Campaigning is a vital tool used to bring about change. Whether you are looking to save your local pub from being shut down or want to make the place you live in safer, campaigning is a great way to influence decision makers.
Here is a list of the current campaigns in Southwark. Why not drop them a line if you want to get involved?
If you want to find out a bit more about what it means to start a campaign, check out the campaigning section of our resources pages. You won't regret it - and you may even have something to add!
The campaign to save the Multi Storey car park in Peckham has taken a new twist and we are here to provide an update!
As many of you will know by now Southwark Council has published for comment in the draft New Southwark Plan (NSP) its decision for the ‘comprehensive redevelopment’ of the site in Moncrieff Street, including the PeckhamPlex Cinema and Multi Storey car park.
But in 2013, the Government Planning Inspector said the Council should research potential long term uses for the existing building, before taking the final decision. It appears that they haven’t done this yet.
If you agree that the building has significant potential for long term uses and that these need full examination before the final decision, please let the Council know.
So far, over 600 letters have been sent and more are coming in by the hour!
For more information about the campaign you can visit Peckham Vision's dedicated resources which include background information and next steps by clicking here.
Southwark Council have been taking their time over this one and developers have now called in the inspectorate to appeal about the tardiness of the decision... But what do the plans entail? Simply put in April 2016 a planning application was made by Greendale Property Group Ltd to redevelop the land in and around Champion Hill. The proposals comprise: a new 4,000 capacity stadium for Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, 155 residential dwellings, and much much more. But there has still been no formal decision taken by Southwark Council.
DHFC argue that redevelopment provides the only way in which the local community can regain control of their club - to the benefit local residents and supporters alike. Originally proposals included a way in which Southwark's policy of 35% affordable housing could be achieved within the development. However, this was rejected by Southwark council. They also claim that concessions have been made in terms of the plans themselves to reflect the wishes of the local community - including a reduction in the height of the stadium itself so as to have a reduced impact on the sight line of local properties.
Ultimately,though, the plans will ensure the survival of the club for decades to come.
So where's the rub? There is some local opposition to the plans which centres on the inevitable destruction of local green space: Green Dale. Campaigners argue that due to the large size of the pitch though, 2267m2 of grassland would also need to be swallowed up, plus a copse of shrubs and mature trees where hedgehogs have been found. The stadium also requires a high wall to ensure no-one can view the game from outside. This wall would cut off views across the fields and contradicts the London Plan which states that MOL should be protected from “development having an adverse impact on the openness of MOL”.
Both sides are now calling on residents and supporters to submit their views, which you can do so by clicking here. Whilst the deadline is 7th March, late submissions may well still be accepted.
Announcement from the Save Peckham Arch Campaign
You may have seen that Southwark planning have this week recommended to grant permission for the removal of Peckham Arch and development of the Public space beneath. The final decision is to be made at planning committee on the 08/11/16.
As a final gesture to call for Southwark to consider working with the Arch rather than against it, we are proposing to nominate the Arch as an 'Asset of Community Value' under the provisions of the Localism Act 2011. This may have little or no effect on the outcome on the committee's decision however placing an application for this status will represent a 'material consideration' which the planners must address. If little else this will emphasise the will of the Community and that of 100+ objections that development should include and not remove the Arch.
We are proposing to form an un-incorporated body for this purpose alone, requiring 21 named nominees. If you are interested in joining us in nominating Peckham Arch and are on the electoral roll in Southwark or a neighbouring borough please send your:
- Full name
- Confirmation that you are on the electoral roll
We'd also like to encourage as many of you as possible who can attend the planning committee meeting at Tooley Street, to do so.
Acording to Sisters Uncut there are 1,270 council homes empty in Southwark, yet the council turns away 47% of women who try and access safe and secure housing after experiencing domestic violence. They go further by stating that Southwark’s housing allocations policy gives no priority for council housing to women who have been made homeless due to domestic violence, so many are trapped in temporary accommodation for months or years if they are accepted for housing help.
Over twenty protesters from feminist group Sisters Uncut stormed Southwark Council’s Tooley Street offices at 4pm on 20th September 2016 to disrupt the quarterly Cabinet meeting. The protesters read out a statement demanding that councillors address gatekeeping practices in the borough, fund specialist services for BME and LGBTQ survivors and address the lack of refuge provision in Southwark.
Councillors and members of the public sat in silence while Sisters Uncut read out the names of all 138 women who have already been killed since August last year due to domestic violence, many becoming visibly upset. The group also read out its demands to Southwark Council regarding changes to its policy on housing for survivors of domestic abuse. The chair of the meeting Cllr Peter John OBE was booed by members of the public as he tried to interrupt the group the name reading. Following the protest, Southwark Council have agreed to a meeting set by Sisters Uncut on 9th November. Cllr for Housing Stephanie Cryan will be in attendance.
Sisters Uncut are demanding safe and secure housing for all survivors of domestic violence, and that survivors are given band 1 priority for allocation of council housing. The group also calls for funding for specialist BAME, disabled and LGBT+ services. Specialist service provision is vital for marginalised communities to get support that is responsive to their needs.
The Sisters are looking to hear from women and and non-binary people with experiences of Southwark council's policy on domestic violence. You can contact them using the details below.
Contact Sisters Uncut
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +44 7926894495
- Twitter: @selSistersUncut
- Facebook: SELDNsistersuncut
Southwark Council have threatened Leyton Square Adventure playground in the heart of Peckham with closure. The campaign to stop this happening is led by Southwark resident Aaron Ferdinand who urges that this does not go ahead. Leyton Square is a pivotal facility and has been serving young people in the local community since 1972, this needs to continue.
Inner city communities across the country are seeing an increase in knife crime and youth on youth violence. Children's services may not be the whole solution in tackling this but they certainly play a major part. Some children are under huge pressure both among their peers and at home, so places like Leyton Square offer a safe alternative and some escapism.
Aaron argues that it is a young persons right to have a safe childhood where they are able to play, interact with their peers, learn self respect and build life long friendships. Most importantly keeping them off the streets and out of trouble.
Plans are afoot to redevelop Peckham Square that include the removal of the famous Peckham Arch.
Carl Turner Architects have recently submitted proposals, backed by Southwark council, that will see the 22 year old steel and timber structure torn down to make way for two new buildings on the site that will provide flats, shops and communal spaces.
The scheme has been criticized by the Save Peckham Arch campaign who have raised fears about how the new development would affect the route through the square, saying that the proposed connection would be ‘narrow’ and ‘isolating’.
The decision to remove the arch was taken by Southwark council’s Cabinet after they were presented with two proposals: one with the arch and one without.
The campaign’s twitter feed holds a wealth of information about the plans and is worth checking out if you wish to get up to date on any developments.
For more information about all planning applications that will affect the future of Peckham you should head to Peckham Vision's website which has a comprehensive list and details of how you can express your views on them.
Contact Save Peckham Arch
Peckham Vision are stalwarts of planning and housing campaigning in Peckham and have their finger on the pulse on just about every proposal going. One of their longest running campaigns is the attempt to secure the future of the Peckham multi-storey car park and cinema.
They have manged to secure the future of the car-park for the next five years as Pop Community have been awarded the contract to run the empty levels. These will include artists studios, spaces for creative businesses, and a multi-purpose community and creativity hub.
However, the long term future of the building remains to be decided in the context of the New Southwark Plan.
For more information about the campaign you can visit Peckham Vision's dedicated resources which include background information and next steps.
Protect the Rooftop View
The Council wants to encourage development of a 20 storey building in front of the view from Frank’s Café, Bold Tendencies and the Bussey Building.
To see what stage the campaign is at click here.
Contact Peckham Vision
Everyone loves a play on words - none more so than the creators of the Canada Water Master Scam! The campaign has been formed in response to the implementation of the Canada Water Master Plan and is a rallying cry to local residents to push back against some of the changes that are proposed for the area.
They think that many will agree proposals are not in the spirit of SE16's beautiful community. They state that over-commercialising Surrey Quays will corporatise the area into something far more unaffordable for those already living there.
We have already highlighted a petition that has been set up on Southwark council's website against proposals for the leisure centre which you can read about here.
Contact Canada Water Master Scam
- Facebook: CanadaWaterCommunityProtection
Redevelopment is the name of the game at the South Dock Marina Boatyard. The site is one of London's last operating boatyards but Southwark council have deemed it ripe for regeneration and are planning to build a 214 apartment block up to a towering 26 storeys.
This campaign brings together local people who are opposed to this development, and is attempting to raise funds to secure involvement of planning and legal professionals in order to block the proposed development. The main aim is to preserve the current open, uncrowded nature of South Dock and its environs for future generations.
If you want to get involved, or wish to pledge your support, you can visit the campaign website here.
Contact Save South Dock Boatyard
Have you ever been sunning yourself down on Peckham Rye Common and thought that something was missing? Well you're not the only one! There is campaign gaining support, led by Studio Octopi, to bring back Peckham Lido (currently residing buried beneath the earth on the common as it has done for 30 years now).
Once a well loved 50 metre outdoor swimming pool, it served the swimmers and sun-bathers of South East London for over 50 years. But by 1987 it had fallen into disrepair and it was closed and filled in. Now all that remains visible of the once great Peckham Lido is a crumbling blue fountain. The Peckham-based campaign think it’s time to bring the lido back again.
What they'll do:
- A 50 meter heated Olympic standard pool
- Outdoor cinema with amphitheatre seating
- Roof-top sunbathing areas
- Yoga/dance studio
- Function room for hire
- Wild-swimming – phase two will bring a separate natural pool, tapping into the buried River Peck that flows beneath
Sound good to you? Then why not head over to the campaign web page to find out more or pledge your support.
Contact Peckham Lido
Joanna Lumley is not a very popular person with those who are campaigning against plans to build a 'garden bridge' across the Thames. You might think that's because they aren't particularly fond of Absolutely Fabulous.
You'd be wrong - she came up with the idea of the bridge that has caused so much ire.
Those against it state that it would bring an extra 7 million visitors to the area already bursting with tourists and that it will have a devastating impact on the river's ecosystem and historic foreshore.
The bridge will also be owned privately with no public right of way. Oh, and cost the public £60m - on top of £115m of private investment.
You can pick and choose where you get more information as there several groups that have joined the cause. A good place to start is here.
Alternatively you may think that the idea is a great one, and dream of one day being able to walk across the Thames surrounded by (some) greenery. If that is the case you can show your support here.
The campaign to stop Southwark council embarking on the 'the largest grave excavation and 'reuse' project in UK history' has gathered a lot of attention recently.
In 2007, burial laws changed to allow graves over 75 years old be dug up for resale.
In 2012, Southwark Council made this their Cemetery Strategy. But the Camberwell Cemeteries were excluded from the new law so the Council must apply to Parliament to amend the Act.
To buy time, and against huge public opposition, Southwark has started felling acres of woods and mounding over thousands of graves for a few years' burial until they can start digging up the old graves.
To preserve the woods, meadows, playing fields, allotments, graves and history of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries as Nature Reserves with respect for the dead and woods and green space for the living.
To find out more about the campaign you can access their website here.
The 35% campaign is formed of local residents, traders and others who have an interest in the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle.
It was set up as a result of many new developments failing to meet the Council’s minimum policy requirement of 35% affordable housing.
They try to engage in planning matters ranging from housing to public realm and sustainable development. Many are associated with the Elephant Amenity Network, which has 3 principles:
- Open Masterplanning
- Benefits for All
- Housing that really is Affordable
They don't believe that the existing regeneration plans that are currently underway in Southwark are set to benefit all members of the local community. Many have either lost their homes or fear losing their livelihoods as traders.
Unsurprisingly they don't consider that Southwark council has competently managed the regeneration process so far, or that their local councillors - from any of the political parties - have represented their best interests.
The campaign is perhaps one of the most vocal in Southwark. If you feel the same way and want to find out more you can visit their website here.
Contact 35% Campaign
Much like the 35% campaign, Saving Southwark is a collective of residents, individuals and groups who believe that are worried about Southwark council's planning policies.
The believe that far too many tower blocks are being given planning consent. As a result, they state that many loved and valued older buildings have been destroyed, or are scheduled for demolition.
They echo the view of many of Southwark's residents, particularly in the north of the borough, that these policy decisions threaten to ruin Southwark's heritage and break up its communities.
Ultimately they are campaigning for the inclusion of local residents in the decisions that affect their lives, and they look to co-operate with and support other like-minded groups.
Their campaign originated in 2013 (previously under the banner Southwark residents say no).
If you would like to find out more you can visit their website here.
Contact Saving Southwark campaign:
You can't say that we don't give you plenty of campaigning options for you to get stuck into! As you may have gathered Southwark has plenty of groups who are fighting the changes to housing in the borough, and further afield.
If you like a good old-fashioned protest then SDCH is the campaign for you. They are formed of a group of local residents who are fighting to stop the sale of council housing to housing associations and private developers.
As part of a larger campaign, they are currently focusing on the controversial Housing Bill (which is 'ping-ponging' between the house of commons and the house of lords as of May 6th).
They claim that if the bill became law it would:
- Drive up rents
- End Secure Tenancies
- Break up families
- Push people into poverty
- Destroy communities
- Mean more power and profit for developers
If you would like to find out more about the national campaign you can visit the Defend Council Housing website here.
To get involved with the Southwark chapter you can access their facebook site here.
Contact Southwark Defend Council Housing
Are you a fan of pedal power? Do you feel that cycling is becoming ever more challenging in Southwark? Do you think that more people should be joining the two-wheeled revolution? If so you have a lot in common with Southwark Cyclists!
They campaign on all cycling issues in the borough, run events, cycle socially, carry out research, support London Cycling Campaign’s work, and usually manage to have fun in the process.
Their successes are due to a very active membership which includes a team of fantastic volunteers and committee, but they always welcome new people. Why not give some time?
They offer lots of options to get involved and state that every little helps! If you wish to join in their campaign support will be given to you and you can fit volunteering around your lifestyle.
Their three aims are enshrined in their consitution:
- encourage more people to cycle,
- improve conditions for cyclists,
- raise the profile of cycling.
If you want to get involved or find out more you can visit their website here or get in touch using the details below.
Contact Southwark Cyclists