The Brockley Cross Action Group AGM

Sometimes, when the pages of Brockley Central are crowded with articles and comments about betting shops, fried chicken debris, planning problems and crime, it's easy to forget why we started this blog in the first place.

On Wednesday night, At the Baptist Church on Upper Brockley Road, Brockley Central was born again.

With due respect to the setting, our salvation was to be found in the earthly concerns of SE4 and our preacher was Des Kirkland, who chaired the AGM of the BXAG.

There was lots of interesting stuff discussed at the meeting, which we will be covering in the next few days - most notably, the fate of Brockley Station and Brockley Common, the Brockley Fun Run, the Brockley Gallery and Brockley MAX.

However, the meeting itself is worthy of comment, because it captured the best of Brockley.

Brockley Central dislikes the self-imposed formalities that community groups often operate by, which often have the effect of alienating people who might otherwise want to get involved. But there were no Colonel Blimps present and the meeting was a friendly and informal occasion, which attracted approximately 50 people to discuss issues that really mattered, rather than the minutes from the previous meeting.

There was some procedure of course, but, for example, the summary of the group's accounts was happily brief - basically, they haven't really incurred any costs and the money that gets raised for projects like the Common and the MAX is ring fenced, so you won't find your donation to the Common paying for new doilies for the Group's tea trolley.

Likewise, the election of the Trustees for the next years was very civil. Each person had a minute to state their case; anyone not present was represented by a friend within the group. There were more candidates than places, so this was no rubber stamp exercise and each of the candidates would have been a worthy winner. In fact, it was a humbling experience as people recounted the work they had done for the greater good of Brockley - from planting flowerbeds to lobbying government.

There was no rancour, nor self-congratulatory smugness, just a group of eminently practical people with good ideas.

There was also a healthy mix of people present, perhaps captured best by the discussion of this year's Brockley MAX. The boys who've taken on the challenge of staging the festival talked passionately to a politely bewildered audience about how they were going to harness the power of MySpace and Facebook to reach out to new audiences. But they also discussed in-depth the suggestion by an elegant Frenchwoman that two locally-based opera singers should be involved in this year's programme.

Practical, inclusive, good humoured and working together to make this part of London a happier place to live. That's what Brockley's about, it's what the BXAG is about and it's what we hope Brockley Central is about.

Most of the time.


jon s said...

I'm sorry I missed it.

One of the thngs that attracted me to the area was the unpretentious doing that goes on. So will the local opera singers be involved in the myspace and facebook promotion of the festival?

It will be great to interact face to face and do once I can stop being a slave to commerce and work locally...............

Pete said...

We had a similar meeting last night in Ladywell. I'm sure Sue will post something on her blog (if she hasn't already).

The Pirate King said...

i may need to buy them some doilies now. i hate the thought of their tea cart being without them.

Tom said...

I'm sorry I missed this too. Was it my incompetence that meant I didn't see the date?

Also, have you seen this?

"Operated on behalf of the local community (London SE4) it used to list schools, shops, doctors, local celebrities, news, etc. However increasing UK & EC Government legislation on Websites means that it is all too easy to transgress a rule and suffer considerable financial penalties. The red tape imposes a lot of extra record keeping requirements."


Anonymous said...

The Brockley Community webpage was closed several years ago. The BXAG was on their site and has continued to use the URL.

Tom said...

Thanks Moira.

As someone who runs a string of websites, I was rather curious to find out about the UK and EC (sic) legislation that forced the Brockley website's closure. Any clues?

Tamsin said...

Might have been useful to have it on the Events listing in the Telegraph Hill Website (Brockley Max were, after all, very much in the fore in the Craft Fair that was part of the Telegraph Hill Festival last Saturday - so we should speak to each other.)

Glad it went so well, though, and that you actually had enough people volunteering to do things to have an election!

Richard said...

I fully intended to be there on Wednesday night, if only to hear the early Brockley Max plans. I was exhausted though and only managed to sit down for dinner at 8, so gave it a miss.

Aside from the opera singers did I miss anything Brockley of note?

(I think the one of these opera singers did an impromptu piece from her chair in Jam Circus late one night - either that or there's a third!)

Sue Luxton said...

I couldn't make it unfortunately because it clashed with the committee I chair, but how was Duncan Law's talk on Transition Towns?

And yes, Ladywell had a really well-attended meeting last night to set up its own version of BCAG, which will possibly be called LVAG (Ladywell Village Action Group). 62 people came along, over 150 surveys were returned and enthusiasm to 'do a Brockley' in Ladywell is high. Will indeed post smthg more on my blog in a bit Pete.

Anonymous said...

I suggest a rethink on the name there sue! Sounds like something from austin powers.

Anonymous said...

sounds like the 'Spanish' name for a woman's naughty bits. El Vag.

Sue Luxton said...

Hmm, you could have a point there! LRAG (Ladywell Road Action Group), LAG (Ladywell Action Group) . . . any other suggestions?!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Action Group for Ladywell Awarness (AGLA)?

Action in Ladywell (AIL)?

Ladywell Awarness and Action Group (LAAG)?

or more controversial - Greater Brockley Action Group (GBAG).

Or my favourite.. Sue Luxton Action Group (SLAG)! [sorry sue, couldn't resist - no offence meant!].

Sue Luxton said...

sorry, I'm an English teacher, so can't resist: TAPP&PHTSA.

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