Diplomacy brings peace to SE4

We think it is now safe to let you know who won the battle of the Brockley millions.

After the great trees v digicams debate of November, we are happy to report that skilful diplomacy by Brockley's councillors found a way through that impasse. Everyone must have prizes. There will be trees and mobile phones for all!

At the meeting itself, the attendees were predominantly - blissfully - ignorant of the furore that had preceded it. A slightly defensive presentation about the digicams idea by Jackie Millar and a nervous smile from Cllr Walton, who stressed to the room a number of times that the poll had been an interesting experiment, were the only clues.

Approximately 30 people attended the meeting (significantly more than the previous year, we are told) and it was a great opportunity to hear about some of the other projects, which had got lost among the blood and thunder of the online debate. The fun run sounds as though it will become a really exciting part of the Brockley calendar and some of the projects for local estates will make a big difference for a relatively small investment.

It has to be said, despite our enduring reservations about the 'digicams' programme, that Jackie Millar's passion and direct experience convinced those in attendance of the project's merits and there was an overwhelming vote in favour of supporting the project, together with money to buy trees for the streets most in need of some love and attention.

The back-of-an-envelope calculation done on the night, suggested that as many as 60 trees could be planted, using the money allocated, although a number of people with experience in this area, warned that the logistics of siting that many trees would not be straightforward. It was also agreed that, where planters were used, they should not be so ugly that they would negate the beauty of the trees themselves - exhibit a) the horrible railings surrounding the base of Brockley's communal Christmas Tree. One guy in the room suggested Brockley should set itself the long-term goal of becoming Lewisham's 'Garden Ward', which we thought was a lovely idea.

We've asked Cllr Walton for a precise breakdown of how the money has been allocated, which we will publish on the site.