New consultation just launched:

Southwark Council is proposing road safety and public realm improvements in Lower Road, Plough Way and Rotherhithe New Road. The proposals include the introduction of measures to assist cyclists through the link between Oldfield Grove and Plough Way, and the introduction of suitable paving and street furniture to enhance the street scene.

Funding for the scheme comes from Transport for London. The measures are part of the Connect 2 project, supported by SUSTRANS, to create a cycling and walking route from Burgess Park, Camberwell to Durand’s Warf, Rotherhithe.

Full details here.

Lloyds TSB’s Bermondsey branch in Southwark Park Road is  part of the package of 632 branches to be rebranded as TSB and transferred to the Co-operative Group in a deal announced this week.

Lloyds Banking Group, which was rescued by the Government at the height of the financial crisis, must sell part of its business to meet European rules on state aid and has now agreed non-binding heads of terms with Co-operative Group plc.

From next summer the Bermondsey branch will be rebranded as TSB before the transfer to the Co-op is completed in November 2013.

“Today’s agreement is an important step in meeting our obligations under the mandated sale of our branches,” said Lloyds Banking Group chief executive António Horta-Osório.

“We believe the Co-operative will be a good owner for our business, customers and colleagues, and the combined banking business will be a significant competitor on the high street with nearly 10 per cent of today’s UK branch network.

“In agreeing to move ahead with the Co-operative we provide greater certainty for our customers and for our shareholders. In addition to an upfront consideration, we will also get to share in the future financial performance of the combined banking business which will be an effective challenger with a strong customer focus.”

Peter Marks, chief executive of the Co-operative Group, described the proposed deal as “the biggest shake-up in high street banking in a generation”.

He added that the acquisition of the extra branches would “make the services of our member-owned, customer-led, ethically-driven, bank available to millions of people we’ve not been able to serve up until now”.

The bank will become part of a cluster of Co-op businesses at The Blue, along with The Co-operative Food and Co-operative Funeralcare.

On Thursday Borough Market welcomed the next generation of budding entrepreneurs to try their hand at market trading for the day.

Students from Bacon’s College and St Michael’s College joined t the market to sell their wares as part of a project to develop young people’s business and enterprise skills by supporting them to initiate and develop sustainable business ideas.

The initiative, run by Southwark Education Business Alliance, has seen local youngsters working in teams to produce unique business ideas which were then presented to a panel of judges drawn from the local business community.

“Borough Market is proud to welcome some of Southwark’s budding entrepreneurs to the market for the day to try their hand at trading,” says market MD Keith Davis.

“The market is home to over 100 traders who provide a wealth of artisan skills and specialist expertise and are only too keen to share some of their passion and knowledge.  I can think of no better place for youngsters to learn about business and trading.”

Lulzim Osmani from SEBA added:  “We are delighted that Borough Market is offering Southwark’s young people such a wonderful opportunity to improve their entrepreneurial skills by selling in London’s most famous market.

“We hope that this experience will help young people engage more with their local area and appreciate it more.”

Rotherhithe Police Station

The sale of the Rotherhithe Police Station building in Lower Road has been agreed in principle, Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed this week.

“Further approval will be sought before the property is marketed for disposal,” said the Mayor.

Mr Johnson has gone back on his earlier promise not to close any police station front counters until a replacement facility was provided in the same area.

All the Mayor will now say is that “every borough will have at least one 24 hour counter”.

A police inspector recently told Borough, Bankside and Walworth Community Council that Southwark’s 24-hour police station is likely to be Peckham.

Question to the Mayor from Val Shawcross AM:

I have received complaints about poor reliability in bus services in this area, currently served by the C10 and 381 buses. It has been suggested that an easy means of improving this service may be to consider extending route 199 to loop round Salter Road and Lower Road or run the 47 or 188 via Redriff/Salter Road instead of Lower Road. Please could bus routes in this area be reviewed?

Response from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London:

TfL will review this issue and contact you with the results.

Chair of Trustees

Time & Talents, a 125-year-old multi-tpurpose charitable organisation based in Rotherhithe, is seeking to recruit a Chair of Trustees.

The Board is particularly interested in hearing from people with :

  • Excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Inspirational leadership skills
  • Trustee and committee experience
  • Ability to think strategically and exercise objective judgement
  • Commitment to the vision and values of the organisation

The Board estimates the role will require a minimum of 1 day per month.

If you feel you have a contribution to make, please email
Elaine Ray, Vice Chair for an application pack

Closing date for applications: 27th July 2012

Southwark Council is poised to award a £30,000 grant to the Bermondsey Business Association with the aim of establishing a Bermondsey Business Improvement District “to support the future development of the area as an attractive place to shop and do business”.

The association is based in South Bermondsey and is building on the work done by the South Bermondsey Partnership.

Southwark already has BIDs in London Bridge and Bankside, and the Waterloo BID straddles the Lambeth/Southwark border.

BIDs are funded by a levy on local business rates.

The £30,000 grant will come from the council’s Community Restoration Fund which was established in the wake of last summer’s riots.

The same fund will also provide Deli Felice with £4,800 to promote and advertise the parade of shops on Albion Street.

Extracts from a report on school places in SE16 prepared for next week’s Education, Children’s Services and Leisure Scrutiny Sub-Committee meeting, covering the Compass Free School, University Technical College and Southwark Free School:


14. Compass School have yet to identify a site and this non-identification of a site, both permanent and temporary, is a significant risk to the school opening as proposed in September 2013.

15. This ongoing uncertainty may result in Compass not progressing and consideration may need to be given as to how additional places could be delivered within the existing estate.


16. The DfE has approved the deferral of the opening of the UTC to September 2013. The UTC proposals are not currently progressing as a result of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of Southwark College and the potential for this to result in the non-availability of the site or the necessary ancillary facilities for the UTC. Even with the quick resolution of the site issues a September 2013 opening is unlikely to be achievable.


17. Discussions and recommendations in regard to the delivery of the 100 additional places are not being progressed at this time as it is considered that these should be delivered in the context of the delivery of all the identified required places. These other proposed expansions are currently at risk due to site availability issues and should they not proceed the delivery of 100 places at a particular school may undermine site potential and funding for expansion there or elsewhere if required.


18. In 2011 Southwark Free School (SFS) secured Department for Education pre- opening approval to open in September 2012. At the time of this approval the school was proposed to be established at a site in Great Dover Street.

19. In March 2012 SFS initiated a public consultation process seeking feedback from local stakeholders in regard to proposals to establish a 420 place primary school at 399 Rotherhithe New Road. The current status of this site acquisition is unknown.

20. The preferred site is not in a condition that would enable the school to be established in September 2012 and Partnerships for Schools are therefore also seeking to identify a temporary site. No temporary site has been confirmed but a September 2012 opening date is still targeted by SFS and PfS. The school was not included in the 2012/13 admissions arrangements.

The Central School of Ballet is this week celebrating a year of providing free weekly dance lessons for pupils in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe.   CSB has been running a satellite school based at Alfred Salter Primary School since October last year giving local pupils free dance tuition.

An average of 80 pupils has been participating in the weekly sessions which also include pupils from Redriff and St James’s primary schools.

“We can see a greater confidence in the children who have taken part, both physically and mentally,” says Fran Burke, arts co-ordinator at Alfred Salter Primary School.

“This has had a positive effect on both their work in the classroom and at play.”

The project is funded by The Ironmongers’ Company who enable CSB to provide dance teaching staff, a pianist and a dance uniform for the pupils.

Jess Mahoney, learning and participation manager at Central School of Ballet, said: “We have been delighted with the progress made by students taking part in the first year of our exciting satellite school project.  We are now hopeful of raising sufficient funds to allow us to continue these classes during the next academic year, meaning children in Southwark can enjoy access to free regular ballet classes, learning to love dance in a safe and supportive environment.”