The first meeting of Camberwell Community Council since the local elections took place last night at the Camberwell Leisure Centre. The meeting was very well attended and was the first since Cllr Ian Wingfield became Chair. Ben Rose led a deputation of residents from Champion Grove and Maldon Close who are anxious to have their area declared a 'Home Zone' - where pedestrians and residents have priority over vehicles and all other traffic. The two roads are perfect for such a scheme but the current problem is a total lack of availability of funding to implement the scheme either from Southwark Council or Transport for London. Veronica and I will continue to work with Ben and the residents to try and progress the scheme as quickly as possible.
The Community Council meeting suffered from some of the same structural weaknesses which we have experienced since they were established - there was too much business on the agenda including too many presentations from officers! During the 'breakout' session which we conducted many residents said that they felt that the meetings are still conducted on a 'them' and 'us' basis - with a clear division between the councillors and the community. We do need to work harder to make sure that these meetings really do feel like community meetings and that the agenda is driven by the community and not simply by councillors or council officers.
In any event the next meeting takes place on the 27th July at Camberwell Leisure Centre. Although they are not perfect they are still a good forum for local residents so I do urge people to come along!