Lee Forum- Looking forward
On 15 February we celebrated the recent designation of our Forum by Lewisham and Greenwich Councils. We now have a powerful legal tool to shape planning decisions in our area.
Stephen Kenny, Chair of Grove Park Neighbourhood Forum joined us and shared his experience of saving the Baring Hall Hotel as a pub. This campaign led to establishing a neighbourhood forum which has created a community asset register and is working with the community to develop a neighbourhood plan.
We learned that we should decide early on what is most important to the Lee Forum and make sure we don’t get distracted from achieving our goals. We can use the law to protect identified community assets and should get on with writing policies to influence what is built, retained and changed in our area.
Protect & Protest. Forum sub groups can be established to look into specific policy applications and protest and protect the areas that are important to our community.
Getting Involved. Nine people have already volunteered to join the Lee Forum Management Committee. There are places for 15 members, and five co-optees. We will agree the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Media Officer posts and confirm Committee membership in coming weeks and arrange to hold an AGM in April. 12 people have volunteered to help with specific activities that the Lee Forum is keen to get started.
There is a Lee Green Assembly meeting on 23 February at 7.30pm in Trinity School, Taunton Road. Lee Forum will have an information table and representatives will speak for a few minutes. Everyone is welcome to the meeting.
The Next Steps.Following the AGM the Committee will concentrate on defining and delivering our key priorities. Two of these will be to map our community assets and start the process of writing our neighbourhood plan, utilising parts of existing local plans where they are relevant to planning.
Communications. Gill Stoker explained Lee Forum’s facebook activity and how we use Streetlife.
Community Engagement. Tom Bilson shared key points from a recent RSA event ‘People shaped Localism.’ Localism is the point where local groups and local authorities collaborate – it isn’t the drawing of power away from local authorities.
Collaboration is far more than consultation and must be underpinned by trust. There should be a sense of community ownership in everything that’s done. Community leadership can be lonely and challenging so it is useful to have an ‘engagement’ network of listening, questioning and supportive people.
Funding. Marcus Mayers is keen for the Lee Forum to get the building blocks right to achieve our goals. If our structure, strategies and processes are strong we can reach our targets. There are a number of sources we can tap into to fund our activities.
Updates on Current Planning Issues.
- Sally Springer updated the meeting on the proposed development of a school initially on the Kings Church site between Osborne Terrace and Meadowcourt Road, planned to become permanently sited on Millers Meadow.
- David Ford outlined the plans to develop homes on the garage site at Woodstock Court, at the bottom of Woodyates Road.
- Peter Richardson gave the current position on the future of Lewisham Libraries, and the search for an owner for Manor House library.
Lee Forum Committee:firstname.lastname@example.org