19 October 2017

Heavy fines issued as part of fly tipping crackdown

Five fly tippers have been handed heavy fines after being caught by a new mobile camera that was deployed in the Vassall area following lobbying from local councillors.

The camera on Robsart Street, which borders Slade Gardens, spotted offenders dumping rubbish illegally during the course of the month when it was stationed on the street.  The deployment of the camera is part of a new crackdown from Lambeth on fly tipping under its Better Streets campaign which has seen 3,000 fines handed out across the borough of between £80 and £400.  Last year, Lambeth crushed a van being used for repeated fly tipping in Brixton.

The new mobile camera is being deployed across the borough and councillors have made further requests for the camera to be sent to other streets in Vassall. Residents can also report fly tipping here.

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

"Fly tipping is a disgusting blight on our streets and there is no excuse for people dumping rubbish around our community. We have lobbied for many years for a tougher approach to fly tipping from the council and we are pleased that more measures are being introduced, especially the mobile camera which has already produced results."

17 October 2017

New investment for Myatts Field Park

Vassall's Myatts Field Park has received a major funding boost from Lambeth council to help renovate and extend the community depot.

The grant of £500,000 from the council was made possible after hard work from the Friends of Myatts Field Park who presented plans to upgrade the park's buildings in order to provide greater space for cooking and education classes, as well as a private hire space (with all income generated being directed back into the park). Alongside this development, the park has also signed a new enhanced maintenance contract with the park until 2019.

The new funding will  result in a new entrance from Cormont Road through to the park and a central foyer with a winter café and views over the existing greenhouse. As already mentioned, there will be a new meeting and eating room, including a kitchen, along with new offices for park staff. It is hoped that work will begin on the project by the end of 2017.

Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet member for Equalities and Culture, said:

“This is fantastic news, not just for Myatt’s Fields Park, with an improved building, a new income stream and extra maintenance, but also for the local community with the investment boosting opportunities to learn, develop new skills and spend time together.”

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

"This is a great invesment for the local area and the local friends group deserve a lot of praise for making this project happen, as well as supporting the ongoing work of Myatts Field Park with the council."

06 October 2017

Vassall councillors call for government rethink on local police cuts

Vassall councillors have criticised government plans to cut  £1 billion from London's police during the course of this decade that could see eight local police stations close in the borough.

During the summer Lambeth Labour launched a petition, which has been signed by 1,000 residents, calling for Ministers to rethink their planned cuts. As Vassall View reported here, the changes could leave Brixton station as the only fully functioning police station in the borough with a public counter service.

In their submission to the consultation looking at the future of policing in the capital, Vassall councillors Annie Gallop, Jacqui Dyer and Paul Gadsby, said:
For context, we do believe that the government's staggering cuts to the Met's police budget will have a detrimental affect on our community. The north of Lambeth and Brixton, where our ward sits, is one with a unique set of pressures facing it. The area includes several town centre areas with extremely busy night time economies, diverse communities and overall a rising population. As such our community is one that needs a responsive, well equipped police force that cannot only address crime issues that emerge, but is public facing with access points and an approach that allows the community to speak directly with their local officers. We are very lucky in Vassall to have an excellent safer neighbourhood team and police officers assigned to the ward, but we are concerned that the government's £1 billion cut over the course of this decade is an attempt effectively to protect the public on the cheap. 

On the issue of police station closures being looked at by the MOPAC report, in our view removing the front counters that service the north of our borough will create a significant gap in provision. We strongly urge MOPAC to consider the possibility of a northern front counter to service the residents and visitors in this busy, crowded area which has significantly above average crime rates. Kennington police station we would suggest is the ideal location for this kind of service to continue.   We are concerned that if services at the station are reduced this will increase pressure on Brixton police station which is near our ward and which already appears to be operating under a degree of operational stress caused by rising public demand. We have been out campaigning on this issue in our ward for the past few months and believe the views we have outlined above reflect those re-iterated to us on the doorstep. 

A one size fits all approach, where every London borough has just one public counter, is not workable or reasonable in our view. As our cabinet member for community safety has confirmed to us, serious youth violence has increased by nearly 20% and knife crime by over 50% in Lambeth. Giving identical resources to one of London’s highest crime areas and outer London boroughs with far lower crime rates doesn’t make sense in our view. Resources and access should be based on community need.

We appreciate the pressure the Mayor is being placed under by backhanded Conservative cuts and while we agree with the principle of the MOPAC proposals – officers are more important than buildings, something which we do feel many in the community share - we do feel the current strategy needs to be looked at again. It risks alienating our communities, removing the neighbourhood presence that works so well, and jeopardising the excellent local work done by the police to engage communities across our borough.

02 October 2017

Councillor surgeries in October

The regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be taking place in October and will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, 3 October
Cowley estate Annex

Thursday, 26 October
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 28 October
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

29 September 2017

New controlled parking zone in Vassall to go live on 2 October

A new controlled parking zone (CPZ) in Vassall is set to go live on Monday, 2 October after residents backed the introduction of parking controls earlier this year.

The area will cover residential streets in the south western part of ward to the south of Vassall Road down to Loughborough Road, and east of Brixton Road to Camberwell New Road, encompassing Myatt's Field Park. 

Surrounding parts of both Lambeth and Southwark have in the past decade opted to introduce permit parking, as have many estates within the same neighbourhood (Lambeth estates have different parking arrangements from residential streets). These developments have led to increasing concern about traffic stress as parking spaces are often taken up by commuters and those who don't live in the area, which has left residents struggling to find a place for their vehicles. There have been increasing complaints from local people about incidents of road rage and from cyclists who find the overcrowded roads difficult to navigate. Dumped vehicles, which are regularly removed at the request of councillors and residents, have become more of a problem in recent years and the lack of a CPZ often makes them more difficult to remove.

Following a parking stress review lobbied for by local councillors and resident groups, the CPZ was approved following a consultation in the summer.

In terms of the new arrangements set to take effect on Monday, 2 October, these include:
  • Parking permits can be purchased by residents living in the area although short stay paid for parking bays will be available in parts of the area. The cost of the permits is based on engine size, with more environmentally friendly vehicles getting cheaper permits.
  • The controlled parking zone will operate 8.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
  • The council has spent the past two months implementing new road signs and road markings in preparation for the scheme, in some cases working with Tfl to ensure traffic flows will not be hindered by any changes.
  • Although the zone will formally begin on 2 October, there will be a period of "soft" enforcement where cars will not be given fines, but warning letters. This is to allow residents more time buy permits for the area.
  • Lobbying from local councillors has ensured that there will be more short stay parking pays near GP practices in the area for patients dropping off or collecting people.
More information about the changes and how to buy permits can be found here

28 September 2017

Vote for Myatts Field in the Green Flag awards

Myatts Field Park is asking for local residents to support them in the Green Flag awards to bring extra recognition to the area.

The park has already been recognised for its outstanding work over the years and is now competing for this extra recognition. In a message, the park said:

"Please support Myatt's Fields Park by voting for us in the Green Flag People's Choice Award. It only takes two clicks and you don’t need to register. The Award is a chance to celebrate your favourite park and it provides vital support to the park if it wins."
You can vote for the park here

22 September 2017