Agenda item

Public Question Time (15 Minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance of the meeting in accordance with the cabinet procedure rules.


Five public questions had been received.


Public question from Mr Mick Barnard:


“How do you justify including as an option the use of the Honor Oak recreation ground for burial use in tonight's report given the remit of the steering group established the last time this issue was last raised and the subsequent agreement with the then Director Fred Manson ?”


Answer of the Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Recycling:


  1. The report before cabinet provides a justification for the urgent need for a full review of bereavement services in the borough. Burial space is almost exhausted and the council should look to create space that will allow burials to continue for the next few years to deal with the immediate and emerging need.


  1. With regard to the steering group it has not been possible to find the paper trail for this group and this will be examined further to establish the group’s full background, remit and authority.


The chair allowed Mick Barnard to ask a supplemental question.


The remaining four questioners were not in attendance. It was agreed that the responses would be recorded in the minutes and provided to the questioners.


Public question from Luke Miller, Elephant Amenity Network


“Major changes to the Elephant & Castle regeneration/shopping centre were announced informally in April. When will the reference group for Elephant & Castle be established and what are the governance mechanisms for decision making and public involvement now and once the reference group has been established?"


Answer of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Corporate Strategy:


When the regeneration agreement with Lend Lease was signed in summer 2010, the governance arrangements included a strategic management board made up of senior officers from the council and Lend Lease.  This board has been fully operational since the regeneration agreement was signed and officers report progress to cabinet.  In addition, as part of the consultation strategy within the master regeneration plan a steering group was proposed.


The aim of setting up the steering group was to put in place an appropriate feedback mechanism to review progress of the project and provide a public forum for discussion and debate in respect of the regeneration and its impact on the wider community.  Similarly, a feedback mechanism will be put in place to ensure that the views of the steering group are raised and discussed with the management board in order to ensure that the views and opinions of all interested parties are considered throughout the development of the project.


The proposed regeneration forum expands on the concept of a steering group to more fully involve the wider public and community in the consultation process. Representatives of Lend Lease along with council officers will be attending Walworth and Borough & Bankside Community council meetings on 3 May to talk about the launch of the Regeneration Forum which is planned for the end of May. Invitations to attend this event will be issued in early May to groups within the area and there will be information about it on the Lend Lease website


The forum will meet regularly during the planning application process and it is intended to provide residents with an opportunity to influence the scheme and discuss issues arising from it. The council and Lend Lease propose that sessions are organised around key development themes such as public realm and transport. The meetings will be independently facilitated and chaired.


Public Question from Jerry Flynn


“The Elephant & Castle website is now managed by Lendlease and there is no apparent means of communication about the wider regeneration. What proposals are there for community involvement across the entire regeneration area and why has the regeneration Steering group (Cabinet 7 July 2010) not been set up? “


Answer of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Corporate Strategy


Lend Lease and the council remain committed to providing residents and stakeholder with an opportunity to influence the preparation of the planning application for the Heygate Estate and shopping centre sites. The council's website will continue to provide information about schemes and projects within the wider Elephant and Castle opportunity area. Lend Lease have taken the responsibility from the council for he website and are in the process of adding information to this about their proposals. Further material on their consultation plan for the masterplan which will involve a road show and exhibitions will be added to this over the next month. Lend Lease are currently responding to enquiries from the public that are submitted to the following address:


Representatives of Lend Lease along with council officers will be attending Walworth and Borough & Bankside Community council meetings on 3 May to talk about the launch of the Regeneration Forum which is planned for the end of May.


Public Question from Seeta Rajani


“When will there be a new masterplan for the whole of the Elephant & Castle regeneration area, not just Lend Lease's section, and how and when will local communities and traders be consulted?”


Answer of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Corporate Strategy:


A draft opportunity area framework (OAF) / supplementary planning document (SPD) is being prepared for the Elephant and Castle. This will include guidance on sites for the entire opportunity Area. A draft will be available in October 2011 for comment. Consultation will be for 3 months as set out in the statement of community involvement. A consultation plan will be agreed by cabinet when the document is agreed for consultation. Final adoption is planned for April 2012.


Public Question from Celia Cronin


“Given the recent press reports of massive changes to the council's vision and policy for the Elephant & Castle regeneration, what are the benefits for us in the community of the new plans? What is the extent of the changes in as much detail as possible please and why were the changes made?”


Answer of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Corporate Strategy:


The council’s vision for the Elephant and Castle as a new town centre within central London has not changed. The scheme will deliver new homes (including affordable homes), shops, community facilities, public spaces and improved public transport. All of this will directly benefit local residents and in addition it will generate new employment, training and business start up opportunities together with a much improved leisure and cultural offer. Residents will be given an opportunity to view the masterplan in the period leading up to the submission of a planning application and further details on this will be made available via and the councils own website.