29 June 2010

Community Council report back

Last monday Victoria, Renata and I attended our first Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council meeting since becoming councillors. We want this blog to be a source of local news and views, not just for people who can come along these kinds of meetings, but also for those who can't. In that spirit, this post is a summary of the decisions and issues which were discussed at the meeting

Victoria was chairing the meeting for the first time and with a packed agenda she had her work cut out. After the introductions and other formalities we moved onto the community safety update from our local police team. The police informed us that in recent weeks they had been concentrating their efforts a small number of individuals in the Peckham Rye/Nunhead area who were responsible for a significant proportion of local crime and anti-social behaviour. There were then several questions from the floor about other community safety concerns.

The next item on the agenda was "Introduction to Community Councils". There were many new faces at the meeting and so it was good to hear from the Southwark Neighbourhood Co-ordinator for Nunhead and Peckham Rye who explained the remit and purpose of commuity council meetings. Community Council meetings are a forum for consulting local people and provide an opportunity for residents to influence how council services are delivered. They are also the body which allow your local councillors to allocate pots of money for local projects (more of that later).

Next, everyone at the meeting broke up into ward groups and we discussed the kind of practices that make community council work well and those that don't. In my group, People liked the opportunity to discuss controversial issues and the chance to hold council officers (and councillors) to account for the decisions they make. The things people were less keen on were that sometimes meetings seemed too formal and council officers sometimes failed to provide information promised at previous meetings. These were just a few of the numerous suggestions that were made.

All of the ward groups reported back to the Community Council as a whole and the suggestions made will now be used to improve the conduct of future meetings.

Next came the Community Council Fund allocations. Before announcing which projects would recieve money from the Community Council Fund there was a presentation from the Friends of Peckham Rye Park to explain how they had spent a previous allocation of money on helping to organise the increasingly popular Peckham Rye Fete. the full list of projects funded by this round of allocations will soon be available on the Southwark Council website via the minutes. They should be available here soon.

The remainder of the meeting included a presentation on the various technicalities of recycling in Southwark (something that the Labour Administration is determined to to take a close look at in order to boost recycling), an update on Peckham Space and questions from the floor. All in all it was a very succesful meeting and we look forward to getting more done for the Nunhead and Peckham Rye area at the Community Council over the coming months and years.

19 June 2010

Community Council this Monday

Just a reminder about the Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council meeting taking place this Monday at 7.00pm at St Mary Magdalene Primary School, 48 Brayard's Road, London, SE15 3RA.

To see the meeting agenda click here.

Among a number of other important issues being discussed at the meeting is the latest round of allocations from the Community Council Fund . To see the list of applications for funding for local projects click here. The Community Council Fund is a pot of money which local people and projects can apply for revenue funding for events, festivals, community days, sports days and the like.

9 June 2010

Peckham Rye Common Development - Important update

Victoria met with officers from Southwark Council's Park's Team last Friday to talk about the children's facilities planned for Peckham Rye Common. Readers may be aware that the council has £100,000 to spend on a new natural water play area next to the One O'clock Club. Parks officers are already consulting local children about what they want, with a view to start constructing the new play area in the early autumn of this year.

The One O'clock Club on Peckham Rye Common is also due to be rebuilt. The previous Labour Councillors for Peckham Rye had, through the community council and over a number of years, allocated £200,000 of "cleaner, greener safer" money towards the rebuild. Sadly, this is well short of the £400,000-£500,000 that is really needed to deliver an adequate, new One O'clock club. The previous Lib Dem-Tory council had failed to allocate any further funding and there was a real risk that this project would continue to be delayed.

However, a bidding process is currently underway which may deliver the necessary further funding. A bid has been submitted to a larger Sure Start budget which had already been allocated to Southwark Council by central government. In the next few weeks we'll be doing all we can to ensure this bid is succesful. If it is, and if the proposals get through the appropriate planning processes, the new build could start in March 2011. If not, we'll keep fighting until we deliver on our promise to get this long overdue development built.

Watch this space for further updates.

6 June 2010

World Cup Football and Shakespeare at the Cafe on the Rye

Football fans can watch all the England games plus the quarter finals, semis and final at the Cafe on Peckham Rye. There will be a 7ft screen, beer and burgers. Sounds good!

Luckily there isn't a game on Sunday 4 July when the Festival Players Theatre Company will be doing an outdoor performing of The Tempest at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £12.50 / £9.00 concessions and you can purchase tickets at the cafe or by ringing 02086939431. The cafe will be barbequing burgers and will be open for drinks. You'll need to bring along something to sit on.

2 June 2010

A day in the life of a Peckham Rye councillor...

As a new councillor I'm just about starting to get into a routine of council work and meetings and my ongoing life working at South Bank university and as a Peckham Rye resident.

I've just got back from a Community Council planning meeting and similar meeting seem to take place about once a week - sometimes it will be council assembly other times a scrutiny committee (I'm on Health and Social Care) or tomorrow morning I've got a meeting with officers to agree the agenda for the Community Council meeting taking place on 21 June.

There is also a whole host of training sessions for new councillors to attend from planning to IT to a chance to meet the Corporate Management Team (all these have been done in the last few days).

I've also submitted a whole host of queries to officers in the last week on primary school places, Ivydale traffic calming, a variety of planning and licensing applications and I'm finally getting to grips with who I should contact about what.

I'm also delighted that we will get a briefing from officers on the Peckham Rye Park and Common development in the next week.

Finally we are making plans for 'mobile' surgeries in Peckham Rye ward (more on this to follow...) but in the mean time you can pop along to the Rye Hill Park Tenants' Hall this Friday from 6.30pm until 7.30pm to speak to your councillors about any concerns or problems you have.