STREATHAM COMMON CO-OPERATIVE
We’re a group of Streatham residents who love Streatham Common and the Rookery and want to see it managed better and improved for the benefit of all users of the common.
At a well attended public meeting held by the Friends of Streatham Common in late 2012, we discussed some broad proposals from the council regarding possible structures for future management of the common. It was decided at that meeting to set up a working group to look at options for some form of co-operative working with the council. Proposals from this working group to set up a Co-operative were presented at the Friends AGM in June 2013 and were backed by an overwhelming majority.
How we got started
Since then, we’ve been working along with the council and other supporters to try to progress this idea. We have been provided with a grant for pre-feasibilty funding from the SIB group for publicity, a business plan and legal work. We also have won consultancy support from the wider co-operative movement, provided by empower.
In 2013 the council consulted on major changes to how Lambeth’s parks are run and we have worked with them to come up with a model that we hope will deliver better services while retaining the democratic oversight and responsibility that the council provides. On the 9th December 2013 the cabinet agreed in principle to establish a local co-operative to manage the Common, Rookery and memorial gardens with profits being reinvested back into the common. On the 9th July 2014, the council approved the Cooperative Parks Pioneer Support Programme, which provides SCCoop with funding to get started.
FRIENDS OF STREATHAM COMMON
The Friends of Streatham Common [FoSC] is a voluntary organisation involved in mounting public events on the Common and in providing community views of the maintenance and development of the area in a way that balances the needs of diverse groups of users.
With your support we can continue to publish the regular newsletter, Common Knowledge, run events (such as Kite Day, Shakespeare in the Rookery, the Fun Dog Show, the Christmas Carol singing and Party, bird walks, bat walks, treasure hunts) and put pressure on Lambeth Council to maintain and improve facilities and nature conservation on Streatham Common and in the Rookery Gardens.
Streatham Common Community Garden
Streatham Common Community Garden is a historic walled garden situated within the Rookery public garden. Formally a kitchen garden of the Rookery (the last manor house that stood at the top of the hill, built in 1786), the site of garden was also used a Council nursery, supplying plants for parks and green spaces across Lambeth, before falling in to a state of neglect.
The garden was set up following a public meeting by the Friends of StreathamCommon and Transition Streatham in October 2010, to discuss the possibility of establishing a community garden on the Common. This took place at a time when there was growing interest in local growing schemes and particularly community gardening in the area. As a result of the public meeting, a Steering Group was formed to take the proposal forward. This later became a Committee that negotiated a seven year tenancy agreement with the Council to use part of the old plant nursery as a community gardening and food growing scheme.