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SE22 Councillors with James McAsh

Hi, I’m James McAsh: one of your new local councillors. As of May 3rd 2018 East Dulwich has been separated into two wards. Goose Green has three councillors, Victoria Olisa, Charlie Smith and myself, while Dulwich Hill has two, Maggie Browning and Jon Hartley. Your councillors represent you by raising issues on your behalf and by making sure that residents’ interests are prioritised in Southwark Council’s decision-making. Thank you to everyone who voted; it is an honour to represent such a vibrant community. And thank you, too, to Angela for inviting the five of us to continue the successful SE22 Councillors column.

This month I want to highlight some of the issues raised with us on the campaign trail, and explain what we are doing about them. We want to hear your thoughts on them, and next month the Dulwich Hill councillors will do the same.


Parking is getting more difficult in many areas in East Dulwich, particularly around the train station and near Lordship Lane, and the question of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) divides opinion. Some support them as a means of ensuring there is available parking near their home; others feel that they are unnecessary and costly. We three Goose Green councillors will only support the implementation of a CPZ if it has the support of the local residents. What do you think?

Safety on Lordship Lane

Lordship Lane is getting busier and busier. This is welcome, but it also brings concerns about road safety. We are looking into what changes can be made to the road, particularly around junctions, to protect vulnerable road users: pedestrians and cyclists. What do you think?

Problems with rented housing

There are many conscientious and responsible landlords, but sadly some fall short of expectations. Southwark’s licensing scheme covers shared houses and all rented properties on Lordship Lane between Bawdale Road and Goose Green, so that landlords must observe Council regulations on management, fire safety, amenities and space. We are looking into whether this should be extended to a wider area, with more information here. What do you think?

Get in touch

Let us know what you think about these and any other concerns you have in the Goose Green area, or relating to Southwark Council. Goose Green residents can contact the three of us by email on,, and

You can also visit us at one of our surgeries at 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road.

If you’re not sure if you live in Goose Green or Dulwich Hill you can find out here.

Finally, a big congratulation to Dulwich Hamlet Football Club on their promotion to the Vanarama National League South! Let’s hope that we can welcome them back home to Champion Hill very soon.



Catford Vegan Festival

You can’t beet it! Catford is creating South East London’s first free and fully vegan all day festival on July 15th 2018!

Catford Food Market is launching South East London’s first fully vegan all day festival on July 15th in collaboration with Plant Bass LDN.

Together they are bringing you London’s finest plant based, ital, meat free and cruelty free street food, produce and craft food stalls in one place as Catford Vegan Festival.

Veganism and plant based eating is currently the biggest lifestyle movement worldwide. Shoppers and traders at the monthly Catford Food Market have been asking each month for increased vegan offerings, so Catford Vegan Festival is planning to become an annual event.

The festival will feature some of the Catford Food Market’s current vegan traders such as locally based jackfruit and seitan superstars The Nooch, ice cream supremos Black Mylk and purveyors of South East London’s best vegan cupcakes MissFlits Bakes Vegan. Traders confirmed to join them include Oh My Gulay, Renee’s Plant Powered Kitchen, Palace Culture, Terra Ferment and Bears Doughnuts with more stalls being announced all the time.

The fun will be carried over into an evening after party hosted by Plant Bass LDN who throw the best vegan parties in town with live music, DJs and vegan food. Tickets here.

Providing the drinks is Brixton-based brewery Clarkshaws Brewing selling vegan bottled and keg beers, plus Catford Cornucopia selling their own Catford classics Tom Cat Six Gin, Catford Pride Pale Ale, Catford Cream Soda and Cola.

There will also be free talks, cooking demonstrations and live music throughout the day to highlight the power and potential of being vegan and of Catford itself. As Plant Bass LDN said:

“Upon our visit to the area at the beginning of the summer, Catford seemed to us like it had been forgotten and our desire to get involved in this historical moment is to show the people of Catford that they have not been left behind.

What better way to show this than to get some of the finest food traders, musicians and influencers from around London to come and celebrate this bustling place of deep rooted culture?”

So if you missed Veganuary, loved Meat Free May, or just want to eat good food that happens to be vegan, come along to the Catford Vegan Festival. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.

And remember “you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan”

Venue: Catford Broadway SE6 4SP

Admission: Free

Time: 10am – 5pm

Twitter: @catfordfoodmarket

Instagram: @catfordfoodmarket

Hashtag: #catfordveganfest







Sixteen feet Productions presents Wind in the Willows

Sixteenfeet Productions will bring its unique brand of open air promenade theatre to some of London’s loveliest outdoor spaces this summer.

Wind in the Willows, is full of high jinks, adventure and camaraderie, with an array of truly unforgettable characters, including the impulsive Toad; good-natured Mole; wise Ratty; and reclusive Badger.

This is a promenade production so the audience will be encouraged to explore the beautiful setting in order to watch the story unfold, ably led by a talented cast of actor-musicians.

‘This adaptation is delightful, I can’t recommend it enough.’ –

‘The Kenneth Grahame classic is perfect for a summer evening’ ★★★★ – The Londonist

Wind in the Willows. Adapted by Andrew Walsh from Kenneth Graham’s evergreen classic. Music by Guy Holden. Directed by John Ward.

Sexby Garden, Peckham Rye Park (Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July)
Friday at 5.30pm, Saturday at 11.30am & 2.30pm and Sunday at 2.30pm & 5.30pm

The Walled Garden, Brockwell Park (Wednesday 25th – Tuesday 31st July)
Weekday performances: 11.30am & 2.30pm
Weekend performances: 2.30pm & 5.30pm 

Peckham Rye Park, Brockwell Park – Adults £12.50/Children £8.50. Age guide 5+. Performance duration 60 minutes. Book online or via the box office 0207 8560 380.


Twitter: @sixteen_feet

Instagram: sixteen_feet


The Last Word: Councillor Charlie Smith

I became Mayor of Southwark in May 2017 following a year as Deputy Mayor. I had hardly begun my term of office when we suffered that horrible terrorist attack on London Bridge. My role was to visit the First Responders and thank them for the courageous work they carried out and on subsequent days. I also visited the various hotels that put people up for the night following the attack. I thoroughly enjoyed my year.

How long have I lived in the area?

I am a Londoner and have lived in East Dulwich for about 25 years.

What brought you here?

It was mainly house prices but I soon discovered East Dulwich was that little bit more rural compared with say Brixton.

What has changed most during that time?

I guess it is the shops and stores that have gone to be replaced by many eateries and watering holes. Oh, and of course the rise in property prices.

What do you most value about the street you live in?

There is a primary school on the corner and it is great to hear the kids coming and going twice a day.

What one thing would you change?

I would try to manage the commuter traffic to stick to the main roads rather than using the smaller roads as cut throughs twice a day are clogging up the streets and polluting the atmosphere.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?

My wife Sue. We have been married 52 years. She is my rock.

Do you know your neighbours?

As the local Councillor for the area it has been important to know my neighbours to listen to their concerns.

The most famous person you have seen or met?

I have met a lot of senior politicians over the years, Margaret Thatcher being one. I think everyone in East Dulwich has bumped into James Nesbit at some time.

Do you belong to any groups?

I am member of the Vocal Chords choir. We meet and rehearse in Forest Hill. We have performed at the East Dulwich Christmas Cracker on a couple of occasions. I am also a member of the Labour Party.

Describe your perfect weekend

Seeing Chelsea win at home then a night in with a curry. Possibly some gardening on the Sunday if the weather is fine or visiting my grand children who live in Lewisham.

What is your favourite place to eat?

We are spoilt for choice in East Dulwich. I do like Hisars in Lordship Lane or Lorenzo in Forest Hill Road.

Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?

Apart from Stamford Bridge I would probably have been out canvassing in the morning. There is also the weekly shop that had to be done.

Coffee or tea? Where?

I am not a great coffee drinker as it keeps me awake at night. I might have a mug of tea at the Dulwich Cafe if I am down that way.

The best meal I have ever had. 

It was with my wife in Samos in Greece overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Favourite place to go for a drink

For me it is The Castle on Crystal Palace Road. It is the last of the proper old boozers.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

I do like to take the dog to Peckham Rye park or up to Dulwich Woods.

What is your favourite shop?

I like the DIY shop in Lordship Lane. They always seem to have what you want.

What was the last thing you bought there? 

I think I had some keys cut.

The book I am reading at the moment. 

I have Harriet Harman’s book ‘A Women’s Work’ that I keep meaning to start. I don’t get a lot of spare time at the moment.

My perfect holiday 

I am waiting for Roman Abramovich to invite me onto his yacht where we could talk all things Chelsea FC.

My secret ambition 

I wouldn’t mind trying to fly a plane or if not that go on a balloon ride.

This article was first published in the July 2018 issue of SE22 magazine.



What to do when your energy is low

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

We all have moments when we don’t feel as energised or inspired as we’d like, and we feel a little disconnected from everything. However, there are many things you can do when your energy is low.   Here are my top five tips.

As human beings we were designed to move, but many of us simply don’t do enough of that any more. The best way to energise yourself is to move your body. Get all your joints moving. Walking is a fantastic way to do this, or you could use something like a kettle bell; I get up and do 10 kettle bell squats every hour and I might pump the kettle bell to work my biceps too. You can also use it for tricep extensions, there are many different ways to use it for movement. Having something around in the house or in your office to help you get the blood pumping is really good. Walking, standing up regularly if you’re sat down a lot during the day, stretching out the body and all the main muscle groups all help.

Drink water
Many of us walk around in a state of sub optimal hydration, but drinking a cold class of water, will immediately energise you. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day too. Herbal tea is also good, but try to avoid sugary drinks, which cause a quick increase and subsequent slump in blood sugar levels. Plus of course caffeine is an artificial stimulant, so, water or water based drinks are best.

Eat a fat or protein based snack
You can get some reasonably good snack bars now that are protein based. Examples of foods that contain good fats for snacking include nuts, seeds and avocados. For protein, you could have some good quality chicken, eggs, almonds, cheese, yoghurt, chick peas or hummus. Vegetables complement a protein snack nicely as they contain carbohydrates.

If you’re feeling under energised, connect with something that energises you. Is it a friend that you can phone? Maybe you read something motivational by your favourite author for example. Maybe you just connect with something you really love, so think about the weekend when you’re going to be doing that hike out in nature. That will give you a little spark of energy as well.

Take a nap
If you’ve got the option, take a nap if you’re not feeling very energised. Maybe you just don’t have enough sleep cycles under your belt for the day ahead. I appreciate napping isn’t possible for everyone, but even just closing your eyes for five, ten minutes, whether that’s a meditation, a quick relaxation, just trying to reinvigorate and re-inspire yourself can also be very effective.

So, move, drink water, eat a fat or protein based snack, connect, and take a nap if you can, or a micro break. All fantastic ways to gain energy.

Leanne Spencer

This article first appeared in the July 2018 issue of SE22 magazine.