Community Hustings 2018
An election hustings on planning and regeneration was held on Saturday 14th April 2.00pm-5pm by the Southwark Planning Network in the lead up to the local Council elections on 3rd May: 2.00pm Community exhibition followed by 3.00-5.00pm Hustings meeting. This was a community-led meeting, and a community exhibition on planning issues from the neighbourhoods across the borough. It was organised for the Southwark Planning Network by Peckham Vision with Vital OKR and Southwark Law Centre. The venue was Christ Church Peckham on the Old Kent Road. It was in a style similar to BBC Question Time with audience participation.
This was a hustings with a difference, creating a space where community perspectives on important planning policy matters could be raised with politicians seeking election. Community groups from across the borough, linked through the Southwark Planning Network, worked together to create the community exhibition at 2pm. We all suffer from the problems caused by the planning system, the deficient consultation process, and the impacts of regeneration. These never get addressed properly in the local elections we have every 4 years. This hustings was aimed at helping to correct that democratic deficit.
Four candidates in the local elections were chosen by their parties to represent them in this Community Hustings on planning and regeneration:
- Toby Eckersley - Conservative: candidate in London Bridge & West Bermondsey ward.
- Eleanor Margolies - Green: candidate in St Giles ward.
- Damian O'Brien - Liberal Democrat: candidate in London Bridge & West Bermondsey ward.
- Rebecca Lury – Labour: candidate in North Walworth ward.
It was a lively debate about important planning issues: lack of social housing, loss of industrial land, negative impact of the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan on the existing community, need for a significant change for the better in community engagement on planning, too close relationship between developers and the Council, failure to examine the impact of the new plans on vulnerable communities, inadequate provision of green spaces and provision for biodiversity, and need for a Local List for heritage buildings. Each of the candidates said yes to working with the Southwark Planning Network to change for the better the way the community is engaged in planning and regeneration.
Asking a Question
Questions for the politicians on the hustings panel could be submitted in advance here: https://goo.gl/duZN7H give your details and your question here,] and during the community exhibition just before the Hustings started. A representative choice was selected from them. The Questions are being collated for the website.
The Community Exhibition took place at 2-3pm before the Hustings. Several community groups from across the borough who are active on planning and regeneration matters presented a display of the current issues in their neighbourhood. Taken together these exhibits gave a kaleidoscope of the impact of the Council’s planning and regeneration policies, and how communities are responding.