Delays installing CCTV on a Southwark estate where three teenagers died in 18 months were “in line with projects of that nature”, according to a progress report.

Residents on the Brandon Estate, who were becoming increasingly frustrated by the council's response to problems in the area, were invited to an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in November where they criticised the council’s response to crime, heating outages, delays in installing CCTV, and a general lack of engagement.

It was arranged after a community meeting following the murder of 18-year-old Clinton Evbota, who became the third teenager to die on the estate in a year and a half.

The committee heard from ward councillors, tenants and residents association (TRA) chairs, the cabinet member for community safety and public health, and senior council officers. 

Following the meeting, it was resolved that a core group of councillors, officers, and residents meet regularly to review progress against the issues, and that a clear timetable be set out and delivered for full access to the Jack Hobbs Club by April 2020. 

It was also resolved that the housing scrutiny commission’s review of district heating networks should include Brandon as one of its case studies.  

It was decided that an investigation be undertaken into the amount of time it took to implement the new CCTV.

A progress report on what has been done since was presented to cabinet via video conference on Tuesday, April 7, by Cllr Evelyn Akoto, member for community safety and public health.

According to the report, it took seven months to install CCTV cameras in the estate from when discussions with Brandon TRA chairs and ward councilors began in February 2019.

The six cameras were installed in November of that year, but according to the report the “timescales for both the lead in and the installation works are in line with projects of this nature”.

“The CCTV team is continuing to work with residents, ward councillors and police colleagues,” it said.

The report said that “governance arrangements are in place to ensure increased lead member and ward councilor oversight as well as increased oversight and engagement of residents”, while a Residents Action Group (RAG) issues log has been in place since November, which is updated and shared weekly with TRA chairs and ward councillors. 

“Since November 2019, the lead member, officers and TRA chairs have met on a number of occasions in relation to specific issues.  

“Regular monthly meetings are now in place.  

“In addition, the lead member is supported by a fortnightly teleconference with ward councillors and a weekly briefing with officers.  

“A quarterly newsletter has been created to communicate key information to residents.  

“The first edition was distributed to all residents across the Brandon Estate in December 2019,” according to the report.  

Despite the council’s aim to open the young people’s hub at Jack Hobbs Club in April, it will not likely be open until June or later.  

The Brandon Estate has also been included in the council’s review of district heating while the council’s complaints policy – which incorporates compensation – is “under review and the issue of how compensation for heating outages is paid is being considering as part of that review”. 

Cllr Akoto told the cabinet: “A lot of work has been done so far.

“We’ve had good communication and a good relationship with the community but there’s still outstanding work to do and we are confident that we’ll be able to finalise everything post Covid19.”

Surrey Docks ward Councillor Jane Salmon said she thought the report was “the best we can do at the moment”.

“There are so many problems on the Brandon, and so many issues, that I appreciate this report,” she said.