We are disappointed to report that the license application was granted for the Adult Gaming Centre at 281 Walworth Road.
Overall, while this is very disappointing, we feel that we have learned a great deal from the process and have helped raise the issue of a saturation of this type of premises in the area. As well as representations from the Walworth Society there were telling contributions from other local residents and from our local councilor Patrick Diamond. The points that we made hit home and it looks as though we have most of the elements in place to fight future applications. There was a small feature in this week's Southwark News, for which we are very grateful, and we understand the South London Press are planning a larger feature on the problem of gambling shops in south London in their Tuesday edition.
Thanks to everyone for all their efforts and time in both the protest and the hearing. It was a very worthwhile thing to have done and we will continue to campaign on this issue and on the wider issues concerning the vibrancy and sustainability of our high street.
1) Gambling Application Licence. Attached below is the objection the WS put in against this application for 281 Walworth Rd SE17. There is a public hearing of the Licensing Application on Thursday 9th May at 10am at 160 Tooley St SE1. We will be there to object along with local Councillors and others. In advance of this meeting there will be a (short) protest against the saturation of the Walworth Rd by betting shops at 8.30am on Tuesday 7th May outside 281 Walworth Rd. More details to follow closer to the date but do come if you can.
2) Town Hall Fire Meeting – 4th April. Please find attached the notes from the meeting which includes all of the information given by Councillor John, Chief Executive Eleanor Kelly and the other officers who attended plus all the ideas of the large number of people who came along and spoke. Many thanks to our secretary Marek for all his work putting these together.
3) Southwark Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee kindly invited the Walworth Society to make representations about the effect of the saturation of gambling, high interest loans and pawnbrokers in our area at its 15th April meeting (the submission we made is attached below). There is a follow-on meeting on Tuesday 7th May (7pm160 Tooley St) at which speakers from other local authorities and parts of the country will talk about how communities can defend themselves from being swamped still further by these kinds of retailers. Please do come along if you can.
Next WS meeting Thursday 2nd May – 7pm. Back in The Hub, 182-184 Walworth Rd SE17.
Many thanks to everyone who came along to the community meeting about the Town Hall fire last Thursday. People found it very useful to have such detailed information from the Leader of Southwark Council Councillor Peter John, Chief Executive Eleanor Kelly and the other Southwark officers who attended the meeting. We will send round the notes of the meeting as soon as we are sure that we have captured all of the thoughts and ideas that were expressed by everyone.
1. It was excellent to have one of the firefighters who lives locally and who fought the Town Hall fire at the meeting. He and many other speakers stressed how much worse things would have been if the fire stations which are planned to be closed had not been able to send appliances to the fire. There is a consultation going on about the London’s planned fire station closures which people can get involved in at:
The link below gives details about a public meeting in Southwark about the proposed Fire Brigade plans:
Please do respond if you have time.
2. Fire - Latest News. The latest news on the impact of the fire can be found on the Southwark website at:
Some further news came from one of our members who works for the V&A who sent info from The National Museums Directors' Council newsletter for April 2013 under the headline - Majority of collection safe after Cuming Museum’s devastating fire
“A fire, which started in the roof, has gutted the Cuming Museum in Southwark. The eclectic Cuming collection was gathered by two generations of the Cuming family and includes objects brought back to London after the Cook voyages of exploration. There are also Egyptian artefacts and sometimes eccentric ephemera collected in 19th century Europe. Firefighters rescued the contents of Gallery One while the museum was still on fire, recovering 500 objects, some of which are damaged. Galleries two and three were destroyed - the full extent of the damage to the material will not be known until a full recovery is underway. However, the Cuming has only 1% of its collections on display at any time, and Heritage Manager Judy Aitken says that the rest is safe and sound in another building. Although the building would be out of action for months, staff intend to continue events as soon as an alternative space has been found.”
Finally, attached is the latest leaflet from the Cuming Museum about how they are continuing their programme of events after the fire and what is going on in April and May.
3. Free Film. There is a free showing of a film about the Heygate Estate Home Sweet Home, made by local film maker Enrica Colusso, on Monday 15th April at 7.30pm at Pembroke House 80 Tatum St SE17 1QR with a discussion panel afterwards. The film was previously shown as part of the Open City Docs Film Festival last year.
4. Southwark Committee investigation into the Business Mix on the Walworth Road. Southwark’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee is holding a 2 part investigation into the future of the Walworth Rd as a high street especially in the light of the proliferation of betting shops and payday loan stores. Part 1 is on Monday 15th April and Part 2 is Tuesday 7th May. Both meetings start at 7pm and are being held at the Southwark Council offices at 160 Tooley St SE1 2QH. Everyone is very welcome to attend.
Thanks as always for all your amazing support and the fabulous practical support many members have offered following the fire. Southwark Council is really appreciative and will make use of this help as soon as possible.