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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Mayor of London and London Assembly elections on 6 May

Mayor of London and London Assembly elections on 6 May

It is just under a week to the Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections on Thursday 6 May. Have you made your plan to vote?

  • Send in your completed postal votes now if you have one.
  • If you are voting on the day our polling stations will be safe to use. Social distancing measures will be in places so there may be queues. Please remember your mask (unless exempt) and bring you own pen or pencil.
  • Only vote at a polling station if you are feeling well.

Find out information about the candidates for the election on Thursday 6 May


Remembering a hero

The heroic actions of Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole last weekend, which so tragically led to his death, have touched us all. The Mayor of Southwark, Leader of the Council, and Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Safety, have privately visited the site of the tragedy to leave flowers, and the council is considering ways that the borough can remember Jimi’s tremendous bravery and celebrate his life, in line with the wishes of his family.

Cllr Kieron Williams said: “Real heroes share two things: the compassion to care and the bravery to act. Folajimi Adewole had both in abundance. My thoughts are with this family and friends and all who loved him.”


If you’re eligible, book your COVID-19 vaccination

If you’re aged 40 or over, or will be by 1 July 2021, or you’re in another eligible category, you can book your vaccination now.


Next Steps newsletter April 2021

Welcome to your regular bulletin detailing jobs, training, work experience and other opportunities for Southwark residents aged 16 to 25.

You can also check our web pages for signposting to jobs, work experience, volunteering, training and more.


Get your university tuition fees paid

If you’re under 25 years old, the Southwark Scholarship Scheme could cover the fees for your undergraduate university course. Applications close on 30 April.


Job vacancies and career support with Southwark Works

Find out about the following paid vacancies:

Visit Southwark Works for more job vacancies or get one-to-one careers and employment support.


Work or training advice and support for 16 to 18 year olds

If you’re aged 16 to 18 and currently not in education or employment, our post 16 service offer advice to support you into work or trainingLet us know your career situation and we can help you with your options.


Learn more about software engineering

Register for a free six-week tech talent accelerator programme, where you can build IT and coding skills in preparation for apprenticeship roles in software engineering.


Learn about roles in tech

The Try Tech programme offers an online platform where you can gain knowledge and experience of the tech industry, helping you to move into roles in tech start-ups.


Free online training for in demand jobs

Microsoft is offering free online training courses and tools to build your knowledge and skills to access sought after roles across a range of sectors.


Coaching for young entrepreneurs

Register for free one-to-one career and business coaching for aspiring entrepreneurs aged 16 to 21, available through Business Launchpad. The programme also offers mentoring and health and wellbeing workshops.


Volunteer to make Southwark safer

The Southwark Youth Independent Advisory Group is a new partnership bringing together young people, us, and the Police to make our borough safer for everyone. The group is looking for local volunteers aged 14 to 21 to share their experiences and gain accredited training along the way. For further details contact yiag@southwark.gov.uk.


Artists wanted for murals at Peckham Levels

Peckham Levels is a vibrant, cultural and artistic destination for the community. Artists can submit proposal for murals that celebrate Peckham by 3 May.


Free courses with GCSE level equivalent qualifications

If you’re 19 or older register for free courses that could gain you GCSE equivalent qualifications (Level 1 and 2) in a range of topics including digital skills, mental health, event planning, business administration and many more.


Events

Next Steps Newsletter – April edition – Opportunities for Young People

Dear colleagues,

You’ll be aware that the Next Steps newsletter was launched earlier this year to inform young people of local opportunities for learning, work, career experiences and volunteering.

The April newsletter is packed full of opportunities that may benefit the young people you or your partners work with – please do circulate the link, and encourage young people to subscribe to future newsletters, and visit our sign posting pages.

If you/partners have opportunities you’d like to include in future newsletters, please email me.

Thank you

Nazmin

Nazmin Yeahia

Principal Strategy Officer, Local Economy Team

Chief Executive’s Department

Southwark Council, 160 Tooley Street, SE1 2QH

T: 020 7525 1837

E: nazmin.yeahia@southwark.gov.uk

My working days are Monday – Wednesday

Election hustings!

Hello, 

Here are some hustings you may be interested in:
THIS SUNDAY!
The election hustings on housing and homelessness for the GLA candidates in Southwark and Lambeth has been rescheduled
Next week:
Eventbrite – Living Bankside presents London Mayoral Election 2021 Hustings – Tuesday, 27 April 2021 – Find event and ticket information.
The London Business Board and Bloomberg invite you to join us for our 2021 Mayor of London Business Hustings with candidates Shaun Bailey AM, Sian Berry AM, Rt Hon Sadiq Khan and Luisa Porritt.
Submit questions on the topics that matter to you. If you need any support, let me know.

Have a lovely weekend we hope!

Rhiannon Hughes
Campaigns and Research Officer

Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations

Bells Gardens Community Centre,19 Buller Close

London SE15 6UJ

Tel: 020 7639 6718/07932359410

Email: rhiannon@sgto.co.uk 

website: www.sgto.org.uk

Take Action on Empty Homes!

Dear Friend

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The empty homes Day of Action on 17th April has won wide support and this is also reflected in the speakers list for the rally.

Empty Homes Day of Action – Online rally with national speakers
Saturday 17th April, 11am – 12 noon

Speakers include
John Bird, Big Issue founder
Will McMahon, Action on Empty Homes
Tanya Murat, Homes For All
Jon Glackin, Streets Kitchen
Ellen Clifford, Author and Disabled People Against Cuts
Tyrone Scott, Shelter
Steve Turner, Unite the Union

Online Rally Facebook Event here

Our Southwark “in person” event is happening at Manor Place Depot at 11am on Saturday 17th April. Please come if you can:

image

Empty Homes Day of Action – Manor Place Depot, Southwark
Photoshoot and livestream
11am to 11:30am (it’s a short one, don’t miss it!)
Saturday 17th April
This event is a socially distanced photoshoot and is part of the Empty Homes Day of Action.

Manor Place Depot Facebook Event Here

More details on Manor Place Depot, a Notting Hill Genesis development, have been kindly provided by 35% Campaign. Once again a free and accountable journalistic service.
https://35percent.org/2021-04-11-action-on-southwarks-empty-homes/Please TWEET on #EmptyHomes
and on FB #RequisitionEmptyHomes

More details about the day of action:
http://www.axethehousingact.org.uk/uncategorized/empty-homes-day-of-action-saturday-april-17th-2021/

Regards
Jerry

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Facebook
Website
Copyright © 2021 Elephant Amenity Network, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:

Elephant Amenity Network

18 Market Place
Blue Anchor Lane

LondonSouthwark SE16 3UQU

UnitedKingdom

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Free Online Sewing Class details

I am writing regarding free sewing classes course online.
This course will benefit a lot of people as we all are in lockdown. They will interact with different people plus learn a new skill. I too attended these classes and feel confident in sewing plus developed new skills. I highly recommend this sewing course.


This course will give people confident in upcycle their clothes, develop your skills in making their own clothes and give them a new hobby, plus save money.


I very much appreciate your help, if you can kindly distribute the information to your community and your contacts. If anyone who does not have a sewing machine, they can hand switch.


The course is free and is on every Wednesday from 10am to 12noon. (Two Hours)
Nuria is the sewing teacher.
She teaches how to make:

Skirt and top making, insert zip, pocket, Hemming and make a draft skirt and Top pattern, take body measurements,   
Nuria is from Camden Working Men’s College
Her contact details: –
Tele:
Email Nurias@wmcollege.ac.uk
I like to take this opportunity to thank you for distributing this information.


As you like inspiring woman hope you will pass this to your group and contacts. It’s time to learn new skills and develop a hobby. 

Please circulate free sewing class online to the group or any of your contacts. 

Hope you can help and it is not too much trouble.  

Take Care and Stay Safe.
  
Kind regards
Yasmin  

_________________________________________________________________ Dear Participants 
The sewing class will continue next term online.. 

Please join me next term for more sewing tips and support with your sewing projects. 

Details of the course:

Course ID: GIL8764Create your Sewing ProjectAt: Zoom and then Maiden Lane Community CentreStart: 21 April 2021End: 26 May 2021Day: WednesdayStart Time: 10:00End time: 12:00Tutor: Nuria Ibrahim Shefa

To enrol on the course please complete the following online enrolment form.

Click here: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16GtafrJWJ-FOYyBYdLh-Do7Fqh4XJb_blJJqDE_crbU/edit

You will need to write the course ID: GIL8764

and the name of the course: Create your Sewing Project

I will send you the link when you have enrolled on Monday 19th April. 

See you on Wednesday April 21st. 

Best wishes 

 Tish Taylor

Community Education Manager

M:  07920 768612   E: tisht@wmcollege.ac.uk

Vaccine update, COVID-19 anniversary service, Census reminder and more

ckw

Dear resident

Next Tuesday, 23 March, marks the first anniversary of COVID-19 taking hold in our country, and will be a National Day of Reflection. In Southwark we will mark this day with a service (details below) including the national minute’s silence, when we will remember those tragically lost to COVID-19 in our borough, and the incredible contribution so many of you have made in supporting friends, neighbours, families and communities through this difficult time.

I am very glad to say the COVID-19 case rate in Southwark is now one of the lowest in London, at 20 positive cases per 100,000 people. However the virus is still as easy to catch and pass on so please keep sticking to the rules and remembering hands, face space. The vaccines are safe and effective and continue to offer us all the best hope for moving out of the pandemic, so I encourage everyone who is eligible, to have their jab.

Young people have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. COVID-19 has meant disruption to their education, reductions in the opportunities available to them as they leave education and an increase in the mental health challenges they face. That’s why we’ve announced our new Southwark Youth Deal that will see us investing additional funding to offer more support and opportunities for young people.

We are investing an extra £1m in local youth services, expanding our free Nest mental health service for all young people into schools and spending £2.5m renewing our adventure playgrounds. This is alongside ensuring young people in our borough have access to paid internships, apprenticeships and scholarships and launching a new Youth Parliament to ensure all of this work is shaped by local young people. We will be announcing more details of some of our new schemes soon. In the meantime, please see below for more information on the support and opportunities available.

I also want to say that like everyone across the country, I was shocked and saddened by the murder of Sarah Everard. My thoughts are with her family, friends and loved ones and with all the women who have been subject to and are survivors of violence. It is good to see misogyny will now finally be treated as a hate crime, something the council has been calling for, for some time. Over the last two years we have developed a detailed plan to tackle violence against women and girls in our borough, and our council-funded Solace Advocacy and Support Services is there for all women experiencing violence. I know there is still much more to do and over the next few weeks we will be setting out further actions we will be taking.

Best wishes,

Kieron

COVID-19 anniversary service

Tuesday 23 March marks the first anniversary of COVID-19 taking hold in the UK. In Southwark, as part of the National Day of Reflection, a short service will be held (and streamed on our YouTube channel), when we will remember those tragically lost in our borough.

Opportunities and support for young people

Safety update about the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

Following a rigorous scientific review of all available data, the UK regulator (@MHRAgovuk) has said that the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so. They have confirmed that the available evidence does not suggest that blood clots in veins are caused by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Census day is 21 March

Census Day is 21 March – every household in the borough is expected to take part. Find out more about what the census means for you. If you need any help filling out your Census form you can call 020 7525 5144 and speak to a trained member of staff.

No symptoms? Book a rapid test now

There are now two rapid testing centres in Southwark for people who don’t have symptoms. If you leave home regularly, for essential reasons, we recommend getting tested up to twice a week.

Testing site locations

  • London Bridge St Thomas Street exit, London Bridge Station, SE1 9QU
  • Peckham, Damilola Taylor Centre, 1 East Surrey Grove, Peckham, SE15 6DR

You can book a test now – but walk-in tests are usually available.

>> Book a free test now if you don’t have symptoms

Are you worried about domestic or sexual abuse?

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can leave home to seek help or support. There is national domestic abuse advice and support available but you should call 999 if you are in immediate danger. Locally, the Solace Advocacy and Support Service provides help and advice on domestic abuse for anyone in Southwark aged 16 or over.

Sign up for a postal vote ahead of 6 May

Elections in London will take place on 6 May. Your local polling station will be safe but you can avoid any queues by signing up to vote by post now.

Do you have time to care for others?

Have you been thinking about new opportunities or careers that help others? With our support, you could become a foster carer. Find out more at our next online information meeting on Tuesday 30 March at 6pm.

More time to have your say on the regeneration of Old Kent Road

The council has extended the consultation period on the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan. You now have until 10 May 2021 to provide your comments on the updated regeneration plans for the area which were published in December.

Is your child finding returning to school/college challenging?

The Nest can provide free mental wellbeing support for young people aged 11 to 25 struggling with low level mental health concerns such as anxiety and low mood. Young people and their families are able to directly refer themselves to The Nest without the need for a professional referral. To find out more please get in touch or call 020 8138 1805 to speak to a member of the team.

Train to be a social worker in just 14 months

If you’re thinking about a career in social work, find out if you’re eligible and how you can earn while you learn. We’re looking for people to support children and families in the borough. Apply for the social work training scheme by midday on 7 April 2021.

Testing for the COVID-19 variant in parts of SE5

The South African COVID-19 variant has been found in the Faraday Ward. Residents in the affected area have been given home testing kits. The variant doesn’t appear to cause any more severe symptoms than the regular COVID-19 strain, nor does it yet appear to be resistant to the vaccines.

Spring adult learning courses

We are planning new courses to start at the end of April – if you are interested in art, sewing, print making, pottery, dance or fitness courses please email us to enrol or further course details will shortly be available online.

Get checked for cancer – the NHS is open

Cancer screening was paused in 2020, but is back up and running. If you are due for bowel, cervical or breast cancer screening, you will receive an invitation. Going for cancer screening is important and measures are in place to keep you safe. If you are worried about changes to your body, don’t wait to be invited – contact your GP straight away.

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.

25 new council homes to be built on the Styles House estate

25 new council homes are set to be built on the Styles House estate after Southwark Council approved the proposals for a new residential development at Planning Committee last month. The proposals comprise a new 14-storey residential tower, at the junction of The Cut and Hatfields, which will provide 25 new homes, all of which will be for social rent.

Survey for young people aged 16 to 18

If you are aged 16 to 18 in Year 12 or 13, please complete our post-16 activity survey if you are in education, employment or training. If you are not in education please get in touch. Our Post-16 Service supports young people back into education and provides advice on training and college courses.

Sign up for a free cycling skills course

TfL is running an online course if you’re new to cycling or want to brush up on your skills. 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.

The Elephant Magazine Spring 2021

Keep up to date with everything that’s happening in Elephant and Castle. The Elephant Magazine brings you all the latest news on the regeneration of the area alongside features on neighbourhood businesses and the local community. The Spring issue is out now. Pick up your copy in Elephant and Castle or read online.

Share your views on private rented homes in Southwark

Share your experiences and help us improve the quality of private rented housing across the borough by completing our consultation.

ww.southwark.gov.uk