Latest articles about North Walworth
After the 2014 local elections, Southwark's Labour-run council promised they would build 1,500 new council homes by the end of 2018. Now Councillor Mark Williams, lead for regeneration and new homes, has admitted "we will not be meeting this target".
Only 400 new homes will have been built - less than one-third of the local Labour promise. Southwark Labour's 2014 manifesto had promised 11,000 new homes, but it didn't say how long they would need to meet this pledge. It has since emerged that the Labour-dominated Council's official homebuilding targets stretch to the year 2043 - 25 years away from now.
"Before the application we hadn't seen local councillors for 2-3 years"
Diverse small traders facing displacement in Elephant & Castle regeneration are already having their livelihoods damaged by Southwark Council indifference. The Latin American community hub remains particularly at risk without proper guarantees.
Elephant Artworks boxpark will be closing down by the end of this year to make way for new flats. Developers Delancey are offering a 'new' boxpark as replacement temporary accommodation for displaced Shopping Centre businesses. Yet Elephant-based lawyer Adriana Hoyos Rojas, Latin community rep in the Elephant traders' deputation, said: "We first heard about this on social media. We've not been told the cost, quantity or duration of units in the 'new' boxpark. Traders have no information about notice to vacate. Legal advice offered to traders is not independent.
In December, property developers Delancey put in an application to demolish Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre and London College of Communication. Councillors on Southwark Council’s Planning Committee refused to approve the plan, yet accommodated an eleventh-hour promise from Delancey to make an improved offer. This means the committee will hear the proposal again this month.
Meanwhile, the Shopping Centre is being run down, conveniently bolstering the claimed 'need' for demolition. Certain entrances are now being closed during trading hours (right). Empty units are no longer available for re-let, enhancing a 'ghost town' feel. Escalators have been left broken for long periods. Pedestrian access has been unsatisfactory since removal of subways. Yet the building is structurally sound and could be imaginatively refurbished, re-landscaped and re-clad. This would avoid nine years of environmental destruction, intense construction noise, degraded local shopping and leisure facilities, and enormous disruption to nearby residents' home delivery access.
Walworth’s air contains levels of a harmful pollutant which greatly exceed European and World Health Organisation standards, shows new research by Southwark Green Party.
Laboratory analysis of air samples taken by local Green parliamentary candidate John Tyson last autumn found nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels at Bricklayers Arms (where New Kent Road, Old Kent Road and Tower Bridge Road meet) were nearly double the EU limit. Studies have shown that excessive NO2 worsens shortness of breath, coughing and lung inflammation, particularly for people with asthma.
We all know the answer to “Opportunity for Whom?” Disregard for existing communities has been the keynote of the Elephant & Castle Opportunity Area. The Mayor’s new London Plan has big ambitions, in particular the target of 65,000 new homes a year, delivered mainly through additional Opportunity Areas across the city. But they will fail unless London stops ignoring or actively displacing existing communities in so-called regenerations, and instead puts them first. A formal recognition of Existing Communities would include a Right to Community, with clear definitions of community and a set of subsidiary rights, including to clean air.
This is an opportunity for change: combining big principles, clear entitlements, and a guerilla localism to bring the benefits of development home.
North Walworth Green News
Local Green Party volunteers hand-deliver copies of our printed newsletter North Walworth Green News to thousands of local letterboxes. (There are some gated flats whose letterboxes we may be unable to access to make a delivery.) You can download issues of North Walworth Green News as PDF files here:
North Walworth ward candidates
The Green Party candidates for North Walworth in the Southwark Council elections on Thursday 3rd May 2018 are Peter Baffoe, Adriana Hoyos Rojas, and Guy Mannes-Abbott.
Peter Baffoe is Southwark born and bred. He works as a community development officer for a small charity based in Bermondsey. He is husband to Winnie and they have three "adorable" children. Having grown up in the borough, through his work in a local charity and role as governor at a Southwark primary school, Peter sees the impact of decisions made by the government and local council on the vulnerable, young and old. He has witnessed the positive development in Southwark, but believes more sustainable and equitable approaches are required in matters which impact our communities such as housing, employment, education, recreation and the environment. [Read more...]
Adriana Hoyos Rojas is a Colombian-born qualified lawyer who has lived in the UK since 2002 and in London since 2007. She has spent the last five years working directly with immigrant communities. She founded a law firm which specialises in immigration law and supporting Colombian businesses, based in Elephant & Castle since 2012, plus the BriCol Lawyers Association. Adriana is currently a leading advocate for the local Latin American community in their ongoing fight to retain a viable Latin Quarter in a redeveloped Elephant & Castle. [Read more...]
Guy Mannes-Abbott is a North Walworth resident and an author whose work often performs in visual art contexts, including his critically-acclaimed In Ramallah, Running (London 2012). He once taught theory at London's AA School of Architecture, and his cultural criticism has been published widely in publications including The Independent, The Guardian, New Statesman, Architectural Review, and Middle East Monitor. He is a core member of the Gulf Labour Coalition. [Read more...]
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