Community group meeting in Waterloo

Dear Friend of Waterloo

You are cordially invited to the WCDG General Meeting  Wednesday 25th November @ 7pm at Waterloo Action Centre

The Future for Affordable Housing (and other topics)

The government’s ‘Housing & Planning Bill’ currently going through parliament would extend Right to Buy to housing associations and bring changes which will make it harder for people to live in affordable housing, including ‘Pay to Stay’ and the forced sale of high value council housing. This comes on top of the removal of housing grants, the bedroom tax and benefit caps, which have together reduced the viability of affordable housing, and are making it impossible for most people to rent or purchase, forcing out generations of settled families.

Councils have a large role to play, managing affordable housing, attracting investment, and negotiating with developers. What should be their strategy to deal with the coming crisis? What else can be done to help?

  1.   Planning Application
    • A Nightmare on Newport St… a 15-storey monster of private residential on a traditional street (see image above)
    • Bus Shelters ‘smart screen’ advertising… planning applications for 9 bus stops across Waterloo to have continuous high illumination cinema-style adverts
    • Taller towers at Blackfriars… Permission for two towers around Christchurch Gardens have never been implemented, but new Malaysian owners Black Pearl has been demolishing the existing buildings on the site and have plans for taller towers.
  1. The Future for Waterloo Library?

Last spring Lambeth Council consulted on plans to close and sell some libraries including Waterloo, and reduce the service to 5 ‘town centre’ libraries (Brixton, Streatham, Clapham, West Norwood, and Tate South Lambeth Rd for “North Lambeth”). They also invited proposals from groups and organisations to take on the running of ‘community libraries’.

Having received massive objections to their plans, in October the Council announced and adopted another plan – to keep the ‘town centre’ model but turn 3 of the remaining libraries into gyms with books run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd. The only library site which is now up for sale is Waterloo – but Oasis Academy South Bank have stepped forward and offered to provide a temporary home for the library on their site near Lambeth North tube.

Friends of Libraries groups across Lambeth are furious at the proposals and continue to lobby for alternatives to keep all 10 libraries open… Come and have your say on what we should do in Waterloo.

  1.    Garden Bridge update

In September the leader of Lambeth Council Lib Pick complained about the £60m of public money going into the project and announced they were pulling out of negotiations to sell green open space on the South Bank for the landing point for the proposed Garden Bridge. The project looked doomed… Then in early November Cllr Peck announced she had changed her mind, having negotiated that £20m of the money would be a ‘loan’ – forgetting that Boris Johnson has already agreed to underwrite all of the bridge’s operational costs, which would normally include debt repayments.

So where does that leave the project? Can the bridge still be stopped? Of course it can! Find out how

****PLEASE NOTE – THE SCHEDULED AGM HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO Wednesday 27th JANUARY 2016****

 

Hope to see you there

 

Michael Ball

Waterloo Community Development Group

14 Baylis Rd, London SE1 7AA

www.wcdg.org.uk

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