Tag Archives: assembly

Is there still a plan to build upon the heath?

Interesting email today from Eliot Pitstop (the pressure group who formed when a Pocket Park was proposed in Eliot Pits – see previous posts).
They are encouraging residents to attend the next Blackheath Assembly meeting this Wednesday at 7.30pm, 3rd July at St Matthew’s Academy.

From their email:

…we understand that two new areas are under consideration for a childrens’ playground:

  • One by the Territorial Army grounds at Hollyhedge House on the Heath,
  • and the other in the middle of the Heath by Talbot Place.
  • They also set out their position:

  • The Blackheath Assembly has not demonstrated that it has a proper mandate to promote the building of a permanent childrens’ playground on the Heath. It needs to explain how it believes that it has the authority to promote such a proposal;
  • The need for an equipped chidrens’ playground in Blackheath Ward has not been established as there are many equipped play areas both within the Ward and within the vicinity of Blackheath;
  • We need to protect the Heath from any permanent development and from the building of permanent structures and also to prevent a precedent being established which would enable Lewisham Council to easily achieve such development without public consultation in the future.
  • Full email is here as a PDF.

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    Filed under blackheath, planning

    Tractor production is up 30%

    Particularly choice quotes about the library from July’s Blackheath Assembly minutes (emphasis mine):

    The meeting received information that the temporary library set up at the Bakehouse has been successful to date. The resource continues to attract more people particularly children and young mothers and these numbers will only increase once the new library is up and running[…]

    With regards to the main replacement library project, an £800,000 investment project is on coursee[…]

    It is envisaged that the new facility will be open on the 22 November 2012 by Sir Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham and David Grant, the Mayor of Greenwich. Over the next month or two there will be a competition for the public to put forward their ideas of what the new centre should be called so there is a sense of involvement and community spirit. The competition will carry a prize of £1,000 and the winner will be announced at the opening ceremony by Sir Steve. Participants can put their entry forward via email or through the website.

    If you have any suggestions for library titles, please send them here: localassemblies@lewisham.gov.uk

    See previous post for a clearer picture.

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    Filed under age exchange, blackheath, blackheath village, books, lewisham, library

    Missile questions for our MPs

    UPDATE: The response to this post from Heidi Alexander MP can be read here.

    So we are to have missiles in our beautiful shared garden.

    Clive Efford (Labour, MP for Eltham) criticised the Defence Minister for placing missiles in Olxeas Wood. But what about the ones planned on Blackheath?

    Heidi Alexander (Labour, MP for Lewisham East) tweeted the following today:

    MoD were looking at Blackheath suitability for potential olympic missile defence site last week. No decision yet taken. link
    Have asked MoD for face to face briefing. link
    I know it sounds surreal but sadly true. Nothing has been decided yet though. link
    MoD describe it as some form of ground based air defence system. That’s all I know at the moment. link

    Lewisham East Constituency

    A commenter on my facebook page suggested the possible location of the missiles:

    “The radar trial took place on Thursday just north east of the army cadet centre. the launcher was sans missile ( thank goodness)” — John Morris

    As can just about be seen on the Ordnance Survey Election Maps, if the missile site is located north-east of the Territorial Army Barracks, this places it firmly in Heidi’s constituency.

    However, assuming it is a Rapier missile, it has a range of 500m (seems very short to me?), meaning that it could also potentially kill people in the neighbouring “Greenwich and Woolwich Borough” constituency, the MP of which is Nick Raynsford (Labour).

    I’d dearly love to attend the assembly meeting tomorrow, but I’m unlikely to be able to make it. If Heidi Alexander is at the assembly on Tuesday, here are some questions, you might like to consider asking:

    * Who owns the land that the missiles will be placed on?
    * Were any special orders required to place the missiles on the land?
    * Who owns the missiles?
    * Is there any way that you could have prevented this from happening?
    * When did you first hear about it, and how was it presented to you?
    * Do you think it is an appropriate course of action, taken by a supposedly sovereign nation, during peace time?

    Guardian 13th Nov 2011: US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics

    Washington’s need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials, who have privately raised concerns about the meddling, as well as the size of the US “footprint” in the UK during the games next year.

    BBC News 14th Nov 2011: Ground-to-air missiles ‘may protect’ London 2012 games

    Mr Hammond was asked by his predecessor to confirm whether there would be a “full range of multilayered defence and deterrents” in place for the 2012 Games including surface-to-air missiles.

    He replied: “I can assure him that all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including – if the advice of the military is that it is required – appropriate ground-to-air defences.”

    UPDATE: Reply from Councillor Chris Maines on my facebook page:

    I can confirm that there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the Blackheath Assembly tonight – a senior police officer will be present. However, this is an MOD issue and they are a difficult organisation to engage in full consultation. Since my briefing last week I have raised question at cabinet committee level although it seems as a matter of national security it is difficult to get definative responses, Cllr Chris Maines – Chair, Blackheath Assembly

    UPDATE:
    BBC News article including quote from Heidi Alexander about the missiles
    Olympics missile sites considered for Blackheath and Shooters Hill

    On Facebook, Kevin Bonavia (local councillor) says that an MoD representative will attend the Assembly tonight.

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    Filed under blackheath, Olympics

    Blackheath Assembly

    The Blackheath assembly meeting took place tonight.

    Age Exchange and the Library

    First up was Sir Ian Mills, asking everyone to please use the Bakehouse Library. Apparently it has lots of kids using it, but not enough adults. £800,000 of development work is due to take place by 2015, including grand plans to turn the two upper floors of the Reminisence Centre into a kind of community centre. The Bugle sat on his hands and didn’t ask anything impertinent about local council’s obligations being overtaken by charities – I hear it’s all the vogue these days.

    One of the questions – why isn’t there a big notice in the window of the centre, encouraging people to please use the tiny library out the back for god’s sake? (I may be paraphrasing)…

    Olympics Transport Issues

    Then onto Olympics, where a nice lady called Emma told us that we would all be consulted, and that our feedback was essential, but that she couldn’t really confirm anything very much, as she wasn’t a technician, and that all the important people were at Greenwich council for a planning meeting that was unfortunately scheduled to coincide with the assembly.

    Lots of questions about parking and permits during the Olympics – many from Kevin Bonavia, who made sure to turn to the audience whenever asking a question… He’ll go far I’m sure. Emma smiled, nodded, and apologised through them all. She couldn’t specify a month by when we could be certain about the parking situation.

    There will be bus stop closures on Ha Ha Road.

    “Will there be parking on the heath?”. Yes there will, but only on one day (July 30th), and only by coaches picking up olympic believers from Blue Water, and depositing them on Prince Charles Road. But the coaches will be on matting, so the grass will be ok.

    Originally LOCOG had promised that there would be no parking at all on the heath.

    There will also be a bike rack and taxi rank in Talbot Place.

    A question about this: “If I’m a resident, can I still park outside my house?”. No blooming idea. Come along to the informal chit chat at the Clarendon Hotel on 3rd & 4th February, where all will be revealed.

    One Talbot Place resident was particularly cross about the impact that the taxi rank and bike racks would have on disabled people in the area. “I’ll feed that back”.

    “What will happen to the DLR? Will it be able to cope?” “TfL have done lots of lovely modelling. There are some very colourful models on their website”.

    Blackheath Live Site

    Then it was Liz Dart – Community Engagement officer from Lewisham Council, who was up to talk about the plans for the Olympics Live Site (the big screen planned to go in front of Taste of Rat).

    Liz last addressed the Assembly back when Blackheath still had a proper library, but I digress… We were about to be PowerPointed, but Lewisham council make all their staff use secure USB sticks, which never work, as anyone who has attempted to use one in a Windows machine can attest.

    She went through the plans, which looked the same as the ones which have been highlighted previously on this site. She mentioned some of the activities that will take place – tea dances, comedy nights, sports films. Some of these will be ticketed, and some will be free.

    Zone 3 will contain a climbing wall, and a roller skating rink which sounds rather fun. It will be run by a company with an amusing name which sounded a lot like Bottom, but I’m sure it wasn’t. It wont’ be a fairground – there won’t be loud music, and no “callers” (not sure what they are).

    The staff & contractors used will be the same teams that are used for Fireworks night.

    Emergency services will be the same teams as usual, except for the police, who will be all centrally controlled from the Met, due to the Olympics.

    Lot of questions about noise from the big screen. One very annoyed man pointed out that whilst the screen is facing away from the nearby homes, this means that the cheers from the crowds will be projected towards the homes. Also pointed out that it’s near a busy road.

    The location was determined by the Locog events nearby. They don’t expect 5,000 people for the majority of the time. The deciding factor will be the weather, and how well Britain is doing in the Olympics.

    “Will it be ticketed – isn’t it too many people?”. Fireworks attracts 100,000. It won’t be ticketed.

    “What about the grass?”. It will be maintained by Glendale as usual.

    Question about screen times, and adoloescents loitering, upsetting young families. Answer: 8am-11pm but only if there is interest. Alcohol won’t be served throughout these hours, but will probably be available from midday at weekends for example.

    “What about seating? Can we bring our own?” No fixed seating will be provided at the site. There may be hay bales, or something of that nature. You can bring your own seat.

    Apparently there will be a firework display this year, touch wood. The live site event isn’t expected to make a profit, and there are strict rules about commercial activity so close to an Olympic venue. Initially a school dinner provider wanted to try and break a world record at the site (for the most dinners served? Largest omellette? Can’t remember), but this level of sponsorship wouldn’t have been allowed.

    The overall cost is thought to be around £150,000, but some income will be derived from attractions, partnerships, etc.

    The licence decision for the live site is due to be decided at a council comittee next week. i got the feeling that they’re pretty sure it will be approved.

    Localism – Pickles’ Grand Idea

    Then it was onto Heidi Alexander talking about the Localism Bill.

    I’m not going to even attempt to explain it all here. It looks bloody confusing to me, although she spoke well. Interesting points:

    * Groups of 21 or more can form local forums, subject to local council approval
    * These forums can declare “local assets”, such as pubs, churches, etc to be added to a special List.
    * Anything on this list cannot be quickly sold or got rid of by the owner. They have additional obligations to discuss any sale with the council. Either an extra 6 weeks or 6 months delay is added, to prevent quick sales of local assets.

    So this raises interesting questions: Who can form a Forum? Are there concerns about groups forming forums specifically to exclude other groups? The legal status of these forums appears murky as the legislation currently stands. Should the Blackheath Society form a forum? Should the Blackheath Assembly be a vehicle for a forum?

    What would you like to see on a list of Blackheath Assets? One suggestion was that the station car park could be added to such a list, to prevent National Rail from screwing with it.

    UPDATE: See the petition about the station car park.

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    Filed under blackheath, events, greenwich, lewisham, Olympics, parking, planning

    Blackheath Assembly tomorrow, and Parking for the Olympics

    Blackheath Assembly Leaflet
    There’s another Blackheath Assembly tomorrow, ​Thursday 26 January, from 7.30-9.30pm​ at St Mathew’s Academy, St Joseph’s Vale, SE3 0XX​.

    There are also draft plans for parking in Greenwich and Lewisham during the Olympics shown here (PDF).

    More info here. And then “informal drop in sessions” (not consultation) will be held at The Clarendon Hotel on Friday 3 February 2012, 12 noon–8pm, and Saturday 4 February 2012, 10am–4pm.

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    Assembly coming up

    Sphericalfruit writes:

    sphericalfruit: Blackheath residents: the Assembly meets at St. Matthews Academy on 5th July at 7.30pm to vote on library budget @UKpling @blackheathbugle

    If it’s as much fun as the last one I attended, it should be fabulous.

    Which reminds me – Blackheath Society are asking for Christmas card designs. Mine’s below.
    Never Mind the Library, at least there's no festival
    Based on this photo from Flickr.

    PS: Sorry for the lack of posts currently. New flat and new job don’t make for easy blogging. It will pick up soon hopefully. Please send me stuff if you think I’m missing things!

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    Filed under blackheath

    Blackheath Assembly Meeting tonight at 7.30pm


    Meeting 7.30pm tonight at St. Matthew Academy, St. Joseph’s Vale, SE3 0XX
    Anyone can go. More fun news about cuts, I guess…

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    Filed under blackheath, politics