COVID-19 and more: latest updates from Southwark Council

COVID-19 national restrictions still apply until 2 December
Remember to stick to the current national restrictions, to help reduce the spread of the virus, protect your family, friends and neighbours, and to save lives.

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms
If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark, with spare capacity, and it’s easy to book a free test.If you’ve been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be able to get some financial help while self-isolating.

Volunteer to help share crucial information about COVID-19
We’re working with Community Southwark to find volunteers to help keep people up-to-date with COVID-19 advice. We’re calling them Community Health Ambassadors. Volunteers will receive specialist training and play an important role in keeping our borough safe.If you’re interested in volunteering please complete an expression of interest form.

Try our elibrary during the new national restrictions
During the national restrictions our libraries are closed. However, you can still borrow ebooks and stream films, free of charge via our elibrary service and our home library service is still operating.

Looking for things to do during the tighter restrictions?
Check out our listings of virtual events, performances and workshops to keep you entertained during the tighter restrictions. 

Get help if you’re struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety
Feeling low, stressed and anxious are common feelings. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be finding things harder than usual. Get advice and support to improve your mental health.

Support for parents during the tighter restrictions
If you’re a parent or carer, get support and advice to help you cope with the new national restrictions, including managing conflict, emotions and behaviour at home, eating healthily and talking to children about COVID-19.

Tips on staying active if you’re feeling low on energy
Have you had COVID-19 and are feeling low on energy? Moving more is an important part of your recovery and can help put a spring in your step and lift your mood. Get tips on staying active and free support in the borough for you and your family.

Get your free flu jab
If you’re eligible, make sure you get your free flu vaccination to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. It’s more important than ever this year. Ask your pharmacist or GP today.

Get free career and employment support
Southwark Works is a free employment support service for anyone living in the borough. It’s for residents of all ages, experiences and backgrounds and offers one-to-one support to help find a new job or a better job.

Voting safely at next year’s elections
The Greater London Authority elections are due to take place on Thursday 6 May 2021 and we are already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.

Give your views on our climate strategy
We want to know what you think of our suggested approach to reducing carbon and protecting biodiversity in Southwark.

Thinking of becoming a foster carer?
Find out what is needed to become a foster carer by registering for one of our online fostering information sessions on Tuesday 1 December at 6.30pm or Monday 7 December at 12 noon by emailing fostering@southwark.gov.uk

Register to attend your local housing forum meeting
If you live in a council home, including council-owned temporary accommodation, you can register to attend your next virtual local housing meeting. The next meetings are in December and you can take part in discussions with council officers and councillors including how the council can better spend funding on improving homes and estates or how the council allocates homes.

Job support for 16–25-year-olds
We will shortly be launching a new campaign which will help link young people with jobs, training and other opportunities. Sign up now to get jobs, training, volunteering and work experience opportunities and more by email

Update on housing services during the tighter restrictions

Housing news banner

Dear resident,

Following the recent tightening of COVID-19 restrictions in England here are some key updates about our housing and other services and a reminder of upcoming opportunities to get involved.

Remember, if you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark and it’s easy to book a free test.Thank to everyone who is looking out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours during these difficult times. If you know a vulnerable resident who needs help, please tell us so we can support them.

We’re currently only doing essential repairs
To reduce the risk to residents and staff of home visits, we will only be carrying out essential repairs inside people’s homes, focusing on ensuring homes are warm, dry and safe, and prioritising our vulnerable residents.

Resident services
We will continue to contact and support vulnerable residents in all tenures of council accommodation including our supported hostels and residents in temporary accommodation, sheltered and Extra Care housing. We will carry out estate inspections and fire risk assessments, and we will continue to carry out work on voids to support choice based lettings.Meetings with residents and routine home visits will be carried out virtually where possible.

Homelessness services
Our Housing Solutions service continues to provide advice and support to people who need urgent help because they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Please continue to pay your rent
Please continue to pay your rent if you can because it helps to fund vital council services at this difficult time. If you are struggling with rent payments there is help available.

We’re still building new homes
Construction is permitted to continue under the new restrictions so we will be continuing work as planned on delivering new council homes, while our contractors and construction workers are working in Covid-secure ways. Read more about the council’s new homes programme. 

Register your interest in a growing plot
Early in the new year we will launch a new Allotment Expansion Guarantee to create hundreds of new growing plots on council land. The council’s community gardening coordinators will work with residents to design, build and run their own community allotments. Sign up to receive an alert.

Other changes to council services
Southwark’s parks will remain open
All sports and leisure facilities, including football, tennis and basketball courts, grass and astro-turf pitches, outdoor gyms, cricket nets and fishing areas will be closed.
Schools remain open and children should attend as normal.
Leisure centres will close.
Libraries will close (but digital services and the home library will continue)
Playgrounds will stay open but families should maintain social distance and wash hands/use hand sanitiser before and after use.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can only proceed in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can still be held, with up to 30 people.

Join in your next local housing forum
The next round of housing forum meetings is taking place in December. Anyone who lives in a council home, including council-owned temporary accommodation can now book their space.

When are the meetings and what will be discussed?The next meetings will take place between 3 and 17 December and topics will include:Feedback on previous meetingHousing service updates for your area.Election of a resident to chair the meetingsElection of representatives to the new Tenants and Homeowners ForumDue to the current pandemic these meetings will be held virtually on Zoom. You can reserve your place on Zoom.>> Register to attend now. 

Which forum meeting you should attend
There are five different housing forums, each covering a different part of the borough. You can check which housing forum you should attend on our website.If you would like more information on these meetings, nominations or the elections (see below) please contact resident.participation@southwark.gov.uk

Nominate yourself to become your local housing forum chair
By having a resident chair this meeting we will ensure that the meetings cover relevant topics and are shaped by residents for residents. You would need to commit to attend four meetings a year. Experience in chairing meetings is not necessary as training and support will be given.>> Complete a self-nomination by 18 November

Nominate yourself to represent your housing forum in the tenants’ or homeowners’ forum.
Nominate yourself to represent your housing forum in the tenants’ or homeowners’ forum. You can now also nominate yourself to represent your local forum at the new tenants’ or homeowners’ forum. This might be for you, if you are able to commit to attend about nine evening meetings a year. You don’t need to have previous experience as we will offer free training and support to help you fulfil this role.  >> Complete a self-nomination by 18 November


Urgent information about new national restrictions

Kieron Williams HeaderDear resident

From today, England is moving into a new period of national restrictions, until Wednesday 2 December. This means that once again, we should all stay at home as much as possible and work from home if we can.

While this is hard for everyone, it is really important that we all stick to the rules, so together we can reduce the number of people who are catching the virus, protect our families, friends and neighbours, and save lives.

The laws that the Government is introducing for this period mean you should only leave your home for specific purposes. These include to:
Attend school, education or childcare
Exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place
Attend medical appointments or for any medical concerns or emergencies, including a booked Covid-19 test, or avoid harm or injury (such as domestic abuse)
Go to work if you cannot work from home
Shop for basic necessities like food and medicine
Visit members of your support bubble, care for vulnerable people, or volunteer

Many businesses, such as pubs, non-essential shops, cinemas, leisure centres, museums and hair and beauty salons, will be closed. Read the full details about the restrictions.

I know how worried many of you will be about these restrictions. Some will be worried about the financial impact on your families, while others will fear loneliness and isolation. I can’t pretend it will be easy, but I can promise you that we will do everything we can to support you through this challenging time.

Thank you and stay safe.  

Kieron

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms
If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark and it’s easy to book a free test.

Try our elibrary during the new national restrictions
During the national restrictions our libraries will close. However, you can still borrow ebooks and stream films, free of charge via our elibrary service and our home library service will keep operating.

Impact of tighter restrictions on council services
Government guidance on specific aspects of the new restrictions that relate to council services is still emerging. However, we can currently confirm the following:
Southwark’s parks will remain open
All sports and leisure facilities, including football, tennis and basketball courts, grass and astro-turf pitches, outdoor gyms, cricket nets and fishing areas will be closed.
Schools remain open and children should attend as normal.
Leisure centres will close.
Libraries will close (but digital services and the home library will continue)
Playgrounds will stay open but families should maintain social distance and wash hands/use hand sanitiser before and after use.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can only proceed in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can still be held, with up to 30 people.


Watch the Unicorn Theatre’s online theatrical reading of one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved stories, The Twits. This unabridged reading, filmed in the theatre, is gleeful, gunge-filled digital storytelling aimed at children aged 6 to 12.

Support for parents during the tighter restrictions
If a parent or carer get support and advice to help you cope with the new national restrictions, including managing conflict, emotions and behaviour at home, eating healthily and talking to children about COVID-19.

Remembrance Sunday service in Southwark Cathedral
The Mayor of Southwark and Southwark Council will be marking the day with a virtual service and wreath laying in Southwark Cathedral, which was pre-recorded before the new restrictions came into force. This will be available on the council’s YouTube channel on Sunday 8 November.

Get your free flu jab
If you’re eligible, make sure you get your free flu vaccination to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. It’s more important than ever this year. Ask your pharmacist or GP today.

Voting safely at next year’s elections
The Greater London Authority elections are due to take place on Thursday 6 May 2021 and we are already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.

If you smoke you’re more at risk from COVID-19
If you’re a smoker and become infected with COVID-19 you’re more likely to become seriously ill than a non-smoker. Get help to quit smoking now

Job support for 16–25-year-olds
We will shortly be launching a new campaign which will help link young people with jobs, training and educational opportunities. Sign up now to get jobs, training and education opportunities by email.

Current COVID-19 restrictions, flu jab reminder, adult education and more

Check the current COVID-19 rules:

The whole of London is now in ‘Level 2’ restrictions, which means we must all follow extra rules to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The key new rule that affects us all is:

You must not socialise with anybody other than members of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

The new rules also include:
Social mixing between households is not allowed indoors, including in homes, pubs or restaurants.
The ‘Rule of Six’ will continue to apply outdoors, including in private gardens.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs can remain open but must close by 10pm, and will need to follow the ban on households mixing indoors
Retail, schools, public transport and universities will remain open.

You can also read the government guidance for more detail about the new restrictions.

Continue to follow national guidance

The new measures are in addition to the national rules and guidance so please continue to:
1. Keep your distance
2. Wash your hands
3. Wear a face covering
4. Self-isolate if you have symptoms while you arrange a test, or if you are advised to because you have been near to someone else who has tested positive

If you are worried about the impact of the new restrictions, or about self-isolating, there is support available. Whether you have a practical concern like how you will get groceries, a mental health issue like being alone, or how it will affect your finances – the council can help. 

New adult learning courses
We are running a range of adult education courses, including Covid-secure in-person courses and online courses ideal for those that are self-isolating or prefer distance learning. A number of courses are starting on 2 November including knitting and sewing, and there are still spaces available on courses that have started such as online hatha yoga, painting, maths and English.

Is your child starting secondary school in September 2021?
You must apply for your child’s secondary school place online by 31 October 2020. We have lots of useful information about the different types of secondary schools in Southwark, as well as tips to help you decide which school is right for your child. 

Read our Elephant magazine
The Autumn issue of The Elephant Magazine is out now. It includes local artist, Sokari Douglas Camp talking steel, sculpture and Southwark; the Elephant’s Lockdown heroes and news on how the Community Fund is helping local charities. Pick up your copy in the neighbourhood or read online

Could you foster a child?
If you have a spare room and have a flexible job, and if you’re energetic and a good listener, you could consider becoming a foster carer

Have you seen the giant mural on Old Kent Road?
Proposition Studios at Surrey Wharf is transforming a corner of Old Kent Road with an amazing, temporary work of art, ahead of redevelopment.

Get your free flu jab
If you’re eligible, make sure you get your free flu vaccination to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. It’s more important than ever this year. Ask your pharmacist or GP today.

Enjoy Halloween safely
This Halloween, why not play Spot the Pumpkin and get school friends to put pictures in their windows: parents, give your kids a sweet for every one they spot.

Help design services to support people experiencing abuse
We want your help to design support services for residents experiencing any form of gender-based violence or abuse. This includes domestic abuse, stalking, rape, forced marriage and prostitution. If you’ve been directly or indirectly affected by such violence and abuse give your views before 23 November.

If you smoke you’re more at risk from COVID-19
If you’re a smoker and become infected with COVID-19 you’re more likely to become seriously ill than a non-smoker. Get help to quit smoking now

An update on the Bakerloo Line extension
Southwark and Lewisham councils remain fully committed to the Bakerloo Line extension, following TfL’s announcement regarding funding. Read the joint statement.

Job support for 16–25-year-olds
We will shortly be launching a new campaign which will help link young people with jobs, training and educational opportunities. Sign up now to get jobs, training and education opportunities by email

Southwark Creates newsletter

Southwark Presents /  Southwark Creates / September 2020 Southwark Creates artwork
Welcome to the October edition of theSouthwark Creates newsletter

Firstly, congratulations to South London Gallery for their success on being named joint winners of Art Fund Museum of the Year, and to the Guyana-born Southwark-based British artist Frank Bowling, choreographer Siobhan Davies and the chair of Mountview Vikki Heywood who have respectively been awarded a knighthood and damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020. The last week has also brought the welcome news that 55 organisations in Southwark have been awarded grants from the Culture Recovery Fund.  

We wish Southwark Park Galleries and the Drawing Room the best of luck as they reopen this month. As more cultural organisations start to re-open in Southwark we will be shining a spotlight on the amazing work taking place behind the scenes. If you would like to share your experiences of this process in the next newsletter please do let us know.

In the meantime, Arts Council England have taken a look at the hugely positive contribution that the creative industries and the cultural sector make to the UK economy by commissioning three new research pieces by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) and Metrodynamics. Read the full story here.

Black History Month 2020 provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the achievements, contributions and histories of Black people in the UK and around the world. This year we have supported 33 local organisations/artists to produce a wide range of events and activities from a digital patchwork quilt and poems by prize-winning poet Jenny Mitchell to interdisciplinary live-streamed concerts showcasing Black British musicians. Read more here.

If you have a specific query or are looking for further support please contact the Culture Team via email culture@southwark.gov.uk. We’re here to help!

#KeepSouthwarkSafe
#HereForCulture

Get involved

Join the Centre for Cultural Value’s online festival of ideas 2-13 November. Ten days of free online events, probing and questioning the value of culture through a series of discussions, debates and hands-on workshops. Read more and sign up here.

#HereForCulture campaign has launched to help support Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries. Please support and show you are #HereForCulture by sharing the assets in this toolkit across your social media channels.

The Audience Agency – Digital Audience Survey. A new free survey to give you a comparative snapshot of your digital audiences as you adapt your online offer. Request a digital audience survey here.

Networking

Creative Network Southwark – A network of individuals and organisations working in the creative sector in Southwark, run by Community Southwark. Check out the website for details on the next meeting.

Rye Here Rye Now – A Peckham-based meet up, for graphic designers, illustrators, design thinkers, photographers, filmmakers, artists and other creatives. Check out the website for details on the next meeting.

Outdoor Arts UK provides an informal sector network weekly drop-in, plus one to ones with a member of the Outdoor Arts UK team are available. Read more.

Visit Southwark Creates / Networking for more opportunities

Funding

Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences. Deadline 27 October. Find out more here.

The Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas is intended for independent cinemas across England whose businesses have been unavoidably interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline 30 October 2020. Find out more here.

Garfield Weston Foundation has announced a £25m one-off fund to support museums, performing and visual arts organisations across the UK. Deadline 9 November 2020. Find out more here.

The Architectural Heritage Fund announces a new £1 million grant programme to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Deadline 9 November 2020. Find out more here

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has reopened the Teacher Development Fund (TDF) for applications. Grants of up to £150K for primary schools working together with arts & cultural organisations. Deadline 20 November 2020. Find out more here.

Arts Council England Developing your Creative Practice is for individuals who are cultural and creative practitioners and want to take time to focus on their creative development. If you’re thinking of taking your practice to the next stage, DYCP can help by supporting research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing ideas, networking or mentoring. Find out more here

Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants reopened for applications, with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. The fund will focus on the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners. Find out more here.

Visit Southwark Creates / Funding for more opportunities

Business support

Southwark Council provides support and information for businesses and employers on the Council’s website. To contact the Council about support available or issues affecting your business, please email SouthwarkBusinessDesk@southwark.gov.uk

Guidance on working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) for employers, workers and the self-employed Read more. 

Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are. Read more.

NHS app and test and trace Businesses and venues that are already required to collect visitor details for test and trace must also by law display NHS QR codes for visitors using the new NHS app. If your business collects test and trace data, please read the FAQs about what is required and use this tool to generate your QR code posters.

Visit Southwark Creates / Business Support for more opportunities

Training and short courses

Visit the Council’s Stay-at-Home Library of Things To Do to discover a range of online learning activities. There are also lots of one-off short courses being delivered online and virtual courses via the Adult Learning Centre.

Start-ups in London Libraries.  Free workshops developing your business idea to marketing masterclasses, check out the courses running in October. Sign up here.

UAL Creative Computing Institute. Learn new skills, pursue your interests or advance your career with short online courses. From constructing your own video games to designing a feminist chatbot. Check out the free courses and sign up here.

Stride makes space for creativity and innovation to thrive in South London. They create opportunity, develop talent and support creative and tech enterprises. Be the first to know about Stride programmes and initiatives. Sign up here.

Visit Southwark Creates / Talent Development for more opportunities
Resources

Southwark Stands Together. The report is now available to downlod here. The section on Culture begins on page 12 and the sectionon Reinventing and Renewing the Public Realm begins on page 18. You may also be interested in reading about the updated Council Plan, which is available online here.

New Covid-19 planning guidance published for UK festivals. Includes contributions from across the festival industry working in collaboration with DCMS and Public Health England. Read more.

Jobs and opportunities

Engagement Curator (Maternity Cover). The Drawing Room is seeking an Engagement Curator, a position funded by the Bridget Riley Art Foundation, to lead their ground-breaking programme which aims to make both the practice of drawing and the appreciation of drawings accessible to a diverse audience. Deadline 20 October 2020. Read more and apply here.

The Michael O’Pray Prize, is a Film and Video Umbrella initiative, in partnership with Art Monthly for new writing on innovation and experimentation in the moving image. The prize is open to all early-career writers based in the UK . Deadline 22 October 2020. Reed more and apply here.

Interim Youth & Adult Learning Officer. South London Theatre is looking for someone to kick-start their adult learning programme and re-invigorate their youth group. 6 month contract 21 hours/week £18/hour, includes Saturdays during term times. Deadline 21 October 2020. Read more and apply here.

Siobhan Davies Studios are offering artist support to dance artists, choreographers and others working in the dance sector. Sessions for October have now been released. Find out more.

Creative Bursaries for Southwark Students – Ten new Bursaries o£2,500 each for academic year 2020/21 for Southwark secondary students to study at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL and London College of Communication, UAL. In partnership with University of the Arts London (UAL), these Bursaries are provided by Southwark Council. To register your interest, please email scholarshipapplications@arts.ac.uk and UAL’s Student Funding Service will contact all students who have completed the enrolment process in October 2020.

Help keep Southwark safe

Southwark Council is monitoring the COVID-19 infection rates on a daily basis and our numbers are increasing. It is still a threat and we all need to do all we can to prevent the spread of this virus and protect
our family, friends and communities. A high proportion of new cases are for people aged 18–34. We also know that most transmission is still amongst family and friends.

If you’re visiting family or going out with friends you must:
keep your distance from other people at all
a face covering in shops and on public transport
wash your hands regularly.

Get a test as soon as possible if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). You must also self-isolate, as should members of your household and anyone in your support bubble.

#KeepSouthwarkSafe

Southwark Presents…

Southwark Presents

Share the love!

If you would like to share an offer with Southwark Presents card holders please email culture@southwark.gov.uk.Tell me more…
To get the latest special offers and cultural news, sign up to the Southwark Presents newsletter. Next time you’re passing one of our libraries, why not pop in to register for your own Southwark Presents card? Visit Southwark Presents for the latest events in the borough
Contact us
Southwark Council
Culture and Events Team
PO Box 64529
London SE1 5LX

COVID-19: Urgent information as London moves into Level 2 restrictions


Kieron Williams Header
Dear resident

COVID-19 numbers are rising rapidly in Southwark and across London. From midnight tomorrow (Friday) the whole of London will move to ‘Level 2’ restrictions, which means we must all follow extra rules to help stop the spread of COVID-19.Rates have been rising rapidly in Southwark and across London and are now classed as HIGH. We need to act now to help save lives and livelihoods.

New rules for London

New restrictions will be in place in Southwark and London. The key new rule that affects us all is:

You must not socialise with anybody other than members of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

The attached leaflet sets out more information on the new rules, which include:

Social mixing between households is not allowed indoors, including in homes, pubs or restaurants.
The ‘Rule of Six’ will continue to apply outdoors, including in private gardens.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs can remain open but must close by 10pm, and will need to follow the ban on households mixing indoors
Retail, schools, public transport and universities will remain open.

You can also read the government guidance for more detail about the new restrictions.

Continue to follow national guidance

The new measures are in addition to the national rules and guidance so please continue to:

1. Keep your distance
2. Wash your hands
3. Wear a face covering
4. Self-isolate if you have symptoms while you arrange a test, or if you are advised to because you have been near to someone else who has tested positive

If you are worried about the impact of the new restrictions, or about self-isolating, there is support available. Whether you have a practical concern like how you will get groceries, a mental health issue like being alone, or how it will affect your finances – the council can help. Our Community Hub is still available to offer advice and support.

Visit http://www.southwark.gov.uk/covidsupport for more information or contact the Community Hub at covidsupport@southwark.gov.uk or call 020 7525 5000.

Alongside the support the council is providing, I will be continuing to urge Government to ensure that additional financial support is in place for individuals and local businesses who are affected by the restrictions.I know this is an unsettling time for residents and I want to say thank you for everything you are doing to help keep us all safe. The new restrictions will be very hard for us all, especially for those who have already sacrificed a great deal for the sake of their own health and that of others. However, it is so important that we act now, before the rates spiral out of control, and many more lives are needlessly lost.

Thank you for helping to keep Southwark safe.

Cllr Kieron Williams
Leader of Southwark Council

35% Campaign update – No room for social rent at Pocket Living on the Old Kent Road

No room for social rent at Pocket Living on the Old Kent Road Oct 06, 2020 12:00 am

100% affordable housing, zero social rent, zero family housing -Southwark Council is set to approve a mixed-used residential scheme in the Old Kent Rd Opportunity Area with no social rented housing or family housing, at its planning committee meeting this evening.The proposed development on Ossory Rd is for 105 units of housing, with light industrial space beneath this. All 105 units will be affordable housing, but of the most expensive type, sold at 80% market value. The applicant is Pocket Living, which specialises in maximising the amount of housing on small sites. All the homes will be one-bed, one person units, without family housing. This is the second such Pocket Living development in the area; the first, in Varcoe Rd had 57 units and a third, Credon House, also for 57 units is in the pipeline.Pocket Living make up their own rulesSouthwark Council requires 35% affordable housing, 70% of which should be social rented, on all developments of this size. This has been the case since 2007 and the requirement has been retained in a succession of local planning documents, up to the draft New Southwark Plan and the Old Kent Rd Area Action Plan. All major approved developments within the Old Kent Rd have pledged to deliver that amount.There should also be at least 20% family housing of 3, 4, 5-beds in major developments and 60% of should comprise 2-bed homes1.Pocket Living, however, want to make up their own rules. Their sites are small and it wishes to maximise the number of homes built, so they are all one -bed/one person units, though 10% of their occupants appear to be couples, with most units barely above the minimum size allowed (37 sq metres) 2.The amount of open and amenity space for occupants is also squeezed. In a development of this size there should be 1,050 sqm private amenity space, Pocket are providing a miniscule 42 sqm. Developers can compensate for a lack of private space with more communal space, but Pocket falls well short here, too, providing less than half the amount required (506 sqm instead of 1,058 sqm) 3 .Not that affordablePocket Living justify their radical departures from Southwark’s affordable housing requirements, by claiming they are serving the hard-pressed, young first-time buyer and supply their own statistics and census figures to back this up, dutifully reproduced by the officer’s report, which recommends approval of the scheme 4. The report also makes the confusing claim that the affordable housing offer is policy compliant:Buying a decent home in London is undoubtedly hard for the young professionals Pocket Living housing is squarely aimed at, but they are still relatively much better off than those excluded by the absence of social and family housing from Pocket Living developments. Pocket’s typical purchaser will have an average income of £44,000 (OR, Para 60), an income enjoyed by less than 4.5% of Southwark’s households. Pocket Living estimates that its homes will sell for approximately £300k each (with the 20% discount). Supplying homes at these prices to those who earn £44k per year, at the expense of those who earn barely half that is not what affordable housing should be about5.Density and un-exemplary designUnsurprisingly, given Pocket’s ambitions to maximise the number of units, they are proposing a scheme which is twice the density it should be, (at 2,333 habitable rooms per hectare against a maximum allowed of 1,100 hrph), justified on the basis of exemplary design. However, many of the measures for ‘exemplary’ design are not met – it does not have enough amenity space, there is no ‘predominance’ of dual aspect flats, it does not have any 2-bed or more flats, and the flats do not ‘significantly exceed minimum floor-space standards’ 6.Equality not a great considerationThe lack of social and family housing and the provision of all the homes as single bed units, targeted at middle income professionals, would also seem to have clear implications for the various social groups protected under equalities legislation. Southwark have a legal duty to consider this, but have not done so in any detail, content just to note of affordable housing, that there is ‘a high demand for such accommodation and a relatively high BAME population’ 7.Viability and the Bakerloo Line ExtensionThe officer’s report and recommendation for approval was written before press-reports that the Bakerloo Line extension has fallen down the list of priorities for Transport for London (TfL) and may not be built for many years. Pocket Living’s proposal is, according to themselves, technically non-viable and depends upon the delivery of the BLE to turn a profit (as do many other Old Kent Rd schemes) 8. There is no mention of a late stage review of the scheme’s viability, which removes the possibility of any improvement in the affordable housing offer, such as a greater discount in the selling price.The Mayor likes itWhile Pocket Living pretty much ignores Southwark’s own housing policy, so does the officer’s report to the planning committee, which notes the departures, but nonetheless recommends approval on other ‘material’ grounds. The report also cites the enthusiastic support of the Mayor (matching his enthusiasm for Build to Rent, another middle/upper income affordable housing tenure that sacrifices social rent)9.What we say…It is hard to see what this scheme brings to the Old Kent Rd, in housing terms. It has no social housing and no family housing. The affordable housing it does provide is of the most expensive kind. The scheme does not have the private and public space that it should have and it serves a very narrow demographic, while excluding broader sections of the community.Pocket Living would argue that the constraints of the site and the housing needs of a relatively well-off section of the community should outweigh these shortcomings, but Southwark’s local plan already addresses how much housing there should be for different income groups, with the overarching aim of building a mixed and cohesive community. Pocket Living simply ignores this, so the planning committee should reject this application.You can find the 35% Campaign objection to this development here. Footnotes:Southwark’s Core Strategy Strategic Policy 7 – Family homes, pg 86 Officer Report Table pg 42 Officer Report para 133,134,135 Officer Report para 112 New Southwark Plan Submission Version Jan 2020 Fig 2 Officer Report para 118, 119 Officer Report para 28 Officer Report para 64, 65 Officer Report para 229-237; 57 
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Shopping Centre closes, but campaign for traders continuesSep 28, 2020 12:00 am

Protesters mark the final day for Elephant shopping centre -The closure of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre last Thursday was marked by protest, impassioned speeches and widespread media coverage. The centre closed after 55 years’ service to the local community and is now set to be demolished, to make way for a new retail, leisure and residential complex. Shopping centre owner, Delancey, leads the development partnership behind the new scheme.While the centre’s major stores had gradually left over the previous months, many of the independent businesses were trading up to the final day. The closure also brought the end for the market which occupied the centre’s ‘moat’, which numbered around 60 stalls just under 2 years ago when Southwark’s planning committee first considered developer Delancey’s proposals for the centre’s redevelopment.Only 40 traders have been relocated to three sites – Castle Square, Perronet House and Elephant Park – ‘leaving about 40 traders who have been trading at least since January 2019 (as per the s106 agreement) without alternative premises’. A major aim now of the traders and their supporters is to secure space that could double the number of relocated traders, with a proposal to the Mayor for new market stalls at the Elephant.Up the Elephant solidarityA large protest organised by the Up the Elephant campaign (which includes the 35% Campaign) marked the centre’s closure and commemorated the people who had worked there, many from for black and ethnic minorities, and its role as a social hub for the Latin American community in particular. The campaign has long fought against the demolition and Delancey’s redevelopment plans and while the centre’s fate was lamented, speakers also noted the gains that the campaign had made – more social housing, affordable retail space as well as new premises for some displaced traders, along with transition and relocation funding.What the Papers say…There was extensive press and media coverage of the closure and protest, including articles on the SE1 websiteSouthwark NewsSouth London PressSouth West LondonerMorning StarThe Guardian (and here), the Justice GapVice and the Spanish language Express News UK (and here) and the BBC’s Drivetime with Eddie Nestor.Amongst the comments from protest speakers highlighted in SE1 website were those from Patria Roman of Latin Elephant, a mainstay of the campaign, and trader Emad Megahed.Patria expressed her sadness at the closure of the shopping centre but noted that campaigning efforts had yielded improvements in the support provided by developers and the council to local traders.‘I am incredibly proud of all we achieved,’ she said.‘If today we can say that some traders have been relocated, it is because the campaigners fought fiercely. Everything they have is because campaigners fought for it. Nothing came for free.’Emad said – ‘I am so proud of my community. I am proud that my community stuck together – whatever nationality … we all speak the same language, the language of love, and sticking together as one. That’s the lesson we want to teach our kids.’The Guardian noted ‘the shadow of decades of underinvestment’and commented-‘rarely has a managed decline been so obvious, or so long-winded’adding-‘you don’t need to love the shopping centre as it is right now (or at all), or worry about what happens after its demolition to the meeting places, public spaces and social bonds it offers, …. to raise questions about who must leave and who can stay, when the developers arrive in town’.Southwark News also covers the rebuttal of Southwark Council and Delancey claims that nearly all traders have been satisfactorily relocated. It quotes Latin Elephant, which has profiled those turned down for new premises or unable to find appropriate space, and who say-‘Our research has been widely documented, and it was carried out independently with an effort to enforce transparency and accountability. This has been discussed several times with Southwark Council and Delancey. It is unacceptable to see the closure of the Shopping Centre with many traders still without relocation, so we will continue our advocacy work in a constructive way to support the local community.’The Mayor responds to traders’ proposalA day before the centre’s closure Mayor Sadiq Khan responded to the traders’ proposal for new market stalls to accommodate traders who have not been allocated new premises.Southwark News and The South London Press highlighted the response. The Mayor, quoted in the SLP, says ‘It is disappointing that a number of small businesses still don’t have the certainty they need….in general I would welcome any workable solution that would provide these businesses with the space they need to trade’ while cautioning that the traders’ proposal ‘would be subject to various planning and licensing consents’ making it ‘not appropriate’ to comment on the specific plans being presented.The traders’ proposal is supported by Florence Eshalomi MP, London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark, local councillor Maria Linforth-Hall and London Assembly members Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry, the Green Party candidate for Mayor. The Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party Constituency Party also passed a motion in support of the traders’ Proposal at their meeting last week.The traders and their supporters will now be building on this support to get new market stalls and kiosks for those traders without new premises and repair some of the damage done to their businesses and livelihoods, by the centre closure.
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35% Campaign

Covid-19: an update for Southwark residents

Covid cases are increasing in SouthwarkCovid-19: what you need to knowCovid-19 numbers are rising rapidly in Southwark and across London. Sadly, the number of hospital admissions and deaths is also rising. It’s as important as ever that we all do everything we can to reduce the spread of the virus. Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptomsIf you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test.You are now legally required to self-isolate, if you’ve tested positive or been told to by the test and trace service. People who don’t self-isolate when required could now be fined. Keep washing your hands, social distancing and wear a face coveringIn addition to the new rules we must keep washing our hands regularly, keep our distance from others (and not meet with more than six people), and wear a face covering in shops and on transport.Businesses must display a contact tracing posterBusinesses and some other organisations must download and display a QR code poster for customers and visitors to support contract tracing.Download the Test and Trace appYou can now download the national test and trace app. The app has a number of features including alerting users if they have been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus. Find out more about the app.Most children are now back in schoolMost children in Southwark are now back at school and we want to say a big thank you to our schools, teachers and families who for working together to keep everyone safe. Where there have been some Covid-19 cases in schools, the bubble arrangements have worked well, and although we know having to isolate can be inconvenient for families, we are hugely grateful to everyone in helping to keep Southwark safe and stop the spread of Covid-19.Other updatesCheck out what’s on for Black History MonthThere’s a variety of online and Covid-secure offline activities happening for Black History Month.Hear four poems by award-winning poet Jenny Mitchell from her lost language collectionJoin borough archivist Dr Patricia Dark, in an exploration of the history of Southwark’s pre-Windrush Black community on 13 October (in a virtual event on Zoom)Celebrate Black history and submit a digital image for our Southwark Stands Together digital patchwork quiltSee all our Black History Month listings.Have your say on our prioritiesWe’ve drafted an updated council plan which sets out our priorities until May 2022. Have we got our priorities right? Give your views on our draft council plan by 20 October.Get your free flu jabIf you’re eligible, make sure you get your free flu vaccination to protect yourself and those around you from the flu virus. It’s more important than ever this year. Ask your pharmacist or GP today.Get help to quit smokingIf you’re trying to stop smoking this October, you can get free online and telephone support to help you quit smoking for good.Have you seen the giant mural on Old Kent Road?Proposition Studios at Surrey Wharf is transforming a corner of Old Kent Road with an amazing, temporary work of art, ahead of redevelopment.Could you foster a child?If you have a spare room and have a flexible job, and if you’re energetic and a good listener, you could consider becoming a foster carer. Give your views on Victory ParkGive your views on three designs for Victory Park, near the Elephant and Castle. If you’d like play areas, an outdoor gym, table tennis, picnic benches and more, complete our survey by 23 October.An update on the Bakerloo Line extensionSouthwark and Lewisham councils remain fully committed to the Bakerloo Line extension, following TfL’s announcement regarding funding. Read the joint statement.Housing updates:Work with us on our Great Estates programmeGreat Estates is about celebrating our council estates, encouraging integration, making them clean, safe and cared for, and a great place to live. Let us know your views on our commitments and the ones we’d like you to make at by 18 October.Nominate yourself to become your local housing forum chairIf you live in a council home you can nominate yourself to be chair of your local housing forum. This will help make sure meetings are relevant and shaped by residents. Experience in chairing meetings is not necessary as training and support will be given. Nominate yourself to represent your housing forum in the tenants’ or homeowners’ forum You can now also nominate yourself to represent your local forum at the new tenants’ or homeowners’ forum. This might be for you, if you are able to commit to attend about nine evening meetings a year. You don’t need to have previous experience as we will offer free training and support.

VAWG (violence against women and girls Consultation

The Safer Communities Team is seeking the views and experiences of service users/survivors of all forms of VAWG (violence against women and girls). This will help them shape future services from April 2022.

As part of this process, an online survey is now live on the consultation hub via the following link:

https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/violence-against-women-and-girls-services

I ask that you complete if you can. The closing date is Monday 5 October, 20.

Judy Wills

Empowering Communities Programme Officer

North West Area (Borough & Bankside, Chaucer, London Bridge & West Bermondsey and St George’s)

Communities Division| Environment & Leisure Department

160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH

Black History Month 2020

BHM banner 2019

In Southwark, Black History Month has been celebrated for over 25 years with a programme of inspirational events and workshops throughout October. Every year schools, libraries, groups and organisations host events, many of which are funded by our grants programme.

Southwark Stands Together

The theme for this year is Celebrating Black Voices, Celebrating Black History.

This year all BHM event details will be uploaded directly to the council’s Southwark Presents listings website.

There will be no printed or downloadable PDF brochures.