Camberwell Town Hall update

New proposals for Southwark’s town halls could bring benefits for Camberwell

The latest (18/11/2010) edition of the Southwark News contains further information on the proposals which potentially could bring benefits to Camberwell.

In brief (and as previously described) the council intends to maintain council assembly meetings at the town hall in Camberwell (approximately 8 times a year) but shift virtually everything else to the new offices in Tooley St.

The council is looking to get a “public sector partner” to take over the town hall as its offices. Its not clear if it has anything in mind but this could be Veolia or other contractor or something exciting like the ballet which would bring real benefits to the area.

An exciting development for Camberwell would be the proposal to develop a new pavillion near the Magistrates’ Court on Camberwell Green — this would house a new library, community facilities and some customer facing council services.

The cabinet report suggests that this new building (or possibly shifting the existing pavillion building located currently next to Bermondsey town hall) could be used as a way of regenerating the local area, opening up Camberwell Green and creating a focus for Camberwell town centre. This plan however is at an early stage.

These plans would offer much for Camberwell making the Green a central point again. In an ideal world this area could be further enhanced by reopening Camberwell railway station/ building a dreamed of Camberwell tube station to offer real improvements and to bring a sense of place to Camberwell Green. At the very least they could work with Transport for London to make it less dominated by the big four/ six lane roads. However dont hold your breath — any plans passed this year are likely to take several years to implement and station options are on no to-do lists of which I know.

These proposals are set to be discussed at the Cabinet on 23 November 2010 — further information can be found in the Cabinet papers (agenda item 10, page 106 onwards)

We live in hope!

68 thoughts on “Camberwell Town Hall update”

  1. Big Society beckons. Know what that means? It’s all very simple.

    THEY are NOT going to do it for us. THEY do not exist. See the past and regard the future. This is Camberwell…

    Nothing favourable will change in Camberwell unless WE make it change.

  2. A pavillion near the magistrates court with lots of local facilities. You mean like the old bingo hall? Now there’s an idea. Why has no-one mentioned this before?

  3. @Monkeycat — never fear; Camberwell Society has objected so it will not happen. There’s only one L in this pavilion and it’s evangellical, as in elliptypical. They have not, as far as anyone I know knows, commented on the Galal Blingo. This will be resolved by a Development Toast really. Really we do need that.

  4. Camberwell is supposed to be scuzzy. Taking the rotten heart out of it and replacing it with shiny new facilities will distress the “no-one likes us but we don’t care” brigade. Can’t they just demolish that tardis toilet on the Green, instead? Or recycle it into drinks cans?

    What has it come to that they treat us as special needs? Give the money to Brixton which is deprived and dangerous?

    What can’t they leave us alone? Eventually central government will realise what Camberwell is when they try driving to France and fall off the end of the world some way down the New Camberwell Road.

  5. When government drive through Camberwell it’s just a pale grey blur on the way to a more important, more colourful, less demanding destination; they do it at 50mph with roadblocks and outriders.

    This accords with the view senior local government officers hold of SE5- it’s a pale grey blur in the periphery that has a ‘vibrant night time economy’.

  6. Dark days. The black J reg Mini Mayfair by the Kerfield is coming into its own as the coolest car in Camberwell, coming up on the inside lane past the whitish Hyundai Sonnet x 2 up Shenley.

    The black Mini looks like antimatter, anti-Mini, antimony, anti-money — like Auntie Mooney now has a purse full of in Mullingar.


    Lyndhurst School Winter Fair beckons next Saturday afternoon 3–6pm with the irresistible allure of the Snow Queen and the enticements of the Ice Princess and the massive iceberg magisteriality of the Kold King.

    The word is that some of the mums are going to do a “snow scene calendar” photo shoot in minimal fur gear on the day with proceeds going to the school.

    All these state schools live on now is such effort and enthusiasm, plus proper professional teaching.

    Today’s Camberwellians are being raised in such Southwark South Park schools. There is no more wonderful wonder at winterval festival time than to be amongst these SE5ers and their strange parents, enjoying cheap mulled wine in the real snow and listening to excellent sounds from the DJ.

  7. Coincidentally, almost, this is what I described above.

    Tomorrow is the Effra FC photography show opening at S&D. DO come if you can. Friday is London Horns at the Crypt jazz club. Saw them at Pizza Express — they are HOT! And do look forward to Saturday at Lyndhurst winter fair with Dagmar — always a great atmosphere there and the booze is very competitively priced.

    Camberwell has it all.

  8. C’est l’anomie de SE5. Tout n’est rien. Alors, san fairy-ann. Il faut boire un bock a la vue privee ce soir au Soleil et Colombes de 6.30–9.30.

  9. My objection letter regarding the proposed RCCG planning application to Camberwell Cinema into a church. Feel free to copy and send in to planning dept if you wish:

    “FAO: Susannah Pettit at Southwark Council
    RE: Planning reference 10/AP/3240

    As a local resident I believe this application is inappropriate for the site given its local historical and proposed versus potential future context. Furthermore it fails to comply with a number of national, London and local planning policies namely saturation and sustainability.

    On Camberwell Road alone, there are at least six places of worship between Camberwell Green and Albany Road, including two more branches of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) within two minutes walk from the proposed site. There are at least a dozen places of worship within Camberwell Green Ward and again, even more near Camberwell town centre; both Brunswick Park Ward and South Camberwell Ward border on Camberwell town centre however there is no secular community area or entertainment space.

    There is a massive groundswell of public opposition to this conversion from residents and traders — the vast majority of whom want the building turned back into a cinema or community space. However the RCCG has threatened that if planning permission was not forthcoming the building would just be allowed to fall into disrepair.

    To motion for refusal, keeping the building as D2 use is pivotal on how Camberwell will move forward in the future. There is no shortage of D1 uses — churches — in the area and keeping the D2 use in this venue will be good for business as well as for cultural reasons, ensuring the wider viability and options open to SE5 area moving forward.

    Finally the RCCG church does not come from the strong Camberwell community, its parishioners would travel in from all over London, a wandering tribe looking for a home, and parking problems caused by the arrival of the church would be intolerable for people living in the area. The proposed church community facilities DO NOT come out of our community but would be imposed on us, this does not count as a community facility.”

  10. Thanks, well spotted Peter. Had a chat with Marco at the Recreation Ground about it this morning…

    ON these lines pubco Enterprise — freeholder of the Rec Grd — last month sold the Palmerston in East Dulwich. I can report, with some pleasure, that Jamie got his own freehold at auction for a sum considerably less than he had offered the pubco privately before it was identified for disposal. Now Jamie is his own freeholder, pays rent to Enterprise who, in turn, pay Jamie a rent on the premises. It’s a topsy turvy world of nonsense in Tied Pub Land.

    NickW: Good one. WE should all be putting some time and effort into objections / comments / observations such as Nick’s.

  11. yeah some gentle ironic humour for gentlefolk in cast iron jobs

    some of us was into dub when dey still used electric bass guitar not computa

    the real sky & robbie

    mad professor


    the GENIUS Lee Scratch Perry

  12. Tank you, Jah Doves, is good. Dat also on youtube of Sly n R @ Crystal Palace Sunsplash is a ruff n ready recording — but you can smell the atmosphere, eh!


    The season starts tomorrow.

    LYNDHURST WINTER FAIR up Grove Lane near the top late afternoon 3–6pm:

    *mulled wine
    *fantastic unique crafts from on-trend brand MADE AT LYNDHURST — remember Hoxton? huh!

    Lyndhurst Primary is the place to be


    till your vision goes all shinee

    like yore seen fings on VHS

    wiv ver mulled wine an pies

    like Cliff Richard sez…


  13. WORLD WAR 3 HAS GOT OFF TO A SLOW START but Lyndhurst Winter Fair is going ahead anyway at 3–6pm tomorrow, towards the top of Grove Lane.

    There’s been all that fussing and fighting about Al Qaeda and Shia/Sunni, 911 and Iraq/Afghanistan, but it’s been like the trivial question of “Which Miliband?” compared with the new war of China versus Russia versus America, sparked by North Korea and its need for food parcels. World War 3 has started for want of a packet of pork sodding scratchings!

    Never mind.

    What would you do if the sirens went off for nuclear war? You would be too nervous to engage in an orgy with the people around you like in a T‑Mobile advert.

    You would go to LYNDHURST WINTER FAIR tomorrow and have a larf.

    It is very rare to have the chance to enter the premises of a local primary school and see the children, parents, teachers and others having fun together and welcoming visitors.

    “The young souls growing
    And the old souls going.”

    BLT, some visitors turn up with £20 notes for 35p glasses of mulled wine. Just bring your pub change shrapnel and watch the faces of the little children light up at the sound of it cascading into their futures.

    THE MONEY from the fair goes ENTIRELY to day trips out for the kids. This is how the days out are paid for.

    At 6pm the huskies and everyone else go down the Hermits at the bottom of Grove Lane and continue the theme of warming up and looking for a snog. Good Lord, why do you think the Scandinavian countries are like that?

  14. ONE HOUR TO GO! Government scientists are saying that the cold air, which is heavy in oxygen, mixes with the spices in the mulled wine at LYNDHURST WINTER FAIR to produce a exceptional LEGAL HIGH.

    The huskies are at the starter gates, the bets are being placed…

    The bric-a-brac is rattling on the shelves…

    The Conde Nast feature writers are crowding round the MADE AT LYNDHURST stall…


    Be there or be elsewhere!

  15. Lyndhurst Winter Fair was very jolly. The huskies loved it. Lyndhurst is a great school. The teachers came along — imagine going to work on a Saturday at, say, the Maudsley, only to find that the lunatics have taken over the asylum, so to speak.

    The chilly yet jolly Nordic theme was continued in the music which was as seasonal as the red noses of the mulled wine customers or the pink face of Cliff Richard.

    Bing Crosby…

    Silent night, stille nacht. Yeah, except for the duh-duh-duh of the ack-ack and the plumpf! plumpf! plumpf! of the bombs.

    You could see the Heinkel bomber pilots waving from their cockpits to the jolly cockneys down below.

    “Better luck next time, eh Fritz! Safe journey ‘ome! Remember, Tilbury, Canvey Island, then straight on to ‘Amburg — watch art fer fog over the Dogger Bank, mind!”

    ..dreaming of a white Christmas…

    …on a cold and grey Chicago morning, a poor little baby child is born…


    Footage of trees being defoliated…

    Agent Orange.

    … mistletoe and wine…




    The game of life is hard to play, we’re going to lose it anyway…


  16. Lyndhurst Winter Fair was fun. I got a nearly new inner tube for 50p. And had some vegetarian chilli (£2). Deal.

    The Effra FC thing sounds cool. Will come and have a look.

  17. AND… the Lyndhurst mulled wine was FREE because they missed the deadline for the licence… I love that creativity ‘well, we can’t have a winter fair without mulled wine, so, if we can’t sell it, let’s give it away!

    Sound business practice. Get loyalty and repeat trade out of a moment of adversity.

    Don’t forget to do your submission about the Gala Bingo planning application. It’s important.

  18. I believe that financially it was the most successful fair Lyndhurst have done so far…

    Lidl donated lots of stuff, Wooster Stock did a load of stuff, so did lots of other local shops and people.

  19. The Munky is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, probably wise in the current climate.

    The 99p shop is doing 3 tins of condensed milk for 99p. They were originally bound for Libya from Holland. Very good for making fool — mango, rhubarb.

    Recently there were some nice die-cast Trabants there, about 3″ long, but in absurdly prestigious, bright colours, not the compulsory grey of the original. On close inspection, they had rear-axle coil motion tension drive — you pull it back, it races off.

    Chez Dagmar we now have, yes, Trabi racing!

    Will the banana yellow one win? No! The pearlescent brilliant cobalt blue leads! Now the Mercedes metallic silver overtakes on the final corner!

    It is good wintry sport on the bare floorboards when it is too cold to go outside.

  20. Dagmar in all seriouslyness, when being shut is more profitable than being open it’s a reflection of dreadful stuff — a reflection of what’s NOT HAPPENING in Camberwell.

    Think how much it costs to CLOSE a business — to willingly turn away trade? If you’re open or shut the costs are the same and if closing is cheaper than opening it just isn’t working.

    I URGE anyone reading this blog to sign this petition:

  21. ‘If you’re open or shut the costs are the same’

    Really? Wages?

    Thing about the Munky is that it’s not that good any more. Time for renewal.

    I don’t believe it’s a good barometer for Camberwell’s economy.

  22. The Rec’s gonna die soon, I reck.

    No trains from Dmk Hill on the Sevenoaks / City line this morning. Had to get a bus and a tube. The horror.

    Bit of snow and the line to Kent is delayed to hell. Pathetic country this.

  23. Late nights at the Munky are still good fun — remind me of the police canteen on Lamu, where you could buy beer and dance to hi-life & soukous. Sometimes the Cave decants its lees into the Munky. Now on Mondays and Tuesdays the munkies can migrate to the Cave across the road. There’s only so much people can do for the on trade.

  24. The Rec’s freehold us up for auction within a week or so.

    My freehold seems as ever resolutely not available.

    As for cost of wages Alan is of course right — if you have staff and no customers then costs will be higher to be open than shut. But you’re still shelling out other fixed overheads. My place costs over £600 a day before the cleaner or a member of staff steps in to open the doors. Such fixed costs at FMunky will be around £250. Closing three days is costing £39K a year.

  25. Tell your friends now to pencil in 2010 New Year’s Eve House Party at The Sun and Doves. This really is going to be a night to remember — the best ever news — just had confirmation that the brilliant, vibrant, swinging, with it South London Jazz Orchestra are going to be Playing In the New Year!

    It’ll be a HOOT!

    The staff have proposed to dress up smart in 1920/230’s style. That serendipity began before the band was booked. If there’s any really good thoughts about what else we might do to celebrate the end of 2010 and the start of a bumpy 2011 — suggestions, please, for the rest of the evening… here or to mark@​sunanddoves.​co.​uk thankee

  26. It was interesting that at the WOMMA summit in Las Vegas recently the delegates — avatars and evangelists, celebrants and intoxicants — discussed the Finnish concept of “sisu”, a collective resistance to aggression, persuasion or bullshit.

    Social media are the new marketing opportunity — when people see a flash mob at Victoria station, they just can’t help telling their friends on their orange telephones, or something like that. They can’t help appearing in an ad for mobies, something like that.

    There will be a few flash mobs at the London stations today, but demonstrating a British version of sisu.

    Does anyone else think that augmented reality and so forth, the power of social media and such, are super cool stuff or — to use the hyper correct term — awesome?

    Or do you have sisu?

  27. Comber Grove school closed — snow and stuff. Making sausage stew and sausage rolls with the boys — who, it seems, are making an epic film using a Kodak easyshare camera their grandmother gave them when she upgraded her technology. Equipped only with this and a 128mb memory card they have been filming and re-shooting action shots for hours. I’m sure Spielberg would be interested to know how to cram an epic into such a compact space.

  28. I like this concept of Sisu, Dagmar, I’m going to find out more about this.

    I’m interested in the power of social media; or rather, I’m interested in what happens when people can organise collectively. With the recent ‘Twitter joke trial’ we’ve seen collective civil disobedience (the #spartacus case, where 1,000s of people repeated the sarcastic comment which has seen a man lose his job and gain a criminal record) and collective support (the same people raised over £14,000 to pay for the man’s appeal expenses).

    I’m less interested by flash mobs, which started off as silly trivialities and are now bullshit marketing props for lazy and unoriginal ad agencies. There are a few cases of them being used for good — the Scientology protests by Anonymous — but not nearly enough.

    Social media is just a term; the ‘media’ part of it is less important than the ‘social’. Social media, like Soylent green, is people.

  29. WOMMA UK, 1000heads, these are the champions of WOM marketing. What they don’t say is how it works — maybe because they don’t want it copied. Their clients like the mobile phone folks excel at it — Nokia in particular — but these great swathes of huge word-of-mouth change and influence of opinion and colossal surges of consumer-community must-have, no-one says how it goes, what happens. It’s baffling. It just sounds like direct marketing — junk mail — bunged into a mobile or nasty junk email mssg.

    All of that marketing stuff is smoke and mirrors to coin an old phrase but someone somewhere must know about how all marketing is going to go digital and hyper-real with WOM.

    Maybe WOM marketing is in its infancy.


  30. Soylent Green, now there was a book. It’s going to come true too.

    I see the Dulwich Gallery has, bizarrely, got its own paragraph of mention in the main leader in The Times today. 200 yr anniversary next year.

    The council haven’t gritted the Peckham Road pavement. A lorra people walk that road.

  31. Thanks Mark — by the way, as you are generally a man in the know, any idea on what actually happened to the proposed redevelopment of Denmark Hill Station which sort of started last year. The only thing they seemed to do was clear part of the hill on the side next to Windsor Walk and do a bit of work on the roof — mainly what looked like preparation work but nothing that remotely looked like the plans:
    Does anyone know if it’s still going to take place and is just taking a long time or has the project been canned?

  32. The current exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery is corking, as they say in the fine art world — Salvator Rosa, crazy stuff, well worth the ticket.

    Various fascinating bonkers old masters are going to be featured throughout the year — and that’s just the people who go there. The Picture Gallery is a jewel in our crown.

    Oh, Camberwell.

    We have on the one hand the Bussey Building on Rye Lane, on the other the finest and most constantly surprising small conservative art gallery in the whole country, including the fogey-and-humbug-infested Royal Academy.

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