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[ SE1 Direct ]    

Issue 21 | 13 September 2000

An email update from the Bankside Press team


[ Borough Market Jury verdict ]

The government's official yardsticks show that the
proposed Thameslink viaduct in Borough Market will
undermine quality of life in the area, according to a
"citizens' jury" of local people organised by the the
New Economics Foundation. 

The jury considered 12 official indicators developed by
the Department of the Environment, Transport and other
local government organisations.

The jury sat in Montague Chambers at Southwark
Cathedral and heard from five expert witnesses before
coming to their decision that the new viaduct will have
a negative impact on seven of the indicators, and a
neutral impact on five.  They also said it was striking
that a public transport project should have no positive
impact on the quality of life for the community it most
deeply affected. "This is an act of economic and
cultural vandalism," said jury spokesperson James Todd,
during his summing up.

Railtrack decided not to attend because the public
enquiry was on-going. "But we did ask them to approve
the 12 indicators we used, and they didn't ask for them
to be changed" said jury organiser Julie Lewis of NEF.

"The South Bank has seen a renaissance, and the Tate
Modern has seen one million visitors since opening in
May," said expert witness David Marshall, from
Shakespeare's Globe. "The Globe has seen visitor
numbers increase by a third in the last year. Borough
Market is one of the String of Pearls along the South
Bank, and the Railtrack project will significantly
block the greatly expanded tourist flows along the
South Bank, particular to the east of London Bridge."

Another witness, Jason Hines, of local cheese
wholesalers and retailers Neal's Yard Dairy, said they
would have to relocate from Borough Market - the oldest
market in London, operating since the 13th century - if
the project went ahead. "You cannot maintain food
hygiene in a building site, whatever Railtrack
promises," he told the jury.

Harvey Edgington from the London Film Commission
explained that Borough Market is a prime location for
feature films. "Film-makers like it because it is not a
facade, it's a genuine community," he said. "The cast
and crew of the film Entrapment spent £100,000 here in
a week, and employed 55 locals. "The film industry
contributes seven percent of London's GDP, and Borough
Market is a key site, hosting about two feature films a
year. The new rail project will destroy it as a film
location except for the most expensive productions,
which can edit out the noise more trains will
inevitable produce."

Local MP Simon Hughes submitted written evidence that:
"If the existing track through Blackfriars, the
Elephant and Castle, and Herne Hill is viable, as I
believe, then it not only reduces the disruption and
disadvantage to the Borough Market, but by increasing
access from other parts of Southwark and Lambeth,
increases the balance of use of trains in an
environmentally helpful way."

Julie Lewis of NEF said: "Are Railtrack's proposals for
London Bridge real regeneration? We are trying to
encourage new ways for local people to assess projects
that could change their lives. The verdict on this
project, according to the DETR's own indicators, seems
to be a thumbs down. The Borough Market itself is also
a prime example of community-led regeneration, as
opposed to the more sterile and uniform regeneration
projects we have seen elsewhere that fail to provide a
thriving living and working community."


[ Have you ever wanted to tread the boards? ]

Can you see yourself in tights or a nun's wimple?

Waterloo based Geoids' Society start rehearsals for
their Christmas pantomime (a very silly story with lots
of songs) Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

Rehearsals are every Friday from 6.30 to 9.30 under
Waterloo Station.

Contact Deborah Dowdall on 07771 763680 for details. 


[ Thames Festival on the South Bank ]

There will be low tide conditions all day for the
Thames Festival due to the closure of the Thames

On Sunday 17 September visitors to Oxo Tower Wharf can
slip a fish into the now clean River Thames or just
enjoy the music from a floating stage - starting with
relaxing classics and climaxing with jazz. 

At dusk there will be the now popular River of Life
lantern procession from the Victoria Embankment,
crossing Blackfriars Bridge shortly after 7.30pm. 

The fireworks finale is a special commission from the
French master pyrotechnician Christophe Berthonneau who
created the stunning display for the Millennium Bridge
opening ceremony. 



[ Friday is Faraday ]

"An electric celebration of the people of the Elephant
& Castle past, present and future" is how the week-long
Friday is Faraday festival is being described by the
Southwark Arts Forum. 

The discoverer of electricity Michael Faraday was born
at the Elephant & Castle in 1791 when the Elephant &
Castle Inn was an important coach stop outside London
on the way to Kent and Sussex. Friday is Faraday is
being devised and produced by the Southwark Arts Forum
as an inventive series of arts, heritage and science
projects with the Elephant & Castle community. 

Michael Faraday's birthday is on Friday 22 September
when a public artwork will be unveiled in the
Elephant's shopping centre at 4.30pm - after the school
day has finished. 

There will be events all week from Monday 18 September
in the centre and at  South Bank University, the London
College of Printing's Eckersley Gallery, the Cuming
Museum and the Blue Elephant Theatre. 

Saturday is Family Fun Day, in association with Child &
Sound, at both the shopping centre and nearby St Mary's
Newington Butts with bouncy castles, workshops, face
painting, music and puppets. 



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