Lewisham London Borough Council

All of the seats in Lewisham were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

LAB HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 54 Total councillors 54 Change+1

PartyGreen

Elected in 2018 0 Total councillors 0 Change-1
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most Recent

  1. Catford's Broadway Theatre reopening delayed

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Broadway Theatre

    The reopening of Catford’s Broadway Theatre reopening is set to be delayed for at least another year until autumn 2022.

    The change means the Grade II listed theatre will be closed for the majority of Lewisham’s Borough of Culture year.

    Lewisham Council is planning urgent works on the building, including re-wiring the electrics, installing a new fire alarm system and CCTV cameras, replacing lighting, and general repairs and redecoration.

    The works were initially planned to take place between this year and next, and estimated to cost between £4 and £5 million.

    But officers later found the cost of the works would be “much higher than the original budget”.

    The delay follows a “high-level review” of the council’s general fund capital programme, during which the council tried to find extra funding for the project.

    Some unallocated funds were found, but according to the council: “The period of time taken to undertake the review of the capital programme and the approval of the budget has meant the programme for delivery of works at the theatre has been pushed back".

    They added that: “The autumn season for the theatre is always the busiest, and an October opening would allow for an autumn season culminating with pantomime to mark the end of the year of Borough of Culture programme.”

    The works are expected to take about 12 months to complete and work is set to begin in autumn 2021.

    But the council has warned that “due to the complexity of the building and its heritage and Grade II listing works will not necessarily be straight forward which may cause further delays”.

    Presenting the details, joint cabinet member for culture, jobs and skills Andre Bourne said: “The works will ensure the building is fit for purpose, meets current regulations, and is compliant to function as a public venue."

  2. London areas to receive Covid-19 mass testing kits

    Twenty one areas in London are to get mass testing for coronavirus.

    The kits, which can deliver results within 15 minutes, are being rolled out to select areas across the country.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the tests would help to detect asymptomatic cases.

    The areas in London getting the kits are:

    Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Brent, Camden, City of London, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.

  3. Lewisham Council must inspect temporary accommodations - committee

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A Lewisham committee said temporary accommodation (TA) must be inspected in person by the council before children are allowed to live in it.

    The children and young people’s select committee has set out a host of recommendations after a review of the impact of living in TA, which detailed the severe and long-lasting effect it can have on children.

    As of June 2019, there were 2,195 Lewisham households living in TA, including 4,464 children.

    Children walking

    A Freedom of Information request in January showed that more than 2,000 people on the list for a permanent home in Lewisham have been waiting a decade or more.

    The committee released a report in January, which included evidence from parents saying that they found “used condoms, syringes and other drug paraphernalia in communal spaces, rough sleepers in the hallway, and filthy foul-smelling common parts” where they were temporarily housed.

    The committee’s final report, set to go to mayor and cabinet today, sets out 10 recommendations, including that properties are inspected by someone on behalf of the council before being assigned.

  4. Council to 'urgently' address Lee Green LTN issues

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The mayor of Lewisham has admitted the Lee Green low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) is causing problems which the council is “urgently” planning to address.

    The LTN, a set of road barriers to reduce through-traffic was brought in under Covid-19 emergency transport measures at the end of June and has received mixed feedback.

    The scheme also aims to promote active travel such as cycling, walking, and public transport, which many residents support.

    However, traffic has been displaced onto roads outside of the LTN, leaving locals concerned about road safety and air pollution.

    In a statement last week Mayor Damien Egan said the “vast majority of residents” he speaks to “support the principle of LTNs, support measures to make it easier to walk and cycle in the borough and support our work to improve air quality”.

    But he said: “Our current scheme that was implemented in Lee Green is causing problems in neighbouring areas.

    “We are very aware of this and we are working urgently to plan changes which we hope will see things improve.”

    Mayor Egan said the council would speak to residents before making any changes, and reiterated that the scheme is a trial, saying that "if we cannot make the scheme work we won’t continue it".

    He added that "the urgency to access government funding and implement measures continues to be very challenging" and has meant "the council has been playing catch-up as issues have emerged and it’s taken longer than I would like to get them rectified".

  5. Lewisham aims to recruit 100 apprentices in 100 days

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Lewisham Council is aiming to recruit 100 apprentices over 100 days starting this autumn.

    The mayor and cabinet approved a report seeking £510,000 to pay for a training provider for three apprenticeship cohorts over 18 months.

    The funds will come from the existing apprenticeship levy pot.

    “Over the last 11 years a total of 570 residents have participated in the programme working either at the council or in one of our partner organisations.

    “Our outcomes continue to be very impressive with 74% of our apprentices going on into a permanent role and 82% of council apprenticeships progressing into permanent employment,” according to the report.

    Lewisham’s apprenticeship programme was forced to pause recruitment during lockdown, and in order to keep up with targets the council is proposing to launch a ‘100 in 100 days’ campaign.

    “This campaign aims to achieve commitments to advertise and recruit to 100 apprenticeship job opportunities in 100 days across the borough from August 3 to December 18, 2020.

  6. Lewisham ward boundaries shake up proposed

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Map showing old and new boundaries
    Image caption: Lewisham's new ward boundaries are shown in red, with the old ones in blue

    All Lewisham ward boundaries except two are set to change in plans published, while the borough will get two new wards and lose one.

    The Local Government Boundary Commission looks at ward boundaries when the population of electors – residents with the right to vote – changes.

    It aims to make sure councillors represent a similar number of people within a borough.

    The independent body, which has been in talks with the council, has published its final recommendations, which will mean changes for every ward except Forest Hill and Telegraph Hill.

    There will be 16 three-councillor wards and three two-councillor wards, including Deptford, Lewisham Central, and Bellingham.

    A new ward, initially going to be named New Cross Gate but changed to Deptford after pressure from the council, lies in the north west of the borough where New Cross meets Southwark.

    Hither Green will be its own ward, east of Catford South and north of Downham, while Whitefoot will no longer be a ward.

    An interactive map to see the full boundary changes can be found here.

    Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the Commission, said: “We believe the new arrangements will guarantee electoral fairness while maintaining local ties.”

    Parliament needs to agree the changes, if approved the new arrangements will apply for the 2022 council elections.  

    The council has yet to comment on the final recommendations.

  7. Calls to close Lewisham park after littering and 'human soiling'

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Upper Park in Lewisham

    Telegraph Hill councillors in Lewisham are pushing for a park closure after “littering on a festival scale”, and “widespread human soiling”.

    In a letter, Cllr Paul Bell, Cllr Joan Millbank and Cllr Luke Sorba, who all live in the ward, said Upper Park has been plagued by noise late into the night, overcrowding, people breaking social distance rules, broken glass, fires, and damage to trees.

    “Despite the best efforts of Glendale, council officers, the safer neighbourhood team and many public-spirited local volunteers to keep the park clean and safe, regretfully the situation in Telegraph Hill Upper Park continues to escalate,” they wrote.

    After speaking to residents and park users they felt “only radical action” would be effective, and unanimously decided to ask that the park be closed.

    “We have already received extra refuse services (but temporary toilets have been ruled out as they would be quickly overwhelmed, are vectors of Covid-19 and might attract even more people some of whom are already travelling from long distances).

    “We have examined requesting the Upper Park be closed daily at 6pm as a temporary emergency measure.

    “However, the feedback we received was that clearing the park could potentially put staff at risk, as some users may prove reluctant to leave and it might lead to people simply transferring to the Lower Park.

    “Consequently, we are unanimously recommending to the leadership of the Council’s Covid-19 response team that the Upper Park be closed round the clock and not be re-opened before 4 July when bars and pubs and restaurants and other entertainment venues open.

    “We sincerely regret, should this be implemented, the real inconvenience to countless blameless park users, particularly at this time of year and during a lockdown when public green spaces in Lewisham are so precious, but at present we see no other option,” they said.

    A council spokesperson said it has “no intention” of closing parks, but is calling on people to behave responsibly and pledged to step up security.

  8. Almost 7,000 women referred to DV service in Lewisham

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Nearly 7,000 women in Lewisham were referred to domestic violence services in five years, according to a Freedom of Information request.

    Lewisham commissions the Athena service, which is run by domestic violence charity Refuge.

    It offers support to residents in the borough who are experiencing gender-based violence.

    In 2015 1,065 women were referred to Athena, 1,416 in 2016, 1,525 in 2017, 1,585 in 2018, and 1,318 in 2019.

    The number of men referred to the service was 3% of the figure for female referrals at 270 in five years, although male referrals went up by nearly 10% between 2015 and 2019.

    Thirty-six men were referred in 2015, 48 in 2016, 53 in 2017, 72 in 2018, and 61 in 2019.

    Lewisham Councillor Brenda Dacres, cabinet member for safer communities, said the council is “absolutely committed to doing everything possible to tackle domestic abuse in all its forms”.

  9. Theatre to close during borough's culture year

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The Broadway Theatre in Catford

    The Broadway Theatre in Catford cannot stay open while works are carried out because it would “not be safe”, according to a Lewisham cabinet member.

    The theatre is expected to shut this summer and stay closed for the majority of Lewisham’s Borough of Culture year.

    In response to a member’s question from Councillor Liam Curran, sent before full council, the cabinet member for culture, jobs and skills explained that most of the works involved “urgent health and safety requirements”.

    A full electrical rewiring of the building must take place, as well as an asbestos check.

    Cllr Andre Bourne said: “The majority of the works planned for the Broadway theatre are urgent health and safety requirements and have been programmed to start at the earliest possible opportunity, estimated to be summer/autumn 2020."

  10. New approach considered to tackle fly-tipping

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Lewisham residents could have access to ‘community tips’ in a bid to tackle fly-tipping.

    A motion to launch a new approach to tackle the problem is due to be passed by Lewisham Council next week.

    Plans include a review of what it would cost to provide community tips, which would make it much easier for people to dispose of their rubbish.

    Currently residents “effectively need to own a car” to access the tip at Landmann Way.

    The move is in response to figures published in January which showed that fly-tipping incidences have shot up by 50% in the last six years, from 714,631 in 2012/13 to 1,072,431 in 2018/19.

    According to the figures, councils are shelling out £58 million a year to clean up the mess.

  11. Lewisham Council to make £40m cuts in next budget

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Lewisham will need to make £40 million worth of cuts over the next three years, it was announced at the budget meeting last week.

    The mayor and cabinet backed the budget for 2020/21 on 6 February, which includes a 3.99 per cent council tax rise and 2.7 per cent increase in council tenant rent.

    Mayor Damien Egan and cabinet members expressed regret over the cuts and concern about the uncertainty surrounding future central Government funding.

    He said: “Services across the country are critically underfunded and Lewisham is no exception.”

    The budget, including £16.6m worth of cuts overall, will be presented to full council on 26 February.

  12. New Cross Station plans published

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Development plan

    Plans that would thwart one of Transport for London (TfL)’s Bakerloo Line extension proposed sites have been published.

    TfL is planning to extend the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham via Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate.

    But A2Dominion and Mount Anvil, along with Sainsbury’s, have applied to build a new superstore and 1,161 flats in towers reaching 33 storeys by New Cross Gate station.

    The developers have suggested another site in New Cross for the extension instead.

    Lewisham Council has backed the Bakerloo Line extension, including the New Cross site.

    The plans, recently published on the council’s planning portal, would see the supermarket, petrol station and three retail warehouses – Dreams, Harvey’s Furniture and TK Maxx – knocked down.

    According to the planning statement: “The applicant remains of the view that there are more suitable alternative sites for the new BLE station within the New Cross Gate area – in particular, the vacant site located on Goodwood Road.

    "Furthermore, the applicant has been clear within their representations to TfL, that by locating the BLE Station on the application site it would result in the permanent closure of the existing Sainsbury’s Store (an important local convenience and the main anchor within New Cross Gate District Centre), give rise to significant job losses and prevent any development coming forward on this important option for an extended period (after 2031).”

  13. Homelessness in Lewisham goes up

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The number of people suffering homelessness in Lewisham has gone up again, according to new figures from Shelter.

    The homeless charity published its annual report, which analyses Government data, and found that there are now 7,015 people in temporary accommodation in the borough, compared to 6,695 last year.

    According to the figures, five people are sleeping rough in Lewisham – a drop of 17 since last year – but local homeless charity the 999 Club estimates the number is 10 times that.

    One in 43 people are now homeless in the borough, compared to one in 45 last year, leaving Lewisham with 12th highest rate of homelessness in England.

    Paul Bell, Lewisham’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Shelter’s report highlights the number of people adversely affected by the blight of the ongoing housing crisis – and it makes for grim reading.

  14. Seven areas compete to be named London Borough of Culture

    Seven London boroughs are to present their bids to be named London Borough of Culture, City Hall have revealed.

    Croydon, Greenwich, Hounslow, Lewisham, Haringey, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Sutton are competing to take on the role in 2021 and 2023.

    The two winning boroughs will each be awarded £1.35m to deliver a programme events during the year which "places culture at the heart of their communities" and celebrates "the unique character of local people and place".

    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the scheme had been created "to give Londoners a chance to create and enjoy world-class culture on their doorstep".

    Waltham Forest was the first winner, being named the London Borough of Culture for 2019, while Brent will take over the mantle next year.

  15. School for autistic children to be expanded

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A school for autistic children can take in more pupils after its expansion was approved at Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet yesterday.

    Drumbeat School & ASD Service’s capacity will go from 171 places to 203 places in January.

    The school, based in Brockley and Bromley, takes in those children and young people aged four to 19 with the highest level of autistic needs in the borough.

    Lewisham has the highest prevalence of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) known to schools of all local authorities in England at 1.74%.

  16. Victorian bathouse upgrade will cost an extra £1.7m

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Restoring the Victorian Ladywell Playtower in Lewisham will cost an extra £1.7 million.

    The “significant” rise in costs comes after surveyors found an array of unforeseen issues such as rotting timber and asbestos.

    New structural support, basement waterproofing, water and electric upgrades, and repairing brick work, drains and roof coverings will also add to the cost.

    Originally it was estimated the restoration of the Grade II listed Playtower, built as a public swimming baths in 1884, would cost £4.5 million but that figure has now risen to £6.2 million.

    Developer Guildmore, in partnership with Curzon Cinemas, bought the years-derelict Playtower in 2017.

    Plans for the site originally included a nursery and step-down care facility but this was dropped after few residents showed support for it.

    The space will now be used for extra flats – 33 up from from the initial 21 – which the council says will mitigate the extra costs.

    Councillors approved the changes at Mayor and Cabinet last night, as well as an offer from Curzon to give discounted cinema tickets to Lewisham Local Card holders, which rewards local volunteers.

  17. Adult social care in Lewisham to be cut by £4m

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Lewisham Council has approved more than £8 million worth of cuts, out of the additional £12.2 million they announced in July.

    The proposed cuts concentrated on £9.2 million of the £12.2 million, added to the £9 million it announced early in the year.

    Adult social care received the biggest blow, slashed by £4 million.

    The council has proposed to cut £2 million in costs by “managing care at the point of access”, including plans to ensure more people are able to remain independently at home.

    The aim is to make savings by rehabilitating people instead of putting them into care, which is “very expensive” and “emotionally difficult” on families.

    According to the council, £37 million in cuts will be needed to “put the council’s finances on a sustainable footing” in the two years to 2021/22 – £20.6m in 2020/21 and £17m in 2021/22 – and a further £12 million in cuts in the year after that.

    The cuts have been made in the context of central Government funding for local authorities being slashed by 63% since 2010, inflation, and a growing population in Lewisham, according to the budget report.

  18. Lewisham set to get new council homes

    Artist's impression of the new development
    Image caption: The new homes are to be built on Mayow Road

    Lewisham Council in south east London is planning to build 32 new council homes including 26 homes providing temporary accommodation for homeless families and six supported living homes for residents with learning difficulties and/or autism.

    The authority today submitted plans to itself for the demolition of a warehouse on Mayow Road and the construction of the new homes.

    The supported living units will be delivered in partnership with the NHS as part of which residents will be provided with 24/7 on-site care and support, and communal garden space for their sole use, the council said.

    It added that a new special educational needs school was also planned for construction opposite the site.

    Councillor Paul Bell, cabinet member for housing, said: "Mayow Road is a landmark scheme. It is a joint collaboration with the NHS, aiming to create socially integrated accommodation which will cater to both homeless families and to residents with learning difficulties and/or autism.

    "These homes reflect our determination to deliver on making a difference for our residents by building and enabling new places to call home."