Women’s Safety – Safer Streets Consultation, 10am, Thursday 24th June 2021

Dear TRA committee member,

Safer Streets Funding June 2021 – Stakeholder Consultation

The Home Office has just released Round 3 of the Safer Streets Fund. Southwark Council in conjunction with Met Police and other partners will be submitting a bid and would be really grateful for your views to help shape the submission. The key aims of the fund are to:

·       reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) and increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in public spaces

·       build the evidence base for what works on reducing VAWG crimes and increasing feelings of safety in the public domain

·       improve both the national and local data picture regarding VAWG crimes in public spaces, which could include increased reporting for some crime types

·       make public spaces safer for all

A consultation meeting will be held via zoom on Thursday 24th June at 10am. You can join simply by logging on to the session on Thursday. There is no need to book in advance.

Join Safer Streets Consultation Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99482647341

Meeting ID: 994 8264 7341
 Passcode: 545122

If you are unable to attend the meeting, we would be really grateful if you could consider the attached questions and send a written response by 5pm on Thursday 24th June

Apologies for the extremely tight timescales but the Home Office have not given us much time to submit a bid.

Kind regards

Lisa

Email address – Lisa.Negi@southwark.gov.uk

COVID-19: rates are rising in Southwark

Dear resident

 

COVID-19 rates are rising in Southwark and across much of the country. Given the rising numbers nationally, the government has announced a pause in the roadmap out of lockdown so that more people can get vaccinated before we move to step 4. 

It’s important to get vaccinated if you’re eligible and to keep getting tested regularly.

Book your COVID-19 vaccination today

Everyone aged 18 or over can now book their COVID-19 vaccination.

Get your first COVID-19 vaccination at a walk-in clinic at Guy’s hospital

If you’re aged 40 or over and you’ve not had your first vaccination, come to Guy’s hospital on any day until the end of June, 8am to 7pm, to get an AstraZeneca vaccine. No need to book. You don’t need ID, an NHS number, proof of your address or immigration status.

Don’t miss your second COVID-19 vaccine dose

The Delta variant now makes up 96% of new cases. After only one dose, the vaccines are around 26% to 40% effective at reducing symptomatic disease from the Delta variant. After two doses, the vaccines are estimated to be between 76% and 84% effective against symptomatic disease.

If you book online, you’ll need to book appointments for both doses. If you have your first dose through your GP surgery, you’ll be contacted when it’s time to book your second dose.

Get tested for COVID-19 twice a week

There are increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Southwark and it’s important we continue to get tested regularly, even if we’ve been vaccinated. If you don’t have symptoms there are different ways to get tested in Southwark:

Survey about women’s safety

Tell us your experiences as a woman living in Southwark by completing our confidential women’s safety survey and help us take the right steps to improve the safety of all women in our borough.

Aged 14 to 19? Stand for the Southwark Youth Parliament

Are you aged 14 to 19 and live in Southwark? Make a difference on issues that matter most to young people and stand as a Youth Parliament candidate for your school, youth club or local area. For more information and to apply visit www.southwark.gov.uk/youthparliament. Applications close on 25 June.

Free family fun fitness classes

Work on your fitness and create a balanced lifestyle for you and your family with a range of classes to choose from, including Zumba and family yoga. Join in our free classes, running from 22 June to 1 October,  aimed at families with young children. For more information visit www.southwark.gov.uk/familyfunfitness or pre-book your place now

Quick survey: tell us about renting in Southwark

We have seen a huge response to our proposals for private rented property licensing schemes, but we still want to hear from more of you. Share your experiences and help us make private renting better. To get involved complete the consultation now

Get help if you’re struggling with stress, anxiety or low mood

Get support to improve your mental health. If you’re registered with a Southwark GP you can also self-refer for talking therapies to get support for mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

New exciting adult learning courses starting in June

You can sign-up for one of our new courses starting this month: local history walks, textiles, upholstery, painting, digital photography, carving, creative writing and much more. Courses are available weekdays, evening and weekends.

Food growing on Southwark housing estates

Would you like to grow food in new growing spaces or community gardens? Southwark’s community gardening coordinators will help groups of residents look at potential sites and develop projects. If interested, find out how to apply or email us for more information.

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone expands from 25 October 2021. Have you checked your vehicle?

The central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding to create a single, larger zone up to (but not including) the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205). Four out of five cars already meet the ULEZ emissions standards but you can check your vehicle now.  

Job and career support for 16 to 25 year olds

We’re linking young people with jobs, training, career support and educational opportunities to help them achieve a bright future. Sign up now to get jobs, training and education opportunities by email.

And if you’re a green-fingered jobseeker who loves being outdoors, why not have a look at the gardening jobs on offer at the council?

Get the TfL app to help you travel safely across London

Plan your journeys across London using the TfL Go app. Get live bus and train times and quieter times to travel, all Tube, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and tram lines updates, walking and cycling routes, and accessible routes using the step-free mode.

Funding available to improve our high streets

Do you have a great idea to revitalise our town centres? Apply to The High Street Recovery Fund to have the chance to bring your big idea to life, shape our high streets, support local businesses and bring long term benefits to Southwark. Application deadline is 27 July.

www.southwark.gov.uk

Aged 25 or over? Book your COVID-19 vaccination now

 

Book your COVID-19 vaccination today

Everyone aged 25 or over is now eligible, as well as people with certain health conditions, those who work in health or social care, those with a learning disability and those who care for others.

If you’re eligible book your COVID-19 vaccination now.

Get your first COVID-19 vaccination at a walk-in clinic on Saturday 

If you’re aged 40 or over and you’ve not had your first vaccination, come to Guy’s Hospital on Saturday 12 June from 8am to 6pm to get an AstraZeneca vaccine. No need to book.

Don’t miss your second COVID-19 vaccine dose

The first dose of the vaccine should give you good protection from COVID-19 from 3 or 4 weeks after you’ve had it. But you need both doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection.

If you book online, you’ll need to book appointments for both doses. If you have your first dose through your GP surgery, you’ll be contacted when it’s time to book your second dose.

Get tested for COVID-19 twice a week

There are increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Southwark and it’s important we continue to get tested regularly, even if we’ve been vaccinated. If you don’t have symptoms there are different ways to get tested in Southwark:

Please keep following the rules

Despite the success of the vaccine rollout, COVID-19 cases are rising again in Southwark. It is vital that we continue to follow the current guidance. This means:

  • work at home if you can
  • washing our hands regularly,
  • keeping our distance from others (only mixing outside in groups of up to six or two households)
  • wearing a face covering when required (unless you’re exempt).

Check all the current rules

Aged 14 to 19? Stand for the Southwark Youth Parliament

Are you aged 14 to 19 and live in Southwark? Make a difference on issues that matter most to young people and stand as a Youth Parliament candidate for your school, youth club or local area. For more information and to apply visit www.southwark.gov.uk/youthparliament. Applications close on 25 June.

Help design outdoor spaces in Bankside

America Street, Wardens Grove and Ewer Street in Bankside are getting a new look and the Low Line team would like you to be a part of the process. You’re invited to join a workshop with architectural practice, JA Projects on 15 or 22 June and share your ideas.

Quick survey: tell us about renting in Southwark

We have seen a huge response to our proposals for private rented property licensing schemes, but we still want to hear from more of you. Share your experiences and help us make private renting better. To get involved complete the consultation now

Let’s talk about women’s safety

Tell us your experiences as a woman living in Southwark by completing our confidential women’s safety survey and help us take the right steps to improve the safety of all women in our borough.

New exciting adult learning courses starting in June

You can sign-up for one of our new courses starting this month: local history walks, textiles, upholstery, painting, digital photography, carving, creative writing and much more. Courses are available weekdays, evening and weekends.

Food growing on Southwark housing estates

Would you like to grow food in new growing spaces or community gardens? Southwark’s community gardening coordinators will help groups of residents look at potential sites and develop projects. If interested, find out how to apply or email us for more information.

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone expands from 25 October 2021. Have you checked your vehicle?

The central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding to create a single, larger zone up to (but not including) the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205). Four out of five cars already meet the ULEZ emissions standards but you can check your vehicle now.  

Job and career support for 16 to 25 year olds

We’re linking young people with jobs, training, career support and educational opportunities to help them achieve a bright future. Sign up now to get jobs, training and education opportunities by email.

And if you’re a green-fingered jobseeker who loves being outdoors, why not have a look at the gardening jobs on offer at the council?

We’re looking for foster carers from the LGBTQ community

Do you know someone from the LGBTQ community who would make a great foster carer? Would you? Why not come along to our next fostering information meeting on Tuesday 15 June at 12 noon to find out more.

Get the TfL app to help you travel safely across London

Plan your journeys across London using the TfL Go app. Get live bus and train times and quieter times to travel, all Tube, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and tram lines updates, walking and cycling routes, and accessible routes using the step-free mode.

www.southwark.gov.uk

Elephant Shopping centre decision

Dear Friend

Yesterday we finally received the judgement on our appeal against the High Court decision not to overturn the shopping centre planning approval.

I’m sorry to say that the appeal has been lost and so the redevelopment of the shopping centre site can proceed. Many of you will have seen demolition is already well advanced.

We’re naturally very disappointed, but nonetheless heartened by the support our campaign has received, which  has ensured that many important improvements to the redevelopment have been made, including:

  • An increase of the social rented housing from 33 units of s/r equivalent, owned and managed by developer, to 116 proper social rented units, owned and managed by Council or housing association
  • Provision of affordable retail space
  • An established traders’ panel
  • Temporary traders’ premises on Castle Square
  • Trader relocation and assistance funds of £634,700 and £200,000
  • 15-year affordable retail leases

We have also demonstrated the will and determination of the local community, which will stand us in good stead for the future – the regeneration of the Elephant is far from finished. We will continue our support for the displaced traders, who are negotiating for new market space at the Elephant.

We will also be publishing blogposts very shortly on the legal challenge, on the 35% Campaign and Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) websites.

We must thank our barristers, Sarah Sackman and David Wolfe QC for their unstinting work and expert advocacy; Paul Heron and his colleagues at the PILC for their equally unflagging support and everyone at Southwark Law Centre for pointing us in the right direction, at the outset.

Many thanks once more,

Regards

Jerry
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First anniversary of the murder of George Floyd: join us in a minute’s silence

kw

Dear resident,

 

Today, 25 May, marks the first anniversary of the dreadful murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin.

In Southwark we will take a moment to remember George, and all the victims of racism through history. Please join us at 12 noon for a minute’s silence as we stand together against racism, discrimination and inequality.

Last year, following the horrific murder, Southwark Council launched a new programme called Southwark Stands Together. By bringing people together from different backgrounds, we sought to hear and better understand experiences of racism, discrimination and inequality in our community. We hosted listening events that were attended by more than 1,500 people and 1,268 people responded to an online survey that the council shared.

We are now working to take action based on what you told us in the listening events and survey. Whilst there is much still to do, we are making good progress on a range of issues including:

  • Working to ensure those with influence in our borough reflect our communities, for example by working to attract more Black professionals onto governing bodies in Southwark schools, and by increasing the number of Black, Asian and ethnic minority colleagues at senior management level in the council.
  • Working with all schools in the borough to reduce exclusions and keep children in school, recognising that exclusions disproportionately affect our children from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds
  • Helping to build trust between the police and the community, and find solutions to deep-rooted concerns around stop and search. As part of this work, a new Youth Independent Advisory Group has been formed with over 25 members aged 14+, to work together with the police and other organisations to influence policy for people living in the borough
  • Identifying statues, street names and any other links with slavery as part of an anti-racist audit, so that our borough can make positive changes to reject these historic links, and instead honour a more diverse range of people for positive reasons

Find out more about our progress in helping to tackle racism and make Southwark an equal borough.

Whilst I am proud of the progress we have made as a community, in this painful but active year, we know that we all need to do much more challenge ourselves to be better, stronger and unequivocally anti-racist in all that we do.

Thank you

Kieron

Vaccine update

Get tested for COVID-19 twice a week

As lockdown restrictions ease it’s important we continue to get tested regularly, even if we’ve been vaccinated. If you don’t have symptoms there are different ways to get tested in Southwark:

Please keep following the rules

The rollout of the vaccine and the impact of the recent restrictions has led to a decline in COVID-19 numbers. However, it is vital that we continue to follow the current guidance. This means:

  • washing our hands regularly,
  • keeping our distance from others (only mixing outside in groups of up to six or two households)
  • wearing a face covering when required (unless you’re exempt).

Check all the current rules

Learn how to do home repairs

Did you know that we have a series of fix it at home online videos to help you complete simple repairs around your home? This includes changing a light bulb, checking your smoke alarm and unblocking your toilet.

Albion Primary school joins in walk to school week

As part of Walk to School week our Road Safety and Sustainable Travel team went to Albion Primary school in Rotherhithe last week. The team joined year three children who practised basic road crossing and how to deal with parked cars, as part of their pedestrian training. Albion Primary does much to promote sustainable travel, they also have a time school street closure outside their school and no less than four bikes sheds in the playground!

Sign up for a free cycling skills course

If you’re new to cycling or want to brush up on your skills then TfL is running an online course. Sign up to improve your cycling skills and get 15% off Halfords own-brand cycle lights, locks or helmets once you complete the course modules.

Tell us where you’d like bike hangars or storage in Southwark

We have an ongoing programme to roll out new rentable bike hangars. We want to know how many people would like access to a bike hangar in their area, and where the most-requested locations are.

Get the TfL app to help you travel safely across London

Plan your journeys across London using the TfL Go app. Get live bus and train times and quieter times to travel, all Tube, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and tram lines updates, walking and cycling routes, and accessible routes using the step-free mode.

Get help if you’re struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety

Get support to improve your mental health. If you’re registered with a Southwark GP you can also self-refer for talking therapies to get support for mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

Get checked for cancer to catch it early

If you’re due for bowel, cervical or breast cancer screening, you’ll get an invitation. But don’t wait to be invited if you’re worried about changes to your body – contact your GP straight away.

Job and career support for 16 to 25 year olds

We’re linking young people with jobs, training, career support and educational opportunities to help them achieve a bright future. Sign up now to get jobs, training and education opportunities by email.

African literature gifted to Peckham Library

We are delighted to accept and share hundreds of books from the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing. The books are copies of previous submissions for the prize and have been gifted to Peckham Library. There is a wealth of glorious, powerful and exciting African literature and we are happy to bring these stories to the people of Peckham and beyond.

New heritage centre and library open in Southwark

The new Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library officially launched last week. Delivered by the council, in partnership with Lendlease, as part of the regeneration of Elephant and Castle, this brand new facility combines a heritage centre for the whole borough with a local library for Walworth. Drop-in to borrow one of 20,000 books, check out the Story of Southwark and Myth Making exhibitions or simply make use of the free wifi and study space. 

A message from Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council

Up update on COVID-19, a new heritage centre, free fitness classes and more

kw

Dear resident

Thank you to everyone in Southwark who has played their part in bringing COVID-19 rates down significantly. The national rule changes today mean that we can now meet indoors in groups of six or two households, or outdoors in groups of up to 30.

We all still need to be careful. We are still seeing cases of Covid in Southwark every week. So, please keep following the rules and wearing a face covering when required (unless exempt), so we can all help keep rates low.

Like so many others I had my first vaccine dose recently – it was quick and painless – and I encourage you, if you’re eligible, to book your vaccination now. There is a real risk of rates will go back up again over the coming month and getting your jab is the best way to protect yourself.

Today’s rule changes also mean that pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can reopen indoors. We are working hard to support businesses through the pandemic. We’ve distributed nearly £130m of financial support to businesses in Southwark and issued over 250 licenses allowing more pubs, cafés and restaurants to put tables and chairs outside their premises. My thanks go to all businesses in Southwark who have been working hard to make their premises safe for returning customers.

Similarly, whilst our leisure centres and libraries reopened a while ago, the new rules mean more group activities can now restart. I was delighted to look round the brand new Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library recently. It’s a fantastic facility for the whole community and I thoroughly recommend local residents visit when they get a chance. I know just what a vital role good local libraries play in our communities and that’s why we have and will continue to invest in them. This is the third new library building we’ve opened in the past six years and a fourth is due to open early next year on the Aylesbury Estate.

Finally, I wanted to share that we’re putting together plans for a ‘summer of play’ in Southwark. The pandemic has hit children and schools really hard and we want to see children having a summer of fun, with their friends, doing what they enjoy and improving their physical and mental wellbeing. There will be lots we’re doing to support this and we’ll share more details soon. We also have big plans for the future of our adventure playgrounds too, with £3m of improvements on the way so Southwark’s children can enjoy them for years to come.

Thank you for all you’re doing to keep Southwark safe.

Kieron

Get tested for COVID-19 twice a week

As lockdown restrictions ease it’s important we continue to get tested regularly, even if we’ve been vaccinated. If you don’t have have symptoms there are different ways to get tested in Southwark:

Book your COVID-19 vaccination now

Everyone aged over 38 is now eligible, as well as people with certain health conditions, those who work in health or social care, those with a learning disability and those who care for others.

If you’re eligible book your vaccination now or go to a pop-up vaccination clinic in Southwark this week.

Don’t miss your second dose

The 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from COVID-19 from 3 or 4 weeks after you’ve had it.

But you need to have the 2 doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection.

When you’re called for your second vaccine please do turn up.

Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library opens

The new Southwark Heritage Centre and Walworth Library officially launches this week. Delivered by the council, in partnership with Lendlease, as part of the regeneration of Elephant and Castle, this brand new facility combines a heritage centre for the whole borough with a local library for Walworth. Drop-in to borrow one of 20,000 books, check out the Story of Southwark and Myth Making exhibitions or simply make use of the free wifi and study space.

Find out more about fostering

Read our foster carers’ profiles which show #WhyWeCare about fostering. If you are thinking about fostering you can email us to arrange a 1-2-1 informal chat with our team to find out more.

Support for businesses as they reopen

Get support to reopen your business safely and reassure customers you have minimised COVID-19 risks on your premises. You can also download posters to help keep staff and customers safe from COVID-19.

Shop local as restrictions ease

Please support your local high street as restrictions ease. Many of our favourite local shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants have struggled through the different lockdowns, but from today the hospitality industry is now able to open up inside as well as outside, with the right safety measures in place. Remember that when the weather permits, it’s still safer to choose to be outside.

Please shop local wherever possible, and help our local businesses get back on track after a difficult year.

Schools-led approach to mental health benefits over 30,000 pupils

We approved £2m in funding to support and grow the work of schools to promote the mental health and wellbeing of the borough’s children and young people. Hear from pupils and teachers about initiatives that are building resilience and improving mental health in schools.

Get checked for cancer to catch it early

If you’re due for bowel, cervical or breast cancer screening, you’ll get an invitation. But don’t wait to be invited if you’re worried about changes to your body – contact your GP straight away.

Free online family fun fitness classes

Work on your fitness and create a balanced lifestyle for your family. Join in online yoga, dance and fitness classes, suitable for families with young children. Join new classes each week at 10am on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays, or on catch up.

Join in your local housing forum

You can now register to attend your next local housing forum meeting. These online meetings are for anyone who lives in a council home, including council-owned temporary accommodation. The next meetings will take place in the first two weeks in June, and the topic of rooftop homes will be on the agenda.

Quick survey: renting in Southwark

We want to change the way we license rented homes in Southwark. We want to do this to improve the quality of rented homes in the borough and create a fairer system with better protection for tenants.

>> Please share your views about renting in our survey

Anyone can take part in the survey and share their views. Your feedback will help us finalise our proposals.

35% Campaign update – Southwark rips up Aylesbury Area Action Plan

Latest blog update on regeneration in Southwark.
 

Southwark rips up Aylesbury Area Action Plan

May 09, 2021 10:05 am

Without consultation, Southwark Council has decided to scrap the 182-page planning document which sets the parameters for its redevelopment of the Aylesbury estate. The so-called Aylesbury Area Action Plan (AAAP) will instead be replaced by a 2-page ‘Area Vision and 5-page ‘site allocation’, as part of the New Southwark Plan.

The decision was revealed in a late background paper for the Examination in Public of the New Southwark Plan (NSP). Described by the government Inspector at the Examination in Public (EIP) as a ‘raft of policies’, the AAAP incorporated 29 policy documents, covering all aspects of the redevelopment, including housing, design, open space and the phasing of the development. It was adopted as the effective rule-book for the redevelopment of the estate in 2010, after four years of extensive public consultation, including its own separate public examination.

Image of front cover of AAAP

The implications of this are significant; while Southwark claim that all the relevant policies in the AAAP will be taken into account by the NSP, so that such things as more generous space standards, more family housing and car-parking for residents are retained, the lack of any prior notice or consultation has raised strong fears that much that was beneficial in the AAAP will not be carried across into the New Southwark Plan.

Zero Carbon Growth

Amongst the policies supporting the AAAP, policy at 3.6.1 requires the scheme to result in ‘zero carbon growth’:

“The development will be designed to result in zero carbon growth, that is, no net growth in carbon dioxide emissions despite an increase in the number of dwellings. This will require buildings which are highly energy efficient.”

While the NSP requires developers to take measures towards achieving carbon neutrality, and has targets for major developments (Policy P69), the very specific requirement that the Aylesbury achieves zero carbon growth will be lost.

Experience has shown that unless such a requirement is exact and explicit, as it is for the Aylesbury, it can be lost when complicated, large schemes are considered for planning approval and the decision is made by balancing out how well the development meets all planning requirements, not just the environmental ones.

Open Space

Policy at 4.5.1 of the AAAP requires that the Aylesbury redevelopment results in no net loss of open space. Again, while the NSP has the strategic target for the borough, to retain and protect all open space, it makes no specific reference to open space requirements for the redeveloped Aylesbury.

This is a particular concern, given Southwark’s welcome new commitment to re-provide all the social housing on the new development, which could put space at a premium. The NSP also allows payments in lieu of providing open space, a get-out that is often used by developers who want to build to maximum density.

Children’s Play/Youth Space

Paragraph 4.5.2 of the AAAP says: “We will require children’s play areas to be integrated into the residential areas. About 3 hectares of children’s play space and youth space will be provided”.

The proposed New Southwark Plan makes no requirement to replace any of the children’s play and youth space.

Campaigners and residents giving evidence at the EIP also pointed out that there were three separate policies for play space and open space in the AAAP (PL5, PL6, PL7), and that they provided space well beyond that which was standard. This generous allocation of space in the AAAP reflects the estate’s design, around an extensive network of children’s and youth play spaces. Campaigners noted that this was part of the family orientation of the AAAP, and that these policies would need equal prominence in the NSP, to make sure that families remained a priority in the redevelopment.

Replacement Social Housing

In March 2019, Southwark announced in a Cabinet report an ‘important shift’ in its plans for the Aylesbury, with the ‘ambition… to see the replacement of the number of social rented homes on the footprint of the estate’. The density and number of homes on Phase 2 was therefore increased, with 400 extra units, up to about 1,250 homes in total.

The New Southwark Plan follows through on this, now saying that “it would now be appropriate to consider an increased number of homes within the land covered by the Action Area Core, replacing all the existing social homes within the footprint of the estate”.

But only 148 social rented units have been delivered so far, with a further 581 council houses under construction on the First Development Site. These leaves about 1,500 social rented units to be built, which is about half of the total remaining development, if Southwark is to replace the Aylesbury’s social rented housing (see Table 14 here).

Meantime, Notting Hill Genesis remain in possession of a planning permission that allows for a loss of social rented units, which points to either further increases in density or a deal with Notting Hill Genesis, as was done for the First Development Site, or some combination of the two.

End of service life?

The NSP described the Aylesbury estate as “characterised by large concrete slab buildings built in the mid-1960s –70s, now at the end of their service life.”

This drew criticism from residents, leading to a change of wording. Further objections during the EIP hearing, argued that the Council had submitted no evidence supporting the claim that the estate was at the end of its service life and had failed to investigate whether refurbishment could be a more viable and sustainable option. This was contrasted to Southwark’s decision to bail out Notting Hill Genesis housing, at a cost of over £200m, after the housing association failed to deliver the First Development site, evidently hit with financial viability problems.

Successful examples of the refurbishment of estates built using the same system as the Aylesbury and which might usefully be examined, can be found on the Six Acres estate in Islington and the Doddington estate in Battersea.

Long delayed delivery

Residents at the EIP also argued that the loss of the AAAP would allow Southwark to gloss over delays to the redevelopment. Southwark insisted that the monitoring provisions of the AAAP would be retained, but in any event the dismally slow pace of progress cannot be disguised.

While various community facilities have been completed, the house building programme has fallen many years behind schedule. Over 2,500 new homes should have been built by now, according to the AAAP’s timetable (Table A7.1), at an average rate of 221 homes per year; in fact, only 408 have been completed, giving a rate on only 40 homes per year.

These figures also take no account of the homes lost through demolition. When this is factored in, the situation is even worse. Southwark will have to build 2,750 homes just to get back to where we were, before demolition began. Southwark claim that this will be done by 2027/28 (see para 31 here), but they then must build 1,500 more homes to reach 4,200 homes and this will not be achieved until 2035 (Appendix 2: Sites Methodology Report pg 60 April 2021).

Campaigners cast some doubt on whether this large net gain in housing will ever be achieved, without which the huge displacement and disruption of the whole regeneration can barely be justified. The additional pressure on the housing waiting list of rehousing displaced tenants was also noted.

The time has come for a rethink….

The Aylesbury Area Action Plan (AAAP) was adopted 10 years ago and was supposed to govern the 25-year redevelopment of the estate. Action Plans are special planning policy documents for big, extensive redevelopments. They require a high level of consultation and the involvement of affected residents.

The Aylesbury AAP is a complex document, with a large evidence base and was only finalised after its own Examination in Public. There may now be good reasons to update it, not least because it comes into conflict with more recent planning policy documents.

But it cannot be right that it is simply discarded, at short notice, half way through the estate’s redevelopment, without first carrying out a proper public consultation. Southwark’s reassurances, given in the EIP, that all the key policies will be carried over to the New Southwark Plan are not good enough, particularly given the sorry history of the estate’s regeneration so far

Any proper consultation must also take into account the slow progress of the redevelopment to date and the urgent need to address the climate emergency. It should also assess the impact of the redevelopment on the residents, the majority of whom are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and what benefits, or otherwise, will fall to them – a point forcefully made by long-term residents, past and present, in the EIP.


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Action on Southwark’s empty homes

Apr 11, 2021 12:00 am

Day of action to highlight borough’s estimated 2,300 empty homes –

Manor Place Depot photoshoot

Manor Place Depot will be one of one of the next sites for a nationwide Day of Action on Empty Homes on Sat 17 April 2021. When we last looked (10 April 2021) at least 14 homes stood empty on a single street within that development. There will a Photoshoot and livestream 11am to 11:30am – click here to find out more and join event.

The Depot is a Notting Hill Genesis development, on the site of the Manor Place Baths, one of Southwark’s most characterful development sites. The baths provided laundry and bathing facilities to Walworth people for 80 years, until the demolition of the surrounding streets and the removal of the local population to the Heygate and Aylesbury estates sounded its death knell in the 1980’s.

Manor Place Depot is also a symbol of much that is wrong with ‘regeneration’ – public land sold off cheaply, for an expensive housing development (starting price £557,500 rising to £882,500) with only a small fraction social rented housing. Only 44 of the 270 units are social rented and most of this was only provided only after Notting Hill Housing, as it then was, was caught out failing to provide the right amount of social rent on another development.

Southwark–London’s empty homes hotspot

Action on Empty Homes has identified Southwark as London’s empty homes hotspot, with a 61% rise in the number of long-term empty homes – up from 1,469 to 2,358 in the year up to October 2020topping the league for London boroughs. And most concentrated empty home areas are in the north east quarter of the borough, the site of three of Southwark’s opportunity areas. The fourth, at Canada Water, has its own concentrations of empty homes.

Number of second homes and Airbnb’s explode

As well as empty homes, Southwark has seen a massive increase in second homes – 3,630 in 2020, nearly six times the number of the previous year. But this could be matched, if not outstripped, by the number of Airbnb whole home rentals, which stood at 2,635 in November 2019. Unsurprisingly these are also concentrated in the north east quarter of the borough, another consequence of regenerations that produce overpriced housing that make for better investment opportunities than homes for local people.

 Lights out on the redeveloped Heygate estate.

More empty homes than households in temporary accommodation

This is all at a time when Southwark has 14,000 households on its housing waiting list, 3,000 in temporary accommodation and plans to increase the already large number housed outside the borough.

So, when we have more empty homes than households in temporary accommodation, ACTION ON EMPTY HOMES is vital.

We must fight for a borough and a city where ordinary people can afford to live; filling empty homes won’t solve the housing crisis, but it must be part of that solution.

#RequisitionEmptyHomes #FillEmptyCouncilHomes #PrettyVacant
#EmptyHomes
#Fillemup
#HomesNeedResidents
#TheWrongHousing


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Appeal against Elephant Shopping Centre development tomorrow

Mar 15, 2021 12:00 am

Challenge against High Court on 16 and 17 March. –

Campaigners to hold Rally in support

The long-awaited Court of Appeal hearing against the High Court decision to uphold the planning approval for the demolition and redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre will be held on the 16 and 17 March 2021. The hearing will be online. Permission to mount the appeal was granted to Jerry Flynn, of the 35% Campaign, who is supported by local campaigners Up the Elephant. David Wolf QC of Matrix Chambers, Sarah Sackman of Francis Taylor Building and Paul Heron of the Public Interest Law Centre represent Mr Flynn.

The planning approval was granted by Southwark Council in January 2019 to shopping centre owner and developer Delancey and the appeal follows an unsuccessful High Court challenge, when Mr Justice Dove refused to quash the planning approval, after a two-day hearing in October 2019.

While the demolition of the shopping centre has begun, the legal challenge has focused on the shortage of social rented housing in the proposed development. Delancey has increased the amount of real social rented homes from zero to 116 units under the pressure of a 3-year campaign by Up the Elephant, but it is still only a fraction of the nearly one thousand in the new development. The social housing could also be at risk, if Delancey doesn’t deliver on the “West site”, not due to be built for nearly another decade.

Campaigners also believe Southwark’s Council’s planning committee was misled as to the maximum amount of affordable housing the scheme could viably provide and that there could be at least another 42 social rented homes, with help of Mayor of London funding.

Over £8000 has been raised to support the legal challenge through a CrowdJustice appeal and the Up the Elephant campaign continues the struggle for a better deal for the many traders who have not been properly relocated.

The online rally, supporting the legal case, will be held on the morning of the appeal and will hear from Mr Flynn, traders, lawyers and trade unionists.

The Elephant and Castle shopping centre appeal rally

Homes for People, Not for profit!

9:30am, Tuesday 16th March

Join the Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84686776386

Meeting ID: 846 8677 6386

The rally can also be seen on YouTube and Facebook.

Jerry Flynn of the Up the Elephant campaign has said;

“Delancey may have already begun the demolition, but the battle for what is to be built is not over. Southwark is not getting as much social rented housing from Delancey as it should, while the need for it has become even more acute. Delancey are not building the homes and new shops that local people need. Their planning permission should be quashed and homes and shops that local people can afford built instead.”

Paul Heron, solicitor from the Public Interest Law Centre, who is representing the campaign, adds:

“We are happy that the matter will now be considered by the Court of Appeal. The case raises a number of important legal issues regarding how local councils should handle these developments. One concern is that Southwark council, and many councils like them, are failing to maximise social housing in these developments. Another concern is that councillors are failing in their duties – far too much power is being given to unelected council officials in the decision-making process. This has to stop otherwise there will be a democratic deficit in planning law”.

Tanya Murat, of Southwark Defend Council Housing, supporters of the campaign, said:

“Southwark Council should now listen to the views of its own residents instead of throwing yet more money on lawyers to prop up the mega profits of its friends in the development industry. This development wouldn’t have gone ahead without the Council’s active support. Councillors should put the needs of homeless and low paid residents above the needs of developers.”


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35% Campaign  

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