31 December 2010

New Years Eve in London

This year, as has happened for the past few years, New Years Eve celebrations in London will be centred on the Southbank in Lambeth.

The organiser of the event, the Greater London Authority, has published extensive advice on getting the best from the fireworks. See the Authority's website for advice on planning the night, where to see the fireworks and how to get there and back safely.

As a result of the celebrations there will be restrictions on buses in central London and changes to the routes of buses serving Vassall Ward such as the numbers 3, 59 and 159. Various central London tube stations will also be shut at various points through the night to deal with the crowds.

On New Year's Eve there is free travel between 23:45 and 04:30 New Years Day on the tube, buses, tramlink and DLR services. Free travel is also available on London Overground trains running after 23:45.

See the Met's top tips for New Years Eve

See last years celebrations

30 December 2010

Are you registered to vote?

The latest figures from Lambeth Council show that over 92% of the borough's residents are registered to vote - are you?

Whilst we are not expecting any elections in 2011 -the next London Mayoral vote will be in May 2012, Lambeth Council elections in May 2014 and the General Election is likely to be in May 2015- there will be  a referendum on changing the voting system in May 2011.

As well as enabling you to vote being on the electoral register also brings other benefits such as improving your credit rating as credit reference agencies check the electoral register to confirm identities.

More information on registering to vote is on the Elections and voting page of the Lambeth website.

29 December 2010

Lambeth Living Winter 2010/2011 newsletter published

Lambeth Living, the arms length management organisation (or ALMO), which manages most of Lambeth's council housing has published its winter Vassall and Stockwell area newsletter.

The newsletter is available to download on the Lambeth Living website.

The lead story details the successes that Lambeth Living have had in reducing crime in Vassall Ward by using CCTV cameras. In the year to October 2010 over 1,000 incidents have been captured on film providing vital evidence for the Police to pursue prosecutions. The cameras have also prevented many incidents and made the whole area feel safer.

24 December 2010

Celebrate Christmas at Vassall Ward churches

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day church service information for the two Church of England churches in Vassall Ward

St John the Divine, Vassall Road (on the corner with Elliot Road, SW9)

Christmas Eve
Midnight Mass 11:30pm

Christmas Day
Mass 10am
Further information on the parish website

Christ Church, Brixton Road (on the corner with Mowll Street, SW9)

Christmas Eve
Crib service 3pm
Midnight Mass 11:30pm

Christmas Day
All age Christmas Eucharist 11am

23 December 2010

Under 27? Speak out for your generation - join the Labour Party today for 1p

This Tory-led government has launched an unprecedented assault on our young people, kicking away the ladders of opportunity for our next generation.

If you are under 27, you can speak out today – by joining the Labour Party now for just a penny.

This government have already trebled tuition fees, and now they plan to abolish EMAs and the Future Jobs Fund - yet another kick in the teeth for us.

Please do join us in building a movement against this out of touch government.

22 December 2010

Free flu vaccination for eligible Lambeth residents

Did you know that you can get a free flu vaccine from your local pharmacy?

NHS Lambeth is encouraging at-risk members of the community to beat the flu this winter by making an appointment with their GP or pharmacist to receive a free flu vaccination.

You can have a free flu jab if you fall into one of the following categories:

•Over 65 years of age.
•Live in a residential or nursing home.
•Are the main carer of an older or disabled person.
•Have a long-term condition (such as a heart condition, kidney disease, diabetes, MS, cerebral palsy or other long-term conditions).

To be eligible people must be over 16 years of age and registered with a Lambeth GP. Pregnant women will be referred to their GP for the vaccination.

The list of pharmacies, including several in Vassall Ward, offering free flu jabs is available on the NHS Lambeth website

21 December 2010

Ed Miliband's Christmas message

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, has released a Christmas message.

See the message on Youtube

20 December 2010

Map shows location of grit bins in Vassall ward

Amongst other information on the Winter maintenance page of the Lambeth website there are maps showing the location of grit bins around the borough.

The map for Vassall Ward is shown below (the location of salt/grit bins is shown on the map with red dots)

Lambeth issue the following advice on its  website FAQs page

Can I clear the footpath of snow and ice outside my house?
Yes, but please read our tips and advice.
  • Start early as it is easier to clear fresh, loose snow and more difficult to clear compacted ice.
  • Do not use hot water. This will melt the snow and may replace it with black ice which will increase the risk of injury.
  • Be a good neighbour as some people may be unable to clear snow and ice from outside their property.
  • Do not block paths or drainage channels with the newly shoveled snow.
  • Clear the middle of the area first so that you have somewhere to walk on.
  • Spread table salt or dishwasher salt on to the cleared area to stop ice but avoid spreading salt on to plants or grass.
  • Pay particular attention to steps and steep gradients.
  • Remove the top layer of snow so that the sun melts the ice underneath, but cover up any remaining ice with salt so that it does not refreeze overnight.
  • If you do not have salt available use sand or ash and, if necessary, grit from our grit bins. However, if you do use the grit, please remember that it is a hazardous substance and you will be using it at your own risk. You should keep the grit away from your skin and eyes.
Can I get sued for not clearing snow and ice properly?
There is no law to stop you clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your property, or from pathways to your property or to public areas. In the case of an accident you are unlikely to be sued if you have acted carefully and sensibly. When we use areas affected by snow and ice we all have a responsibility to be careful.

Valerie Shawcross interview in today's paper

The Guardian today carries an interview with Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross who is running with Ken Livingstone to be deputy Mayor of London in the 2012 London Mayoral contest.

For more information on Valerie Shawcross see her website

19 December 2010

Winter snow information on the Lambeth website

Information on the status of Lambeth services in the snowy weather is available on the Lambeth Council website - go to www.lambeth.gov.uk/emergency to see any changes to services, this page is updated regularly.

For details of the roads that are gritted in the borough see The Winter road treatment page

For emergencies in Lambeth Living housing phone Lambeth Living - 020 7926 6666 or see the Lambeth Living website

The website includes a FAQs section about snow and ice clearing and winter road treatments

18 December 2010

Have your say on the savings facing Lambeth

Owing to Conservative/ Liberal Democrat central government funding cuts Lambeth Council is having to make cuts in its spending of £42million by 2012. The Council faces hard choices but is hoping to make savings in the administration and 'back office' functions so that services are maintained - however some cuts will hit frontline services.

What would you cut? How would you balance the budget? Lambeth have developed an online budget simulator tool to get an idea of what services residents think should be safeguarded. Go to the Lambeth Your Choice website and have your say.

The online simulator is just one of the means by which Lambeth is consulting local residents on the budget choice for next year - go to the Budget consultation 2010/2011 page on the Lambeth website

17 December 2010

Transport for London Christmas and New Year travel guide published

Transport for London have published a guide to travel over the Christmas and New Year period.

The guide is available on the TFL website

16 December 2010

Name the new Akerman Road health centre!

As previously mentioned on Vassall View construction of the new health centre on Akerman Road has begun. Before progressing much further the new centre needs a name.

The name needs to be distinctive and possibly reflect its location. The name could be related to health and wellbeing, a local landmark, a famous personality, the hostory of the local North Brixton and Camberwell area or a street name.

NHS Lambeth is asking local people to vote on their choice of new name or suggest an alternative. To vote go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/akermanhealthcentrename - voting will close on 6 January 2011.

Names suggested so far include: Akerman Health Centre, Bluebird,Dan Leno Health Centre, Garwe Health Centre, GP+, Hawthorn Health Centre, London SE Health Centre,Mostyn Village Centre, New Fields, Divine Health Centre, New Life, Patmos Health, Patmos Centre, SW9 Health Centre.

Have your say - complete the survey!

Construction starts on new Akerman Road health centre

Construction has started on the new Akerman Road health centre in Vassall Ward, Lambeth SW9.

This new state of the art facility is being built by NHS Lambeth and will bring together three existing local doctors' practices - Myatts Fields, Foxley Square and Iveagh House.
As well as medical services the new facility will also house a Lambeth Council adult and childrens services team and dental services provided by King's College Hospital allowing greater joint working between health and social services. It will also feature a meeting space for community use.

Construction of the new health centre is expected to be completed in July 2012 with pateint services starting to be provided shortly afterwards.

NHS Lambeth recently held a meeting for local people to outline the construction process and answer any questions that they had - download the presentation for further information.

15 December 2010

Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark Council leaders condemn government cuts

The three Labour leaders of Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark Councils have issued a joint statement laying out their opposition to the huge cuts for local councils announced by the Coalition Government.

As part of the settlement for local government the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has cut funding to the three councils by millions of pounds.

Between them the three council leaders represent nearly a million people including some of the most deprived communities in the country. The settlement announced on 13 December 2010 is not the first government decision that will disproportionately affect people living in inner-city areas, but comes on the back of changes to welfare, higher education and social housing.

Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham and Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council issued a statement saying “Between us we represent some of the most deprived inner-city areas in the UK and almost 1 million people. The Tory/Lib Dem government’s announcement to cut council funding by millions of pounds is a hammer-blow to our boroughs and hits our people hard. This was not an inevitability but a short-sighted political choice; it was not an unavoidable outcome but a calculated decision to put dogma ahead of decency."

“We will each work with local residents to try and minimise the pain of these cuts but we are united in our opposition to them. The decision will force all Councils to cut highly valued services. We share local people’s anger about this, and will stand alongside our communities through the challenging months and years ahead”.

14 December 2010

Myatts South estate to get new community hall

The Myatts Field South estate in Vassall Ward, Lambeth, SW9 is to get a new community hall thanks to the efforts of the Tenants and Residents Association, supported by the Vassall Labour Councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian Garden

Adrian writes "we have actively supported the Myatts Field South TRA in their efforts to get a community hall built on the estate. After offers of a new rubbish collection system had to be withdrawn because of cost, we worked with the TRA and council officers to find an alternative benefit for the estate. The hall is now being built, and will be ready for use early in the new year. It consists of a hall, office and toilets, and is next to the old TRA office."

In November Vassall Councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian Garden paid a visit to the hall to check on progress (pictured)

13 December 2010

Myatts North community centre relaunch

On Saturday the Labour Vassall Ward councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian garden were pleased to attend the relaunch of the Myatts Field North estate community centre in Vassall Ward, Lambeth, SW9.

Myatts Field North TMO has repainted and refurbished their Community Centre in Bramah Green. to celebrate its refurbishment and reopening an open day was arranged with food, face painting and stalls.

The new community centre - which is being provided as part of the rebuild of Myatts Field North - will not be up and running for two to three years so in the meantime they want to make the existing one a real success.

The current activities will continue, including the after school club and the play scheme. The TMO want to use the community centre to its maximum and make it a real focal point for the community. They are asking the residents for  ideas about additional activities they would like to see, and a questionnaire was distributed at the opening.

To find out more or to book the Myatts North community centre  contact the TMO on 020 7926 8345

12 December 2010

November and December newsletter from Claude Moraes MEP

London Labour Member of the European Parliament Claude Moraes has sent out his latest newsletter giving details of his activities in September and October. Read more on Claude's website

Dear Friends
Welcome to my end of year Newsletter.

2010 has been a very busy and productive year for Labour in Europe. It has also been a very tough year in which the European Union has been under pressure associated with the wider recession.

This report is a round up from the European Parliament on this year’s work. If you are receiving my report for the first time, it outlines what I and other Labour MEPs are doing on your behalf. As a London MEP, and Deputy Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, I have been privileged to work at the heart of two main themes this year.
First, Labour in Europe is successfully promoting London.
Ever more results are being secured at European level on the issues that directly affect Londoners, for example tackling international terrorism, the quality of air in London, better EU wide anti discrimination protection and safer roads in London. In particular, this has been a very strong year for advancing your consumer rights in Europe.

Second, the post-Lisbon European Parliament is proving to be an ever stronger global platform for progressives.
As Socialists and Democrats Group Spokesperson on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, I’ve not only seen this development first hand, but also taken a lead in drafting and organising legislation in the European Parliament.

I regularly update my website and Facebook page on these themes and the issues below and hope that this report to you will be both informative and interesting.

Finally, I’d like to extend my warm wishes for the holiday season and New Year to you.

Claude Moraes
Labour MEP for London

Read the full newsletter

11 December 2010

Christmas Carol concert this Sunday, 5pm, St Michael's Church, Stockwell Park Road, SW9

Christmas Carol Concert 
Sunday 12th December 2010 at 5.00 pm 

St. Michael’s Church  Stockwell Park Road 

Admission free
There will be a collection in aid of St Michael’s Church Restoration Fund
Carols old and new performed by
The Stockwell Choir
and The Stockwell Children’s Choir
- and by the Audience!
Come and Join in and stay on
for mince pies and wine in the Church afterwards
provided by The Stockwell Park Residents’ Association

09 December 2010

Vassall Councillors tackle tree roots on Myatts Fields South

Tree roots have always been a problem on Myatts Field South estate.

After numerous walkabouts with members of the TRA, residents, and council officers, Vassall's Labour Councillors have succeeded in getting plans together to restore a whole area of pavement.

A section of footpath behind St. Lawrence Way has been cordoned off for some time, but now two alternative ways of dealing with the problems are being investigated – tarmacadam and paving stones. Each option has advantages so we are consulting the residents on which they would prefer, before a decision is taken.

Vassall Councillor Adrian Garden  commented "Kingsley and I are pleased that we have been able to develop a solution to this problem which we will shortly be talking to local Myatt's South residents about. Although it may seem only a small issue tree roots can impact on people's day to day lives making the area dangerous and restricting where they can walk around their homes. I am pleased that we are on track to get this problem sorted."

08 December 2010

Reay Primary School Christmas fair Friday

Reay Primary School, Hackford Road in Vassall Ward, Lambeth SW9 is holding a Christmas fair on Friday 10 December at 3.45-6pm. All are welcome

Raffle, mulled wine, pancakes, crafts for the kids, festive sandwiches, face painting, nail bar, winter bulbs, cake stall, sweeties, popcorn, Santa Claus, carol singing - and fun!

All profit goes towards The Friends Of Reay (providing trips for schoolchildren at Reay School).

(With thanks to Stockwell News for the information)

Lambeth's London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross selected as Ken's running mate

Congratulations to Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross who has been selected as Ken Livingstone's running mate as deputy mayor for the London Mayoral contest in 2012.

Valerie (pictured) is currently Labour Transport Spokesperson on the London Assembly and Chair of the Transport Committee.

For further information see the BBC website

Interview with Val in the Evening Standard

07 December 2010

Charity carol concert this Friday at St John the Divine, Vassall Road

Come to St John the Divine Church, Vassall Road, SW9 on Friday 10 December 2010, 7pm onwards for a glorious celebration of Christmas in aid of the Robes homelesness shelter.

The Sonant Ensemble will be singing Christmas songs and carols including Benjamin Britten's Cermeony of Carols and Vaughan Williams' Withers Carol.

Tickets cost £8 on the door and include mulled wine and mince pies after the service.

For further information see the flyer below or these websites
Robes project
St John the Divine Church
Sonant Ensemble

06 December 2010

Christmas market and carols in Myatt's Fields Park this Sunday

Prepare for Christmas this Sunday, 12 December 2010, when everyone is invited to Myatt's Fields Park in Vassall Ward, Lambeth for a celebration of Christmas with a Christmas market and carols from 4pm onwards. We hope it wont be covered in snow like it was in the picture in January 2009!

The Christmas market will run from 2pm - 4pm

There will then be a free children’s Christingle making workshop from 4.30pm - 5pm before the carol concert 5pm - 6pm. The carol singing will be accompanied by the choir of St John the Divine Church in Vassall Road with music provided by the Lambeth Wind Orchestra.

Myatt's Fields Park is situated in Camberwell: between Calais Street, Cormont Road and Knatchbull Road, SE5 in Vassall Ward in Lambeth.

04 December 2010

Vassall Councillors campaign to extend 415 bus route to Liverpool Street

Vassall Ward Labour Councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian Garden are campaigning to get bus route 415, which passes along Brixton Road in Vassall Ward, extended to serve Liverpool Street.
Bus stop sign on junction of Brixton Road/ Vassall Road, SW9

Currently the 415 route goes from Tulse Hill to Elephant and Castle through Brixton. Extending it to Liverpool Street will ease congestion on bus route 133 which travels from Streatham to Liverpool Street but is frequently overcrowded by the time it reaches Brixton Road.

Councillor Kingsley Abrams commented "Buses on route 133 are frequently full to bursting point by the time they get to Brixton Road and it is very frustrating to see 415s, which travel for most of the distance along the same route, going by often empty."

Councillor Adrian Garden added "It seems silly for these two route to travel in parallel through Brixton, up Brixton Road and then on to Elephant only for the 415 to stop. There is clearly a great demand for people to get to Liverpool Street so the 415 route should be extended to meet this demand."

The Vassall Ward Councillors will be taking this matter up with Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross who is Chair of the Transport Committee.

03 December 2010

Cook and eat in Myatt's Fields park on Monday

Everyone is invited to Myatt's Fields Park on Monday to help cook and then share in a lunch from 11am to 1pm on Monday 6 December 2010.

We will be cooking spinach and feta pie with roast potatoes and vegetables, and cake to follow.

We’ll be cooking in the depot kitchen, next to the greenhouse, and using ingredients grown in the greenhouse. Everyone who takes part will then share in the food they’ve cooked.

These sessions are funded by Activate London (Peabody Trust funded by the Big Lottery). Please contact Victoria Sherwin at vshwerwin@lambeth.gov.uk or phone 020 7926 0394 to book a place.

01 December 2010

Protect yourself from winter flu with a free flu jab

More information on the NHS Lambeth website