31 March 2010
At an event in Brixton former Labour Mayor of London (and of course former Labour Lambeth Councillor) Ken Livingstone, Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross and many local councillors joined over 100 Labour Party supporters to launch the manifesto. Entitled We're on your side the manifesto lays out Labour's plans for the period 2010 - 2014 if re-elected.
The manifesto was also endorsed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown (pictured) on a visit to Lingham Court in Stockwell yesterday.
Leader of the Council, Steve Reed said "Labour’s worked hard to put Lambeth Council back on the side of residents and today Lambeth is officially the fastest improving council in the country with no council tax increase for two years and crime significantly reduced. I want people to keep our new manifesto and hold us to what we pledge today. We asked residents to do this when they supported us four years ago and our record shows that we have kept our promises – that’s why they can trust us to do it again."
The manifesto includes commitments on value for money where Labour has pledged to keep Council tax as low as possible; on crime where the plan is to have a anti-social behaviour hit squad; on investment on subs-standard roads and pavements; on youth services where the promise is to have things for young people to do within a mile of every home and a major expansion of sport and leisure facilities with four new pools and free swimming for everyone.
Vassall Action Team member Tracy Ritson welcomed the manifesto saying "the manifesto lays out the plans that Labour has for the borough if re-elected. Having looked at the manifesto I think that these plans will bring real benefits for the people of Vassall Ward and Lambeth - in particular the pledges to increase the number of schools, improve sports facilities for young people and improve the housing stock really stood out as offering benefits for Vassall Ward."
Further information is available on the Lambeth Labour website
Download a full copy of the manifesto
30 March 2010
If you are not registered to vote download the form on the Lambeth website, print it out complete it and return it to the Council by 20 April 2010. if you are going to be away on that day apply now for a postal vote - again download the form, complete it and return it to Lambeth by 20 April.
In order to vote in the local elections you need to be a British, Irish or Commonwealth nation citizen or a citizen of one of the member states of the European Union and normally resident in Lambeth.
Election day 6 May 2010
The poll card will give you details of where to go to vote including a map: there are three polling stations in Vassall Ward so you will not have to travel too far. If you need a lift to the polling station contact a member of the Vassall Action Team to arrange it nearer to the election. On election day the polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.
All children are invited to hunt for chocolate Easter eggs in the wildlife area of Myatts Fields Park this weekend
The events will take place from 2pm onwards on Saturday 3 April 2010 with under fives starting their Easter egg hunt at 2pm, with older children allowed to forage from 2.30pm. All are welcome
29 March 2010
Lambeth carry out a 16 week rolling inspection of the borough's roads but always welcome reports of potholes or other road surface problems that may develop in the interim or that they may have missed. So if you see a pothole in Vassall Ward or any of the other borough roads report it to Lambeth, tel 020 7926 9000, or email TandHCallCentre@lambeth.gov.uk. If the problem is on a Transport for London 'red' route (generally the bigger roads which the buses use) then phone 0845 305 1234 or report it on the TfL website
Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams (below) highlights a pothole he found on a recent walkaround in Cormont Road, SE5 which he has reported to the Council for swift action.
Kingsley commented "Potholes are a danger to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and are sadly a fact of life especially in cold weather. As a local resident I keep my eyes open on my walks around Vassall Ward looking out for potholes and other road problems that could be dangerous. I always make a point of reporting them to Lambeth and encourage everyone in the local area to do the same as the sooner they know about them the quicker they can deal with the problem."
27 March 2010
The notice can be accessed by downloading the pdf document on the Notice of elections page
Three councillors will be returned for each of Lambeth's 21 wards: Bishop’s, Brixton Hill, Coldharbour, Clapham Common, Clapham Town, Ferndale, Gipsy Hill, Herne Hill, Knight’s Hill,
Larkhall, Oval, Prince’s, St. Leonard’s, Stockwell, Streatham Hill, Streatham South, Streatham Wells, Thornton, Thurlow Park, Tulse Hill and Vassall.
26 March 2010
A particular problem raised by local people was the misuse by some residents of the recycling bin - it appears some people have been using it for general rubbish rather than recycling which has resulted in the bin not being emptied by either the recycling team or the rubbish team on the estate.
Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams has pledged to sort out the problem saying "I will chase this issue up with the relevant people in the council so that we can get the problem sorted and hopefully prevent this situation developing again."
Vassall Action Team member Adrian Garden added "if any residents of Vassall Ward are having problems with council services they should contact us and we will get the matter resolved."
To contact members of the Vassall Labour Action Team:
Councillor Kingsley Abrams
020 7274 1257 email@example.com
07980 645 033 firstname.lastname@example.org
07834 691 820 email@example.com
Led by Lambeth Council Leader Councillor Steve Reed (pictured below with Vassall Action Team members and Councillor John Kazantzis) they inspected improvements being made to the estate and spoke to local people to gain feedback on the work and find out about the local issues facing people on the estate. They were also able to promote council servies such as the recently opened Green Man Skills Zone which provides help and advice to enable people to get back to work.
Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams commented "I invited members of the Cabinet to come to Myatts Field South to see for themselves the improvements that the Council is making to the housing and environment on the estate."
He continued "It also gave Adrian and me a chance to highlight the work that still needs to be done and for the Cabinet to find out what local people really think - rather than firing off angry emails we find that this approach is far more effective in actually getting things."
25 March 2010
Vassall Action Team member Adrian Garden commented "we will be out meeting people across Vassall Ward this weekend finding out what people think about the service they are getting from Lambeth Council also picking up any complaints they have. We will also be keeping an eye out for problems and where appropriate reporting them to the relevant Lambeth department to get them fixed."
He went on "on a recent walkabout we found that the pavement and kerb on one of the roads had been damaged so we have been chasing this up with the Council's Highways department for action."
24 March 2010
Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, and Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark’s Labour Councillors, will offer residents better value for money by sharing management costs and merging some services across both councils.
Residents in Vassall Ward which has a border with Southwark will also benefit from more consistent services whichever side of the border they live on. Lambeth is currently run by Labour while Southwark is run by a struggling Lib Dem-Tory coalition, but both boroughs have similar sized populations facing very similar problems.
If they win the elections on 6 May, Councillor Reed and Councillor John will bring senior managers from both councils together in a summit to identify areas where closer working will benefit residents and save money. The savings could run into millions of pounds at a time when the government is expected to cut funding to local councils. The new initiative would help protect services from cuts as a result.
Councillor Steve Reed said: “Lambeth and Southwark councils both provide many services that are identical, but do we really need to pay twice for separate sets of senior management and back-office support? By merging some services we can save money to reinvest in the frontline, protecting services and helping keep council tax down.”
Councillor Peter John said: “Labour is all about quality services. In Southwark, we’ve seen the Lib Dems and Tories drive service standards down. By working more closely with neighbouring councils like Lambeth we can guarantee better services that cost less, and that means a better deal for local people.”Vassall Ward Labour Councillor Kingsley Abrams added "this initiative is especially relevant to Vassall Ward where we are on the edge of Lambeth and roads such as Flodden Road, Denmark Road and Camberwell New Road are split between Lambeth and Southwark. I, like I'm sure most residents of the Ward, cross the border regularly in my day to day business so it seems silly to duplicate services. This initiative will bring the best of Lambeth together with the best of Southwark to save costs and safeguard the delivery of quality services."
Areas which have already been identified for savings include
- Sharing senior management posts across both councils, including service directors, street care management and highways management - potentially saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.
- Joint contracts for services like parking, where costs would be cut and residents in cross-border areas would benefit from a more consistent service
- Joint regeneration and economic development teams – benefiting areas like the South Bank and Camberwell which are in both boroughs.
- Shared school support services, with Lambeth’s better-rated team expanding to cover Southwark, and similar arrangements for other services where one council is currently performing better than the other.
23 March 2010
It is planned that this year over 200 trees in total will be planted in the Vassall, Coldharbour, Ferndale and Brixton Hill areas of Lambeth to bring greenery and provide colour and texture throughout the year. They will also serve as important food sources and habitats for local wildlife.
Vassall Labour Action Team member Adrian Garden (picture here with Vassall Councillor Kingsley Abrams) welcomed the initiative saying "this is really great news for Vassall Ward as trees make the place better for humans and for wildlife. And they will keep on bringing these benefits for years to come. "
Councillor Kingsley Abrams added "The Vassall trees are part of a two year initiative worth over £200,000 that Lambeth was able to negotiate with the Mayor of London. There will be more trees planted next year so if you can think of a road or area in Vassall that would benefit from trees get in contact with us and we will get it included in the tree planting scheme."
Further information on the Trees for Cities programme
22 March 2010
21 March 2010
23/03/2010 - SNT Panel meeting: Church Manor Estate offices, Vassall Road, SW9, 18:30 - 21:00
24/03/2010 - Street briefing: Mostyn Gardens, Mostyn Road, SW9, 14:00 - 16:00
These events are a chance for you to have your say say about local Policing priorities.
For more information see the Vassall SNT webpage, phone 020 8721 3661 or email Vassall.firstname.lastname@example.org
20 March 2010
As well as celebrating here 21 years in Parliament Kate was also celebrating the establishment of the Patmos Area Community Conservation Association (PACCA) as a tenant management organisation responsible for managing 285 properties in Vassall Ward.
Kate Hoey praised PACCA as being a very good example of people joining together to work with Lambeth Council and other statutory bodies to make their area better both physically by improving the environment and by helping local people through initiatives such as training and the older people's, community food and children's projects. She also praised the cross-party nature of PACCA stressing that between elections people of all political parties could work together for a common goal.
Vassall Ward Labour Councillor Kingsley Abrams also attended the event and praised the work of PACCA, he noted "PACCA is a really inspiring example of what can be achived when Lambeth Council works with local people to achieve common goals. I would like to thank PACCA Director Adeline Aina for her dedication to PACCA and ro making the area better." He went on "The fruit trees will bring benefits for years to come: I hope to be able to come back in a few years' time to taste some of the apples produced on the the apple trees planted today."
Further information is available on the PACCA website
including a set of photos from the event
19 March 2010
The Green Man Skills Zone is available to offer free help to all local residents.
Local people can visit the Zone for help, advice and support in getting back to work. In particular help is available with:
- building confidence
- completing application forms
- interview support
- CV writing
- finding a job
- finding training opportunities
- help balancing work and family life.
Vassall Councillor Kingsley Abrams attended the opening in his role as Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery.
Kingsley is pictured here along with Jane Lokwiya, Employment Hub Manager (second from left), Councillor John Kazantzis, Cabinet Member for Employment and Enterprise, and Councillor Rachel Heywood, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities.
Kingsley commented "This is a fantastic addition to the local area and will help lots of people in the Vassall, Coldharbour and Loughborough Junction area to improve their skills and get back to work. I am proud to have be involved in getting this Skills Zone off the ground. Lambeth is investing in services that enable local people to help themselves."
The Green Man Skills Zone is at 225 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 - phone -020 7926 5607 or email email@example.com.
18 March 2010
Vassall Action member Tracy Ritson commented "Adrian, Kingsley and I are covering every road in the ward to gain as full a picture of the situation on the ground as possible. I find it really rewarding to talk to people and find out how Lambeth Council has really made a difference to the people of Vassall Ward over the past four years."
She went on "Inevitably too we pick up on the mistakes the Council has made or instances where things could have been done better. Where there are problems we report back to the Council for action. Once the problem has been dealt with we then be seek to work to learn the lessons so that the problems can be prevented in the future. Anyone can shout about a problem but it is far more effective long term to prevent it happening again."
17 March 2010
Over the past 10 months the Better Neighbourhoods teams have been focused on improving the estates in partnership with local residents, tackling resident-identified problems as well as implementing general environmental improvements such as planting trees.
In Vassall Ward the Better Neighbourhoods teams has been tackling problems on the Caldwell Gardens Estate and surrounding streets (just off Brixton Road).
In particular in Caldwell Gardens the Council has improved walkways and footpaths across the estate as well as improving the roads and parking facilities. The area has also undergone a general tidy up to make it look smarter which will discourage vandalism and other anti-social behaviour such as grafitti.
All the measures have aimed to make the estate safer and a much more pleasant place to live. As well as Caldwell Gardens the Team have been carrying out repairs and improvements to local roads such as Hackford Road, Caldwell Street and Morat Street. Work on these streets should be completed before April 2010.
Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration Lib Peck noted that primarily the improvements were about people, she said "Better Neighbourhoods has made a real difference to the people living on these six estates. We didnt want to just to improve the estates, we wanted to improve the lives of the people who live there. residents can now take pride in where they live and we hope it will help create a real sense of community."
Vassall Councillor Kingsley Abrams commented "On my walks around Caldwell Gardens and the surrounding streets with other Vassall Action Team members I have been impressed with the improvements and we've received lots of positive feedback from local people, I think it was a job well done."
Kingsley continued "Over the past four years the estates and environment generally in Vassall have been improved greatly after years of neglect. There is still lots to do and I will continue to push for more investment in Vassall Ward at every opportunity."
More information on the Better Neighbourhoods programme is available on the Lambeth website
16 March 2010
With support from Groundwork Southwark volunteers will be planting vegetable seeds, the results of which will be used in the park's cafe in the summer.
The planting sessions will be running from 10am-1pm. All are welcome - come along to the greenhouse near the Cormont Road/ Brief Street entrance to the park.
More information on the planting is available on the Project Dirt blog. The project is organised by Myatt’s Fields Park Project Group in partnership with Lambeth and Activate London (funded by the Big Lottery Fund).
Roots and Shoots Spring Science Open Day
If you are interested in growing you may also be interested in the Roots and Shoots Spring Science Open Day on Sunday 11am-4pm. Roots and Shoots is a short walk away in Fitzalan Street, SE11. See flyer below for further details
More information on the Roots and Shoots website
15 March 2010
Lambeth has pledged that the freeze in Council Tax will not lead to cutbacks in frontline services.
Extra funding will be given to projects such as the Young and Safe programme, which aims to reduce youth violence. In 2010/2011 this will get an extra £300,000 more than last year. There will be a boost of £51,000 more than last year to help fund 22 new Police Community Support Officers, £60,000 more than last year for the council's anti-social behaviour team and £70,000 more than last year for the new Noise Nuisance Team.
Lambeth Council Leader Steve Reed commented "Labour has targeted waste to make the council more efficient. That approach has saved millions of pounds and now residents are seeing the benefit with a second year of a Council Tax freeze and investment in new services at the same time. Labour’s new investment includes lunch clubs for older people in all Lambeth’s town centres, extra investment in youth services, and action against crime with new measures targeting drug dealers, dangerous dogs and people responsible for anti social behaviour”
Vassall Labour Action Team member Tracy Ritson welcomed the Council Tax freeze saying "I know from speaking to people in Vassall Ward that for many money has been tight this past year so I'm pleased to see that Council Tax wont be increasing. I am pleased also to see that the freeze has not come at the expense of Council services. The measures and extra funding announced for young people, older people and community safety will bring long term benefits and make Lambeth better for everyone."
See the Lambeth Council Tax 2010/2011 Guide
Further information on Council Tax
12 March 2010
Vassall Action Team member Adrian Garden commented "Tracy, Kingsley and I find these walkarounds on the estates and streets of Vassall Ward really useful as many people are too busy to get to the surgeries we run."
he continued "On the walkabouts we are able to talk to people to find out their concerns and ask what they think about how Lambeth Council is operating. We can then raise any problems we find with the relevant section of Lambeth Council, refer them on to our MP Kate Hoey or talk to Lambeth and Southwark GLA member Valerie Shawcross about issues such as local transport."
11 March 2010
In September and October 2009 Lambeth surveyed over 500 households across the borough as well as running focus groups and other forms of consultation. The aim was to find out what people thought of the services they received from Lambeth and the value for money. People were also asked how services could be improved.
The results of the budget consultation were shared with the Council's senior management and Lambeth Councillors to enable them to better tailor services to meet the needs of the people of Lambeth.
The main results (taken from the Budget Consultation page on the Lambeth website)
Although Lambeth is becoming a safer place, crime and disorder remains a top priority for Lambeth residents.
More activities for young people, increased visibility of policing and improved use of CCTV are the most common suggestions to reduce crime and these findings will help us, along with the Police and our other partners to continue to strive to make Lambeth a safer place.
The view that young people need more activities was evident throughout the consultation, but services need to be focused on what young people like doing and need to be well serviced. We will be working closely with the borough's young people through the youth council in order to improve activities for them.
The credit crunch
Residents say that Lambeth Council can best protect them from the effects of the credit crunch by offering credit and debt advice and making sure residents are aware of the benefits they are entitled to. With our credit crunch task force we will be introducing a number of measures to support our residents through these difficult financial times.
Residents agreed with the council’s proposals to create an "Invest to Save" fund that would subsidise projects that produce long term savings through either being more efficient or taking a preventative approach.
Waste and the environment
The research showed Lambeth's residents to be very environmentally conscious, with 6 out of 10 residents saying they recycle everything that can be recycled. here is also clear support for initiatives to increase the level of recycling in the borough.
These findings will be used to explore further ways in which we can make our borough cleaner and greener in the future whilst reducing the costs of disposing of the borough's rubbish.
Health and wellbeing
The health and well being of our residents is important to us and in the budget consultation we wanted to know what kind of activities residents would like to see introduced and what the barriers are to participating in healthy activities.
You told us that you are keen to see more exercise classes made available in community centres and halls and fitness trails in the local parks. We found out that the main barrier to people exercising more is a lack of time with cost of leisure also putting off people from exercising more.
As a result we will be looking at improving access to the many leisure facilities we already provide and the information you gave us will shape the leisure activities we provide in the future.
"Tell Us Once" a bereavement project in which residents only need to inform the council of a relative’s death once, instead of multiple times, will also be trialled in Lambeth following backing from people in the consultation.
Read a fuller summary of the budget consultatuion results
Lambeth website 2010/2011 budget consultation page
10 March 2010
Read the interview on the Evening Standard website
Contact Kate Hoey
Kate Hoey's website
Write to Kate Hoey MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Phone 020 7219 5989
Fax 020 7219 5985
Kate holds regular surgeries for constituents across the Vauxhall constituency - to find out further information or to book an appointment contact Kate at the phone number above.
07 March 2010
The new hall will be a warm and welcoming place for the local residents. Residents will be able to use the new space for their regular meetings, social events and children parties. The hall will also bring rental income to the
Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams said: “I did not hesitate to support the proposals for this new community hall when the idea was put to me as one of the local councillors. I am delighted to see that the hall has received planning permission from the Council. I look forward to attending the opening of the new hall.”
05 March 2010
See page 10 of Lambeth Life available to download on the Lambeth website
04 March 2010
(Photo courtesy of Mayor of Lambeth Christopher Wellbelove)
Darrren (second from right in photo) was congratulated by Lambeth Mayor Christopher Wellbelove, Lambeth Council Leader Steve Reed (right of photo) and Deputy Cabinet Member for Communities and Young People Florence Nosegbe (far left of photo).
Accepting the role Darren said "As Lambeth Youth Mayor I hope to destroy the stereotype the youth have. Youth of today are looked upon as rebellious teenagers who wear black hoods and roam the streets at night," He went on "I hope to achieve my goal by uniting the community. I hope to break down the barriers between the youth and the police, and most importantly, I would like to unite secondary school students together."
At the same time the results for the elections of Lambeth representative in the Youth Parliment were announced. Stephanie Harb (second from left in photo) will act as Lambeth's MYP for the year.
As previously reported here elections for the post of Youth Mayor and Member of the Youth Parliament took place in February. Lambeth is one of only four London authorities, and only 10 nationally, to have a directly elected youth mayor. The Lambeth Youth Mayor and their advisory panel have an annual budget of £25,000 to help make the changes that young people want to see.
Further information on the Youth Mayor is available on the Young Lambeth website
Congratulations to both Darren and Stephanie on their election victories!
03 March 2010
Vassall Ward Labour Action Team members (pictured above) will be out and about in the ward this Saturday and Sunday talking to local people and finding out about local issues and concerns. If you have any particular concerns or problems that you would like to discuss please contact Vassall Ward councillor Kingsley Abrams on firstname.lastname@example.org/ 020 7274 1257
You can register to vote if you are living in Lambeth and are a citizen of the UK, Ireland, a Commonwealth country or (for local elections only) a resident of another European Union country.
Lambeth have recently been sending out electoral registration forms to all households in the borough - when you receive yours check your details and if any changes need to be made return the form to Lambeth. Alternatively download an electoral registration form from the Lambeth website, print it off, fill in your details and return it to the council.
You can do this anytime - but in order to be eligible to vote in the elections in May you will need to return the form to the council by 20 April.
If you are going ot be away on 6 May you can apply for a postal vote - download the postal vote form on the Lambeth website - so that you dont miss your opportunity to be involved in the democratic process.
Further information on registering to vote is available on the Lambeth website or see aboutmyvote.co.uk alternatively contact the council's Democratic Services Unit on 020 7926 2170 or email email@example.com.
Vassall Action Team member Tracy Ritson commented "It is important that everyone who is entitled to is registered to vote in the local elections and probable General Election on 6 May. Otherwise you will not be able to have a say in who represents you on the Council and in Parliament. Getting registered is really easy, all the forms are on the Lambeth website so there is no excuse for not doing it."
02 March 2010
The TfL travel alert is
CAMBERWELL NEW ROAD SE5 ROUTES 36 185 436 P5 N136: From 2000 to 0500 on Tuesday 2 March and Friday 5 March buses will have severe delays while work takes place at the junction of Camberwell New Road and Flodden Road. The stops at Wyndham Road and County Grove will be suspended, and buses on route P5 towards Nine Elms will be diverted.
Bus stops N at Wyndham Road and F at County Grove will be suspended.
Route P5 towards Nine Elms will divert from Camberwell New Road at Flodden Road ahead Camberwell New Road, right Camberwell Station Road, right Knatchbull Road to normal route at the roundabout.
01 March 2010
Priority will be given for the improvements to older residents, people on low incomes and those living in burglary hotspots, but anyone can apply to have an assessment of their home security undertaken and improved if appropriate.
Work will be carried out by Age UK, and anyone who feels their property needs additional security to help reduce the risk of burglary can apply by calling Clapham Park Project by 19 March 2010 on 0800 085 2378.
The Lambeth website has a useful guide to crime prevention called think like a burglar
The Metropolitan Police's Operation Bumblebee website also has lots of top tips on burglary prevention