The Public interest Law Centre (PILC) and their solicitor, Paul Heron, has been been a fantastic help to our campaigning work at the Elephant.
Now the PILC is campaigning to level the playing field for ballots on the future of council estates, which include proposals for demolition. Many of these ballots are being won by councils, after using uncapped public funds to canvass for ‘yes’ votes.
The London Assembly has proposed a Resident Empowerment Reserve Fund to redress the balance. Local communities opposed to demolition would be able to draw on this Fund, to put across their point of view.
Sadiq Khan now has to decide whether to include the Fund in his 2022-2023 budget. He is considering this now and will respond this Thursday 24th February, at Mayor’s Question Time, when he presents his final budget to the Assembly.
The email urges the Mayor to adopt the Fund. It also asks that the terms of access to the Fund is formulated by community members who have experienced estate-ballot processes and would have benefited from the Fund. The email will be copied to Tom Copley, the deputy Mayor for housing.
Yesterday we were notified by Southwark Council that it is ‘unlikely’ that the Elephant traders’ deputation will be heard the Council Assembly meeting this evening. Southwark has suggested as an alternative that the deputation attends the Cabinet meeting on 7 Dec.
We are naturally very disappointed with this news, particularly as it comes so late in the day. We have asked Southwark and the councillors to reconsider, but as yet we cannot say what the final response will be and may not know until this evening.
The Yes to Fair Redevelopment demonstration is still going ahead and will rally outside outside Council Assembly at 6.30pm. The march will begin at the Vauban Car Park, Alscot Rd, opposite Spa Gardens, SE1 3GG (Bus 1 and 78) at 6.00pm.
Many thanks for your continuing support and please CLICK HERE for a trailer of an upcoming film on the traders plight (thanks to Emile Burgoyne).
Many Elephant shopping centre traders still have no new premises a year after the centre closed, despite Southwark Council’s promises that ‘no-one would be left’ behind in the Elephant and Castle’s regeneration.
The traders are sending a deputation to Southwark Council’s Assembly,160 Tooley St, SE1 2QHthis Weds 24 Nov. 7pm.
The deputation will be demanding that Southwark Council does more to help the traders. Southwark has legal agreements with developers Delancey and Lendlease for the traders’ relocation – these agreements must be enforced.
The deputation will include representatives from Pricebusters DIY shop and La Bodequita restaurant, two of the Elephant’s longest-standing businesses, as well as from the Elephant Arcade, one of the relocation sites. There will also be a representative of the market stall holders, who are still negotiating with Southwark Council for new market stall pitches at the Elephant and Castle.
The Assembly meeting is open to the public – please join us and give your support!
Yes to Fair Redevelopment demonstration.
You can also join the ‘Yes to Fair Redevelopment demonstration’, in the run-up to the Assembly meeting.
The demo is marching to Tooley St for a rally outside Council Assembly at 6.30pm. The march will assemble at the Vauban Car Park, Alscot Rd, opposite Spa Gardens SE1 3GG (Bus 1 and 78) at 6.00pm.
The demo is to let the Council know that unfair development of council estates will not be accepted. You can read more here and here.
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 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.
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
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
Our Southwark “in person” event is happening at Manor Place Depot at 11am on Saturday 17th April. Please come if you can:
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.
Many thanks to all of you who joined us on our great protest to mark the closure of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre last Thursday. The large crowd marched round the shopping centre and heard impassioned and heart-felt speeches from Latin Elephant’s Patria Roman and shopping centre trader Emad Megahed, both mainstays of the Up the Elephant campaign.
The Mayor has said ‘It is disappointing that a number of small businesses still don’t have the certainty they need….in general I would welcome any workable solution that would provide these businesses with the space they need to trade’.
The traders’ proposal is supported by Florence Eshalomi MP, London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark, local councillor Maria Linforth Hall and London Assembly members Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry, the Green Party candidate for Mayor. The Camberwell and Peckham Constituency Labour Party also passed a motion in support of the traders’ Proposal at their meeting last week.
The traders and their supporters will now be building on this support to get new market stalls and kiosks for those traders without new premise and repair some of the damage done to their businesses and livelihoods, by the centre closure.
Our twitter storm last week in support of the shopping centre traders generated some great publicity. The gentrification of the Elephant and other working-class areas was taken up on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Drivetime with Eddie Nestor. There were great contributions from Latin Elephant, campaigners and most importantly traders themselves – you can hear it here.
Traders have also put together their own proposal for staying at the Elephant, devised by Alice Chilangwa Farmer, with the assistance of Latin Elephant, Southwark Law Centre and the Up the Elephant Campaign. This has been sent to the Mayor, local councillors and London Assembly members – we will bring more news of this very soon.
Just a quick email saying that tomorrow (Friday 24 July) Latin Elephant are launching a social media campaign around #MyElephantMasks, as they become compulsory.
Latin Elephant have produced 100 of their own masks and will be distributing them at the Shopping Centre, 11am, to send a positive message from a strong united community, fighting Covid and redevelopment.
All are welcome to join us!
Also, please help us and promote using Twitter hashtags; keep your eye out for these hashtags from tomorrow:
The shopping centre traders are back in business after the Coronavirus lock-down. All of them have had to adapt to new regulations, putting up screens, redesigning the space inside their units etc – showing their quick adaptability and resilience!
Everyone is invited to keep up the Elephant spirit by supporting local traders – so, bring your face-mask, keep social distance and #buylocal#buyElephant!
I hope you have been keeping well during these difficult times.
The Up the Elephant campaign has been working with Latin Elephant and Southwark Law Centre, to help shopping centre traders through the Coronavirus crisis and with their relocation plans. According to Southwark Council 45 traders have now been relocated, with 28 applications rejected. Traders can also draw on two funds – the relocation and transition funds – and Latin Elphant and SLC have been doing great work helping traders with this.
The campaign has also joined with eighteen other groups to send an open letter to Southwark demanding that it Stop demolitions and requisition empty homes to help solve the housing crisis.
There will also be a socially distanced protest to open up empty homes this Thurs 4 June 6pm, outside Pret a Manger One the Elephant, 1 St Gabriel Walk, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6SA FB Event here
This is a socially distanced protest. Please bring a mask or face covering and stay 2 metres apart.
PS We will be having an on-line meeting very shortly – notice and link to follow.