What Happened at the Last Catford South Assembly Meeting – July 2017


A huge thank you to everyone who came along to the last Catford South Assembly meeting at the wonderful St Andrews Hall. We were delighted to welcome you.

Please see below the notes taken at this meeting, so you can discover what was discussed and the issues that were raised. Please feel free to use the comments on this page to add to anything raised on the night

Catford South Assembly, Monday 10 July, 7-9pm, St Andrews Church Community Centre
Chair: Cllr Amrani, Other Councillor in Attendance are Cllr Eva Stamirowski and Cllr Alan Smith
Cllr Amrani: welcomed attendees to the assembly and congratulated Father McKenna on a wonderful hall. Cllr Amrani handed over to him to say a few words of welcome to attendees.
Lindsey McKenna :
Thank you for having your assembly meeting here – it is lovely to be here it has very long road for us getting to here to our new hall. One of the first encouragements we had 7 years ago was when the assembly provided a small grant. It was a huge encouragement to us.
When you consider the grant process, it is important to realise that even if it is a small amount of money the actual encouragement it gives to small organisations far outweigh the money itself. We were very encouraged by that. Since then we have been able to access various trust funds to realise our plans.

We are just waiting to finish upstairs and are looking for funding for that. We have some out buildings as well. Work is by no means finished, but it is great that the assembly is back here this evening. The halls has been hugely welcomed by the community. It’s not a church hall – it is a community hall, a place in a very densely populated areas where there are very few places like this we are very keen to offer the space to our community.

Crystal is our bookings secretary and I hand over to her to tell you more about accessing the hall.

Crystal Callow: – It is a real privilege to be here, lots of bookings, a jumble sale and lots of birthday parties and baby showers. We would love to have you and have some very special discounts for one off events do come. We want to be a blessing to the community and used and to be enjoyed by you. Please take a broacher and we would love to see you here
Cllr Amrani thanked them and for having us for the assembly meeting, delighted to be in this wonderful hall.

Whitefoot and Downham Community Food Plus Project – Theresa Webb speaking on behalf of the food project
Theresa: Lovely to be here this evening I am here as a consultant nutritionist for the food bank, based over at Hope Church on Whitefoot lane, we have a wonderful collection of donated food from attendees here this evening. Thank you for that.

The Whitefoot and Downham Community Food Plus Project was set up by Cllr Janet Daby on 2013 to combat some of the deprivation in the Whitefoot and Downham area. Since 2013 I am one of the volunteers. It takes place on a weekly bases. It is an award winning project, the Mayor of Lewisham and Heidi Alexander have spoken in support of us.

The Project is there to support people experiencing hardship and poverty. Our focus is on provision of food and work with partners and voluntary agencies in the area, such as Mind, Pastoral services and so on. Community volunteers come together to learn how to provide the support and advice and the provision of food. We also work with Supermarket partners such as Lidle or Sainsbury’s who donate surplus food to the food bank such as perishable foods, bananas, lettuce, cucumber etc…at the end of the day. We provide toiletries, eggs, juice, tins, packets and so on.

If you are interested in supporting this you can donate food, as many have given generously this evening. Also a website called www.localgiving.org you can donate money to the project through that. Actual food bank is on a Thursday night at 7-8.30.

Supports a range of visitors, approximately 30 visitors per week, but actually supports around 70 people individuals as well as families. The area is like an open plan space divided into reception, where visitors are welcomed. We support people to try new food and with new recipes and de mystify some of the ingredients, we are working to help on nutrition and always looking at encouraging good health, as well as engaging partners and volunteers.

Heidi Alexander said (paraphrased) ‘The Whitefoot and Downham Community Food Plus Project provides a lifeline for many in our community who are suffering real hardship. The fact that so many people are struggling to put food on the table in 21st century London is a tragic reminder of how divided our city can be. The response of volunteers, churches and community organisations is inspiring throughout Lewisham and one of the very best examples is The Whitefoot and Downham Community Food Plus Project’ She continued to praise the hard work of everyone involved in the project.
Anything that we have left over goes to AFRIL who support refugees. We work with them so nothing goes to waste, we are minimising food waste as well.
I have a number of leaflets at the back on how to donate, you can also volunteer, any questions?

Q. How can you refer?
A. Self-referral and also a number of referral pathways, from agencies, NHS, CAB etc.

Q. How long do people stay on?
A. usually between 6 weeks and 6th months
S. St Andrews stated that they work with the Lewisham Foodbank,

Q. Is it only food that you help with?
A. No it is important to also provide people with sanitary protection, general toiletries, certainly not just food,

You are welcome to email us on: info@wdcfplus.org.uk if you have any further questions.
Have a look at their website for more information
Follow them on Twitter@ @wdcfplus

Item 2 – Lewisham Poverty Commission – Simone Van Elk
We understand that poverty that exists in Lewisham. Lewisham poverty commission formed in February in depth look at Poverty across the whole borough. highlight some of the problems people still face, a group of local councillors, one of the things it wasn’t to do is to hear from residents what makes it difficult to make ends meet, we are aware that people have a wealth of knowledge about things happening on the ground in their local area as well as things going on with their own friends and family.
We are here to ask you a number of questions – on the boards around the room, there are post its on your seats to look at these questions and fill in any ideas on posts its and put them on the boards and right up the notes and ensure that they feedback to the commission.
The commission is helping to come up with some practical ideas, we don’t think we will solve the problem, but we want to try and come up with some ideas that can make things slightly easier. We have been talking across the borough, we have met with the Whitefoot and Downham food project and are talking to residents to get their ideas. We are going to lots of assemblies…

Q. The absence of money from Govt must be an issue. What resources do you have
A. We are trying to come up with practical steps the council can take, the commission wants to reflect things that are changing nationally, things happening generally and things specifically that the council can do such as discovering what is it that makes housing unaffordable for people and looking at things that might make things easier.

More information on the Lewisham Poverty Commission

Feedback from The 3rd and 8th Brownies on their Assembly funded project
Janette Cunliffe
Janette introduced herself and her colleague and was delighted to tell us we were joined by a brownie.
We have come to say thank you we couldn’t have done it without you. The money you gave us meant that the costs were not prohibitive for all brownies. It enabled everyone to be included who wanted to go.
We went for our sleepover at HMS Belfast on the Bank Holiday weekend. We got the bus all the way up to London Bridge which was quite a novel experience for many of the girls, and was really quite exciting. We dropped our bags off at HMS Belfast and we walked over Tower Bridge to tower hill, the children were wondering what happens if the bridge goes up, but we told them they wouldn’t fall in as it hardly ever goes up, then suddenly the bridge went up and the kids loved it! It was very exciting. We went to Victoria and went to Girl Guiding headquarters and had lunch. One of the highlights for the children was when we went to the royal mews and had a look at everything. We saw the Queens big golden coach, the brownies were absolutely fascinated. We went to Green Park and let off some steam in the play area, then we all went back to HMS Belfast for our sleep over.

Before the trip we had a call from a concerned parent that her daughter was feeling very nervous and didn’t want to stay over. we gave the Brownie the chance to come for the day and said a if you are worried your parents can collect you and take you home at the end of the day… but we said if you change your mind you are welcome to stay. We were delighted that an hour in she had changed her mind and asked to stay – so a very nervous 7 year old, who was really worried, was able to gain new confidence and independence

When we were back on the ship we had pizzas on the ship and we made 7 foot flags and decorated a mug and had hot chocolate in them and had our sleep over and they actually slept as we had worn them out!
Next morning breakfast on the ship then a learning session in the classroom on the ship dressed us up as sailors and they told us all about what it’s like to be a sailor and they told us all about it. We were given a special tour in all the parts of the ship the public don’t normally get to see – we even sat in the driver’s seat…

It was amazing and so interesting 24 girls out of 30 went on the trip and we couldn’t have done it without out you and your help. We were very exhausted at the end of it but it was amazing.
I received an email from a parent (paraphrased) – my daughter enjoyed the sleep over at HMS Belfast she came back really excited I think it is particularly good, as well as being adventurous it was educational as well as encouraging independence in the children they got the opportunity to explore and learn about British history I was really happy with the way the trip was organised…

A Brownie in attendance said the following:
The 3rd and 8th Catford brownies had a great time on their trip to HMS Belfast the food was delicious and I enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you for helping the Brownies to go. It was so much fun and I think you should all have a sleep over there too.
Cllr Amrani – Thank you so much for the feedback. So glad you enjoyed it so much. This experience shows why the assembly funding can be so important with that we give you details of this year’s funding

This year’s funding and shortlisting your priorities
As you know – for the moment – the Catford South local Assembly has £15000 in funding to help develop community projects to make our area even better
We allocate the full £15,000. £2,500 of this is put forward under councillor discretionary funding.
Here are the things you really need to know about the funding:
When will our fund open…?
• It will be open by the latest of Monday 31st of July 2017 – possibly earlier.
• We will be including the outcomes of tonight’s priorities gathering exercise into the guidance documents. – your applications should link in to the assemblies priorities
• As soon as it opens – all the information will go up on love Catford website and will be emailed direct to you. If you have not left your email here tonight please ensure you do. All inforamtion you need to apply is now HERE• So don’t worry if you forget everything I tell you now it will all be on the website.
What is the deadline?
We are working to a deadline of Thursday the 21st of September at 11pm…
This gives you over 8 weeks to apply – however and I ask this with absolute love but please don’t delay getting your applications in.
If you have the perfect project you want to apply for – do it as soon as possible – it really helps me out if I don’t get 30 applications in on deadline day.

Before you make your application what should you do?
1 – Firstly read, re read and read again the guidance notes that come with the documents.
2 – Please use the correct application form, which can be downloaded
I’m afraid we can’t take applications submitted in other formats as these forms need to be standard for all 18 wards in Lewisham.
3 – If you have the means please do fill it in using a computer.
Hand written applications are very difficult to process. However as Catford South fully embraces being an age and dementia friendly community we understand if you have to hand write it.
However, we ask that you get hand written forms in early so they can be typed up and that there is an email contact on it
4 – Barbara and I are here to guide you and offer general advice, Barbara as part of her development remit will also be able to help you with your application if needed.
When you apply what will happen
1 – When you email me your application you will get a receipt email. Please save this. If for any reason your do not receive a receipt email then – do contact me again to confirm I got it.
2 – Once all applications are in – they will be assessed and put forward by the coordinating group. Anyone from the community can be a part of this group, so if you are interested in joining please contact me or Barbara
3 – If you application is successful you will need to come to the assembly meeting in the autumn to present your project to the assembly and provide us with 250 words detailing your project for the funding booklet
4 – All dates / all information and all relevant documents will be on the Love Catford community website and again if you have any questions, please email me and we can arrange a time to talk
Tell you about this year’s funding, most of you are aware of our fund. If you have any children at a school please mentioned it to your children’s school and see if there is anything they want to apply for if you have to hand write it we will sort it out.

Priorities? what are they? there is an action plan for the ward, list the priorities, when the project comes n we use this to assess whether or not they are the right project, we make sure that projects get funded are in line with local need. We have been doing a survey over the last number of months, had over 140 responses to that survey. What are people saying so far? it is a very short questionnaire and fly tipping has come up as the highest priority in the area, trees planting and greening has come second…the Corbett RA have been planting trees in the streets locally. Crime and safety is another high priority for the area, supporting local business is an interesting one that has scored quite highly. Supporting older people was an issue for many, we have a high number than average of older people in our ward. And children and young people
We have grouped these priorities under some headings …we identified 21 priorities, so we grouped them under themes and headings otherwise we would find it impossible to focus projects.
there is a piece of work going on fly tipping that one finding the hotspot and working to get a mobile camera, this is a work in progress. And the Catford eyes project which is a creative way to help deal with fly tippers and litterers – Barbara showed the examples of the mosaic eyes that are being put around the ward to deter offenders
Any questions – No – Very straightforward…please do the exercise at the break
The Outcome of the exercise are as follows:
Improving the Catford South Environment = 41 total stickers
Parking, Idling and CPZs = 10 Stickers
Improving Cycling Provision = 7 Stickers
General traffic issues in Catford South = 17 Stickers
Supporting Local Air Quality Campaigns = 7 Stickers
Improving Catford South for Residents = 47
Fly-tipping, Litter and Bins = 7 Stickers
Greening through planting trees and flowers = 12 Stickers
Noise nuisance = 13 Stickers
Street cleaning = 15 Stickers
Developing more activities for Children and You People in Catford South = 27 Stickers
Developing activity for under 5s = 2 Stickers
Activity for Children aged 6-12 years = 3 Stickers
Activity for Teenagers = 15 Stickers
Activity for Young Adults = 7 Stickers
Improving the Cultural offer in Catford South = 49
Developing Community Events = 13 Stickers
Access the Visual Arts Film = 10 Stickers
Access to Theatre and Music = 12 Stickers
Night time offer for adults better = 14 Stickers
Increasing opportunities for Older People Catford South Community = 48 Stickers
Providing activities and events for older people = 15 Stickers
Dementia Friendly Community Work = 10 Stickers
Improving the health of Older People = 11 Stickers
Maintaining the Independence of older people = 12 Stickers
General things that matter to Catford South Residents = 41 Stickers
Volunteering Opportunities = 6 Stickers
Crime and Safety = 16 Stickers
Supporting Local Business = 10 Stickers
Employment and Training = 9 Stickers
If you think there are issues not covered by any of the above then please feel free to use your post-it notes to tell us what we are missing
Set up good neighbours scheme where people look out for each other
More access to public toilets
Mental health and improve wellbeing
Activities people not classed as ‘older’ or ‘younger’
Support for carers

Other comments
Encourage more diversity of shops in the areas, greengrocer, butcher, decent clothes – less nail bars and estate agents
What are the crime figures? – I feel Catford has become safer over the last 30 years?
SAFE Areas for supervised play are needed
Put cameras on high fly-tipping hotspot areas
Make it easier to dispose of bulky hazardous items and crack down on those who don’t follow regulations
Police helicopter no longer provide feed to explain repeated searches
TFC at the bottom of Calendar Road produces litter, flies and blocks the public thoroughfare
Weeds are absolutely everywhere, lampposts, paving etc.
Bus Drivers in Calendar road parking and returning during the night having loud conversations and playing loud music
Introduce a CPZ for residents it is like living in a car park
More Bike Racks

5 – Community Updates
i) Local resident speaks about his petition for Sandhurst Rad Traffic calming – Kristian Salvesen

Kristian spoke to the attendees alerting them to his petition and asking them to sign it to try and encourage more traffic calming measures and better enforcement of the 20 MPH zone on Sandhurst and Sangly road.

ii) Setting up a small group to help develop a petition regarding increasing issues on Bellingham/Randlesdown Roads – Jeff Worthy
Local residents are concerned that this area is increasingly becoming a hot sport of fly-tipping and other issues and would like to petition the council to help improve the situation. Part of this will be to set up a petition to hold a public meeting.
Cllr Amrani introduced Jeff Worthy, a local resident from Crantock Road who is a strong voice on this ward assembly and the coordinating group.
Jeff worthy. I have taken photographs of the areas I wish to discuss tonight – everyone should have them please look at them…the area I am looking at is Bromley road that run from Denby road to the junction of Bellingham and Randlesdown Road.

The pictures are self-evident! As a general point I think this area has declined badly over the last 5 years…the site of the corrugated iron photo used to be a scaffolding yard that has just been left to rot. It is designated as light industrial usage, but I don’t see any light industrial use on it at the moment. We can’t leave it looking like this… originally they put an advertising hoarding around it but apparently they had to take it down. The owner of this site did that and put up the corrugated iron.

It is not just about the corner site, as bad as it is, at the shops of that stretch of road there is a lot of dangerous paving. Who is responsible for maintaining this stretch of pavement and what are they doing to get it fixed. The vehicles parking on the pavement is making the paving worse.

There is a car wash in Denby road, my understanding is that there have been letters going from the Lewisham enforcement team promising all sorts of action, but nothing has still been done.
Domestic rubbish, as you can see in the pictures. That rubbish is there all week when residents putting rubbish out any day of the week even though it is not being picked up until Tuesdays. The Fox’s then get into it and it goes everywhere.

We have a few ideas. Can we get TfL involved as 4 bus stops go along there, can they find some money to do some improvements there? Why hasn’t the enforcement action been more effective if carried out at all? Who is responsible for fixing broken paving, you could really hurt yourself and when will we get to grips with this awful eyesore on the corner. It’s a disgrace.
How are we going to take this forward? We have suggested that we start a working party /action group around that. We want to get interested people in involved and try and take some formal action as a group of residents.

From the floor: When it’s dark walking from the station it is not very safe, it is quite dark and I am edgy walking there. A real big stretch where it is dark walking from the station.
From the floor: So many issues I think you need to extend the area of interest further north and further south this part of the ward has been overlooked over the last few years. I don’t think it has attracted the interest that other parts of the ward has got.

From the floor: The retail park – can the council get in touch with them to help clean up the mess and the greenery, I have been in contact with them but they won’t do anything. It would be helpful if someone from the council could write to the management company of the retail site.
From the floor: Phoenix hub is going to be redeveloped, have they not commented on it? Are they not concerned about their surroundings, we could get them involved. Worth asking them.
The revolution starts here haha. The bus garage itself is awful and has replaced the foliage with black plastic pebbles, why? Rats?

Cllr Alan Smith came forward to address many of the issues raised by the residents at the meeting
Cllr Smith:
The scaffolding yard: It is still in the same ownership. He has applied for 2 sets of planning consent, one was for flats, which I think was for 12 stories, the other was for a hotel. Both were turned down. The block of flats has to have mixed commercial usage on the ground floor, but he is refusing to do that. We are at an impasse with the owner. We won’t grant consent for things that are not in line with our planning policies.

Pavements: The easiest way to find out is look at the colour of the lines on the road side if they are red lines they are transport for London, they own the road. We have raised it with them on a number of times. They own the pavement but not the tarmacked bits in front of the shops, they belong to the freeholders of the shops. We have tried to engage the business owners a number of times on clearing up their parts of the road. They don’t seem to want to spend any money on their properties, it is a real mess. We have contacted the owners.

The carwash: we keep starting enforcement proceedings and they keep putting in a planning applications, every time the enforcement gets a couple of weeks away from being done, they put in a change of usage application to a car wash – which under current planning law allows them to continue. It is a real failure of current planning law. They have a closure notice on them at the moment. The owner of that site take the view that he wants to do what he wants and it has nothing to do with us but we are doing everything we can.

Mess at the retail park: you probably know that we are almost continually in litigation with the freeholders of that site over their attempts to overturn our planning restrictions on the site to food retail, they want food retail there. Nobody in Catford south would want to see a food supermarket on that site. At the moment we are continually turning it down.
Q. Can we get TfL to chip in
A. I will have a chat with them when I see them in a week or so

Lighting down the main road: I’m surprised it’s that bad as I haven’t heard anything about it. Q. Is there a streetlight out? A. No it’s just very dark,
We can turn them up and down, so we will look into them and turn them up if possible.

Q. Re the mixed use at the bottom of the flats mentioned before, wouldn’t that just lead to more fast food retails which is bad for the area?
A. No in that area there are lots of takeaway outlets already and fortunately we have set a limit of a number of takeaways in an area, so they can’t open any new fast food… it needs to be non-residential though as it is a very busy junction so you don’t want residential at ground level. It must be mixed use commercial.

Q. I’m still not totally clear with where we are with dialogue with the person that owns that site of the scaffolding.
A. The ball is entirely in their court, we have refused the application that has gone in.

Cllr Amrani: Jeff has bought for us a chance for a group to get together to put forward a petition and want the council to take action – the residents are fed up.

Jeff: my email address is: jeff.worthy51@gmail.com if anyone is interested in getting involved in trying to sort this out and we can try and take things forward and try and get an action group together.

i) Community Neighbourhood Health Partnership – Barbara Gray

Catford south is not an area that attracts money. We have the assembly fund that provides opportunities and we now have this other partnership around health and social care in Lewisham. The council realises that the community is fantastic and has much to offer so there is another pot of money to cover the 4 wards of Catford South, Grove Park, Downham and Whitefoot. They are working together to make improvements and create a partnership around thinking about health and social care and what can we as community organisations can do. It is a brand new initiative, the next meeting is on the 17th of July 2-4 pm at the Ring-way Centre in Lee, If anyone is interested in health and making local change in our community please do come along, the information is in the pack.

ii) Age Friendly consultation – Lucy Formolli (Positive Ageing Council)
As well as coordinator for this assembly I am also the coordinator for the Positive Ageing Council. I h am here to remind you that we are hoping you can take part in the age friendly Lewisham consultation. We want to work with the World Health Organisation to become an Age friendly borough. This is really exciting but it will take a long time and we are just at the start. Our approach is to work with the individual departments in the council to make improvements across the borough around the WHO 8 Age Friendly themes that they identified as being important for quality of life as you are ageing. Not just looking after people over 70
The themes are:
We are currently running a broad stokes consultation on line and on hard copy leaflets, we have lots of printouts and freeposts envelope if you have a neighbour or family member or neighbour who is not on line please take one to them or contact me and I can send a batch,
As well as that we are running small focus groups on each of the themes. members of the Positive Ageing Council Steering Group have been trained as participant researchers by Greenwich University, drilling down to the issues individually – thank you to Lesley at the Diamond Club for helping bring some people to the focus groups. We are also exploring the themes at Positive Ageing Public Meetings, which happen quarterly.
You don’t have to be older to fill it out, you don’t have to be older to care about making these improvements which include more seating, better pavements, better healthcare, better chances to be involved and to be able to do the things you want to do as you age. We would be so grateful if you can fill it out – details are in the booklet on online www.lewisham.gov/agefriendly

AOB (I = Information / S = Statement / Q = Question / A = Answer)

Q. At an earlier meeting there was talk about changes to food waste recycling is this happening?
A. Yes it is happening in October, you will get information though the post soon and your new food waste bin if you are getting one. Look at the website for information.

I. We received funding from the assembly meeting last year for the Diamond Club to put on a holiday from home scheme for older people. Well it is starting on 1st of August there are still places available if anyone knows anyone who might like to come along – especially for people who can’t get away any more. Please talk to me about it at the end as there are still some places available. This has been advertised with the Positive Ageing Council as well.

I. I am from Carers Lewisham, we are based in Forest Hill but now we work in neighbourhoods, if you are caring for someone and feel that Forest Hill is too far, we are looking to do outreach in the community. If you know anyone who has an attendance allowance or caring from a member of the family they can come along and see us.

I. We are based in Rushey Green and we have an event for 50+ on the 15th of July, amazing day, food fun dance, everything done is by people who are 50+ information is on the Love Catford website

I. Friday mornings 11-12 we are holding reminiscence groups that meet in the library. We have lots of artefacts and stories. Please do come along for tea and coffee and talking about school days. Anyone can come along.

I. Catford film have been supposed by this assembly for a number of years, next weekend Catford Film are showing La La Land as an outdoor showing. Starts around 8.30 9.30 Saturday 15th July on Catford Broadway.

S. Last year Catford had a Shakespeare event, Catford Upon Avon – We need more things like that.

Q. The toilets across the road have been removed we can use the toilets in the library, will the library be open 24 hours if someone is caught short?
A. Toilets are disappearing sure to costs…Lewisham local are working with the council to develop a toilets for public use scheme, working with local community and businesses where toilets are being taken away, it’s not ideal but they are trying to develop this scheme.

Q. How will the outcomes of these priorities exercise will be given to residents –
A. it will be put on the website www.lovecatford.co.uk

I. Lewisham Pensioners Forum set up in 1986 to be the voice of older people, we have a meeting bi monthly forum meeting on the 26th of July, 10.30 civic suite, making our voices herd after the election. We all feel we will be suffering as older people. We have a regular NHS sub group meeting and we also have our regular Monday club project. We run regular trips as well.

I. The Cinderella line are a campaign group to help make improvements to the stations that are served by Thameslink and run through Catford Station, They talking to Thameslink on the Catford loop about improving services and adding more trains. They have got through stage 1 now they are entering stage 2. They need 3000 people to sign the petition to say that we want more services. This is really easy and literally takes 2 minutes to complete. Hopefully people will get better services on the Catford loop from Catford Station

Cllr Amrani – Thank you everyone for coming tonight. If you want to join the coordinating group and help us take the assembly forward we would love to welcome you.

Meeting Closed


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Hi. I am the coordinator for the Catford South Local Assembly and a friend of all things Catford :-)

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