You have all no doubt noticed that the former Oddbins shop in the Village is being occupied by an art gallery. This is a “pop-up” arrangement till Christmas after which the shop will be fitted out for “Gail’s Artisan Bakery” which is due to open in March 2013. Full details of the art gallery are in the attached Londonart press release. The work on show is for sale and new work will be displayed as the works get sold so do please visit the gallery on a regular basis during its tenure. Full details of Gail’s bakery can be found at www.gailsbread.co.uk and see the article in last week’s Evening Standard
Southwark Council is providing money to devise and deliver events tailored for each part of the borough. In the three Dulwich wards – Village, College Ward and East Dulwich a local steering group has been working with Southwark Events to come up with events specially for our area. The first event will be the Christmas Cracker event in East Dulwich on 1st December. Future “pop-up” events will take place in Dulwich Park and near Kingswood House in Spring 2013. A larger scale event will take place in 2013 across Dulwich: Southwark has received over 70 proposals for workshops and a final showcase arts event/festival. The local steering group is assessing the proposals with a view to identifying the successful bidders in the next few weeks. More details will be issued in due course.
The Herne Hill Forum Public meeting on 5th December will address concerns regarding local policing changes, the proposed Thameslink service suspension and primary school places.
The Herne Hill Forum Public meeting takes place on Wednesday, 5th December from 6.55pm at the Herne Hill Baptist Church (at the Corner of Half Moon Lane and Winterbrook Road). The meeting provides residents with the opportunity to hear and lobby our senior police representatives about the planned changes to local police provision (the loss of a local Police station in East Dulwich and the lack of ‘ring fencing’ of provision, which means that our teams can be diverted to local crime hotspots). Chief Superintendent Sutherland will be attend for Southwark (and Superintendent McLaren for Lambeth) to address public concerns about the planned changes to our police teams.
The meeting will also be attended by Val Shawcross (London Assembly Member for Southwark and Lambeth) who will talk about the suspension of the Thameslink through service beyond Blackfriars, and by Councillor Jim Dickson, who will be updating us on responses to residents’ concerns about Primary School Places.
As the local lead authority for flood management, Southwark Council has a statutory responsibility to manage the flood risk in our area. They are working closely with Thames Water and local stakeholders to identify investment opportunities to reduce the likelihood of flooding, primarily for surface water flooding to which this area is prone. The most notable recent surface water flooding event was in April 2004.
Southwark has also launched community engagement initiatives to reduce the impact of flooding, and TRRA and BRRA have agreed to formulate a pilot community flood plan for our immediate area to reduce the impact of surface flooding. A small team is working on this with support and we anticipate funding from the Greater London Authority. The community plan will be communicated via our new web site and if it is successful it will be a model for elsewhere in Southwark and London.
In the meantime there is a need for all of us to be vigilant about the flood risk especially at this time of year with leaf fall. Please ensure gullies and drains outside your house are clear to avoid pools of water in the street in times of heavy rain – this last happened on Sunday 4th November am. Avoid blocking drains with vehicle wheels. After the 2004 flood, the council installed extra gullies in the road and the gullies are subject to regular maintenance. If you have any concerns about the gullies or leaf clearance please contact the Southwark Environment helpline on 020 7525 2000 but during a rainstorm it is quickest for us to clear the gullies ourselves.
In order to maximise chances of funding for major alleviation projects, Thames Water and Southwark are collating evidence about the impacts of flooding events in Dulwich and would be very pleased to receive copies of photos and reports from residents about the impact of the 2004 flood or any subsequent household drainage investigations. If you are able to help, please let us know.
On 27 November we attended a Q&A with the Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent John Sutherland (JS) at the Dulwich Community Council. A number of key points were taken from the meeting.
1. Councillor questions focused on the future of the Seeley Drive base in Kingswood Estate, East Dulwich police station & the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs), and concerns about public confidence in local police & the consultation process.
2. The impact of widespread geography and poor transport links in Dulwich on policing were highlighted and councillors robustly reiterated the need for a police base serving Dulwich Village, East Dulwich and parts of the Peckham Rye ward.
3. JS insisted that he wants an “honest mature conversation” about changes in policing and said no decisions have been made about the future of frontline desks. The final decision about premises rests with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) who own the police estate.
4. The Met Police has to make over £540m savings by 2015. The vast majority of budget comprises salary and there will inevitably be consequences for employees as well as premises. The savings are non-negotiable and have to happen. The question is how – what are the best options to maintain frontline services?
5. JS said there were no plans to close down the Seeley Drive base. The lease runs to 2019 with a break clause at 2014. On further questioning, he said there was no plan to close it in 2014 and currently he would make a bid to retain it. JS said there was no point in retaining it if it’s not an operational base, and in his opinion it is operational and fit for purpose. The police teams will be physically based there (i.e. start and end shifts there) and while there are some constraints on space, it’s operational and properly fitted out with appropriate IT and security.
6. JS repeated earlier views of Met Police professionals that this is not the case with East Dulwich police station which is neither economically viable nor operationally necessary. Footfall is very low and it is not fit for purpose. It would need a major reinvestment to render it operable by modern standards and the reality is that it is likely to close.
7. Councillors raised the question of an alternative police base, possibly at the East Dulwich hospital but JS reminded that this was more complicated than it appears because of the overheads involved in fitting out a building to operate as an equipped secure police base.
8. The local policing model, the SNTs will remain and there is strong support for the SNTs.
9. The consultation on premises and policing proposal timetable is as follows:
- London-wide briefing to senior stakeholders (MPs , Borough Chief Execs) to complete this week
- MOPAC will collate feedback and input from 32 Borough Commanders and stakeholders to deliver a proposal by Christmas.
- Public Consultation will start in January 2013.
- MOPAC decision by end March 2013.
Please see attached newsletter from Dulwich Park Friends with updates on:
- Replacement of Hepworth Statue
- Ash trees in the park
- Bulb planting for spring
Burbage residents should have received a Neighbourhood Watch pack from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team over the weekend with important information about how to protect their home and its contents. Some very good news: following lobbying from Burbage Neighbourhood Watch Representative, Andrew Fletcher, late night police patrols were instigated which led to the arrest of the prolific ‘car scratcher’ who has been troubling us for some time now. Sadly and with painful irony, it was Andrew’s own car that had just been vandalised when the culprit was caught red handed – very sorry to hear that Andrew.