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Green Ladywell

News and views from Ladywell Green Party

Last Build Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2017 09:28:50 +0000


Photos from today's Carnival against the cuts in Lewisham

Sat, 19 Feb 2011 22:26:00 +0000

(image) A few photos from today's Carnival against the Cuts in Lewisham. It was a really well-attended event, despite the drizzly weather, with around 700-1000 people taking part. It was also nice to see the expensive tellytubby hillocks by Lewisham roundabout being put to good community use for the speeches etc afterwards!

At last Thursday's Mayor and Cabinet meeting, a swathe of cuts were agreed, including 'closure' of 5 of our libraries (there may be some kind of continued community use, but details have still to be confirmed), huge increases to charges for many things, including day care for the elderly and disabled, meals on wheels, school meals and controlled parking zones. You can read some of the details of the cuts proposed here (this link may not work once the Council's main website is back up again).(image)
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Ladywell Arena to be transferred over to community group?

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:05:00 +0000

A couple of weeks ago the South London Press reported that the Council was looking for community and sports groups to take over the management of Ladywell Arena (the athletics track and gym on the Catford side of Ladywell Fields).

I was a bit alarmed about what this meant – was the Council still committed to keeping the arena open, or was it planning to offload it in a bid to cut costs, along with the libraries, children’s centres etc? So I wrote to the Council and asked for a bit more information - whether the article was just testing the water or if a formal decision to transfer the management had been taken, how the proposal fitted in with the Council's Leisure contract and what the cost of maintaining the facility at Ladywell Arena is. I received the following response:

“The Council is currently out to tender for its main leisure contract which expires in mid October 2011. As part of that tender we are asking prospective leisure operators to cost the operation of the Arena along with other leisure centres. However, there has been interest from local organisations in the principle of the Arena being managed by a locally based organisation, given its specific focus on athletics and football. The Council is therefore running a parallel process and asking if there is interest from local organisations with both bidding processes ending around the same time, so giving the Council an opportunity to assess the value ( in terms of best value), of both.

The leisure procurement process was agreed by Mayor and Cabinet contracts on 3rd March 2010 and that is underway. This additional proposal to undertake a parallel process in terms of the Arena has been highlighted in the Invitation to Tender to Leisure contracts so that bidders for the main contract are aware.

So, in that way we are 'testing the water' on this.
The potential community lease of the Arena does include the Gym. The current cost to the Council for managing the facility is approximately £185,320 per year (this changes with GDP each year).”

Meanwhile, local residents concerned that this might be a backdoor way of closing the arena to public use (although I'm not sure that it is), have set up a Facebook page with a “Petition to save Ladywell Arena”.

Empty properties

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 08:52:00 +0000

The Ladywell Assembly last night featured an information session with council officer Nick Long about bringing empty properties back into use – the powers the council has to deal with them and an update on empty properties in the ward that they are dealing with.

In addition to the Nightwatch building on Ladywell Road (fingers crossed) and the empty flats above Corals on the corner with Algernon Road (no sign of concern or interest, to put it mildly, by the owners, apparently another betting shop chain) there was some welcome news about progress with 63 Loampit Hill. This goes back several years – the council notice regarding the state of the roof was served in May 2005, long after it had actually become an issue, and the council had to intervene and eventually repair the roof at their own cost in November 2007. Following recent discussions the relatives of the deceased owner have offered to pay a proportion of the amount they owe the council upfront pending further decisions they would make about the property at some stage in the future. The council decided to insist on the full amount (just over £20,000 plus interest) being paid within 28 days. It is expected that the family is going to appeal against this. If the appeal was upheld, the saga would continue. If the appeal was not upheld, the council could take possession of the building and dispose of it at auction and reclaim the cost incurred in this way. Let's hope this is not another case of one step forward one step back.

Sustainable Community Act: Government Response to our Betting Shop Proposals

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 00:02:00 +0000

Way back in 2009, Ute worked closely with local residents to make a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act, to try to give Councils more powers to turn down betting shops in areas where there were already a number of bookies. The proposals were agreed at Ladywell Ward Assembly, then passed on by Lewisham to the Local Government Association and from them on to the government. See here for more details.Well, it's been a long time coming, what with having a new government and all that, but the Department for Communities and Local Government has finally responded.For those not inclined to read the whole 109-page document, the bit responding to Lewisham's submission about betting shops is on p44-46.In a nutshell, the government seemed to think that local councils already have enough power in this area and said:DCLG: "We believe that, instead of the civil service only being focused upwards on providing advice to Ministers, we must drive the focus downwards and outwards to put those resources at the service of communities nationwide. So civil servants will work with the following councils to use their existing powers so they are able to achieve the outcomes they want for themselves, or work further with them to explore the issues raised in more detail."Hmm, ok, but actually I thought the SCA was supposed to be grassroots up, telling national government what we wanted them to change, not them lecturing (sorry 'advising') us. Hmm.DCLG's response, with my comments [in brackets] below:• The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is currently considering with the Gambling Commission whether guidance can be amended to give licensing authorities more confidence to use their existing powers to intervene under the prevention of crime or disorder objective of the Gambling Act,working with the police where necessary. [Well Lewisham to its credit did turn down some betting shop applications and then lost on appeal at not inconsiderable cost - maybe the magistrates who consider the appeals are using a very narrow interpretation of the grounds for refusal?]• There is a lack of data on the numbers and concentrations of betting shops pre September 2007, as there was no central collection of figures before the introduction of the Gambling Act. DCMS know the total number of betting shops has remained constant or declined in recent years [not in Lewisham and particularly Deptford it hasn't!] and is working with the Gambling Commission to identify better data on the numbers and locations. But it will be difficult to assess how this may have changed since the Gambling Act came into force in September 2007.• Concerns about betting shops and problem gambling often relate to their higher stake/higher prize gaming machines. We think this is a main cause of local concerns. The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, which advises the Gambling Commission and the Government on research, education and treatment, has prioritised the development of a programme of work into the risks relating to higher prize gaming machines. [I would say that the main concerns in Lewisham relate to anti-social behaviour outside the premises, particularly in the case of Deptford High Street, and the loss of A1 retail units which can jeopardise the viability of small shopping parades.]• Local planning authorities have planning powers to use in controlling the number and location of betting shops (though this must be in relation to planning considerations, such as amenity, building mix, parking and congestion issues). Current planning policy encourages local planning authorities to pro-actively manage town centres and subsidiary shopping areas to promote vitality through a good mix of investment. Local planning authorities can use local shop frontage policies for parades of shops to ensure good representation of shops, alongside service uses and thus limit the concentration of betting shops [Not much use if the property is already A2 financial and no planning change of [...]

1 Slagrove Place (Ladywell Training Centre) due to be auctioned off

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 22:45:00 +0000

(image) 1 Slagrove Place, which until recently housed Ladywell Training Centre (an in-house training centre for council staff) is being auction off by Lewisham Council on 17th February, with a guide price of £450,000.

Originally it was the porter's lodge and stables of the St. Olave's/Bermondsey Union's Workhouse, a vast Victorian workhouse which used to cover the whole area now occupied by Pepermead Square, Dressington Avenue and Slagrove Place. The (listed) water tower on Dressington Avenue and Ladywell Lodge (near Ladywell Day Centre) are the other parts which are left, together with the gate posts to Slagrove Place.

As part of Lewisham Council's 'Worksmart' programme, the Council undertook a review of its buildings portfolio (well, worked with consultants paid £150,000 to do so), to look at ways of reducing overheads*. A couple of years ago Ladywell Training Centre, along with a number of other buildings, were deemed surplus to requirements and ear-marked for sale.

There's no doubt that the Council could do with an extra half a million quid, given it needs to save around £87m over the next 3 years due to cuts in government grants. If the proceeds of the sale of this building were invested in repairing Crofton Park Library to bring the upstairs into use and help to protect its future viability, or in carrying out some basic repairs to Ladywell Playtower, it might be easier to see the benefit to the local community. I don't believe that's the plan though.

As far as I'm aware, 1 Slagrove Place does not have any kind of protected or listed status and I'm not sure whether or not it would merit listed status, in English Heritage's eyes, considering that the much grander Ladywell Lodge building is not listed (maybe it should be?). It might be worth a try though, as if the site is sold to developers, they could simply knock down the Victorian building and squeeze in as many flats as they can get away with.

Also, given that next week's Ladywell Assembly is being held in Lewisham Central ward (Courthill Road) due to the lack of available meeting rooms in Ladywell, I do wonder whether the building could be put to productive community use.

I'd be interested to hear readers' views on what they think should happen to 1 Slagrove Place - whether it should be sold off, or retained by the Council.

With thanks to Geoffrey from Ladywell Society for details of the auction.

*cut back on consultants' fees for starters, perhaps?!

Dates for Diary

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 16:13:00 +0000

Oops, it's been a while since I last posted on here - I've been getting on with life outside politics, but there are a number of local events coming up worth supporting:Saturday 5th February: Lewisham libraries 'read-ins' in protest at proposals to close 5 of the borough's libraries.Crofton Park & Sydenham 11:30am - 1.00pm, Blackheath Village & Grove Park 2.00 - 3.00pm, New Cross 3pm onwards. Turn up, read and (quietly but clearly) make your voice heard.[UPDATED 20.21: I forgot to mention the People's Convention against Cuts and austerity, 12th February, up at Euston Friends Meeting House - details over on Lewisham Right to Work blog.]Thursday 17th February, 9am: Mayor & Cabinet and Tuesday 1st March, 10am Council Budget Setting MeetingDue to the large number of people wishing to express their democratic right to protest at November's council meeting (or something like that), the Chief Exec (or Mayor, not sure who) has, on the advice of the police, decided to change the times of the two key budget meetings to 9am and 10am.So 'Alarm Clock Lewisham', including many of the council workers whose jobs will be affected by the cuts will no longer be able to attend the meeting and will be relying on Lewisham's pensioners and anyone not working then, to make sure their concerns are heard.19th February: Lewisham Carnival Against the CutsA day of events across the borough to oppose cuts to services. More details at Carnival Against Cuts.22nd Feb Lewisham says no to cuts - Rally for an Alternative -For jobs, growth, justice.Brendan Barber (TUC General Secretary) plus various local trade unions and anti-cuts activistsTime: 7pm-8.45pm (refreshments, stalls and entertainment from 6pm).Venue: Goldsmiths College, New Cross go to Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre access via gate at end of Laurie Grove London SE14 6NHOrganised by Lewisham TUC with support of Goldsmiths' Student Union26th March: March for the alternative: jobs - growth - justice'.TUC national demo in central London. By the time this demo happens, most councils across the country will have already made sweeping cuts to local services. Better late than never I suppose, though.To keep up to date on local anti-cuts campaigns, check out the Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance or Lewisham Right to Work blogs, and the LACA Twitter Feed.[...]

Public Meetings Coming Up this Week

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 11:39:00 +0000

A few anti-cuts events coming up locally this week that I wanted to highlight:

(image) Wed 24th Nov: Lewisham Right to Work Public meeting with PCS Gen Sec Mark Serwotka, 7pm, Lewisham Methodist Church, Albion Way. Details here.

Thurs 25th Nov: Goldsmiths University Rally Against the cuts with Tony Benn. 6.30pm, Great Hall, Goldsmiths College, Lewisham Way. Details here.

Mon 29th Nov: Lobby of Full Council to oppose cuts. 6.30pm. Details here.

I don't see eye to eye with everything some members of the Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance say (personally I don't support the idea of setting an illegal council budget in Lewisham), but it's a fairly broad church and I do share with them utter opposition and horror at what the impact of the ConDem government's cuts are going to have at both a local and national level, often on the most vulnerable in society.

Lewisham Anti-Cuts Alliance
are on Twitter, if you would like to follow them, and they also have a blog, as do Lewisham Right to Work.

LVIG mtg tonight - community garden in Church Grove on Agenda

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 11:25:00 +0000

Ladywell Village Improvement Group is holding a meeting at the St Mary's Centre, Ladywell Road, TONIGHT (Tuesday November 23 at 7.30pm.) On the agenda are: Ladywell Christmas Market, an update on the streetscape plans, help organise a tree sponsorship campaign in the high street, and find out the latest on the Playtower.

The item tha(image) t caught my eye is the proposal for a community garden scheme on the former Watergate School in Church Grove. My understanding is that residents are working with the council to get a short-term (12-months) lease on the site, pending a decision about its longer term future, and the tentative plan is to use builders bags, or similar to grow fruit and veg, a bit like has been done in Hackney and elsewhere with temporary lots. It sounds like a great idea, and if it works well, I can think of at least one other site in Ladywell that would be ideally suited to doing something similar. There is certainly local demand for more space to grow fruit and veg, and a long waiting list for local allotments, and this seems like a pragmatic way to help bridge that gap.

By-election results - belatedly

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 11:07:00 +0000

It's a little bit after the event now, but in case there's anyone who doesn't know, Labour held the seat in the recent Ladywell ward by-election, although it was a pretty close run thing in the end. Both Labour and the Green vote went up, while the Lib Dems and Tories both went down. The Green vote up by the most, and we have narrowed the gap between us and Labour a bit more. The results were:

Carl Handley, Labour 1231 (41%, up 2.4% since May)
Ute Michel, Green 1041 (35%, up 4.3% since May)
Ingrid Chetram Lib Dem 314 (11%, down 6.5% since May)
Helen Mercer L4PNP 233 (8%)
Ben Appleby, Conservative 153 (5%, down 4.9% since May)

Turnout: 29.9% (not a bad turnout for a November by-election).

Obviously we're disappointed not to have won, but I think this election makes it clear that this is still very much a Labour/Green marginal ward and keeps us in contention for 2014 (unless there is another by-election before then, of course).

Many thanks to all those who supported us, whether at the ballot box, by displaying a poster or helping us with leafleting/canvassing.

A few photos from the campaign

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 11:33:00 +0000

Well it's been a busy few weeks out campaigning for Ute in the by-election. I've been having a break from my 'break from politics' to help with the campaign. We've been getting a great response on the doorstep, and have spoken to loads of residents that have previously never been in when we've called.Back in April/May, it was difficult to get people interested in the local elections, with all the focus on the leadership debates on TV etc. This time the emphasis is firmly on local issues, albeit with the impact of the government cuts to local government a top concern for many. And there is much more emphasis on the candidate than there was in May, where quite a few people seemed to be voting on party lines, rather than for individuals.When the by-election was called, the national party asked us if we would like some 'big guns'. We looked a bit askance at first and thought it sounded very ungreen, but we've been delighted that Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, deputy leader Cllr Adrian Ramsay and London Assembly member Jenny Jones have all come and supported our campaign, along with lots of members and supporters from both the local area and further afield.Caroline Lucas (top and second picture) is pictured here with local Greens supporting the campaign to keep Crofton Park Library open. Jenny Jones AM (third picture), who leads on pedestrian issues for us on the London Assembly, came to take a look at the Lewisham Way crossing that the Mayor of London is inexplicably threatening to remove - passersby told us that they remembered signing the petition a few years back to get the crossing put in, and couldn't understand why TfL would want to ride roughshod over local opinion now. And Cllr Adrian Ramsay is pictured canvassing on Gillian Street.It's been a while since I've spoken to anyone on the doorstep who wasn't aware of the by-election, and many residents are probably starting to get a bit cheesed off with the unusual level of attention they are getting from local political parties. Hopefully those who've lived in the area a while will know which parties they hear from regularly, and who are just showing a fleeting, by-election related interest in the ward.Anyway, time for me to get back on the doorstep rather than sitting here in the warm . . .[...]

Save our Libraries March

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 10:38:00 +0000

(image) (image) There was a good turnout for yesterday's libraries march, and despite the ominous weather forecasts, the rain held off too. I would estimate that there were about 200 people who marched from Crofton Park library to the town hall in Catford. There was a good range of people there - lots of families with children and older residents, as well as the usual activists.

Lewisham MPs Joan Ruddock and Heidi Alexander attempted to speak at the beginning of the demo, but their voices were pretty much drowned out by heckling, with people shouting 'Vote against the cuts'. A number of politicians there were looking rather uncomfortable - the local Lib Dem cllr, as his party is being blamed for cuts at a national level, and the Labour cllrs and MPs as they run Lewisham.

I want go into loads of detail as Transpontine has already beat me to it with a good write up and photos, but suffice to say the march was vocal, determined and presented a united front from the 5 libraries campaigns, who have now collected over 20,000 signatures for their petitions.

Second meeting on Crofton Park Library - community again says 'keep it open'!

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 09:27:00 +0000

Left: Ladywell ward by-election candidate Ute Michel outside Crofton Park library.On Tuesday I went along to the second public consultation meeting about the Council's proposals to close Crofton Park Library (along with Blackheath, New Cross, Sydenham and Grove Park Libraries). Once again it was officer-led, with officers at pains to stress that no decision had been taken and that they would report back to the Mayor who would ultimately make the decision. Two of the councillors for Crofton Park were there, as was Chris Best, the cabinet member for community services, which includes the library service, and she spoke briefly at the end of the meeting.Once again, the vast majority of those at the meeting were firmly opposed to closing the library, and spoke of the important role it plays in the local community. Gwen, the now retired former librarian at Crofton Park spoke eloquently and with passion about how many parents and children use the library, which was backed up by a local head teacher concerned about the impact it would have on her pupils. And there were a notable number of older library users' there, including a blind woman whose grandson borrows books from the library to read to her. The very angry bloke who shouted so loudly at the last meeting that the chairs vibrated was there again, still just as angry, and intimidating!)One interesting snippet of information was that while the majority of Crofton Park Library Users are, as to be expected, from within Crofton Park ward, 16% of users live in Ladywell ward and 11% in Telegraph Hill ward, so closing the library would have an impact on a much wider area than just the one council ward.Perhaps the most interesting, 'meaty' part of the meeting, however, was when officers invited representatives from 'Make Believe Arts' (a local social enterprise) and the Ackroyd Community Centre to come up and speak. Both were at pains to stress that they didn't want the library to close and as local residents would far prefer it if it stayed open, but then went on to talk about possible ways of keeping the building in community use in the event the library does close.'Make Believe Arts' outlined what use they would like to make of the building if it does close as a library. This included bringing the upstairs back into use as office and community space, in addition to the downstairs. The building would be more of a (social entreprise run) community centre, a hub for various classes, rather than a library, although they would work with Lewisham Library Services to see if they could maintain some aspects of the library service (eg some books still there, albeit a greatly-reduced number, or some kind of order and collection service of books from elsewhere). They talked about the work they have been involved in at the Leegate Centre, where they have brought an empty shop unit back into use as a community centre.The Ackroyd Community Centre didn't have a firm proposal as such, but had been approached by council officers and said that they were willing to work with the local community to see how the building could be kept in community use, with some element of library provision incorporated within that, if it closed.People listened politely to the presentations, then got straight to the point with the questions and comments - where did Make Believe Arts' funding come from, who would own the building, what would prevent an organisation changing the use in the future, how much of the current library services would be retained, etc. The thrust of what people seemed to be saying was yes, we'd love to see the upstairs of Crofton Park Library brought back into use, and might not be averse to a social enterprise or similar getting involved in making greater use of the bu[...]

El's Kitchen Opens in Ladywell on 30th October!

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 21:15:00 +0000

Eleanor lives next door but one to me. She has put so much work into this over several years now, and I have a feeling it's going to be a big success. Very excited about this, and really hope it is going to fill a hole in the local market. I will certainly be popping in to refuel on 30th in between canvassing sessions.

With 46 Ladywell Road (Nightwatch) finally getting renovated, the efforts of LVIG and the ward assembly in getting the streetscape improvements on the Council's agenda (if not quite within the timeline we were after) hopefully Ladywell Road is on its way up.

Good luck Eleanor!

Cemeteries Work Day and Guided Walk this Saturday

Tue, 12 Oct 2010 09:49:00 +0000

If you haven't ever explored the wonderful Brockley & Ladywell cemeteries, now's your chance.

Saturday 16th October
11am - 2pm Workday jointly with Nature Conservation Dept's Nature's Gym.
Meet at the chapel in the Ladywell Cemetery

2pm - 3.30pm (approx) Guided walk of the two Cemeteries led by FoBLC
members. This will start from the Ladywell gate, and takes a circular route.

Find out more on the Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries blog.

Vote Ute Michel in Ladywell Ward By-election on 4th November!

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 23:14:00 +0000

(image) I'm pleased to be able to confirm that we've now formally selected former Ladywell councillor Ute Michel as our candidate in the upcoming Ladywell by-election.

After the resignation of one of the newly elected Labour councillors for Ladywell, the by-election on November 4th will be a chance for the Greens to regain one of the council seats lost to Labour in the elections last May, when the party missed out on winning a seat in Ladywell by just 65 votes.

Ute Michel was a Ladywell councillor from 2006-2010 and was chair of the ward assembly. She worked hard over four years to help individual residents and the local community, and I know she would do an excellent job serving Ladywell again.

As a councillor, Ute supported local opposition to a betting shop in an area already full of bookies, and campaigned successfully to avoid cuts to social care services. She played a leading role in making Green amendments to Lewisham Council's budget and challenged council proposals. Outside of politics, Ute has worked as a research assistant in the European Parliament and for disability organisations and now works in the NHS.

Darren Johnson, Green councillor for Brockley, said:

"This by-election will be a straight fight between Greens and Labour - the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives were a long way behind last time. Quite a few people voted Liberal Democrat last time, expecting a new style of politics, but many are feeling betrayed that the Lib Dems have gone into a cuts coalition with Conservatives. If just a few dozen people switch over from Liberal Democrat to Green then Ute Michel can win in Ladywell and give residents the strong voice they deserve."

Can you help deliver some newsletters for us, or put up a 'Vote Green' poster in your window? If so, just e-mail with your contact details and we'll be in touch asap. Thank you!

Ladywell Village Improvement Group Petition

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 22:55:00 +0000

Ladywell Village Improvement Group have been collecting signatures for their petition, which calls upon the Council "to accept and to implement from 2011, the recommendations of the Ladywell Streetscape Study which will help arrest the long and sad decline of Ladywell. These proposals are supported by residents and businesses alike, and to date have been warmly supported by Council officers also".

The petition seems very reasonably worded to me:

"The Ladywell Village Improvement Group, supported by the Ladywell Assembly, secured £10k from the Mayor's Fund to commission a Ladywell Streetscape Study. Experienced consultants Shape have undertaken this work, which included throughout extensive consultation with local residents and businesses and liaison with Council officers. The Consultants have now submitted their final report which makes clear, informed, robust and eminently sensible recommendations. Furthermore, mindful of the financial climate, it makes suggestions for the phasing of the recommended works. To fail to include these works within the Local Implementation Plan for 2011/12 and beyond will betray the aspirations of local people and could see the further decline of Ladywell as a viable centre."

You can read more on LVIG's blog, or go straight to sign the e-petition here. The petition closes early next week (you can also sign a paper copy in Oscar's Cafe in Ladywell). LVIG are keen that as many Lewisham people as possible add their names as we want to ensure that the Ladywell improvements happen in 2011 and are not scheduled for a later year when the level of TfL highways funding is uncertain.

Ladywell By-Election - help us put the Green back in Ladywell!

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 19:12:00 +0000

(image) You may by now have heard that Tim Shand, one of the new Labour councillors elected in May to serve Ladywell has chosen to take up a job offer in South Africa and resigned as a councillor, which means there will be a by-election. We don't know the date yet, but are assuming it will be on or around 4th November.

While it's annoying that someone who was only elected in May, has resigned and triggered a by-election, at a cost to local taxpayers in excess of £10k, it does of course present an opportunity for Ladywell Greens to regain one of the seats we lost back in May! I am looking forward to getting back out campaigning over the next few weeks to try and get a Green candidate, who is trully committed to Ladywell ward elected.

Our candidate selection meeting is taking place this Thursday, and we will announce on here shortly after who our candidate is. I know we have at least two excellent people who plan to put their name forward. I'm not standing myself this time - I'm rather enjoying the extra time I have now I'm not a councillor.

I think we have a very strong chance of winning this seat back, and making sure Ladywell has a strong green voice standing up for it again, looking for alternatives to cuts to services, campaigning to keep our childrens' centres and libraries open, but we'll need your help.

Here's how you can help:
  • By-elections cost money! Help us run an effective campaign by making a donation to our campaign fund today.
  • Put up a 'Vote Green' window poster for us. E-mail me your contact details and we'll get one over to you once the election date is declared.
  • Can you help us deliver our election address to your street, or could you convince some of your neighbours to go out and vote Green? Again, e-mail us and let us know what you would like to do.
  • Have you got questions/suggestions on our campaign, what you think our priorities should be? Again, get in touch.
  • Join us! We're a small party, but a growing one. We can do so much more and be so much more representative of the local community, if more of our supporters join us.
Thank you!

Two events this Saturday

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 10:07:00 +0000

Two Lewisham Green Party events this weekend that supporters, as well as members, are welcome to attend:

80s Disco
(image) Lewisham Green Party is 30 years old this month. To celebrate we are having an 80s disco. Come and join us and celebrate in style!

Saturday 25th September From 8pm. Brockley Social Club 240 Brockley Road, SE4 2SW. £4

Special prize for the best 80s outfit!

Autumn Foraging Foray: Saturday 25th September
Back in June (image) we held a very successful foraging walk. Local member Darren Flint led a group of members and supporters around various sites in New Cross and Deptford. Participants picked wild rocket, nettles, elderflower, pineapple weed and fennel, amongst other things, which were then taken back to Darren's kitchen and turned into the most delicious meal.

Now, due to popular demand, we are having a follow up event. Saturday 25th September, 11am-2pm. Gather at the gates of Brimmington Park, towards the New Cross end of the Old Kent Road.
Come on(image) a food foraging walk around South Bermondsey - we will gather a Summer harvest and walk up Telegraph Hill, where we will prepare a lunch of wild food and drink.

A voluntary contribution will be taken in support of Lewisham Green Party. To give us an idea of numbers, if you would like to join us, please RSVP to Darren.

Reminder: Council Consultation Meeting on Closure of Crofton Park Library TOMORROW, 23rd August

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 10:41:00 +0000

(image) The Council's public consultation meeting to get local views on proposals to close Crofton Park Library, is tomorrow evening (Monday 23rd August) at St Saviour's Church Hall, Brockley Road, from 7pm.

I plan to attend, and would encourage everyone else concerned at the proposals to come along too.

There is also a petition, which already has over 1,500 signatures. If you would like to sign it, you can do so online here, or by signing one of the paper copies available in various local shops, including Mr Lawrence Wine Bar.

Check out the Transition Brockley Blog!

Sun, 22 Aug 2010 10:34:00 +0000

(image) I just wanted to give a quick plug to the rather good Transition Brockley blog maintained by Alex, who also designed the rather nifty logo . The most recent article sports a picture of blackberries picked by yours trully in Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries. They made a spectacular blackberry & apple crumble!

Free food?! Foraging Walk and other events this weekend

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 22:54:00 +0000

(image) There's lots going on this weekend, including of course Hilly Fields Fayre on Saturday (midday onwards) and the Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries workday on Sunday (meet 10am by the old chapel).

Food Foraging Walk
Also, this Saturday, local Green and wild food afficionado Darren Flint is leading a food foraging walk between Deptford and New Cross. The plan is to gather wild plants (responsibly and carefully, under guidance from Darren as to what is ok to pick) and then go back to Darren's kitchen to prepare salad, soup, fritters and drinks using what's been gathered.

If you'd like to attend, e-mail Darren Flint today to book your place. Gather at the gates of the Laban centre on the corner of Creekside and Berthon St at 11am on Saturday (19th June). The walk is free, although donations to Lewisham Green Party are welcome.

I've always wanted to find out a bit more about this so will definitely be popping along before Hilly Fields Fayre.

Sponsored Walks
This week is Refugee Week and Sunday is World Refugee Day. AFRIL (Action for Refugees in Lewisham) is organising a sponsored walk to raise funds. They have a 5 mile walk "starting and ending at Hilly Fields and taking in the beautiful local sights of Blackheath, Greenwich Park and Lewisham Bus Garage" or a "a 1 mile circuit around Hilly Fields for smaller legs and families"! 10am -2pm on Sunday 20th June. For a fundraising pack or further information please contact Vanessa .

Another sponsored walk happening on Sunday, albeit a substantially longer one, is being under taken by local (Honor Oak) resident Norma Hibbert, who is walking from London to Brighton. Norma is one of the regular volunteers at Frendsbury Gardens and also won the 2010 'Love Lewisham Community Champion' award, in recognition of her hard work on the project. This is an annual walk she and a small group of friends make in memory of her son, Jonathan, and to raise money for the charity set up in his honour, which supports scholarships for Jamaican students. You can find out more information, and donate online at the Jonathan Hibbert Foundation website.

Free Composting Workshops at Devonshire Road Nature Reserve

Sun, 13 Jun 2010 11:54:00 +0000

(image) The Council's waste team is organising several free workshops on home composting:

Sun 27 June 10.30am - 12
Sat 17 July 11am - 12.30
Wed 11 August 6.30am - 8

The sessions will all take place at Devonshire Road Nature Reserve (which, if you haven't ever been there, is in itself well worth a visit).

To book your place (spaces are limited), e-mail the aptly-named Kristina Binns, with the title "YES for composting workshop", stating which day you will be attending and how many people will be attending.

Local Peace Events

Sun, 13 Jun 2010 10:33:00 +0000

A few peace events coming up which may be of interest (via Lewisham & Greenwich CND):
  • The next Lewisham and Greenwich CND business meeting is on Tuesday 15th June in Mr Laurence's Wine Bar, 391 Brockley Road, London SE4 2PH at 7pm.
  • On Wednesday 16th June, at St. John's Church, Lewisham Way, SE8 4EA, South East London Palestine Solidarity Campaign is holding its AGM at 7pm with a report on the Gaza Flotilla at 7.30 pm. There will be an eye witness account from Alex Lort-Phillips who was on the Mavi Marmara. Frank Barat from the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will provide further information on the siege and the occupation. All are welcome to both the AGM and report on the Gaza Flotilla.
  • On Tuesday 15th June, at Mr Laurence's Wine bar from 6pm until 7pm, there will be an organization meeting for the Hiroshima Day commemoration on Tuesday 3rd August in Charlton House at which an atom bomb survivor (Hibakusha) will speak. This will be the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the bomb, and probably our last opportunity to hear about the effects of an atom bomb from somebody who was there.

    The Charlton House Hiroshima day commemoration will continue with an evening of music and poetry organised in collaboration with The One World Club - a club of musicians and poets which meets at the Mitre in Greenwich every Thursday evening - see . If you would like to help organize this event, please come at 6pm.
  • Lewisham United Nations Association AGM: the Lewisham branch of the United Nations Association will hold its AGM on Thursday 17th June 2010 at 7,30pm in the Civic Suite of Lewisham Town Hall.

    Immediately following the brief AGM, Lord Hannay, Chair of UNA-UK will speak on "A nuclear free world and how to achieve it". The event will be chaired by Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham. The evening will will conclude with music by the Lewisham choir with a conscience, The Strawberry thieves, and a light supper.

Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre, Saturday 19th June, 12-5pm

Mon, 07 Jun 2010 08:00:00 +0000

Sad that Brockley Max is finished for another year? Fear not, there's another community bash coming up on 19th June in the shape of Broc Soc's Midsummer Fayre on Hilly Fields. Details below, see you there!