11 March 2017

Lambeth asks for resident's views on borough's cycling strategy

Lambeth council is hosting a forum open to residents on Thursday 16 March asking for their views about the future of the borough's cycling strategy.

The event will be held in the Karibu Centre, Brixton (SW9 7PH) between 6pm and 9pm, and is part of the Health Streets programme aimed at improving local streets. Talking about the event, Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, the cabinet member with responsibility for cycling policy, said:
The first meeting will be an opportunity for you to help shape the development of our Cycle Network Strategy. This purpose of the strategy is to further improve Lambeth for people cycling by assessing the existing road network (including cycle routes). It will then propose strategic and local improvements to make the borough safer and easier to navigate by cycle (for a more detailed overview see the attachment). The workshop will look at the work that has taken place so far and give you a chance to comment. Your feedback will help us develop proposals for new prioritised network interventions across the borough, to meet current and future demand.

Vassall councillors have been supporting cycling improvements in Vassall, including measures to improve streets around Myatts Field Park, install more bike hangers for residents and recently calling for Satender bike docking stations to be extended further south torward Brixton

More information about the event can be found here. 

09 March 2017

Controlled Parking Zone proposals for Myatts Field Park area

Following a concultation of residents, Lambeth council is recommending the implementation of a controlled parking zone in the area of Vassall that does not at the moment have parking controls.

Currently, roads surrounding Myatts Field Park are one of the few locations in the borough without parking restrictions, a situation that has lead to a high degree of parking stress, especially as commuters are using the area to park during week days.

After large amounts of feedback from residents unhappy at not being able to find a parking space near their home, Vassall councillors successfully lobbied the council for a review of the parking situation last year. This has now lead to proposals for a 8.30am - 6.30pm parking restriction zone that will operate Monday to Friday. Local residents will be able to purchase permits from the council to park in their area.

Full information about the decision and the proposals can be found here - a second and final consultation will now run from 15 March until early April to get resident's views on these proposals.

08 March 2017

Councillors criticise "disastrous" cuts that could see local schools lose eight teachers

Vassall councillors have criticised planned government cuts to local schools which could see eight teachers axed and more than £300,000 removed from the area's education budget.

The cuts are the result of changes to the way that school funding is allocated across the country, a plan that has drawn widespread criticism from teachers, parents and councils because it results in deep spending reductions in many areas.

Lambeth, despite its high levels of deprivation and expanding demand for school places, will see its budget reduced by £24 million by 2019. In the Vassall area, it is estimated that this could result in:

Other schools in the area, such as Durrand Academy and St Gabriel's College will also see projected falls in their funding.

Lambeth Labour has been campaigning against these education changes, and last year won a significant victory with other councils by delaying the introduction of this formulae and stopping the forced removal of local control over how schools are run. But the government now wishes to press ahead with these reforms, despite Lambeth Labour's lead on education Cllr Claire Holland warning that they "put the future of our children" at risk.

Local councillors - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - said:

"There have been real steps forward in our education system in the last twenty years, partly down to central funding from the last Labour government and the hardwork of teachers, parents, pupils and Labour councils. We have gone from one of the worst performing areas to one of the best - but this is being put at risk by these ridiculous cuts that will hit Lambeth and Vassall particularly hard. In an area with high deprivation it is shameful that we are facing a possible cut of £300,000 to local school budgets which means less teachers and resources for our children.

"We are urging the government to think again and would ask everyone in Vassall to sign our petition against these funding cuts - we have to get Ministers to think again before these damaging proposals reverse decades of good work."

A special meeting will also be held in Lambeth on 15 March bringing together local campaigners. This is open to the public, with no RSVP neccessary.

07 March 2017

Councillor surgeries in March

Vassall councillors will be holding their regular surgeries in March which will be held on the following dates :

Thursday, 23 March
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 25 March
Myatt's Field South Community Hall
Burton Lane

If these dates are inconvenient for you or you have a problem or issue that requires immediate attention please contact the Vassall Labour Councillors directly:

Councillor Jacqui Dyer - 07500 971619 -jdyer3@lambeth.gov.uk

Councillor Paul Gadsby - 07814 567 690 - pgadsby@lambeth.gov.uk

Councillor Annie Gallop - 07920 560175 - agallop@lambeth.gov.uk

22 February 2017

Local Spring poetry competition opens

19 February 2017

New council homes near completion on Akerman Road

As the first council homes to be built in Lambeth in decades near completion,  local councillor Paul Gadsby talks about what the building programme means for residents in the borough ...

A couple of weeks ago Lambeth held a series of open days for residents to look at the first newly built council homes in the borough for more than a decade. It was also the first time that I have been inside the completed buildings and as I went round with residents I was, like them, delighted with what I was seeing.

Located in Vassall in Brixton, the development consists of nine new flats and three new bigger homes available for council level rents in restored Victorian terraced houses. The £1.9 million project is partially funded through money collected from developers elsewhere in Lambeth who have to contribute to the construction of affordable homes when they get planning permission for other projects. These PassivHomes are built to the highest possible standard to make them extremely energy efficient, so they will be low cost for the residents to run and good for the environment, which given the issues we are tackling with pollution in our part of Brixton is good news.

The completion of these homes is a big step forward in Lambeth Labour’s pledge to build 1,000 council homes in the next few years alongside the development of other affordable housing on the market for local residents to buy and rent. As a local councillor, especially one in the Brixton area, one of the top issues I have to deal with is people of all backgrounds looking for affordable housing. At every one of my surgeries in the past six months I have had someone come through the door who is in overcrowded accommodation, struggling with private sector rents or is despondent at the prospect of being able to buy in the local area. Undoubtedly the most difficult is that first group, those who are boxed into inadequate housing, often with large families, and all the problems that brings on a daily basis. It isn’t a matter of simple inconvenience: these conditions damage people’s lives, their health and their child’s upbringing.

Unfortunately, central government has offered nothing but empty promises and half-baked solutions when it comes to addressing the shortage of housing in London. Funding for house building has declined and added to the problem caused by a shortage of available land in places like Lambeth. There are currently 23,000 people on Lambeth’s council home waiting list, with of course many more struggling with rising rents and the impossibility of getting on the housing ladder.

However, despite this lacklustre approach from Westminster, Lambeth is not sitting on its hands and is moving ahead with a programme to expand the pool of housing, like at this site. These are modern, well built homes that will hopefully see residents arriving in the next few weeks. We undoubtedly need the government to wake up and act to give councils greater resources to solve the housing crisis – but at least here in Lambeth we are getting on with the job of building decent homes for our residents. 

15 February 2017

Police shut problem property on Evandale Road

Local police have raided and closed a property on Evandale Road in Vassall following evidence it was being used as a base for anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.

Five arrests were made at the address, some for drug offences, and police are now applying for the property to be closed which will prevent anyone from returning to the address for a period of three months. The operation was led by Vassall's Safer Neighbourhood Team which includes local police officers dedicated to the Vassall area.

Local councilors - Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop - said:

"We have been speaking to local police and believe they have done a great job of tackling the unacceptable behaviour that has been occurring at this address, especially by working with residents to address the problem."

If residents have concerns about crime in their area, they are advised too:

  • Call 101 or if an emergence 999 to report the matter to police and officers on duty can attend.
  • If there is a noise complaint get in touch with Lambeth council on 02079265000 or visit www.lambeth.gov.uk 
  • Contact the local Vassall Safer Neighbourhood Team at vassall.snt@met.police.uk

13 February 2017

Longfield Hall AGM in February