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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ladywell Assembly

I mentioned yesterday the meeting I attended on Wednesday night. It was for the co-ordinating committee of the Ladywell Assembly. The Assembly is open to any and all local residents, businesses etc. The co-ordinating committee is made up of volunteers.

Although I live in the London Borough of Lewisham, my ward (an electoral division) is Ladywell. It is a village, and thanks to the local council - doing the Government's bidding, no doubt - we now have our own Assembly. As do the other 16 wards of the borough, not all of whom are villages.

Now the first thing you have to understand is that, due to boundary changes, some places that bear the Ladywell name are no longer actually IN Ladywell. An example is the Playtower (the old Ladywell Baths):

It is no longer as pretty as this. It is now boarded up and in danger of becoming derelict. But it is across the border in the Lewisham Central ward. Nevertheless, we spent a fair proportion of our evening discussing it.

Oh, and it's next door to the Coroner's Court. Lovely.

Ladywell Fields are really our village green, but more than half now falls in adjacent wards, as does the athletics track at one end.
On the other hand, the water tower is in neighbouring Brockley, but it's actually in Ladywell Ward. It's just about the only landmark that now is.

Ah, the police station. They've built a vast new one in central Lewisham, complete with stables. It is so effective that the pub next door had to shut down. Not because the police put the dampers on drunken fun. Quite the opposite. You can't get them outside the station even if someone is being murdered on the steps. Yes folks, this has actually happened.

Anyway, the old one has been bought by developers and is supposed to be turned into flats.

One of the problems discussed at the meeting was local shops. This one is subsiding round the back and the owners are supposed to put it right. If the Council has to do it, the owners will have to sell up to pay the charge on the property. That could take 2 years. Meanwhile...

The Ladywell Tavern isn't bad, though. I've never actually had a drink there (not much of a drinker even now smoking is banned) but it looks quite respectable.

Apart from the Playtower, the shops, crime and vandalism, my old favourite - traffic - was big on the agenda. It just didn't get much of a look-in, though, once the dominant member of the co-ordinating committee finished having everything explained twelve times over.

As for the purpose of the Assembly and the co-ordinating committee? The Assembly at its first meeting put forward these issues of concern. A Council employee collated them. Those of us who volunteered for the co-ordinating committee were supposed to prioritise them. Or not. Maybe we are supposed to sit at discussion tables at the next Assembly meeting and help those who attend to prioritise them. Then? They go to the Council, which doesn't actually have to do anything about them, except maybe claim lack of funds and bury them.

For this I missed Bobby.


Anonymous said...

My village has a Parish Council, which is equally useless, but costs us money of course. For that, I definitely wouldn't miss Bobby ;0)

Music Wench said...

Sorry you missed Bobby for that but thanks for sharing photos. I have a fascination with all things British - have since I was a child. :)

SnarkAngel said...

The pics are great, Val. But ... bureaucracy or Bobby ... bureaucracy or Bobby ... the choice is obvious. Hee. Hope your future meetings go better than the last one! XOXO

judith said...

to miss bobby on such a waste of time is CRIMMINAL!!!!!!!!

aprilspring said...

It does look nice though, even if a few buildings are boarded up. Too bad you had to Bobby.

JoJo said...

Our city council has only one thing on their minds: BUILD BUILD DEVELOP RIP TREES DOWN BUILD BUILD

Doesn't matter if you go to the meetings or vote on the issues, they do what they damn well please with our tax dollars.

Pete said...

Hi there, I too live in Ladywell and I just thought I would let you know that there is a group (which I'm involved with) which is seeking to improve the look of Ladywell. They're (we're) called the Ladywell Village Improvement Group and we've got a blog

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