Your Questions

Deptford Broadway & Brookmill Road Junction

A resident asked:

Additionally Deptford Broadway has been identified as one of the most dangerous junctions for cycling in London. The feeder road, Brookmill Road is a 20mph road but there are no traffic calming measures making it very frightening to cycle on at times, there have been several incidents related to speeding which are well documented.

 

Our response

Lewisham has a very low number of dedicated cycle routes compared with neighbouring boroughs.  There is room along Brookmill for a scheme to be looked at - with improvement to where it meets the A2. We will investigate with Caroline Pidgeon how Lewisham Council and TfL can remove the conflict between cyclists and other road users here. It is a busy intersection and it must be made safer for cyclists.

 

Generation Rent

A resident asked:

I’m a renter who lives in Deptford. I grew up here; this area is my home, but like many people in this borough I face the pressures of high rents, insecurity, and unaffordability. As someone seeking to be elected in this year's local elections, it is important to me that we know you are on our side. 

Lewisham council holds key powers around enforcement of standards in the private/social rented sector, as well as powers and resources to help tackle issues of affordability in the area. Councils can also use their platforms to speak out for bigger changes to the housing system, like ending section 21 evictions and supporting Sadiq Khan in his call for rent controls. But Freedom of Information requests show that councils across London could be doing so much more.

I am asking that you promise me that if elected you'll make sure the council takes implements the steps set out in the the Lewisham Housing Justice Charter. Some of the main things in the charter include: 

1. Hold landlords accountable, for example by:

- publishing targets on increasing the number of fines and legal actions taken against landlords who deny renters our rights including those who carry out illegal evictions; and targets for increasing the number of tenancy relations officers
- inspecting homes to make sure they meet legal standards before giving landlords a licence; and
- ensuring there is no collaboration between their work enforcing housing standards and the Home Office or Border Force, including data sharing

2. Deliver high quality social housing, for example by:

- building 2000 more social rent homes by 2026, and;
- ensuring all social housing is pre-adapted or easily adaptable for disabled people and their carers, and to high environmental standards.
- adapting current stock to meet the needs of tenants e.g. with large families
- set out steps to improve the process for social housing maintenance and repairs

3. Stop forcing people out of Lewisham, for example by:

- giving all people living in temporary accommodation the opportunity to be re-housed within Lewisham; and
- ending the practice of pushing people living in temporary accommodation into private housing, and declaring them ‘intentionally homeless’ if they refuse an offer.

4. Bring the rents down: by publishing data on rent levels and adding the council’s voice to the movement for rent controls.

I hope that I can count on you to stand up for local renters?

You can read the full housing justice charter developed by the Lewisham branch London Renters Union here.

You may receive lots of emails and letters like this. That is because myself and renters across the borough are going to be organising during these elections. We will be sharing responses in WhatsApp groups and creating a scorecard that we will share on social media. Given the seriousness of the housing crisis this is the only way to get our voices heard. 

I look forward to hearing back from you.

 

Our response
Dear ,
We as Liberal Democrats are happy to argue for the implementation of the Lewisham Housing Justice Charter, if we manage to get some councillors elected this May. For a long time our policies have been supportive of generation rent. See for example:

 

Safe Streets & Air Quality

A resident asked:

Dear Lewisham Liberal Democrats,

I am a Lewisham resident and I support LCC’s Climate Safe Streets plan for our borough.

Further to the LCC asks, I'd just like to note that I've lived in Lewisham for nearly eight years, and tried to get a cycle hangar on three separate occaisons. Each time I do this, I get a message that tells me I will only be contacted if successful (never heard anything) and that applications are only processed twice a year. Applications for car parking permits, where they exist are processed far more quickly. Why, during a climate emergency, is this the case? In addition, I'm hoping to buy a property and I know that the councils cycling officer objected to a change to the planning permission that reduced the quality and number of cycle parking spaces included in it, but the councils planners waived it through. We urgently need to fund cycle parking properly if we're going to grow cycling.

Reducing road transport emissions is the single biggest thing we can do in Lewisham to tackle the climate emergency - if you’re elected as my next council leader I want you to commit to help people make more journeys by cycling, walking and wheeling. In your next term, by 2026, I ask you to commit to:

1. Safe, inclusive cycle routes: protected cycle lanes on main roads, quiet cycle routes through Liveable Neighbourhoods, and safe junctions

2. Liveable Neighbourhoods: climate safe streets, school streets and urban realm fit for the future

3. Embrace shared micromobility schemes across the borough, including TfL London Hire bikes to Deptford

4. Dedicated active travel fund to end stop-start delivery of projects

These are realistic and achievable targets developed specifically for Lewisham by Lewisham residents. You can find out more about the targets we’re asking you to commit to at https://lcc.org.uk/Lewisham-asks

The Mayor of London has committed to a zero-carbon London by 2030. The government has committed to half of all urban journeys being walked or cycled by 2030. Now every London borough has to take action too.

Please email [email protected] today saying “I commit” and LCC will add you to their page of climate hero councillors!

Yours sincerely,

 

Our response
Dear ,
We are aware of an issue with the supply and installation of cycle hangers. We posted an item on this on our website on 18 February 2022:
"Bike storage is funded by Transport for London (TfL), arranged by the Council but managed by a contractor (Cyclehoop). There is huge demand for space in one.
Residents who thought they were on the Council's waiting list have recently discovered they need to apply via the contractor's website. It's a pity Lewisham Council didn't notify everyone.
https://www.cyclehoop.rentals/". The roll our of cycle hangers is something that Caroline Pidgeon, one of our assembly members has raised in a question to the London Mayor. We will do all we can to ensure that cycle hangers are provided wherever there is demand.
In regard to the more general request for our candidates' support for cleaner, safer streets. We are happy to commit to better facilities for cycling and walking; we are already campaigning to extend TfL London bike hire to Lewisham, and we want better public transport and more facilities for electric cars. 
We want to see LTNs that work for local residents and deliver improved air quality, because of this we are not in favour of extending LTNs until proper data has been collected and residents properly consulted. It is worth noting that the green campaigner Rossi Adoo-Kissi-Deborah has been campaigning against the Lee Green LTN because it simply displaces pollution from one part of the borough to other less affluent areas. Our policy is to reform the LTN, which is, we think, a greener solution than simply extending them.
We recognise there are a range of stakeholders, including cyclists, ramblers, people with disability, emergency services and local residents with valuable contributions to make to the debate. We will work with all relevant groups to achieve improvements to air quality and public transport for all and to make walking and cycling a pleasure.
Yours Sincerely,
Peter George
On behalf of Lewisham Liberal Democrats
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