|Sep 14, 2020 12:00 am|
Traders appeal to Mayor Sadiq Khan for his support -Traders who will be losing their market stalls when the Elephant and Castle shopping closes have come up with their own proposal for new stalls at the Elephant. Around forty traders face the loss of their businesses and livelihoods when the Centre closes its doors for the last time on 24 September.The traders’ proposals are for new stalls to be sited around the Faraday Memorial, by the railway arches along Archer St and outside the new Elephant Arcade, at the bottom of Perronet House.Traders are proposing at least 45 new stalls. Most of the new stalls would be around the large silver Faraday Memorial in the middle of the Elephant roundabout. This will become an even more important commuter route between the train station and the tube stations, with the closure of the shopping centre. The proposal would keep established traders at the heart of the Elephant and maintain the ‘sense of place’ that they have created. The proposal builds upon a previous Transport for London (TfL) project, from 2014, but never delivered.The proposal has been sent to the Mayor of London for his support. The land around the Faraday memorial is owned by TfL, which the Mayor leads.Local London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi MP has submitted a formal question to the Mayor asking him if he will support the proposals.Traders are also looking for support from local councillors from all parties and representatives at the London Assembly.Traders believe that with wholehearted support from the Mayor, Southwark Council, councillors and London Assembly members, all the displaced traders from the shopping centre can be found new homes. Only 45 out of 97 traders had secured relocation space, up to the end of April 2020.The proposal was devised by Alice Chilangwa Farmer and is supported by the Up the Elephant Campaign, Latin Elephant and Southwark Law Centre. If adopted it would provide shopping options and continuity to a local community facing a prolonged period of disruption and construction work.The complete proposal can be found here.This is what the traders and supporters have to say;Trader Shapoor Amini says: ‘ I’ve worked at this market since 2001. These people promised us so many things, they said we’ll give you a space, we’ll look after you guys, but they’ve done nothing for us. …I applied so many times—I’ve made calls, been to the council, been to the office, done lots of paperwork […] been to countless meetings, and still nothing. My whole life has been spent in this market, in this area, and now I don’t know what to do…..I have a kids, a wife it is very difficult’.Trader Edmund Attoh says: ‘I’m working here over 20 years. Things are very difficult people who have been here for a long time didn’t get nothing. That’s what we don’t understand, that’s why we are frustrated. We don’t know where we are going now. I applied for a space, and anything they asked, we give to them. They turned us down. But they didn’t say [why].’Traders Mathew and Eden Onuba say: ‘We’ve been 5 years at Elephant and Castle. We don’t know what to do in September, it is a very difficult situation. I don’t want much, but to save the business we’ve built up together.’
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Southwark Council monitors the COVID-19 infection rates on a daily basis. Whilst numbers are still low, the number of new cases has nearly doubled in Southwark in the last week and numbers are rising across London.
A high proportion of new cases are for people aged 18–34. We also know that most transmission is still amongst family and friends and there is some transmission from people coming back from holidays abroad. As we look forward to the bank holiday weekend we are asking people to please be careful and help prevent the spread of the virus and another lockdown.
If you’re visiting family or going out with friends you must:
- keep your distance from other people at all times
- wear a face covering in shops and on public transport
- wash your hands regularly.
Get tested if you have symptoms
Get a test as soon as possible if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). You must also must self-isolate, as should members of your household and anyone in your support bubble.
How you can help.
I have attached a number of assets such as posters, leaflets and social media artwork. Please feel free to use this and share across your networks, put posters up on noticeboards and TRA halls and get the message out to residents.
The webpages at www.southwark.gov.uk/gettested have more info on Test and Trace and more posters you can download including area specific ones like Keep Peckham Safe. If you would like a poster with your estate specifically mentioned please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get one sent to you.
Thank you for helping to keep Southwark safe.
Kim Hooper – Publications and special projects manager at Southwark council