8 May 2009
After being brought up playing on the bomb site of post war Peckham Councillor Barrie Hargrove is determined to preserve what Hitler's bombers did not manage to destroy.
A Labour councillor in Peckham ward, he has seen the area massively transformed since his childhood days, where he camped out and played among the rubble which later became the Gloucester Grove and Bells Garden estates - now in his ward.
His love for an area of by-gone days is matched by his determination that regeneration should be based on preserving the buildings that have stood the test of time.
"There is real architectural history to be had in Peckham," he said. "It was once a rich Victorian suburb and the buildings are testimony to that. After the war and from what I saw as a child there was obviously real pressure to redevelop the area to meet the need of housing and reconstruction.
But there are some pockets that are not being realised. One that I am particularly eager to bring back, to show off its former glory is the forecourt of Rye Lane Station. Since the 1930s it has been a hotch potch of shops but it was quite a grand Victorian station and the restoration of the forecourt would be a real asset to improving Rye Lane."
As the council starts its 'Future Peckham' debate Cllr Hargrove is clear that an improved Rye Lane would bring much benefit to making the area attractive for residents and shoppers. "I'd like to see more art and employment opportunities. It is popular with shoppers but we need more choice with quality stuff."
Elected to the council in 1995 at a by-election Cllr Hargrove witnessed the demolition and re-development of the notorious North Peckham Estate. "I was in the neighbouring ward at the time, my ward is now all of this area. It was groundbreaking, very progressive and it has made a real differences to people's lives."
Opposition spokesman at the Town Hall for Environment and Transport, Cllr Hargrove says he is very much a Peckham lad with a vision for Southwark as a whole. Behind the push for the Cross River Tram he is extremely disappointed with the announcement for the Mayor of London that because funding could not be indentified, he was not going to go ahead with it. "The Government gave £20 billion of funding to Transport for London, the largest amount since the end of the Second World War.
We now have to wait for the second round of funding in 2016 when depending on the government and economic climate there could less or more to spend on a tram.
I will continue push for it at the earliest possible time. "Also high on my list is better traffic calming measure rather than endless speed humps and the push ahead with the new recycling plant off the Old Kent Road. It has received £34 million worth of funding and is running behind schedule.
It is important that it’s back on track so we can meet the waste management and recycling targets we set out to achieve. I also want to fight for better protection of our woodland and open space."
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
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TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale