Campsite consultation launched

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group writes:

The Council has announced details of the consultation on the proposed Travellers' Site in Church Grove.

There will be four drop-in sessions and a public meeting; you can also submit comments on line or by post. The deadline for all contributions is 18 December.

Drop-in sessions - all at St Mary's Centre on Ladywell Road:
Saturday 12 November, 10.00am - 12.00noon
Friday 18 November, 7.00-9.00pm
Thursday 24 November, 3.00-5.00pm
Wednesday 30 November, 3.00-5.00pm

Public meeting - Tuesday 6 December, 7.30-9.00pm, also at St Mary's Centre.

42 comments:

Longtime Ladywell resident said...

There are plenty of sound, non-racist and non-nimby reasons why this site is wholly inappropriate for use as a travellers site - so let's make sure these come through loud and clear in the consultation.

Steve Bulls said...

We need to get as many people to sign the online petition as possible, spread the word people:
www.savechurchgrove.com

Steve Bulls said...

We need to get as many people to sign the online petition as possible, spread the word people:
www.savechurchgrove.com

Anonymous said...

nobody answered my earlier query on how many travellers there are in the Borough. Does anyone know?

where are they currently sited?

Brockley Nick said...

The second part of your question is easy, I think. There are currently no camps in Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

so it would be for people not currently in the Borough?

Anonymous said...

the travellers in the borough are living in accommodation without wheels at present, and any 'camps' that were provided by lewisham council have been closed down by lewisham council

fatty said...

Consultation is just hot air nonsense followed by the Council deciding to ignore everyone and give planning anyway.

Steve Bulls said...

I agree with Fatty the consultation is just a huge pretence allowing the Council to say they are listening when really they have made a decision already. However, from what I understand the residents of Church Grove are a determined lot and there will be an almighty fight by them to stop these ridiculous proposals for the second time round.

Anonymous said...

Sounds the same as the drug and alcohol centre at Brockley Cross - the council have decided and are pretty much pressing ahead without explaining their decision. Sign the petition against it here:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-to-drug-alcohol-centre-in-brockley-cross.html

Flabster said...

If the local residents simply parked their cars slightly jutting out on either side of the street then no vans or caravans could get down there anyway, its so narrow.

Or we could all just become travellers and pitch our tents/park our vans on the site so its permanently full.

Anonymous said...

If parking wasn't permitted in the street then the travellers could get in and out with ease - if this is the sole issue (and it is really) then it's easily solved - but the residents have proved that it is possible to get a large removal lorry down the street already!

Angus Young said...

Anon, it's very simplistic to say the only reason it is not feasible is because of residents cars being parked on the road. There are many reasons such as the site is on a flood plain, in a conservation area and can only accommodate five pitches. The Council are budgeting 1.8 million for the project an obscene amount when massive cuts are going on throughout the borough. A lot of the reasons have already been talked through on this site: http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2011/10/consultation-announced-for-ladywell.html

Wood for the trees said...

How much rent will these so-called travellers be paying for each pitch on this site?
Which Council Tax band will it be in and how much in Council Tax will each person pay?

Anonymous said...

wood for the trees - can you give us a breakdown of how much you pay to the council each year?

kolp said...

The are travellers/ gyspies in every borough. In Lewisham they've forced into houses, The Newshopper reported a while back the experience is causing distress for them, depression as it's not how they live and even in houses they still have neighbours that resent their presecence.

Gypsies are like ancient tribes, the Bedouin of this society if you will. You'd hope they'd be cherished. They have a public perception issue or maybe it's the general populace have a tolerance issue.

I don't know whether this site is right for them or not but there must be a place for them in this borough?

From my Treehouse said...

@Kolp, yes the Bedouin parallel is instructive.

Say the Jangaweed militia started suffering reverses in Southern Sudan and were given refuge in the London Boroughs.

Would Lewisham Council be obliged to provide Oases in keeping with its guests nomadic heritage?

Should immigrants with a troglodyte heritage be campaigning for cave like dwellings because they are uncomfortable with the whole four vertical walls and a roof deal?

Heritage schmeritage, when you live in a city you take certain restrictions on your style of accomodation.

kolp said...

As a group they can hardly be described as immigrants, do your ties to England go back to the 1400s?

The Bedouin parallel is emphasise that these people are very much of England, there are pursuing an old school culture as best they can in the face of modernity. There may be much for the wider society to learn about different ways of living from them.

Brockley Nick said...

"There may be much for the wider society to learn about different ways of living from them."

Such as, out of interest?

kolp said...

Communal living.

Tamsin said...

Romany have been here since the mid 1500s, not so sure about the Irish Travellers. So it is not the same as immigrants where there is a more reasonable expectation that they modify their cultural expectations to conform with the norm.

The romany have had their former lifestyle of camping out on common ground and unenclosed fields made increasingly illegal from the enclosure acts onwards(understandably given the hygeine and nuisance implications) and the substitute of authorised sites with amenities have not been provided in adequate numbers. More LAs should follow Bristol's example and accept the responsibility head on. Capital investment as in council housing and the requirement to pay adequate rental rigorously enforced. I do not contend they should be given freebies, just the chance to life the life-style that is their very conservative tradition.

Brockley Nick said...

@Kolp - lots of people live in communes don't they?

kolp said...

Lots? Do they?

Are you implying Gypsy is worthless? That there is nothing to learn from them?

Brockley Nick said...

"Lots? Do they?"

Well it depends on your definition of lots. My guess is at least as many people who live as travellers. No idea what the stats are though.

"Are you implying Gypsy is worthless? That there is nothing to learn from them?"

Not implying anything. You suggested that we have much to learn. I'm asking for an example or two, given that many of the normal indicators of well-being, such as education, health and income do not favour the traveller lifestyle.

kolp said...

I said "There may be much for the wider society to learn about different ways of living from them."

My suggestion was getting at rather than seeing these people as a "problem", a blight etc, I feel there may well be things to learn, recover from them and as such they are cultural asset and maybe, just maybe should be cherished a bit more.

NAT said...

The Thurlow Road travellers were Irish travellers rather than Romanies.

Brockley Nick said...

@kolp - oh OK, no worries, I just wondered if you had any specific examples in mind. Doesn't matter that you don't.

Tamsin said...

One thing one could learn is avoidance of promiscuity. If the documentary "Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" is anything to go by, and I see no reason why they should be presenting false information, however tarty traveller young women look when out and about enjoying themselves they only go around in female cohorts and don't go out alone and certainly don't sleep with boys before marriage.

Pride in the interiors of their homes and internal cleanliness - again in this documentary followed a couple getting ready for marriage and the young man would not allow the cameras inside the trailer he was preparing as it was not, to his standards, fit to be seen. And a TV drama I saw years ago with Jeremy (?) Niall in it. The traveller/gypsy woman was very scornful of the way settled folk allowed cats (I think she used the term moggishers which is interesting) all over their hosues and on their kitchen tables.

A close sense of family and kinship.

Their horses - went the fair in Sussex a few years ago - wondeful. These cobs bearded like goats and people talking about Appleby.

Brockley Nick said...

@tamsin - you say that as if promiscuity is inherently bad. Surely promiscuity itself is quite nice, it just carries with it the risk of STDs, early pregnancy and (arguably) mental health issues. How do traveller rates on those three measures fare?

Then there's the question of whether we wish to "learn from" women getting married at a very early age and from within a very small pool of options, in order to achieve that lack of promiscuity.

kolp said...

There's plenty to learn, but it's not stuff that likely to fit in with normative well being indicators such as they're currently framed.

I suppose if they are assimilated out of the culture, they'll be appreciated by historians later down the line.

We seem to prefer this stuff in musuems rather than living, breathing interactive history.

Brockley Nick said...

@Kolp

Ah, yes, "normative" measures such as being alive and being able to read. How very narrow minded of me.

I agree with you that overall our lives are richer for having a range of cultures and customs in the population. I am happy that they live here, I am still waiting to hear what it is that "we" (as if the rest of us dwellers are all the same) have to learn. Other than Tamsin's bearded horses, I have not heard a tangible example.

kolp said...

"How very narrow minded of me."

Well yes, the first step to accept it...

Brockley Nick said...

Good one.

kolp said...

Thank you...my work here is done!

Tamsin said...

Not to have cats walking all over your work surfaces and pride in the home. (Although I agree it is a pity that that does not necessarily extend to pride in the surroundings.)

The culture should not be preserved in aspic - that is equally insulting - and the options to move over into the mainstream - for what that is now worth for the poor, white and working-class - should not be closed. But, and especially, such change should not be forced by inappropriate legal constraints and prejudice.

The Bedouin have been cited as one parallel - but another interesting one might be American Indians.

Early pregnancy - 18 to 21 - in a culture that supports it is not necessarily a bad thing. It's the time you can cope best physically - and you have siblings, mother, aunties, grandmothers - to take some of the mental and emotional strain that makes it such a disaster in mainstream society.

Anonymous said...

There are travellers in the borough currently living in private or social housing because there are no sites in Lewisham.

A report suggested there are about 100 in the borough regarded as travellers.

The previous licensed site holders gave or sold their licenses back to the council after planning permission for Church Grove had originally been obtained.

Last time the council said the occupiers would be just women & children, thus impyling no trade would be carried on at the site.

Anonymous said...

@ Kolp
'Communal living'

One of the concerns of the travellers was that any proposed site had a low prifle, for fear of attack from fellow travellers.

Not long ago there was a massive brawl at Lewisham Hospital involving 50 or so travellers running amok through the hospital.

Very communal.

Anonymous said...

Another LewiSHAM consultation i suspect

Anonymous said...

Interesting post about a report published in UCL's journal 'Opticon' issue 11 about planning and consultations in Lewisham/Deptford.

Anonymous said...

If they are already housed in the Borough surely they can stay in that houseing.

If there are no travellers in the Borough then a traveller camp is not necessary.

Therefore logic says the camp is not required.

Anonymous said...

Sorry should have said the interesting post is on Deptford Miscellaneous blog...

Anonymous said...

Why is any money being spent on this? If people choose to be travellers, our society accepts that choice. There is no onus on us to provide fixed central london accommodation for them, nor to spend 1.8mm of local budgets on it.

I suggest everyone gets on their councillor and makes it quite clear that you will not be going for him or her if he/she supports the proposal. Local voters matter to local councillors and can swing their election or not.

I should have checked but are councillors' details readily available on this website?

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