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Saturday lunchtime saw a protest at the entrance to the Gallery over possible job losses amongst gallery assistants. It was led by the Unite Union.
Southwark Have confirmed that they will freeze council tax for the seventh year. This is welcome news.
The Herne Hill Forum has reported that Network Rail have now confirmed that the extensive bridge repairs that were timetabled for summer 2015 have been postponed until 2017/18. This is because TFL have not been able to divert the bus routes from going through Herne Hill to allow the repairs to take place.
Residents will have noticed that the Council is actively rolling out a borough-wide 20mph speed limit on most the road surface - large numbers of 20 roundels are being painted on road surfaces.
There will be no further physical speed control measures, and it remains unclear whether the limit will be enforced by the police - and whether speed cameras like the one on Sydenham Hill will be adjusted to reflect the new policy.
Bromley Council has told Chinese developer ZhongRong Group it has 14 days to commit to its proposed redevelopment of Crystal Palace or risk having the deal ripped up Negotiations between the Chinese developer and the local authority have apparently stalled over the land deal and the company’s 16-month ‘exclusivity agreement’ for the site ran out at the end of January.
The council, backed by the Greater London Authority, confirmed it would start talking with other interested parties unless ZhongRong agreed ‘to a number of financial and business planning-related conditions’ before 20 February.
Stephen Carr, leader of Bromley Council said: ‘We need to reassure local people that we remain resolutely focussed on doing everything we can to improve Crystal Palace Park and this must include securing its long term future. It would also be wrong to overlook the exciting potential for much needed regeneration in this part of London’.
Bromley Council seem very keen to stress that even though the original exclusivity deal with ZhongRong is now over, it does not mean that talks have ended. The statement added that the Council is not going to agree to something without being confident about the proposals and that local people and other interested parties should know that when there is something to say, they will keep them informed.
Following the cancellation of the projected right turn, Council officers are working up alternative schemes. Both the Society and many residents are seeking a further public meeting where officers can explain, and if necessary defend, their proposals. However it seems that all we may be offered is a ‘consultation’ where drawings showing the proposed new scheme are set out for comment only. This is not a satisfactory way forward and there is a danger that the scheme may be rejected at the next DCC meeting on 17 March.
Council have confirmed that the proposed route through Dulwich Park has been withdrawn – one councillor at the last DCC said that its implementation ‘would be over his dead body’.
The Council appears to have woken up to the fact that the ‘cycling spine’ and its related ‘quiet ways’ are not supported by everyone in Dulwich and, over the next month, their officers will be carrying out more detailed engagement with local residents associations to tell them exactly what is proposed.
Picture House Cinemas have confirmed that the new cinema in the old St Thomas More Hall on Lordship Lane will open on Friday 20 March.
The press release says: ‘the Cinema will be equipped with state of the art digital projection and sound technology, with comfortable seating and ample legroom. There will be 3 Screens totalling a capacity of 244 seats: Screen 1 - 105 seats, Screen 2 - 86 seats and Screen 3 - 53 seats, with extra seating for the disabled. The architectural integrity of the previously disused community hall will be preserved and in some cases re-exposed - as with the beam work previously hidden by suspended ceilings’.
The operator sees the new cinema as primarily a ‘community cinema’, serving the local area- for people who can easily walk, cycle or take the bus to it. It also says that it has partnered with surrounding businesses and organisations, and will offer members great local discounts at shops and restaurants.
This will run from Monday 23 February to 8 March. Several retailers in the Dulwich area taking part including Shepherds in Dulwich Village.
The Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group has announced that that they have reached a decision about the site’s future and have confirmed that a new health facility will be built on the south-east section.
The full details of the decision should be released later in January to the CCG Governing Body and will then be made public. The initial announcement makes it clear that NHS Property (the current owners of the site) are now looking to sell the surplus land and, hopefully, this will be to the Education Funding Authority for the construction of a desperately needed new secondary school.
Following a large number of objections from local residents, and a heated public meeting last Saturday, the Council has backed down and confirmed that the current right turn from Townley Road into East Dulwich Grove will remain. The South London Press quoted Councillor Mark Williams, the cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport, as saying: “My thanks to everyone who contributed to the recent consultation which received a significant number of responses. In light of the considerable local concerns raised by residents the right turn from Townley Road into East Dulwich Grove will remain, and I have instructed council officers to work up alternative proposals to make the junction safer. Further details on the new scheme will be presented to the Dulwich Community Council meeting in March, with a formal decision to be taken soon afterwards. We are committed to further public consultation and engagement on any new options.”
The draft Cycling Strategy and proposed Southwark Spine are currently being consulted on at a strategic level. Residents are now waking up to the implications for several of the residential roads that are identified as ‘quiet ways’ and, more particularly, Dulwich Park.
The consultation runs until Sunday 1 February and the Council have confirmed that they are looking for local input to help them understand the potential opportunities and barriers. The exact route is not decided at this stage.
If there is broad support for the Southwark Spine, further development work will be carried out on the route alignment and there will be a full public consultation on any specific proposals.
The consultation is available on line at the links below – look for the executive summary which is probably the most informative section: