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Petitioning Lewisham Council

Save Little Nan’s Broadway Theatre Saloon

Lewisham Council has announced that Little Nan’s Broadway Theatre Saloon in Catford will be closing down by the end of the year because it is "unsuitable" for the space, seemingly on the basis that it has a “club vibe”. For the many locals and visitors who come to Little Nan’s in Catford, we can’t think of a better use for the space. Little Nan’s a real gem. It has a lovely, community-based vibe and has brought in visitors from outside the area as well. It has a real mix of people and is not clubby or rowdy in the slightest. It has undoubtedly contributed to the Catford scene, in particular around Catford Broadway, that is being championed so well by Team Catford.  Quote from a spokesperson for Little Nan’s courtesy of News Shopper:  "We were chosen by the council to take on the space in Catford nearly two years ago, and we have invested a lot of our own love, determination and money to create a happy and safe place for all to enjoy in this public building. “We have just received a letter with a termination of our lease notice by the end of the year. We have tried to contact the individuals in the council who have actioned this, but they are currently not wanting to speak to us about the matter. "We have been given no reason as to the eviction. This is such sad news and we are so upset by this, as we love Catford so much." Catford loves you too! Lewisham Council is saying that it has offered to work with Little Nan’s to explore other spaces in Catford that they could relocate to (perhaps all is not lost), but surely attempts at finding a solution ought to be have been made before serving notice? Please sign this petition to show your support for Little Nan’s, whether they remain at the Broadway Theatre or have to relocate elsewhere in Catford. Let’s hope it’s the former.  #savelittlenanscatford

Sally Christopher
4,790 supporters
Petitioning Metropolitan police, CPS,, Metropolitan Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Public Prosecution Service, Lewisham Council, Theresa May PM

Richard Osborn-Brooks should not be charged with murder! Unite and change the law!!!

Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was at his home to be awoken by by two much younger intruders trespassing in his home with the intent to cause damage and theft, and potentially harm to life.  There have been reports (unconfirmed at this stage) of Mr Osborn-Brooks being forced into his kitchen by one of the assailants brandishing a screw driver, whilst the other disappeared upstairs. Somewhere between the assailants entering the house, and the 00:45 GMT call out to the Metropolitan Police, one of the assailants suffered a fatal upper-body stab wound, and the other fled the scene, his whereabouts still unknown at the time of releasing this petition.  Mr Richard Osborn-Brooks was initially charged with GBH (grevious bodily harm) and later re-charged with murder which isn't sitting well with many at this moment in time.  For those unfamiliar with the British legal system here is a run down of the basics. To be guilty of an offence you have to be guilty of two things; 1. The Actus Reus (the guilty act itself) and 2. The Mens Rea  (the guilty mind).  To satisfy the actus reus of murder: -The defendant did the act or omitted (failed -to act) to do a legally recognised duty.-The act was deliberate.-The act was unlawful. (As opposed to killing in self defence).-The act was a significant cause of death. To satisfy the mens rea: - Malice aforethought, meaning: (a) an intention to kill; or(b) an intention to cause grievous bodily harm Now unless Mr Osborn-Brooks knew the two assailants and planned on killing them that night, or had a malicious intent to kill them in general then surely he cannot be convicted of murder regardless of whether his actions caused the death, and this seems an obvious case of self-defence. According to reports, the whole situation was caused solely because the two assailants entered the house without permission causing Mr Osborn-Brooks duress and fear.  According to the CPS (directly quoted from ://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/self-defence-and-prevention-crime): " ...it is important to ensure that all those acting reasonably and in good faith to defend themselves, their family, their property or in the prevention of crime or the apprehension of offenders are not prosecuted for such action." The basic principles of self-defence are set out in (Palmer v R, [1971] AC 814); approved in R v McInnes, 55 Cr App R 551: "It is both good law and good sense that a man who is attacked may defend himself. It is both good law and good sense that he may do, but only do, what is reasonably necessary." The common law approach as expressed in Palmer v R is also relevant to the application of section 3 Criminal Law Act 1967: "A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large."" "A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of: -self-defence; or-defence of another; or-defence of property; or-prevention of crime; or-lawful arrest. In assessing the reasonableness of the force used, prosecutors should ask two questions: was the use of force necessary in the circumstances, i.e. Was there a need for any force at all? andwas the force used reasonable in the circumstances? The courts have indicated that both questions are to answered on the basis of the facts as the accused honestly believed them to be (R v Williams (G) 78 Cr App R 276), (R. v Oatbridge, 94 Cr App R 367). To that extent it is a subjective test. There is, however, an objective element to the test. The jury must then go on to ask themselves whether, on the basis of the facts as the accused believed them to be, a reasonable person would regard the force used as reasonable or excessive." -------------------- I do not believe that Mr Osborn-Brooks would have used any more force than he felt necessary in that sitiation, particularly as he did not put himself in that position, and nor did he contribute to the underlying factors that created the situation. As a reasonable person I (and the majority of the country) would regard the force as reasonable given even just the basic circumstances. He did not want this to happen! As a 78 year old man (or any age for that matter), being subjected to the fear of that present situation, and the fear of the unknown, it is impossible to state how you should or should not react, or what exact measure you should use to defend yourself. However, it is possible to state that the two assailants should not have been there, they should not have evoked such a reaction, and they should not have burglarized Mr Osborn-Brooks' home in the first place or put themselves or Mr Osborn-Brooks in that situation.  It would also be worth pointing out that had Mr Osborn-Brooks' reaction been so out of touch with reality, then surely the deceased's partner in the crime would have at least stayed around to help save his friends life or volunteered to be a key witness and identify Mr Osborn-Brooks as the cold blooded killer? Instead he ran and hid away from the scene, and left his friend, which indicates their level of blame and culpability. Many of the residents and locals to the scene of the crime have reported and indicated a high level of burglary and crime in the area prior to the incident, with many installing CCTV and complaining to local councils and authorities of the growing crime rate (particularly in relation to burglary), and the expectation of these crimes. Yet another indication of the imminent fear and hostility experienced by residents and Mr Osborn-Brooks. This is sending a message to burglars that they are protected and able to carry out such crimes with safety and security, and giving law abiding citizens a fear to protect themselves, their families, and their property. I for one could not say for sure how I would react in such an out of the normal situation, but I can testify that had I been in a situation where myself or my family was in danger then I would use whatever force necessary to prevent harm betroething us. When you break the law and enter a strangers home without permission, you know exactly the risk that you are taking. Mr Osborne-Brooks did not take a risk, he did not set out to break the law, he went to bed and was then put in an impossible situation through no fault of his own, and he should not be made to suffer the injustice or consequence of another persons illegal actions or mistakes. Mr Osborne-Brooks is not a cold hearted and premeditating murderer, he is an old age pensioner who was put in a tragic situation through no fault of his own, and defended himself the best way he knew and just as most of us would too. Let's end this injustice and start a new way of thinking, where justice means protecting the law abiding citizens and not those who abuse the law. Mr Osborn-Brooks should be able to recover this horrendous ordeal with his family and loved ones, and not a jail cell door. I would like to see the charges reversed and the real criminals brought to justice, and possibly a change in the law surrounding the stigma of self-defence and burglary. Who knows it might even reduce trespass related crimes in the UK. Please share and sign for change. #IamRichardOsborn-Brooks  **All information above has occurred through research and reports, and is not an admission of facts relating to the investigation, and only what has been reported in the media. I am not in any way involved or a part of the investigation, and to put it crudely I do not have a dog in this race, just an opinion shared by others. I am simply a member of the Great British public with a passion for justice, who feels an injustice is being done and I would like to make positive change where possible.

Emma C
4,229 supporters
Save the Senlac Road Plane Tree

We regret that despite the best efforts of our tree services team and the actions they have taken to save a plane tree implicated in subsidence of a nearby property in Senlac Road, we have been left with no option but to remove the tree. Since a report of subsidence by the property owner in 2011 we have explored all options for retaining the tree. After a detailed study, we cut back its branches and leaves by 50 per cent in 2012, 2015 and 2019 to significantly reduce the amount of moisture it needed. We also considered introducing barriers to stem the spread of the tree’s roots but we ruled this out because there is not enough room between the tree trunk and the property wall to fit a root barrier. Even if there had been sufficient space, a root barrier could only have provided a temporary and not a long-term solution. Meanwhile, further reports of subsidence at the nearby property have been reported. We have a legal duty to take all reasonable steps to prevent damage occurring to a third party’s property. We understand why residents are upset, and want to reassure local people that removing this plane tree is a last resort and not a decision that the council takes lightly. We recognise the many benefits that mature trees provide in terms of biodiversity, shading, flood prevention and visual amenity. Protecting and nurturing trees is really important to us. We look after about 37,000 trees – more than 24,000 of which we’ve planted since 2017 - and we’re absolutely committed to planting more. We will be planting two trees in Senlac Road and will be working with the residents to select the species of these.

1 month ago
Save our Oaks!

23 JUN 2021 — Lewisham Council has made the decision to remove two oak trees which are implicated in subsidence of an adjacent property. The Council has a statutory duty to take all reasonable action to prevent the problem of damage occurring to a third party’s property. We have reviewed all possible options for retaining the two trees and, since 2017, have taken action to maintain the oaks to reduce the impact on the property. Unfortunately, following extensive monitoring of the relevant property, it is evident that this approach has not been wholly successful and we have come to the regrettable conclusion that removal is necessary. We will be planting two replacement trees on the green on the road where the oaks are being removed and are in consultation with the residents regarding the species. Lewisham Council is committed to improving and enhancing biodiversity in the borough and has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2030. Since 2018, we have planted more than 12,000 trees and continue to plant hundreds more each year.

3 months ago
Save Wavelengths Leisure Pool!

We’re excited to confirm that the leisure pool at Wavelengths will reopen later this year after major renovation works. The Council has been looking into ways to keep the pool open in light of significant repair and maintenance costs, and is pleased to announce exciting new plans are being worked on that will see the leisure pool reopen, with beach-style seating areas and a range of inflatables and soft play to make the space even more family friendly. To allow the pool to reopen in a way that is sustainable, the existing flumes will unfortunately need to be removed. These aging facilities have been regularly out of use due to repairs and the number of staff needed to safely run these facilities. Removing these facilities will save over £200,000 a year and will help to reduce the overall loss the Centre incurs. Cllr Andre Bourne, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Leisure Centres, said: “Over the last couple of months we’ve been busy looking at ways we can keep a leisure pool at Wavelengths open, alongside the 25m pool, despite the serious financial challenges council-run leisure centres face. “Local people have told us that they really value the leisure water at Wavelengths – so do we, and I’m pleased we’ve found a way to invest in it and keep it open. We want Wavelengths to be a local family attraction so families can really make the most of the centre again. “I am of course disappointed we need to remove the existing flumes, but by doing so we can afford to keep the leisure pool open. I think that is the right decision and I can’t wait to take my own children to the pool when it reopens! “This situation has shone a light on the incredibly difficult position council-run leisure centres are currently in. A combination of funding cuts, the impact of Covid-19 and the rise of budget gyms are making it increasingly challenging to run expensive facilities like swimming pools. However, we know how important they are and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep inclusive, accessible facilities like this open. “As a Council we can only do so much with our ever-shrinking budgets and the increasing demand for vital services care. I’m determined to make Lewisham’s voice heard and I have written today to the Secretary of State, outlining the devastating position the Government’s funding decisions have put councils in and urging him to take action to ensure local swimming pools and other leisure facilities are properly funded for the long-term.” Over the summer the leisure pool will undergo significant repairs needed because of its age and as a result of being out of use for so long during periods of lockdown. The work is estimated to cost about £770,000 and will be funded by a combination of the existing leisure budget and Section 106 contributions from developers. Work will start immediately and is expected to take approximately 24 weeks to complete. Work will also be undertaken to look into refurbishing the wave machine. If viable it is hoped this can be reintroduced before the summer holidays next year. Work to retile the 25m swimming pool is due to be completed in the coming weeks, meaning the pool can reopen in late July ahead of the school summer holidays. Family activities will take place in the 25m pool while the leisure pool remains closed.

3 months ago
Save our Oaks!

Lewisham Council has made the decision to remove two oak trees which are implicated in subsidence of an adjacent property. The Council has a statutory duty to take all reasonable action to prevent the problem of damage occurring to a third party’s property. We have reviewed all possible options for retaining the two trees and, since 2017, have taken action to maintain the oaks to reduce the impact on the property. Unfortunately, following extensive monitoring of the relevant property, it is evident that this approach has not been wholly successful and we have come to the regrettable conclusion that removal is necessary. We will be planting two replacement trees on the green on the road where the oaks are being removed and are in consultation with the residents regarding the species. Lewisham Council is committed to improving and enhancing biodiversity in the borough and has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2030. Since 2018, we have planted more than 12,000 trees and continue to plant hundreds more each year.

3 months ago
SAVE BLYTHE HILL’S ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE AND CALL FOR INVESTMENT IN OUR LOCAL PARADE

The former betting office on Stanstead Road is not owned by Lewisham Council and we have limited control over its future use as a result. While we understand the concerns raised by local residents, the Council’s powers in this area are limited in many respects, due to national government legislation. Permitted development rights, set out in national government legislation, mean developers do not require full planning permission to convert retail space into residential accommodation. As a result, a change of use of the site from a betting office to residential accommodation was approved last year. However, the Council has not received any planning application for the demolition of the former betting office building on Stanstead Road and the current plans submitted by the owners of the building do not involve demolition of the building. We recognise the importance of supporting vibrant local high streets across the borough, particularly as we look towards our recovery from COVID-19. We will continue to be proactive in our efforts to support new and existing businesses and help bring empty commercial units back into use. The Council is conducting a mapping exercise in our town and neighbourhood centres to identify vacant properties and we will be looking to proactively engage commercial landlords in order to bring them into use. We want to see local businesses - as well as other community or cultural organisations - able to access vacant premises, which can help to invigorate our high streets.

4 months ago
Save Wavelengths Leisure Pool!

Wavelengths Leisure Centre is an important community asset in Deptford. We are upgrading Wavelengths, spending over £300,000 to make improvements at the centre and the gym is open for residents to use now. 25-metre swimming pool We will be re-opening the refurbished 25-metre swimming pool this summer. We are currently retiling the 25-metre swimming pool in order to guarantee its life for the next 20 years. You can monitor the progress of the pool works on Better's website. https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/lewisham/wavelengths-leisure-centre/news/restoration-of-the-main-pool Leisure pool The other pool (the leisure pool) needs extensive investment to bring it back into operation – we estimate this will cost around £700,000. In addition, the leisure pool runs at a significant financial deficit due to very high utility bills because of the large water area and high ceilings in the pool hall. This loss is in the region of £400,000 every year. When making decisions about investments of this size, it is important we speak to leisure users and the wider community to make sure we are funding facilities that will be well used and meet residents’ needs. No decisions will be made until residents have been consulted about options for the leisure pool. https://lewisham.gov.uk/articles/news/upgrade-works-at-wavelengths-leisure-centre

4 months ago