Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists win another award!

Congratulations to Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists and John Ball Primary School, who have won another award for their pioneering work. Their prize was the Grizelda cartoon above. To find out more about what they do, their next rides etc, check out their website.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Local meeting on Gordonbrock Planning Application

A meeting has been arranged by planning officers to give local residents a chance to discuss the planning application for Gordonbrock Primary School with officers and the applicants. The meeting will take place this Thursday, 26th November, 7pm, at the school.

These meetings are normally held if there are more than 10 objections to an application, which is the case in this instance. I have been asked to chair the meeting so will be remaining neutral. Officers have indicated that a living roof and rainwater harvesting have been added to the plans since the consultation event at the school. I have also asked them to provide further information about the building footprint and the size and design of the outside play areas, as this is one of the aspects of the application that seems to have caused most concern to those who commented on my previous post on this.

Do come along if you want to discuss the proposals in more detail with officers. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congratulations to Elizabeth Ward - 25 years service award

Congratulations to Elizabeth Ward, who today received her Long Service Award for 25 years working for the Council. For the past 13 years, Elizabeth has worked at Ladywell Day Centre in Dressington Avenue, and before that she worked at other day centres and care homes in the borough.

She is popular with both staff and centre users and known for the energy and enthusiasm she puts into her work.

Elizabeth lives locally and is also an active member of our ward assembly steering group and Foxborough Garden's TRA (tenants and residents association). She is persistent in flagging up repairs and issues on her estate and prodding the necessary people (often us!) until action is taken.

It was a real pleasure to be invited along to the day centre today to see Elizabeth get her award. And no, she didn't pass up the opportunity to give me a bit of casework!

New Yoga Class starting in Ladywell this Monday

Just got sent this by a friend - sounds good . . .

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Online poll on funding to improve Ladywell

Following the decisions made by the Ladywell Assembly on allocating the Mayor's Fund, there is also £9,000 to be spent from the annual Locality Fund for smaller scale projects. Eight projects aiming to involve the community and improve the area have been submitted, and there is an online poll for you to vote for those you would like to see funded.

The projects are:
1. Noticeboard cabinet for Brockley Cemetery
2. Street trees for Brockley Road
3. Equipment for Hilly Fields Community Bowling Green
4. Plaque to commemorate the original Lady Well
5. Contribution to Brockley Max Festival
6. Social enterprise “Vessel Works” for young people
7. Ladywell Walking Tour leaflet
8. Contribution to Saturday School

The poll with brief descriptions of the proposals can be accessed here, and it will only take a couple of minutes to complete - so please take part and have a say in how Ladywell should be improved!

The poll is open to anyone who lives, works, studies or uses facilities in Ladywell ward – this is a much larger area than Ladywell village. The deadline for the poll is 30 November 2009.

If you would like to find out more about the Ladywell Assembly, local facilities and previous funding, click here.

New notice board for cemeteries group

The new notice board for the FOBLC (Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries) is now up at the Ladywell Road end of the cemeteries, and looking very smart. This is one of the items funded by last year's localities fund. Ute has just posted details of bids for this year's fund, and how you can have your say. (I'm cheating and pre-dating this post by an hour or so, in order for the poll post to stay at the top for a while!).

On the downside, this smart new notice board makes the various council ones at the Ladywell end of the cemetery look a bit tatty now. Given that the Council also now needs to advertise the changes the new dog control orders (which come into force this Monday) mean for the cemeteries (dogs allowed on leads), and there is probably a case for a bit of rationalisation of the various council signs into one, with opening times, dog restrictions, contact details, etc all on one good quality sign.

On a slight tangent, one of the various notices currently at the entrance to the cemeteries says 'no cycling'. What do readers think about this? Personally, I think that we should open up the entrance on Brockley Road (by Brockley Primary School) and encourage considerate cyclists to use the cemeteries. We could potentially draw in some funding to resurface one of the footpaths if it was also a designated cycle path. It could provide a useful alternative to get from Ladywell to Brockley avoiding the main roads and in my opinion, as long as cyclists are considerate of other cemetery users, the more people we have using the cemeteries, the better, as it will help improve security there.

I always think it's a bit unfair that cars are allowed into the cemetery but that cyclists have to dismount. I can understand the need for those with mobility problems or carrying tools to tend graves to park near their graves, but don't see why those on bikes shouldn't be able to do the same. What do others think?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Date for Diaries: Ladywell Christmas Market: 12th December.

Brockley Christmas market is back again too, on the same day, but from 12-6pm, so plenty of time to pop across Hilly Fields from one to the other.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Application to turn former off-licence on Algernon Road into a hot food take away

We've just been notified of the following planning application for change of use from A1 retail to A5 (hot food take away).

DC/09/72751: 222 ALGERNON ROAD, LONDON, SE13 7AG
Proposal: The change of use of the ground floor unit at the front of 222 Algernon Road SE13, from retail (Class Use A1) to Hot food Takeaway (Use Class A5), together with the installation of an extract flue on the rear elevation.

This is the former off-licence, next to the tattoo parlour. You can view the application online here.
If you wish to comment on this application, you should do so in writing by 26th November. You can e-mail, or write to them at Planning, 5th Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford, London, SE6 4RU.

Thames Water contractors go AWOL with job half-done on Ladywell Road

This was the scene on Ladywell Road today, thanks to Thames Water contractors, who on Sunday dug up the road (presumably to fix a leak), did a temporary fix of the pavement, blocked off the pedestrian crossing and, as far as I can tell, haven't been back since.

Meanwhile, pedestrians, including many school pupils from Gordonbrock and the two Prendergast schools are being forced to jump over railings or make a long detour to cross the road, which is surely an accident waiting to happen.

I have called Lewisham's Highways team to raise my concerns and asked them to chase Thames Water, and also logged a call directly with Thames Water, in the hope this will get fixed asap. I am also curious to see whether this complies with the recently-launched street works permits scheme.

I'll be pushing to make sure the pavement is made right as soon as possible, rather than left with yet another patchwork of tarmac for months on end. Of course, if highways had carried out the works we were promised back in the Spring, to remove some of the railings, things wouldn't be quite as bad as they are today!

It is infuriating when local residents go to such effort to spruce up the street, only for utilities companies come along and trash it again!

UPDATE, 4.30pm: Just got a call from Thames Water to say their contractors are en route to clear the site and reopen the crossing, so hopefully that will be sorted today. They will still need to come back to do a proper reinstatement of the paving at a later date.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Schools Programme: could do better

The Sustainable Development committee, which I chair, has been carrying out a review of the extent to which the ongoing BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programme is sustainable. As well as the more obvious things like solar panels on roofs, we've been looking at things like community access to buildings out of hours, school travel plans and the procurement process.

Members of the committee visited 3 recently-built schools in the borough (Prendergast Ladywell Fields, Catford High and Sedgehill) and last week I presented our interim recommendations to the Mayor & Cabinet. Some of the recurring issues with these new schools are problems with ventilation (classrooms with windows that don't open and air conditioning that doesn't work), limited/no community use of buildings out of hours and ongoing issues with facilities management.

The article above from the South London Press has a bit more detail. Note to self: send a more flattering/photoshopped portrait photo to SLP for future use!

Coming up over the next few days

First up, tonight (Tuesday 10th November) we have Brockley Society AGM. 8pm, Brockley Social Club, 230 Brockley Road, SE4 2SU (cnr Foxberry Road, next to Esso Garage).

An illustrated talk by John Coulter, Lewisham Local Studies Librarian: "THE BUILDINGS AND HISTORY OF LEWISHAM WAY" followed by the AGM. Broc Soc has several vacancies on the committee and wants local residents' ideas for the year ahead. All are welcome!

Tomorrow: Armistice Remembrance Under Moonlight: Up The Line, Wednesday 11 November, 7.15pm until 8.30pm, Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries.

Arrive between 7.15pm and 8pm for the 20 minute walk, starting from either Brockley Road or the Ladywell Gate. Children's lantern procession at 7.30pm from the Brockley Road Gate.
Lanterns can be made at St Andrews Church from 4-6pm (£2 per child).

The event will take place regardless of weather conditions. Wear sturdy shoes, warm clothing and bring a torch.

Thursday (12th Nov): Action for Lewisham meeting, 7.30pm, the Tabernacle, Algernon Road. A meeting organised by local residents concerned at the impact of the Lewisham Gateway, Loampit Vale and other big Lewisham town centre developments will have on the area. Although the development has now been approved by Lewisham’s Strategic Planning Committee, the organisers of the meeting feel there are still avenues that can be followed in order to persuade the Council and developers to provide a plan more suited to the area, and more in keeping with future needs (eg low energy). They say they are not against high density developments per se, but want good quality housing to meet local needs.

Saturday (14th Nov) Transition Brockley is excited to present FLUX at Brockley Social Club on Saturday 14th November. It's a night of music, magic and dance, with a freecycle twist - bring your old unwanted stuff and let our resident magician transform it into something new.. There'll be a Wheel of Fortune, live band, magic, DJs and more. All ages welcome, come ready to play and have fun... and please let all your friends and neighbours know and help us make the night a success!
Saturday 14th November: Hedge whip planting session in the northern field, Ladywell Fields, from 1.30 p.m, organised by Ladywell Fields Users' Group.

Sunday 15th November: River clean-up in Ladywell Fields, Meet in the Park at the end of Malyons Road at 10am, organised by Thames21 in conjunction with Ladywell Fields Users' Group.