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  Canada Water Campaign Bulletin05-07-2004  


Monday 5th July, 2004 @ 7.00pm






    (Presentation by Borough Commander, Ch. Supt. Ian Thomas)

    (Report from Jon Sheaf , LBS Environment)
    Unpleasant smells/lack of water movement and algae
    Low water level
    Community wardens
    Reduced wildlife

    (Future timetable)


    Sites A&B Downtown
    Site C Fisher Athletic
    Site D Mulberry Business Park Site
    Site E Quebec Way

    Alastair Macalpine
    Police Volunteer Scheme
    Forthcoming AGM



Voluntary Sector (via BRD)


Thurs. 8 th July

Bede Education

Rotherhithe Library
Albion Street , SE16

Private Sector


Mon. 21 July

Time & Talents

The Old Mortuary
St Marychurch Street
Rotherhithe SE16


Forum AGM


Mon. 13 th Sept.

Alfred Salter
Primary School

Quebec Way Rotherhithe SE16

Apologies: Jackie Rose
Tel: 020 7231 7845
Fax: 020 7252 2288




Minutes: 27
Date: 5th July, 2004
Venue: Alfred Salter Primary School , Rotherhithe


Cllr Lisa Rajan (CLR)


Cllr David Hubber (CDH)


David Brunskill (DB)


Pauline Adenwalla (PA)


Gary Glover (GG)


John Hellings (JHs)


Brian Hodge (BH)


Janet Hodge (JH)


Lisa Hollamby (LH)


Gareth Osborn (GO)


Stephen Platts (SP)


Jackie Rose (JR)


Cllr Columba Blango (CCB)


Cllr Danny McCarthy (CDM)


Noel Ashton (NA)


Barry Albin-Dyer (BAD)


Theresa Cain (TC)


Father Edward (FE)


Adam Faulkner (AF)


Simon Hodge (SH)


Barbara Lawless (BL)


Dr Bob Muid (BM)


Richard Olsen (RO)


Pascale Rosenbloom (PR)


David Taylor (DT)


Theresa Veith (TV)



Ch. Supt. Ian Thomas

Borough Commander of Southwark

Cllr Richard Porter

Executive Member for Regeneration & Economic Development

Jon Sheaff

LBS Environment & Leisure

David Howell

Project Manager, Fusion Lifestyle

Alun Bidment

Centre Manager, Fusion Lifestyle


Cllr Gavin O’Brien

Alastair Macalpine

Dr Bob Muid

David Taylor

Theresa Veith

Pascale Rosenbloom

Adam Faulkner

David Meagher


















DB welcomed Forum members, the audience and invited guests.


The Minutes of the previous meeting were adopted.


Temp. Youth Facility

Funding may be available from the Cleaner, Greener, Safer programme (workshop

28/6 RCC meeting but any resources delivered must be geographically spread.

Nothing likely for summer 2004; BM had passed info on skateboard facility to

Gill Davies; proposed go-karting idea for CW had not materialised. CLR hopes to

report news at next Forum.


Terms of Ref.

Housing Assn. Representation to be discussed at future meeting (13/9 AGM)

Finalise re-draft. On-going



The Chair to write to BAD advising that the Forum was keen to point out that there

was no suggestion of any inappropriate behaviour on his part and formally record
that fact and it’s appreciation of his continuing concern”.


Site D

Chair to write formally to Wimpey to try and promote dialogue with Phil Lyons’

replacement – many hoped acceptable alternative scheme could be found.


Revised Tesco Extension plans

Every effort to be made for Tesco revised planning application to be heard asap to

prevent need for Appeal.



Dates of Council Tenant and Council Leaseholder to be advised when known



David Howell, Fusion Project manager outlined a proposed development scheme for the Watersports Centre. Fusion had taken over management of the centre in April 2004 and it was felt the facility was tired and in need of refurbishment and upgrading. Fusion are in the process of conducting a consultation exercise. They plan to invest £600,000 to upgrade the facilities without changing the external appearance and aim to operate a well-managed facility open between 7.30 – 10.00. A new 65 piece gym is planned (over-looking the dock) and meeting rooms can be used for different groups including community activities and a centre for training. Tideway Sailability and Splash currently use the centre and they hope to encourage more youngsters and sailing schools. Cllr Rajan was pleased that some of the gym facilities were specifically aimed at the young; she hoped there would be a synergy between fitness and sailing. JHs asked when the work was likely to commence? DH advised that once funding was approved Fusion hoped to move forward in August with a 16 week refurbishment plan aimed at opening for instruction during the winter and sailing by Easter. GG was keen to ensure that the fee levels would make it accessible to everyone and DH confirmed that there would be a variety of concessions (unemployed, senior citizens, etc). GG also suggested the SDWC be ‘re-launched’ to local schools as it was currently very under-used. It was also pointed out SDWC would be in competition with Seven Islands and the Hilton gyms (and others planned for the peninsula on new developments). No club lounge, licensed bar or restaurant facility was planned at this stage but it was hoped to operate a juice bar and possibly a small café serving light snacks. DB understood that the facility would continue to be a teaching centre and aimed predominantly at youth. All agreed it was an excellent after school facility and outreach to Southwark schools be undertaken asap (at present it is used mostly by Lewisham). PA suggested that links be made to those living at South Dock Mariner as there could be opportunity for significant revenue. DH welcomed the suggestion and commented that some houseboat owners may even wish to become involved in teaching and this would be welcomed.. In summing up, it was felt a facility that combined education, training and fitness would be of benefit.


Cllr Richard Porter introduced himself to the Forum having taken over the role of Executive Member for Regeneration & Economic Development from Cllr Catherine Bowman last May. Cllr Porter is responsible for all major regeneration projects within the Borough and he hoped to attend future Forum meetings whenever possible. Although no news to announce on this visit, he hoped to attend the Forum AGM later in the year.


DB introduced the Borough Commander and referred to serious concerns on rising crime levels during the past year. Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London and Ch. Supt. Thomas had both attended a meeting at Time & Talents last September to hear some of the issues. DB had subsequently been in contact with the British Transport Police and good progress has already been made.

Chf. Supt. Thomas began by providing some encouraging statistics for the year 2003-4 which included a big decrease in domestic burglary and car crime but unfortunately a 4% increase in robbery. A Task Force had been set up and more officers were available to deal with crime which had led to a month on month decrease. It was disappointing to hear that Southwark has the highest level of domestic violence in London . Having said all of the above, he said that the biggest issue for the Met. Police is public reassurance and that the fear of crime continues to rise. More officers would be available soon at Rotherhithe which included 1 sergeant, 2 constables and 3 PCSO’s. Additional teams would also be located at The Aylesbury and Camberwell. BC advised that of the 12 areas needing additional forces, he had ring-fenced officers dedicated to Rotherhithe which meant that they would not be called away for other duties, ie Whitehall, football matches, etc. It was hoped a further 5 officers would be available later in the coming year. Ch. Sup. Thomas referred to the success of volunteers in policing - a scheme that had been successful in the USA and was now used to man Camberwell Police station. By using civilian staff in a variety of admin/front desk duties, officers were ‘free’d up’ to concentrate on police work. Serious Fraud squad are working closely with staff from PriceWaterhouse to use their accounting/IT skills. Although a slow start (15 recruited so far), the scheme has great potential. Ch. Supt. stressed that more arrests are being made and more crimes detected.

Jeremy Simons expressed concern regarding the rise of anti-social behaviour around Surrey Basin which included graffiti, riding motorbikes (without crash helmets in a dangerous manner) and the sheer number of serious incidents. Local residents wanted to see police patrols but the peninsula layout prevents cars from catching the culprits. Could officers police the area using cycles or mopeds? Many wanted the police station open after 10.00pm at night. Ch. Supt. felt that once the new Community Wardens were in post, benefits would be seen. He agreed that cycles and bikes were a good idea and if officers were prepared to ride them he would supply the kit and training. SC felt the bike officers were building good relationships. Plain clothes officers do patrol but unfortunately the yobs know who they are! Additional funding will mean that extra anti-social patrols can be undertaken. CLR particularly asked whether police station opening hours could be extended and the Borough Commander provided a detailed response. In summary, he felt officers should be out responding to crime on patrol and not office-based. Re-opening the station would not be economic or effective. Many complained about poor response times (often 2 hours) and officers responding to calls came from Walworth and did not know the area. Ch. Supt. said that 999 calls should be responded to within 12 mins and his team were meeting 75% of that target. JHs referred to a recent incident where a flasher had tried to abduct two girls (he actually had a knife) and it seems that it was over an hour before police responded. Local people had searched the area themselves and SC advised that people living around RDW had responded similarly to a recent incident of a failed mobile ‘phone theft. JHs pointed out again that with future development of CW, there will be increased numbers around at night, on alcohol, who will probably commit crime – was there a strategy in place to deal with the huge increase in population, retail outlets and night-time activity? GG also picked up on this theme and mentioned the regeneration planned for Bermondsey, Tower Bridge (and Elephant & Castle too) – he felt a strategic vision was needed to prevent more loss of confidence in the North Southwark area. Ch. Supt. expressed regret that resources were not available. LH asked how many volunteers it would take to man Rotherhithe Police station and after lengthy explanation Ch. Supt, said again that it was just not feasible. SC was very concerned about the rise in the number of flasher incidents and had suggested that school heads be given a description so that they could warn children of walking alone through certain areas, particularly RDW. Ch. Supt. felt it was essential that people come forward with information and no harm would be done by issuing a standard letter (not mentioning any names etc of course).

The Borough Commander finished up by referring to cross-Borough co-operation and good joint-intelligence. He was willing to come back and update the Forum at a later date and stressed the importance of reporting all incidents of crime to the correct telephone number (999 emergency only).

DB expressed the Forum’s thanks for the time Ch. Supt. Thomas had spent with us.


Jon Sheaff, Parks Manager (and responsible for all water areas in Rotherhithe ) had kindly agreed to attend the Forum meeting to answer a number of questions concerning the dock that had been received from the local community. To summarise, the concerns were:

Unpleasant smells/lack of water movement and algae:

These problems currently exist because of two blocked bore holes in Albion Channel; the pump is being taken out and serviced/repaired and will be replaced. JS could not explain why the water level was reducing and it is assumed that ground water levels are currently very low; LBS are presently trying to ascertain from the Jubilee Line who at TfL is responsible (pursuing daily). Nutrient samples taken from the bore hole are low which is favourable as this discourages algae which tends to grow when a high level is present. Very difficult to deal with and barley straw method is a massive operation. Chemicals are effective but need to be carefully managed to prevent over-loading, particularly as there is effectively no ‘through-put’. JH asked whether a schedule of planned maintenance was implemented and adhered to by the contractors? Were there planned, costed regular tasks to keep the waterways clear and maintained? JS advised that there were insufficient resources to undertake such a programme and advised that much of the work was ad hoc. JS said that climate affects the algae level and it is difficult to make predictions. JHs made the comment that development of Canada Water will bring significant numbers of residents and visitors who are keen to enjoy the waterside aspect – could monies be put back into maintaining the area? It was also pointed out that future numbers will increase litter. JS stressed that his office did recognise the significance of the water areas but they have to be managed with a limited pot of money. Human damage is the responsibility of Environment & Leisure (not Parks). Both the Forum and JS felt that ‘designing out litter’ by physical barriers was a better option. JHs commented that litter and algae give the dock basin the appearance of being empty and derelict. GG felt staff from Burger King, Tesco’s etc should bear some responsibility for cleaning up their own litter clearly visible around the dock area and asked whether LBS put an onus on these companies? JS agreed to take the message back and also to ask a cleaning expert what the current position is on this. It was also agreed that a representative from Integrated Cleaning (current contractor) would be asked to attend the next Forum meeting. DB pointed out that whilst scooping out algae weekly improved the smell and look of the water areas, he believed wildlife preferred it left alone to produce a higher level of algae.

Low water level: PA understood that an annual procedure was in place to let water into the dock periodically. JS advised that there was an option but it was not necessarily ‘annual’ and also that care had to be taken when releasing water into the dock. It is proving to identify the TfL contact and it was suggested that a regular arrangement be made. PA asked whether the fountain near to Surrey Water could be returned to operation and this seemed to help regulate algae levels. JS agreed to investigate.

Litter: PA also asked if the area surrounding the bottom of the Dock Hill area could be cleaned more often and JS agreed to feed this back to the contractors. With regard to litter generally, it was felt that increased levels had been reported since the removal of litter bins from outside of BHS. PA requested that the bins surrounding Canada Water be emptied more often to prevent over-flowing, etc. Alternatively, paladins could be installed. JS agreed to feed back. Steve Cornish (SC) felt that low level wire mesh on all the fencing could reduce litter getting onto the nesting areas and the dock. He also felt a) Canada Water should be cleaned weekly, b) TRUE should be given the contract as they had expertise of wildlife and conservation and c) barley-straw has been outlawed by the EU and pumping blue dye in is the most effective way of reducing algae.

Fishing: SC advised that a report had been submitted at a recent RCC meeting on the feasibility of allowing licensed fishing on certain sections of the dock. Many were keen to see young people involved and properly organised and educated. A consultation study is to be undertaken. SC and TRUE have done some work to get things kick-started but he stressed there was lots of issues to address (enforcement, signage, health & safety, etc). Decathlon had also expressed an interest in getting involved. JH asked whether it could caused damage during the breeding season and JS advised that he would need to take advice on this question. It was hoped the new community wardens planned for Rotherhithe could get involved but the whole project would need support.

Community wardens : recruitment is currently under way and it hoped to have a team of 12 on the peninsula, hopefully by the end of the summer. They will work closely with the police and provide intelligence etc.

Reduced wildlife : A number of local residents were concerned at so little sign of successful breeding this year and asked whether another raft could be placed in the basin? The swans seemed to have left and PA asked whether there had been any provision for wildlife during building to prevent them being driven away (ie consideration given to flight paths etc)? SP confirmed that matters of this nature fall under Southwark’s Considerate Builders’ scheme which British Land will have to sign up to, but they cannot control everything. He agreed it was something that could be looked at.


SP reported that unfortunately David Taylor was currently hospitalised and there had been some difficulties in not being able to discuss matters. However it was hoped that a draft timetable would be available shortly. The Chair was asked to write to British Land to raise concern that since formalisation of the contracts has been delayed, it has not been able to commence more detailed consultation with them. It was appreciated that David Taylor was unwell and the Forum was a reluctant to press him for an indication of when a meeting might be possible. However, in his absence, the Forum will ask who can be contacted and request that British Land give a presentation to provide an update at the AGM on13th September.


SP gave a brief update on the following:

Site E: Refused

Mulberry: 1 application has gone to appeal and a duplicate is also lodged. PA advised that one Application is a proposal for a place of worship ( Charismatic Church )

St Paul ’s Field: Consultation under way and a report will be drafted. SP hoped to circulate within the next few days.

Site D: Wimpey have indicated that the will move ahead on the 6 block scheme for which permission has already been granted. CDH pointed out that this does not mean it will be implemented. BH hoped that further dialogue could take place to try and find an acceptable alternative and the Chair agreed to write to Wimpey.


Alastair Macalpine:

The Chair formally noted that Alastair Macalpine was leaving Slough Estates shortly and wished to express the Forum’s thanks for all that he had achieved during his association. Strong views had been expressed over the proposed Tesco extension and consultation with the community had achieved mutually acceptable results to both sides. DB welcomed Gareth Osborn who would be Alastair’s replacement.

GO advised that he hoped that the revised extension plan could go to RCC in July to prevent the need to go Appeal in November. All present agreed it would be extremely sad if the matter did go to Appeal as there was considerable support for the new plan and certainly no objections. The Forum resolved to urge that the matter be considered by the RCC Planning Committee at the earliest opportunity.

Police Volunteer Scheme

It was suggested that information on the above scheme be included on the Canada Water website.

Forthcoming AGM (13/9):

DB closed the meeting by advising that he would not be standing for election at the forthcoming AGM.

REVISED PROGRAMME OF DATES: A future programme of dates is attached.

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