19 June 2017

Lambeth statement on Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington

Lambeth's leader Cllr Lib Peck has offered the borough's help to the victims of the terrible Grenfell Tower tragedy in Kensington and assured residents locally that our area's social housing blocks have up to date fire risk assessments.

Issued in the aftermath of last week's events, Cllr Peck said:

“I have been in contact with the leader of Kensington and Chelsea to offer any practical support we can. Hundreds of people are without homes and have nothing except the clothes they fled in.

“I know many residents in Lambeth may be concerned about the state of our housing blocks and I wanted to give an update of the current situation and response to last night’s fire.

“Lambeth officers have confirmed that all Lambeth Housing structures have an up-to-date fire risk assessment. There are a range of actions required as a result of the assessments which are being followed up – and blocks are being prioritised. Our Director of Housing Services chairs a fortnightly health and safety meeting which monitors the action plan and reviews fire risk. He is also meeting with the Health & Safety team today to review further actions following last night’s incident, and these will include:

  • Reviewing blocks which have similar designs to Grenfell
  • Writing to all residents in blocks to reassure them, confirm there is an up-to-date risk assessment and remind them to not use communal areas or walkways for storage of any kind
  • Meeting LFB to discuss evacuation procedures and ensure notices in blocks are renewed or updated where required

“Finally, I am sure we would all like to place on record our collective appreciation to the London Fire Brigade, and London Ambulance Service, who have worked through the night to bring the fire under control and keep residents as safe as possible.

“As we know more about the cause of the fire, lessons learnt and good practice will follow which will be reviewed alongside Lambeth procedures.”


02 June 2017

Lambeth asks for views on proposed Patmos Road housing project

Lambeth council has opened a new consultation on plans to deliver more housing, including council homes, and green spaces on a currently derelict patch of land in Vassall.

The proposed development will be on the site of a former care home that was demolished in 2013. The council has been in negotiations with the owners of part of the site, and with these concluded the authority is proposing a redevelopment scheme to be run by Homes for Lambeth, an organisation owned wholly by the council, to build a new housing complex.

The current ideas for the site include:
  • To build potentially (after consultation with local residents) around 40 to 50 homes.
  • This will be a mixed community, with a target of 40% aimed at being council homes on social level (i.e. council) rents. This is part of Lambeth Labour's pledge to build 1,000 council homes by 2019 to help address London's housing crisis - the first new homes recently had families move into them on Akerman Road in Vassall (read more about this housing project here). 
  • Presevation of the green feel of the area, with many of the properties built with gardens for larger families, and communal green areas.
  • The height of the proposed development will be restricted to between two and six storeys

The full proposals for the development and how to respond can be read here . A series of consultation events will be held in the coming weeks and the council is asking for resident's comments by 25th June, although there will be a second round of consultation later in the year. Currently, construction on the site is planned, should the proposals be approved, for the end of 2018.

Local councillors - Paul Gadsby, Jacqui Dyer and Annie Gallop - are encouraging residents to respond to the consultation and share their views with them. They said in a joint statement:

"It is important that we address the huge housing crisis facing London - a crisis that the current government has all but ignored. Building a 1,000 new council homes, along with other kinds of accommodation like the developments on Wynne Road, are vital to this. However, it is important that we get these housing projects right, making sure that they take on board views from the community about the impact on local roads, schools and the area more generally. We would strongly urge residents to put in their views and let us know as councillors how they feel about these proposals."

31 May 2017

Councillor surgeries in June

Following the general election, the regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be returning in June and will be held on the following dates:

Thursday, 22 June
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)
6.15pm-7.15pm

Saturday, 24 June
Myatt's Field South Community Hall
Burton Lane
SW9 6QG
10am-11am

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

30 May 2017

Councillors object to latest plan to turn popular Grosvenor pub into flats

Local councillors and residents have begun lodging objections to the latest plans from developers to turn the site of a local community pub into flats.

The Grosvenor Arms on Sidney Road has been closed for over 18 months after being bought by a developer who has attempted several times to turn part or all of the building into residential accommodation. This is despite the former pub being a profitable, well liked venue that was one of the few in Brixton still to host live music from local acts.

Following a campaign from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), local residents and councillors, parts of the building were designated as an Asset of Community Value, which helps protect it from future changes.  However, the upper floors were not included meaning they can be subject to development, which could effect the long term use of the building. The full objection submitted to Lambeth council's planning department from local councillor Paul Gadsby on behalf of Vassall councillors (with the support of Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer) can be read below.

Cllr Gadsby added:
"It really does feel like we are stuck in a time loop here - the developers keep coming back with the same arguments and thankfully for the moment Lambeth have, to their credit, kept knocking them back. However, it is important residents keep the pressure on so I would urge anyone interested in this venue to submit their thoughts here. As for the developers I really would ask them to do want many in the community want and return the venue to its historic use as a community pub."
Full objection to Grosvenor Arms pub planning application



As a local councillor in the area I have for several years with residents and colleagues been objecting to plans to convert the Grosvenor site away from its traditional function as public house - and this application is sadly yet another attempt by developers along a course that is unpopular, ill-conceived and fundamentally wrong. 

As stated in previous objections, the Grosvenor has for many years been a well-run community pub that was one of the few active venues in this part of Brixton to still host live music from local acts. There were no complaints from residents about noise partly as this was always under several different landlords a pub that maintained good relations with local people and indeed attempted to get them involved in its activities. At a time when these kind of establishments are closing throughout Lambeth and in London, it is important that we continue to protect these venues. 

These arguments have been recognised by the council and legally during a successful community asset campaign organised by residents, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and with the support of many local councillors. This designation now protects the basement and the ground floor of the building. I appreciate that the current proposals are only for the upper floors, but the substantial changes planned in this application will in effect make the return to use of the building as a pub unviable (and the current plans are a well-worn tactic used by developers in other parts of London to displace pub use from an entire building). 

Converting these parts of the building into flats will mean:

  • Occupants of the flats will understandably raise objections to a pub being reinstalled underneath them at a later date, especially as the current design places bedrooms directly over the main pub area. Provisions for sound proofing do not appear in anyway adequate.
  • Partly related to the above, future landlords are unlikely to wish to invest in a pub business owing to the potential for noise complaints from above the main areas of use of the public house.     
  • The removal of the upstairs floors from their connection with the lower floor’s use as a public house also makes it more difficult for future managers and their staff to have accommodation on site, which is often the standard practice for publicans. This once again will deter the viability of the return of the site to a public house.

·      My recommendation is that this application is rejected by Lambeth and that the developers realise that their best option for this site is to seek for it to return to its use as a local, community run public house.

16 May 2017

Lambeth opens "Blooming Lambeth" awards


12 May 2017

New play opens at Longfield Hall


02 May 2017

Lambeth urges residents to register to vote for 8 June election

Lambeth council has published the deadlines for residents to register to vote for the general election on the 8 June and the council's leader has urged all local people to take the opportunity to shape the country's next government.

To be able to vote, every elector will need to be registered  - the last possible date to ensure a chance to vote in the election will be on Monday, 22 May. The council has also outlined the dates for postal and proxy vote applications.

Lambeth's council leader Lib Peck said:

Lambeth is nothing if not a borough of strong opinions, fierce loyalties and great passion. People are active, engaged and committed and while that doesn’t always make my job easy, it is constantly stimulating, challenging and never dull. The turnout in Lambeth for the EU Referendum last year was 67% and in the 2015 General Election 63% which is around the national average and means that a third of people eligible to vote didn’t.

Whatever your politics, make sure you’re registered to vote, or apply for a postal vote and use your voice on 8 June.

The full schedule for applications to vote is below - with more information here. You can read Cllr Peck's article about the election here.

Event

Date
Deadline for voter registration applications Monday 22 May
Deadline for new and changes to existing postal vote and postal proxy applications 5pm on Tuesday 23 May
Deadline for new proxy voting applications (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) 5pm on Wednesday 31 May
First date that electors can apply for a replacement for lost postal votes Friday 2 June
Polling Day 7am to 10pm on Thursday 8 June
Last time for re-issue of spoilt or lost postal votes 5pm on Thursday 8 June
Deadline for emergency proxy applications 5pm on Thursday 8 June