers Lewisham

Sydenham Library




i)             Sydenham Arts – Rachel explained that they ran a photography project called Sydenham Lens.  The competition received many fantastic entries and engaged with a diverse range of people.  The photography was taken to Castlebar Care Home, Sydenham Garden dementia project, Seniors, and children in Sydenham Library.  All activities were entirely FREE to participants.

ii)            Homecroft Planters project – this was initially planned in response to the fact that the road is not suitable for street trees.  Assembly funding was added to by the group’s own efforts.  The planters have now been planted and look gorgeous – but important spin-offs have been the effect on the local community cohesion: a street party, greater community awareness, people “looking out for each other”. 

iii)           Sydenham Library – Ilse thanked the Assembly for the funding of £1,800 which helped run the adults craft group.  This brings people many of whom are vulnerable or isolated together for a relaxing activity once a month.  People gain important benefits such as reducing isolation and increasing their confidence.



Launch of Sydenham Assembly Fund 2017/18


Cllr Best announced the launch of the 2017/18 Assembly Fund.  Priorities were reviewed and agreed to keep existing five.  The amount available was £12,500 and maximum grant is £2,000.

Deadline to apply is 9th October.

Q: Can groups get contributions from elsewhere to ensure they are not totally dependent on Assembly fund?

A: Yes, this is very much supported.  Please invite anyone you know with a good local project to apply.



Safer Neighbourhood Team


The Team were not able to attend, however Angela Hall spoke on behalf of the Safer Neighbourhood Panel.  There has been a problem with street beggars, she asked people not to give anything to them as they are part of a criminal gang.  She asked people to report if they are seen, as they will be picked up and moved on.



Community Updates, including:

Changes to the High Street

Upcoming events

Community Safety


Written updates provided and Cllr Best highlighted progress from the last meeting.

Southern Trains - Barry Milton spoke on the Southern Trains campaign.  The original proposals from Southern Trains were to completely stop all trains between Sydenham and East Croydon.  Sydenham Society still consider the currently proposals unacceptable, as they will provide a significantly reduced service.  He noted that many local children travel by train to schools in Croydon, and that the changes appeared to make no allowance for the increase in local population.  Sydenham station sees 4 million passenger journeys per year.  He thanked local people for their support with this campaign to date.

Open House - Cllr Best mentioned the Open House event on 16 and 17 September enabling people to experience the great local heritage on our own doorsteps.

Black History Month - Natasha Dhondee spoke of plans to run a Black History Month event again this year and asked for the support of Sydenham Assembly.  She explained she was seeking funding. Cllr Best said SEE3 helped with insurance in 2016 and may be able to again in 2017.

Sydenham Film Club’s first screening in The Sydenham Centre is scheduled for October.



Q&A Session


Q: Is the Borough of Culture Bid consultation in Lewisham separate to the Mayor of London’s consultations?

A: Yes

Q: What control does the borough have on speed of traffic?

A: Cllr Onikosi replied that Lewisham is a 20 mph borough. Speeding is a police responsibility.  SNT have launched Community Roadwatch, where PCSO’s will work with the community to help encourage people to respect the speed limit.  Contact SNT for details.

Q: Please listen out for Radio Sydenham – for more information contact here:

Q: How can we have a say on speed of pelican crossings – there is one on Sydenham Road that doesn’t give time to cross.

A: Lights at crossings are dealt with by TfL.  We have a contact there if you can give us details of which crossing is not working correctly.

Cllr Best requested people to let her know dates of festive activities in late November or in December, for the SEE3 Calendar which will be produced again this year.




Feedback and Close


The meeting ended at 9.00 pm