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Dear Neighbour,
Click on pix to enlarge.
Welcome to the April NAG newsletter.  Please forward to family or friends you think will be interested.  


First, the pandemic.  We are all aware that its ultimate sweep throughout the world is an unknown, but the pandemic will end.  How much social and economic turmoil is also unknown, but we all need to work on the basis of what we can each do to help mitigate the impacts in all areas and help others with kindness and generosity, whether neighbours or more distant.
 

Some radical ideas. To help our local shops and businesses that are closed with no financial assistance yet, and if you have funds, consider sending them money in advance in return for a credit note.  It will need managing and good faith, so only consider what you can afford to lose as with the best intent, some may close permanently and your credit note become worthless.  If we can keep our local business friends afloat, there will be great pent‑up demand in many sectors to help recovery.
 
Within our community there will be those with no income at all, even with Government assistance, as some will ‘fall through the cracks’.  NAG would like to kick-start crowdfunding to help such people with direct cash hand-outs, but technically and operationally it’s very difficult.  We have been in contact with Lambeth and London Mutual Credit Union as administrators but it’s yet to gain traction. 
If this is something you think you can bring some skills and expertise to, please bounce-back an email, or take action unilaterally!
 
Perhaps locally, or nationally, or internationally, you should contribute generously to your favourite charities, and befriend some more.  Normal fundraising through their shops and community initiatives has been totally halted.
 

Shopping. Forum and Station to Station have web-pages dedicated to local businesses that continue to serve, or home deliver.  Check them here and here.  And Forum continues to amaze, check their website.  You may have to queue at shops, but shelves are increasingly stocked again.  The free-delivery of heavy shopping by cargo bike continues from the Bon Velo base (next to KFC). 
 
Short intermission...
It’s all very intense, so a little distraction:  Conversion of an ex-shop to two flats (£500k each) revealed the last shop facia from the 1960’s, The Sweet Shop, The Pavement, Chapel Road.

 

Back to business…
If you can, consider volunteering.  The NHS currently has more volunteers than it can use.  Lambeth needs 18-70 year olds here.  Our West Norwood initiative can be contacted here.  There has been a wonderful response so you are unlikely to be over-stretched.

Norwood & Brixton Foodbank needs your help to help those in great need.  They have suspended sessions and are delivering.  You can help in many ways, including just plain old money,
here.

Contacts.  You are perhaps overwhelmed with contacts of help available, but here are some key ones.
Lambeth – All its key contacts are contained in
this message from council leader Jack Hopkins.  If you want to get regular email updates direct, go here.  There’s also a Lambeth crowd-funding initiative to direct financial assistance to small local groups that are giving assistance to others.  More here.
 
Many will be struggling due to acute anxiety because of all the pressures of no income, family to look after, or isolation, bills to pay.  Apart from direct help with the challenges, you may need help with
coping with anxiety.  There’s also a Lambeth phone help-line with advice for the vulnerable or those caring for them 020 7926 2999.
 
Another short intermission...
Erwin knows how to handle a crisis.

 

Back to business…
Think of all those who have to work.  We are in awe of NHS and nursing home staff dedication, but think too of people like the police, your local postie, delivery drivers, refuse collection guys, bus and train staff, workers in the utilities, warehouse and food shop staff, and many, many more professions.  Our apologies if your essential profession hasn’t had a specific mention.
 
Talking of refuse collection, it may need to reduce to alternate weeks.  So minimise waste and reduce bulk by squashing as much as possible.  If you have a garden and it’s without a compost heap, start piling.  Vale Street Recycling Centre is closed till further notice.  Vegetable kitchen waste (excluding meat or cooked food – you shouldn’t be wasting this anyway!) makes good compost quite rapidly in warm weather.
 
All doctor’s surgeries and dentists are closed.  You need to phone to find out current arrangements.  The Post Office is currently shut for unspecified reason.
 
And swindlers don’t rest.  Be super aware of scams.  Here’s a
police booklet on phone scams.  Met advice on other scams here.  No meter readers at present, and the chances of visits from officials unlikely.  Beware of anyone showing-up on the doorstep!
 
Diet.  With most of us being much less active than usual, one needs less food, so eat less.  It will help your pocket and the stress of buying, and leave more to go around for others.  Yes! Teenagers are hungry beasts!
 

When we are next freely out and about, we’re going to see some disastrous mullets and hair-do's!  Salons will be one boom business to be in when the time comes.
 
Bet you thought…
…April Feast and Lambeth Horticultural Spring Show are both cancelled.  Wrong!  Now on‑line, here and here.
 
Thames Water, mains replacement
We are grateful that work continues and thank the workers, but there can be no date given for completion for obvious reasons.  Ironically the headline is a fib; it’s a trunk main that carries water through Tulse Hill and West Norwood to southern destinations without serving us.  Bit like a non-stop express train.

All the social media
Norwood and Tulse Hill are served by so much social media: West Norwood News, Foreward Norwood, Norwood Collective and others too.  And NAG’s own Facebook page that has its distinctive slant and style, check it out and be a follower.
 
Out and about…
Tulse Hill Hotel is boarded-up, but only for security during the lockdown.  Ladbrokes at Tulse Hill has closed, and NAG is still pressing for good street lights on that corner, where the lady was tragically killed whilst crossing in darkness more than a year ago.  Whittaker’s fish shop is ‘under offer’.  The old probation office at 248 Norwood Road has boarding-up removed, new windows installed, and conversion to flats is in progress.  London Box Sash has opened at Tulse Hill.  Apparent commencement of Rosendale Healthy Route work at Brockwell Park end is unconnected work, we’re told.  Brockwell Park Hall is to be restored and put to multiple uses.  Crowd funding sought.  Check-it out.


Planning News
Norwood Planning Assembly has been struggling without the benefit of assistance that should come from Lambeth.  The London Assembly steps in.  Research and advice from Neighbourhood Planners London (the voluntary network of forums) is very directly reflected in the report and recommendations.
 
Picturehouse failed to gain approval for new signage.  There were many objections (NAG and Forum were silent on this occasion) many objecting to Picturehouse wanting to dominate the branding at the expense of the West Norwood and Library identities.  The fundamental ground for refusal was ‘inappropriate in a conservation area’.  Picturehouse may appeal.
 
Despite us expecting delay due to the pandemic, the planning application for the waste metal yard has been submitted by
Southwark Metals but it is yet to be validated by Lambeth for consideration.  We are trying with all parties to steer it to housing instead, though SM will want to pursue the application to a decision.
 
The decisions on the
Car Wash site on the corner at Tulse Hill and for 125‑133 Norwood High Street have both been put back till mid-April.  Again, don’t hold your breath.
 

National planning emergency arrangements are about to be imposed for planning applications as normal procedures cannot be followed.  Although not yet set, the thrust of them is to simplify and streamline the process.  Whether these arrangements will bias outcomes cannot be judged.
 
The Tennis Club…
…founded 1925 is eliminated.  Groundworks are underway, and there’s a great pile of spoil consequent to a massive hole behind it for basement construction.  Flats and new sport facilities to be created.  A couple of photos from before and now.
    


Show kindness and generosity to all in these difficult times.  We don’t know what others are undergoing.
 
NAG needs more paid-up members to increase our authority when lobbying or campaigning, and to cover our modest costs. 
If you think we’re good for our neighbourhood and worth £5 a year, the best way to join is by electronic transfer to our bank account: Norwood Action Group, Barclays, sort code 20‑94‑67, account 20410489, ideally annual standing order, or payment at any meeting.
A brief note to say you have done the deed to
membership@norwoodactiongroup.org 
would be appreciated.  All details kept confidential.
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