Lots to catch up on from the past week or so. It already seems ages since I was in Cornwall over the bank holiday weekend!
Shop Local Bags now on sale
The 'Shop Local in Ladywell' bags are now on sale in lots of the shops in Ladywell. They cost £3.50 and seem to be selling well. Em from the drycleaners (pictured) sold her first 20 within a few days and is now on her second batch. There are only 300, so buy now while stocks last!
Good news for Gordonbrock?
Hopefully a rebuild or refurbishment of the school is now back on the cards, following earlier delays. A paper called "Primary Strategy for Change and Primary Capital Programme" went to Mayor & Cabinet last week and the proposals within in it include a new build (or refurbishment) of Gordonbrock Primary School and to expand it from two and a half form entry to 3-form entry. A rebuild of Brockley Primary School and to expand it from one-form entry to two is also planned. Basically, having got money for the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programme for secondary schools, the Council is now hoping to get a second tranche of government funding bidding for primary schools.
Ladywell Leisure Centre Closed due to discovery of Legionnella Bacteria
You may have read elsewhere that Ladywell Leisure Centre has been temporarily closed due to the discovery of Legionnella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease, being found in the showers. The discovery was made during regular checks and the pool closed as a precautionary measure. Ladywell ward councillors will be watching developments closely and hope that the pool will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. I would hope that there will be a full investigation into why this has happened and what measures can be taken to prevent it from happening again.
New Playground for Foxborough Gardens?
On Tuesday I met with residents from Foxborough Gardens and representatives from Pinnacle, to discuss building a playground on the estate. Residents have organised a petition and collected 120 signatures calling for a playground. Many of the signatures were collected by the children themselves, and a number of them came along to the meeting. Their request seems perfectly reasonable to me, as there is no playground on the estate at the moment, but a grassy area that could be a suitable location for one. The timing for this may well be fortuitous as Lewisham has recently been awarded £1m to develop play areas. Hopefully a Foxborough Gardens TRA (tenants and residents association) is going to be formed which can then work with Pinnacle to look at ways of taking things forward.
Parking Problems on Marsala Road
On Wednesday I helped residents in Marsala Road collect signatures for a petition calling for a controlled parking zone in the area. There was a consultation on this back in 2005, but at the time there was a very low response rate from the road, and the Council decided not to proceed. The Council's position is that it will only introduce a CPZ where there is a clear demand for it from residents.
Since that time, the parking problems along the street have got progressively worse. Commuters park at one end for Ladywell Station and at the other end for Lewisham Town Centre and station. The introduction of the CPZ on Bertrand, Branscombe and the top part of Algernon Road has increased commuter parking on Marsala and Ellerdale Roads, and as Pinnacle are now cracking now on commuter parking on Viney Road, at residents' request, there is even more competition for spaces on Marsala and Ellerdale Roads. Some residents are putting out cones to reserve a space, which in turn irritates their neighbours.
I've been told a further consultation on CPZs will be carried out in Ladywell in January 2009, but I was also told it would happen last year and it didn't, so the residents' petition may serve as a timely reminder for the Deputy Mayor of the strength of residents' feelings on this issue. The consultation is likely to cover a number of streets, including Chudleigh Road, Malyons Road, Gillian Street as well as Marsala Road and Ellerdale Street. I don't have strong feelings either way about CPZs, and am happy to support whatever the outcome of the consultation is. There appears to be a majority of residents along Marsala Road in favour of a CPZ, but there would also need to be a majority in neighbouring streets in favour in order to proceed.
Ladywell Road to be part of new commercial recycling trial
The recycling team at the Council has successfully applied for funding to set up a pilot commercial recycling scheme using bags instead of bins in Ladywell and Blackheath. They hope to be able to start the scheme in August and will be promoting it in the next couple of weeks. Businesses will still need to pay for collections, but this will be at a rate that is 30% lower than refuse (as with the recycling bin scheme). One of the current barriers to businesses along Ladywell Road recycling, is that not all of them have outside space to store recycling bins. This scheme will enable businesses to use bags rather than bins, and will allows them to pay only for the waste that they produce, as opposed to paying for a standard sized bin each week.
I had a walkabout with officers from the recycling team last year, to discuss recycling with businesses along Ladywell Road. Although businesses were keen to recycle, the cost and bin storage space came up as issues at the time, so I'm delighted that the recycling team are trying to solve this with the pilot scheme. It is also now cheaper for businesses to recycle as one of the Green Group budget amendments from last year was to reduce the cost of commercial recycling (by raising the cost of general waste collection). Hopefully the combination of these two things (bags and lower cost) will enable many more businesses along Ladywell Road to start recycling their cardboard etc.
Ladywell Tavern re-opening soon
I bumped into one of the guys running Ladywell Tavern the other day and he told me that they will be opening very soon, following a few last minute hitches. They are still promising real ales, fine wine and good food, and the chef apparently used to work with Marco Pierre White, so fingers crossed.
New Cafe coming soon on Ladywell Road
Planning permission was granted last week for a new cafe at 48 Ladywell Road (what was the fruit & veg shop). If al goes to plan, the new cafe, which will be called Oscars and will specialise in ice-cream and home-made cakes, will open in about 4 weeks' time. It is being run by a local couple who want their cafe to have a community feel to it.
Ladywell Village Improvement Group AGM
LVIG's AGM is taking place at St Mary's Centre this Thursday (5th June) at 7.30pm. The agenda includes, among other things, the election of officers for the new group, ratification of the constitution, review of the survey results, feedback from Ladywell Fields Fun Day and the formation of working groups. All are welcome.
New Gates for Francis Drake Bowling Club
Brockley Central have beaten me to it on this one, but Francis Drake Bowling Club have got a lovely new gate, which I believe was designed by local artist Heather Burrell, who did the gates at the entrance to Hilly Fields from Eastern Road.
Finally, for those interested, Lewisham Green Drinks is taking place tomorrow (Monday), at Mr Lawrence Wine Bar, 389 Brockley Road, from 7pm onwards.