The group that is leading the process of drawing up a neighbourhood plan for part for Bermondsey under the Government's localism initiative has put out an open call for ideas.
Earlier this month Bermondsey – along with nearby Bankside – was named as one of the 'frontrunner' areas which will pilot the process of drawing up a neighbourhood plan using the ideas contained in the Government's new localism legislation.
The area covered by the forum is broadly between Borough High Street in the west and Tower Bridge Road in the east, extending to Great Dover Street in the south. Exact boundaries have not yet been determined.
Last Wednesday the Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum held its first public meeting since the confirmation of frontrunner status by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Organisers say that more than 60 people attended the brainstorming session at Bermondsey Village Hall to consider the question 'What are the issues that you would like to see addressed in the neighbourhood plan for Bermondsey?'
Over an hour and a half people at the meeting came up with just under 200 ideas and comments with their thoughts stretching across 22 poster-sized sheets of paper
"I was absolutely delighted by how well it went," said John Corey, chair of the Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum.
"The number of people coming along and the sheer volume of ideas that they came up with shows the passion that people have for this community and the commitment they have to securing the best future for the area.
"For our neighbourhood plan to work we need to make sure it contains the views of as many people as possible. We must make sure we reach across all of the many diverse groups in the area, young and old, poor and rich, business and residents and, of course, the many races, religions and other community groups.
"We have to start this process by getting across the breadth of ideas from the 23,000 people who live here. It doesn't matter how simple or how sophisticated, what is important is that as many people as possible make their voice heard and let us know what matters to them.
"This meeting is just the start of a conversation across the area. We want people from across the area to start talking to each other about what really matters to them in this part of Bermondsey and to bring forward their ideas and proposals for the plan."
The Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum now wants to hear from as many people as possible across the community. People can get in touch by:
• visiting to the Facebook page www.facebook.com/YouRBermondsey
• writing to Bermondsey Community Forum c/o Leathermarket JMB, 26 Leathermarket Street, SE1 3HN
• or just dropping their idea in to the JMB office