Empowering Communities programme

Taking a fresh look at how communities work together and interact with the council, the empowering communities programme will deliver a new way of engaging local people in the issues that affect them at a very local level.

The meeting mix will include area and individual ward based events - the latter being where the residents and ward councillors will determine the agenda, providing a more relaxed and intimate environment to discuss what's going on in the immediate neighbourhood so everyone feels they can contribute.

EMP map
Area (multi-ward) map

Multi-ward meetings

Southwark will be divided into five new areas (see map). Multi-ward meetings will take place twice a year for funding presentations and announcing decisions. In each area, a Councillor will be a community champion and will chair these meetings ensuring these larger meetings operate effectively.

Funding programmes information, process and announcement of decisions will be a main function of the multi-ward meetings. This will include:

Single/joint ward meetings

Each ward is required to participate in at least 6 meetings per year (including the two multi-ward forum meetings). Councillors may decide that they want to use one or more of these opportunities to meet together with other wards, especially where a local matter affects residents across ward boundaries.

Ward Councillors will have the responsibility for shaping the agenda and managing the meeting process. These meetings are where neighbourhood issues can be discussed and residents can voice their concerns.

Residents who are used to community councils, may find that their addresses are now in a different area and should check the Empowering Communities programme map, where they'll also find local meeting dates and general information. If they're already on our contacts lists, they'll automatically be receiving this information.

We'll be asking for comments about the changes and suggestions for additional improvements as we progress throughout the year.

Empowering Communities programme map

Democracy Fund

A new fund is being created to allow communities hold their own events, increasing opportunities to address specific local issues. Groups and individuals may apply for a share from the total pot available, which is £20,000 per year for the whole borough. During the first year of the fund, there will be two funding application periods - October 2019 and January 2020 - after which they will be on a quarterly basis. Decisions for applications will be recommended for approval by a panel of Community Champions.

Area contacts

North East area

The North East area wards:


Community Champion: Sunny Lambe
Empowering Communities Programme Officer: Bridget Galloway, Bridget.galloway@southwark.gov.uk, 0207 525 1780

North West area

The North West area wards:


Community Champion: David Noakes
Empowering Communities Programme Officer: Pauline Bonner, Pauline.bonner@southwark.gov.uk, 0207 525 1019

West Central area

The West Central area wards:


Community Champion: Dora Dixon-Fyle
Empowering Communities Programme Officer: Grace Semakula, Grace.semakula@southwark.gov.uk 0207 525 4928

East Central area

The East Central area wards:


Community Champion: Sunil Chopra
Empowering Communities Programme Officer: Gill Kelly, Gill.kelly@southwark.gov.uk, 0207 525 3690

South area

The South area wards:


Community Champion: Andy Simmons
Empowering Communities Programme Officer: Fitzroy Lewis, Fitzroy.lewis@southwark.gov.uk, 0207 525 3084




Page last updated: 28 October 2019