Thursday, 4 March 2010

Let's liven up Loughborough Junction!

It's time the Council stopped neglecting Loughborough Junction. For too long, hazardous pavements, unchecked fly-tipping and a general lack of care have blighted life in the area.

But as last month's inspired 'We Are Loughborough Junction' exhibition showed, there's so much pride, energy and creativity in this part of London. This is thanks mainly to local voluntary groups, such as the Loughborough Junction Action Group and the SE5 Forum, who are doing so much for the area. Now the council needs to step up and do its bit too.

Perhaps Loughborough Junction's biggest challenge is the local political geography - the area straddles 4 electoral wards and 2 boroughs. As a consequence it seems that no one ever takes responsibility for bringing the area the attention and resources that it deserves. If we can get 3 Greens elected in Herne Hill Ward in May, I sincerely hope we'll be able to change this. It's a personal commitment for me that, if three of us are elected, we will do all we can to bring serious, but sympathetic, investment to the area.

But equally important, the Council needs to engage local people to identify the best ideas for how regeneration money should best be spent. Following a Green Party proposal earlier in the year, the council has committed to consult properly with community groups and residents' associations on how to spend the so-called Section 106 funds that will be made available as part of the new development in 116-120 Coldharbour Lane.

It seems to me that this should be a basic principle for all developments - it amazes me that it isn't already standard practice. It's a small step, but hopefully an important one in harnessing the imagination and enthusiasm of local people to help liven up Loughborough Junction.

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