Trees reprise

When Cllr Johnson approached us to ask Brockley Central readers where the remaining 5 trees available from the Localities Fund should go, our first question was naturally "where have the others been allocated to?"

We now have the answer:

The following have been identified so far following representations from local residents:

Admiral Street SE8
Shardeloes Road S14
Tresillian Road SE4


This being the case, we're now happy to throw our hat in to the ring on behalf of Brockley Road. For four reasons:

1. If ever there was a road in need of some cheering up, it's Brockley Road
2. The majority of people use the road regularly, so it will benefit the most people
3. Improving the look and feel of the road will help to attract new business and therefore bring wider benefits
4. Much of the support for the idea of spending the money on street trees was based on the need to improve the high street

Finding spots to plant the trees won't be easy and there are plenty of other spots in need of trees, but we would like to see at least 3 of the 5 trees planted on Brockley Road, in spots that will do most good.

40 comments:

Amanda said...

Seconded about Brockley road. I thought each postcode received it's own localities fund.

Brockley Nick said...

Each ward, rather than postcode.

ElijahBailey said...

Another thing which would greatly improve Brockley is turning that mental double roundabout, where no one goes where they are meant to, into just one large roundabout.

Would certainly make it a lot less stressful for both drivers and pedestrians.

ElijahBailey said...

Ooops I meant 'Brockley Road'.

Kate said...

yeah definitely brockley road.

Ed said...

I thought the trees were to be focused on Brockley Road for maximum benefit to the ward as a whole... It'll be a missed ooportunity if they all go on residential roads.

Anonymous said...

Yep, please trees for Brockley road - it desperately needs them. To be honest I'm a bit disappointed with the other locations, SE8???

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Agreed, I'm also abit disappointed with the other locations. Conservation area wins again by the looks of it.

So out of about 10 trees, only 3 are going to be on Brockley Road - where the vast majority of people expected them to be.

this means a 30% 'allignment' between the council and voters? who said they never listen!

Bea said...

Why didn't they chose Brockley Road / Cross straight away and why ask for our opinion again - didn't they listen the first time round?

Anonymous said...

It's an oversight. Brockley road is the main thoroughfare of the area and it's prosperity is directly linked with Brockley's wider prosperity. A good Brockley road is good for Brockley - the same cannot be said for the other locations. When will the council actually do something the people want? It feels like banging your head against the wall and does make me wonder what the point is of having these polls about what we want (Nick) even though I know they are only a gauge of opinion, they only act as a kind of cruel thermometer of false hope. You read the polls - realise that most people are of sane and like mind and get excited that change may occur- only for the council to totally disregard the majority consensus.

Does anybody not living on one of the roads ear marked for the trees feel the decision is sound? I'd like to know who made the decision and out of interest- what road they live on.

Anonymous said...

Tresillian Road???

What a waste of resources. Last time I looked Tresillian Road was one of Brockley's better ones.

Headhunter said...

So? Just because Tressillian is one of Brockley's better roads it shouldn't qualify for trees? Are you saying that trees should only be planted along rat run traffic routes or in poverty stricken, crack den lined roads??! Personally I'd prefer them on Tressillian that Brockley Rd - I never walk along Brockley Rd...

Brockley Nick said...

My reading of what happened is this:

People vote for trees (and remember that's only part of the consultation). So cllrs get message that people want trees and money gets allocated. A couple of months later, it comes to spending the money. Some people who meet and lobby their cllrs regularly say "actually there's a spot here that could do with a tree." Since no one else has made a concrete suggestion by this point, the cllr says, "sure". Mindful that that's probably not what most people had in mind, they then ask us to name specific points. If, say, five trees end up on brockley road as a result of this, that will be a decent result. I agree it seems obvious, but this seems to be how consultation works and our cllrs seem to have their hearts in the right place, generally.

Brockley Nick said...

That' the point though hh. If brockley road was nicer it would attract more shops and you'd have a reason to walk it. You should use it, it's your high st!

Anonymous said...

Headhunter, seeing as you walk down Tressillian road, you would have noticed that at the moment it has an abundance of trees with gorgeus pink blossom. No one is saying that Tressillian shouldn't get more trees but it is looks amazing already and another tree will make relatively little difference. Everyone wants the whole of brockley to look pleasant, not just the conservation area.


Fingers crossed that the remaining trees go where the majority want them.

Kung Fu Hustle said...

Andy Pandy

How can you say conservation area wins by a mile? - last time I looked only Tressillian is in the conservation area from the list below:
Admiral Street SE8
Shardeloes Road S14
Tressillian Road SE4

Additionally just because Tressillian is in the conservation area does this mean that it shouldn't be kept up? It is (like a lot of other streets) missing trees up and down its length where they haven't been replaced. Why let streets run down, just because they are perceived as being nicer?

I think all three locations are great - and I think the councillors were never going to please everyone.

Bea - why didn't they choose Brockley Road straight away? - because maybe representations were made for Shardeloes and the others that had merit.

Let's now concentrate on the 5 trees left - we are being consulted via this blog - let's request that they go on Brockley Road - it would make a difference...

Anonymous said...

Presumably the councillor was aware of this blog before the first allocation was made - if so he would have been aware of the vast public support for trees along the Brockley road. Bearing in mind where they've ended up - is anyone actually going to listen to the opinions raised on here or are we just pi33ing in the wind?

Anonymous said...

On the plus side hasn't Brockley looked so much nicer since those kids were given the digicams. Where has all the litter, graffiti and fly tipping gone?

Anonymous said...

HH - maybe we should conduct a survey to establish the most used street in Brockley and then plant the trees there?

Anonymous said...

Headhunter wrote "So? Just because Tressillian is one of Brockley's better roads it shouldn't qualify for trees? "
Well, yeah, that's exactly why. The trees are to improve the cosmetics of the street and Tressillian road needs less cosmetic improvement than many other streets in Brockley. I'm not saying ti should be neglected but this shouldn't be treated like an equal opportunities issue - some roads are more deserving than others.

Anonymous said...

It is not the case that just because most people drive along Brockley Road that the trees would be most appreciated there. I'm sure they are more likely to have branched snapped off, cut back due to CCTV needs, or swiped by passing buses.

If Tressillian Road residents wrote to their councillor to get trees replaced, good on them, and I think it's great that they are looking after their street. We don't know how long or how hard they may have worked to get those trees.

Nothing stopped anyone else from doing the same.

There are 5 trees left - those are the ones we have been asked about..

Tressillian James said...

I've checked what the options in the original consultation were..............

Here's the list in full:

1. Digicams for young people to report graffiti etc to Love Lewisham, with monthly prize and end-of-year exhibition

2. Fixed sports equipment on Tanners Hill Estate for children

3. Youth worker for Tanners Hill one night per week for a year

4. Street trees with metal railing guards

5. Contribution to Brockley Common

6. Clean up and secure garages in Vulcan Terrace

7. Picnic benches where young people can socialise, Pitman House

8. Improvements to Lewisham Way memorial gardens

9. Improvements to Veronica House Gardens

10. Solar panels installed at another local primary school

11. Contribution to Myatt Gardens playground fund

12. Contribution to Brockley Fun Run

13. Contribution to Brockley weekend arts festival

14. Equipment / storage space for planned after-school club for 5-11s

15. Contribution to Healthy Brockley Community Award

No mention of Brockley Road -although I would support the last 5trees going there - on the stretch by Moonbows.

BTW - do I now need to hide the Tressillian part of my moniker...

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

HH come on... dont try and sway it. you know perfectly well that the comments about the trees mostly all support them going to brockley road.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

that was aimed at tr. james.

I think Brockley road would be ideal. Each tree has railings around them, making them ideal for areas with heavy footflow. Hopefully they will also look abit nicer too. Carefully placed around certain parts of the brockley cross area would make much sense. Maybe one outside the barge, maybe another 2-3 outside or to the side of the post office, maybe another on the corner at the end of coulgate or something. Could really make a difference - and for everyone, not just those who happen to live in a certain street.

Anonymous said...

I don't really mind Tressillian getting some trees if that's what the residents have campaigned for but this issue is bigger than that.
I think many people on this blog saw the street tree scheme as a way towards improving the look and feel of Brockley on the whole- something that would/could change the perception on Brockley to newcomers, passers by and residents. One or two more trees along tressillian road will not change the feel of that road much, it's pretty good anyway- a road like the Brockley road is in desperate need of a helping hand, and I saw the trees as a possible first step to a general improvement of the road - I hoped it may then encourage good businesses into the area, etc, etc. Sounds daft but an avenue of trees would tidy the place up no end.

Not to worry though. On a side issue- is anything happening to the common project - i thought it had to be completed by march?

Kung Fu Hustle said...

I think it is disingenous to suggest that people thought the trees were going to Brockley Road all along - or in some way to think it was to improve 'communal' parts of Brockley. In the post about the 5 trees a few days ago, there were many different suggestions on where the trees should go from Howson Road to residential streets opposite Moonbows so they could be enjoyed by those drinking their coffees. I, for one, always thought that they could end up on any street in the ward.

It is only when it has been mentioned that some of the trees will be on Tressillian that bloggers are acting as if there has been some breach of trust!

Remember they are also going to two other (residential) streets in the ward. The residents of Tressillian pay their taxes like everyone else - they are not any less deserving of community money for trees - or any other local service.

Kate said...

"because most people drive along Brockley Road"

What on earth makes you think that the people who want the trees on B-R drive along it?

I have to walk on and around B-R every day and it desperately needs perking up. Street trees are just one of the things that would help. I also walk along Tressilian regularly and I'm afraid I don't feel a lack of greenery on there. Sure, it could be improved; nowhere's perfect. But it's hardly crying out for improvement. I really question the priorities being applied here. Putting some resources into a geographically small area of Brockley Road would have a disporportionately positive effect in terms of residents' morale, the area's image and so forth.

Anonymous said...

Kung Fu Hustle - you're right we all pay taxes and everyone came up with their own ideas but if you go back further than 5 days - to the epic trees vs digicam debate - i seem to remember that Brockley road was continually referenced as a place in dire need of some bark and leaf action. As Kate says, a few trees here would have a disproportionately positive effect on what is regarded as the 'town centre' of Brockley. My fear is that there is no impetus for decent new businesses to open up there, and I saw the trees as a possible catalyst for improvement. Putting them on other roads is not the end of the world, trees are nice anywhere -but i see it more as a missed opportunity for the regeneration of one of Brockley's ugliest and yet busiest spots.

Tressillian Road said...

But the opportunity isn't missed - there are 5 'decent-sized' trees left that can be put in the Brockley road area.

Tressillian James said...

that last post was obviously meant to read Tressillian James - I am not - yet - the entire street...

Anonymous said...

That's true. 5 is better than none - not enough imo -but it's a start.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Well lets hope they all get placed there. I doubt it, but we could live in hope.

It is just amazing - from a grant of 10k, we will get probably 3 trees in the area where most people originally voted for. I just goes to highlight how the council spends our tax payers money, and how the 'actual' imnpact is in real terms.

Hugh said...

I've been busy lately. What's been happening here?

Anonymous said...

Brockley cross needs some for sure. It would benefit from a small forest, but one or two would be good for now.

Headhunter said...

Went for a run along Admiral Street in SE8 as well as Tressillian over the long weekend and both already have a good stock of trees, so it seems that the council is largely trying to fill in gaps rather than establish new tree-lined boulevards in Lewisham Borough. How about 1 little 1 for Manor Ave?? ;)

On the subject of those bright yellow "They Want Your Sat Nav/I Pod" signs that went up all over the conservation area and beyond, it seems that a lot of them have already been vandalised or removed, leaving unsightly tatters of bright yellow plastic dangling from the lamposts.

What a fantastic council initiative they were, they lasted all of about 1 week - I wonder how much money was wasted? The council could've probably funded at least 1 more tree, instead they have created an eyesore across the area....

Tressillian James said...

In the London Mayoral debate, Boris Johnson said that he wanted a programme of tree planting across the capital.

Ken's answer was that he was already planting 12,000 trees per annum across London for the whole of his time in office. 12,000 go an awful long way if shared out equally among the London boroughs...so it begs the question what did Lewisham do with its 500 odd trees for the last few years?

DarrenJohnson said...

Apologies for delay in responding. A family bereavement meant I had to spend a few days up north.

However, many thanks for all your comments. Firstly, I must emphasise that Brockley Ward councillors do not just cover SE4 - our ward stretches right up to New Cross Road and covers St John's and parts of Deptford and New Cross so it is only fair that we consider places in SE8 and SE14, too. Secondly, a number of the roads mentioned (like Braxfield and Howson) are in SE4 but not in Brockley Ward! However, the message was loud and clear that people do want to see trees planted along Brockley Road/Brockley Cross so I have asked the tree officer to investigate suitable sites along here.

All going well we should be seeing replacement trees planted in Shardeloes Road SE14, Admiral Street SE8 and Tressillian Road SE4 (replacing trees that have been removed but the council has lacked the funding to replace as part of the normal planting programme) as well as new trees planted along Brockley Road/Brockley Cross.

One final point - you may be asking why the trees are so expensive. That is largely due to the cost of the metal railings - but new trees are so likely to get damaged or vandalised skimping on the railings has proved a false economy.

Cllr Darren Johnson
Green Party Cllr for Brockley Ward

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks for the update Darren, good to hear that the main public areas will get some trees.

Pete said...

Here's something to make you tree fans sad :-(
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2008/apr/03/tree.felling

Amanda said...

Yes it makes me feel sad and cross.
I can see why people making a living logging in tropical rainforests, won't take lectures from people in the West about taking care of their environment when they see/hear of things like this.

Good on the guy for saying he'll plant another tree in it's place.

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