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Let Southern Railways Know What You Think About Change to Rail Timetable 18 November 2016

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Lewisham Libdems in Forest Hill
CONSULTATION CLOSES DECEMBER 8
Your local Libdems went to meet the managers of the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) at London Bridge last Thursday morning. An extensive Consultation has been launched. It sets out proposed change to the timetable which will be operated by GTR in 2018 following completion of the Thameslink Programme.
The consultation document can be viewed :athttp://: http://www.sosouthernrailway.com/your-journey/timetable-consultation/The meeting focused on the possible requirement to change at Norwood Junction when travelling to routes south, such as to Brighton and to Gatwick. It may no longer  be possible to travel directly to East Croydon from Forest Hill or Sydenham. Being required to change at Norwood Junction, where there is no lift, would be detrimental to wheelchair users and people with push-chairs or luggage. The Strategic Planning Manager present said that whether or not the possibility of changing at East Croydon was retained in the timetable would depend on the number of submissions and the amount of correspondence which was sent in on this matter. He gave an email address gtr.timetableconsultation@gtrailway.com or a postal address
GTR 2018 Timetable Consultation, East Side Offices, Kings Cross Station , Kings CrossLondon N1C 4AP to which correspondence can be sent.
The Forest Hill Society has further detail and advice on their website :http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2016/11/southern-rail-consultation-on-cuts-to_49.html

Library and Controlled Parking Zone 2 December 2015

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Philip Peake writes
We’ve been hearing a lot of concern about two particular issues at the moment: the Council’s proposed parking restrictions and cuts to the library
service.
The Council has suggested that the library become a ‘community library’ along the lines of Sydenham or Crofton Park. This means it is essentially staffed and run by volunteers.
Research by the Forest Hill Society shows that borrowing has dramatically fallen in those libraries while the fall at Forest Hill has been barely perceptible. There has been an increase in use for other purposes at Sydenham library but there is a very real concern that scope for volunteering at libraries has been reached its limit.
We feel that the quality of service at Forest Hill is genuinely under threat.  Please do let us know what you think about the scheme.
The Council is proposing a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in Forest Hill.  Full details can be found by following this link https://lewisham-consult.objective.co.uk/portal.
The proposed zone would cover most of Forest Hill ward up to (but not including) Sydenham Hill, Canonbie Road in the north and the hilltop ridge within Tewkesbury Lodge estate. The final boundaries if a zone is introduced may be different.
A residents’ permit currently costs £120 per year (£30 for a low-emission vehicle). Lots of people oppose the scheme for this reason or because it would make life difficult for family, carers and others to visit.
On the other hand, there are busier areas of the ward where we’ve had complaints about the problems caused by parking and requests for such a scheme for example around the pools and library. Do you have a view? If yes, let us know!

Library Consultation Closes This Week 10 November 2015

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We have until 15 November to DSC01416tell Lewisham Council what we think of plans for Forest Hill Library. The Council’s preferred option is to turn it into a “Community Library” in order to save money.

Currently the situation is very uncertain as we simply do not know, at this stage, who the “community partner” would be.

It seems likely that the number of books borrowed would decline more quickly as a “community” library. Some library staff would be made redundant. The library would rely on volunteers who may or may not be reliable, expert or available.

Empty Homes and new developments. 9 November 2015

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 These bungalows 2015-08-20 19.40.54at 94/96 London Road are owned by the Council. They appear to have been empty and derelict for some time. The plan is to use the site to build a block of Council flats in line with a target of 500 new homes by 2018. There are several other developments in the pipeline in Forest Hill, so it will be a while before a planning application is made.

Across the road it is proposed to build 45 flats across three sites on the Forest Estate. Further up the hill the Hanover Housing Association is developing 33 new homes on the site of Featherstone Lodge.

It is important that due consideration is given to such matters as where these new residents will park their cars in these hilly spaces.

Meeting to Discuss the Future of Library Services 3 October 2015

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There will be a meeting to discuss the future of the library services, including Forest Hill, on Monday October 19 at 7.30pm in the Sydenham School in Dartmouth Road.DSC01416

Additional P12 services will run from 26th September 29 September 2015

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Transport for London reports that from Saturday 26 September additional buses will be used on route P12 during the daytime on a daily basis specifically designed to improve reliability for customers and ensure that service keeps to the timetable whenever possible.

Route P12 runs between Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Brockley Rise, Honor Oak Park.

Proposed changes along the A20 between New Cross and Lewisham 29 September 2015

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This is a little far from Forest Hill, but may affect you if you drive up around New Cross, particularly to the Municipal Waste site at Landsman Way.

TfL are proposing a package of improvements along the A20 between New Cross and Lewisham, which aim to improve safety and reduce the potential for delays to journey times for all road users.

For more details, please see the consulation site, and have your say: A20 consultation.

What do you think should happen to the Forest Hill Library ? Public consultation coming soon. 10 September 2015

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DSC01412DSC01416
In the present refugee crisis we see the importance of having a  community hub in our local library, which is being used as a collection point for donations. Just when plans are afoot to improve Dartmouth Road, the future of this valuable centre is by no means certain.
The Council are proposing to make Forest Hill Library a community library rather than one run by the council. This would be similar to the way Sydenham Library is run. The Council is receiving less money from the government so they are seeking a community partner to  manage  and develop the library.
There are just a few weeks for the public to comment. The consultation opens on 1 October and closes on 12 November so we have just six short weeks to make our views known.
What kind of partner is found, if indeed one can be found, will be of the utmost  importance.
We need to make sure
  • we keep expert staff. Anyone who has seen the librarians  helping children to do the summer reading challenge, as Margot did recently, will know they really know their stuff.
  • people can use the internet for free and there is someone there to help those who need it.
  • there’s a good supply of books including our wonderful children’s books.

More ‘looked after’ children going missing in Lewisham. 6 August 2015

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caroline-pidgeon-portrait

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for London, recently reported on the numbers of children going missing from care. By using the Freedom of Information Act, she was able to discover that, in Lewisham from 2013-2014 the number of children  gong missing from care increased by 164% from 28 to 74.

Numbers of children going missing from placements within the borough had gone from 11 in 2013 to 36 in 2014.  The number of children going missing from placements outside the borough had gone from 17 in 2013 to 38 in 2014. The number still missing was not disclosed.

Her report recommends

  • the setting up of a Mayoral Task Force for vulnerable children who go missing,
  • more transparency and consistency in the collection of data
  • and training for councillors on this issue .

“A looked after child is already a vulnerable child” Caroline told the News Shopper, “If they go missing for 24 hours or more they are immediately at serious risk, such as being drawn into criminal activity or becoming a victim of sexual abuse. There are a number of criminal syndicates which target girls and boys for sexual abuse, often targeting runaway children.

“While I recognise Lewisham Council are at least being open about how serious the situation is, it is now time they acted and turned this situation around.”

Forest Hill residents back human rights campaign 19 July 2015

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Forest Hill Lib Dems collecting signatures outside The Capitol in support of retaining the Human Rights Act

Forest Hill Lib Dems collecting signatures outside The Capitol in support of retaining the Human Rights Act

Hundreds of local people backed a Liberal Democrat campaign to save the Human Rights Act, when Forest Hill Lib Dems held a street stall as part of a national action day on June 27th.

South London Lib Dem MP Tom Brake, one of the leaders of the campaign nationally. explained:

By drawing up plans to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA) and laying the groundwork to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – the Tories are revealing their true colours.

“The HRA and ECHR are not some piffling pieces of legislation, dreamt up by bureaucrats in Brussels to tie us in red tape. These are British rights, drafted by British lawyers.

“They were forged in the aftermath of the atrocities of the Second World War and fought for by Winston Churchill.

“They are designed to place public authorities in the UK under a strict, non-negotiable obligation to treat people with fairness, equality and dignity.

“Frequently they have been all that has stood in the way of injustice, most usually inflicted on the individual by an over-powerful state.”

Forest Hill Lib Dem campaigner George Crozier said:

“The Human Rights Act has achieved a huge amount. It’s held the state to account for spying on us, supported peaceful protest, defended victims of rape and domestic violence and shielded press freedom.

“How could we seriously expect to persuade other countries to take human rights seriously if we are about to join the dictatorship of Belarus as the only countries in the whole of Europe not signed up to the ECHR. It would destroy every thread of moral authority we have.”

Campaigner Margot Wilson, who organised the street stall, said:

In Coalition, the Tories wanted to abolish the Human Rights Act, and to walk away from the ECHR, with no guarantee about what would come in its place. But the Liberal Democrats blocked them.

“Now the Tories have a majority they are trying again.

“But we are determined to fight them every step of the way and stop them from trampling on our hard-fought freedoms and rights.”

Anyone who hasn’t yet signed the petition to save the Human Rights Act can do so here.

For more information see this article by Tom Brake.