Have you ever heard of the River Peck?
Well, probably not as it was 'enclosed' in 1823 but it is the inspiration behind Peckham’s name – a Saxon translation of ‘village of the river Peck’. In fact, Peckham is nearly a thousand years old having first been mentioned in the Domesday book 1086.
Fast forward to more recent times Peckham was originally part of the parish of Camberwell, which later became the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell, and also included Camberwell, Dulwich, Nunhead, and other London districts.
In 1965 of the Borough of Camberwell was merged into the London Borough of Southwark - the borough we all know and love today!
If you want to delve more into Peckham's past you can do so here.
Peckham is an area that has undergone much change in recent years, especially with an influx of professionals contributing to increases in rents and house prices, and you’ll now be able to find sourdough bread and flat whites in amongst the hair salons and market stalls.
It is a part of the borough that has always been proud of its diverse population and has accrued the nickname ‘Little Lagos’ due to the size of the local British Nigerian community.
The area has seen much investment in the past couple of decades – beginning Southwark council's 'Five Estates Peckham Masterplan' that saw £290m of investment in the 1990s. At the time it was the UK's single biggest regeneration scheme.
Any visitor to the area should be encouraged to encounter the iconic Peckham Arch (under imminent threat of demolition), and the nearby Stirling Prize-winning library – completed in 2000 – provides locals with an incredibly important resource.
The Bussey Building, a huge warehouse saved from demolition in 2007 by a dedicated team from local campaign group Peckham Vision (more below) & The Chronic Love Foundation [CLF], houses the CLF Art Café. This multi-floored concrete block has since thrived as a warehouse-style club at night and a top arts venue during the day.
Thrown into the mix is Peckham Levels which encourages people from all over London to visit the area and spend their hard-earned coin on the local start-ups that it provides a home to. Based at the multi-storey car park, it only exists after yet more efforts by local campaigners (led by Peckham Vision) to save the site from redevelopment.
No introduction to Peckham would be complete without mention of Peckhamplex – one of London’s cheapest and most iconic independent cinemas. The cost for one ticket? Less than a fiver…
Lastly Peckham has its own green spaces too – most notably Peckham Rye park and common. Within walking distance of Peckham Rye station, the site offers 113 acres of open recreational grassland, ornamental and water gardens, a lake and woodland.
Your Local MP
Harriet Harman is Camberwell and Peckham’s longstanding MP and was re-elected at the last General Election with with 44,665 votes. She increased her vote by 14.5% taking 77.8% share of the vote.
Harriet has worked at Liberty (then the National Council for Civil Liberties) as a Legal Officer. Whilst there she campaigned for prisoners' rights, for a Human Rights Act, and against government secrecy. From the 1970s, Harriet has campaigned for increased women's representation in the Labour party, and she was elected as MP for Peckham in 1982 – making her the ‘mother of the house’.
Harriet has acheived a great deal in her time as MP, and you can read more about her here.
You can get in touch with Harriet by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Local Councillors
The London Borough of Southwark is made up of 23 wards. Three councillors are elected from 17 wards, whilst the remaining six wards are represented by two councillors - making a total of 63 councillors. The Labour party currently has 49 councillors, and the Liberal Democrat party has 14.
To find out a little bit more about what Southwark council is responsible for and how it operates click here.
Listed below are the elected representatives that represent the people of Peckham. Get in touch with them if you have an issue that is affecting you or the area you live in.
Here's a map of Southwark wards.
Community councils provide a forum where local people, elected Councillors and council officers can meet to discuss anything of interest to the local community, and enable individuals and groups to ask questions, make suggestions, and consult upon proposed decisions affecting their neighbourhood. The meetings are open to anyone who lives, works or studies in the cc area, and are an important part of the council’s consultation and decision making process.
For more information about Camberwell Community Council click here.
Your Next Meeting:
The next meeting of the Peckham and Nunhead Community Council will be on Tuesday 11 September 2018.
A busy meeting of the Peckham and Nunhead community council where residents get a chance to raise their concerns to their local representatives.
Local Community Groups
Peckham has a thriving community sector with several active amenity and resident-led groups. Below are a couple of examples!
Peckham Vision has been instrumental in securing the future of many of Peckham's beloved landmarks including PekchamPlex and the Bussey Building.
Founded in 2005, Peckham Vision is a resident-led local citizens' association of individuals who live, work or run a business in Peckham. Its vision is to support the town centre as a thriving and sustainable social and commercial centre, and to contribute to Peckham being a good place for all in which to live, work and visit.
Sounds pretty good right? For more information about the PV, and how to get involved, click here.
PemPeople (People Empowering People’s) reason for being is rooted in building resilient local communities and helping disadvantaged people their strengths, enhance their skills, and realise their true potential by helping themselves.
Spearheaded by Nicholas Okwulu (the chap behind the Livesey Exchange project), they provide all kinds of opportunities for local residents and are heavily linked in with much of what is happening in the local area.
Peckham is home to several charities working across different sectors ranging from children and young people to mental health. Below we’ve highlighted a couple – but rest assured there are many more!
Pecan are the charity who are responsible for Southwark Food Bank. You can find out more about the services they offer, including how to refer residents to them, by accessing their website: https://southwark.foodbank.org.uk/.
They offer help that goes beyond a simple food parcel – they follow with support around employment, budgeting, debt management, and cooking. They also operate a time-bank programme - fancy dedicating a few hours!?
Whilst their base in is Peckham they have a strong presence throughout the borough and now offer emergency food provision on every week day.
Southwark Law Centre provide specialist legal advice, casework and representation in Employment, Housing, Asylum/Immigration and Welfare Rights Law, mainly for people who live or work in the London Borough of Southwark.
Like many law centres they operate on a limited budget yet provide a vital service to those who have no where else to turn to.
They have a membership scheme drawn from the local community and are currently seeking new additions.
To find out more about their work, and how to become a member, click here.
If you would like to find out more about Southwark’s vibrant Voluntary and Community Sector click here.
As well as Southwark News, there are a couple of local news sources and social media accounts that are worth touching base with from time to time to get up to date with everything that is happening in Peckham:
If you come across any more let us know!
If you want to get more active and involved in your local community then we are here to help! Get in touch at email@example.com.
If you want to volunteer on a more formal level then you should be clicking this link.