The Wisdom Of Crowds - Brockley Speaks

Brockley MAX, The Telegraph Hill Festival, The Summer Fayre, Open Studios, Hillaballoo, The Brockley Fun Run, The Christmas Market, The Brockley Cross Action Group, LoveLewisham, Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery, even Brockley Central Drinks...

Apparently, what Brockley really needs is some sort of event to build community cohesion. This was one of the concerns raised at the first ever Brockley Ward Assembly.

Unable to make it that evening, Brockley Central asked Cllr Walton for an update on how the event went. Here's what he reported:

"It was a very successful evening - we reckon there were up 120 people attending from across Brockley Ward, including a lot of young people.

The meeting was a table-talk facilitated session and feedback from the attendees was good. Though not a comprehensive list, the main issues that floated to the surface via the process were:

1. Improvement of the local area - flytipping, bulky waste etc, shopping facilities
2. Excuse the jargon 'Community Cohesion' - a need to do something for the community
3. Crime (sorry we have to call it community safety)
4. Youth provision - the relation of young people to crime

One unexpected concern was people urinating in the grounds of Goldsmiths College!

During the Assembly, we selected a co-ordinating group to take these priorities forward."

Brockley Central was a little incredulous that the need to stage more events to bring the local community together should be a key concern, given the wealth of community events that Brockley boasts (and the numerous other issues that might have been raised). However, it was pointed out to us that Brockley is a big ward and that most of the cultural events in SE4 take place on the south side of Lewisham Way - a point we grudgingly conceed.

Cllr Walton also provided us with a sample of some of the positive feedback which the event generated, much of which revolved around the catering...

"Need an opportunity to state how good the event was! I've really enjoyed this evening, for someone like me who has recently moved to the area it was a great way to meet local people and understand the issues of the area. Made me realise I've moved into a community atmosphere."

" I'm 17 and I found it very interesting, and on our table I think we got alot across to other people about what we think about our area."

"Very well organised - listening to residents positively talking about meeting members of the community and how much they enjoyed the meeting and its purpose. A very good cross section of the community including young people. A receptive community and excellent how the co-ordinating group selected and endorsed by all the clapping."

"Thankyou for the excellent refreshments - both quantity and variety were impressive."

Statistics compiled on the night suggest that, ethnically at least, the Assembly succeeded in attracting a reasonably representative sample of the local population:

32% of attendees were of a BME [Black / Minority Ethnic] background [versus ward profile 40%]
23% of attendees were of a Black British/Caribbean Mixed Caribbean/White background [versus ward profile 16%]
42% white British [versus ward profile 48.8%]
13% of attendees were disabled

Thanks to Dean for providing so much feedback.