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Become a member of the BLBLG

Location: 
Sarah Jarvis
dbrief Editor

For information about joining the group, please contact Dan Taylor dan.taylor [at] southwark.gov.uk

 

BLBLG membership benefits Construction schemes and the Community.

Bankside and London Bridge are being transformed, with major investment bringing long-term opportunities but also considerable potential disruption to local businesses and residents. Anticipating this, Bankside & London Bridge Logistics Group was set up in 2009 to mitigate the impacts of this development on the local community and improve coordination for the schemes in the area.

1. Coordination - Meeting regularly to update on, and coordinate activities ensures that the group’s schemes can progress efficiently and with minimum negative impact.

 BLBLG meets at Bankside Community Space for an hour every 8 weeks, to update on progress and discuss potential impacts on neighbouring developments and the wider community. It brings together senior project representatives from the major schemes in the neighbourhood with London Borough of Southwark (LBS) council officers (including regeneration, highways and environmental health) and Better Bankside.

These face to face meetings mean that developments meet each other and will know what other projects are planning to do that might impact their development, as well as having the chance to make others aware of their activities. Many issues can be resolved at the meeting or when further cooperation is needed it can be identified and addressed afterwards. LBS has set up an innovative development team approach for the Bankside Borough and London Bridge Opportunity Area. This virtual group across the council is coordinated by one officer who provides a central link for constructors to coordinate permissions with planning, building control, economic development, Environmental Health and Trading Standards and traffic officers. As this officer, Dan Taylor, also coordinates BLBLG, you will have direct access to LBS officers working across the development process. The benefits of a coordinated Logistics Group approach to contractors, developers and the community have now proven by its adoption by other authorities across London.

2. Communication - Working together to keep local businesses and residents informed about progress is more efficient and effective.

Better Bankside coordinates communications from the Logistics Group to the wider local community of businesses and residents with the support of a specialist dbrief editor and a print/web team. Logistics Group projects each have a dedicated electronic page on the Development section of the Better Bankside website and projects can submit updates to these, usually monthly, which are checked, formatted and posted online. Better Bankside promotes these development updates via its own electronic Bankside Bulletin, which is published monthly to a readership of 9,000 businesses and residents.

Projects choose what to include in their updates, but as well as progress reports it is recommended that they always include information on activities that might impact local people and businesses, such as necessary road and footway closures, traffic diversions, suspension of bus stops, etc., as Better Bankside’s research shows that local businesses and residents value receiving this information. Occasionally these closures or diversions are necessary at short notice and Logistics Group members can benefit from Better Bankside’s valuable ability to reach across the local community quickly and effectively via their social media networks.

Better Bankside is a trusted source of information, which is why it is important that the other, complementary strand of Logistics Group communications, the printed dbrief, is also an independent publication.  Up to four times a year a high quality, printed colour newsletter with a print run of around 10 000 tells the good news stories behind the projects, putting the developments in perspective and highlighting the benefits to the area. Unlike publications that come directly from contractors or commercial PR companies, dbrief is objective and not at all ‘advertorial’. Each issue has a theme, with recent themes including local employment and public art and each one includes interviews that introduce real people behind the schemes, and the chance to present stories about interesting and innovative features of the projects. Many projects and companies recognise the value of having copies of dbrief available for staff and visitors at reception desks, emphasizing their own commitment to being part of the positive transformation of the neighbourhood.

 3. Community - Cooperation brings added benefits to the local and wider communities.

As well as working with LBS to offer local residents training and employment opportunities, Logistics Group members have the chance to propose and participate in a range of activities with the local community, including volunteer work and materials recycling. These can help projects meet CSR goals and increase the team’s motivation and engagement. The Group’s work with Bankside Open Spaces Trust, MERGE Festival, Employ SE1 and Better Bankside’s Community Partners can bring the group local knowledge of activities and events, and the ability to quickly arrange introductions to key stakeholders. The group also works with the Met Police and Better Bankside’s Sustainable Travel group to arrange regular ‘Lorries for Savvy Cyclists’ events, often hosted by member projects. Many of these projects and the investment in local skills and capacity building are highlighted in stories in dbrief.

As member schemes complete and others come on site the membership of the group will inevitably change. We anticipate that there will be sufficient new development schemes in Bankside and London Bridge to be able to maintain the activities of BLBLG for the foreseeable future, but should this change it may be necessary to review the activities of the group.

 

Read about schemes under development and recently completed in Bankside and London Bridge.