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

10 February 2017

Vassall Medical Centre opens events for Carers in February

This February the Vassall Medical Centre is hosting a series of events with its Patient Participation Group aimed at supporting those who are caring for a person with a disability or long term illness.

There two events scheduled for the end of February which look specifically at giving carers more advice on how to manage their finances and maintain a proper balance with the other demands in their life. The events are:

Financial entitlement for carers: Friday, 17 February, 6pm-8pm, with advisers from the Disability Advice Service in Lambeth

Carers: Having a life outside the carer role: Friday, 24 February, 10am-noon, with advisers from Help for Carers.

You can visit the Vassall Medical Centre on 89 Vassall Rd, London SW9 6NA.

31 January 2017

Councillor surgeries in February

Vassall councillors Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop will be holding their regular surgeries in February which will be held on the following dates :

Tuesday, 7 February
Myatts Field Park Depot
Cormont Road
1pm - 2pm

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

Saturday, 25 February
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

23 January 2017

New green bins to be rolled out in Vassall in mid-February

Lambeth council have confirmed that the roll out of new green recycle bins will happen in the north of the borough - which includes the Vassall area - from the 16 February.

As reported on Vassall View before Christmas, the new bins for street properties will replace the clear plastic bags which residents are usually asked to place their dry recyclable material in.

The change is designed to:
  • Save the borough money:  Over 10 million recycling sacks are issued every year which costs Lambeth £450,000. At a time when the council's budget has been cut by 56% by the government since 2010, the introduction of the bins will help save valuable funding. The bins are expected to last for ten years or more so in the long term will reduce costs further.
  • Environmental boost: The bins hold five times as much as a clear recycling sack and they will keep recycling dry meaning that more items can be recycled successfully.
  • Keeping streets cleaner: The wheelie bins will make it hard for foxes to get access to the recycling, which with the current sacks can occur. This should reduce recycling being spread over the streets making our neighbourhood cleaner. 
If you want to find out more information about the bin rollout and read about the successful trial carried out in Herne Hill last year, all the information is on the Lambeth website here

20 January 2017

Vassall councillors welcome call for early implementation of Low Emission Bus Zone

Vassall councillors have welcomed Lambeth council's call for the proposed Low Emission Bus Zone to be implemented earlier than October following reports that Brixton Road has once again breached the yearly limit for safe emissions in January.

Reports from clean air monitoring charities have suggested that a number of roads in London had used up their recommended limits of air toxins after a few weeks in the New Year. Poor air quality is an issue that local Vassall councillors - Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop - have been highlighting since they were elected in 2014, especially as it impacts on the lives of thousands of residents around the Brixton Road area. Last year, councillors lead a successful campaign to get cleaner bus engines fitted on Transport for London vehicles using the route after evidence that the high number of buses on the road was a key contributor to high pollution levels. But as Vassall councillor Paul Gadsby highlighted in a letter to the Evening Standard and in an article for Age UK, more needs to be done to tackle the issue, especially after the government's Clean Air plan was overturned in the courts for being inadequate.

In a move to continue to place pressure on key decision makers, Lambeth council has now called for the Low Emission Bus Zone, which will introduce even cleaner buses on the Brixton Road route, to be brought forward earlier than its planned implementation in October. If agreed to by the Mayor it will see the cleaner buses rolled out over the course of the year to futher reduce air quality.

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

"Tackling poor air quality is a key pirority for local councillors, especially as it was a problem utterly ignored by the last Tory Mayor. We cannot allow a situation where thousands of residents are being put at risk from high levels of pollution that damages health and wellbeing throughout the community.

"We have already lead campaigns which have resulted in improvements, but more needs to be done. We are pleased that Lambeth has decided to call for the Low Emission Bus Zone to be implemented sooner. But it is now also time for the government to get its act together and begin putting in place a proper plan to tackle poor air quality throughout our borough."