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Forest Hill Steering Group

Author Message
Councillor Susan Wise
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Posted on Saturday, 13 December, 2003 - 04:10 pm:   

At our last meeting on 11/12/03, I arranged for Darien Goodwin (Lewisham Council's Head of Transport) to be present in order to inform local residents of any new, and the progress of old, traffic issues. Darien gave an interesting and very comprehensive talk, covering areas in both Lewisham Council and TfL arenas. How to address concerns over Manor Mount one way system were discussed, as were our South Circular rat runs, including Ewelme Road.
Next meeting with be on 19/2/04, which will be an area forum meeting with Sydenham and notices will be flagged up here.
regards from Susan Wise, one of your Forest Hill Councillors and Chair of the Steering Group.
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Posted on Monday, 15 December, 2003 - 09:09 pm:   

I unfortunately was unable to attend the meeting on the 11th of December. Are the minutes of the meeting available, if so where might I view them? I am very interested in the discussions and possible solutions to the problems we are experiencing along Manor Mount and Waldenshaw Road.
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Posted on Friday, 19 December, 2003 - 08:55 pm:   

I attended the meeting, and was pleased to see a full turnout of local councillors and key Council Officers - however it would have been good to see a few more local people there!
Darien's talk was indeed comprehensive and interesting, however, I do not recall that it dealt with much in the way of solutions to rat running etc, rather we were advised that this was not really a Council priority, due to funding and also because no real enforceable solutions could be found. My own comments to this were to advise the Council whilst I appreciated their position, local residents in my area at least were not prepared to endure an increasingly hostile and disruptive traffic environment, nor were we prepared to become the accident statistics required to justify expenditure

As I recall , Darien did accede to this point, and agreed to look at ways forward, and hence the discussion on this issue ended on a positive note.

I look forward to hearing some proposals therefore in the foreseeable future. Does anyone think a Working Party on this matter would be useful?
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Posted on Tuesday, 27 January, 2004 - 03:43 pm:   

I think a working party is great in principle, but I don't think people will participate - too much hard work! I do not see why it is necessary if local councillors and council officers listen to their public. Has anything further been heard from Darien Goodwin on this? What are the proposals to take this forward? Having witnessed a rumpus last week when the refuse lorry arrived, I thing action in these streets is overdue- there was a traffic backlog of around 25 cars using their horns and shouting abuse at the council lorry and drivers trying to turn their cars around to go back the other way- there is not the room for this on these little roads. Wish I'd taken some photos or even a video- maybe a video diary would be a good idea- we could get on one of those TV video diary slots.......
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Posted on Thursday, 29 January, 2004 - 09:55 pm:   

I've heard nothing further- I intend to write to him and Susan Wise next week about the next course of action- will keep you posted - watch this space!
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Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2004 - 05:05 pm:   

I and a few others, it seems, would like to know more about the steering group, when it meets, what it does, etc., Updates were previously promised but have not materialised.
Could someone please provide more information?
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Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2004 - 08:59 pm:   

Last December asked (both via the events page and our large mailing list) whether anyone involved with the Steering Group could send us updates so we could spread the word to all our readers. The offer was not taken up, but is still open ...
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Posted on Wednesday, 28 April, 2004 - 09:46 am:   

When is the next meeting of the Steering Group please?
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Posted on Wednesday, 28 April, 2004 - 07:22 pm:   

like you, Daisy, I would love to know, yet have not found anyone who could tell me.!
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Posted on Saturday, 01 May, 2004 - 04:15 pm:   

A provisional date for the next meeting is 17th June but I will confirm nearer the date with time and venue
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Posted on Friday, 07 May, 2004 - 07:20 am:   

I attended the last one and found it very useful however this was in December- I thought these were to be quarterly meetings. It is very difficult to keep the momentum going if they are so far apart and not to any particular schedule. It is also as very very difficult for people to find out about it in the first place as you wil see. I have personally have been asking for minutes of the last meeting since January- 5 months and still no sign despite repeated requests. Very dismal.
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Posted on Friday, 07 May, 2004 - 08:28 am:   

Scant publicity, no minutes, no follow-ups to enquiries, and little knowledge of future meetings.

Incompetent leadership or deliberate secrecy? You decide.
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Posted on Sunday, 23 May, 2004 - 10:22 am:   

could someone please please enlighten us all as to what this steering group does, where it meets, where the next meeting is, etc, as it is deeply frustrating to think that important matters are being discussed in relative secret under the guise of public consultation. Perhaps we dissatisfied residents of Forest Hill ought to set up an alternative group.!
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Posted on Wednesday, 26 May, 2004 - 06:29 pm:   

The comments on the Forest Hill Steering Group prompt me to relay a message that Julia Farr published in the latest issue of the 'Sydenham Society News'.

"Forest Hill Pools and Library Users' Forum:

I would like to start up a Users Forum for these two key community services in Forest Hill. As a resident of the area for over 20 years I consider the Library and Pools to be the heart of Forest Hill, and a group of local people taking an active interest would help show our appreciation of their existence.

The object of the Users Forum would be for interested people to meet the managers of the pools and library to discuss the service provided. We could look at:
-- how the service could be improved or adapted
-- provide feed back to the managers from users
-- find out about planned repairs and improvements to the buildings, and the possible disruption to the service resulting from repairs and decorations and improvements
-- staffing issues
-- events and ideas (e.g. a 120th birthday party for the Pools) publicity etc

The meetings could take place quarterly on Saturday mornings if this is convenient for the managers and the local people who wish to attend. A report of the meetings could then be fed back to local societies such as the Sydenham Society and to the Foreswt Hill Steering Group, as well as being made available both in the library and the pools.

The exchange of information between users and the service providers would mean that a better service and good ideas could be developed with better publicity, and giving the facilities a higher profile should mean better usage. For example, did you know that Forest Hill Pools was open throughout the Easter Weekend, or was it the best-kept secret? Did you know there is a book-reading club at Forest Hill Library?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Julia Farr (020 8291 3555, evening; 020 7364 7063, day)"
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Posted on Wednesday, 26 May, 2004 - 11:59 pm:   

I've heard that the next meeting of the Forest Hill Steering Group is scheduled for Thursday, 17th June, 2004. However, the venue has not yet been made known.

I understand that the Steering Group includes two of our Forest Hill Councillors, Ms. Susan Wise and Mr. Dave Whiting (I do not know whether Mr. Peter Dawson, the third Forest Hill Councillor, takes any part). I also understand that another member of the Steering Group is Ms. June Olney of the Futon shop in Dartmouth Road. If any of these three persons accesses this site and forum, they might be moved to provide the information that several of the previous messages have sought.

However, jaundiced neighbours tell me that the Steering Group has never succeeded in getting any of its recommendations implemented. Indeed, they believe that the council and councillors get these steering groups formed as mechanisms to flannel 'middle class' public opinion to the point of suffocation through ineffectuality and hopelessness.

Of course, hard left Marxists/Leninists/ Stalinists presumably still believe in the dictatorship of the proletariat and in the extinction of the middle or bad classes -bourgeoisie- but New Labour pushes for more popular participation, which has led to the devolved assemblies of Scotland and Wales and to our own directly elected mayor.

Perhaps our three Labour councillors will tell us just how accurate or inaccurate my neighbours are in their opinion of Lewisham Labour's stance.
Cllr David Whiting
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Posted on Thursday, 27 May, 2004 - 09:49 am:   

The next meeting of the steering group will be on 17th June at the Forest Hill Library. The minutes of the last meeting will be posted out with the notice of this meeting - they are now being corrected following a request from a member of the public who felt (I think rightly) that the views she expressed had not been correctly reported.

I will be chairing this meeting, as Cllr Wise has some urgent family business. Cllr Dawson is also involved.

I am also looking at the publicity arrangements for the meeting (attendance at the December meeting was poor).

I think it is important to put the Steering Group into context. It and the Sydenham Forum were part of the Council's piloting of area representation systems. We are still working on that approach, but we have already had two rounds of area meetings in Forest Hill and Sydenham, both of which were very very well attended. I would also add that on major issues affecting the ward, your councillors, or the Council itself, would convene special meetings. We had some such during the consideration of the Forest Hill plan and Sainsbury's application which were well attended. In my experience, attendance at regular meetings tends always to be low compared to those on a special topic.

Further, there are regular, well-attended meetings with the Police in Forest Hill and Sydenham to discuss concerns about crime and disorder. There is also a Youth Forum, though this is a closed group between the various partners such as schools, community groups, health and police services, which have an interest in youth.

I don't really know how best to respond to the 'cynicism' you report. In fact, one of the most serious problems facing us is the breakdown of trust and communication between government and people. This is a long-term national pattern, and one which concerns us greatly. Mayor Bullock is committed to doing whatever we can to tackle this problem locally. You may, for example, have noticed his recent 'Young Mayor' initiative aimed at engaging young people. The Council is also doing what it can to ensure the widest involvement in the new Foundation Trust which will run Lewisham Hospital and which will enable a higher level of public input.

It may be that the steering group in its current form is not contributing to this process, and I and my colleagues will be delighted to receive suggestions for the future pattern of meetings. I would also welcome any suggestions for topics for the next agenda and future meetings. We will need to consider these matters in the light of the development of our area representation system.


David Whiting
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Posted on Thursday, 27 May, 2004 - 07:59 pm:   

How about a meeting to discuss the East London Line and the Proposed changes to Crystal Palace Sports Centre. We could combine on both of these topics with the Sydenham Steering group
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Posted on Thursday, 27 May, 2004 - 09:00 pm:   

Great to have Councillor Whiting's informative response!

For what time is the June 17th meeting scheduled?

In view of the Prime Minister's statement on the East London line, the London Mayor's interest in taking over at least part of the Crystal Palace park and our common interests with the Sydenham Steering Group, a joint meeting on the issues makes good sense.
cllr David Whiting
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Posted on Friday, 28 May, 2004 - 08:43 am:   

I'll make sure there is an update on the East London line at the meeting.

I agree we should have a special meeting on transport which should pick up East London line, progress on S London metro and better service on existing lines and so on.

I will also get an update on the Crystal Palace Sports Centre. Lewisham Officers are making some inputs in respect of the Olympic bid.

The meeting starts at 7:30pm.

To summarise, agenda items so far are:

Crystal Palace Community Development Trust

Presentation by developers on the planning application they propose to submit for the Crown Graphics site (a very important proposal).

Future pattern of meetings.

Information item on the Lewisham University Hospital Foundation Trust proposal.

Information item on progress on other planning matters.

Reports from Police Consultative Group.

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Posted on Friday, 28 May, 2004 - 12:00 pm:   

Thanks for sorting all this out Dave,- I would like to put on the agenda an outline summary to feedback the positive approach that Council officers have taken in respect of the ratrunning issues in Ewelme/Devonshire, etc, and would like if possible to have 'local traffic issues' as a regular item on the agenda.

I am now not able to attend this meeting as it coincides with a long planned vacation, but I have asked someone else to take my report to the meeting to update.

I do think we need to have quarterly meetings at least, with some good topical items on the agenda to instil interest and attendance. There seems to be no shortage of such items at present.

It would also be good to have minutes of these meetings posted on this site, webmaster permitting.

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Posted on Friday, 28 May, 2004 - 05:15 pm:   

Jennifer Taylor, who used to be our Town Centre Manager, tells me that the following people form the Forest Hill Steering Group (in alphabetical order after the Chair):
Cllr. Susan Wise, Chair
Mr. Martin Coombs
Mr. Michael Davey
Mr. Jeff Lowe
Ms. June Olney
Cllr. Dave Whiting
with herself and Mr. Ian Soper representing the officials of Lewisham Borough Council.

In Jennifer's view, the Steering Group has achieved a lot, since it was formed in late 2000 -and she can give facts and figures to support that view.
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Posted on Saturday, 29 May, 2004 - 10:37 am:   

Happy to post minutes/announcements whenever received at ...
Councillor Susan Wise
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Posted on Saturday, 29 May, 2004 - 10:41 am:   

Many thanks to Councillor Whiting for his update on the FHSG, and the notice of the next meeting on June 17th. The last quarterly meeeting held on 19/2/04 was a joint area forum with Sydenham and Perry Vale wards which I chaired and at which the Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock, addressed those present-which numbered around 150 people. For notice of that meeting, we distributed over 17,000 flyers to individual households along with public notices in our public buildings and on our FH Town Centre notice boards as well as the website. As to the June 04 meeting, due to very serious family issues, I have asked Councillor Whiting to both plan and chair it for me, and he has kindly agreed. I hope that many of those who use, and have left messages on, the website can attend. I can also assure all FH residents that concerns over the strengths and weaknesses over the FHSG will be addressed by their ward councillors, Dawson, Whiting and myself through mutual discussion.
regards from Susan Wise, one of your FH ward councillors and Chair of the FHSG
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Posted on Saturday, 29 May, 2004 - 01:00 pm:   


Please note that the people you have listed are NOT the FHSG but the Forest Hill TCM Committee which is totally seperate from the Forest Hill Steering Group
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Posted on Monday, 31 May, 2004 - 03:59 pm:   

but what is the difference? I assume this is town centre management committee, not traditional chinese medicine!
Do local residents not have a say in this TCM Committee, or does it feed back into the Steering Group?
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Posted on Thursday, 10 June, 2004 - 11:52 am:   

Where are the Minutes, agenda and posters for next Thursday's FH Steering Group? - nothing in Library to indicate that users are welcome.

By the way there is a new Forest Hill Library User Forum - its first meeting is on Sat 26 June from 2.15 pm. It is intended to hold regular meetings (3 per annum).

Why not go along on 26 June and accept the chance to say what you think about our local library
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Posted on Thursday, 10 June, 2004 - 01:44 pm:   

Further to the above:

At 12.30 pm Minutes, agenda etc were received by snail mail - dated 7th, posted 8th and delivered 10th - reason for late arrival given as "change of venue [to Forest Hill Library] at last minute" - which was announced on 28 May, according to the above correspondence.
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Posted on Thursday, 10 June, 2004 - 01:57 pm:   

Perhaps the steering group can take up the serious matter of a potential further delay in the Sainsbury devolpment until 2005. Please see other heading . If true we need to know who is responsible.
If the council so we know who to not vote for next time.
If Sainsbury so we can boycott or take other action
If 3rd party , who and why.
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Posted on Thursday, 10 June, 2004 - 02:27 pm:   

PT - are the minutes agenda etc avalable online anywhere? I unfortuantely won't be able to come as I have other commitments that evening but would like to know what is being discussed.
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Posted on Thursday, 10 June, 2004 - 03:06 pm:   

Our local council which likes to boast how electronically advanced it is, has not, as far as I know, posted items such as this on its web-site. All its planning applications are posted this way (sometimes up to 3 weeks late) - which is another matter completely, but of equal importance.

Anyway, Lewisham needs to find a method (even using of communicating such matters to local residents - maybe this should be raised as a matter of AOB on Thursday
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Posted on Thursday, 24 June, 2004 - 11:28 pm:   

I gather there was a meeting on 17th June. Anyon know how this went?
Muddy Waters
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Posted on Friday, 27 August, 2004 - 08:39 pm:   

Watch out for the next FH Steering Grouup meeting - should be due on 16 September. Maybe Cllrs would like to confirm date and venue?
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Posted on Thursday, 02 September, 2004 - 03:03 pm:   

I have also asked the Council to confirm this meeting but to no avail. The usual story, and I'm afraid I am losing patience. How do they expect a reasonable turnout if no-one knows about the meeting, the date, venue, or what is on the agenda. I will be asking for this basic issue of communication, and of the intended purpose of the meeting, to be put on this coming agenda.
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Posted on Friday, 03 September, 2004 - 10:33 am:   

To my understanding the 'Steering group' hold there meetings within Forest Hill library about twice a year, this may have changed. I know this becuase i asked once and the librarians told me that they were not clear, they don't think just anybody can attend. I wonder what they talk about?
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Posted on Wednesday, 08 September, 2004 - 04:33 pm:   

The next meeting of the steering group will be on Tuesday 16 December 2004. Unfortunately it has been necessary to cancel the September meeting due
to unforeseen circumstances
Gilles Bergeron
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Posted on Wednesday, 08 September, 2004 - 05:08 pm:   

And as a result it is being postponed by 3 months????????????????????????????????

Who run these meetings? Who attends? Why on earth aren't we kept informed?? Is there a deliberate consensus to make things difficult (nigh on impossible) for us people who live in FH to attend?

What are the terms of reference of the Group? Where are the previous minutes? Any action points stemming out of those that have actually been acted upon?

I note Cllr Wise told us on 29 May that :"I can also assure all FH residents that concerns over the strengths and weaknesses over the FHSG will be addressed by their ward councillors, Dawson, Whiting and myself through mutual discussion." (See post of 29 may above).

Have these concerns been “addressed”? Have the "mutual Discussion" taken place? And apart from cancelling the September meeting, what was/were the outcome of these?

I'd be grateful for a reply but even more grateful for some tangible actions around this issue.

Cllrs are elected to act as our representatives. Here is something very real, very concrete we want them to do: ie: organise regular meetings. They can't even do that!
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Posted on Wednesday, 08 September, 2004 - 10:19 pm:   

A few of us regular attendees who are also on the mailing list have received some further correspondence from the Council on this plus previous minutes, and a questionnaire asking what people want from the Steering Group and how it ought to be run, etc. I don't think the minutes can go on this site due to Data Protection as they have peoples details on there, but I see no reason why the questionnaire can't be posted on this website. I will ask my contact at the Council whether she can do so, or perhaps the webmaster could put it on if I send it to him?
This would enable a wider group of people to access this information and have input into the group. There was an apology attached to the minutes for cancellation, but I agree, three months is a long time to the next meeting, given all that the problems currently with the Town Centre, etc, traffic, empty shops, Sainsburys. I think this meeting should be brought forward to October, personally.
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Posted on Thursday, 09 September, 2004 - 07:34 am:   

No problem, can add whatever you send to the site.
Cllr David Whiting
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Posted on Thursday, 09 September, 2004 - 08:22 am:   

I doubt if there would be a data protection problem in posting the minutes on this site, as they are in the public domain anyway, even though they are not the minutes of an 'official' council meeting. The questionnaire was designed with regular attenders at the group in mind, and I would want to discuss with my two colleagues what changes might be necessary in a questionnaire aimed at people who have never attended this group. I will do this in the next week or so, and get back.
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Posted on Thursday, 09 September, 2004 - 07:29 pm:   

May I please point out that all library users, (and any member of the public is a potential user),are very welcome at the next meeting of Forest Hill library's new Usergroup.
It will be held in the library on Saturday morning, 25th September, at 10am.
We want people's views on the service we offer, or any improvements that could realistically be made. It's YOUR library : we just run it.
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Posted on Sunday, 05 December, 2004 - 05:54 pm:   

There appear to be two separate threads for this subject- is it possible for them to be combined?

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