The Sydenham Assembly is open to anyone to lives, works or studies in the ward. It meets quarterly at different locations in the ward to ensure residents can access the meetings.
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As I Chair the Assembly I welcome feedback so that I can make sure it is a meeting that will deliver improvements to Sydenham.
For more information about the Sydenham Assembly take a look at the web page http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/LocalAssemblies/SydenhamAssembly
Voting on the Sydenham Assembly Fund
Performance by Poetry Town winner - Erika Alba
Presentation by London Wildlife Trust about the Great North Wood
Updates on SNT, Planning, SEE3, Sydenham Arts, Westwood Hill Safety measures, Car Clubs and flytipping hot spots.
Sydenham Poetry Town and performance from Teatro Vivo
Our Christmas meeting was a great success at Sydenham Community Library where we supported a wonderful panto and lighting up of the Christmas Tree.
We were voting on the £12,500 Assembly Fund and the outcome was:
SEE3 - Sydenham events and entertainment - £2,500
Sydenham Arts - Sydenham becomes a Poetry Town - £2,200
Friends of Sydenham Community Library – developing the library café by providing hot water etc - £1,740
Sydenham Community Library – Sydenham Library’s Community Crafts - £1,670
TNG – Intergenerational Film Club - £1,500
Action on Hearing Loss – Sydenham Hearing Aid Support Service - £1,200
Friends of Sydenham Community Library – Music and rhyme for the under-fives - £875
Homecroft Road Residents Association - Garden Planters for Homecroft Road - £600
Total of £12,285
We also agreed to see if could install electronic signage to advertise events in the ward – possibly using the TNG Youth and Community Centre in Wells Park Road and The Sydenham Centre in the high street.
I talked about SEE3 and the events we organise – Easter, Halloween and Christmas and of course our Christmas Calendar – from the first year of the Portas pilot in 2012 this is now our 4th calendar and getting bigger and better every year!
Updates included the rebuilding of The Greyhound and progress on getting the Bakerloo Line to Lower Sydenham.
We are working on plans to develop community hubs that could include greater use of The Sydenham Centre whilst ensuring the Naborhood Users are protected.
Cllr Liam Curran welcomed everyone to the meeting as he will be chairing the Assembly for 2015.
Great turnout for the meeting with a well received presentation on waste and then onto the presentations of the bids for the £12,500 of funding.
The voting was to support * £2,500 for a vibrant high street including events at Easter, Halloween and Christmas * £2,000 to bring the Sydenham literary piazza to life with a series of events * £1,200 for music and stories for the under 5s in the library * £1,300 for street art outside Sydenham Station * £4,800 to replace 20 x street trees * £700 to support Reach for the Changes, a new community group at Wells Park Road
Attached is the link to the minutes
A well attended meeting at the Sydenham Centre discussed the progress on a number of key issues including The Greyhound, high street transport improvements and street lighting.
We also reviewed the Sydenham Assembly Action Plan and the top five priorities below:
Very good turnout to hear the latest on getting the Deed of Variation signed by all parties so that work can restart on The Greyhound. Skanka are working on the street lights and ensure heritage lamps are placed in Conservation Areas such as The Thorpes.
SEE3 Street market returns on Saturday 12 April from 11am to 5pm. Full report to follow.
We agreed funding for 2013/14 to meet our revised five priorities:
Sydenham Arts Festival £2,500 for WW1 Centenary
Sydenham Community Library £450 - Music for under 5s
Hazel Grove Community Project £1,150 - youth project
Carers Lewisham £2,500 - lonely and isolated
Thorpes Residents Association £2,040 - security
Town Team £2,500 - Entertainment for market and Christmas
Town Steering Group £1,360 - jet washing hot spots
We were joined by Tom Henry, London Borough of Lewisham Highways and Steve & Jim from JB Riney for a presentation on the progress on the improvement works as well as an update on phase 2 road works from Mayow Road to Addington Grove.
This was followed by Joost Van Well, the area Planning Officer talking about a number of planning issues including The Greyhound and enforcement. There was a discussion on the Consultation on the Statement of Community Involvement.
Carolyn Unsted, Sydenham School Headteacher gave a presentation on the improvements to the school.
The meeting then received a number of information items and agreed that the Coordinating Group would consider the priority areas for the £12,500 Sydenham Assembly Fund.
The Assembly took place at the TNG - The New Generation Youth Centre in Wells Park Road. This was the first meeting in the new building and the young people were keen to showcase the new facilities.
We reviewed the existing priorities for Sydenham and came up with a revised list -
Bringing our community together
Health, well-being and community safety
Vibrant high street
Cleaner and greener Sydenham
The meeting took place at the Naborhood Centre and started with a report back from Paul Burman of Skanska.
An update on policing was provided by Chief Inspector Bell who talked about the budget reductions at the Metropolitan Police Service.
There were a number of report backs from groups that had been funded through the Assembly Fund.
Alastair Higgs from Kier Construction then spoke about the Bell Green devlopment and retail park including B&Q, Currys/PC World, Pets at Home and Toys R Us.
Updates included Sydenham Road improvements, Sydenham Mosaic and Sydenham Markets.
As the meeting was held in Sydenham Community Library we started the meeting with an update from Darren Taylor of Eco Computers describing exciting plans for the next few months.
Anthony Scully then spoke about the Friends of Sydenham Community Library and how people could get involved.
This was followed with an update from Sydenham Community Radio who have space in the library to produce the radio shows.
The main speaker was Paul Burman from Skanska who went through the replacement Street Lighting programme that would be starting in Sydenham in 2013.
I gave an update on the SEE3 Portas Pilot and the Big Launch on Saturday 1 December in the community hub Jill as well as the three pop up shops. The Sydenham Market takes places on Sunday 16 December at Station Approach from 10am to 4pm.
The lighting up of the Christmas Tree with choirs and dance as well as late night shopping is on Friday 7 December.
We then discussed the proposed closure of Lewisham Hospital A&E as well as downgrading the maternity services. The public meeting in Sydenham is on Thursday 6 December at Sydenham School.
We moved onto updates including JB Riney talking about the progress on the Sydenham Road improvements; transport improvements on the London Overground Line as it is about to be a loop; Sydenham energy efficiency scheme; Lewisham budget savings and parking review; proposed closure of Sydenham Police Station and finally open questions and answers.
The meeting finished just after 9pm with positive feedback from the 80 or so who attended.
This Assembly included the progress on the new youth centre from our young people, the start of Sydenham Road improvements and our plans for using the funds from our winning bid for a Portas pilot. There was also some planning issues raised as well as information about the car boot sale and next Sycenham Arts Festival.
The presentations were on:
TNG – The New Generation youth centre “Young people need exciting places where they can just be themselves and safe places where they can access support and grasp opportunity. Places where we can offer positive challenges. Places that say ‘you are important; we care.’” Sir Steve Redgrave, myplace Support Team Ambassador With the expectation of a legacy from London 2012 this is a project with a real local legacy inspired by young people linking with the community from an impressive building with a strong name and brand. If you want to get involved in the community offer please let me know as the building is taking shape in Wells Park Road.
Sydenham Road improvement scheme After a long consultation period and discussion with transport partners the contract for the improvements to Sydenham Road and Station Approach has been let. Following the moratorium on any roadworks during the Olympics a September start date has been agreed and works are programmed to commence on site the week commencing the 17th September 2012 for 52 weeks. The main contractor appointed for this project is J B Riney & Co Ltd and the team gave an outline of the initial works and traffic management to the Sydenham Traders on Tuesday 28 August. This information was also on display at the Assembly.
Portas Pilot funding - more at http://www.SEE3.co.uk The Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham pilot was chosen over many others because we demonstrated a real vision for our high streets that has strong support from the local community as well as the involvement of a wide range of local partners.
The Council is fully behind the pilot and I hope many more people will want to get involved, to think about exciting and innovative ways of rejuvenating our high street - including new street markets, start-up opportunities for new businesses and creative exhibitions.
We held a market place for all the bids for the Sydenham Assembly Fund and the following projects were successful:
This was followed by a presentation on the Sydenham Improvements with questions and answers on hot topics including the quality of the new toilet facilities.
A first visit to Sydenham Community Library with a fabulous performance by the Sydenham Chamber Choir. Simon talked about Sydenham Community Radio based at the rear of the building and asked for more volunteers.
We then had a presentation on the Olympics and everyone was pleased to hear about the live site on Blackheath for the duration of the Games. Some concerns about the transport arrangements but the honest answer was yes there is going to be some inconvenience.
Darren talked about the programme of activities in the building and Antonio, Head of Lewisham's Library Service gave an update on the self issue of books which will be completed by the end of December.
Valerie ran through a slide show of the six mosaic roundels that have been completed and the plans for the rest of the mosaic.
The police gave an update on the crime stats and alerted everyone to be vigilant regarding home and personal security in the run up to Christmas.
Updates on Christmas events followed as well as questions and answers on the Sydenham Charter.
Generally there were positive comments about the East London Line and the estate agents present said that Sydenham offers good value with interest from couples – some with young children or looking to start a family in the locality.
I was facilitated a table discussion looking at future investment opportunities in the high street. Mookie Ziv, the agent for the two commercial units at the Greyhound, believed this site presented a real opportunity to attract larger businesses – the larger unit at the rear has interest from a well known supermarket and the small unit fronting onto Kirkdale could attract a wine bar – the space for the commercial units is 657 square metres. The concept for this area was one of leisure space maximising the use of the public square surrounding the pub – the pub comprises of 286 square metres. In total the site offers commercial floorspace of 943 sq metres.
The next largest floorspace will be at 22 Sydenham Road offering 475 square metres ground floor A1/A2. The reason Sydenham has so many small independent shops is the lack of floorspace - 59 Sydenham Road (old House of Curtains) is only 83 square metres – 892 sq ft. When you get down to the front retail space of 60 Sydenham Road it is only 35 sq m - 376 sq ft advertised with a rent of £15,800 per annum. Add to this the business and water rates, light and heat, insurance, phone etc so for anyone opening a small shop in Sydenham you need to be thinking about overheads of at least £500 per week. A retailer in the high street told me with staffing costs he worked on an overhead budget of £2,000 per week. The conclusion of this discussion was the need to ensure residents shopped local and supported their high street.
In terms of action points these included: • Better promotion and marketing of Sydenham – shop local campaign – Sydenham Smiles plus a loyalty card; traders web site; local newsletter covering SE26; use of Facebook -Assembly page, TNG Wells Park etc linked to other local web sites • More events to bring residents to shop in the high street such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter; more community events such as “get to know your neighbours” day • Open up the use of the Naborhood Centre for everyone in the community and promote the change of name to the Sydenham Centre • Improving the look of the high street – start the renewal works asap; helping traders with signage; clean up flyposting; encourage a diversity of shops - more quality shops such as shoes and clothing • Ensure better planning controls on change of use from retail; enhance Conservation Areas by keeping traditional look for shop fronts; work on traders agreement for licencing to 11pm; respect the residential area including a meeting with Zanzibar • Ensure visible community policing and more feedback on the use of CCTV • Mentoring and job opportunity schemes for young people
We started the morning with a big round of applause for Pat Trembath on receiving her well deserved MBE for community services to Sydenham.
Darren Taylor was on hand to report back on the first two weeks of the new management of Sydenham Library. There was then excitement with the presentations, including the cut and thrust of the questions and answers, to decide which projects would receive a share of the £15,000 Assembly Fund for 2011/12.
After voting the ranking was as follows:
1. Sydenham Toilet Scheme - £3,200
2. Sydenham Music Outreach work - £1,600 = Eco Computers IT work - £3,157
3. Grow Mayow - £2,500
4. Sydenham Mosaic - £2,000
5. Sydenham Town greening and Xmas lights - £2,000
6. Spontaneous Productions at the Dolphin - £543 only as this was the end of the £15,000
7. Kelvin Grove School Teambuilding Day - not funded
I gave a big thank you to all the groups who put in bids.
The meeting was well attended and started with a presentation on the budget decisions taken by the Council on the 1 March. As many of you know the Council had been working on reducing its budget by £60 million over the next three years but the Coalition Government financial settlement has resulted in savings of £88 million over the coming four years – a massive 26% cut. Next year alone we are facing a reduction of £33 million.
The guest speakers were from Willmott Dixon, Circle Anglia and Lewisham Homes and covered the development at Bell Green and the programme for meeting the Decent Homes standard..
llse and Barry reported back on the timetable for the high street and Station Approach.
Bids for the Assembly Fund for 2011/12 have a closing date of Tuesday 19 April and Valerie unveiled another two mosaics and hopes to bid for a mosaic featuring Crystal Palace.
The information session included updates on Sydenham Music and Arts Festivals, Sydenham Film Club and the Community Garden at Mayow Park. I also mentioned World Book Night.