29 April 2011

Rye Hill Park Party

Just a quick post to say well done to everyone involved in organising today's Royal Wedding Party at the Tenant's Hall at the Rye Hill Park Estate.

Victoria and I popped down and it was clear people were having a fantastic time - particularly the kids. There was a bouncy castle, face-painting and a barbecue to keep everyone amused.

The committee members at Rye Hill Park TRA have been doing some fantastic work over the last year to boost the community atmosphere on the estate. They have put on a number of other events in addition to today's party. Today I spoke with the TRA secretary, Angela, who told me that the "Pull the Other One" comedy nights have now moved permanently to the Rye Hill Park Tenant's Hall. This is great news for the TRA because it will raise funds that can then be re-invested in developing other activities.

24 April 2011

Local Community Council meeting, 11th May 2011

Just a quick note to say that the next Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council meeting will now take place on 11th May (instead of 27th April). The meeting has been moved because there is currently a by-election taking place in Lane Ward and election rules mean that the meeting needed to be shifted. The meeting will take place at John Donne Primary School, Woods Road, London SE15 2SW and you can see further details here.

The agenda is packed and it promises to be a very interesting meeting. On the agenda is:

- Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport to answer questions on Environmental issues.

- An update from the Council's Environment Enforcement Team on issues such as waste collection and keeping streets clean.

- Superintendent Cheryl Burden is going to be taking the community safety slot (rather than the usual updates from our local police teams)

- More information about community council fund.

- A presentation on the application to turn the centre of Peckham into a conservation area

15 April 2011

Peckham Rye - new playground UPDATE

Back in February I posted an update on the long-awaited new playground on Peckham Rye next to the cafe and One O'Clock Club.

I had hoped that work was about to start and that the new playground would be ready by the end of March. However, as regular visitors to the Rye will know, the new playground has not yet materialised. The planning application was a little delayed and there have been problems trying to get a contractor on site. I have been promised that work has now started and that the playground will completed over the next six weeks.

The delay is frustrating and the timing of the works during the school holidays isn't ideal but I am pleased that we should soon have the new playground that we promised residents during the elections last year. It's also great that we managed to secure the last bit of Southwark Council's 'playbuilder' funding, much of which has been clawed-back by the Government.

As the picture above isn't very big you can download the full details (better quality/includes pictures of various bits of play equipment) by clicking here. The idea is that the playground is more 'natural' than the current one - a bit like the new Goose Green playground.

13 April 2011

Friends of Peckham Rye Park AGM

Victoria and I went to tonight's Friends of Peckham Rye Park AGM, so I thought I'd give a quick report on the meeting.

The Chair gave a report setting out the various achievements of FOPRP over the last year, including another very successful fete and securing funding (through the council and the Lottery) for the Wildlife Garden. The treasurer's report re-iterated the success of the fete and set out FOPR financial position.

Following the election of officers, Southwark's Parks and Open Spaces Manager gave a full and frank presentation on the re-structuring in her Department. The general approach is to ensure the availability of Park's staff at busy periods (particularly on the weekend) and make sure that there was enough back-office support to ensure the smooth running of the Park. Despite overall budget cuts to the department (Southwark has been hit hard by the coalition's cuts), it is expected that there will be no overall cut in resources dedicated to Peckham Rye. As local councillors, we think this is good news for our ward, given the great importance of the Park and Common to so many people in Peckham Rye.

The Friends of Peckham Rye Park do a huge amount of work which helps to make Peckham Rye such a beautiful and important amenity for local people. If you're interested in supporting FOPRP you can find out about joining at their newly revamped website here.

You can join by clicking on the link in the bottom left hand corner.

10 April 2011

Funding for community events

The 2011-12 'community council fund' is now open. If you are involved in a community group and wish to bid for money to help you put on an event or events then apply now.

The Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council has £15,000 to support activities run by local groups for local people. You can apply for funding to hold events such as fun days, festivals, outings or a series of activities to bring local people together. If you have a good idea but are not part of a 'formal' group you may still be able to apply, so please do get in touch (details below) to discuss this.

You can apply for £100 up to £1,000 by downloading and filling in this form by Monday 16 May. You'll need to give details of your plans and the event must be held by 31 March 2012. There are also other criteria you must meet - check out the full details here.

Last year we funded 26 different groups/events in our area including the Friends of Peckham Rye Park Fete, lots of singing from the Nunhead Choir, the open air film in Nunhead Cemetery and the Rye Oak summer play scheme to name just a few.

If you have any questions get in touch with your councillors or contact:
Nadine James
T: 020 7525 5503
Vikki at last year's Mundania Road Street Party - funded through the Community Council Fund

7 April 2011

Simon Hughes urged to support secure tenancies for Southwark Council tenants

Tenants living on the Rye Hill Park Estate, Brookestone Court, Priory Court and other social housing in Peckham Rye Ward may want to know that Southwark Labour is piling the pressure on Southwark MP Simon Hughes to vote against a Government proposal to end secure tenancies for council and housing association tenants.

Ian Wingfield, Southwark Labour's Cabinet Member for Housing, has written to Simon Hughes MP urging him vote the right way. This week Labour Councillors voted for a motion condemning Conservative/ Liberal Democrat Government’s Localism Bill that will allow Local Authorities to introduce “fixed-term tenancies” for new council tenants.

Proposals in the Localism Bill will allow local authorities and housing associations to offer fixed tenancies for a minimum of 2 years, rather than secure lifetime tenancies, which are the norm at the moment. The proposals could mean tenants in Southwark have to go through an assessment of their income and family circumstances after just eighteen months in their home. There are real concerns that these changes would act as a disincentive to tenants to get a better job or force couples to leave their family home once their children move out.

The Government had previously said that the plans will not affect existing tenants. However speaking in a debate on 8th March during the committee stage of the Localism Bill, Liberal Democrat Local Government Minister Andrew Stunell admitted “discretion [on whether or not to maintain security of tenure for existing tenants when they move home] should be available to the landlord”.

Ian Wingfield has issued a statement saying: "Southwark is the largest local authority social landlord in London with 45,000 tenants and homeowners in the borough and so it is really important that our elected representatives push for greater clarity from the Government regarding the rights of existing social tenants.”

“David Cameron first floated this idea last August. At the time Simon Hughes was very clear that he was against it. However we have seen with the vote on tuition fees and the Educational Maintenance Allowance that Simon Hughes is quite happy to say one thing and do another.”

“He cannot duck the issue this time – when this comes to a vote in parliament he has to vote against.”

Unlike on tuition fees, will he do the right thing?

1 April 2011

A council meeting that you'll want to go to..?

Changes to the way local council meetings are conducted are coming to Southwark. For too long Southwark Council Assembly meetings have lacked the kind of spark that would engage local people in the important decisions which are made at these meetings. It's hoped that some changes to the way they are run will get people more interested and provide an opportunity for a more direct say in what is discussed.
So from now on, Peckham Rye residents are able to have a more direct say in the agenda of these meetings which. The deadline for submitting questions to the 6th April council meeting has passed (I know, I should have posted this earlier) but there will be plenty of opportunities to submit questions to council meetings in the future.

We'll also be having "themed" meetings to try and get under the skin of some important local issues. Keep an eye on the council's democracy pages here for news on future meetings meeting and/or email democracy@southwark.gov.uk to find out more. There's also more news on this issue here.

The 6th April meeting starts at 7pm in Southwark Town Hall . The first theme is "the future for Southwark - rising to the community challenge." Anyone is welcome to come to the Town Hall from 6pm to see the meeting.