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Tag: civic issues

Flytipping and posting – making a mess of Sydenham Road

Take a hard look at our high street. Everywhere you see the evidence of illegal flyposting and the hanging of banners advertising everything from local fairs and music to five-a-side-football training.

The photographs shown here were all taken on the same day and show the avalanche of material that is currentlyon display – as well as  that which was  removed  from lamposts, shopfronts and railings in just the core shopping area of the Sydenham Road. It’s clear that Sydenham Road is drowning in unsightly posters and stickers.

Pat Trembath looks at what should be done about this:

On April 7 2005 the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill received Royal Assent following a successful passage through Parliament to become the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act. This act should deal with many of the problems affecting the quality of our local environment through anti-social behaviour, vandalism, disorder and levels of crime. It is intended to provide local authorities with more effective powers and tools to tackle poor environmental quality and anti-social behaviour. Part 4 of the Act deals specifically with graffiti and fly-posting. The photographs here show the amount of fly posting removed from the core shopping area of Sydenham Road (between Cobbs Corner and Mayow Road) on the morning of 15 June.


Featured here are the ubiquitous shop front and roller shutter stickers, peeled off a reel and stuck, willy-nilly, on practically every shop door and shutter along the length of the road. It would appear that these shop front businesses consider they have every right to fly-post throughout the area and, although some were removed, many remain, and have been added to in the interim, as the adhesive is of a very strong type. Also shown is the mish-mash of other fly-posting which had been stuck on lamp posts, railings, telephone boxes, any old spare space seems to do. To add to the general fly-posting are the sad tales of much loved, but lost pets. Did Betty ever get found? We shall never know, because the owners of missing Betty (or the Yorkshire Terrier or the friendly black and white cat) having stuck their pleas for help to our street furniture never return to remove them. Finally, on virtually every lamp post can be found the heavy-duty plastic ties that once held public authority notices – the notices get removed eventually, but the ties remain tightly bound to the lamppost and very difficult to cut through to remove. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act is there to help protect our environment but is rarely used by the local authority and is therefore to a large extent ineffectual with regard to lesser offences. It also begs the question are we so used to seeing fly-posting everywhere we look that eventually we no longer see what is defacing our neighbourhood, thus leaving it in situ in perpetuity.

Are we prepared to continue to let this happen?

Abandoned dogs – a growing problem in Lewisham

A report to Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet highlights the alarming growth in abandoned dogs in the borough and the escalating cost of rounding up these stray pooches and paying for them to be boarded in kennels.

The Mayor and Cabinet meeting on 17 November will hear that the borough’s environmental team paid a bill of £100,000 in 2009-10 to  round up strays and pay for kennelling – £79,000 more than they had budgeted for.

In 2008-9 the number of  abandoned dogs rounded up by the council was 223; in 2009-10 this had mushroomed to 532 – an increase of 142%.

 Battersea Dogs’ Home is currently inundated with strays, so the council has had to pay high fees for the private kennelling of the borough’s abandoned dogs.

This year to date, the number of stray dogs has remained at 2009-10 levels.

Cuts in services? Why not let the public take over?

Local councils such as Lewisham are increasingly keen to pass the running of local assets such as libraries onto community groups – a process known as community management  or asset transfer. We are going to hear a great deal more of this in the next few years. So how exactly does it work?

Take a look at these two very simple and straightforward videos:

For more videos and information visit the Building Community website

All information courtesy of Civic Voice

D-Day for Lewisham council cuts

Lewisham is facing cuts from its budget amounting to between £50-60m over the next three financial years. At the Mayor and Cabinet meeting on the 17 November the Mayor and Cabinet is expected to approve the first tranche of these cuts – £19.78m over three years plus a further £12.7m savings where consultation with staff and public are currently taking place.


A decision on closing five Lewisham libraries has been postponed for two months pending further investigations on “alternative community library proposals” and the cost of moving to these alternatives (see ).

Here are some of the cuts expected to be approved at the meeting:

  •  Severely cutting the borough’s economic development unit with the loss of 22 jobs, meaning that there will be no community business support and no town centre managers
  • Reducing the number of flower beds in parks – a saving of £30,000
  • The financial control department to reduce cost and staff saving £943,000
  • Corporate communication department’s budget to be cut by £97,000 (£64,000 of this to be saved by cutting Lewisham Life from 10 issues per year to six)
  • Reduce park investment by £396,000 which will mean fewer Green Parks, hanging baskets and street planting
  • Head of strategy department to be cut – savings £70,000; loss of three posts
  • No more spraying of weeds on streets and pavements saving £50,000
  • Saving £170,000 by reducing the amount of printing and photocopying by borough
  • IT savings of £1.3m by sharing services with Bromley council; IT data services to save a further £200,000
  • Mayor’s Fund (giving grants to local wards) cut by 25%; Local Assembly grants budget cut by £45,000 and admin costs for LA cut by £31,000
  • Close Clyde Children’s Centre (Deptford) and reduce budgets of Early Years Centres in Rushey Green, Honor Oak and Ladywell to save £2.1m
  • Reduce Lewisham’s contribution to Arts and Brodway Theatre by £43,000; One Lewisham Funs for Arts support also reduced by £25,000
  • Cut Lewisham’s contribution to borough’s Police Support Team by £125,000 (currently £250,000) resulting in “changes to PCSO deployment” . Note – this was postponed by M&C on the night
  • £450,000 cut in “Valuing People Agenda” (due to personal care packages scheme for elderly and disabled currently being proposed by central government); some savings could be gained by closing existing day care centres
  • A £22.84 charge to households for replacing lost, damaged or stolen wheely bins. Note – this was postponed by M&C on the night
  • £63,000 cut in waste advisors who encourage recycling
  • A reduction in the strategy and performance division saving £278,000
  • Amalgamating the community safety service and the community wardens service to create three area based neighbourhood safety teams and reduce staffing – saving £811,000

For full details of proposed cuts see: