Looks like I got excited over not very much

Two participatory budget pilots will run in Lewisham; one in Deptford and one in Lewisham town centre.

£45,000 will be made available from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund to spend on local priorities such as health and young people.

24dash.com – Communities

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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.
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12 Responses to Looks like I got excited over not very much

  1. Lone Ranger says:

    Think of this way…hopefully I’ve got the figures about right….each household is being is asked out of a £1,000 contribution to council tax how would you like 45p spent.

    Todays South London Press runs the story on page 4 javelin thrower and peoples mayor Max Calo says it’s a jolly spiffing idea what ho old bean (or words to that affect), but is a ridiculous amount.

    Nick O’Shea of Lewisham Mencap called it a “pitiful” amount.

    The Mayor said, “We are proud to be involved in this very important pilot initiative.”

    I wondered if the Lewisham Opportunities Pre-School would qualify to apply.

  2. kate says:

    So is this money coming from counci tax? or the charity funding the council have just cut from lewisham oortunity pre school? although they cut £38k that makes most of it.

  3. Lone Ranger says:

    Hello,
    Not new money just a new way of allocating some money from central government to deprived areas. In this case from the
    Neighbourhood Renewal Fund…..

    The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) is a special non ring-fenced grant which has been made available to Englands most deprived local authorities, to enable them in collaboration with their Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), to improve services, narrowing the gap between deprived areas and the rest of the country.

    http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/page.asp?id=611

    This year the total NRF fund for Lewisham is £1.9M.

    ———-
    The council will spend about £670M this year but will only raise £85M from the council tax, the rest comes from central government, grants and income.

  4. Lone Ranger says:

    While we are considering money.

    I was astonished to read the following in a report regarding the stock transfer of council properties on the foreshore at Deptford, near Aragon Tower.

    “The stock condition survey identified that a total of £1million would be required over the next 30 years to deal with catch up repairs, future programme renewals, improvements, contingent major repairs, and the removal of asbestos.”

    “Taking into consideration the stock condition survey and the high investment needed the proposals in the Offer document have been drawn up.”

    I can’t believe the council is in such financial straits it can’t find over 30 years £1M to care for 24 tennanted flats.

    Also included in the stock transfer to a Housing Association are two community assests.

    A studio flat I believe is in the complex is being advertised as a holiday let at £375 – £450 per week.

    http://www.cottageguide.co.uk/greenwichstudio/

    Gobsmacked of Lewisham

  5. Max says:

    Well done Lone Ranger for finding this one.

    This is shocking!!
    It would be good to identify who is resonsible for writing this! We cannot afford to have people like these paid by our taxes!
    What’s the document reference, we could put a question at Council.

    £1million over 30 years for:

    – catch up repairs;
    – FUTURE PROGRAMME RENEWALS;
    – IMPROVEMENTS;
    – CONTINGENT MAJOR REPAIRS;
    – and REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS;

    Absolutely shocking.

  6. andrewkbrown says:

    Can’t say that I’m shocked. Stock transfer isn’t being entered into reluctantly by the Council, it’s something that (when I was involved in these things) we thought would improve the management of social housing, and so improve the lives of the people living in that housing.

    And you’ll know I’m sure that stock transfer isn’t possible without a ballot of tennants, meaning that they’ll need to make the same assessment before it can happen.

  7. Max says:

    I expect that the argument will be put to tenants in an unbiased way.
    When a few months ago there was the ballot for the three towers in front of the hospital there was an enormous banner in front of them saying:
    “Do you want a new kitchen? Call us on …”

  8. Lone Ranger says:

    Andrew it is the statement the council would not be able to find £1M within 30 years that shocked me.

    The stock transfer is a seperate issue.

    The Foreshore buildings are rather unique as they are Grade II listed and the vast majority of the flats are leasehold (41) rather than council tenants (24). Altough it is only the tenants who have a vote on the stock transfer issue, I would think the leaseholders had influence in obtaining English Heritage funding.

    http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/7E27B822-FDA4-4C0D-B21F-5275DB55E82D/0/cb3d499993564be996285d009331246bItem8Foreshoreoffer11July2007.PDF

  9. Lone Ranger says:

    According to the News Shopper the scheme Hazel Blears announced will take place in Evelyn and Bellinham wards.

    “A community day is planned for September, when those who have applied for funding can discuss their plans.

    Applicants to the project will get to vote on the proposals.

    The projects with the most votes will receive funding.

    Bellingham ward councillor Alan Hall, said: “It is exciting to try this new way of improving our area.

    “It strikes me it’s like The X Factor for Bellingham.”

    http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/lewgreennews/display.var.1529527.0.vote_for_projects_which_need_cash.php

  10. andrewkbrown says:

    Another quote from the Foreshore report caught my eye:

    The Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations of Foreshore approached the Council in Autumn 2005 to explore the possibility of a stock transfer to achieve Decent Homes in Foreshore.

    I suspect, but may be wrong, that the £1 million over the 30 years is actually pretty much front loaded. You’ll have seen that the report says the buildings are 100% non-compliant with the Decent Homes standard, and we know that councils are trying to meet that standard by 2010. We also know that, unlike Housing Associations, local authorities are not allowed to borrow money on the open market to make these investments and instead have to do this from within their capital resource programme.

  11. andrewkbrown says:

    X-factor. Well lets hope the talent has a longer shelf-life.

    Actually, this makes me more depressed as it suggests that only those applying for the money will have a say in how its spent rather than a larger body of opinion.

  12. Lone Ranger says:

    You may have canvessed promising to raise all the council’s housing stock to a decent standard by 2010 but that was changed to 2012 a few weeks after the election.

    The government has said it has the money ready to make homes decent so it would cost the council nothing. All the council has to find is a £1M over 30 years, and as most of the flats are leasehold the council could recoup upto 2/3rds.

    As I wrote I’m merely looking at the financial side as indicated by the council and understand tenants and residents initiated the stock transfer.

    —————

    So you think Heidi Alexander and Cllr Hall might be one election wonders?

    I understood the article to mean only applicants would have a say, have to wait and see if that is the case.

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