Catford is changing!

Team Catford asked Theresa what she’d like from a shopping centre.

What do you think?

Tell us what you want at our next consultation event at Little Nan’s Catford on Weds 27th, 1-5pm #CatfordConversation — at Little Nan’s Broadway Theatre Saloon

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Back the bid for #Lewisham to be Borough of Culture #LoveItLewisham

Lewisham is amazing – from the beautiful to the bustling, cool and vibrant – it’s a borough enriched by the world. Hundreds of artists, creatives and cultural leaders thrive here. Together, we are ready to be the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture.

Renowned cultural and creative organisations and community groups, from the wondrous Horniman Museum to the transformative Albany, internationally acclaimed Heart n Soul and stereotype-smashing Entelechy Arts, extraordinary Yellow Earth Theatre and vibrant IRIE! Dance Theatre are all backing Lewisham’s bid. So, why not join them?

We want to involve you in our bid, whether you visit our wonderful parks, prosper in the creative industries we host, or because you are active in your community but mostly because what we all do is joyful and life-affirming. What’s your culture and where do you find it?

Lewisham is ready but we need you……tell us about your favourite places, best finds, or your Lewisham secret. How would you like to be involved? We are Lewisham and this is our time to be the London Borough of Culture.

http://loveitlewisham.co.uk/tell-us-your-ideas/

Lewisham Mayor’s Award

The Mayor’s Award is a new scheme that has been set up to recognise people, community projects and businesses who volunteer in their spare time in Lewisham.

If you know an unsung hero or organisation who are making Lewisham a better place to live, please take a few minutes to nominate them.

To nominate click here by 29th September

Supersets coming to #Catford

Have you backed the crowdfunding campaign to get a new business and community facilities into #Catford?

Watch video: https://vimeo.com/234304149

Donate here: https://www.spacehive.com/creative-community-space-for-catford

Supersets have been chosen by Lewisham Council as the preferred tenant to take over the derelict Thomas Lane Depot in Catford. We want to turn the space into a contemporary creative hub with our state-of-the-art scenery construction workshop at its core.

They are looking to create spaces that are of benefit to the wider Catford community, including: a community beach, a community mural, and a drive-in movie night.

Supersets also want to provide evening classes, apprenticeships and other training opportunities from our workshop space.

Supersets is a truly local business and we passionately believe in collaborating with and supporting the local community. This is why we want to ensure that our workshop can provide something for everybody; from open-air film screening and a skate park, to apprenticeships and educational partnerships, we want to place our workshop at the heart of Catford.

What we’ll deliver:

• Restore the derelict building

• Paint a series of community murals

• Create a skate ramp

• Offer creative workspace to the community

• Offer training and education opportunities

• Create a community beach

• Create drive-in cinema

Why it’s a great idea:

On the Catford “Commonplace Map”, the the most frequent comments about Thomas Lane were: ‘run down’, ‘dull/boring’, ‘feels unsafe’.

We believe that our project could change all of this.

We want to create a space that the community can be proud of.

By opening up the depot as a busy working building, and with the introduction of our training programmes and community initiatives, we will create a sense of community in the area and also help improve perceived safety.

When we put out a survey to Lewisham residents, it showed that 98% of them would like to see an increase in community based initiatives in Catford, and that over 96% think that is is important for local businesses to offer training and skills development.

There is clearly local appetite for what we are offering, and we have many of the skills needed to get this project off the ground within our workshop, but an injection of funding will be invaluable in helping us to reach our goals and create all of these initiatives.

Steps to get it done:

• Begin building restoration

• Purchase training equipment

• Recruit apprentices and trainees

• Build community beach

• Build skate ramp

• Establish drive-in cinema

• Paint murals

Fire safety in Lewisham schools in light of the Grenfell Tower fire

The tragic consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire have raised concerns about fire safety for everyone. Therefore we have set out the work we are doing to ensure our schools are safe below:
External cladding review
Although the London Fire Brigade have yet to confirm what caused the fire at Grenfell Tower to spread so quickly, it would appear that the composition of the external cladding and its installation played a significant role. Therefore we have been working with our colleagues in the School Capital Delivery team, our Employers Agents/Architects and the Local Education Partners to undertake an urgent review of our recently built or refurbished schools to;

  • Identify all school buildings where external cladding is installed,
  • Establish what external cladding materials have been used
  • Carry out a technical desktop review of this information with particular regard to fire
    risk and to advise us on the next steps, including whether intrusive tests are required (i.e. do we need to take off a panel(s) and have further tests completed and do we think any materials require to be replaced

In relation to our PFI facility managed schools the respective SPVs have confirmed that they are content with the initial reviews undertaken, with regards to the extent and nature of any cladding used.

Existing wood cladding

Some schools have raised concerns with their existing timber cladding, it is well documented that the surface spread of flame across timber is negligible along as the subsequent treatment to this cladding has not raised its flammability. Therefore schools need to ensure that water based paints with a Class ‘O’ surface spread are used, if the timber is a natural finish then a treatment with a clear finish of fire retardant will suffice.

Fire risk procedures
All schools in Lewisham have automatic fire detection within their fire alarms and carry out regular fire drills. In response to recent events many have confirmed to the authority that the buildings are evacuated and all pupils, staff and visitors have assembled in a place of safety within accepted time frames.
All maintained schools have the responsibility to have fire risk assessments in place which are school-led. These are live documents and are linked to the fire evacuation strategy (covering identification of key escape routes, action on discovering a fire, action on hearing the fire alarm, calling the fire brigade, personal emergency evacuation plans, places of assembly and roll call, fire wardens/marshals, firefighting equipment provided, training required, liaison with emergency services etc). I would strongly recommend that your fire risk assessments are reviewed and any actions within the action plan are addressed without any undue delay. Please ensure your staff are familiar with the fire risk assessments, your school fire strategy and staff training up to date.

Building height

We have a few school buildings of more than three storeys with cladding in Lewisham and we are working with technical advisers to review those buildings that are constructed with external cladding systems as stated above.
Fire safety escape routes
School buildings are provided with fire compartments to limit the spread of fire and to provide safe routes to evacuate the building. Well maintained and functioning fire doors are vital to ensure there are safe escape routes and are inherent within the fire compartmentalisation.
Fire alarms & sprinklers
All schools within this authority have automatic fire detection that will detect a fire and smoke and will sound the fire alarm. Sprinklers are provided in new schools where the risk warrants this, however sprinklers are not lifesaving but will limit property damage, the reason for this is that sprinklers provided in schools are not fast reacting and that they will only operate after the fire alarm has activated, by this time occupants should be out of the school.

🍻 The Catford Beer Festival 🍻

A joint endeavour between the Catford Bridge Tavern, Lewisham Council and SE London CAMRA, will be held at the Catford Bridge Tavern from 23 to 25 June.

Cask ale is at the heart of every Beer festival, and there will be plenty to try however, we also will be celebrating great beer in other forms, and so the festival will be a real mixture of cask, keg, bottled and canned beers, with an emphasis on local breweries. The beer list is still a work in progress, but we are proud to be showcasing offerings from the following:

🍺 Bexley | Bianca Road | Brew Buddies | Brockley | Bullfinch | Canopy | Clarkshaws | Hop Stuff | Ignition | Kent | Kissingate | Old Kent Road | Orbit| Southwark | Three Sods | Villages

🍎 Cider fans will also be well catered for, with ten or more real ciders on offer, including a number from South London producers rarely available elsewhere.

🍴 Food will be available each day 

🎤 We also have entertainment on hand – 

Champion Hillbillies will be playing from 8pm on Friday 23rd; 

Saturday night will feature a DJ with psych vs soul vinyl set and,

Sunday a live band

🛒 Limited edition festival glasses and t-shirts will be available to purchase.

🕰We’re open each day from 12 to 11pm and look forward to seeing you there.

🚓🚑🚒 If you work for any of the Emergency Services (w/ID) then the Catford Beer Festival Team want to offer you  Free Beer as a little ‘thank you’ for looking after us all. More info http://www.twitter.com/CatfordBeerFest

Heidi Alexander – Labour’s Candidate for Lewisham East

PROUD to nominate Heidi Alexander for re-election as The Labour Party Candidate for Lewisham East🌹
Truly a candidate that has dedicated years to #Lewisham & #Catford

For her full election Pledges see www.heidialexander.org.uk

Vote Heidi Alexander ✅ #GE2017 on June 8th 2017

£40,000 to live alone in London, new research finds

The 2017 ‘Rent Affordability Index’ research, carried out by nested.com, shows that the average salary for a singleton to live alone in London has soared to more than £40,000/yr, and a family of four need an income of more than £75,000/yr

The research shows that London is the 11th most expensive city in the world to live in, based on a square footage alone, we however know utilities and goods and services tend to be much, much, higher in UK and London in particular.

The report continues to identify that an individual earning The London Living Wage of £9.75hr would need to work 12hrs, every day of the year to reach this income threshold. 

When looking at city comparators across the U.K.- London unsurprisingly takes the stop spot, but what is shocking is the difference between London’s first place (£39,876.84) and 2nd  (£20,737.20) places is £19,139.64, almost 50% variance. 

Update: some have written to say that they disagree with this average rents for their area. Consistently, but only anecdotally, said they’re higher, in London or otherwise. That aside, this blog is focussed more about the loss of the life stage of living by yourself, whether as a transition army between professional sharer and starting a family, but equally about the financial trap individuals, who may have had a relationship breakdown, but can not afford to live alone. This will disproportionately affect women, and those less economically active.

In January 2014, Land Registry figures showed average house prices across the whole of England and Wales were £168,536, but in London the average was £409,881 (143% higher than the England/Wales rate). This house price gap has been growing ever larger, with London experiencing 10.9% growth over the last year, compared to 4.2% across England and Wales.

The same picture is apparent in the private rented sector, with the the England rental rate runnings at £665 a month in January 2014, compared to £1,516 a month in London (128% higher than the England rate). The differential in local authority rented property is less exaggerated but still significant, with average rent across England running at £79 a week in 2012/13, compared to £99 in London (25% higher than the England average).

London Weighting is not the answerUnison’s Bargaining Support Unit undertook a review for 2013/14 into London Weighting across seven sectors, this ‘top up’ is pitiful compared to the cost differential.

But what can Lewisham do?

Next week I’ll be attending my new role on Lewisham’s Poverty Taskforce, alongside Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trust for London, looking   This came off the back of work I undertook in my Lewisham Councillor Scrutiny role, 

The Committee will be pursuing the following issues:

  •  Tackling in-work poverty in the borough
  •  Tackling out-of-work poverty, namely for pensioners relying on state pensions
  •  Tackling poverty prevalent amongst young families struggling with a
    combination of housing and child care costs
  •  Ensuring residents are proactively informed about legislative changes that
    could impact both positively and negatively on their income and general
    financial welfare
  •  Staying up-to-date on legislative changes and advise on appropriate changes
    to the Council’s work accordingly.

2017 ‘Rent Affordability Index’

Table 1

Table 2


Road Resurfacing in #RusheyGreen, #Catford

Your Rushey Green Councillors have been asked to nominate up to 3 roads maintained by Lewisham Council in the Ward for resurfacing works.

Road within the red-border of the ward can be nominated, accept for the roads highlighted in red – with are Transport for London maintained routes.

We’ve got until Friday 10th February to get our responses back – so the best way is to tweet me @jamesjwalsh or email me: cllr_james-j.walsh@lewisham.gov.uk