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Hundreds gather for launch of Peckham Citizens group

Hundreds of Peckham residents gathered last week for the launch of the new Peckham Citizens community-action group.

The new Citizens group has taken shape from a collective of local school and church organisations, all aiming to promote “social justice” and speak to Southwark Council with a united voice.

More than 330 arrived at the inaugural Citizens meeting in Rye Lane Chapel on March 2, and were joined by Harriet Harman MP and deputy leader of Southwark Council, Councillor Ian Wingfield.

The group say they were successful in the meeting of winning from Cllr Wingfield to looking for a site in the next 12 months for affordable community housing called a Community Land Trust (CLT).

Peckham Citizens chair, Callum Green, said the CLT homes would be priced according to average local earnings. According to Office of National Statistics data, this would mean selling one-bedroom flats for £123,000, two-bedroom flats for £173,000, and three bedroom-home homes for £273,000.

“Peckham Citizens shows what’s possible when people organise. Over 330 local people came together to take action to tackle the injustice we see in the area and compel those in power to act too,” Callum said.

“It was a fantastic moment of ordinary people having the power we need to see make the changes we want for Peckham.”

Peckham Citizens also celebrated last month after securing funding from Southwark Council to make Kelly Avenue Park safer with a £23,000 grant.

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