Planet Pepys

Planet Pepys looks to be a new locality based blog from our neck of the woods.  And there seems to be a real sense of purpose too:

Come on Planet Pepys, don’t let another decade of decline and dissolution follow the dissent and decay of the last! Self provide.

“regeneration is fine but who draws the line”

If you’re from down that way you may want to drop in to say hello.

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About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in Civic Society, Lewisham. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Planet Pepys

  1. kate says:

    Hi Andrew, with all the interest in deptford and this new tv programe i found out that one of the large tower blocks on pepys estate were sold to developers to make luxury apartments for city workers. I have been trying to find out how many council homes were lost through this do you know how i could find out? I managed to find out that some of the money received from the sale was put by to go back into the pepys estate renewal and the rest was going into (i think) the decent homes but none into replacing the lost properties.

  2. Knit Nurse says:

    Hi Kate

    there is a link on my blog to this article on Indymedia http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/02/305021.html which might give some idea.
    Deptford Dame

  3. Lone Ranger says:

    Aragon Tower orignally consisted of 144 units now 156 by adding another 5 floors.

    When I noticed it was almost empty in 1999 I made enquiries at the Pepy’s Estate housing office.
    The office acted most strangely, refusing to say why it was empty and demanding to know who I was and why I wanted to know etc.

    I eventually I was told it had been emptied as it was under review but no decision had been taken, which seemed to be strange way to go about things.

    The £10m from the sale of Aragon Tower was said to have been split between funding the new pool at Loampit Vale and housing.

    The following site was created by a former resident and goes into detail.

    http://www.mcad.demon.co.uk/tag2.htm

  4. Lone Ranger says:

    Further to the above in the 1990’s the council had funding to rejuvenate the Pepy’s estate including Aragon Tower.

    Then in 2000 the council took out a full page advertisement in the Mercury where the then councillor Gavin Moore explained what the plans were for the Pepy’s Estate, for some reason Aragon Tower was not mentioned. I believe the following is in response to that advertisement and indicates the feelings of residents at the time.

    http://www.mcad.demon.co.uk/mercrp.htm

  5. andrewkbrown says:

    My recollection of those decisions aren’t clear – it was before I joined the Cabinet – but as Lone Ranger says £6.94m was been set aside to pay for the new pool and this report suggests that £4 million went into “affordable housing on the Pepys Estate” and surrounding areas.

    If you want more detail I’d suggest writing to Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor) or Malcom Smith (Executive Director of Regeneration).

  6. Sue Luxton says:

    Hmm, didn’t know that. I thought the money made from selling off Ladywell Leisure Centre for redevelopment into housing was supposed to be paying for the new leisure centre!

  7. andrewkbrown says:

    No.

    I don’t think that Janet Senior would be able to recommend that – or Sir Steve would want to decide to – build a £x million leisure centre on the proceeds of a sale that hasn’t happened yet!

    That wouldn’t be particularly financially prudent would it? After all, who knows, Max may be successful in his campaign to keep Ladywell then there’d be no money to rebuild!

  8. Lone Ranger says:

    There was no way the money from Aragon Tower or the sale of the Ladywell site could fund the new leisure centre. At the time whenever the public asked at meetings how the council could guarantee there would be no delay providing the new leisure centre (£15m) they were told don’t worry the money is in the bank.

    Yes, the money (£6.95m) for a pool was there, but not a leisure centre and I believe that still remains the case.

    ——-
    Good thing the Mayor hasn’t decided to build a £x leisure centre before the sale of Loampit Vale site to pay for it…

    The following are from documents relating to the proposed new school…..

    Regeneration comments Nov 2002

    The provision of a combined wet and dry leisure facility on Loampit Vale …. this only being possible if a developer is able to extract sufficient value from residential development on the other part of the site to close the gap between the £12 million cost of the leisure facility and the Councils contribution from the Aragon Tower receipts.

    2003 new school document regarding sites

    The reprovision of the pool is dependent upon residential
    land values for the frontage site being high…..some of the public sector funding for the replacement pool is time limited, linked to the disposal of Aragon Tower in Deptford.

  9. Max says:

    I need to clarify my position with regrd to the new pool proposal. My position is not just “keep Ladywell pool”, it’s “keep Ladywell Pool if you’re not able/willing to improve on that”.

    I aim at forcing the Council to provide a replacement that is superior to Ladywell. At present there’s no gain from the plan. A marginal gain for the swimming club but a dramatic reduction of access for all other swimmers.

    Ladywell is not big enough for the area, if a replacement is provided than it should be substantially bigger. The Leisure Needs Analysis done by Lewisham Council is an appallingly poor and hypocritical document purposely mistaken in order to provide a justification for an underprovision, a course of action only in the interests of the Council’s finances and the developers at the Town Centre, no gain as access to sport and actiove recreration for the local community. I wrote a full analysis of the leisure Need Analysis and it is available at the Save Ladywell Pool website.

    I think that Ladywell is superior to what proposed and as such if an adequate replacement is not offered this proposal should be soundly rejected.

  10. caroline Fox says:

    what will SIR Steve our mayor and Hedi his deputy have as a reply to Auntie Beeb’s disgracful portrayal of The Tower? Nothing I bet. When we on Pepys were told that Arragon Tower was to be sold , there was uproar and then we were told that money from the sale a fair few millions was going to be used for the benefit of the estate. Where is it ? There has not been any sign of it. Our Community projects are in desperate need of funding, PCF is in danger of loosing its staff due to funding shortage . In all the only organisations who seem to be profitting by this is LBL and the BBC. Come on now Lewisham own up and tell the people of Pepys where the money is YOU OWE them that much and DO something to protest to the BBC about THAT program

  11. andrewkbrown says:

    Hi Caroline, thanks for your comment.

    Well I don’t know how Steve’ll want to react to The Tower, but he does have some experience himself as a “star” of reality TV. Back in the early 90’s there was series called (I think) Town Hall which featured Steve as leader of the council during a number of tough decisions – he seems to attract those – on education.

    On where the money from the sale of Aragon Tower went/is Kate got an answer using a Freedom of Information request the other day.

  12. Coco says:

    Interesting…
    Will Kate share her findings with us?
    Thanks.

  13. andrewkbrown says:

    Sorry, my fault the link to her site was broken.

    You can see the answer she got here:

    http://lewisham-kate.blogspot.com/2007/07/whos-woman.html

  14. Beverley says:

    I have it on very good authority; a senior officer in the council that the tower was sold by the previous mayor for £1.00

  15. andrewkbrown says:

    I’m not sure about that Beverley, after all that’d mean the answer Kate got about where the money for the sale of the property was false.

    Of course it could be that the tower was sold for a pound and the land was sold for millions, but that would seem like splitting hairs to me…

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