Funds for local projects
Grants have been made in recent years for a wide range of projects including the removal of cherry laurel and for labelling trees in Dulwich Park (both in association with Dulwich Park Friends); support for London Wildlife Trust’s Great North Wood project, digitalizing the historic court rolls and estate mmaps in the Dulwich College archives, providing conference fees for the local Safer Routes to Schools initiative, an interactive white-board for St Barnabas Parish Hall, a green ant-pollution screen at Goose Green Primary school and funding the poetry launch at last year’s Dulwich Festival.
Funds for permanent physical improvements may be available from Southwark Council under the Cleaner Greener Safer initiative which has funded many local projects - see www.southwark.gov.uk
Consideration is at present being given for a grant of 50% towards the cost of a survey by a consultant to seek ways to improve the quality of the water in Dulwich Park lake that it might better support wildlife, consideration for lake and rivulet planting and a survey of bio-diversity and wildlife in order to make improvements.
Crime and Policing
Southwark and Lambeth police forces have now been combined as ‘Central South’ and the local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) cluster, Dulwich Village, Dulwich Hill and Dulwich Wood, are now based at Gipsy Hill Police Station under their new sergeant Jonathan Adams. While there has been a small overall reduction, the levels of burglary, street mugging and car crime remain of concern. Through the Safer Neighbourhood Panel, the Society has been pressing for the police to be more forthcoming with information on arrests and convictions and we are starting to hear more positive stories. Recently a Dovercourt Road resident spotted someone trying to get into their vehicle around 5.30am. A prompt call to 999, with a good basic description, led to units attending the area where the individual was spotted and stopped on Lordship Lane. He was subsequently arrested, charged with vehicle interference and taken before Camberwell Magistrates Court. He was bailed to return to court in June.
The reinstatement of three local schools’ officers reported on previously has led to a reduction in youth on youth robbery. One covers Dulwich College/Dulwich Prep/Kingsdale, the second covers both Charter Schools and the third, JAGS and Alleyn’s.
A water main burst in Dulwich Village on Saturday 13 April came as a surprise to most people as there was a similar burst in almost the same place in May last year. Given the size of the hole and the length of the road closure then, we were re-assured that Thames Water had done a proper job but that is now in doubt. At least they were on site very quickly, unlike at the Croxted Road/Park Hall Road crossroads by the shops in West Dulwich. Despite repeated request from local councillors Thames Water took nearly six weeks to come to site and sort out what had become a major leak.
Council charges for Garden Waste collection
Everyone will have received a note from the Council about its plans to introduce a £30 charge for garden waste collection - or you can purchase a number of pre-paid paper sacks. Southwark has suffered from a substantial reduction in its income Central Government grant reductions and was one of the few Councils that still provided this service for free. A comparison with neighbouring boroughs shows that £30 is at the low end of charges and we can probably expect the fee to rise in the future.
Street cleansing and litter bins
The Council’s local street cleaning team has lost 6 members, as well as one of the area vehicles. This has impacted on the frequency that the team can remove bags and fly tips from the pavement areas. The aim is to make sure that all bags and fly tips are removed within a 24hr period - but the bin collection frequency has now been reduced from 3 to 2 times a week - along with litter picking of the pavement areas.