Brockley votes: how the Assembly money was allocated

Cllr Foxcroft has kindly sent us a report from the recent Brockley Assembly, which she chaired. The meeting featured a vote on which local projects to fund this year. She writes:

The main item on the agenda was allocating the 2012/13 Brockley Local Assembly Fund. 12 projects had submitted bids for funding and there were three categories.

Before the Assembly heard each group’s presentation, they had to decide what to do with the unallocated money in categories A and B because less money had been applied for than was available.  The meeting had the choice to roll the money over into Category C or to use it to commission projects in areas that did not bid.  The Assembly choose to rollover the money to category C.

Category A – projects which had bid for £1-500

· Tyrwhitt Road Neighbourhood Beautification Programme (Tyrwhitt Road Neighbourhood Watch) - £500
· Christmas theatre trip for local families who have children under 5 years old (Brockley Parents Forum) - £200

Both of these projects were approved by the Assembly and will receive all of the funding that they bid for.

Category B – projects which had bid for £501-1500

· Hatcham Village Big Lunch 2013 (New Cross Learning) - £1000
· Toys and play equipment for St John’s Baby and Toddler Group (St John’s Baby and Toddler Group) - £750
· Ambassadors Course: two one day pilot training courses for young people 8-12yrs (Tanners Hill TRA Garden Committee) - £680.05

All of these projects were approved by the Assembly and will receive all of the funding that they bid for.

Category C – projects which had bid for £1501-5000

There was a total of £11,870 available in this category.  Seven projects applied for funding:

· Threadz: girls-only fashion project raising the aspirations of young women in Brockley (Peabody) - £5000
· Educational experience for three ages of young people (Somali Education Development Centre) - £2000
· Continued improvements to Wickham/Manor Mews to create a useable and maintained space for the local community (Wickham Mews Residents) - £3000
· Breakspears Mews Community Garden (Breakspeares Mews Community Garden) - £5000
· Tree planting programme in Brockley ward – Brockley Society - £2400
· A mural on the eastern wall of the railway arch over Brockley Road, near Brockley Cross (Brockley Cross Action Group) - £4170.05
· Youth football for activity and health (Junior Reds FC Titans) - £2870

Of the seven projects, three received all of their funding: Brockley Society; Breakspears Mews and Wickham Mews.  The Peabody project received partial funding of £1470.

It was great to see so many groups looking for funding for local projects to improve their area. It's a shame that the council has had to reduce the amount of money available to local assemblies due to the cuts to council funding from the coalition government. However as a Labour group on the council, we're committed to maintaining local assemblies as a voice for the local community.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

A group called "Threadz"....really? God its no wonder kids cant speak properly

Anonymous said...

no mural - boo

Guidance for idiots said...

1st anon, I susspect the kids know perfectly well how to spell threads. Since when have bands set up by young people done anything else but deliberately wind up their parents generation? Long may it continue.

Go the kidz.

Anonymous said...

I wanted a Mural too - that would have been something for *everyone* in the area, not just a few.

Anonymous said...

do improvements to Wickham Mews affect the community at large? Really? Maybe I should check it out. Shame the youth activity project got nothing, in my view

Anonymous said...

Do youth football projects affect kids who are intelligent and don't like football? That's the point - it's a spread.

Mural lovers Anonymous said...

We awant a mural, we want a mural.

Anonymous said...

I want something divisive like on the Shankhill Road in Belfast. Perhaps a giant mural depicting honest fare on Coulgate St?

You are now entering Honest Brockley.

Lou Baker said...

Nick's misguided political comment at the end should read: "It's a shame the Labour council has had to reduce funding to local groups, but their national party buggered up the economy to such an extent that there's not only no money left but your children and their children will be paying off our debts for decades to come. Still, at least the coalition government has started to put us back on the road to responsibility - though there's much more to do. Not least of all eradicate the idiotic mindset which believes every tin pot little group with an idea - however crazy - should be subsidised by the taxpayer."

Brockley Ben said...

@Lou Not sure that was Nick's comment. AFAIK he's not part of a Labour group on the council.javascript:void(0)

Anonymous said...

In Brockleyfast the corderoymen march down Brockley Road torching the honest food establishments.

Anonymous said...

They're still borrowing and giving it to the banks. You yourself have called for infrastructure spending. That will be borrowed. At the mo the coalition are trying find ways of doing that while retaining credibility. The national debt has increased. Good luck with that

Anonymous said...

I think it was the bankers that brought the world economy too it's knees - not labour.

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - as Ben and the original article make clear, the comment is not mine, but Cllr Foxcroft's. She wrote the article.

Tim said...

Anonymous 21.06 - could you please put a bit more definition around your term "the bankers"? I work for a bank. Am I one of these people that ruined the economy? Several of my friends work for banks. Did they ruin the economy? The answer is no. In fact, you are just lazily stereotyping a group of people because you can't be bothered to investigate the real reasons why the economy is in trouble, which include (in no particular order), demographics, an entitlement culture, banks, politicians, everyone who borrowed too much, regulators and, yes, the Labour party. Gordon Brown upped spending above and beyond inflation for many years breaking his own "golden rule".
It was not just a mysterious group of people called "the bankers".

Tim said...

I have just re read the article and it seems that in some categories all projects won because there was more money available than was bid for.

AND WE WONDER WHY WE ARE IN ECONOMIC TROUBLE!!!

We live in a borough where money is just given away to anyone who asks, regardless of the quality of the project. This is madness!

Anonymous said...

My point is that we are still borrowing and carrying out QE and its supposedly being routed into the "real economy" via the banks. The banks are sitting on it. Now some in the coalition are realising that they need to perhaps build stuff, as Lou has previously called for. That won't be magic money and will not reduce the national debt immediately, it will be borrowed and will perhaps grow the economy and help us reduce debt in the future. Mainly that.

Debt isn't a problem in itself, it's the cost of debt and the ability to pay it is where issues arrise. I've got a big fat scary mortgage, I can afford to service it. It isn't a problem.

No, "bankers" are not evil, the dogma that markets can regulate themselves was. It's a story that regain/thatcher and the neoliberal sold. Labour bought it.

Presumably you'll join me in ridiculing the tabloid sound bite that "the nations credit card is broken"

Anonymous said...

Actually I'm the previous anon, I'm still right though

Anonymous said...

The government wanted cheap credit so it could borrow cheaply to finance its own projects.

Easy credit leads to risky lending. Do you think the government at the time did not know what was likely to happen sooner or later?

Blaming bankers neatly gets the politicians off the hook.

Anonymous said...

Yep, they let the markets police themselves. The markets and government failed. The markets NEED regulation to work properly. To use the cliche, the profits were private, the risks were socialised. We bailed out the failing banks because we couldn't let them fail. That's got to change, the coalition is doing little if anything to do that. They are simply trying to get the system working in a similar way as it was a few yeas back, cos it will never happen again......will it?

Tim said...

Anonymous 21.37 - Why would banks voluntarily sit on cash, as you allege, earning very little interest, if they could lend it out at profitable margins to credit worthy customers?
The answer is that they can't, because there is not enough demand from said credit worthy customers.
It is very depressing that people seem to think the answer to our economic woes is even more debt, which is a colossal gamble. At least if austerity is wrong, the country doesn't fall apart like Greece and currently Spain. More spending is a massive gamble, none of the economists can agree if it is a good idea or not. You yourself say that it will "perhaps" help. You're not even certain yourself.
Anonymous 21.39 - If you gave yourself a name (any name, it doesn't have to be correct), we wouldn't have these identification problems.

Anonymous said...

Tyrwhitt Road Neighbourhood Beautification Programme (Tyrwhitt Road Neighbourhood Watch) - £500. Really?

The yummy mummies must have been out in force to vote that in. What a bleeding waste of money. There are a lot shittier streets that could be given a make over before Tyrwhitt.

Mental!

Tim said...

But none of the shittier streets bothered asking for it.
If you don't ask - you don't get.

Brockley Nick said...

I must admit, I was similarly doubtful that Tyrwhitt is in desperate need of beautification, but if you weren't there, you don't know what arguments were made and you can't complain. In my experience, the Brockley Assembly meetings are attended by a pretty diverse crowd.

terrencetrentderby said...

What did the 500 quid buy the Tyrwhitt Road posse? A gun? Two tasers?

A round of coffees at the Brockley Mess?

Anonymous said...

what's £500 going to buy anyway?

Anonymous said...

Bit odd that they were at the Ladywell Assembly last week asking for cash too, how does that work?

terrencetrentderby said...

Who said money never trickles down to the needy...

Anonymous said...

Isn't Cllr Foxcroft something to do with HSBC?

Is Ms Foxcroft proposing to spend beyond her means, sounds about right for the previous government.

Maybe she missed Mr Darling's warning the previous government would make cuts far deeper than those by Mrs Thatcher.

At local level in 2006 BEFORE the crash, the Chair of Lewisham Homes wrote to the Mayor they were under financial strain due to cuts HE had chosen to make to their budget.

Typical of Foxcroft blame everyone else, or as it's known 'doing a Kelvin'.

At government level it seems to be accepted the previous government were wrong not to have built up reserves for a rainy day.

Anonymous said...

£500 would buy a decent pair of bootscrapers to go outside a Tyrwitt front door.

They could've bought £500 of fare. The Tesco garage on Lewisham Way sells scotch eggs for 28p per. For that £500, 1785 people in Brockley, which is basically everyone more or less, could've been given some breaded, eggy fare.

Who's the real sick man in this story?

Lou Baker said...

@nick

Apologies. I incorrectly presumed you'd editorialised.

I think it is clear that Councillor Foxcroft has so little grasp of economic reality that it would perhaps be best for us all if she were not a councillor at all. Instead she's spending money we don't have making streets look pretty. Bless.

Anyway, one anon or another correctly pointed out that we need to spend money to get out of this economic mess. And we need to borrow that money. But we borrow to invest - like a mortgage. We do not borrow to pay benefit bills - like we do now.

With historically low borrowing rates now is the time to invest in big projects - Crossrail 2, HS2, Boris Island, new water supplies, power generators and housing. Things that will benefit generations. Sadly we have a problem - planning laws. Planning laws which allow people with sandals and beards to have their say. Planning laws which put birds ahead of people. Planning laws which put an individual ahead of society. These laws must be swept away to help our economy grow again.

Anonymous said...

Around here we will just get more developers trying to build tiny flats in the gardens of the larger houses. Or maybe they will chop up the big houses into small flats. This butchers the architecural heritage and cannabalises the green spaces that are a precious asset in this city.

Anonymous said...

So we stop paying pensions and unemployment benefit?(which is free money, we pay taxes and NI so that we get that if required)

The coalition that you claim to be a fan off are ideologically against the kensian intervention you want. Your supporting the wrong horse.

Your starting to agree with me, now give up and admit that massive austerity when no one is buying anywhere in the world is not working. I still remember when you confidently stated that construction was starting to boom again. Laughably incorrect.

Anonymous said...

We killed off manufacturing and built an economy reliant on financial services. Institutions like Sachs and Lehmans who grew fat and reckless during deregulation and fucked us up the arse. No one but the poor now being punished for this. I know derivative traders earning more now than before the recession, something is deeply wrong with the system.

Labour and the Tories have blood on their hands.

Aricana said...

Why was the money allocated for tree planting to the Brockley Society for the Brockley Ward only?

Apologies if i'm wrong but i think this means that the parts of Brockley on the westside that are in the Telegraph Hill ward wouldn't benefit from this?

Brockley Jeremy said...

Since moving to Brockley from Surrey 10 years ago after buying my 6 bedroom Victorian house for 5p, I am aghast to see blocks of affordable flat being built.

Friends we must stop this rot, our property prices depend on it!

Brockley Jeremy said...

And some of them are part buy part rent! *gags*

Anonymous said...

Techically, part of Tyrwhitt Road is in Ladywell, the other part in Brockley

Anonymous said...

Maybe Cllr Foxcroft needs to look closer to home...the mayor consulted consultants as to whether consultants he had consulted had been right people to consult...additional cost to the public £1m.

Which would have bridged any funding gap for local assemblies for years.

Labour councillors have strangely gone very quiet over the future of Lewisham Gateway.

Anonymous said...

To Aricana:

The assembly funding is done by ward. Trees on the Westside would come under the Telegraph Hill Ward, which will have its own money.

If anyone has the details of how the Telegraph Hill vote went it would probably also be pertinent to this blog.

Lou Baker said...

@anon 6.58

Absolutely - we should scrap universal benefits. Winter fuel payments for the rich? What's all that about? Universal child benefit? Paying people to breed. Dumb. A housing benefit bill growing by billions every year? Get a grip.

We spend more on benefits than education, transport and defence combined. Think about that for a moment. It costs more than educating all our kids, moving the entire country around and all the gump the military does. Outrageous. This is Labour's legacy. Generation after generation stuck in this crazy entitlement culture.

What Labour just does not get is the difference between good spending - investment - and bad spending - benefits, bureaucracy etc. They put all spending on a level and borrow for all of it. That's why we're on this mess.

Has the coalition done enough? No. It needs to do much more but at least it understands the problems. It gets that welfare is a major problem. It realises that tax needs sorting out. It gets that the planning laws are wrong. That at least is a start.

And, yes, I say again - in London the recovery is well underway. The cranes are going again - building is underway. The rest of the country is 18 months to 2 years behind - but here, at least, the worst is behind us. No thanks at all to Labour.

Ben H said...

The cranes are funded by foreign cash, building offices and flats for foreign buyers. A great short term cash injection but it won't last forever.

To plug the gaping hole left by the depression we need to become an exporting economy. It's no good Britain being a London centred city state, the vulnerabilities that brought are still painfully apparent.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the trees go on Brockley Road (the station bit) and Brockley Cross - these areas desperately need some green and everyone would enjoy them in those spots ...

Kate said...

To Aricana. I was at a full council meeting last night. A question was asked about trees in the borough as a whole. In the last three years nearly 500 treees have been planted in the borough according to council records.

Nelson said...

Well said Tim. This blog was become nothing but an uncritical conduit for Lewisham Council and for any other public body that wants to burn cash. Cuts? What cuts?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Cllr Foxcroft needs to look closer to home...the mayor consulted consultants as to whether consultants he had consulted had been right people to consult...additional cost to the public £1m."

I hope only the best PR people were hired to publish the result at lavish expense. If not I'd feel cheated.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Foxcroft feeds beefburgers to swans.

Lou Ba"c"ker said...

Largely agree Lou but i don't see London as a front runner for the rest of the country. London is an exception in the UK, Londoners have higher relative income and therefore are less reliant on credit for spending, house prices are back to the peak and the London economy is more sensitive to global trends rather than domestic influence.

The UK still has a long way to go to come out of this, London will always be different to the rest of the country. Yes, the rest of the country will eventually follow but not for the same reasons. London will pick up first due to the fact it is a global city whereas regional centres like Birmingham, Manchester, sheffield, Leeds and smaller towns like Doncaster, Bristol etc are absolutely reliant on an independent UK recovery.

Labour allowed London to run riot, and it did. London grew exponentially over the Labour years, they tied national wage levels to that of London and borrowed to support it. The Public sector in the rest of the UK saw their incomes rise in line with what was happening in the capital, this money flowed into local ecconiomies which allowed the private sector in the regions to follow suit. not quite self perpetuating however, as you have pointed out, it was propped up by Govt borrowing and when that collapsed we needed a huge reset - which is what the coalition are doing.

so, long story cut short, yes London is in better shape than the rest of the UK ( i also agree about your point on construction - in answer to Ben H, construction in London has is largely led by UK Pension Funds and Insurance Cos - yes there is foreign money but there always has been. it is no different to the last 20-30 years)but i don't see the rest of the UK rebounding in the same way London is. London will look after itself however the rest of the UK does need govt intervention.

Investing in infrastructure is a good method of getting money out into the regional economy but i would
a) scrap HS2 and invest in local infrastructure (water, Broadband, flood defences, electrifying track etc). So people see a real difference in their daily lives
b) do our best to employ UK trades and UK companies to provide the infrastructure as otherwise we are just using govt borrowing to send money to corporates in foreign jurisdictions.

Anonymous said...

The corduroymen ... very good.

Aricana said...

Thanks Anon (8.46am) and Kate.

I'm very happy that trees that are being planted, just wasn't sure why the division was by ward.

But this would of course makes sense if the Assembly is actually the Brockley Ward Assembly and not the Brockley Assembly.

terrencetrentderby said...

Their murals (of them holding up their Tarquins) adorn the Eastside. Occasionally they march into the Westside in their bowler hats and orange cords celebrating the gentrification triggered by Jeremy Sandles of Orange in 1998.

Kat said...

I think that something has gone seriously wrong with this process when it can be so easily hijacked by well organised groups who can get money to 'beautify' there already nice looking street while others in the neighbourhood which look quite run-down get nothing. Also two loads of money for the mews, surely a mural or more tree planting would have benefited more people.

terrencetrentderbt said...

That's not to say the movement hasn't modernised under Rev Nick Paisley of Brockley.

Anonymous said...

Brockley says NO to dishonest fare!

Anonymous said...

The council state how many trees have been cut down or been removed over the past 3 years?

kolp said...

" think that something has gone seriously wrong with this process when it can be so easily hijacked by well organised groups"


I'm fine with the process, it's local people getting the money. It's hardcore democracy in action. You have an idea, convince a few people, get a group going lobby for the money.

If people are angry don't get mad, get some ideas of your own for pitching for the money. It might mean talking to people in your neighbourhood though!

Anonymous said...

"I think that something has gone seriously wrong with this process when it can be so easily hijacked by well organised groups who can get money to 'beautify' there already nice looking street" The Tyrwhitt Neighbourhood Watch are hardly a well organised group. The meetings I've attended have managed at best 4 residents, sometimes just 2. What it has is an organiser who tirelessly tries to improve the road. In this case hanging baskets I think, but usually it is pot holes and loose paving slabs, or out of control hedges etc. He lives in a housing assoc. flat and is nothing like the perceived stereotype of a Tyrwhitt resident. In fact probably the direct opposite of that stereotype. He has found someone to match that £500, so now there is £1000 to spend on Tyrwhitt, whoopee!

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks for the extra detail Anon - I figured there would be more to the story.

Anonymous said...

I still reckon they could've bought everyone a scotch egg.

Lady in the Well said...

@anon 8.01 who said that tyrwitt is half in brockley and half in Ladywell is right. That's how they could also apply for £500 from the Ladywell ward Assembly funds for the other half of the street.

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