New Cross Community Council update – August 2011

It’s been a difficult few weeks for many communities in London, but actually I think there’s cause for optimism, especially in New Cross; but only if we ignore the simplistic explanations and solutions proposed by the media and politicians. The real story of what caused and happened in the riots is probably far more complex than we can possibly know yet but I’m certain that an important part of the way forward is for us all to take control, work together, get to know each other, socialise together and have the discussions and make the decisions face to face, which is what NXCC is all about. Library The New Cross People’s Library has opened! Thanks to incredible work by a few dedicated individuals they have been able to persuade the council to let us re-open the library. We will be building up gradually – the opening hours will start at 3 days a week (Tuesdays 10am – 5pm, Thursdays 10am – 7pm and Saturdays 10am-5pm.) There are still long term issues to sort out – such as signing a permanent lease to replace the short term tenancy, and working to get the council to reinstate the funding that they cut (especially to re-employ librarians) but this is a very exciting step on the road to what should be a fantastic local resource. If you are interested in helping out in any way, even for a few hours a month please get in touch with , look on the website at and of course there is always twitter nxpl. Besson St wasteground group We are planning a process for as many people as possible to get involved in coming up with a plan for the temporary use of the large plot of land between Besson street, Briant St and NX Road (Where the NDC planned to build a ‘healthy living centre’), We have spoken to a local landscape architects firm who have recently done a similar project in Croydon. The plan is to start getting some ideas together at the meeting on the 7th then to have a big public event near the site in October along with asking people for their ideas in the streets and via posters on the hoardings in the library etc hopefully producing a final plan early next year. Events / Social / Entertainment we’re going to arrange a regular and varied programme of carnivals, festivals, social and entertainment events so that all the different groups and types of people that make up this fantastic area can come together, have some fun and get to know each other. So whatever music or events your interested in we want to help you make them a reality. Energy Prices Many people struggled to pay for their Gas and Electricity from the last cold winter and prices have gone up since then. NXCC is looking at setting up a group for people worried about this to take action to reduce their bills and deal with the energy suppliers. If you know of any other local groups you think might be interested in working together on this please let us know. The NXCC will also be a general forum where all the hundreds of groups and individuals already doing great work in the area will be able to work together, learn from each other and get more value for their work. One of its most important roles will be to allow the community to represent its interests to Lewisham council to make sure we get what we need and to help them to avoid making mistakes such as closing the library or allowing another Sainsbury’s (we’re working with the federation of local traders to stop the planned new Sainsbury’s on Lewisham way, but also on ideas for a positive alternative local economy that’s good for the people of the area). Most of the NXCC work will be done in sub groups and anyone can create other sub groups on any issue that concerns them – other groups already starting include housing, transport, environment, planning /development, health, education and older and younger people’s issues.

Next Meeting, Wednesday Sept 7th 7pm, Goldsmiths College Main Building Room 137 EMAIL      WEBSITE

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