I was proud to be invited to go with students to the Nottingham Peoples’ Policy event. Students were introduced to Ed and took part in the Dragon’s Policy Den. They presented their Safe Havens work among other entrants and then the audience voted using hand-held computers. I am pleased to say that our students won!
The future of Crofton Park Community Library is now at a key stage. At 12.30pm on Saturday 2 April there is a public meeting at St Hilda’s Church where Darren Taylor presents his bid to the people of Crofton Park. If people are happy with the information they receive, we will be asking them to sign a petition supporting Darren’s bid.
Why are we supporting him?
He is the only interested bidder who has engaged with the local people people and library users to find out what they want. A group of us have been working with Darren over the past three months to build his bid and to ensure that it includes what local people have said they want to see in a Community Library.
Then the timetable is as follows:
The Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock, has met with the Leader of Southwark Council to discuss Southwark's proposals to bring the recreation ground into use as additional burials grounds. A report will be discussed by Southwark’s Cabinet on 18 April to agree to go for a consultation with local residents. In the meantime the South London Leaders will be discussing joint ways of alleviating the demand for burial spaces in an attempt to find solutions.
Crofton Park Assembly met on 23 March and continued table discussions on the Ward priorities. These are:
The Assemblies Draft Budget has been agreed and includes £15,000 towards startup costs for the community library, dependent on Council decisions.
The next Assembly meeting is on 15 July and will be the Crofton Park Community Carnival.
At the Council Meeting on Tuesday 1 March, Cllr Morrison seconded the following motion proposed by Cllr Alex Peakes to save the future of Honor Oak Recreation Ground, by asking the Mayor to lobby LB Southwark on behalf of local residents, to save their park.
In seconding the motion, Cllr Morrison said that Honor Oak Park had been her local park for many years, her children played there and indeed she had played for a women’s football team there! The motion was agreed by the whole Council:
The London Borough of Southwark is considering taking land from the Honor Oak Recreation Ground in order to expand Camberwell New Cemetery. The Recreation Ground is much used by residents of Forest Hill and Honor Oak, as well as Southwark residents, and the plan under consideration could result in considerable loss of local amenity and leisure space.
This council notes that the Recreation Ground has already had a substantial proportion of its original land taken in by the cemetery, and that other options are available for managing demand for burial space.
This council states its opposition to the further loss of amenity and leisure space at Honor Oak Recreation Ground and, notwithstanding any statutory consultation that may occur, calls on the Mayor to make representations to London Borough of Southwark to this effect.
As reported recently, Cllr Morrison, a group of residents and community groups have been working with Darren Taylor of Eco Computers to see how we could maintain a library and other community facilities at Crofton Park Library.
We have been meeting on a regular basis and have now formed a 'Shadow Board' to support Darren’s bid as our preferred bidder. Our vision for Crofton Park Library is to attract investment into the library (which Darren’s bid does) so that the upstairs can be repaired and brought into use.
We could then have a community café, community space for groups to use, training opportunities and a library. If you want to see Darren’s work then visit Pepys Community Library at Deptford Strand SE8.
We will then be looking for volunteers to get involved – Could that be YOU?
Crofton Park, Blackheath, Grove Park, New Cross, and Sydenham libraries have all been closed by the Mayor and Cabinet.
Officers have been asked to work on proposals to deliver community libraries in these areas.
On 3 February, Prendergast Ladywell Fields College hosted a Youth Assembly at the school, inviting Stillness, St Mary Magdalene, Dalmain, St William of York, to bring their ideas for improving community safety and the environment. Cllrs Addison and Morrison attended what was a very interactive event with many good ideas including:
Students will prioritise the many issues raised and take them to The Crofton Park Safer Neighbourhood Panel and the Crofton Park Ward Assembly to gain the support for action from adults to work with them.