Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting on 2008 and looking to 2009

Best wishes for 2009 to all readers of this blog. Nick over on Brockley Central has done an excellent recap on the main local events in 2008 (I'll turn a blind eye to his ongoing attempts to subsume Ladywell into Greater Brockley!!), but I wanted to write a few words from the point of view of a Green councillor on what the main challenges were in the last year and what we managed to achieve.

At the beginning of the year we spoke out against plans to expand Heathrow while the Mayor of Lewisham chose to remain silent. By the end of the year he had agreed to write to the Minister for Transport urging him not to grant permission for the expansion plans.

January saw the publication of Lewisham's Sustainable Development Committee's report on 'Alternatives to individual car use' (yes, that's right, people were queuing up to get their hands on a copy!) which advocated a 20mph zone across residential streets in the borough and greater resources for cycling training in schools, amongst other things. As chair of the committee I spoke in favour of the recommendations at Mayor & Cabinet and in February, the Mayor of Lewisham supported the call for a borough-wide 20mph zone, and the previous Mayor of London was also supportive, but that was all scuppered when (the outer ring of the doughnut that is) London (overwhelmingly) opted for Bojo in May.

January also saw the first informal meeting in Masons, which led to the launch of Ladywell Village Improvement group, and I organised the competition to design the 'Shop Local in Ladywell bags'. The bags proved popular and sold out, but more have been ordered and will be arriving in early 2009. Rivoli Ballroom was listed by English Heritage and I vowed that 2008 would be the year I would green up my home (ahem, more on this v soon in 2009, I promise, work is due to start on Jan 12th!).

The controversial 'A Picture of Health' consultation, with its proposals to cut services at Lewisham Hospital was launched, decent homes work started in Ladywell, and I enjoyed two minor successes locally with the removal of an illegal advertising hoarding and finally getting a street bench repaired.

In February, Green councillors highlighted the amount of money Lewisham Council was wasting on water coolers: as a result a plan is now being implemented to phase out most of the water coolers in Council buildings. We also highlighted Council leaseholders' concerns at having their original Victorian wooden sash windows replaced with UPVC windows.

In March we responded to a police consultation that included a proposal to close Brockley Police station and joined residents marching to oppose the proposed hospital cuts. We also, finally , got a bit more redundant street clutter removed.

In the annual budget negotiations, despite a tough financial settlement for the borough, the Green Group secured the following budget concessions:
- 'Smart meters' - devices proven to slash household CO2 emissions and fuel poverty - to be on loan through libraries and schools.
- -Cash for a bid to be the first London borough to run street-by-street energy reduction scheme.
- More sustainable transport officers to boost cycling and draw in more TfL funding.
- Full funding of the successful Real Nappies scheme piloted last year which has brought Lewisham to the top three of all participating boroughs.
- Reversal of cuts to sports programmes targeted at poor young people and obese people.
- Reversal of staff cuts in food and licensing enforcement.

April was full of election campaigning for London politicians, but locally also saw the results of the Ladywell Road survey and improvements for cyclists on St Margaret's Road.

In May, following a motion proposed by Greens, Lewisham Council committed to ensuring that all its employees and contractors earn at least the London Living Wage. Greens will be monitoring progress on this closely, particularly with regards to contracts with external providers.

Also in May, following our biggest election campaign ever in Lewisham, Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones were re-elected to the London Assembly. Encouragingly, despite the tight squeeze London-wide our vote share went up in 14 out of 18 wards across Lewisham, most noticeably in our target constituency of Lewisham Deptford. In Ladywell the Green vote was up nearly 6%, the second highest increase for Greens in London.

Greens supported a long-running and vociferous local campaign against the opening of another betting shop on Brockley Road. In May, the betting shop won its appeal. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the campaign helped trigger a Local Government Association campaign calling for the laws to be changed.

The Mayor of Lewisham did a u-turn on affordable housing and agreed to Green demands for a 50% affordable housing quota in new developments.

In June, Ladywell Leisure Centre was closed for a few weeks due to an outbreak of Legionella, the first Ladywell ward assembly was held and Francis Drake Bowling Club got some lovely new gates.

Following a survey of Lewisham Council Pension Fund members, which I called for, a massive majority called for a more ethical investment policy. Not much has changed yet though, and in July our fund managers even opposed Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls motion to get TESCO to phase out battery-farmed chickens. Hmph, still working on that one.

Over the Summber, 3 Brockley primary schools got solar panels on their roofs thanks to funding agreed by Green councillors via the localities fund.

Meanwhile, Foxborough Gardens TRA held a successful Fun Day,

Lewisham Greens went to Climate Camp to protest against new coal-fire power stations, and on Ladywell Road, Oscars Cafe opened and Ladywell Tavern re-opened. There were some successes on environmental enforcement issues in the ward, particularly in Howson Road.

We continued to support tenants and leaseholders affected by the Brockley housing PFI. As well as supporting leaseholders unhappy with the lack of information about the scheduled works, we also highlighted discrepancies in insulation standards proposed between properties in the conservation areas and those outside it and pushed for living roofs to be installed when garages roofs are renovated. A number of Green Group initiatives were incorporated into the borough’s new climate change strategy.

In September, following a motion proposed by Green councillors, Lewisham Council agreed to opt in to the Sustainable Communities Act. Greens organised a public meeting to raise awareness of this new legislation and will be monitoring progress closely. September also saw a new national leader for the Green Party, Caroline Lucas MEP.

In October, we found ourselves again opposing proposals to cut social care to vulnerable Lewisham residents (elderly and disabled people), calling for a more ambitious PC shutdown system at the town hall, a year after we first proposed it, and welcoming the Mayor of Lewisham's recession plan as far as it went, but urging him to go much further and to create a 'Green New Deal' for Lewisham. Within Ladywell, we were highlighting missing street trees and the consultation on dog control orders, which will potentially impact on the cemeteries.

In November, we welcomed another victory against the ongoing PFI UPVC onslaught on local Victorian buildings, this time for Ladywell Lodge, but mourned the passing of the Pepys Community Forum Recycling Scheme.

In Ladywell, the year was rounded off with an excellent Ladywell Christmas Market organised by LVIG and a nice bit of graffiti admonishment to Nestle. We quietly launched our new local party website and gave this blog a slight facelift, although there is more to come.

My predictions for Lewisham for 2009? Well, there's little doubt that it'll be a tough year, with things likely to get worse before they get better, and little sign of the government addressing the root causes of the economic crisis rather than just propping up the status quo. So far, so obvious.

Nationally, we urgently need our government to invest in a nationwide free home insulation programme, which would create lots of jobs and dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and fuel poverty. We also need to look at our nation's food security in a time of great economic uncertainty. We are far too dependent on a centralised food distribution system and supermarkets, which looks increasingly unstable as energy sources start to dwindle.

However, I am encouraged by the way the community has worked together over the past few months, with a number of new groups formed, and think a strong community-based approach is key to getting through the crisis. I think that 2009 will be the year Transition Lewisham gets off the ground and starts to question how we are doing things, and whether we are ready for the economic, energy and environmental challenges that lie ahead. And on a personal level, 2009 will be the year when I finally get my insulation and new windows fitted!

If the government takes the decision to go ahead with expanding Heathrow Airport, we will see unprecedented levels of people involved in direct action to oppose this, including this and I suspect many other elected representatives in the capital.

Darren thinks there will be a general election in March, I'm less sure, but we're getting prepared just in case.

And I sincerely hope that Israel and Palestine call a ceasefire and go back to the negotiating table.

Anyway, it's high time I got off to Moonbow Jakes to see in the New Year, and sadly mark the end of this Brockley institution, as it ceases trading today. Best wishes for the New Year to everyone.

How many people read this blog?

These are the visitor stats for this blog since it started in March 2006. Not sure if they're good or not, but the number of visitors continues to grow, which is encouraging.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No councillor surgery on 27 December

The fourth Saturday of the month is on 27 December and due to the Christmas bank holidays both surgeries that day at St. Andrew's on Brockley Road - mine for Ladywell ward and Cllr Dean Walton's for Brockley ward - have been cancelled.

The next regular surgeries are on 10 January: in the old bothy in Hilly Fields from 11am-12pm for Ladywell and in St John's on Lewisham Way from 10-11am for Brockley.

In the meantime I can be contacted by e-mail or by phone and will deal with enquiries and casework after Christmas. In case of an emergency please contact Lewisham Council's switchboard on 020 8314 6000.

The next major ward event is going to come soon: the Ladywell Assembly on Tuesday, 20 January from 7-9pm at Prendergast School (modern science block on Adelaide Avenue), with an update on ward priorities and improvements undertaken and planned. More on this soon.

In the meantime have a quiet or exciting but in any case stressfree break; or, if you are working at this time, like the carers, nurses and doctors, policemen and fire fighters who provide essential services, I hope you get at least a moment or two to take a deep breath and have a cup of tea.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If you're still short of a present or two for a loved one in Ladywell . . .

. . . the last 3 Shop Local in Ladywell bags are on sale in Oscars, as of this evening. Everywhere else has sold out now. Some more are being ordered and will be on sale in the Spring. Failing that, have you tried the chocolates, gifts and ceramics at Sunrise Ceramics on Algernon Road? Margaret who does the pottery side of things, is now sharing the premises with a chocolatier and a jewellery maker. Good time for all of us to put our money where our mouth is and shop locally.

I'm logging off for a few days now. Best wishes to all for Christmas, Hannukah, Yule etc and the New Year.

Discussion on Brockley Central Blog

I'm braving the dragon's den that is Brockley Central blog today, by asking for views on spending the £2,000 we have allocated for the Ladywell ward bit of Brockley Road. Thanks to Nick for posting my request up there. Comments of late on the BC blog have been a touch heated, to say the least, so I'm hoping people will be kind! Feedback so far suggest we should stick to plan A, which is to spend the money improving the area outside the row of shops opposite St Andrew's Church.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dressington Avenue 'Ghost Playground': What's the Story?

Last week I went on a walkabout around Foxborough Gardens, Dressington Avenue and Rushey Mead with a representative from Regenter B3. The walkabouts are organised quarterly and and I find it's useful to pick up on issues that we've previously raised via e-mail but which haven't yet been resolved: sometimes a site visit helps.

I had a whole list of things I wanted to check up on from previous casework, but what was really interesting for me was finally to get into the derelict playground which is locked away in the middle of Dressington Avenue, in between the back gardens of some of the houses. I'd seen it before from the entrance near Ladywell Lodge, but had no idea how far it went back, or how big it was. It looks like as well as a playground area, there was also some kind of sports court. There are also various alleyways that run between the backs of the houses but are now sealed off.

I would love to know the story behind this; why was it locked up and abandoned years ago? I suspect it is a story of a poorly-designed 1970s estate and that the area, sheltered between back fences attracted anti-social behaviour and residents got fed up with the noise etc, but I could be wrong. It seems a shame just to leave it, but maybe that is what residents wanted? From a biodiversity point of view, the area is probably quite good for wildlife now, but in terms of local amenity, clearly it's wasted space.

Next time we're out door-knocking and speaking to residents in Dressington Avenue I will ask people, and I'll see if there is anyone in the Council's Housing team who knows the history. In the meantime, if there's anyone reading this blog whose memory stretches back to a time when this playground was open, I would be interested to hear from you. And if there are any current residents of Dressington Avenue reading this post, what do you think should happen to the space?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Website for Lewisham Green Party

One of the reasons my blogging has been a little more sporadic over the past few weeks is that in my part-time day job as constituency organiser for Lewisham Green Party, I've been working on a new local party website. Well, that is, doing the donkey work of uploading stuff, not the funky designing bits. It's not entirely there yet (a couple of videos are coming soon), we need a few more photos etc, but it's nearly finished. We're the pilot for a new Green Party local party website template - what do you think?

Get an RSS feed of our press releases, sign up to our supporters' list, find out how you can get involved in our campaigns, join, make a donation, or simply find out more about our policies and what we've been up to.

The next project (again with my constituency organiser rather than local cllr hat on) is a website for our Lewisham Deptford parliamentary campaign, just in case the general election is called sooner than many expect. . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just wanted to flag up two sites I have recently added to the 'Local Links' section of the blog.

The first is Lewisham LINK (Local Involvement Network) the successor to PALS, what was the patient advice and liaison service, ie the body for hospital patients and other healthcare users to make their views/concerns known. It says it is "an inclusive network to enable people and organisations in Lewisham to have a say and influence the planning, commissioning and delivery of health and social care services to improve the health and well being of patients and service users". It is being run by Parkwood Healthcare and based at Ladywell Leisure Centre.

The second is to the Ladywell Assembly page on the Council's website, which gives details of our next ward assembly (January 20th), as well as the ward priorities, minutes of previous meetings, the localities fund spending etc.

Hilly Fields: Tree Work Planned

Fairly extensive tree works are planned over the next few days in Hilly Fields. The Council's tree officer has identified a number of trees that are potentially dangerous and either need to be pruned right back, or felled. Replacements will be planted for any trees that are removed, with the species agreed in discussion with Hilly Fields Users Group. Some of the logs will be left on site to make benches and/or as wildlife habitat (stag beetles etc).

For info, the works planned are outlined below, with maps that illustrates the approximate locations of the trees.

(by junction of Montague Ave with Adelaide Ave)
T138 - London plane: Crown lift tree to clear lamp post.
T139 - Sugar maple: Pollard: this pruning will be sever due to the presence of a root decaying fungus. A Sweet chestnut tree has already been planted adjacent to this tree to mitigate the future loss of the tree. It is likely that the maple will need to be removed in 5 to 10 years time, once the Chestnut is well established.

T140 - Ash: Fell. This is due to a trunk cavity and split in the trunk.
T141 - Ash: Reduce heavily - This work is necessary due to the presence of a root and trunk decaying fungus. The borough's tree officer will increase the frequency of inspection for this Ash.
T142, T143 and T144 - Hawthorn: All three trees are in very poor heath and require felling.
T145 - Spp?: Hanging branch is to be removed
T146 - Sycamore: Fell as it is dead.
T147 - Poplar: Fell - There is a large cavity at base that has compromised the structural integrity of the tree.
T148 - Sycamore: Fell. It is in very poor heath and structurally unstable.
T149 - Ash: Fell. Very poor condition
T150 - Sycamore: Fell. Very poor condition
T151 - Poplar: Pollard. Tree has been pollarded in the past and the branches that have developed from the old pollard need to be cut back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ladywell women say 'Give us a Break' Nestle?!

Hats off to whoever daubed 'Sexist nonsense - give us a break' on this KitKat advert on Ladywell Road today. One bit of graffiti I won't be rushing to report to lovelewisham.

I took the photo in the dark so in case it's not readable it says 'Goodwill to all women' then underneath it says 'only 165 calories'. That's right men, no need to bother with the calorie counting -that's just for us women.

I couldn't quite believe the message this advert sent out when I first saw it at London Bridge station, and it seems I'm not the only one to find it a tad insulting. Apparently Nestle are planning to spend £16m advertising KitKat over the next year, so plenty more opportunities for a bit of subvertising, perhaps.

UPDATE 21/12/08: top of Adelaide Avenue:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Well done LVIG!

Well done to everyone from Ladywell Village Improvement Group who worked so hard to put on yesterday's excellent Christmas Market at Ladywell Station, together with City and Country Farmers' Market. Despite the rain, hundreds of local residents turned out to stock up on Christmas food and gifts as well as to sample the mulled wine, mince pies and/or hog roast. St Mary's Church choir sang, the Mayor came and turned on the Christmas lights and Ladywell Tavern was heaving in the evening for the live music, raffle and quiz.

It was surprising how many Ladywell residents didn't know that there was a monthly farmers' market on Hilly Fields, so perhaps they will have gained a few new customers for the new year. Lots of people also went to/came from the Brockley Christmas Market which was on the same day. It was great to see so many of the local businesses involved and supporting the event by donating prizes to the raffle. Here's hoping it becomes a regular event in the local calendar (once Sian, Cynthia, Eleanor and everyone else who helped have picked themselves up off the floor and recovered a bit).

(I somehow managed to lose my camera at the Lewisham Green Party Christmas meal the night before, so apologies for the slightly grainy camera phone pictures, but hopefully some better quality ones will be up on the LVIG site soon.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nature's Gym: January Events

I just wanted to give a quick plug to Nature's Gym, the volunteer conservation workdays in various parks and open spaces in the borough that are run by the Council. It's a great way to keep fit and do something to improve the local environment too.

The January events can be viewed online here, and include a number of workdays locally. I'm really pleased that for the first time, we've managed to get a day in Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries in the schedule. A few of the local events planned:

Sunday 18th Jan: Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries workday (organised by FOBLC). Meet by the old chapel in Ladywell Cemetery at 10am. See FOBLC website for further details.

Thursday 22 Jan: Nature’s Gym in Ladywell Fields, 11.00am-2.00pm. Various nature conservation activities in the park, anything from river clean-up to shrub clearance. Meet at the environmental classroom just off Ladywell Road.

Saturday 24 Jan: Bird Watching Event at Hilly Fields, time TBC. Take part in the RSPB Garden Birdwatch by surveying the various bird species in Hilly Fields. Meet by the park keepers office.

Saturday 31st Jan: 11am-2pm, Nature's Gym, Blythe Hill Fields: Planting a native hedge around the perimeter of the field.

Thursday 26th Feb: Nature’s Gym in Hilly Fields, 11am-2pm, . Meet on Eastern Road off Adelaide Avenue. Look out for the white van.

Saturday 28th Feb: Natures Gym in Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries, 11am-2pm.

For further details on any of the Nature's Gym events, contact Jess Rushton(020 8314 2119) or Lara Al Jabi (020 83183986).

River Channel in Ladywell Fields

We've been informed that the new river channel in Ladywell fields has run dry. It seems that the weir was breached on Sunday, the river dried up very quickly and sadly many fish have been found dead in the channel.

It is not entirely clear how this has happened, but Council officers believe a combination of causes may have contributed:
  • High flows over the previous weeks weakening the dams structure by dislodging smaller rocks
  • Vandalism - some smaller rocks may have been taken - quite possibly for garden rockeries….
  • The Environment Agency's river works - a huge amount of debris has piled up on the weir following the river works. This will put greater stress on the weir, and it is possible that a large trunk flowed down and dislodged rocks in the weir.
Although the site of the breach is quite small, the result has been severe.

The weir, which was part of the recent Quercus works, was built to the Environment Agency's specifications, and strengthened in the spring, as they were not happy with the initial specifications. A further review was planned for the coming spring.

Council officers are working together with the Environment Agency and their works contractor to put this right. They hope to get an interim solution in before Christmas, and to rebuild the weir early in the new year. They have been advised to stick to the same approach, but that the weir will need to be considerably larger - 5+m in the direction of flow, so that a riffle effect is created rather than a waterfall, and larger boulders will also be used.

Notices have been put up in the park to explain what has happened.

Ladywell Train Station Kiosk

Every month or so there is a 'Transport Liason' meeting in Lewisham, which is designed as an opportunity for local amenities societies, councillors and residents to ask questions and raise any concerns with the train and bus companies and TfL. Both Ladywell Society and I asked a question of South-Eastern trains at this week's meeting. My question and the (to my mind) rather unsatisfactory response from South-Eastern trains is below, for info.

Question for South-East trains
I understand that the previous leaseholders for the shop in Ladywell Station gave up the lease a few weeks ago as the rent was raised from £400/month to £1000/month. What plans do you have to re-let the unit? I know also that local residents value being able to get a coffee and newspaper from the station in the morning and will miss it if it remains empty for a long time.


We have duty to maximise revenue from station properties and the rent does reflect the local market. We are actively trying to let the kiosk but if a tenant cannot be found, particularly in the current climate, we may consider reducing the rent.

It seems to me that South-East trains were a little hasty in their decision to more than double the rent, when they didn't have another business lined up to take over. I hope the kiosk gets let soon, but suspect it will be difficult in the current climate. £1,000 rent a month seems an awful lot to me for the location and footfall, but time will tell I guess.

I don't want to be too harsh on South-East trains this week, however, as they have been very co-operative in allowing the Ladywell Christmas Market to take place on their property this weekend. Don't forget to come: 11am-5pm, Saturday 13th December, outside Ladywell Station. Quiz etc to raise money for LVIG in Ladywell Tavern in the evening.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Climate Change Stuff

Rather busy today, but just wanted to post a couple of climate change related links. The first is to the informative Stop Climate Change website from the Green Group in the European Parliament. And the second is to a video from Saturday's climate change march in central London:

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ladywell Chemist moving to Hilly Fields Medical Centre

We've received formal notification that Ladywell Chemist is moving from 79 Ladywell Road to Hilly Fields Medical Centre, 172-174 Adelaide Avenues, SE4 1JN. This has been on the cards for some time. My understanding is that the existing shop will remain but that the dispensing side of things will move up to the medical centre on Adelaide Avenue. I will check with the owners of the chemist that this is still the case, as I'm keen to ensure that we have a viable parade of shops on Ladywell Road, but moving the pharmacy to the doctors' surgery seems to make sense to me and will be more convenient for patients.

However, if anyone does have any concerns about the proposed move you should write to:

The Chief Executive
Family Health Services Appeal Unit
NHS Litigation Authority
30 Victoria Avenue
North Yorkshire, HG1 5PR
Tel. 01423 535280; Fax 01423 522 034

Any representations should be received by 31st December 2008.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Endangered Species: TV Repair People

Just had someone come to repair my TV. Embarrassingly, although the TV hadn't worked in weeks and weeks for me, when he arrived the damn thing worked and the only problem was with the remote. So I felt a bit stupid, but we did have an interesting conversation about how his trade was all but being wiped out by TV manufacturers making their TVs a) with built-in obsolescence b) using circuit boards that were soldered together in such a way that they couldn't be repaired in a workshop and c) the fact that it is cheaper to buy a new TV than the spare parts to repairs it.

Crazy economics, which we all end up bearing the brunt of a) when we have to buy a new TV 6 months after the guarantee goes on the existing one and b) when the Council has to use taxpayers money to dispose of the thousands of TVs that are thrown away when they could/should be repaired. The TV repair person meanwhile goes out of business and shiploads of Western countries' TVs get shipped off to some developing country to deal with.

The chirpily-named European WEE directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) was supposed to address this, and maybe it will, but I don't think we are quite there yet. There still doesn't seem to be enough of a financial incentive for manufacturers to make electrical goods that are both built to last and repairable.

Meanwhile, if anyone wants their TV repaired, I can pass on the details of the repairman I used, who lives locally.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ladywell Christmas Market: Saturday 13th December

Final preparations are now underway for Ladywell's (first ever?) Christmas Market. The event is being organised by Ladywell Village Improvement Group in partnership with City and Country Farmers Market, the people who organise the monthly market on Hilly Fields. So, instead of going up the hill to the market on 13th December, go to Railway Terrace (Ladywell Train Station) for a festive market, with a number of arts and crafts stalls as well as festive food, a school choir, and the switching on of the Christmas lights.

Ladywell Village Improvement Group still have a few stalls available for any local artists, craftspeople and traders who want to take part in this community event. Please contact Sophie Elder if you or any of your family or friends might be interested in having a stall, and she will send you details of how to book.

I'm really pleased this event is going ahead and I know loads of work has been put in by members of LVIG to make it happen.

Licensing Application: The Rose Corner 255A Algernon Rd London SE13 7AG

The florist on Algernon Road has applied for a license to sell alcohol.

Please be advised that the following premise has applied for a NEW / VARIATION Premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003.

The Rose Corner
255A Algernon Road
SE13 7AG

Applied for sale of alcohol off the premises Monday – Saturday 09:00 – 17:30.

Any representations should be sent to the Licensing Team by 15th December 2008:
Licensing team
Laurence House, 2nd Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford SE6 4RU
Tel: 020 8314 6400

Monday, November 24, 2008

Next Meeting of Hilly Fields Users' Group: 2nd December, 7.30pm

Rachel from Hilly Fields Park Users Group has sent the agenda for their next meeting. Unfortunately it clashes both with Ladywell Society and a Council overview & scrutiny meeting, so not sure if I will make it, but they would welcome a few more people getting involved:

Tuesday 2nd December 2008
7.30pm, in the Park Keeper’s Offi ce by toilet block at top of the hill

1. Introduction
2. Apologies
3. Minutes of last meeting
4. Maintenance and Repairs
  • Tennis Courts
  • Playground
  • Park furniture/Notice boards
  • Footpaths
  • Trees
  • Grass/meadow
  • Boundary Planting/Hedging
5. Bird Champion
6. Development Issues
  • Management Plan
  • Kyrle Memorial Garden
  • Playground update
  • Changing Places Grant: incl requirements for group
  • Bowling Green
7. Envirowork/Bothy Update
8. Lewisham Community Sports
9. Website Progress
10. Cafe
11. Dogs
12. Eastern Road Gate
13. Any Other Business
14. Date of next meeting

ALL WELCOME come and get involved

Monday, November 17, 2008

E.ON: No New Coal

Someone e-mailed me this, and while I don't normally copy and past things wholesale into my blog posts, in this case I thought I would make an exception! I'm not generally a big fan of bombing either, but google-bombing sounds like fun!

Power company E.ON is hoping to build the first new coal-fired power station in the UK for a generation on the site of its present station at Kingsnorth in Kent. At a time of climate crisis, it's an obscenity.

They've been the targets of all kinds of action, from last summer's Camp for Climate Action, to a series of smaller action on April 1st (Fossil Fools Day), to a wave of recruitment fair actions, with more action coming up at the end of this month.

One easy, comfy action can happen from this computer you're looking at. The tactic is called google-bombing.

The more links to a site, the higher it climbs in Google rankings. So, if enough people make the word 'Eon' link to the No New Coal site, pretty soon it'll top the list of anyone searching for Eon. (This tactic was successfully used a few years ago to make 'swivel-eyed loons' link to UKIP).

Two weeks ago wasn't in the top 50 sites when searching for Eon. As I write this it's already number 13.

So a simple online action can help us get our electronic placards in their face without getting out on the cold winter streets.

If you have a website, blog, myspace, bebo, forum account, etc then please place a link to

Ideally you write 'eon' and place a hyperlink to from that text.

Anyone can do this! Blog comments/forums are easiest. Good websites are most effective.

If you're wondering what else to write, you could copy or edit this.

To get a top 10 google ranking probably won't be to hard, but to pip E.ON to the top will require a lot of effort so tell your friends, consider putting this simple action in your newsletters, spread the word online...


* 1. It works best if you mention Eon several times in an article. The correct poncy spelling is E.ON so include that a few times too, but most people will probably just search for Eon.

* 2. If you are posting the link in a blog post then put Eon in the title and the tags.

* 3.The more important the site the more kick gets from the link.

* 4. If you are really determined then consider setting up a fake site like the EON Corporate Social Responsibility blog that way you can link loads of times to from a site that is very relevent!

* 5. Why not take this is seriously as a real world action and forward it to people with green blogs/campaign groups etc?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ladywell Village Improvement Group Meeting next Wednesday (19th Nov)

Just a quick link to the Ladywell Village Improvement Group's blog, which has details of their meeting this coming Wednesday, 19th November, 7.30pm, at St Mary's Centre, Ladywell Road. Items on the agenda include the Ladywell Christmas Market, which is hopefully happening outside the station on 12th December, details of the streetscape report their members have put together, with views on how to improve Ladywell Road, and they also have Malcolm Smith, Executive Director of Regeneration at Lewisham Council coming along.

Ask Joan Ruddock MP to oppose Heathrow Expansion

The Campaign for Better Transport are one of a large number of organisations campaigning against the expansion of Heathrow Airport. They are asking people to write to their MP urging them to sign an early day motion against Heathrow Expansion. Joan Ruddock hasn't signed it yet, and I don't expect she will, as a minister, but I'm sure it won't hurt for local residents concerned about climate change, air pollution and noise pollution to make their views known to her.

Sarah in Palestine

Sarah, a friend who lives and works in Lewisham and who I know through Lewisham Oxfam Campaigns, is currently in Palestine - part holiday, part study and volunteering. She is writing a blog which can be found here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ladywell Lodge Saved from UPVC Attack!

The picture above is of Ladywell Lodge, Dressington Avenue, one of the remaining buildings from the Ladywell Infirmary, part of the Bermondsey Workhouse which occupied a large swathe of land in Ladywell at the beginning of the last century ( the whole area where Dressington Avenue, Slagrove Place etc are now). It's Council-owned and comes under the Brockley PFI housing area (part of it is residential and the rest is Abbey Manor College).

It's not in a conservation area and so, in accordance with the terms of their contract, Regenter B3 applied to replace the existing wooden sash windows with UPVC ones. Residents, Ladywell Society and Ute and I all objected on the grounds that it was a historically and architecturally important local building and that the UPVC windows would be out of keeping.

I'm delighted to have learnt today that Lewisham Planning agreed with us and have turned the application down on the following grounds:

"the windows proposed, by reason of their material, would be inappropriate to the appearance of the building and would fail to respect the period and architectural characteristics of the building, contrary to Policies URB 3 Urban Design and URB 6 Alterations and Extensions in the adopted Unitary Development Plan (July 2004)".

Personally, I think the building may be a candidate for listing by English Heritage, though I imagine it has been altered quite significantly inside.

So another small victory in the ongoing battle led by Ladywell Society and leaseholders against UPVCisation of Ladywell by Lewisham Council. The leaseholders I've had contact with in the building are delighted. The downside is that the work that will now be carried out to these properties as part of the Brockley PFI Decent Homes programme will not achieve as high standards of thermal efficiency as other properties in the PFI area.

This isn't because it is impossible, or against planning law etc, but because it costs more and the limitations of the PFI contract as agreed between Lewisham and Regenter B3 mean that residents in Victorian properties in the conservation area and properties such as this are only getting their windows over-hauled and draught-proofed, not wooden framed double glazing as they could get. As in most cases they are solid brick walls, not cavity, they are also not getting wall insulation, so besides loft insulation, the improvements the Council is making to the thermal efficiency of these homes, is pretty minimal compared to others in the PFI programme.

It is shocking that in the 1500-page PFI contract, so little attention was paid to how to improve the thermal efficiency of the conservation area and Victorian properties, which form a significant part of the PFI area. I think the Council needs to look again at this, and consider whether it could installing wooden-framed double glazing or at the very least secondary glazing for these homes over the next few years, and, when homes are redecorated or relet, installing internal wall insulation to bring them up to reasonable standards of energy efficiency.

Better still, these issues need to be taken on board at a regional level, by the Mayor of London, and at a national level, by the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Energy. By all means start with a programme to roll out free cavity wall and loft insulation to all those homes that can have it - it would achieve the biggest bang for your buck in the short term (Green Party policy, not yet government policy), but we also need to start thinking about the 40% or so of London homes that are solid wall Victorian properties - more of a challenge, but key to reducing London's carbon emissions. So if you happen to be reading this, Ed Milliband, I suspect the conservation area tenants in Brockley PFI would love to be in a pilot scheme for improving the thermal efficiency of Victorian Conservation Area Council housing . . .

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Missing Street Trees 2

This morning I met up with one of the borough's two tree officers for a walkabout around Abbotswell Road, Henryson Road, Elsiemaud Road and around there to look at where trees have been removed and whether they can be replanted. I went clutching my list of missing street trees, as collated during my leafletting a couple of weeks back.

Hopefully we should be getting some more trees in Abbotswell, Francemary and other streets that have had trees removed, but in most cases not until next year now. A few trees are being planted this year, including 4 very soon in Arthurdon Road, but there is likely to be more planting next year, once the survey is complete. Unfortunately we also discovered a tree on Henryson Road that needs to be removed fairly promptly as it could be in danger of falling (outside 28 Henryson Road).

The borough's arboricultural team have a new mapping system and over the past year, alongside their regular maintenence work, they have been surveying and mapping all the trees in the borough. There are all being prioritised 1,2 or 3 in terms of how urgently they need attention. They are also mapping missing street trees, potential sites for new trees and scanning for under-pavement wiring which influences where trees can be planted. It seems that most of the borough besides Ladywell has now been mapped and they hope to finish the process (including Ladywell) by the end of the year. They are dealing with the priority one trees first (in danger of falling etc), then will start to replant some of those that are missing, alongside doing regular maintenence on the existing trees.

They plan to move towards contractors removing, stump grinding and replanting trees all at once, rather than just removing the tree and possibly, maybe, coming back to replace it at some indefinite point in the future. They are also looking at planting a wider variety of species than the ubiquitous ornamental cherry trees. As well as being everywhere, not having a particularly high value in terms of biodiversity and having a relatively short lifespan, their roots also play havoc with pavements (as anyone who has ever walked along Chudleigh Road could verify).

I also asked about whether Lewisham would be getting any street trees from the Mayor of London's much hyped scheme, and it is likely that we will, but the borough doesn't get to choose where, although it is looking likely that they will be in the northern part of the borough (Deptford/New Cross).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Off-Licence Application on Loampit Hill

Licensing have received the following application for a NEW / VARIATION Premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003.

AJ Food
10 Loampit Hill
SE13 7SW

Applied for sale of Alcohol Off the premises Monday – Sunday 08:00 – 23:00

Any representations should reach the Licensing Team by 28th November 2008. E-mail: or post to: Licensing team, Laurence House, 2nd Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford SE6 4RU. Tel: 020 8314 6400

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yellow Lines Consultation!

Lewisham Council is consulting on proposals to install yellow lines at various sites across Lewisham, including a number within Ladywell ward. A number of these proposals are in direct response to enquiries we have made on behalf of residents (eg St Margaret's Road) and I know that ARRA (Algernon Road Residents Association) have been concerned at the safety risks posed by parking on the junction with Ellerdale Street.

Of course this is all part of a thinly-disguised plan by the Greens to ban cars from the borough by stealth, by gradually removing all parking spaces (joke). We have already got double yellow lines painted on the bend in Gillian Street and Marsala Road, but this is just the start! Seriously though, below are the proposals and the details of who to write to with any concerns.

ALGERNON ROAD, (a) west side, from a point 2 metres north of the south wall of No. 40 Ellerdale Street to a point 5 metres south of Ellerdale Street; and (b) east side, from a point 5 metres south of the north wall of No. 35 Ellerdale Street to a point 5 metres north of Ellerdale Street.
ARTHURDON ROAD, both sides, within 10 metres of Chudleigh Road.
BROOKBANK ROAD, south side, within 10 metres west and 5 metres east of Embleton Road
CHUDLEIGH ROAD, (a) north-west side, from a point 5 metres south-west of Gordonbrock Road to a point 2 metres north-east of the common boundary of Nos. 66 and 68 Chudleigh Road; and (b) south-east side, from the common boundary of Nos. 105 and 107 Chudleigh Road to a point 10 metres north-east of Dressington Avenue.
DRESSINGTON AVENUE, both sides, within 10 metres of Chudleigh Road.
ELLERDALE STREET, (a) north side, from the common boundary of Nos. 62 and 64 Ellerdale Street to the common boundary of Nos. 58 and 60 Ellerdale Street; (b) north side, from the common boundary of Nos. 40 and 42 Ellerdale Street to a point 10 metres east of Algernon Road; (c) south side, from the common boundary of Nos. 59 and 61 Ellerdale Street to the common boundary of Nos. 55 and 57 Ellerdale Street; and (d) south side, from the common boundary of Nos. 37 and 39 Ellerdale Street to the common boundary of Nos. 33 and 35 Ellerdale Street.
EMBLETON ROAD, (a) west side, within 5 metres of Brookbank Road; (b) west side, within 10 metres north and 5 metres south of Ellerdale Street; (c) east side, within 10 metres of Brookbank Road; (d) east side, within 5 metres north and 10 metres south of Ellerdale Street.
FOXBERRY ROAD, (a) north-east side, within 14 metres north-west and 6.5 metres south-east of Haxcourt Road; and (b) south-west side, within 6 metres north-west and 12.5 metres south-east of Howson Road.
GORDONBROCK ROAD, both sides, within 10 metres of Chudleigh Road.
HOWSON ROAD, (a) north-west side, within 11 metres of Foxberry Road; and (b) south-east side, within 12 metres of Foxberry Road.
MALYONS ROAD, east side, within 5 metres of each side of the access road leading to Keswick Court.
ST. MARGARET’S ROAD, all sides, within 6 metres west of the west boundary of No. 2 St. Margaret’s Road (on the west side of the road closure barrier).
SOMERSET GARDENS, (a) north-west side, from the common boundary of Nos. 2 and 3 Somerset Gardens to the common boundary of Nos. 3 and 4 Somerset Gardens; and (b) south-east side, from the common boundary of Nos. 2 and 3 Somerset Gardens to the common boundary of No. 18 and Nos. 19 to 30 Somerset Gardens.

Documents giving more detailed particulars of the order can be inspected between the hours of 10am. and 4pm. on Mondays to Fridays until the last day of a period of six weeks beginning with the date on which the order is made (22/10/08) or, as the case may be, the Council decides not to make the order, at the office of Lewisham Highways Development, Wearside Service Centre (Fleet Building 1st floor), Wearside Road, Ladywell, London, SE13.

If you have any enquiries about the order, please telephone the Council’s agents in this matter: Project Centre Limited on 0207 430 6903.

Any objection or other representation relating to the order must be made in writing and any objection must specify the grounds on which it is made. Any such objection or representation must be sent, quoting reference ‘PCL/TMO/HG’, to the Council’s agents in this matter, at the following address: Project Centre, Saffron Court, 14b St Cross Street, London EC1N 8XA, to arrive not later than 21 days from the latest date of publication of this notice (that is by 12th November 2008.) Any objection may be communicated to other persons who may be affected.

Could this be my most exciting blog post ever?!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Missing Street Trees?

Staying on the subject of trees, while I've been out and about in the ward delivering newsletters over the past few days, I've noticed a number of places where street trees have been removed and not replaced. In some cases it may be that they were removed this year and replanting is scheduled for the coming months, but in other cases I suspect they have somehow slipped through the net and been forgotten. The ones I noticed while delivering newsletters were on Abbotswell Road, Francemary Road, Elsiemaud Road, Arthurdon Road, Henryson Road and Brockley Grove.

I've contacted the Council's tree officer about these, but if there are any other places in your area where street trees have fallen down/been removed but not replaced, do leave a comment or e-mail me with the location, when the tree was removed and what species it was (if you know) and I will add them to my list to follow up on. Meanwhile, I'll continue my mini-audit of street trees as I deliver newsletters elsewhere in the ward.

NB: I'm already aware of the missing tree outside 15 Veda Road, which I've been assured will be replaced before Christmas, and am following up on requests from residents on Braxfield Road for some street trees.

Tree Works in Ladywell Fields

I have been informed by Council officers that unfortunately a number of trees need to be felled in Ladywell Fields. This is because they are diseased and pose a health and safety risk to park users. These are works that were identified as necessary during a survey carried out by an independent tree consultant in 2006, but it was agreed to leave them until after the QUERCUS project was complete. The Council has now revisited the survey with the help of another tree expert.

The aim is to minimise the works required, for the sake of the park as well as the budget, but the arboriculturalist has confirmed that several mature trees will have to be felled (most notably a number of Ash by the main path running parallel to the railway line in the northern field) as they pose real danger to park users. However some other trees in less prominent locations, e.g. on the river bank and/or behind railings may be allowed to die naturally, and remain standing or fall as deadwood.

Council officers had a walkabout this morning with representatives from Ladywell Fields Users Group and Ladywell Society to point out the trees in question and explain why the work was necessary. My understanding is that all trees felled will be replaced, but I will check this with officers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Confessions of a Green Councillor

This week (20th-26th October) is Energy Saving Week and this year's theme is 'Green/Life Balance'. According to a survey carried out by the Energy Saving Trust, half of us say we would be greener if we had more time, and a third of us say our job is the main reason we don't have time to be green.

I'm certainly guilty of falling into that category now and then, but I took a small green step forward today when I finally got my water butt connected to my drain pipe. I bought it about 8 years ago but it has been sitting idle at the bottom of the garden ever since as I lacked the DIY skills to remove the cast iron drain pipe and replace it with a plastic one that I could fit a butt to. Anyway, I poached my neighbour's plumber who came and did the job for me this morning. A good example of why free water butt schemes need to include installation!

Left, the finished item. I have another smaller one I'm thinking of putting in the front garden too (hopefully it won't take me 8 years to get round to it). I'm almost looking forward to the next time it rains . . .

To show you just how quick energy saving can be, the Energy Saving Trust have produced an Energy Saving Clock, with suggestions on things you can do, ranging from those that take just 1 minute to an hour to save energy (and money). They also have an interactive energy saving house you can explore and Britain Unplugged a new community site, which they hope will develop into a large scale resource for UK energy savers.

For those wondering what happened to my New Year's resolution post to green up my house and cut my carbon emissions, I hope to be able to post more on this soon. It's taken longer than I expected to get quotes for the work I need doing (the May elections got in the way somewhat too), but I'm close to making some decisions now.

I'm going to replace my draughty and rotting windows with wooden-framed double glazed ones, and hopefully also get insulation under my floor boards and on my walls (they are solid brick walls so this has to be done either inside the rooms or externally - I'm probably going for internal, as only a few of my walls need it, being a terraced house). I've had to submit a planning application for my windows even though it isn't in a conservation area, as it is a house split into 3 flats. Normally this kind of decision would be made by officers under delegated powers, but as I am a councillor it has to go to a full planning committee to make sure it is all above board, so it may take a while yet and be 2009 before I can actually get them fitted.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Water Leak on Ladywell Road

In case anyone else was wondering, this leak by the bus stop on Ladywell Road (near the tavern and opposite the car wash) was reported on 14th October. I called today and apparently someone has been out and inspected it, and they are aiming to mend it within 15 days as it's deemed a moderate leak. I've lost track of how many times Thames Water have dug up that section of Ladywell Road in the past few years, but surely at least 4 times? It seems to be a recurring problem. Expect some inconvenience while this is (hopefully) fixed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Something for the weekend?

Two 'rival' workdays organised by local community groups this Sunday!

Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries are clearing brambles from paths this Sunday, with the aim of enabling more people to walk around the cemeteries and to get to graves. Meet by the chapel near the Ladywell entrance at 10am. Wear suitable clothes, gloves and tools will be provided, but bring your own secateurs if you have a pair.

Meanwhile, just over the 'border' in Brockley ward, Brockley Cross Action Group are having a clear up of the Wickham Road estate flowerbeds from 11am-5pm. Tools and refreshments provided. Meet between Connifer and Pear Tree Houses, Brockley Road. Gloves and wellies recommended.

And if that's not enough, Lewisham Green Party are also having an action day tomorrow (Saturday), to try and get the rest of our Autumn newsletter delivered. Meet at 202 Malpas Road from 10am onwards if you'd like to help. Refreshments provided.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day, when thousands of bloggers around the world all blog on the same topic and this year it's poverty. I've left it a bit late in the day to post this, but if I type fast I should just scrape in before midnight!

Here in Lewisham, Greens had a success a few months ago when we got the Council to sign up to commit to paying at least the London Living Wage to all its employees and require its contractors to do the same. The Council already was paying at least London Living Wage to all its employees, but there are plenty of cleaners, care assistants and others working for contractors that are still earning less than this. I have yet to see a Council contract where this stipulation was inserted as a result of the motion, but we keep prompting and asking about it and it will in time become the norm as contracts come up for renewal.

Lewisham Oxfam Campaigns have a busy few days coming up as part of the Stand up against Poverty Campaign. This Friday there is an Oxjam event at Jam Circus, on Sunday they have a collection and event in Lewisham Shopping Centre and on Monday they have a 'Stand up Take Action' comedy night at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. See their Facebook group for all the details of these 3 events.

Thanks to Jim for the prompt on this, I was suffering from poverty of imagination for a while there.

Paving over front gardens now needs planning permission

Been meaning to flag this up for a couple of weeks:

Thanks to the work of Brockley councillor and London Assembly member Darren Johnson and other members of the London Assembly Environment committee, as of 1st October, planning permission is now needed for paving front gardens. The new planning laws respond to calls in the Crazy Paving report for legislation to control the number of concrete-covered gardens in London.

Paving over front gardens can cause drainage problems and flooding problems, has a detrimental impact on the environment and very often looks hideous. The report estimated that green space equivalent to the size of 22 Hyde Parks had been lost as a result of people paving over their front gardens, so it's great that the government responded to these concerns and passed this legislation.

FirstStop; new information and advice service for older people, their families and carers.

I've been sent an e-mail to promote a new information and advice service for older people, their families and carers. FirstStop is provided jointly by Help the Aged, The Elderly Accommodation Counsel, and Counsel and Care and supported by a commercial partner NHFA Care Fees Advice. In addition to the website, there is a telephone Advice Line on 0800 377 7070. The service aims to offer advice on:
  • Care and support - in the home, in specialist housing or in a care home.
  • Housing - services to help people 'stay put' successfully; information about all the options if choosing to move somewhere more suitable.
  • Finance - including paying for care, benefits and allowances, Council and NHS funding, insurances, financial planning and financial products.
  • Rights - the law; standards to be expected; how to get what you are entitled to, including advocacy services that can support you.

South London Garden Organic

The South London Garden Organic group I mentioned a few weeks back has now been set up. Their first meeting (which unfortunately clashes with Lewisham Green Drinks) is on Monday 3rd November 7.30pm, at Devonshire road Nature Reserve. E-mail them for further info or take a look at their blog. Among other things, they hope to be able to obtain organic seeds at a reduced price from Garden Organic.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Climate Rush - 100 years on from the Suffragettes

Well done to local Green Party member Andrea Hughes who took part in the Climate Rush protest at Westminster today - hundreds of women dressed in Victorian outfits marking the one hundredth anniversary of the suffragettes rush and calling for government action not just words on climate change. I had very much hoped to join her but had to be at a meeting locally.

Boos to the police who pushed Andrea around and left her with bruised ribs - she's 61 years old, volunteers for a number of local projects in Lewisham including the Time Bank and Green Gym and really isn't a great threat to national security for goodness sake - bashing pensioners about was not in the police job description last time I looked.

The protest comes just days after the approval of the Stansted and City Airport expansions undermined for many green activists any remnants of credibility the government may have had with regards to its commitment to curbing carbon emissions. If the government continues in this way, it shouldn't be surprised if an increasing number of generally law-abiding citizens turn to more militant methods of protest, much as the suffragettes had to do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Football Coaching, Homework Club and New Youth Club

Several new activities for young people are starting in the ward this weekend. In Slagrove Place, football coaching with trainers from Millwall will be taking place 10-12 every Saturday starting tomorrow. It is free and the aim is to start up a football team.

Also on Saturday mornings, there will be a homework club for primary and secondary school students at Ladywell Day Centre from 10-12pm. Cost £1 per child.

Both of these events are being organised by L&Q Housing Association. Contact Sonia Meggie for further information.

At the other end of the ward, a new youth club has started at the Tabernacle (the big red-bricked church at the end of Algernon Road). It takes place every Friday from 6.30pm. It's free and refreshments will be on sale. There are two groups: one for ages 13-17 and another for 18-25. Contact The Tabernacle on 020 8691 1000 or email them for further details.

Dog Control Order Consultation

I mentioned in my earlier post about dogs, that a Lewisham Council consultation on dog control orders would be out soon. It is now available online. New legislation, under Section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005), will give local authorities extra powers to take action and enforcement against dog owners who do not comply with new rules.

Lewisham Council wants to introduce new enforcement powers that will enable it to take action against people who act irresponsibly by not controlling their dogs, or by allowing them to foul our footpaths and green spaces. It is hoped that the introduction of the Dog Control Order Act, which carries a £75 on-the-spot fine, will enable the Council to deal with irresponsible dog owners far more effectively.

Proposed offences that will attract an on-the-spot fine are:
  • Failing to remove dog faeces
  • Not keeping a dog on a lead in designated areas (these will be sign-posted in public areas)
  • Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
  • Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded
  • Taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.
The issue that has proved controversial for Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries is the proposal to allow owners to walk their dogs on leads in the cemeteries, whereas they are currently banned, although this policy is often flouted and not enforced. And of course Lewisham does only have two animal welfare officers to cover the entire borough, which while more than other London boroughs, leaves them rather stretch and with limited capacity to enforce the legislation.

Anyway, the public consultation period runs from Monday 13 October to Friday 14 November. Members of the public who wish to comment can complete the online survey, call 020 8314 7171 or email for more information.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tess Daley from Gordonbrock Primary School, and Nicole St Lewis from Prendergast Hilly Fields school, who won the “Bag it and Bin it” competition to design posters to remind people to clean up after their dog. Their winning entries, which were picked from 85 entries from across the borough were enlarged and put up on the sides of two refuse trucks. Glad to see Ladywell ward schools take a 'clean sweep' on this!