Zanzibar Good News and Greyhound Bad News

Sydenham Assembly Report – September 11th, 2014 at TNG

Zanzibar Night Club

Zanzibar Nightclub

Great News! The Zanzibar management has decided to withdraw their objection to the licencing decision reducing their opening hours from 5am to 2am. The decision will be formally ratified at the Magistrates hearing on Tuesday 16th. From that point the new hours become mandatory.

This has been a great success to the campaign by local residents in response to the rowdy weekends and issues arising around their homes. We now look to the new management to control their customers to maintain a right to party with a right to sleep.

Jonathan Kaufmann said that Sydenham Arts would try and work with Zanzibar to incorporate community events and opportunities into their new business plan. We wish him luck!

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Bad News! Nothing is going to happen soon. The commercial head lease owner is refusing to sign the necessary Deed of Variation because they are reported to become liable for the rent with no confidence that the Greyhound will be rebuilt any time soon. A not unreasonable position!

Meantime Purelake are putting in a new planning application asking for A1/A2/A5 use in addition to the existing A3/A4. In English that means changing from only a pub/restaurant to betting shop (William Hill has been sniffing) or Takeaway (McDonalds are also reported sniffing). The Sydenham Society is outraged and had a motion passed by the assembly asking Lewisham to refuse this any application that extends use and doesn’t have a rebuild timetable.

This will run and run and run … and it is all down to Purelake whose machinations have included on the criminal act of partially demolishing a building in a conservation area without consent and then misleading the court with a promise to quickly rebuild in return for a reduced fine. They undoubtedly think they can get away with it and unless they can be coerced by further legal action probably can. Their reputation is something they appear not to care about.

The damage they have done to Sydenham and the community is considerable but difficult to calculate. They are, in the words of our most busiest poster, A COMPLETE DISGRACE.

In other news …

Presentation on the borough tree services. The council has a database of 28,000 trees of which about 9,000 are roadside trees. Basically they have very little money for new trees so most work is managing the existing stock. A real issue is the threat to the Council of legal action by property owners/insurers for damage caused by trees causing movement on our area’s clay soils. This means extensive cropping/pollarding and even removal. It is clear that this, rather than community or environmental aspirations is the driver in the council’s policy. But what else can they do?

The BigBudgetChallenge. A presentation on the challenge of reducing Lewisham’s budget by 33% over a period when the population is projected to rise by 31%. The numbers were a bit confusing and this was agreed by the presenter who admitted she was no accountant. It may make more sense when the paper proposals are presented on the Lewisham website on September 23rd. Right now you can see the facts and figures on their website and play with a model to simulate the effect of changes In reality the council is trying to find out which bits we are going to miss most. The problem is that most of the spend is mandated by central government so the discretionary bit is going to be disproportionately hit. Expect up to a halving in the young/old care/safeguarding budget.

The link is here: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/influence/Pages/The-Lewisham-Big-Budget-Challenge.aspx

We had a great intervention from the floor by a gentleman (name unknown) on flyposting. He is running a one man campaign to tear the offending posters down. His pleas to the Council and Mayor for support have fallen on very deaf ears. He can’t even get them to get the streetcleaners to do anything about it. Moving the Council is hard, replicating this man’s efforts in actually clearing the stuff is much easier. Maybe we should be looking to the Sydenham Society to try and organise something here.

That’s all from me folks. Anything I have missed please add in the Forum thread: http://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11881

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