Brixton Green was set-up to ensure local people were at the forefront of the redevelopment of Somerleyton Road.
Brixton Green was set up in 2008 by local residents. It is a non-profit community benefit society (registered with the FCA). Over 1,200 local people (who either live or work in Brixton) have become members.In November 2013, after 5 years of lobbying, we convinced Lambeth Council to develop the site in partnership with the community.
Owned by Brixton people
Anyone over 16 years old who lives or works in one of the five wards of Brixton can become a member of Brixton Green (community benefit society) by buying a £1 share. One share per person. One vote per person.
Democratic & inclusive
We set up as a community benefit society to ensure a proper, inclusive, democratic structure was in place.
Non-profit & voluntary
Brixton Green has no paid staff. Our director and trustees give their time to the project on a voluntary basis.
Board elected from the community:
Only members can be elected to the board. This ensures the trustees are accountable to the membership (who have to be local people) and ensures the trustees keep to their contract with the membership. The board can choose to co-opt a few trustees who have useful skills.
Over 1,200 members of the Brixton community are members of Brixton Green
Over the past eight years we have all worked hard on a voluntary basis to make sure a wide cross section of our community are aware of the project and able to become members. We have distributed over 60,000 leaflets, held many community events (some attended by over 1,000 people), held workshops in schools & community groups, run a series of deliberative workshops, held many consultation events dealing with all aspects of the project and carried out door to door discussions in the immediate area of the project. Over 1,200 members of the Brixton community have become shareholders.
Democratic representation for a community campaign
Brixton Green has achieved the rare success of keeping a wide cross section of the community involved in a long term project (seven years). Our view is that democratic representation is essential and our rules set the high bar that at least 10% of our membership have to vote at our annual general meetings. We have achieved in excess of this at each of our AGM’s since we started. This is a substantial achievement particularly with a membership of over 1,200 members and a core team working on a voluntary basis.
10 years working hard to make this happen
In 2013, after 5 years of campaigning, Brixton Green convinced Lambeth Council to develop the road in partnership with the community. This was a hard slog. There were dozens of meetings and a lot of lobbying and work to prove what the community wanted was viable. It was touch and go at times. But we succeeded. Next year construction is due to start.
Lease to a new community body
- The ambition is for the whole development (apart from the theatre) to be leased to a new overarching community body.
- The board of this new body will be elected from the residents, wider community, non-residential occupiers (e.g. the chef’s school) and Lambeth Council. This structure makes sure this public asset continues to benefit the community and its management is publicly accountable.
- The objectives of this new overarching community body are being developed from the community’s feedback during the many engagement events/workshops we’ve held and they will continue to be developed during the next few months.
Brixton Green’s role:
- Brixton Green will not be Somerleyton Trust. Brixton Green’s role is to make sure the community is at the forefront of the redevelopment and its governance.
- When the Somerleyton Trust is up and running, Brixton Green will have completed its role. The task of making sure the project continues to meet the community objectives will be the responsibility of the Somerleyton Trust.