School pupils share their views

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Local school pupils from Charter School presented their views on the regeneration of Old Kent Road last week.

Pupils from Charter School with the Southwark team

Southwark Council Cabinet members and regeneration officers paid a visit to Charter School, East Dulwich, to hear a presentation from a group of year nine pupils who have been studying the regeneration proposals for the Old Kent Road.

The visit had been arranged by teacher David Baron who has been working with the group on a geography project.

The pupils had spent time down on Old Kent Road, earlier in the year, speaking to local people and surveying the local shops and environment to answer their set question – is regeneration on the Old Kent Road sustainable?

The group, which was made up of pupils who actually live on and around the Old Kent Road, then presented their conclusions, and their own thoughts and opinions on the regeneration proposals to Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning, Cllr Jasmine Ali, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Adult Care, and council staff from the Old Kent Road team.

Public artwork, a leisure venue like an ice rink and a better mix of shops and social activities were just some of the ideas that were discussed, alongside the concern that local shopkeepers not be forced out of the area.

Lola, aged 13, said: “I think that art is really important in a community because it really gives personality to an area, and it’s quite small things like adding colour or paint but it really affects a community and makes it memorable.”

Kai, aged 14, said: “We need a bit of retail because people who live around the area need to go and buy stuff and it needs to be a social area so children around it have somewhere to play without having to spend a lot of money.”

Cllr Situ said: “This was a very inspiring visit and it was wonderful to hear the young people give their views and ideas on what they would like to see happen on Old Kent Road. The visit was part of our ongoing commitment to placing the community at the heart of plans for Old Kent Road. We made notes of all the points raised and look forward to exploring them further.”

Council officers have also made a number of recent visits to pupils at Surrey Square Primary School to speak to children there about the regeneration and spent time with pupils at Phoenix Primary School last year.

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