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Community councils meet for first time

Borough & Bankside and Walworth Community Councils will meet for the first time this week.

Southwark's eight community councils will make decisions about planning, licensing and traffic management and appoint primary school governors. In addition, they will have budgets to spend on environmental improvements and community safety.

The councils will meet monthly and cover topics which consultations have shown are important to local people, such as youth services and community safety.

The new community councils were an election pledge of the Liberal Democrats who wrested control of Southwark Council from Labour a year ago, and replace the previous area forum system, criticised as powerless talking shops.

The Borough and Bankside Community Council – for residents of Cathedrals and Chaucer wards – will meet for the first time at 7pm on Wednesday 7 May at Charles Dickens School in Lant Street.

The meeting will be chaired by Cllr Danny McCarthy (Cathedrals ward), who has become a familiar figure as deputy mayor of Southwark for the past 12 months, his first year as a member of the Council.

The members of the community council are the six councillors for Cathedrals and Chaucer wards.

After the opening formalities, there is an opportunity for deputations and public questions. This is followed by an open community session, which will look at 'crime and grime' – Tim England will speak on environmental issues, and Sarah Newton will speak on community safety. An item on options for local tree planting is also included on the agenda.

The meeting includes an 'officer surgery', an opportunity to talk with council officers on individual areas of concern. Tea and coffee will be available.

A workshop session will provide a chance to take part and give feedback on the environmental issues.

The community council's areas of work for the year ahead will also be considered.

The 'Members' Decisions' section of the agenda will see the council considering the provision of litter bins and trees in the area.

For more information on the community councils visit www.southwark.gov.uk/involved/cc_1boro.htm where the agenda is available for download in PDF format.

Walworth Community Council, which covers East Walworth, Faraday and Newington wards, is also meeting for the first time on Wednesday 7 May at Pasley TA Hall, Stopford Road SE17.

Bermondsey Community Council (Grange, Riverside and South Bermondsey wards) will meet on Wednesday 28 May – more details on this site nearer the time.

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