Crofton Park Ward

As passionate advocates of the Greater Brockley theory of local diplomacy, we consider it our mission to break down the artificial boundaries, imposed on us by “the man" to keep us down. SE4 is a small green planet drifting in the cold, uncaring universe of Greater London. We must stick together.

So when we read a discussion between readers about the Crofton Park assembly rejecting a funding application for the Brockley MAX on the basis that it was a Brockley event, rather than a Crofton Park event, we realised we’d ignored Crofton Park politics for too long. Happily, local Councillor Jackie Addison (Lab) agreed to an interview about the ward. For the record, it should be noted that this interview took place some time before the election was called. It's only our own sloppiness that's caused the delay.

What is the biggest challenge facing the ward?

Social cohesion. We lack a sense of identity as a ward. We cover a few different areas and straddle both SE4 and SE23. The local Assembly has been a great way to build a collective identity, not just through the debates, but as a way to link local groups that didn’t talk before. Here’s an example: there’s now a youth club that will rotate between local venues, including St Hilda’s and The Pen, starting in the autumn and running every fortnight. That kind of co-operation didn’t happen before.

And what’s the best thing about Crofton Park?

There are lots of homes with gardens and no large estates, which has helped to create a good racial and class mix. It’s also the safest ward in Lewisham and there were no burglaries at all this January. We have a very active Safer Neighbourhoods team, who’ve played an important part in that story.

Crofton Park Ward has arguably the two most successful high streets in the borough in the shape of the Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park parades. What’s their secret?

Honor Oak Park has not always been so successful. There is a new landlord, London and District Housing that is more progressive. The Forest Hill Centre manager has been working hard to improve things too. The changes to parking rules (more short-term parking) have certainly been important and we’re going to extend the zone to include the stretch by the Chandos.

In both parades, the flower baskets and planters have proved very popular and we’re improving recycling to cut the amount of rubbish left out on the street. I’ve been campaigning to stop the Co-Op leaving its trolleys out on the street, which has now finally happened.

Going forward, I hope that we will be able to raise more sponsorship of the planting schemes by local businesses, who recognise the advantages it brings them. I also want to encourage more businesses to become fully accessible.

What ideas do you have for improving local transport?

Of course, I would like to see more trains to Crofton Park. I supported the increase that the Catford Loop would have brought, but unfortunately we were never given a firm commitment to that service.

One of my priorities is local accessibility and I want to see disabled access at Crofton Park Station and lift access at Honor Oak Station.

I’ve set up a bus and train user group which meets regularly and allows me to feed back to the Council based on the experiences of daily users – as I work locally.

Some people have suggested Crofton Park should create a conservation area, like Brockley and now Ladywell. What do you think?

Generally, I think conservation areas are good things. When I lived in Perry Hill, some of the houses had been ruined and I joined a local residents group to protect the housing stock. If someone came to the Crofton Park Ward Assembly with a proposal, we’d look at it. The ‘ladder roads’ – as I call them – between the Brockley Jack and Honor Oak Park might be appropriate.

Do you think the Crofton Park Assembly should support the Brockley MAX festival?

This year, the Councillors’ concern was that too few of the Brockley MAX venues were in the ward and too many were licensed premises. We opted to support the Blythe Hill Festival and a range of other worthy projects. However, I will go this year and I’m sure we’ll consider it for funding in future.

What else should local people know about their ward?

The work of the Crofton Park Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel is very important and we have a new, award-winning police sergeant, Mark Deacon, who I think will make a big difference. I’d urge people to get in touch with me if they want to be involved in that project.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Front page Headlines in the News Shopper this week The Mean Streets of Brockley.

Crofton Park Ranger said...

Good to see Crofton Park on BC.

Having bought a flat near Crofton Park station a couple of years ago (moving from Bromley) my girlfriend and I have loved Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park's small, quiet but well appointed high streets. We have tested the numerous local restaurants and bars (extensively) and we have always felt safe (safer than I ever did in bromley). In short we love it.

We appreciate all the work that has gone in to getting the place like this and would thoroughly recommend the area to others..

But we need more trains! 2 an hour is rubbish! It is obviously practically feasible (because it was alsystems go before funds were diverted). I dont get why it should cost so much or be so difficult:

- The line is there already (trains already run to Victoria in the evening and on saturdays).
- The capacity at Victoris is there (if the underused london bridge to Vic trains are stopped).
The passengers are there (the route utilisation strategies say that it is the line with the most potential for increased use if more trains are provided).

All it needs is some trains (nick these from the lon bridge to vic route?), print up some new timetables and thunderbirds are go*

It seems a no-brainer.

Yours,

Waiting patiently on the Platform of Crofton Park

*I concede that it may not be quite this simple.

Matt-Z said...

Agree with the Ranger - the train service isn't good enough. Frustratingly, as mentioned it's an easy fix.

Does Jackie Addison know there is relatively new step free access at the end of each platform? Not ideal, but better than nothing.

I'd love Crofton Park to be added to the conservation area. Maybe I'll attend a Ward Meeting to, ahem, labour the point.

Steve said...

Thanks to Jackie for helping stop the Co-op put their rubbish trolleys on the street... Feels much more 1st world on that corner now and there's less Co-op branded packaging ending up in my front yard:))...

Barryls said...

Even a small timetable change so it would be easier to change for Victoria at Nunhead would be a start.

As it is you generally just miss a connection to Victoria by a matter of minutes.

That would at least be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to give this much space to all the Crofton Park candidates? If not, this was not a fair time to dredge up an interview which had been sitting unused...

Brockley Grover said...

I've lived in Crofton Park since 2007 and am very happy with the area. To make the street scene even better, I'd suggest the following:

* plant more trees, in the high street itself and along Brockley Grove as the wide pavements would suggest this is feasible

* I've liked the terracotta plant pots in the summer months, but wonder if the money could be better spent on replenishing the permanent rose beds (in Brockley Road and Brockley Grove)

* Regarding the conservation area - I don't think the streets mentioned would qualify for CA status. However, I would argue St Hilda's Church (Arts and Crafts) should be upgraded from a Grade II to a II* and that the Edwardian Library should be listed to prevent its beautiful windows being replaced by pUVC nightmares.

* Would also like to see the cemetery gate next to the dentist in Brockley Road restored so that access to this amenity is available to people directly from the high street.

Anonymous said...

Some good points, Ranger and Grover!

How about sorting the semi-derelict house in Brockley Grove which seems to have been abandoned for years:

http://reportemptyhomes.com/report/1302

BrockleyBiker said...

St Hilda's looks more like a bloody fortress than a church.

Barrie said...

In the interests of fairness, and as one of the three Lib Dem candidates for Crofton Park, we've been working hard to get our leaflets through everyone's letter box, but incase you missed it, here's what we propose to do:

http://www.box.net/shared/n02javbug6

Tam Langley said...

Anonymous - re the house on Brockley Grove - we've been pursuing it via the council for some time.

The owner has an architect and is apparently going to submit plans for planning permission soon - though we don't have a specific date.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in about 8 different London locations before buying a place in Crofton Park and it's the friendliest place I've lived in London and I'm proud to have a home here.

More trees lining the main street would be a welcome addition, I'd also like to see the line of houses along Marnock Rd opposite the train track get some TLC.

Steve said...

Agreed about Marnock Rd. The houses in question are owned by Lewisham Council and they reckon they've run out of money to maintain them.

Anonymous said...

Lib Dems have a large presence in terms of election posters along Stondon Park.

Jim O'Connell said...

Greens also have big boards in Stondon Park. Watch it if you're over 6ft tall or you will get a nasty bang on the head.
Poster boards should not, repeat not, hang over the public footway.
And lets hope it doesnt get windy before election day!

Jim O'Connell said...

Greens also have big boards in Stondon Park. Watch it if you're over 6ft tall or you will get a nasty bang on the head.
Poster boards should not, repeat not, hang over the public footway.
And lets hope it doesnt get windy before election day!

Anonymous said...

Its an election board war, along there; Lib Dems are the big guns, a few sniper shots from the greens and a pea shooter from Labour. No Conservatives or ukip or bnp spotted thus far on the battlefield as yet.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the Lib Dems asking for their chance to have their say on Crofton Park Ward.If you do decide you would like the opinions of the parties don't forget the Green Party, we did come second in 2006

Anonymous said...

If voting follows 2006 lines, and Crofton Parkers have seen the good work that Green councillors in nearby Brockley and Ladywell wards have done in the Borough and their neighbourhoods then Crofton Park may go Green in 2010.

Anonymous said...

The bus shelter outside Mr Lawrences should be moved a little further up the road. It was originally put up without consultation of Mr Lawrences or local residents. If it was moved a little further (2 or 3 shops away perhaps) Mr Lawrences could once again have continental sytle outside seating.

spincat said...

I love Crofton Park and have been here since 1991.

One bad thing that happened in the ward was the very extensive all-weather-surfacing of King's playing fields.
An urban clutter of lighting poles and high mesh fencing (and charming portakabins!) replacing actual grass and destroying a pretty space (with nice old-fashioned pavilion) in an overly ambitious way.

The question the Green rep at council planning meeting I attended asked about this was whether there'd b cycling parking at it, which made me rather cynical about Greens.

John Bowen- Crofton Park Councillor said...

Dear Crofton Park residents,

I just want to say a big thank you to the people of Crofton Park for giving me the opportunity to work with them to maintain and improve such a wonderful ward. As you must know, my election was due to the hard work of all three prospective Liberal Democrat councillors (myself, Barrie and Michelle) and our fantastic support from our many volunteers and fellow party members. The Liberal Democrats will be keeping in constant communication with Crofton Park residents to understand and meet their needs, whilst ensuring action is taken to solve problems in the ward when they arise.
If anyone would like to discuss any problems that they are having within the ward, please feel free to me contact at:
CllrJohn.Bowen@lewisham.gov.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.

John Bowen- Crofton Park Councillor

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