Full Potential, No profits
We want to realise the full potential of Streatham Common and the Rookery for all users of the common.
We currently provide a dedicated manager and easily identifiable staff, running and based in the Rookery. Our long-term aim is to provide staff to expand and take over all management of Streatham Common from Lambeth Council. We have started realising this vision by providing conservation work and running of the Paddling Pool.
We think that with the right ambition and community support we can improve the facilities and management to provide the services the community really wants.
In 2016, parks budgets were slashed by over 50%, so our fund-raising activities are vital for the survival of our Rookery and Common as we know it and more. We need to provide services that go beyond just grounds maintenance to benefit the community at large including active, quality and innovative events for the disadvantaged, young and elderly. Our objective is to enhance this resource to benefit all segments of the community.
Our model enables us to attract volunteers to help our staff, specifically around fund raising events, bids and grants, management of the co-operative and helping our staff with services like gardening.
Running Services, investing profits
Streatham Common Co-operative runs services on the Rookery for Lambeth Council, much like Veolia did before, however Streatham Common Co-operative is a not-for-profit business accountable to local people and the council. And because we’re a social enterprise, we are raising additional new funding too.
We want to involve local people in a democratic structure that gives people an equal say (no matter how big their wallet is) in how our services are run in the Rookery and on the common.
A dedicated manager for Streatham Common and the Rookery.
Until SCCoop, Streatham Common didn't have one, unlike other large parks in the borough - the old parks manager, as hard and as dedicated as he works, looked after 20 parks! There's just enough time to keep up with the emergencies, but not much more. A dedicated manager just for Streatham Common and the Rookery can work from Streatham Common and be there every day. They can plan bigger projects and improvements and get these ready so when funding comes along, we're ready to act and make sure it comes to Streatham. The Manager could enable projects that currently we only dream of, there's only so much you can do with volunteers no matter how much they care.
More capital investment
A council paper released in 2013 showed the capital parks funding for Lambeth for 2011-15. It was great news, that there was some £16 million in total, raised from various sources being spent across the borough, but none for Streatham Common or the Rookery! We saw something was wrong here - the community wants it and is ready to work for it, and we know there is funding out there when you have someone to get it. In 2013, local volunteers have won a £60,000 Heritage Lottery Fund bid for the Rookery with an amazing £6,500 being raised locally which shows what we can do, but this is just small compared to the £5 million Brockwell Park got! The £60,000 from the lottery took so much time and effort, all from volunteers, that we can really see why a dedicated manager is needed if we want to do more. Since we started we have campaigned to get capital investment into Streatham Common and thanks to the efforts of ourselves and others, we have now secured £1,000,000 in funding to invest in the lower playground and yard area.
Projects that we can think of that could really benefit the area and are very popular are things like a new playground, doing something properly with the disused paddling pool, rebuilding or restoring the cafe to include visitor information and a community room for use out of hours, re-opening the changing rooms to encourage more sports on the common and remove an eyesore of the derelict building, provide facilities for older children - and much more things that will benefit the community at large. Plans have been drawn up over the years for just about all these things, however they just never seem to happen. Now we have secured the funding for the playground, we need to work with the council to make sure the money is spent on delivering a scheme that can benefit all the community, while meeting the council's objectives. We have also managed to turn a disused storage barn into a local micro-brewery business, providing more income for the Rookery.
Secure dedicated staff that are easily identifiable
There are staff about, but it never seems enough, and there never seems to be someone around when you want them. We want to secure dedicated staff that are easily identifiable and based on the common all the time. If people see staff around they may be less likely to break the rules. Since the loss of the park rangers the only people regularly on the common are council staff emptying the bins, however these seem to be cut every year and are often redirected to other duties.
Based on the common
Having people based on the common permanently should help with anti-social behaviour, and give people a feeling the space being watched. There would be more staff about in the summer months, and less in the winter, and you would always be able to easily identify them, and know that they will be happy to talk to you.
Our New Staff
We have been hiring staff in early 2015, and already have a team of six staff including an apprentice. They are based in the Rookery, and are easily visible with SCCoop logos on their uniforms. We are looking to adding more staff to our team as we take on more services. Please talk to them when you see them, they will be happy to talk to you.