Galleywall Primary City of London Academy in Bermondsey has received a glowing Ofsted report achieving an ‘Outstanding’ rating in every one of the five assessment categories.

The school’s regulator, which visited the Galleywall Road site between 14 and 15 May, said since opening in September 2016, the City of London Academies Trust, governors and leaders have provided inspirational leadership and that their determination and drive for excellence has ensured that pupils develop into successful learners.

Inspectors found that “teachers have high expectations of all pupils; consequently, pupils thrive. Strong, positive relationships and well-established routines mean that pupils become confident and enthusiastic learners.”

The report praised the school’s broad, balanced and rich curriculum, finding that the, “leaders have ensured the curriculum has firm foundations in the school’s values, performing arts and the development of language. The curriculum provides children with a breadth and depth of learning activities.”

Ofsted said that pupils demonstrated consideration towards adults and each other. The inspectors noted that the “‘Galleywall values’ – aspirational, compassionate, enlightened, entrepreneurial and individual – thread through the school and underpin the curriculum.”

The report also stated that the extra funding for pupils with special educational needs, disabilities and children from disadvantage backgrounds, was used effectively and that the early years provision provides children with, “an exceptional start to their education.”

Parents also made comments through the regulator’s online questionnaire, with one saying: “the school provides an incredibly nurturing and holistic approach to learning.” They went onto to say that they were “confident their child is receiving an education which will “enrich and prepare him well for life.”

Sheila Cohring, headteacher of Galleywall Primary, said: “I am delighted that we have been recognised as an outstanding academy in the work we do in serving our young people. This is a phenomenal achievement.”

“I would like to thank everyone involved in its growth, especially our parents who really are ‘pioneers’.

“Their faith, belief and trust in the school and staff has allowed our vision to become a reality. We must also thank our talented children for being such a credit to us.

“The Ofsted inspection has been our first since becoming an academy school and I am exceptionally proud of all the children, staff, governors and parents for their contribution and hard work in making this an outstanding school.”

The second round of The Southwark Mayflower 400 Grants Fund is open to online application until 30 June.

The fund supports events and activities that celebrate the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower sailing and the themes around its historic voyage: migration, tolerance, enterprise and community.

People working on smaller activities and events can bid for up to £1,000, while bigger projects and events will be eligible of over £1,000. All initiatives must include a live event or activity to take place in the lead up to the anniversary of the Mayflower sailing in November 2020. They should also take place within the SE16 area or areas of Mayflower significance in the wider SE1 area.

You can find the application criteria and apply for Mayflower 400 funding at www.ustsc.org.uk/mayflower-400-grants-fund


Transport for London has delayed the next round of public consultation on the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge as it tries to trim the cost of the scheme, a City Hall committee has been told.

TfL has allocated £330 million to the walking and cycling scheme in its business plan.

Public consultation was due to open last month but has been delayed whilst TfL tries to tweak the scheme to try to keep the cost of the bridge within £330 million.

David Hughes, TfL’s investment delivery planning director, told the London Assembly budget & performance committee: “We’ve deferred the start of the consultation to allow further work on value engineering aspects of the scheme, going back looking at certain of the requirements around alignment [and] the navigation requirements of the Port of London to see if we can take out part of the cost before going to consultation.”

Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, added: “We will seek contributions from the private sector to help deliver it” – but he warned that the amounts to be extracted from Canada Water developers British Land and Canary Wharf Group “are not going to be huge”.

Mr Hughes was unable to give Assembly members a new timetable for the next public consultation on the bridge.

Transport for London has announced that Abellio (owned by the Dutch national rail operator) has retained the contract to run the C10 bus route from March 2020.

The C10 links Canada Water with Victoria via the Rotherhithe peninsula, Bermondsey, Elephant & Castle and Pimlico.

A new fleet of electric single deck buses will be introduced on the route.

TfL is in the process of converting all single deck routes to use electric vehicles.

The new contract calls for a peak requirement of 22 vehicles, up from 20 at the moment, which suggests a small frequency boost could be on the cards.

The Lake Gallery (formerly CGP London)
Dilston Gallery (formerly Dilston Grove)
Marking its 35th anniversary, the contemporary art organisation based in the heart of Southwark Park, known as CGP London (Cafe Gallery Projects) has changed its name to Southwark Park Galleries, comprising the Lake Gallery and Dilston Gallery.

Southwark Park Galleries is set across two contrasting venues: the Lake Gallery is a ‘white cube’ gallery with a community garden, while Dilston Gallery isa Grade 2 listed, cavernous deconsecrated church dating back to 1911.

Commenting on the name change, director Judith Carton said: “After 35 years situated in the heart of London’s beautiful Southwark Park, our trustees, team and gallery family have agreed that now is the time to rename the organisation to better reflect our identity and position within the art world, our unique location, and the longstanding value of the rich offer we provide our local community.

“We have grown from an artist collective and DIY project space into an internationally established centre for progressive commissioning and courageous public engagement, with our continued commitment to free access to cultural excellence for all.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has ‘taken over’ the controversial Biscuit Factory planning application from Southwark Council, with a final decision to be made during a public hearing at City Hall.

Earlier this year Southwark’s planning committee unanimously rejected the 1,300-home scheme put forward by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor property firm for a development spanning the former Peek Freans biscuit factory and the old Scott Lidgett School site.

Southwark and Grosvenor failed to reach consensus on three key areas:

  • the cost of building the scheme
  • the expected level of rental income from the flats
  • the ongoing costs of managing the completed development

In his formal letter ‘taking over’ the planning application and granting himself the status of local planning authority, Sadiq Khan wrote:

“In making this decision, I must also have regard to targets identified in development plans. As set out in the attached report, I recognise that Southwark Council has taken a positive approach to approving new homes in the borough during the period 2014 to 2017, and is currently securing planning approval for additional housing just below target levels. Notwithstanding this, I note that the proportion of affordable housing secured relative to overall housing consented during this period is significantly below Southwark’s Local Plan target of 35% and represents a significant undersupply of affordable housing in the pipeline.

“Furthermore, and having regard to final delivery of new homes, I note that this is below Southwark’s target levels for both housing and affordable housing, and that this shortfall is particularly acute in the case of affordable housing.

“In my view the proposed development has potential to make an important contribution to housing and affordable housing supply in response to London Plan policies 3.3 and 3.11. Additionally, I am aware of the significant further planning considerations in this case which include but are not limited to; potential educational improvements, employment creation and public realm improvements. Having regard to the above, and noting the potential contribution of the proposed development, I wish to fully consider this case as the local planning authority.”

A date for the City Hall hearing has yet to be set.

This month Surrey Docks Farm started work on Phase 1 of its Riverfront Development, thanks to funding allocated by Southwark Council from levies on local developments. By the end of the year the farm will be offering a range of new and enhanced community facilities with stunning riverfront views looking across to Canary Wharf, providing new activity spaces, lettable rooms and outdoor areas all year round.

Architects PUP have designed the development and act as contract administrator; John Perkins Projects is the contractor; and Hollybrook Homes have kindly funded two cabins for the duration so the Farm can continue to run its education programmes and classes.

The farm’s River Room is being re-designed, upgraded, refitted and extended with a glass orangery to provide a quality, flexible, multi-use space for a wide range of uses – for schools’ programmes, classes, meetings, conferences, birthday parties and events. The adjacent three storey tower, burnt out in an arson attack over a decade ago, is being converted. On the ground floor: a Farm Kitchen providing a training resource for all ages promoting cooking with fresh produce, good diets and healthy eating and a catering resource for events held in the River Room. On the first floor: an office to accommodate the farm’s growing staff team. On the top floor: a calm, flexible activity space with a fine view overlooking the Thames – for meetings, arts and crafts and therapeutic sessions.

To complete the development, the farm is currently fundraising for Phase 2 to open up its river frontage in its unique setting by the Thames. Its new main entrance will then be through the gates onto the Thames Path where the public will be led along widened, paved entrances into the Farm and its new riverfront facilities. There will be new paving, landscaping and gardens providing a special space for sitting out and socialising and for community events. Gates and a retractable trellis fence will be installed to enable all the new riverfront facilities provided in Phase 1 to be available for evening classes as well as day time use by securing the rest of the Farm and its animals.

Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet Member for growth, development and planning commented: “This is really good news for the borough’s only city farm. Here in Southwark Council we are delighted to have awarded the Farm one of the earliest Community Infrastructure Levy (CILs) amounts to enable them to make all these superb improvements. This award is a great example of the council’s refreshed approach to local CIL which will see the development of Community Investment Plans to support growth across the borough. As part of the award, the Farm will also contribute to Southwark being an Age Friendly borough with further opportunities for older and younger people alike as well as new inter-generational projects”.

Cllr Jasmin Ali, Cabinet Member for children’s and adult services commented: “Speaking personally, I cannot wait to bring my family down there to see the transformation.  We have also granted the Farm a new 35 year lease at a charitable rent so that these new education and community resources are secured for the long term and the Farm can enhance and develop its special offers for residents”.

As the borough’s only city farm, with its gates open seven days a week and free entrance, the farm will provide its 50,000 visitors a year with an enhanced visitor experience and renewed opportunities to learn about and engage with all aspects of a working farm.

A recent demonstration of cargo bikes in action near London Bridge

Businesses at the Blue will benefit from a share of a £170,000 funding pot – backed by Transport for London – for projects to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

The funding from TfL’s Healthy Streets Fund for Business will be matched by business improvement districts like the Blue Bermondsey.

In Bermondsey, the scheme will enable more cycling at the Blue marketplace by providing cargo bikes, storage spaces and other facilities to allow people to cycle to work. This will also allow traders to move more goods by bike.Z

Jack Shah, Chair of Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District, said: “This is fantastic news for businesses at the Blue. This funding from TfL will be used to improve business cycling, including a shared cargo bike trial at the Blue, as well as better storage for market traders. Longer term, there is a huge opportunity for new cycle routes at the Blue which could link up along the Low Line with other areas such as London Bridge and Bankside.

“Business cargo bikes could use these routes for last mile zero emissions deliveries during weekday daytimes, to help reduce air pollution for our local communities. Residents and visitors could also enjoy cycling along the Low Line in the evenings and at weekends, bringing new customers to businesses at the Blue.”

Earlier this year Lambeth & Southwark London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi tabled this question to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan: “Many of my constituents are concerned about the daily overcrowding at Canada Water station and their safety when waiting for a train. What are you doing to address this?”

Mr Khan’s response has now been published by City Hall:

“The safety of customers and staff is always Transport for London’s (TfL) top priority, and TfL does all it can to ensure that customers travel safely at all times.

“Canada Water can get very busy, but staff are trained to carefully manage passenger flows at the station to ensure a safe travel environment and minimum inconvenience for customers. An additional Customer Service Supervisor is also available at the station just to concentrate on passenger flows during the AM peak.

“The London Overground currently provides a 16 trains per hour service in each direction and platform crowding is cleared as quickly as possible. TfL is also looking at a number of possible mitigation measures to help ease the crowding on escalators to the Jubilee line at Canada Water which we know can get particularly busy.

“Improvements are already addressing crowding along the Jubilee line. A timetable change in 2018 increased evening peak services between West Hampstead and North Greenwich. Jubilee line trains are now running a peak service for an extra two hours per day, easing congestion at key stations like Canary Wharf, Waterloo and Canada Water.

“TfL’s investment programme is playing a vital role in supporting London’s growth. Providing Londoners with a range of high-quality alternative travel options will also help ease crowding at key locations like Canada Water.

“For example, when the Elizabeth line opens, it will serve more than half a million customers a day and add 10 per cent more capacity in central London. It may also help ease crowding at Canada Water if passengers change at Whitechapel to get to onward destinations such as Canary Wharf, Stratford and the West End. TfL’s modernisation of signalling on vast parts of the Tube network, new and more frequent trains, and the upgrade of stations like Victoria, Bank and Elephant & Castle are also critical, to relieve pressure on the Tube, and enable London to meet growing demand. TfL is also investing record amounts in walking and cycling, to support efficient and healthy ways to get around the city and realise my vision of Healthy Streets for London.”