Tag Archives: greenwich council

Blackheath Halls

Transcript of the recording made by Darryl at 853blog of Leisure Councillor John Fahy responding to the public on Blackheath Halls:

mp3 version

Audio recording.

Please note that several sections (crossed out) were really difficult to understand – if you can hear what is being said, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll tweak:

…er from Blackheath Halls, and many of us attend functions there and see the quality of the performances etc.

These are very dark days for the arts in the UK. I think not only have we had to make difficult decisions in Greenwich, we learned today that something like 300 organisations across the UK, I think 5 in Greenwich, have had their funds cut by the Arts Council.

So in that regard, it’s a very depressing time. <In particular and the Friends representing here this evening asked some questions about the difficult choices the council had to make, both in respect of Blackheath Halls, the theatre, and Greenwich Dance Agency.

In respect of the theatre and Greenwich Dance Agency, had we decided not to fund one, or the other, or both, we would find ourselves in a position where we would have two empty buildings on our hands, because they were buildings owned by the council. And that of course would be even more difficult, in the longer term.

In respect of Blackheath Halls, as I understand it the Blackheath Halls covenant has been purchased recently by Trinity Laban and obviously their performing arts are going to use the hall more extensively. And obviously that is a matter for them. But if the Friends look at paragraph 3.51 and paragraph 3.5.2, it relates to the fact following representations and all due scrutiny, cabinet has set aside a sum of £42,000 to support the delivery of community based and participatory projects across the borough. And I would urge strongly for Blackheath Halls to seek to keep that going.

I’m very happy to meet friends of the Blackheath Halls because I think for any of us, we want to ensure that, at least here in Greenwich, as we move towards the Olympics, the Cultural Olympiad 2012, we don’t want any lights out in any of our quality buildings, and I very much hope that, with all of our joint efforts we can hope to keep Blackheath Halls, and lift its contribution to the community, which is set out very well in the programme that the Friends have very kindly circulated.

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141 Berkeley Homes on a football field: Lawsuit for Cator Estate

There’s a plan to replace a disused football field with a load of houses.  This greenfield site (i.e. open land that has never been built on before), needs access from Manor Way and Brooklands Park.  The developers “Derreb“, have filed a lawsuit against the Blackheath Cator Estate Residents, saying that they must allow access.  According to the Cator newsletter:

“The original conveyance of the Huntsman land contained a restrictive covenant restricting its use to that of a sports field, or “detached houses for use as private residence only, such buildings to be erected in such a position and in accordance with such plans and
elevations, including general layout and development plans as shall first be submitted to, and approved, at the Purchaser’s expense by the Vendor’s Surveyor.”

BCER has drawn the existence of this covenant to Derreb’s attention, including the fact that as purchaser of the roads from the John Cator Estate, it is now BCER’s surveyor from whom approval is required. Derreb have said they intend applying to the Lands Tribunal to have this restrictive covenantmodified or discharged.”

And according to the developers environmental report:

Provisional of 141 residential units including:
A range of houses and flat types from between 1 and 4 bedrooms

The newsletter says:

Derreb says it has submitted a revised planning application, and is holding two meetings to exhibit what it terms the ‘final plans’ at St Michael & All Angels Church Hall from 6pm to 9pm on 1 and 4 February.

Which is another Beware of the Leopard moment…

Planning laws in this country are a joke.  It is a battle of professionals against amateurs.  They are designed to allow large developers to bully local councils with lawsuits, and allow repeated re-applications, in such away that the developers have very little to lose,  and small groups cannot win.

the
original conveyance of the Huntsman land contained
a restrictive covenant restricting its use to that of a
sports field, or “detached houses for use as private
residence only, such buildings to be erected in such a
position and in accordance with such plans and
elevations, including general layout and development
plans as shall first be submitted to, and approved, at
the Purchaser’s expense by the Vendor’s Surveyor.”
BCER has drawn the existence of this covenant to
Derreb’s attention, including the fact that as
purchaser of the roads from the John Cator Estate, it
is now BCER’s surveyor from whom approval is
required. Derreb have said they intend applying to
the Lands Tribunal to have this restrictive covenant
modified or discharged.

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Recycling – which is it?

Recycling sign on wheelie bin the Blackheath from Greenwich council

Initially I thought it was a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our wheelie bin.  Our flats have been marked out.  We are officially warned.  Someone has been putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins.  It wasn’t me or Mrs Bugle, I swear, honest…  I’m just wondering if they will start daubing our front doors with paint next.

But the photograph above does throw up an interesting point. Looking at all the blogs around here, you’d think it would be easy to draw a conclusion about how our recycling schemes are going.  The Phantom had a great piece about how the Greenwich Recycling plant works, but then I read in The Last Bus Home that it might not be so great after all. They quote another post by a Lib-Dem councillor who makes the point that the government sets recycling targets by the tonne, not by the quality of the recycling.

This means that they don’t really care what happens to our glass and paper waste, so long as it doesn’t go into landfill.  So our glass doesn’t get melted down back into glass bottles, it gets turned into road gravel.  And our paper doesn’t get turned back into paper, but gets shipped to Malaysia instead?!

I’m still glad that it isn’t ending up as landfill, but the carbon cost must be as much of a concern as the landfill.

Wouldn’t the pollutants involved in shipping all that paper halfway round the world be worse than just burning it in the first place?

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Building a Better Bin Bag

As mentioned before, we have run out of biodegradable bin liners.  After extensive testing, and careful prototyping at great expense (well, a couple of newspapers worth at least), I have come up with a sure fire plan to show you what to do with the contents of a kitchen caddy.

The plan I eventually went for is this one, but with the addition of some Sellotape (I’m pretty sure Sellotape is biodegradable, and we’re going for saving the planet here, not origami perfection!).

The video above shows how to make one of these boxes.  There’s no sound, and sorry the quality isn’t wonderful, but I only have an ageing apple mac to film the video on!  If you want to make some, use three or four sheets of the largest newspaper you can find.  One box should just about take the quantity of waste in a kitchen caddy (unless it is hopelessly over stuffed, in which case you’ll need two)..

UPDATE:  If you’re feeling of an origami mind, check out this great TED talk.

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When the biodegradable bin liners run out…

Post-It Box

We are lucky enough to live in the part of Blackheath managed by Greenwich council, who seem to have a more sensible policy on recycling than Lewisham. It means that we were given a little green “caddy” to place kitchen scraps into, which can then be transferred to larger white biodegradable sacks, and then disposed of in a special biomass only wheelie bin once a week.

Which is great, except that the white bin liners were a one-off. Like a drug pusher offering the “first one free”, we aren’t going to get any more of these bin liners without paying for them. Fair enough, as it isn’t actually necessary to wrap your kitchen scraps in anything before chucking them into the wheelie bin, but it makes for a much nicer experience for all concerned if you do.

The council alternatively suggest wrapping the scraps in newspaper. So – I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do this. I had an idea that I could make some little origami boxes out of newspaper, and dump the waste into those before putting it into the wheelie bin.

UPDATE: There are loads of examples on the web, but, being origami, they are nearly all based on square sheets of paper, rather than rectangular newspaper sizes. I had a go with this one; but you have to start with a square sheet, and the box that is produced is pretty tiny (see below left).  All the boxes in the photo below were made with single pages of A4, despite the different sizes of box.

Origami bin liner replacements prototypes

This one looks more promising, shape-wise, but is in Japanese, and gets a bit confusing around about the reverse-folding stage.. The box is bigger but flimsier (see photo above right).

This one looks really good, but is meant for creating seed pots, so is quite small (see middle box in the photo above).

But they’re all a bit small. I suppose ideally, you’d want one made from several sheets of newspaper for strength, with no resizing of the paper required.

If anyone finds one, let me know, and I’ll try and add a video of my happless attempts to replace the bin liners soon!

Box made from a Post-It note by Flickr user teamaskins.

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