30 October 2009

Lambeth invests in Brixton Children's Centre

Brixton Children's Centre in Vassall ward has received record investment over the past few years as a result of central and local government funding.

Photo of sign outside Brixton Childrens Centre in Vassall Ward, Mostyn Road SW9Children’s centres bring together a range of services for children under five and their families. Services include childcare, learning and development for children from birth to five, family support services, health and advice about employment. The aim

To date Lambeth Council has spent a total of £1,225,583 in capital on Brixton Children Centre. This has provided a full refurbishment and remodelling of the building, and equipment for the centre.

In 2008/09, £240,000 revenue was spent on Brixton Children Centre, and the provision for the current financial year (2009/2010) is £320,128. This funding has all been drawn from central government funding – the Early years, Sure Start and childcare grant.

Kingsley Abrams, Vassall Labour councillor said: "Brixton Children’s Centre is a valuable resource for local families. This is a key stabilising support for parents with young children. This kid of investment would not have happened without the commitment of the Labour government.”

To find out more about the operation of the Children's Centre on Mostyn Road, SW9 see the Children's Centres page on the Lambeth website

29 October 2009

Kingsley presents petition calling for P5 to be permanently rerouted

Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams has presented a petition to Lambeth Council requesting that the P5 bus be permenanetly rerouted along Knatchbull Road in Camberwell, SE5. It is currently being rerouted along this road as a result of the extra traffic on Calais Street caused by the works at Myatts Fields Park. In addition the petition calls for a new bus stop to be created near to Upstall Street - this will benefit users of the Minet Library and Myatts Fields Park. The petition, signed by 55 local residents, was welcomed by Kingsley who said "It is important that local transport such as the P5 bus meets the needs of local people - I am pleased to be able to present this petition to be considered by Lambeth Council and Transport for London.

28 October 2009

Holland Road Tenants and Residents' Association gets off the ground

At the beginning of October a number of residents on the Holland Town Estate came together to launch Holland Town Tenants and Residents' Association.

The meeting was attended by Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams and Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey. The meeting sought to find a way that residents of the Holland Town estate in Vassall ward and the landlord Lambeth Living could work together to make the area better.

Councillor Kingsley Abrams said: “Following the collapse of the Tenant Management Organisation I lobbied Lambeth Living to work with the local residents to set up a TRA for this estate. TRAs doe valuable work in bring residents' concerns to the attention of the landlord and getting problems dealt with at an early stage which brings benefits to everyone. I and Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey will be working hard to support the TRA and bring benefits for local people."

21 October 2009

Free activities for young people in Myatts Fields Park: every Saturday and over half term

The Myatts Fields Project Group have announced a full programme of activities in Myatts Fields Park every Saturday until Christmas and every day during half term (24-31 October 2009)

See the flyer below for further details

Every Saturday until Christmas

Sat 24th October 2009 Build a mini beast hotel for the wildlife area from 2pm

Mon 26th October 2009 Play activities from 1pm

Tues 27th October 2009 Invisible Food: Hunt draw and eat wild food growing in the park 1-4pm

Wed 28th October 2009 Play activities from 1pm

Thurs 29th October 2009 Make jewellery from seeds and play Apple Day games from 2pm

Fri 30th October 2009 Iroko Theatre Company: Clay work/mask making and Tie and Dye 2-3pm

Sat 31st October 2009 Halloween mask making workshop 1-4pm

All play sessions run 1pm-4pm, are suitable for 6-13 year olds and are free: meet at the summerhouse in the park

Funded by lambeth Youth Opportunities Fund, Lambeth Play Pathfinder, BBC Children in Need, Groundwork's PlacemakeYoung friends of Myatts Fields park flyer, SE5r fund.

20 October 2009

Lambeth joins other Labour Councils in pledge to freeze Council Tax in 2010

Lambeth Borough Council leader Steve Reed has joined with seven other London Borough Council leaders to give an assurance that Council Tax in Labour controlled London Boroughs will not increase next year.

In Lambeth this will be the second consecutive year with no council tax increase. The Mayor of London has also pledged not to increase the contribution everyone makes towards London-wide bodies such as Transport for London, the Police and other emergency services, known as the precept.

Council Leader Councillor Steve Reed said: “Labour’s worked hard to cut out tens of millions of pounds of waste Lambeth’s Lib Dems and Tories left behind. That’s how we found the money to freeze council tax for two years and still invest in new services like more youth activities and pensioners’ lunch clubs.”

Photo of Labour Council leaders posing by a sign on the North bank of the river Thames

The photo shows (left to right) Cllr Liam Smith (Barking & Dagenham), Mayor Jules Pipe (Hackney), Cllr Lutfur Rahman (Tower Hamlets), Cllr Chris Roberts (Greenwich), Cllr Clare Kober (Haringey), Cllr Steve Reed (Lambeth), Rt Hon John Denham MP (Secretary of State for Communities), Mayor Steve Bullock (Lewisham). All have pledged not to increase Council tax in 2010.

19 October 2009

Labour Council delivers 3% rent cut for Lambeth tenants

Lambeth's Labour Council has managed to negotiate a 3% rent reduction for Lambeth tenants. The reduction was achieved by the Council working with central government to secure extra funding for housing in the borough. The rent reduction will be backdated to April 2009 and will appear as a credit in council rent accounts towards the end of November - just in time for Christmas.

The credit will help over 25,000 families across the borough including many in Vassall Ward.

Vassall Councillor Kingsley Abrams welcomed the news saying "this is a real example of how we are able to bring real benefits to families in Vassall. At the same time we have embarked on an ambitious regeneration and upgrade programme for housing in the Ward which will improve Vasall Ward and Lambeth for all residents."

18 October 2009

'Inspiring' St John the Divine Primary School given top marks in inspection

Lambeth's St John the Divine Primary School located on Camberwell New Road has been praised as one of the top 20 schools in England.

The government school inspectors OFSTED have praised the school calling it “a gem of a school” and listed it as one of the “20 outstanding primary schools excelling against the odds". The praise marks a dramatic turnaround for the school over the past 15 years and the staff, pupils and parents at the Lambeth Borough Council run school have all been praised for their part in transforming the educational opportunities of local children.

Speaking of the top 20 schools Her Majesty Chief Inspector Christine Gilbert said 'Through their passion and professionalism these schools provide great service to children and young people. They show other schools how they can reduce the achievement gap between pupils from different backgrounds. Children are treated as individuals and have the support and expectation to achieve. Staff are passionate about finding ways of doing things better, with a relentless focus on progress in children’s learning. High quality leadership ensures no effort is spared to give pupils a strong foundation."

She added "It is our aim at Ofsted to identify and share better practice to support improvement. Many of the stories in this report are inspiring. They show how schools, regardless of their context can help young people make something of their lives. I hope that other schools will find it useful and inspiring too."

Congratulations to everyone at St John's!

See the OFSTED press release and report on the school
Evening Standard article on the school

16 October 2009

Lambeth invests in local play facilities

In the past year, Labour-run Lambeth Council invested over £2.5million in local play facilities. the investment comes in the form of £2.2 million of Pathfinder capital and £500k of revenue funding. The emphasis of the programme is on innovation and natural play, using sustainable materials such as trees and allotments rather than traditional fixed play equipment such as wings and slides. The programme is set to transform 29 of Lambeth's play areas over the next few years.

In Vassall Ward Lambeth has invested £30,000 in the Slade Gardens Adventure Playground to create an allotment, outdoor kitchen and climbing wall; all facilities that are well used by local people and which allow the development of new skills.

£20,000 was also invested in Cowley Estate ‘teenage space’ to provide play facilities for local young people.

Tracy RitsoPhoto of Cowley Teenage Spce sign, Vassall Wardn, Labour Vassall Action Team member and a resident on Cowley Estate said: “Labour-run Lambeth Council has led the way with this high level investment in local play facilities in Vassall Ward. Hundred of local kids including my own have benefited from this funding which will continue to bring beneifts to all local people, young or old, for years to come.”

See the Play pathfinder section of the lambeth website for more infomation
For photos and videos produced by Lambeth young people see the the Young Lambeth website
See also the Slade Gardens website

15 October 2009

Big Draw comes to Myatts Fields Park

Big Draw flyer
This Saturday, 17 October 2009, the Big Draw is coming to Myatts Field Park. This national event, promoted by the Campaign for Drawing, aims to get people drawing and thinking about their local area.

This year the theme of the Big Draw event is trees and there will be a full programe of activities being run in Myatts Fields from 2pm at the Bandstand (see the flyer, left)

14 October 2009

Myatts Fields Park keeps on getting better

Photo of Vassall Action Team members Kingsley Abrams and Tracy Ritson inspecting Myatts Fields Park children's playground, SE5Following the successful launch of the new children's adventure playground in Myatts Field Park in summer 2009 developments are continuing on site. In autumn 2009 a new children's building and new toilet facilities will be provided in the park to complete the transformation started in May 2008.

The work at Myatts Fields is being carried out through an innovative partnership between Lambeth Borough Council and local residents which has enabled the park committee to access over £3million funding from Lambeth Borough Council and the National Lottery.

On a recent visit to the park Vassall Councillor Kingsley Abrams commented "the transformation of Myatts Fields park has been amazing and should bring benefits to local residents and local children especially for years to come."

He added "I passed by several times in the summer and saw that the children's play area was absolutely packed with young people enjoying themselves. Well done to the Myatts Fields Park Project Group for overseeing this transformation. I like to think this is Lambeth Council at its best - supporting local residents to transform their areas."

For more information on the transformation of the park see the Myatts Field Park Project Group website

Photo of Kingsley Abrams and Tracy Ritson posing in front of Myatts Fields Park sign, Vassall Ward

12 October 2009

Myatts North estate regeneration on track

Photo of Myatts North sign, Vassall Ward, SW9
The regeneration of the Myatts North estate in Lambeth's Vassall ward is firmly on track to bring desperately needed new homes, community facilities and green spaces to the estate.

Lambeth Borough Council are using public finance initiative (central government) funding to transform the Myatts North Estate to make it a much more pleasant place in which to live.

The PFI funding will integrate the estate more into the local neighbourhood, provide new homes and refurbish existing homePhoto of derelict house of Myatts North Estates which have been vandalised and neglected (like the one pictured, left).

The new and refurbished homes will be available in different tenures to best meet individual families' housing needs and wishes. the funding will also provide new purpose built community facilities, private and public amenity space and training and employment opportunities for local residents. Lambeth Labour has been firmly behind this project since taking control of the Council in 2006.

Vassall Councillor Kingsley Abrams said:“This project will bring brand new homes to a community which is desperate to see changes made to their area. The green spaces will be protected and a purpose built community centre will be placed at the heart of the new estate. Labour is delivering on its promise to regenerate Vassall ward.”

07 October 2009

Mayor of London pledges no Council Tax increase in 2010

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has pledged that he will not increase the part of Council Tax that contributes to London-wide services next year.

Currently each Council Tax payer in Lambeth and across London pays £310 a year (band D house) towards services such as Transport for London, the Fire service and the Metropolitan Police. Conservative Mayor Boris has now pledged not to increase his section of the Council Tax bill - following the lead of Lambeth which has also pledged not to increase Council Tax next year. The move is expected to result in above inflation increases to fares on the tube and London buses.

Mayor of London news release: Mayor to freeze council tax for another year

05 October 2009

Come and Meet the Vassall Safer Neighbourhoods Team

Safer Neighbourhoods logoThe Vassall Safer Neighbourhoods Team is responsible for local policing in Vassall Ward. They are holding public meetings over the following months to which everyone is welcome - come and have your say on local Policing issues.

The meetings will be held on
Tuesday 27/10/2009 18:30 - 21:00
Thursday 17/12/2009 18:30 - 21:00

Both meetings will be held at the Church Manor Estate Office on Vassall Road, SW9

See the Metropolitan Police website for further information

The latest Safer Neighbourhoods newsletter is available on the website

Contact the Vassall Safer Neighbourhoods Team
Team members
Sgt Jeff Palmer
PC Steve Murfin
PC Allan Douglas-Smith
PCSO David MacMillan
PCSO Christopher McGill
PCSO Juliana Robinson
PCSO Steve Hunt

Vassall Team
Frank O'Neil House
Clapham Road
London SW9 0JZ

020 8721 3661
07843 065918

In an emergency dial 999

04 October 2009

Boris in Brixton: your chance to question the Mayor of London

Boris Johnson in Brixton logoMayor of London Boris Johnson will be holding a people's question time event at Brixton Academy on Monday 9 November 2009 7-9pm. Meet the Mayor of London and Assembly Members at People’s Question Time and find out what they are doing for London and for you.

Entry is by ticket which can be obtained (free) by using one of the following means:

020 7983 4762 (answerphone service)
Fill in online form
PQT followed by your name, house number/name and full
postcode, then the number of tickets you require to 62967.*
*Texts cost 10p plus your standard SMS rate.

You can request up to six tickets per application

See the Mayor of London's website for further information