Monday, May 22, 2006

Bellenden Residents and DKH

Saturday was spent visiting two local groups and the shopkeepers in Crossthwaite Avenue. The Bellenden Residents Group ('BRG') covers an area crossing between South Camberwell and The Lane wards and is organised by Eileen Conn. On Saturday all the newly elected councillors for the wards were invited to attend the BRG at the Coplestone Centre and introduce themselves. It was great that all councillors attended including myself and Veronica Ward from South Camberwell, together with Mark Glover, Susan Elan Jones and Gordon Nardell from The Lane. It looks as if one of the major issues that the BRG will be concerned with is the proposed new tram depot for Peckham. There is a real fear that the depot may disturb the sympathetic regeneration of Peckham town centre and cause the loss of some newly built and proposed social housing. The alternative appears to be to site the depot at Kings Cross. More to come on this topic no doubt!
From BRG Veronica and I visited the Dog Kennel Hill Park Fun Day. Some dedicated local volunteers are working very hard to preserve the various characteristics of this area, which also appears to be threatened by the current proposals for the redevelopment of Greendale Playing Fields. I am sure that a solution can be found to this - but only if Southwark Council starts listening to local people! Some of the work done can be found at
Finally we visited Crossthwaite Avenue which has a parade of shops which are under serious threat from hugely increased rents set by the Council. The shops are a vital local amenity and unless the council's property department has an injection of reality, the shopkeepers will simply shut up and move out, leaving residents without a post office, newsagents, chemist, dry cleaners etc. Veronica and I will be meeting with the shopkeepers over the next couple of weeks to try and help them.

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