Catford Regeneration Programme Update
The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager introduced the report and confirmed as requested that there were two Directors in this company.
The Chair said he did not think this was an adequate set up having two officers as Directors in this company. The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager said that decisions would only be made in accordance with the Council’s Standing Order, which would be ratified by Mayor and Cabinet. The Chair said he was concerned that having only 2 Directors, 1 person could make a decision. The Chair said he had raised concerns with the Head of Law about this in the past and was told this arrangement was fine. The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager said although there were 2 Directors decisions would also have Executive oversight.
Councillor Walsh said section 6 of the report highlighted Community Engagement and Communications. He said officers should be mindful that Catford residents were also engaged with the Housing Action Zone and he was concerned that the March deadline would not provide sufficient opportunity for residents’ input, especially with Christmas imminent. He said if officers were not careful there would be a lot of resident dissatisfaction. Councillor Walsh said it was necessary to have a clear timeline which outlined places of activities for public engagement. He emphasised that he was worried the Council might not deliver the programme on time.
The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager said the processes had been looked through and the masterplan does work. He said this would be delivered in accordance with the statutory process wherein parameters would be set out, specifications set and adhered to. He said officers were mindful about having a tower block close to the station and they would ensure they engage constructively with the local residents.
The Chair said it was coming to the end of November, and officers were expecting to roll out the programme in March. He asked how this could be achieved. The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager said officers would set up a programme to engage with members, residents and other stakeholders, including reviews. He said a different method of engagement would be used. The Senior Programme Manager said apart from the planned workshops other activities would be organised online, and the emphasis would be on communication.
Following a detailed discussion, members raised concerns about Catford becoming a high rise building centre similar to Lewisham. The Chair said that a timeline would be useful to Business Panel members for reference. Business Panel agreed to request that officers should ensure there is full public engagement with the Catford Regeneration plan, and the theatre should form a central part of any Regeneration plan for Catford. Business Panel also requested that the Sustainable Community Strategy be updated as the current one was now considerably dated. The Chair reminded officers that there was an outstanding referral from the Sustainable Development Select Committee that had not been addressed, and that the Mayor should ask officers to provide the response.
i. the decision of the Mayor be noted.
ii. the Mayor be requested to ask officers to construct a timeline which would include programmed events and venues for community engagement with the Catford Regeneration Programme.
iii. the Mayor be requested to ask officers to ensure that the Broadway Theatre form a central part of any regeneration plan for the Catford Centre.
iv. the Mayor be requested to ask officers to update the Sustainable Community Strategy because the current one is considerably dated.
v. the Mayor be requested to ask officers to respond to an outstanding referral from the Sustainable Development Select Committee to Mayor and Cabinet on the Catford Regeneration.
Lewisham Homes Business and Delivery Plan 2016 -19
The Housing Needs Manager introduced the report.
Councillor Handley, Chair of Housing Select Committee informed Panel members that the Select Committee had requested an update from the Housing Needs Manager which was being produced and would be reported to the Select Committee as soon as possible.
The Housing Needs Manager said they have another 15 months to get on target and in the mean time officers were looking at a range of other things to support the Housing demand. The Chair asked for an update on the Council’s approach now that the Housing Act was being regulated. The Chair said as the Council was working with other Housing associations, the Council could try to get them to improve their housing provision.
Councillor Walsh said constant public engagement about new developments would be useful to ensure the community was aware of events as they take place. Councillor Handley said this information would also be very useful for members as they were constantly approached for information on available properties. The Chair thanked officers for the report.
RESOLVED that the decision of the Mayor be noted.