27 February 2011

Stockwell and Vassall Area Housing Forum AGM 3 March 2011

Lambeth Living logo on Vassall View
Come along to the Stockwell and Vassall Area Housing Forum AGM on Thursday 3 March 2011 at the Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Lane, SW8 (just off South Lambeth Road)

For further information contact Frank Tamplin on 020 7926 8324 or email ftamplin@lambethliving.org.uk

See the Lambeth Living website

26 February 2011

Lambeth cuts £37million from budget but promises to protect the most vulnerable

As you may have seen in the press locally and nationally councils are having to make cuts to cope with a drop in central Government grant to local authorities. In Lambeth's case savings of £37million are having to be made.

At the budget setting meeting on 23 Februasry 2011 Lambeth Council passed a budget which will result in cuts to council services. As a result of the cuts in grant it has had to prioritise services, making cuts in some to enable it to continue funding others.

Council Leader Steve Reed stressed he was making the cuts very reluctantly in the face of central Tory and Lib-Dem government cuts in spending, he commented “The government cuts have led to the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. We’ve cut costs by taking out tiers of management, eliminating waste, freezing pay and looking to share services with other councils, but still that is not enough to meet the hole in our finances left by these funding cuts. I don’t believe that any of my colleagues came into public service to make decisions like this, but the extent of the cuts mean we have had no choice but to look at cutting or reducing some services and it’s clear that services that people use every day will be affected.”

Read Steve's speech and impressions of the budget setting meeting

Changes to Council services
  • Reduction in highway maintenance levels and potholes.
  • Less maintenance of the borough’s parks.
  • The park ranger service will end.
  • The school crossing patrol service which currently serves 24 schools will be transferred to schools if they wish to pay for it.
  • Street cleaning levels will be reduced.
  • Christmas lights and decorations are to be stopped and businesses approached to fund town centre decorations.
  • Three out of four Public toilets are to close with the council instead promoting its ‘Community Toilet Scheme’

As a result of making these cuts and changes in services Lambeth has been able to protect services including
  • 22 PCSOs who are directly funded by the council and provide support to Safer Neighbourhood Teams
  • Front line Children’s Social Care Services - protecting Lambeth’s most vulnerable children and young people from harm.
  • Services to children with special needs and disabilities.
  • Early Intervention – services working with families needing support to keep children and young people safe.
  • Adult Social Care.
  • All council run day centres for vulnerable people.
  • The anti-social behaviour rapid response team will continue.
  • Services to victims of domestic violence.
  • Weekly refuse collections will continue.

25 February 2011

Lambeth customer and call centre opening hours change

From 1 March 2011 Lambeth's customer centre and call centre opening hours will change.

The new opening hours are:
Brixton Customer Centre
Address: 18 Brixton Hill, Brixton SW2 1RL
Monday: 9am to 5pm
Tuesday: 9am to 5pm
Wednesday: 9am to 5pm
Thursday: 9am to 7pm
Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Gracefield Gardens Customer Centre
Address: 2- 8 Gracefield Gardens, Streatham SW16 2ST
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Lambeth Service Centre/call centre
General enquiries: 020 7926 1000
Available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday

Customers can call various out-of-hours emergency services outside of the core opening hours.

19 February 2011

Lambeth secures extra funding for the borough's homes

Following all the talk of Tory cuts residents of Vassall Ward and more widely across Lambeth had some good news this week.

Labour has secured over £100 million to improve sub-standard homes in Lambeth. Labour councillors have spent months lobbying Government ministers for funding to complete upgrade works on 15,000 homes that need new windows, doors, kitchens, bathrooms and central heating to bring them up to minimum standards.
Photo of house in need of repair on Vassall View
Labour’s Lib Peck, Cabinet Member for Housing, and Council Leader Steve Reed both wrote to Government ministers repeatedly to press the case for Lambeth’s tenants.

The money will come through over the next four years, although there is disappointment the Government is delaying half the funding until 2014, and the total sum available is less than half the amount needed to complete work on all substandard homes.

Councillor Lib Peck said: “I am pleased our hard work has delivered some good news for Lambeth’s tenants. It’s not right people should be left to live in sub-standard homes. This money is a real boost but it is less than half the amount the Labour Government promised so we still have a significant challenge ahead of us.”

Council Leader Councillor Steve Reed commented: “It’s disappointing the Government is delaying this funding while bringing forward their cuts, but we welcome this news. Labour councillors and Lambeth’s tenants made such a strong case together that even this Government found it hard to ignore us completely.”

18 February 2011

Lambeth Police reogranisation goes live with extra Police for Lambeth's streets

Crime is residents’ number one concern and Police reorganisation strategy, known as Operation Hannah, will go live from Monday 14 February 2011. Over 100 extra police officers will be assigned to six areas, covering the whole borough, that will increase visible policing, get more officers on the beat and provide an even greater focus on local issues such as anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Rachel Heywood Lambeth cabinet member for Communities and Community Safety said “Operation Hannah will go a long way to help the fight against anti social behaviour in Lambeth and significantly enhance local neighbourhood policing at a time when police number are being cut across the rest of the UK. Ensuring safer communities in Lambeth is a key priority for Labour administration and the additional police constables will provide a visible presence and safety net as well as helping reassure residents across the borough.’
Under operation Hannah all 21 wards in Lambeth will be partnered with others to make 6 clusters, called Local Policing Teams, with each cluster receiving at least an additional 14 police constables. The LPTs will also be working alongside, boosting the Safer Neighbourhood Teams, who will remain committed to tackling crime in their wards.

Residents in Lambeth will benefit from extra visible policing at a time when the Tory led coalition is cutting funding to services and the Lib Dems reneged on a deal to provide 3000 extra police.

News of Operation Hannah comes on the back of the announcement that Lambeth is going to continue funding its special police team to tackle crime hit neighbourhoods. The Anti-Social Behaviour Action Team, set up last year, is made up of 22 PCSOs and they can be rapidly deployed across the borough, another addition to Labour’s manifesto commitment to zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour.

15 February 2011

February Akerman Road Health Centre newsletter published

The new Akerman Road Health Centre project has circulated its February newsletter - see below or download the February newsletter in pdf format

As previously reported on Vassall View this exciting project will create a totally new health centre on Akerman Road, the work is being carried out by NHS Lambeth. in conjunction with Lambeth Borough Council. Construction is expected to be completed in July 2012.

Akerman Road Health Centre newsletter page 2 on Vassall View

14 February 2011

January newsletter from Claude Moraes MEP

Photo of Claude Moraes, Labour MEP for London on Vassall View websiteLondon Labour Member of the European Parliament Claude Moraes has sent out his latest newsletter giving details of his activities in  January  2011. Read more on Claude's website

January Report from Claude Moraes MEP

Dear Friends

Welcome to my first newsletter of 2011.

2010 was a very busy year, with the European Union under pressure associated with the wider recession. Now 2011 looks set to be just as busy, with issues reaching my committee such as media freedom, LGBT rights, and the asylum and legal immigration package. In the Parliament generally there will also be a focus on the recession and recovery.

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

Please feel free to get in touch with any of the issues below,

Claude Moraes
Labour MEP for London
Read the full January newsletter

13 February 2011

Vauxhall Society meeting: Pleasure and power: Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Past - 15 February 2011

The magic and mystery of Vauxhall will be revealed on Tuesday 15 February
You are invited to a wonderful evening evoking the magic and mystery of Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea.

Come on Tuesday 15 February at 7pm and listen to Kennington resident Professor Andrew Saint, one of the most engaging and controversial writers on architecture and the environment, roll back the years. Read more

The talk will be given at Vauxhall’s historic Brunswick House, courtesy of Society member LASSCO.

Tuesday 15 February, 7pm
at LASSCO, Brunswick House
30 Wandsworth Road
London SW8 2LG

Please email your RSVP to marketing@lassco.co.uk - but if you haven't RSVPed please come along anyway!

Admission is free and all are welcome; contribution to Vauxhall Society funds welcome.
The LASSCO bar will be open.

For further information see the Vauxhall Society website

12 February 2011

Minet Library protest gets media attention

There was extensive media coverage of Saturday's read in at the Minet Library in Camberwell in Vassall Ward.

At the event several local authors gave readings and there were speeches by amongst others Vauxhall Labour MP Kate Hoey. Kate Hoey and both Vassall Labour Councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian Garden are determined to ensure that the library does not close as a result of central government cuts.

Adrian commented "Kingsley and I will do all we can to keep this Council service in Vassall Ward so that it can continue to serve everyone, young and old."

He went on "I encourage everyone in Vassall to use this fantastic facility; come and visit the library, browse the newspapers and magazines, use the internet computers, sign up and borrow books, CDs or DVDs."

BBC - Authors join Minet Library campaigners
ITV - London Tonight coverage

Further information on the Minet Library is available on the Lambeth website. The Minet Library is also home to the Lambeth Archives.

Minet Library opening hours
  • Monday - 1pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday - 10am to 6pm
  • Wednesday - closed
  • Thursday - 10am to 6pm
  • Friday - 10am to 1pm
  • Saturday - 9am to 5pm
  • Sunday - closed

11 February 2011

Local authors to join protestors at Minet Library Read In Saturday 2:30-4:30

Update: Minet Library cuts protest Saturday 12 Febarury 2011

Local authors Stella Duffy, Sarah Waters, Julie Myerson and Edmund de Waal will be joining protestors at the Minet Library read in tomorrow afternoon 2:30-4:30. Come along to the read in and show your support for your local library.

10 February 2011

Protest at the cuts: Minet Library Read In this Saturday afternoon 2:30 -4:30

The Friends of Minet Library on Knatchbull Road in Vassall Ward are holding a read-in on Saturday 12 February 2011 from 2:30 - 4:30. The read in is being held to highlight the importance of the Minet Library to local people in Vassall Ward and across Lambeth. Come along and show support for your local library.

Lambeth Council is currently carrying out a review of local library services as it seeks to cope with central government funding cuts.

Vassall's two Labour Councillors Adrian Garden and Kingsley Abrams are united with Vassall Liberal Democrat Councillor Steve Bradley in condemning the cuts. They all recognise the importance of this local resource for everyone in the local community.

The Minet Library is located in Knatchull Road, Camberwell, SE5. It offers books, CDs and DVDs for loan and has a selection of newspapers and magazines for browsing in the library. It also has 12 computers which are available for use, free, for word processing, email and web browsing. The Minet is also home to the Lambeth Archives which offer a wealth of information on the local area.

Minet Library opening times
  • Monday - 1pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday - 10am to 6pm
  • Wednesday - closed
  • Thursday - 10am to 6pm
  • Friday - 10am to 1pm
  • Saturday - 9am to 5pm
  • Sunday - closed
More information on the Minet Library
More information on the Lambeth Archives

Follow the Friends of the Minet Libary on Twitter

05 February 2011

New Girl Guides group every Tuesday, Coldharbour Lane

A new Girl Guides group has been launched which may be of interest to girls in Vassall Ward .

The group is looking girls aged 10-14 to join. Meetings will take place at Denmark Place Baptist, Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, SE5 9NR every Tuesday 6-7:30pm.

A Brownies group for girls aged 7-10 years is already well established, running earlier on the same day from 5.30-7pm.

The group is also keen to hear from adults interested in volunteering.

For more information contact Dorothy Scott (unit leader) on 07971774347 or email denmarkplacegirlguides@gmail.com.

See the Girl Guiding UK website for more details on Guides

03 February 2011

Winter Blues Party this Saturday afternoon in Myatt's Fields Park

Dance away the winter blues with a party in Myatt’s Fields Park from 1pm this Saturday 5 February 2011.

DJ Shefitza will play Balkan gipsy music from 1 to 2pm, followed by the Harbour Road Band playing bluegrass, gospel and country from 2.15pm.

We’ll be joined by Invisible Food walkers who will make pasta and pesto for hungry party goers. The walk will leave Loughborough Centre at 11.15am and arrive at Myatt’s around 12.15pm. See the project dirt website for more information.

There will be also be face painting and henna hand painting, and the Little Cat Café will be open selling soup, filled rolls, cakes, hot and cold drinks including great coffee, and ice cream.

The free event is open to everyone and suitable for all ages. The music is sponsored by the Little Cat Café.

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

01 February 2011

Vassall Labour Councillors' surgeries in February 2011

Vassall Ward Labour Councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian Garden will be holding surgeries in Vassall Ward in February 2011 on the following dates

Tuesday 1 February 2011 - 6:30-7:30pm The Holland Room, Christ Church, Brixton Road, SW9 6BE
Thursday 17 February 2011 - 6:30-7:30pm, The Annexe, Cowley Estate, Brixton Road, SW9 6LZ
Saturday 19 February 2011 - 2-3pm, Myatts Field North TMO Boardroom, Foxley Square, SW9 7RY
Saturday 26 February 2011 - 2-3pm, Mostyn Road Methodist Church, entrance in St. Lawrence Way, Myatts Field South Estate, SW9 6PH

(Click on the address for a link to a map showing the location)

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:
Kingsley Abrams - email kabrams@lambeth.gov.uk tel 07932 447763
Adrian Garden - email agarden@lambeth.gov.uk tel 07814 568 024