Southwark's planning application site has been 'down' since December and, according to 'Ask Austin' won't be up and running again until about April .... (so a good time to get your dodgy planning applications in as no-one else will find out about them ?!)
I have just read the news story. I really don't understand it. The argument is that 120 children now live in Coin Street. So they have to have sports facilities on Hatfield, a £10million sports centre and more. Why?
I have not got over organising football for kids on Archbishops, with 70 kids turning up and enjoying themselves only to be told that the provison was too far from Coin Street and so should be moved. Apparantly it was unfair that these kids should be asked to travel so far. Yet not unfair that kids as far as Stockwell should be expected to accept that the main sports provision for the area should be centred right in the heart of the South Bank, rather than the more accessible Elephant and Castle.
I should not moan too much as, with some direct support from Kate Hoey MP, Archbishops is also getting help from Sports Action Zone, and we are well on our way to establishing a range of sports. Archbishops is accessible to the big Ethelreds and China Walk Estates as well as most of Waterloo and is big enough to allow a Balance between sports and quiet recreation, so it will be good. But I find it frustrating that needs of others beyone Coin Street's 120 children seem to count for nothing.
Amazingly too Coin Street residents have told me in the past that they are unable to join the campaign to save Archbishops for fear of upsetting their landlord. (The Church have now said clearly in response to questions from Kate Hoey and Simon Hughes in Parliament that they do not want to renew the lease so we are literally on three months notice.) There needs to be a moritorium in the area. Green Space must remain green space. And Lambeth and Southwark Councils should take the lead.
And the Coin Street residents, living in their million pound houses and paying peppercorn rents should perhaps accept they are well-off and stop expecting that they take priority over the more deprived. (And not just on sports but also on things like SureStart, childcare provisons and much much more. Perhaps they should get a chance to live in Coin Street for five years and then have to move to the Ethelreds and give someone else a chance.)
What about that big green space in the middle of the new coin street development looks to me like you could fit a sports centre in there, after all its just wasted space isnt it ?
I've always kind of envisaged a park there with trees bridging the road a symbolic gesture crossing the borders between Southwark and Lambeth and symbolising the intention of the councils to stop mucking about with people on the boundary.
But then I thought the floating swimming pool was good idea and that seems to have disappeared.
Words fail me! As a local resident, albeit a Coin St development resident, I am astounded at the lack of fact used in Sarah O'Connell's mail. Firstly, the Paris Gardens site (to give it it's proper title), is NOT a Coin St Community Builders project. It is a Colombo Centre project. Therefore, is not being built for the exclusive use of Coin St residents. It will be used by Southwark and Lambeth residents and anyone who lives in between. It will be available for local schools and businesses (an important part of our community) and local community groups. These community groups will be able to use the site free of charge.
I'm confused by the comment that Coin St residents felt unable to join Archbishop's campaign for fear of upsetting their landlord. This statement just does not make any sense!
I'm sure the figure of 120 Coin St children has come from the same place as the peppercorn rent idea, Sarah O'Connells imagination. The estimated number of children in the Waterloo area alone is closer to 3,000. The residents of any of the CSCB Co-ops would strongly argue against the idea that the rents are peppercorn! These self run housing co-operatives were protected by the fair rents office, until its demise (circa '88) and I am sure the residents of Ethelred and China Walk were too. Since then, any new tenants are charged a fair market rent, which considering the housing is targeted for low income families, can be crippling.
I would like to suggest, going forward, if an argument is going to be as emotive as Sarah O'Connell's, the facts should perhaps form the basis.
My name is Jennifer Mosley and I am the Youth and Commuity Outreach Worker for the Colombo Sports and Community Centre.
I am responding to comments made by Sarah O'Connell with regards to Paris Gdns (corner Meymott St and Hatfields).
Firstly, I would like to clarify that the project proposed for this site is in fact a COLOMBO CENTRE project and not a Coin Street Development, however, Coin Street Community Builders are in full support of this exciting and innovative project.
Referring to Sarah O'Connell's argument that "120 children now live in Coin Street" I would like to state that there are over 150 children living in Iroko Housing Co-op alone, adding to the exisiting population of children and young people in the immediate area. The last survey conducted by Coram Family indicated that there are over 3,000 children and young people living in this area. Surely this highlights the need for safe and affordable sports and recreation facilities in Waterloo.
My role as Youth and Community Outreach Worker specifies the necessity for working with all community groups and local residents within the area. I find the thought very discouraging that local groups and organisation cannot work in partnership to offer inclusive activities. There is a desperate need for synerey within the community so everyone may benefit and no-one will be socially excluded.
I am, myself, a resdient of a Coin Street co-op and fully support the campaign to save Archbishops Park. I am of the belief that we can have both projects successfully running concurrently and feel saddened that this does not seem to be the view of some individuals.
I would like to respond directly to Ms O'Connell's personal attack on Coin Street residents. I believe I speak on behalf of residents in Iroko Housing Co-op and surrounding co-ops when I say we feel priviledged to live in a good standard of accomodation, however, this does not shelter us from unemployment, low waged jobs, disabilities, mental health issues and social exclusion to name but a few problems that do not disappear purely through having a nice house. Maybe you should consider also the fact that tenants on local co-ops have lived on estates such as the Ethelreds, Angel and Stockwell Park prior to living in the area.
With reference to SureStart we are in a very unfortunate situation whereby we are not included in the catchment area for SureStart funding, however, Coin Street Centre Trust are working with in partnership with Coram Family to provide affordable out-of-school care for children in the local community and this provision is due to open in April 2003. Surely the efforts of everyone should be appauled.