Brockley Ward £10K killer question

Cllr Dean Walton has kindly sent Brockley Central the details of each of the Localities Fund applications, which will be discussed this eventing at St John's Church. Your feedback and poll votes will be very welcome and will be fed in to the meeting before any decisions are taken.

On initial inspection, all the ideas seem to have some merit in our view - except number 7.

Here's Dean's note:

In no particular order, here are the proposals for this year’s Localities Fund. ‘Community Cohesion’ has really taken off as a theme this year which is very interesting.

1. Brockley Fun Run. This event received some money from the Localities Fund last year. The applicants say “The Fun Run was a real success last year and we need to create a bigger splash this year. It highlights the beauty of our local parks while raising awareness of the support it needs to create a better public space. We let the children under 12 run free to help engage the local schools. It also brings together two sides of Brockley, Brockley Cross and Ladywell to create better relations within the community. Last year, outsider runners accounted for 17% of runners as we are a certified runners world hill run. It creates a great PR opportunity for everyone in Brockley to use, as well as make people in Brockley feel like they are involved in their community.”

2. Brockley Christmas Market. Fairly self explanatory but the applicants say the benefits of the event to the local community “By encouraging people to shop locally. To demonstrate to stall-holders that there is a demand for a wider range of products and stimulate them towards opening retail premises locally.”

3. Brockley Max Festival. Taken straight from the application form “The Brockley Max has been running for 7 years and has proved very popular & successful in bringing the community together to develop, explore and celebrate the creativity in Brockley.” The applicants also provided some totally non-biased comments from local people about previous festivals – “‘Brockley Max was amazing! Brockley rocked large! Thanks to all the BMax crew for making all happen so beautifully - what an incredible accomplishment - and the fire works...WOW! What a fantastic part of town this is...!’ ‘I am just emailing to say congratulations and thank you so much for organizing the fantastic Brockley Max festival last Saturday and last week. Thank you very much for the memories and best of luck for the future!’

4. Street Garden/Party and other events in Brockley A series of events within the Brockley ward which promote cultural exchange across the communities in Brockley.The main event would be a street/garden party in Wickham Gardens. There would be satellite 'freecycle events', a free exchange car boot fair where people who wish to get rid of household items could freely exchange in a fun setting. We would engage an arts and crafts specialist to run an large "Art attack" style sculpture made of recycled/used materials from the ward.

5. Friendly Street Gardens/Brookmill Park Additional improvements to Friendly Street Gardens/Brookmill Park ideas. There is a programme to improve the park significantly over the winter, the fund could provide additional improvements such as a contribution to a trim trail or other equipment in the park.

6. Street trees – last year we planted a number of trees in Brockley. Street trees provided by Lewisham come with a proper guard and a watering and replacement programme in their first few years. They cost more than trees from garden centres but should last longer.

7. Additional publicity for the Brockley Assembly. The turnout at the last Assembly was lower than expected. Do people think it’s worthwhile to consider spending some money on publicising the Assembly further, or should we look to redouble our efforts through more informal networks and the like.

8. Paving Outside Brockley Road Post Office. Since the recycling binds were (thankfully removed) and the trees (from your localities fund) planted the pavements have been shown to be rather stained. If possible, would it be a good spend of money to bring the pavements up to scratch quicker than might occur under the usual replacement programme for Lewisham.

9. Council Services Workshop Organise a council services workshop to empower residents to become best ‘community activists’ by informing how best to contact the council and other organisations, how to complain and how to best get issues actioned and resolved. Knowing who , what and when. Lee Green Assembly has organised a social event -http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/NewsAndEvents/News/LeeGreenAssemblySocial.htm

10. Community orchard - may need to do some work on the site but find a site, plant some trees and within a year or two free fruit for local people; combine with a school perhaps to provide a means of guaranteeing the upkeep of the orchard over the years.

11. Music club/ clubs - mainly aimed at young people but suggested by one of Lewisham’s community wardens - guitar tuition, song writing tuition making and recording, making and recording own music, performing live to young people.


Some of the ideas proposed above may need a bit of further refinement, or it may be that in fact it’s not cash that’s need but the right combination of people. Your thoughts and contributions will be really useful to the local Councillors and Co-Ordinating Group who will be meeting at St John’s Church on Monday.

Applicants and any local people are very welcome to attend and contribute.

43 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

Brockley Max and the youth clubs, I reckon. They could tie in together nicely too - eg. the clubs could work up some material to perform at B-Max next year.

The Cat Man said...

I voted for the Youth Clubs.

Although I hate alot of modern 'urban' music (what ever that is) I'd rather kids be productive, shooting music videos or learning instruements than hanging around on the street.

I also think it ties in very nicely to Brockleys namesake - art & music. Youth clubs encouraging youth to take up music will improve the long term success of the Brockley local economy.

It ties in with goldsmiths, a nice fitting project for the area.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to know the street trees come with a 'watering programme'. I work from home and one of the street trees was planted opposite my place. I can honestly say that no-one has been here to check it,let alone water it, since it went in.

So how about some cheaper trees, and we get neighbourhood sponsership. Ie. if you want a tree on your street, you commit to watering it in the first year etc. We could save money and have more trees in the community.

Paddyom said...

The Brockley Fun Run could easily become a larger annual public event which, if publicised on running websites etc... would attract many participants from all over London to Brockley raising the profile of the area and benefiting local businesses. Local residents could especially be encouraged to take part to keep fit.

This would certainly be the case if it was extended to become a 10k running event, maybe snaking through the conservation area streets and back to Hilly Fields, however i know the logistics of organizing something like that might be immense. I recently ran the new half marathon in Greenwich which went to Woolwich and back to the O2 via Blackheath and people from all over the country were participating. You'd never know, maybe next year they will route it through SE4.

Headhunter said...

Yeah I think for the Fun Run to be better known and publicised in running magazines it would need to be at least a 10k really. I don't get out of bed for 5k....

Headhunter said...

I vote the money goes on street trees again. These are relatively affordable and if looked after can last decades. Alternatively the Brockley Max, although the money would be gone on 1 festival, I think the Max was a great event worth nurturing.

The Cat Man said...

Does anyone know what happened to the digicams project?

Presumably it failed, as it is not on this years list for funding.

Headhunter said...

...Thank god. Never heard anything so ridiculous....

drakefell debaser said...

I agree, the youth music club is a really good idea and it would be good to see the Max Festival get some funding help as well. I also like the Orchard idea as Brockley used to have a lot of them around and it would be great for kids and adults alike. A section of the cemetery for example could be used to do this, rich soil you know. Another place could be where the Brockley Common is due to go, not much seems to be going on there and if the funds can’t be raised to do it then an orchard would be, to my mind, a pretty good plan B.

Anonymous said...

I reckon £10K would be alot better spent on trees & planters than some of the other ideas. Really, how far can £10K go towards a youth club for kids? If it was £50-£100K then yes I would say invest it in a community project but it's a relatively small amount of cash.

Give us more trees, improve our streetscape, much better value for money.
Improve the aesthetic of the Brockley Cross area with some tidying and greening.

Pedestrianist Coulgate Street!

Headhunter said...

Exactly. There are lots of things to spend 50-100k on, but finding something that's going to make a lasting difference for 10k is more difficult. 10k could easily be gone in a flash, which is why my top choice is more trees. As long as the local youths (who don't have any facilities to go to) don't snap them off, they should be make a lasting difference

drakefell debaser said...

The absurdity of the digicams has been replaced by another absurd idea – point 9. Why would you take £10 000 to set up a workshop to be taught how to contact the council and complain. These skills can be picked up at school. What will they talk about, the merits of speed dialling?...Please refer to the first illustration in your handouts….the telephone, designed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 blah blah...Next week we will talk about the internet and how to log onto Lewisham. Might as well set fire to the money.

Jt said...

Ideas 1 to 5 are excellent, they are all to varying degrees established or straightforward to organise events which clearly fulfill the brief as set out by the Brockley local priorites.
Item 4 is good as it mentions spreading events around Brockley, the ward is large.

Item 5 mentinons an area which is not much mentioned on this blog but would benefit a good few people.

Item 6, I am not fussed about spending anymore money on trees, lets' leave this spending year farrow.
Item 7, no way, enough has been spent.
Item 8, thumbs down, a good bit of money has been spent around that area already. Also shouldn't money for pavements come out of highways funding???

By attending the already well funded local assembly scheme people can obtain the information they need to be community activists. I wouldn't fund 9.

Item 10 A community orchard? sounds very nice but how would that work?

Item 11 is a very good idea but it will need a lot of resources to be worthwhile and attractive to a range of youngsters. Either you need a good teacher which costs and or equipment, I don't think tambourines and triangles are going to cut it with kids these days.

Tamsin said...

Doesn't sound like a youth club as such (for which, you are right, you need close on £50 to £100K for salaried expertise) but rather some external tutors and courses within the existing youth work to make it more attractive.
Good idea if it can work and if the publicity reaches the relevant people for them to respond. But that is quite tricky. Millwall with NDC money put on really good basketball tuition which died on its feet. Despite all the disaffected youth hardly anyone came.
I don't agree with more funding for advertising the local assemblies - they either succeed or fail on their own. Interested parties know of them and are there - don't waste money telling people who aren't interested.

Jt said...

I see trees are getting the big thumbs up on the poll.

Do people that voted really believe that there aren't enough trees in Brockley?

Headhunter said...

I certainly think it's a shame when the council fell street trees and then replace them with little patches of uneven tarmac... You can never have too many trees and so many of the other ideas are very temporary, with the money basically disappearing into some bottomless pit

Anonymous said...

I want more of this sort of thing

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-MghZBMuQ

Tressilliana said...

I'm tempted to say Down With This Sort Of Thing! but that's only because I'm a sad Father Ted fetishist.

drakefell debaser said...

The comments section on that youtube post might as well be in Russian. Maybe we should scrap music lessons idea and run spelling lessons instead with a 'lock dwn' on bad grammar

Headhunter said...

I posted that Yout Tube vid on here about a year ago...

Jt said...

P/R and advertising for Brockley and fostering better community relations, which are the bulk of the ideas aren't my definition of a bottomless pit.

I think with the recession the we're all like to face, a bit of community relation building is just the thing.

Headhunter said...

I guess there're benefits to building community relations. Although to what extent any of the possible events listed here would actually manage to span the entirity of the Brockley community, I mean really include everyone, from conservation area residents to people living on the estates on the dark side, would have to be seen.

I just like the idea of investing in something more permanent than a big ole party. Although I suppose that's what the Max is...

Brockley Kate said...

Does anyone know how much it would cost to subsidise shopkeepers to renovate their facades? That's one thing that a lot of people agree would make Brockley more attractive, yet individual shopkeepers are on a tight budget and can't afford it even if they wanted to.

Shopfront renovations have been carried out in other parts of London, with local council co-ordination and funding. Maybe Lewisham could consider that?

Brockley Kate said...

Brockley Max has been running for years though. Sure it's nice to introduce new things like fun runs into the area, but let's not ignore Brockley's existing assets. The Max is facing some challenges, it could do with a bit of support to keep going.

Jt said...

Well item 4 in Wickham Gardens, is a square shared by private and social housing, a street party held there would attract a less one cross cultural barrier.

What I like about that idea is the series aspect and how it seems to be dotted around the ward. So people don't have to trek too far to participate in a community event.

Headhunter said...

Of all the potential events that the money could be ploughed into, I think Max is the best. The fun run is great for example, but it would only appeal to a certain strata of the community. Equally the Christmas Market is a great idea, but does it really need as much as £10k? What would they need that much money for?

The Max could include everyone, it could include kids events, music, film, food etc and already has a track record involving businesses across the ward which could easily be built upon.

So for me - street trees or the Max...

James said...

To Brockley Kate:

Shopfront scheme can run on a budget of anything from about £5k upwards but is usually around the £8-k10k mark per year after an year one blitz of around £20k.

usually, a grant is around £350-500 depending on the severity of the signage. Any less than £5k is meaningless to a project.

Unfortunatley it's not just as simple as saying "let's have an improvement grant". It will require the plannign dept to produce a Shopfront Design Guide which will need to be adhered to. That would require an evidence base (which I fear would be a stumbling block) and Councill approval/public consultation so we'd be looking at next year's cash instead. Good idea though.

nobbly brick said...

there is a shopfront design guide within the conservation guidelines if I am not mistaken - I believe a minicab company was obliged to conform recently...

Headhunter said...

The minicab company was forced to conform? Really? I hadn't heard....

nobbly brick said...

Yes, conformation

curious but true

I did overhear the Planning person, at that meeting the other week, mumble that the conservation guidelines are for existing building, not proposed buildings - he didn't say it very loud though.

fabhat said...

There is a community orchard in Camberwell - and that seems to work/is popular...

Jt said...

Did anyone manage to get to meeting last night?

Richard said...

Who lodged the application on behalf of the Max? I know last year's organisers won't be involved, so has somebody else taken it on?

Anonymous said...

Look at that no update a full 24 hours after the event. No wonder people can't be bothered.

Tressillian James said...

I vote for trees - long lasting impression on the area that brings a lot of pleasure to a large number of people.

However, I really like Kate's idea - big impact, big difference to our high street. And Nick is right - the guidelines are all there is the Conservation area booklet. How can we get this added to the list!?

Bea said...

I also second Kate's idea - it would have a positive impact on the area - and has been mentioned the guidelines already exist for the conservation area.

However, as it's not in the poll / list the improved paving outside the post office has got my vote.

Lady said...

How far would the money go towards making the council competent? Really that's what this area needs - people in charge who know what their left AND right arms are doing. I'm FED UP of spending my life on the phone to household repairs learning about the layers of impenetrable glue that surround their files - it seems they don't do anything inbetween calls. "Oh, you mean you want us to do something about your call three weeks ago? Nah, sorry, not til Wednesday between 8 and 1 when a brickworker will (might) come to confirm your wall has fallen down....and then we can dump the file back in the bin again...and then you'll have to call us back three weeks later to wake us from our taxpaid slumber." You'd think I was asking to fly to the moon, not have the wall fixed. No one will live here, bring wealth and happy smiling bonny baby faces to the area, pretty wallpaper over the cracks or no, if underneath it all its an annoying life draining experience - oh, unless they can't afford to move out.

I vote to spend it on management overhaul at the council.

Lady said...

I realise the above post might venture a little off topic but I needed the rant and I can't see where else to post it - have said it all to the household repairs team over and over for the last four years and I just wonder if anyone has had any better luck than me/can offer any advice/counselling/free vodka

Jt said...

This area has a many of pockets of deprivation, so to spend a tiny pot of public money doing up commercial properties in area like this in an economic climate like this, doesn't seem sensible to me.

Tressillian James said...

Lady - yes I can give you advice that will work. Raise a "stage 1" complaint - you have the gorunds and the justification. I've had recent issues and discovered that only this, or the intervention of the councillors, can help.

Lady said...

Ooh thanks Tressillian James! How do I find that - will it be on the lewisham website?

Tressillian James said...

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/HavingYourSay/CommentsComplaintsAndCompliments/ComplaintsProcedure.htm

Have a read of the above. You can iniate it either verbally or written - but I would let them know that you are making a formal Stage 1 complaint and expect a written response in 2 days in line with the policy.

Lady said...

Thanks James I'll give it a go. Though having read the procedure I have a funny feeling that in three months time I'll also be complaining about an unanswered complaint

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