In My View: Janet Daby, MP for Lewisham East

Janet Daby, MP for Lewisham East

What was once such a tranquil place has fallen into a decline.

Recently constituents have contacted me regarding the state of the pond next to Homebase in Catford which needs serious attention.

Rubbish has been dumped and the flow of the water is blocked. I am concerned about the health of the pond’s wildlife and its appearance.

Years ago, the pond was kept in fantastic condition, and it was a pleasure point for families and people to spend some of their leisure time there.

However, it is now a sorry sight. The upkeep of the pond is Homebase’s responsibility.

This is now the third time in 12 years I have had to contact them about the pond.

I am glad that a committed group of residents – Friends of the Pond – have announced that they want to work with Homebase to find a solution regarding the future care of the pond.

Karen, one of these committed campaigners who has lived in the area for 28 years has told me that “maintenance over the last few years has got worse and worse. A lot of wildlife inhabits the pond, and their future could be in doubt if something is not done soon.”

She also remembers when the island used to light up and how people could get wet from fountains as they walked past because they were always turned on.

I have asked for Homebase to meet with Karen and other campaigners as well as local councillors and myself so that the pond is brought back to its former glory.

Our environment matters and underpins our well-being, including our mental health.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, nearly half of people in the UK said that visiting green and natural spaces helped them to cope throughout the pandemic.

It is important that we do all we can to maintain these spaces.

This area of Lewisham East, like so many areas of my constituency, is full of vibrant, caring and friendly people.

It is such a shame they have had to witness what was once such a tranquil place fall into such a decline.

People deserve to feel proud of where they live.

I am committed to doing whatever I can and working with all those involved to achieve this.


Pictured: Janet Daby and Cllrs Andre Bourne, Eva Stamirowski, James Royston, Natasha Burgess, Mark Ingleby and Oana Olaru, as well as resident campaigners

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