COVID-19: please stay at home this weekend

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

Normally, many of us would be looking forward to going outside over the bank holiday weekend to enjoy some sunshine. However, this weekend is different.

It is more vital than ever that we stay at home to protect the NHS and to save lives.

This means we must not go out to meet up with friends and family. Parks and other outdoor spaces – including outdoor areas on estates – must only be used once a day for daily exercise, by yourself or with your household members. You must stay two metres away from others.

Many of our residents have no outdoor space. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, please ask yourself whether you need to leave your home this weekend. The fewer people who use our parks, the easier it is for those who need to use them, to do so safely.

This weekend is also an important weekend for many in our faith communities. I am thankful to our faith organisations in Southwark, who are playing a key role in supporting our vulnerable residents and also finding new virtual ways to hold prayers and services, so that their congregations can abide by government rules banning large gatherings.

Every day the council is delivering food to vulnerable people across the borough. Alongside the essentials, the food parcels this week will have a Fairtrade chocolate egg included, secured by the council at below cost price from local Fairtrade company, Divine Chocolate. It’s important to recognise that we can still do little things which can make people smile, brighten their day or uplift them in such difficult times. We hope this will give residents some cheer while they are missing their families and friends at this time of year.

In this newsletter you will find some key updates about council services You can also check our website for updates at www.southwark.gov.uk/covidsupport.

I know that for many of you, this will be a strange and at times lonely Easter, as you miss the family and friends you would normally see at this time of year. These are indeed extraordinary times. But the scenes coming out of hospital intensive care units, the deaths of thousands of much-loved UK residents, and the news about the Prime Minister this week show us just how deadly this disease is, and how important it is that we take the rules seriously.

I wish you all the very best and thank you again for playing your part in keeping Southwark safe.

Cllr Peter John


Do you know a vulnerable resident who needs help?

If you know of a vulnerable Southwark resident who can’t leave the house due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and who may not have friends, family or neighbours who can help with the delivery of essential supplies, please tell us straight away so we can help them.


Grants for community groups

We’re providing grants to local charities and community groups that are supporting residents in Southwark in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The deadline for applications for the first round of grants is 13 April, but there will be three more funding rounds after that.


Good news about your Zurich policy

We recognise that these are tough times for charities and social groups, with meetings impossible and funding tight. We want to help, so we’re giving Tabard Gardens North Tenants & Residents Association an additional three months of cover free of charge.

Your policy was due to renew on 16-Jul-20, but will now renew on 16-Oct-20. There is no charge for this additional period and your cover will remain the same for the services and activities shown on your schedule of insurance. You do not need to do anything to activate this change. We’ll send you a reminder closer to your new renewal date, please do not renew online until you receive this.
We do hope this helps, but please get in touch if there is anything else we can do to assist. You can contact us on 0800 917 9531 or email renewals@zurichtogether.co.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Zurich Insurance
0800 917 9531
renewals@zurichtogether.co.uk

35% Campaign update – Shopping centre CPO – Southwark ploughs on regardless

Shopping centre CPO – Southwark ploughs on regardless

Apr 04, 2020 12:00 am

Southwark exercises CPO powers to clear E&C shopping centre site for Delancey -Southwark Council is set to assume Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, on behalf of offshore developer Delancey, at its Cabinet meeting this Tues 7 April (postponed from 24 March). While this extraordinary move will strengthen Delancey’s hand in ongoing negotiations with various development stakeholders, such as TfL, and will relieve Delancey of funding risks, the scheme itself remains unchanged, delivering only 116 social rented units and displacing traders wholesale.

The Cabinet meeting is also set to approve a report that will override local residents’ legal rights, for the loss of light caused by the redevelopment. A third report will approve the recently announced £200,000 relocation assistance for traders.

The meeting will be by videoconference, but no livestream is advertised.

As we reported in our last blogpost Southwark intends to lease both the shopping centre and London College of Communications buildings themselves. Subleasing arrangements will return the shopping centre and LCC back to the control of Delancey and University of the Arts London, but as nominal public property, residents legal ‘right-to-light’ options can be overridden. Residents will no longer be able to seek an injunction against the development (while remaining able to claim compensation). Southwark say that there will be no cost to the Council from their leasing arrangements, other than officer time, but the report supplies no figures.

No guarantee that scheme will be built anyway

Southwark’s extraordinary measures illustrate its determined support for Delancey’s redevelopment of the shopping centre, despite the shortfall in social rented housing provided and the mass displacement of traders. Local charity and advocate for all traders Latin Elephant estimates that over half still have nowhere to go.

Southwark’s unwavering support extends as far as neglecting to obtain a guarantee from Delancey that the scheme will go ahead, even with the CPO powers being exercised on their behalf, saying ‘it is not necessary to impose… an obligation to build the Scheme as the measures negotiated for inclusion in the indemnity agreement give the Council comfort that EC is likely to proceed with the Scheme.’ 1

72% say keep the centre open

The proposed measures follow a survey conducted by the SE1 news website that shows 72% of local people want the centre kept open, in the light of the Coronavirus public health crisis. In response Delancey reiterated that they still intend to close the shopping centre on 31 July, while waiving rent and service charges (a long-standing traders’ demand) and promising to making pharmacy and food supplies available, beyond then, if the public health crisis continues.

What we say…

The Up the Elephant Campaign, supported by the 35% Campaign, has consistently opposed Delancey’s shopping centre redevelopment scheme, since its inception, over 3 years ago. We support the ongoing legal challenge to quash Delancey’s planning permission.

Over time various concessions, dragged out of Delancey by campaigners, have made marginal improvements to the redevelopment. Southwark’s pledge of £200,000 for the traders is also welcome; it now urgently needs to be distributed as cash grants to traders. Nonetheless, Delancey’s scheme still remains a bad one. Delancey are displacing an entire community of traders, and destroying a social hub for the many working people from all over the world who have made the Elephant their home. The new development will have a miserly 116 social rented homes, out of nearly a thousand new units (if they ever get delivered).

So, Southwark Council should not be bending over backwards helping Delancey, in any circumstances – certainly not now, when half the traders still have nowhere to go, while Southwark has an obligation to help secure traders accommodation in the new development it never properly exercised. We do not need to add that the traders’ desperate situation has been rendered dire by the Coronavirus crisis.

The UP THE ELEPHANT CAMPAIGN HAS THEREFORE MADE THE FOLLOWING DEMANDS TO SOUTHWARK COUNCIL;

You can support us in our fight for fairness for traders, by sharing these hashtags; #supporttradersnotdelancey #supportelephantnotdelancey #ElephantJR.

Or by lobbying the Councillors approving the decision directly: https://twitter.com/peterjohn6https://twitter.com/rebeccaluryhttps://twitter.com/evenor23https://twitter.com/Jasmine_Alihttps://twitter.com/steviecryanhttps://twitter.com/Livingstone_RJhttps://twitter.com/Victoria_Millshttps://twitter.com/Leo_Pollakhttps://twitter.com/kieronjwilliamshttps://twitter.com/JohnsonSitu.

  1. See para 76 Report: E&C CPO 

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Important update about COVID-19 (3 April)

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping us all safe by staying at home and keeping your distance. Under normal circumstances we would all be looking forward to a sunny weekend outside, but this weekend it remains vital for us all to keep following the rules about staying at home and social distancing.

If you go to one of Southwark’s parks this weekend for your daily exercise and to enjoy some fresh air, please make sure you:

  • only go by yourself or with members of your household
  • keep at least two metres away from anyone else
  • don’t meet up with friends or family members who you don’t live with
  • only go out for exercise once a day.

Thank you to everyone in Southwark who is doing everything they can to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By following the rules we are protecting the NHS and saving lives.

In this newsletter you will find some key updates about council services. You can also check our website for updates at www.southwark.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Cllr Peter John


Do you know a vulnerable resident who needs help?

If you know of a vulnerable Southwark resident who can’t leave the house due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and who may not have friends, family or neighbours who can help with the delivery of essential supplies, please tell us straight away so we can help them.


Waste and recycling collections

Support Shopping centre Traders not Delancey

Dear Friend

We are in the midst of a public health crisis which has impacted severely on people’s lives and livelihoods, forcing shops and businesses across the UK to close. The position for the Elephant shopping centre traders was already serious, with over half having nowhere to go, come the scheduled centre closure in July – now their situation is acute.

A survey conducted by SE1 website forum found that 72% of people wanted the centre to remain open beyond July. In response developer Delancey says that it still intends to go ahead with closure on the 31st July, but pledged that essential food and pharmacy facilities would remain available, if needed.

This is not good enough. All the remaining shopping centre traders need support now if they are to survive.

Southwark Council are due to assume Compulsory Purchase Order powers on behalf of Delancey, at their reconvened Cabinet meeting, this coming Tuesday. With these powers behind them Delancey’s hand in negotiations with remaining leaseholders and stakeholders will be strengthened. Southwark should not be helping Delancey to build a development that puts small traders out of business and does not give us the social housing we desperately need. 

Instead we call on Southwark Council to support the traders. We welcome its recent promise of £200,000 and now call upon them to release this money immediately as cash grants to traders.

We also maintain our demand that the centre is not closed until all the traders have been properly relocated or suitably compensated.

Please share these hash tags;
#supporttradersnotdelancey
#supportelephantnotdelancey

You can also find Up The Elephant on Twitter & Facebook.
You can read more on the 35% Campaign blog.

Regards
Jerry

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COVID-19: an update for residents (1 April)

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

Thank you to everyone in Southwark who is staying at home to help protect the NHS and to save lives. It is making a real difference.

We must all do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home and staying away from other people. This means we must only go out to:

  • shop for food and necessities
  • fulfil a medical need
  • exercise once a day
  • travel to and from work if absolutely necessary.

This week we are sending the first food parcels out to extremely vulnerable residents in Southwark, including those that are part of the ‘shielding’ programme. We are staying in close contact with these residents to make sure they have the food, essential supplies, medicines and social contact they need.

I know that it is not only vulnerable residents who are worried about their finances during this unprecedented time. That’s why the council is making sure we provide advice and support for people who are temporarily struggling with lower incomes. Please see below for the support available.

As well as supporting residents we are also committed to supporting our fantastic local businesses. I am delighted that we have already distributed over £15m in grants to Southwark-based businesses that are struggling as a result of COVID-19, and we are due to distribute another £45m this week.

I continue to be immensely proud of Southwark Council staff who are working so hard to keep key services running and to support our most vulnerable residents.

In this newsletter you will find information about council services and support available to residents and businesses. You can also check our website for regular updates at www.southwark.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thank you for your ongoing support,

Cllr Peter John


Financial support for residents

We know that COVID-19 has increased financial pressure and concerns for many residents. We have created a dedicated webpage that details financial support that is available and will be updated regularly. The page currently includes:

  • information on claiming universal credit
  • how to get help if you’re struggling with rent payments
  • how to get help if you’re struggling with a payment owed to the council, including council tax
  • help if you’re struggling with your household’s urgent, basic needs
  • confirmation that all our debt collection activities have been paused
  • help if you you’re a council homeowner and struggling to pay a leaseholder payment.

Read more about the financial support available.


Financial support for businesses

Spread a little happiness – helpful resource for parents and families

Hope your all doing ok and staying safe!

The PE & School Sports Network have created this brilliant document for families called Spread a little happiness – it is a fantastic resource for parents and families whilst at home during this time, with activities, recipes, games etc… Please share around your communities.

Thanks,

Luke Staples – Preston

Sport and Physical Activity Development Coordinator
Environment and Leisure
Parks and Leisure Service

Southwark Council

160 Tooley Street
London, SE1 5LX
Mobile: 07936333035; Phone: 020 7525 2687
Contact me on Linkedin

Follow us on Twitter @ActiveSouthwark

http://www.southwark.gov.uk/leisure-and-sport