I don't see this as a ward dispute although I would dispute the ward boundaries as the only boundaries that matter for an issue as big as Bell Green or Forest Hill town centre.
I and the Forest Hill Society are happy to lend our support to groups in neighbouring areas where there is common interest and we can help them develop for the benefit of our member, the Forest Hill community (wherever that begins and ends) and the slightly wider community. For this reason Forest Hill Society have expressed views on Honor Oak Rec, have assisted where we can when residents of Southwark and Lewisham on the Sydenham wished to set up a neighbourhood forum, and before looking at setting up a neighbourhood forum in Honor Oak spoke to the local assembly in Crofton Park to get their views (which were that they wanted nothing to do with our ideas and they wanted to set up their own Neighbourhood forum which we are only peripherally involved with).
As with Sydenham Ridge it is not my intention to impose a 'Forest Hill' policy on Bell Green. The people who live in Bellingham and Perry Vale wards - closest to the area need to have the loudest say in any proposals, and I will do everything I can to make that happen (as will others living in or representing the local area).
'Urban Renewal' is the term used at the top of the scope document that I linked to. We have had similar in place in Forest Hill (a 2004 document produced by the council after lobbying by Sydenham Society - before FHSoc existed). I don't think it is entirely coincidental that FHSoc was formed a couple of years after the plans championed by Syd Soc. If something similar happens in Bell Green then that would be tremendous and I would happily offer any assistance I can to the formation of a Bell Green Society or Bellingham Society. There shouldn't be a need for any dispute or turf wars - I just want to make things better in the local area (and that includes anything within a few hundred meters of SE23). This is not just what I want to do but what I'm constitutionally asked to do by members of the Forest Hill Society.
Forest Hill Society Constitution wrote:2. OBJECTIVES
The Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area comprising Forest Hill (SE23) in the London Borough of Lewisham, adjoining parts of SE26, and any other relevant adjoining areas, which area shall hereinafter be referred to as “the area of benefit”.
a) to stimulate public interest and to promote civic pride in the area of benefit whilst maintaining a policy of inclusion and equality of opportunity within the Society
b) to promote high standards of planning, architecture, sustainability and services in the area of benefit
c) to secure the conservation and enhancement of amenities and features of public interest in the area of benefit
Full document: https://www.freewebs.com/foresthill/FHS ... tution.pdf
FH Soc has never claimed exclusive representation of 'the area of benefit' whether inside or outside the SE23 postcode. Apart from anything else I would argue that the ward councillors are the only people who can claim to represent the area(s). Civic and Amenity Societies can only help to improve the area as best they can but should never claim to be the exclusive voice of their members, their postcode, or other surrounding areas - but they should be allowed to express opinions when they feel they are appropriate.
JGD wrote: ↑
4 Feb 2019 01:22
...Discourse's document was written in mid-December 2018 and yet your statement has the earliest consultation date being set at the end of February 2019. They will not be impressed by the closed meeting conducted by SydSoc and Discourse in recent weeks at which many members of SydSoc were invited to attend but not a single near-neighbour resident who was not a SydSoc member was invited.
Yes, these things take time. Nothing can happen in late December, a single meeting took place in January to get things off the ground and coordinate with local councillors (obviously including Bellingham councillors) and local amenity societies with some interest and membership in the area. Setting up the next meeting - a public meeting for February seems like a logical next step and a logical timeline. I would be disappointed if such a meeting did not take place in Bellingham ward and was advertised widely in the ward as well as on local online forums used by residents. I would also hope that some residents closer to Bell Green than I am help to steer this process as well as their councillors.
However, I'm certainly aware of concerns and hopes expressed by members of the Forest Hill Society and others in the immediate vicinity of Bell Green about traffic, about the need to better utilise some of the space, and opinions in favour and against the demolition of the gas works. I'm happy to be involved in setting up this project but don't see myself or the Forest Hill Society 'leading' it, but I hope that we can continue to feed into the process and encourage innovative thinking about an area that needs a strategy that is not set in the 1990s but thinks about the issues today and in the future.