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1. Walworth Society Monthly Meeting – Thursday 3rd January 2019 7pm. The minutes of our January meeting can be seen at:
The minutes of the Walworth Town Hall public meeting of 12th December 2018 can be seen at:
2. Walworth Community Gardening Network - News of Activities in Early 2019.
A happy and fruitful New Year to all! And a few early dates for your brand new 2019 diary.
1. WCGN Steering Group Meeting - all welcome. The Walworth Community Gardening Network year starts with a steering group meeting on Thursday 17th January starting 7pm at the Pullens Centre, all are welcome.
Main topics for the agenda will be the WCGN & Walworth Garden Seed Swap scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday February 17th. And a discussion on what other events we want to organise for 2019, so we can get cracking early on with the preparations.
2. The February 17th Seed Swap is jointly organised by the WCGN and Walworth Garden, full details are not yet quite confirmed, but the current plan is to start at 11 am with Walworth Garden providing an introductory workshop on growing from seed.
We break for lunch (healthy, organic, sustainable, ethical fare provided) and then go on to look at the considerable merits and benefits of local seed collecting, with expert advice from the London Freedom Seed Bank.
We will then share and swap the seeds that we have brought - don't worry if you are new at growing from seed and have none to bring, for this introductory year the WCGN will provide enough seed so that all can go away with seed ready for the Spring. After which, for those that want to stay, we will show the film Seed, a fascinating and inspiring film which goes into the deeper importance of collecting and saving seed.
Though the timetable for the day may still be open to change, the Seed Swap will be for sure held on Sunday the 17th February at Walworth Garden, so put it in your diary! Walworth Garden will handle the booking and send out invitations first to local gardeners. Please be quick to reply and book your place as the invitation will then be opened up more generally, and we are sure places will soon go – If you are already decided you want to come then email me now and I will pass on your priority booking to Walworth Garden.
3. Winter Wassail - Sunday 13th January. To get the gardening year off to a rousing, carousing start, we have the West Walworth Winter Wassail on Sunday 13th January. The Wassail procession assembles 3.15 pm at the Pullens Centre (184 Crampton St) and visits local orchards in turn. The Wassailing (wishing good health) involves drinking and singing to the health of the trees in the hope that they will provide a bountiful harvest in the autumn.
The local Wassailing was initiated last year by the Alberta Fruit Commons and was great fun. This year the WCGN, as well as the Alberta, Pullens, Draper, Newington and Kennington Park Road TRAs have lent their support to make it an even bigger event.
Prior to the procession at 3.15 pm, children (and adults too) are invited to come at 2pm to the Pullens Centre to make costumes and noise sticks to frighten off evil spirits. We finish at 5pm at the Draper Hall with spiced apple drinks and baked snacks. All are welcome, and those from East Walworth only have to make the short trip cross the Walworth Road!
The Walworth CGN is sponsored and supported by the United St Saviour's Charity.
- Written by Jeremy
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Responding to the Walworth Town Hall Consultation - January 2019
We would really encourage people to take part in the Walworth Town Hall Consultation that Southwark Council is running up to 21st January. The future of these buildings is really important to our area so please have your say.
Below is our guide to taking part.
1. Consultation Details. The consultation closes on January 21st and can be found at:
and the Online Survey itself is:
The bids can be seen at: http://walworthtownhall.com/consultation/
2. Walworth Society Position. We are suggesting that people go straight to point 5 in the Online Survey and make some of the following points.
Southwark Council should redevelop these buildings and keep them fully in public ownership. The buildings were given to the people of Southwark and Walworth and they should not be disposed of as is currently planned. We strongly object to offering a lease to a developer of as long as 250 years. If these two organisations are able to redevelop the Town Hall buildings for up to £20 million and then make a profit from them with a commercial development, why could not Southwark Council redevelop them for a similar amount and include a significant proportion of commercial usage. Southwark could then retain the other parts of the building for cultural usages. In this way, Southwark could develop a long-term commercial revenue stream from the buildings, develop cultural uses for them and retain them in full public ownership.
Neither of the bids matches the council's stated aim to create a "publicly accessible cultural hub". They are in essence commercial developments with some community access. They do not deliver a cultural destination on the Walworth Road that is attractive to visitors from across Southwark and that ordinary people will feel comfortable to enter and naturally spend time in.
If Southwark does continue with its current redevelopment proposals, the chosen bidder should be given clear and specific guidance by Southwark Council of what is required for a "publicly accessible cultural hub" in the buildings. In particular this should ensure that enough space is given over to the cultural offer that allows it to be of sufficient size to be significant and sustainable. We support the proposals of the Walworth Society for a Southwark Heritage & Culture Space which would consist of the former Newington Library, the Cuming Museum and the Reference Library (plus some ancillary space).
In any redevelopment with one of the current bidders, it is vital that i) if they dispose of the buildings, there are strong covenants that ensure the retention of the community/cultural uses for the site, ii) that public access is maintained for local people to large parts of the buildings and especially those that have been identified as "high heritage significance" and iii) in any commercial development, an agreed and appropriate amount of workspace is created that is sufficiently affordable and accessible to local (Walworth and Southwark) individuals and organisations (of whatever size).
Just in case it is of use, the full WS consultation response that we have submitted is:
...and our proposals for the Southwark Heritage & Culture Space are:
Walworth Town Hall Redevelopment. Notes and follow-up from the public meeting held Wednesday 12th December 7pm.
As part of the consultation on the future of the Walworth Town Hall, The Walworth Society held a joint public meeting with Southwark Council and some 35 local residents at which the two bidders both made presentations and took part in a Q&A; in addition Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning, along with Southwark Council officers also took part in a Q&A about the proposals for the buildings.
The minutes of the meeting (many thanks to Shelagh Kavanagh) are below:
Also the video of the meeting can be seen at:
The link to the consultation (which closes on 21st January) is:
The Walworth Society will discuss its formal consultation response at our meeting on 3rd January. Our overall concerns are that, while there are a number of positive elements to the bids (such as their respect for the architectural heritage of the buildings, the jobs that will be created and the track record of both developers), we do not feel that the community access/uses that are proposed equate to the stated aim in the Southwark Council Plan (2018-2022) of making the Walworth Town Hall "a publicly accessible cultural hub".
Please do come along to our meeting on 3rd January to give us your thoughts on the bids and help us develop our response to the consultation. We will let everyone know about how we are planning to respond well in advance of the consultation closing on 21st January.
Our next meeting will be at 7pm on Thursday 3rd January 2019 (former Newington Library 155 Walworth Road SE17) when as noted we will include discussion of our formal response to the WTH redevelopment proposals.
The links to the consultation materials are:
1. Consultation on the bids:
2. The WTH website. For fuller details of the redevelopment see:
The two links to the two bids themselves are:
a. Castleforge Partners.
b. General Projects.
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