Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

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JRW
Posts: 475
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

Post by JRW »

[I'd be grateful if someone could copy the map over from SE26.life, as I can't do it myself.]

The Bell Green neighbourhood forum launch has been beset with people dragging their feet, so I thought I’d post my own draft boundaries. The decision to actually open the forum would be after a full democratic consultation, and all residents get a vote.

I’d really welcome a discussion about my suggested boundaries; which streets are affected by current and future developments at Bell Green?

For starters, my reasons for the suggested boundaries are:
    The stretch of Sydenham Road, east of the Kent House Road junction, was previously called Bell Green.
      Including the Linear Park right up to Catford allows environmental improvements to the River Pool, enhancing its biodiversity, and its emergency floodwater storage capacity. The approximate flood plain is marked in pale blue.
        Including Southend Park allows for the renaturalisation of the river, which flows under the park in a brick culvert.
          Including the whole stretch of Linear Park allows for potential upgrades of foot /cycle bridges across the railway and river into Bellingham.
            The inclusion of the main feeder routes into Bell Green, affected by any future traffic growth.

            Let’s start the discussion here, while we wait for public meetings to restart.
            syd-gal
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            Location: Sydenham

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by syd-gal »

            Image

            Don't know how to show the map, it's on https://se26.life/t/bell-green-neighbou ... aries/2194
            mikej
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            Location: New Beckenham

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by mikej »

            JRW, I don't live in this proposed area (though I know most of it pretty well) but your principles seem good to me. What do others think?
            Matthew
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            Joined: 10 Aug 2015 06:07
            Location: Lower Sydenham

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by Matthew »

            I live in this area, and your principles seem fair. I’d like to see more made of Southend Park which is a lovely space
            JRW
            Posts: 475
            Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            Thanks, mikej and Matthew. I'd love to get more people's responses, to be put forward to our councillors. Please do make any suggestions of tweaks and improvements to my suggested boundary. Don't be shy!
            Parents united
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by Parents united »

            I’m so glad this topic has been brought up as I too have found difficulties within the boundaries and who takes responsibility for this area. For example Homepark I believe is caught in the middle. It’s not quite Sydenham nor quite Bell Green, so who takes responsibility for it?
            I would like to create a safe educational/sports place for young secondary aged children to attend after school.
            The violence amongst our young people will ultimately affect everyone that lives in Sydenham/Bell Green/Homepark. I am a qualified youth worker with links to education, arts, radio and boxing training and I would like to implement this in Sydenham/Homepark/Bell Green. Can anybody help??
            JRW
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            Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            Brilliant to hear from you! Bell Green retail park is in Bellingham Ward; it was historically Sydenham, formerly East Sydenham Ward. You can see the ward boundaries via the Lewisham Council website, but please note that they are about to change again slightly; this happens regularly when the (national) Electoral Commission sees population change. Bell Green is at the corner of three wards, so has suffered as being not of huge interest to any one; the Mayor has approved a neighbourhood forum which crosses the 3 wards. Some councillors seem to be dragging their feet, but Cllr Alan Hall of Bellingham is very keen to see it happen. You can contact him on cllr_alan.hall@lewisham.gov.uk

            Your CV sounds really important; one of the things I want to push for is a larger space for the St Andrew's boxing club, and other similar youth provision. As retail space falls vacant, as is likely in the current climate, I don't see why one or two can't be used for leisure/sport, at least as a meanwhile use.

            Home park is in Bellingham ward, but the library is in Sydenham Ward. Totally nuts, given the park wraps around the back of the library. Oh, and Sydenham Road, east of the Kent House Road junction is called 'Bell Green' on old maps. Lines have to be drawn somewhere, but these are arbitrary administrative boundaries; we need a forum to bridge the wards, and work together to improve the area.
            Parents united
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            Joined: 13 Apr 2021 06:43

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by Parents united »

            Thanks for the reply I am very happy and willing to work together to make our community better, safer and stronger. Whatever it takes!!
            JRW
            Posts: 475
            Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            Brilliant, glad to be in contact. If you get canvassed, and get to speak to any of the elections candidates, ask them where they stand on this. Getting councillors onside is vital, as working across three wards needs cooperation from everybody.
            JRW
            Posts: 475
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            An extremely belated invitation to the launch of the Bell Green Neighbourhood forum, covering parts of Bellingham, Perry Vale and Sydenham wards. Given the short notice for this meeting, we will aim to hold the second meeting in about a month's time, and will announce the slot at the beginning of next week. Plenty of time to round up a proper turnout for the real discussions.

            Please do try to attend on Saturday though, especially if you would like to get involved with the arrangements.

            Here's the link to the The Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum - inaugural meeting.
            Time: Jul 24, 2021 12:00 PM London

            Join Zoom Meeting
            https://t.co/TNmkBwCm5l

            Meeting ID: 851 0639 5080
            Passcode: 729796
            This map shows the draft area for discussion. #bellgreense26 #SE26 #SE6 https://t.co/c2PeU76XOW

            https://twitter.com/SGasworks/status/14 ... 60675?s=19
            JGD
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JGD »

            The launch meeting for the formation of a new Neighbourhood Group is intended to focus on addressing how such a Group could consult with and seek the views of residents and businesses in Bellingham Ward.

            It has been evident for some time that it is important that the Ward's voices be heard and to avoid the trap of so-called representations from outside the Ward making proposals in the Ward's name whilst presenting no material or documented evidence that the Ward itself was consulted.

            The setting up of this body from within Bellingham Ward was proposed by Cllr Sue Hordijenko and her unfortunate and untimely passing has delayed progress.

            In the last 48 hours new proposals have been placed in the public domain a few days before the the planned Zoom meeting. Regrettably, the proposals differ significantly and materially from those being discussed within the Ward.

            Cllr Liam Curran proposes now that the Group must represent three wards. This was never the case for this new phase.

            This time round it was planned as a fresh start.

            The many failed attempts by SydSoc to rally Bellingham Ward residents to join a cause and form a group led by SydSoc was rejected on the many occasions SydSoc publicly presented their proposals. In the main because Bellingham residents knew that there had been no consultation with them and that the proposal did not reflect their aspirations.

            JRW herself presented at a Bellingham Ward Assembly at which she proposed that a Group be formed from within the Ward although she was less than clear whether her request was completely separate from the SydSoc proposal that had failed to get traction previously. Her presentation was politely noted but once more failed to gain traction.

            This belated publication of "highlights" contains proposals that are now so dated and still have no Bellingham Ward input present, they are rendered meaningless. The new notice contains links to the former Discourse/SydSoc Bell Green proposal - and it still has the retention of the gas-holders as a central tenet. They were demolished some time ago.

            This was planned as an exploratory meeting about the setting up of Bellingham Ward Neighbourhood Group.

            Many discussions will have to take place about its constitution and its objectives.

            There are no pre-set agendas or defined geographic area beyond the boundaries of the Bellingham Ward.

            This meeting is still welcomed by Bellingham Ward residents.

            At no stage has any consultation taken place about the objectives and areas published in @CllrCurran's tweet.

            The Cllr separately and forcefully asserts that the basis for a Bell Green Neighbourhood Group must be as the Cllr defines it.

            Not so.
            JRW
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            Dear John,

            I am sorry, but the plan for this forum has always been to bring together the people who live the Bell Green area, across all three wards. Sue was absolutely committed to cross-ward cooperation, as her many friends would attest. It is not OK to use her name for your own purposes.

            You have also misrepresented my presentation at the Bellingham Assembly; I was talking about a cross-ward forum, and this model has been approved in principle by the Mayor. Cllrs Jacq Paschoud and Alan Hall can both vouch for these points.

            I am personally disappointed that you're not prepared to work with the 3-ward forum, as your expertise in transport issues would have been invaluable. However, it sounds as if you would prefer to start a different residents group for cross- Bellingham residents, which I am sure would be very welcome support to your admirable councillors.

            There will be a democratic vote before anything at all is decided about the boundary, purposes, and committee of the forum. We will aim for 6 months time, although as Lewisham Council electoral services will administer this, the precise date will be determined by them. You will have the opportunity to block things at this point, if you speak for a large number of people.

            On Saturday, we want to set out some basic housekeeping arrangements which will allow us to start a full publicity campaign to gather a large number of participants. Until we gather that membership, we can't hold a democratic vote to decide on the finer points of the forum's scope. For that reason, I hope you won't disrupt proceedings by insisting on your personal agenda coming first. We want to hear everybody's ideas, but that will be in a couple of months, when we get off the ground properly.

            Do speak to your councillors about your idea of a Bellingham residents association. I am sure that they would be happy to assist you.

            J
            JGD
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JGD »

            JRW wrote: 23 Jul 2021 12:28 You have also misrepresented my presentation at the Bellingham Assembly; I was talking about a cross-ward forum, and this model has been approved in principle by the Mayor. Cllrs Jacq Paschoud and Alan Hall can both vouch for these points.
            No misrepresentation - it simply reports your attendance at a Bellingham Ward Assembly.
            JRW wrote: 23 Jul 2021 12:28 Do speak to your councillors about your idea of a Bellingham residents association. I am sure that they would be happy to assist you.


            I most certainly have done. Approached by Cllr Sue Hordijenko originally.

            Then followed by Cllr Liam Curran.

            Then Cllr Rachel Onikosi and once more at the beginning of July 2021 by Cllr Liam Curran.

            Cllr Alan Hall has committed to establish if a Bellingham Ward Body can have £10-12k contribution for commissioning and communications expenses from the £2.4m the Council hold of unspent s106 monies.

            No misunderstanding - the importance of a Bellingham Green Ward body has remained central and key - indeed Cllr Curran reinforced that message in the last conversation we had.

            Do you have some insight into political machinations that have seen some hi-jack of the proposal to form a Bellingham Ward body and convert it into a wider body that is more suited to the Sydenham view of things?

            It is disappointing to see such a late set of changes published on the Thursday before a Saturday meeting. Why does Cllr Curran believe it acceptable to forcefully assert in an email (see quote) that these changes must be accepted? Is Bellingham Ward to be commanded to be silent?
            Furthermore, on another matter just to let you know that the map I have pasted up on Twitter would have to be roughly the basis for a Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum and would cover 3 ward boundaries and not just Bellingham ward as pasted up on your Twitter account.
            Why do we see such repetition of this misrepresentation - including the recommendations included in the graphics which are are so out-of-date and have nothing that could be described as a Bellingham Ward input.

            To what standard of efficacy are we operating?

            You have used the wrong argument Julia - as is so frequently the case.
            JRW
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            We are proposing to cover the Bell Green corner of the three wards. The exact boundary is to be confirmed by democratic vote, run by Lewisham Council electoral team. If you want to start a rival Bellingham group, then that's fine by us. Of course, as your area is about to be transferred to Perry Green Ward, you won't be able to run it long term.


            Ward boundaries are abstract administrative things, that shift constantly. It is setting a bad example for kids and their postcode agendas if adults make this kind of fuss over turf war fights. Bellingham residents already have an Assembly to discuss ward matters.
            JGD
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JGD »

            You appear to misunderstand the Neighbourhood Group concept.

            It is my understanding that a Neighbourhood Group can set itself up and define the area for which it wants to act.

            That may - or may not - coincide with a Ward boundary. In any event Ward boundary changes can be addressed when they are implemented.

            In essence the Neighbourhood Group MUST have members and office bearers who are resident or run businesses in that area.

            SydSoc has been observed on several occasions (and you once) attempting to induce people from Bellingham to join in the setting up of such a Group in futile efforts to validate Sydenham's role in Bellingham and Bell Green matters with Lewisham Council.

            So far, after several years of effort, those endeavours have failed and for the principal reason that Bellingham Ward seeks its own autonomy and is perfectly justified in doing so.

            Let us all watch once more.

            There may be changes in interpretation.

            Perhaps people may grasp that Bellingham can exercise its entitlement to discuss matters in its own neighbourhood and set its aspirations down and have the Council hear their voices and not the voices of those who have not and do not consult with Bellingham residents.
            JRW
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            For Bellingham, read JGD. You claim to speak for Bellingham, but I know a large number of Bell Green area Bellingham residents who see the benefits of a cross-ward Forum.
            JRW
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            So, if anyone would like to have an informal chat with me, or sign up for the Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum, I will be at the front of the Livesey Hall from immediately after the 12pm zoom meeting. From 2pm, there is also a Fun Day in aid of the youth boxing programme, providing kit and training for the students.
            JGD
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JGD »

            JRW wrote: 23 Jul 2021 15:55 For Bellingham, read JGD. You claim to speak for Bellingham, but I know a large number of Bell Green area Bellingham residents who see the benefits of a cross-ward Forum.
            Interesting, Julia. It doesn't really matter who knows more (or fewer) people from Bellingham.

            What will matter is how many identifiable residents from Bellingham will attend the Zoom meeting and what views and proposals will emerge from them.

            Will they concur that a cross-ward Forum is best and will they vote for it?

            What will their opinions be on your graphic with the title Boundary Options for Discussion Rev P2 2021 12 07 which it seems has NO options - there is a single Boundary proposal and few alternatives offered? Why are there no options included that have already been published in the Draft Local Plan which is currently at the post-consultative stage and for which it might be anticipated that the Council will have received many responses from residents and parties to the consultation?

            Perhaps you would care to make your case.

            Expand and describe for the first time attendees what the benefits and dis-benefits of a cross-ward Forum actually are. How would a cross-ward Group operate as opposed to a single-ward option? How is funding to be provided? How would you foresee the appointment of Officers for the Group being agreed?

            Perhaps you can inform prospective attendees with whom consultations have already been conducted and why this single option graphic is included.

            Perhaps we can have sight of an Agenda preferably with a layout that has no pre-judged outcomes and lays out a sequence whereby structured discussion can take place about the principles of setting up such a Neighbourhood Group and how it is to be constituted. Once those matters have been weighed and voted upon we can move to discuss subject matter in terms of developments and plans.

            It would also help to know the provenance of this graphic - who was responsible for its production and what discussions took place about its content - we can see it is already labelled Rev 2.
            JRW
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by JRW »

            The next meeting of the Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum will be

            12 - 2 pm, Saturday 25th September at the Sydenham Catholic Club, Watlington Grove, SE26 5RR (just behind the Istambul supermarket).

            Full details on the SE26.life forum, as I can't put up documents on this site.
            Growsydenham
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            Re: Bell Green Neighbourhood Forum proposals...

            Post by Growsydenham »

            Will this body be truly representative of the area? Or will it be yet another self-selecting committee of people who claim to speak on behalf of their neighbours but really only represent themselves? As we've already got one of those...
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