Brockley Assembly funds more trees and steps


Brockley Road before and after the trees

We didn't make it along to yesterday's Brockley Assembly, but Brockley Cross Action Group and Transition Brockley are reporting that they secured the money they were looking for to fund the projects they proposed - steps to replace the muddy slick on Brockley Common and trees for the newly-widened stretch of Brockley Road, respectively.

The steps were in the original plan for the Common's redevelopment, but had to be abandoned due to a funding shortage. The inevitable happened and people have been trudging up and down the steep slope, however slippery the rain has made it and however minimal the amount of time it saves for people trying to get to the ticket office.

As for the trees, there will be six of them and it's a project which will further ameliorate this stretch of our high street - a process that began with the removal of the bent railings and continued with the widening of the pavement, creation of parking bays and remodelling of access to Coulgate Street.

43 comments:

Mondee said...

Brilliant! It makes such a difference. I hope people respect them and don't use the protective wire things around them as a bin for beer cans. Well done BXAG and Transition Brockley.

Carys said...

Excellent news. Thanks to all those involved in making it happen!

Anonymous said...

The improvements to that part of Brockley Rd are very noticeable much appreciated. I wish the other shopping parades further up Brockley road could have the same treatment.

Hopefully, in due course, something could be done about the rest of the area around the station.

It would make all the difference if it was partially pedestrianised.

KInglard said...

I noticed that on Thursday or Friday a man was replacing some of the missing black rubber strips on the steps up to the station by filling in the groove with tarmac or something similar. No idea if this is a long term or temporary solution

local yokel said...

Has anyone else noticed the reduced visibility turning onto brockley road from Cranfield Rd when there is a vehicle parked in the new bay by the 'junk shop'

Alan Sugar said...

Never knew that Brockley was a town or city with its own "High Street". Another Brockley Central fabrication as with the so called East London line, which did exist, but is now part of the Overground system.

Artificial Sweetner said...

The ELL is a term comonly used to denote the section of the Overground that incorporates the old ELL route. The new section goes to Croyden and up to H&I, there will also be a link to Clapham so it isn't the same, it's better.

As a brilliant bussiness man who marketed the email phone in the face of ridicule, i'd have expected you to realise that.

Next.....

Anonymous said...

Excellent news. The area is looking better all the time, and pretty well all shops occupied.
Please don't plant species that have to be pollarded back to a stump on a regular basis!

Lou Baker said...

@artificial

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The 'new' bit of the East London Line is from Shoreditch to Dalston - most of that along a disused railway line. There will also be a short new section - at Surrey Canal Road - again along a disused railway line. No new station here though.

South of the river the only new things are the trains and - most significantly - the marketing. Marketing which has fooled otherwise rational people into thinking they have a new railway line - when they clearly don't.

As for the Brockley Assembly - what a lot of bureaucracy for 6 trees. You probably could have afforded twice as many trees if we didn't waste money on these pointless meetings for local busybodies.

Anonymous said...

I agree Lou, a lot of bureaucracy for 6 trees.
However, if it wasn't for the 'busybodies', some of these things just wouldn't happen at all!

Brockley Nick said...

Well if all the Asemblies did was discuss the location of six trees, I might agree with you, but that's not true, so I don't.

Lou I thought you thought Councils were terrible vehicles for allocating public money. I thought you'd support money being allocated directly by local people in this way.

youcan'tlegislateforstupidity said...

@Lou - wrong. (i only need one to make this very simple point)

you can now get on a train at Brockley that takes you to Highbury and Islington direct, stopping at many places along the way that were otherwise unavailable (direct) from Brockley.

You can also still get the old train to London Bridge.

What sir, is your problem with this concept?

Artificual Sweetner said...

Lou, unless I've gone mental the ELL never went to Brockley. It does now and is well used. Whatever the technicalities of whether it's 'new' old, remnamed etc etc ... the fact remains that thousands of people have benefited. It's not the same service we had before, indeed we never had the service at Brockley previously.

Move on, you've lost the argument

Anonymous said...

The council has a a quantity of monety that they have allocated for projects like this. There are competing proposals.

Had some faceless offical decided to allocate the money without any consultation or without letting any local groups make the case for why it should be spent there, Lou would no doubt complain about the top down unaccountable nature of spending.

Lou, you do like bombastic clarkson like pronouncements. Consistancy in your rants and diatribes is not a strong point however.

i'mboring said...

Lou's gone Section 8.

I must say that as I'm travelling into work on Overground -although as I pull into New Cross
Gate I quickly rename it as the line previously know as the East London Line (and then change the name back and forth depending on what stop I'm at and whether those stops were incorporated into the old ELL, purely for accuracy) my mind can't help but speculate on the sections of track that are new and those that are re-used from previous lines. It really is fascinating stuff.

R Mortis said...

Oh goodie, it's Lou Baker's greatest hits playing again.

Can we have the scumbag song next please?

Lou Baker said...

@nick

I do support the idea of people allocating money BUT there are two issues.

Firstly, ward assemblies aren't democratic. As we saw from the Telegraph Hill skatepark sham when a large bunch of people from outside the area were drafted in to push through a motion against the wishes of the majority of the community.

Secondly, ward assemblies add an extra layer of bureaucracy. We've already got the council, GLA and central government - how many layers do we need?

As I've says before I have no objection to spending public money - I have concerns as to how it's spent and what it's spent on. Did we really need a meeting to decide to plant 6 trees?

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - re: Telegraph Hill Ward Assembly, there was no evidence that ringers were drafted in. A baseless assertion from people unhappy with the result. That's democracy for you!

Yes, they do add an extra layer, but the question is do you want the GLA deciding where trees should be planted in Brockley. Even the Mayor's fund for more street trees deferred to the Ward Assemblies to pick the right spots.

Lou Baker said...

@nick

Not a baseless assertion at all. I was at the meetings. The skateboard folks lost at the first meeting - and brought their friends to the second one to make sure they won. Frankly, I don't care if they have a skatepark or not. The Upper Park was the wrong place -and I have concerns that the current plans for the Lower Park won't solve the problem it's supposed to address. But I'm not opposed to the idea. I was, however, thoroughly appalled at the way the system was clearly abused throughout. Not the fault of the kids at all - but their parents have much to answer for. What's happening with it by the way? I thought the reason they rushed it through without proper thought was the urgency to build by March for fear the world might end or something ... Anyhow...

It comes down to a question of how many bureaucrats it takes to plant a tree. Trees are pretty unobjectionable - we should have more of them. Why do the Mayor's office, Lewisham and local busybodies all need to be involved? Don't any of them have something better to do?

Lessons for Lou said...

because it's not their money. It's collected borough wide, the 'busy bodies allocate it, they asked us (the locals) and are accountable to other Lewisham residents to demonstrate it's spent properly. No trees are not controversial but some may want more public seating, bins, lighting or a myriad of other small but useful changes.

Democracy does not mean you ask ALL those affected on EVERY penny spent. No system is perfect, what is clear is that you have no idea how any complex organisation works, public or private.

Brockley Nick said...

There is a difference between bringing people along and bringing people along from outside the ward. The former is undoubtedly the case and perfectly legitimate, the latter was never proved.

Council deep-throat said...

The money 'gifted' to the Brockley Assembly is nothing but a sop - and a (relatively) tiny amount of money at that - to local 'authorised' groups.

This is done so that you'll feel better when the Council feels it has to punish residents by instigating unpopular and divisive regulations, such as CPZ's etc etc

It also allows people to let off steam thinking that they're talking about something important

Anonymous said...

@Lou - re skateboard park in Telegraph Hill

It was absolutely critical that the voting for the Skateboard park was rushed through, because the money was only available until March 2011, after which they would have lost it.

Then, once the vote had been taken, it appeared that the March 2011 deadline wasn't a deadline at all, and the work could begin in September 2011, without them losing the money.

Anonymous said...

Mr throat. Yes a small amount of money for some trees. Only a slightly odd conspiracy theorist could see that as a diversionary tactic. If and when a CPZ is introduced you ca expect lots of vociferous debate. Back to your colouring book

Tamsin said...

A lot of money for six trees - agreed. There is an earlier thread where the cost of the ward assembly process as a means of distributing money to ward based projects was discussed and once you had factored in the officer time involved it was hugely un-economic - something like £7 of administration for every £1 delivered.

The Ward funds were available before the Assemblies were set up and in the Telegraph Hill Ward the monies were divvied up by the Ward Councillors working through their networks. Nothing to do with the officers and it seemed to be fairly efficient. Any Ward Councillors worth their salt - which the Telegrpah Hill ones have been both before and after the last election - would have a handle on what needs a boost locally.

Ringers weren't necessarily drafted in to the notorious skate park assembly meeting, but it is notable that the first part of the meeting had at least three times the normal attendance - and that for the latter part where there was discussion on Assembly priorities for the coming year and the "Your Lewisham: Your Say" consultation the majority had left.

Lou Baker said...

As I say I have no objection to the six trees or to the principle of a skate park.

But ward assemblies are demonstrably bureaucratic, undemocratic and poor value for money.

If Tamsin's figures are correct we could have had 42 new trees instead of 6. Imagine - Brockley Forest.

@nick
Most of the phone hacking allegations haven't been proven either - that does not mean they are not true.

Tamsin said...

Mark you there were local objections to some trees. Those totally too close together and rather inappropriate silver birches along Shardeloes were contrary to the residents' wishes (or at least the wishes of some of the residents that I've heard on the matter) but were still planted with incredible speed. I suspect so that LBL could tick that particular box for the GLA initiative.

Not sure about the 7:1 ratio - the details are buried somewhere in one of last year's threads.

ginger haired dominatrix said...

@nick
Most of the phone hacking allegations haven't been proven either - that does not mean they are not true.



Please do not ask Nick to comment on phone hacking, he is employed by the company that has been tasked with providing PR duties for Murdoch and Co


(snigger)

Brockley Nick said...

Edelman has been retained by the Management and Standards Committee, part of News Corporation, to provide communications and public affairs support and counsel.

That is all. Thanks.

Bored and tired said...

Bummer. Not sure I would have taken that job.

Anonymous said...

Good PR answer ...

Foxberry Mike said...

I think both proposals are good improvements but it does seem absurd as Tamnsin suggests that the cost of getting to the decision is 7 times the cost of the work.
At the very least surely this massive management cost could have paid for managers that would make sure the trees decision was made before the paving works were done. It will now probably cost twice as much to implement as a result - plus no doubt we will have the joy of Conways back for another extended visit (not that they have completely left Coulgate Street yet of course).

Despair at conways said...

Just picking up that last point... Yes these are both good ideas but the prospect of more shoddy CONways workmanship is depressing. It's the lack of joined up thinking that bothers me most. Some of the same bits of pavement have been dug up and paved, redug and tarmacced, redug again now with cable/pipe, patched up. It's heartbreaking to watch. There's normally a moment in the process that it actually loooks good. Sadly it's not the moment they finish. Oh well... How wrong can they go with a few trees and steps??

Robert said...

We were informed at the Assembly meeting that Conways will not be carrying out this work. It will go out to tender to other contractors who might be better suited.

Tressilliana said...

Bet you're all praying not to get that client, Nick!

Headhunter said...

Gotta say, I fail to see the benefit these local assemblies bring, other than adding another (costly?) layer of bureacracy in decision making. Surely we have elections of both Councillors and other representatives to make decisions based on what communities need and want. Adding these assemblies seems like an admission that the council and current structure is failing to make the right decisions.

Brockley Nick said...

Have you been to one HH?

Headhunter said...

No, but that's not the point. I'm sure it's great to get a bunch of locals around a table for a chinwag about local policy. The point is that we seem to be adding another layer of bureaucracy and expense to public sector decision making.... Surely that's what councils and councillors are paid and elected to do?

Brockley Nick said...

It is absolutely the point.

You say:

"I fail to see the benefit these local assemblies bring."

Perhaps if you went to see the work you do, you might understand the benefit.

I fail to see the benefit that financial sector headhunters bring, but that's because I have never bothered to pay attention. Perhaps if I observed your work, I might understand. Until I do so, my opinion about your work is worthless.

Headhunter said...

What is it then that these assemblies do that ward councillors are not already supposed to be doing?

Headhunter said...

...Just to add that I am genuinely interested to know the answer to my question. As you point out, I have not attended an assembly meeting and am not a bona fide expert in them and their relationship to democratically elected local government, but I would be interested to know what they offer...

bright spark said...

You could attend the next one and see for yourself I suppose.

Headhunter said...

They start a bit too early for me, as far as I can see, looking on the net, they start at 7/7.30pm. The earliest I get home is about 7 and I'm a sweaty mess in need of a shower after the cycle home... Unless I went straight to one of the meetings in sweaty mess mode....

Anyway I don't need to attend these meetings to be fairly sure that these assemblies highlight genuine concerns and issues in the community, my question is though, are they not simply replicating what our local council should be doing anyway at added cost? And are people who are unable to attend somehow missing out on their voices being heard?

The same thing was highlighted in The City with regard to City police policy to cyclists commuting to work. It appears that the police have community workshops when they liaise with local people to find out what they want. These meetings tend to be at 10am mid week, when only the unemployed, mothers and kids, OAPs etc can attend. These individuals clamoured for the police to crack down on cyclists jumping red lights, riding on the pavement etc etc.

Fair enough perhaps but The City Police persistently fail to enforce cyclist advanced stop lines/boxes, prevent parking in cycle lanes etc. It seems that unless you are able to attend the community meetings at 10am, your voice is not heard and the timing of the meetings pretty much precludes anyone who actually works in the city from attending...

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