message from Cllr Kieron Williams, the new Leader of Southwark Council

Kieron Williams HeaderDear resident

It is an honour to be elected as Leader of Southwark Council. As Leader, I want to work with everyone in Southwark to keep building a better future and unlocking the amazing potential I see in every part of our community.  

Never has that potential been clearer than during this pandemic. Seeing volunteers, frontline workers, public services, charities, faith groups and businesses all step up together has been truly inspiring. I want to thank you all for the part you have played. Your actions have shown incredible strength and resilience.

Sadly the pandemic is far from over and our continued response to COVID-19 remains our top priority. Cases and hospital admissions are rising across London and much of the UK. If action isn’t taken quickly, we risk seeing another dramatic rise in hospitalizations and, tragically, deaths.

I welcome the additional restrictions that have been introduced this week – further information about these is below – and I have joined the Mayor of London in calling for further targeted restrictions in London to help keep us all safe.Although COVID-19 is the most pressing and urgent issue we face, it is not our only challenge. The unequal impact of the pandemic on different communities has shone a light on wider inequalities and injustice in our society. My ambition as Leader is to unite communities in Southwark so we can break down that inequality, and not just rebuild from the crisis, but build something better. A Southwark where everyone has a home, where everyone can get a decent job, where we end our carbon emissions and where everyone is empowered to make the best of their life.

I look forward to working with you to continue to build a better future for the people of Southwark.

Thank you and stay safe.


Update on new Covid-19 rules
This week the government announced a tightening of Covid restrictions in a number of areas and also launched its new Test and Trace app.

Self-isolating is a legal requirement from 28 September
From 28 September you are 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. If you need to self-isolate and you’re on a low income and can’t work from home, you may be eligible for £500 hardship payment. We are waiting for further details from the government about how this will work.

New rules for pubs, restaurants and shops
Some businesses need to follow updated rules where appropriate. This includes shop staff wearing face coverings, and pubs and restaurants closing by 10pm and implementing table service only.

Businesses must display a contact tracing poster
Businesses 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 app
You 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.

Changes for indoor sports and weddings
Indoor team sports can now only be played by a maximum of six people. Weddings can now only have a maximum of 15 guests.

Keep washing your hands, social distancing and wear a face covering
In 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.

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms
If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test.

Make your own face covering, free film streaming and much more

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident

35% Campaign update – Campaigners demand that UAL withdraws from shopping centre development.

Campaigners demand that UAL withdraws from shopping centre development.

Aug 03, 2020 12:00 am

Campaigners respond to University of the Art’s Black Lives Matter statement -Campaigners fighting against the demolition and redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre have demanded that the University of the Arts London (UAL) withdraw from the controversial scheme. The demand was made in an open letter to the UAL’s Rector, Sir Nigel Carrington.

UAL’s London College of Communication (LCC) is to benefit from a new campus in the development, after its current premises are demolished. The shopping centre is due to be closed at the end of September 2020. UAL is a key stakeholder, along with offshore developer Delancey and a signatory of the s106 legal contract that underpins the development.

Fifty traders with nowhere to go

Campaigners wrote to Sir Nigel Carrington in response to UAL’s publication of a statement in respect of the Black Live Matter protests taking place across the world. In its statement, UAL declares:

“We aim to build our anti-racism commitments through collective engagement into actions that make a meaningful difference.”

The letter points out that many traders at the Shopping Centre have not been given any relocation space and they are all from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. According to a Southwark Council report at least 28 of the displaced traders have not been offered relocation premises.1 Local charity Latin Elephant and Petite Elephant has conducted their own research which shows the figure is nearer 50 traders.

Urgent action is needed now

The letter goes on to state:

“Urgent action is now needed to rectify this distressing situation and it is within UAL’s power to effect this … We are therefore asking UAL to withdraw from the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre if the organisation is genuinely committed to anti-racism.”

The letter says:

“UAL’s alleged commitment to anti-racism will not stand up to scrutiny if it allows the imminent erasure of this community in Elephant and Castle. In this case actions will prove to speak louder than words.”

Campaigners acknowledge that the London College of Communication (LCC) is itself an important part of the Elephant and Castle, but while so many traders from BAME backgrounds have suffered under the redevelopment LCC is a big winner, gaining a new, state-of-the art campus.

The letter’s signatories are Planning Voice (Southwark Law Centre)Latin ElephantUp the Elephant campaign, Anita Israel (#UALstillsowhite), Stand Up To Racism (Southwark) and Southwark Notes. The letter has been copied to Natalie Brett (Pro Vice Chair UAL), Stafford Lancaster, (Investment Director, Delancey) Cllr Peter John OBE, (Leader, Southwark Council).

The letter was sent on the 17 July 2020 and no reply had been received, at the date of this blog post.

Southwark is listening, again…

Simultaneously with UAL, Southwark Council is conducting its own ‘listening exercise’, Southwark Stands Together, asking anyone who lives, works or visits the borough about their experiences, so that they can ‘identify solutions to address entrenched, persistent racism and injustice’.

But Southwark has been down this road before – back in 2005, London Mayor Ken Livingstone called for the Commission for Racial Equality to investigate the Elephant’s regeneration, after shopping centre traders voiced concerns about how they would be accommodated in the redevelopment. Southwark had already commissioned the Lord Herman Ouseley to investigate its borough wide practices and in 2007 the Council’s Executive signed up to a ‘Traders Charter’, setting out how ‘continuity of trading’ could be secured and how to facilitate ‘..the transfer of existing businesses to new trading locations’.

Nobody should be left behind…

So, the problems traders face because of the regeneration are well-known and long acknowledged. According to Southwark forty-five traders have been relocated, but as many still have nowhere to go 2. The relocation and transition funds set up to assist traders are a fraction of the £148.4m profit Delancey stand to make from the redevelopment.

There can be no more blindingly obvious injustice than that longstanding shopping centre traders, all from BAME backgrounds, should face the loss of their stalls and premises, with no compensation and little prospect of continuing their businesses, to make way for a profit-spinning development that has no place for them.

We do not believe that between them the University of the Arts London, Southwark Council and Delancey with the vast resources at their command, cannot either find all traders new premises or pay them suitable compensation for the loss of their livelihoods. Now is the time for them to do so.


  1. Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre Progress Report Appendix D para 23 
  2. number of relocations given in email correspondence 24 April 2020 

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Race to Health – Free Southwark Physical Activity initiative to keep families active over the summer


This week we are launching our summer Race to health challenge in partnership with Southwark Libraries as a way of keeping families active during the summer. We would really appreciate if this could be circulated to all groups and cascaded to local families.

Race to Health at home: The grizzly bear who lost his GRRRRR!

3 August – 30 August

What is Race to Health?

Race to Health is an award winning online physical activity challenge that helps children and their families to be more physically active at home as part of a team – in this case a library team. Each participant will pick a Southwark library that they will compete for to try and become part of the Southwark Race To Health Champions!

Please click here for more information and instructions on how to register, or alternatively keep reading for more details.

Please adhere to current social distancing guidelines and government advice

How it works

The game theme is following Fred’s journey from the classic book, The grizzly bear who lost his GRRRRR! (by Rob Bidduloph). Each minute of physical activity completed by children and their families will be converted into miles and will contribute to their chosen library teams total. This helps Fred to move around a game map visiting some cool places and making new friends! The wining library will be the one with the highest total active minutes completed and will win receive £250 decathlon vouchers.

Children and their families need to log their physical activity minutes on our fun interactive web site which provides tips on how to increase your daily physical activity. Whilst on the website children will be able to track their own activity progress, and compare this to other members of the same library team. Children and families will also be able to customise their own page, collecting medals and points.

Once completed, children will be able to download their own personalised participation certificate and has a digital trophy appear in their trophy cabinet!

How can I take part?

Please email with the below information (copy and paste the table):

It may take up to 24hrs to receive your login pack

Full name of parent/carer to set up login:





Preferred email to receive game communications  
Chosen Southwark Library to represent:  


Family information Number of males Number of females
Adults (aged 18yrs+)    
Youth (aged 12-17yrs)    
Children (aged 0-11yrs)    
Registered with a disability or other sensory impairment    

For any further information please email

Help us keep Southwark safe, gyms reopen, and family fun this summer

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident

Weekend wellbeing

Hello Everyone,

We thought you might like this Isolation Wellbeing Pack – newsletter attached. It has some great links to museums, galleries and other mood lifting public spaces that are doing things online.

Over the weekend, why not try some indoor food growing? Thank you local tenant Tina who has provide us with this great information for indoor food growing from Random Acts of Green.

In Southwark we have a Universal Credit Network, made up of front line services. Next Tuesday they will be holding a Zoom call and taking questions regarding
Universal Credit. This won’t be an opportunity to ask direct questions about your case (but we can look into that at a later date). It will be an opportunity to learn from experts and ask important questions. It would be lovely if you could join us, if it is not directly relevant to you, it may be to one of your neighbours so you can learn about it and we can support you to share that
knowledge. Information is below.

Don’t forget to tune in to Resonance 104.4fm (from your kitchen radio) or online at at 11.30am on Monday where you can hear our interview with Cabinet Member Leo Pollak.

Thank you all, stay safe. And remember – if you need a chat, we are hear for that!

Southwark Universal Credit Network Online – COVID-19 Special Q&A

Coronavirus updates from DWP, CAB + Southwark Law Centre and Q&A session. Bring your questions!

You are invited to special meeting of Southwark Universal Credit Network ONLINE:


We will be using ZOOM for this meeting, please register here to receive a link to join the meeting:

Please pass this invite on to any frontline workers in Southwark who support people claiming Universal Credit.

Join the mailing list by emailing:

For further info on Southwark Universal Credit Network please visit:

Entertainment, education and exercise: Southwark Council’s stay-at-home library of activities

Cllr Peter John OBE

Dear resident,

We know that staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives gets harder as time goes by, and that keeping yourself and your family entertained for such long periods is a new and often difficult challenge. To help in a small way, we’ve developed an online library of things to do at home to help you and your family keep active, creative and learning at home during the lockdown. There’s lots on offer from free film screenings to art workshops, dance classes and much more and we’ve included some further highlights below.

Sadly, we also know that not everyone who is staying at home feels safe. Remember, there is support for anyone who experiences abuse at home – you do not have to stay at home with an abuser.

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

Cllr Peter John

Donate to the community fundraiser

There’s still time to donate to the community fundraiser for local charities. United St Saviours are distributing much-needed funds to local charities who are playing a vital role in the local coronavirus response.

Are you worried about domestic abuse?

If you or someone you know is suffering from Domestic Abuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response and support services remain available. Nationally, there is advice and support available but you should call 999 if you are in immediate danger. Locally, the Solace Advocacy and Support Service is also available to women and men in Southwark aged 16 or over in Southwark.

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.

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.


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