London SE1 community website

Bankside Residents' Forum will fold without new volunteers

London SE1 website team

Bankside Residents' Forum, founded in 1995 to represent local people's interests in the regeneration process, faces closure unless new volunteers come forward.

Over the years BRF has helped to spawn numerous local initiatives, including Bankside Open Spaces Trust and the Community Film Club at Tate Modern.

Its key focus is on the area bounded by Blackfriars Road, the river, Borough High Street and Union Street.

Until 2012 BRF was supported by a paid co-ordinator funded by Southwark Council but since funding was withdrawn the group has struggled to sustain its previous level of activity on a voluntary basis.

The group helped local residents navigate the planning process and brokered discussions between locals and developers in the part of Southwark with the highest volume of planning applications.

In a recent email to members, the group's current directors said: "In its history over nearly twenty years, BRF has served a valuable role in helping local residents engage with the processes of regeneration happening around them in Bankside.

"It may be that the organisation has served its purpose and groups of residents are now better equipped to fight their own local battles.

"It may be that the scale and pace of regeneration in the area are now beyond the capacity of a small group representing local residents.

"Or it may be that other groups (like the neighbourhood forum) are better placed to continue BRF's work."

Plans to dissolve the group will be considered at BRF's annual general meeting on Monday evening.

"The AGM will discuss the issue, but unless new people have come forward to serve as directors and officers, the directors and officers will table a motion proposing the closure and dissolution of BRF," wrote the directors.

• If you live in the Bankside area and can help BRF, email [email protected]

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