30 May 2011

Loughborough Junction Seven Bridges Festival 4 - 5 June 2011

On 4 - 5 June 2011 the Loughborough Junction Action Group will be holding the Seven Bridges Festival.

Further information is on the Seven Bridges Festival Website

22 May 2011

Durand Academy to open boarding school in Sussex

The Durand Academy, a primary school in Lambeth's Vassall Ward, has been granted funding to open a boarding school in Sussex for secondary age pupils.

Further information
BBC - London primary gets funds for state boarding school
Evening Standard - State-funded boarding for London pupils

Durand Academy website

20 May 2011

Lambeth highlights shortage of primary places in the borough and calls for £50million extra from the Government

On Wednesday 18 May 2011 Lambeth launched its new campaign to raise awareness about the shortage of primary school places in the borough and the funding gap that the Government needs to bridge.

The demand for school places has risen by 40% in the past four years in some areas of the borough and Lambeth will need 800 extra places by 2015.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Pete Robbins, along with local parents met at Effra Early Years Centre to launch the campaign and get some media attention.

The leaflet that we have published asks residents to write to Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP over our plea for £50m funding over two years.

Pete said: “Our schools are full to the brim and residents are naturally concerned that their children will have a place at their local school. We have already added as many temporary classrooms as we have space for but now we need proper investment to permanently expand schools. To help us make the desperately needed space, we are asking the government to step up, provide £50m investment over two years and give Lambeth the fair funding our local children deserve’


14 May 2011

Go to the library for the Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival 2011

The Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival launches on Monday 16 May with a full programme of events including some at the Minet Library in Vassall Ward

Further information is at www.lambeth.gov.uk/readersandwriters  or see listings below

These Were Our Sons with Naomi L Klein
Monday 16 May, 6.45pm. Durning Library

Underage boys, jack-the-lads, seasoned soldiers, steady family men - all types served and died in the First World War. Naomi Lourie Klein talks about the varied lives of some of the men named on the stone cross at St Mark's Church, Kennington, and on Stockwell War Memorial. Her book of their stories will be on sale.

Join Lambeth Libraries and the Friends of Durning Library for an evening commemorating Lambeth’s sons.

Marsh, markets and masterpieces: walking Waterloo with Lambeth Archivist Len Reilly
North Lambeth Walk
Monday 16 May, 6pm. Waterloo Library

The walk will cover the low lying Lambeth Marsh area, the thriving street market that was once at The Cut and the masterpieces of music, art and theatre that generated from the South Bank Arts complex.

Meet at Waterloo Library, the walk will last about 90 minutes and will finish on the South Bank.

Shadow of the Matterhorn: The Life of Edward Whymper with Ian Smith
Tuesday 17 May, 7pm. Minet Library
In 1865 Edward Whymper was a mountaineering Superstar. His ascent of the Matterhorn electrified England where the new sport of mountain climbing was captivating both the gentlemen of means who took up the sport, and the masses of people who read about climbing in the periodicals of the day.

Ian’s biography uses new material from archives around the world, and from Whymper’s family, to give a fuller picture of this artisan from London, who had such an impact on the story of mountaineering. At age 25 Edward Whymper crowned a meteoric climbing career with the first ascent of the Matterhorn, the last great unclimbed summit in the Alps. However, this triumph came with notoriety and a lasting sorrow due to the catastrophic accident on the descent that killed 4 climbers.

Join Ian for an illustrated talk on a life of adventure.

Women writers’ panel with authors Chris Manby, Lotte Daley, Gillian Hudson and Helen Smith
Friday 20 May, 7pm. Brixton Library
Lambeth Libraries are pleased to bring you an evening of top women writers. The evening, led by best-selling author Chris Manby, will also include Lotte Daley, Gillian Hudson and Helen Smith. Between them they cover writing from full on chick-lit through to a more surreal take on life and love.

You are invited to the third Lambeth women writers’ night in what is becoming an absolute highlight of the Lambeth literary calendar. Join us for an evening of fun, inspiration and books.

Bookmania - Renowned artist David Taborn introduces his book-inspired art exhibition
David Taborn -Trollope-Have You Taken Leave of Your Senses
Monday 23 May, 7pm. South Lambeth Library

‘Bookmania’ is an exhibition that highlights the book as endangered species, fetishising its sculptural qualities and literary associations. The object-world infiltrates the two-dimensional in David Taborn’s work, creating hybrid works between sculpture and painting.

‘Taborn releases art from the confines of its own, institutionally-bound definitions, extending it across the divide between art-object and common-objects by exuberantly contaminating painting with the world and sensibilities of ordinary things....’ - J J Charlesworth

David Taborn lives and works in Lambeth, is a NESTA Fellow and has exhibited extensively at home and abroad.

The ‘Bookmania’ exhibition will be on show at South Lambeth Library from May until June.

A Book of Blues – author Courttia Newland in conversation
Wednesday 25 May, 7pm. Brixton Library
Courttia Newland is author of The Scholar (1997), Society Within (1999) and Snakeskin (2002). He was the co-editor of IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (2000) and his short stories have featured in many anthologies.

The blues speak of many things, most of all love. Courttia’s collection of family, friends, lovers and strangers endeavour to navigate a world where love presents as many obstacles as opportunities. Threaded with the constant pulse of music, A Book of Blues explores both physical and internal landscapes via the never-ending diversity of human relationships. Illuminating and enigmatic, Newland composes vivid, inimitable songs of self-discovery, tenderness and hope.

Courttia will be in conversation with Echoes dept editor and journalist Kevin Le Grendre.

The Black Madonna of Derby with Joanna Czechowska
Thursday 26 May, 7pm. Streatham Library
‘A beautifully matter-of-fact story about a family of Polish descent, living in England - a seemingly ordinary family with an extraordinary history’.

In a humorous, gentle and understated way The Black Madonna of Derby illustrates the subtle differences that family culture and traditions make. The author brings to life characters you can relate to and yet they are fascinating.

The truth unravels itself throughout the book with surprises! This is a story that appeals to all readers.

Join Joanna talking about a life of two countries and two cultures.

Launch of the West Norwood Library Poetry Garden with Lemn Sissay
Saturday 28 May, 2pm - 7pm. West Norwood Library
To celebrate the arrival of the sunshine and the reopening of the Library’s garden we are launching the West Norwood Poetry Garden. We are delighted that poetry star Lemn Sissay will be opening the garden.
The West Norwood Library garden is the perfect place to read and write poetry, especially for those who don’t have a garden at home. In the month leading up to the grand opening, our gardening club and Easter Holiday group will planting and tidying to make the garden beautiful. Local residents are invited to perform poems alongside more established poets.

With poetry activities for the children in the afternoon and poetry readings in the early evening – how better to while away a Saturday afternoon.

The Devil’s Garden with author Edward Docx
Wednesday 8 June, 7pm. Clapham Library
Dr Forle is a scientist on a river station deep in the heart of the South American jungle: the last inhabited point before the impassable interior. He is studying the eerie forest glades that the local people call ‘devil’s gardens’. Who or what has created these cursed and poisoned places? The answer, he hopes, will change the way we think about life itself. When one of his assistants is murdered, Forle is forced to abandon his life’s work and take sides. What kind of a man is he?

Edward has become a star of the Hay and Edinburgh literary festivals. His previous novels are The Calligrapher, and Self Help, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007, and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.

Join Edward discussing The Devil’s Garden.

For more information or to book tickets for Lambeth Libraries events please call 020 7926 1075 or email readersandwriters@lambeth.gov.uk.

13 May 2011

Story and rhyme time every Friday at the Minet Library in Vassall Ward

Parents and children are all invited to free Story and Rhyme Time sessions every Friday 11-12 at the Minet Library on Knatchbull Road in Lambeth's Vassall Ward.

Come along for play, stories and songs for the under 5s. Advice and help for parents and carers is also available.

Further information is available from the Minet library staff or phone 020 7926 6073.

Lambeth website information on the Minet

12 May 2011

Fatal stabbing on Cormont Road/ Calais Street, SE5

We are sad to report that a 15 year old was fatally stabbed on Cormont Road close to the junction with Calais Street near to Myatts Fields Park in Vassall Ward last night.

Further details on the BBC website

11 May 2011

Vassall Labour Councillor and MP meet Brixton Road shopkeepers over supermarket concerns

At a packed meeting, attended by over 50 people, at the Brixton Road Youth Club on Monday night Vassall Ward Councillor Kingsley Abrams and Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey listened to the concerns of local shopkeepers and residents about possible developments on the former Russell Hotel site on Brixton Road.

The shopkeepers and local people are concerned that if the site is occupied by Tesco the local shops, which have built up a loyal following among the local community, will be forced out of business destroying the diversity of shops on this stretch of the road.

Concern was also expressed about the safety of deliveries to the shops: delivery lorries would need to turn into the shop forecourt from Brixton Road near the junction of Caldwell Street crossing the pavements and potentially putting pedestrians, including many schoolchildren, at risk.

Questions were also raised about the conservation of the hotel's facade; the building lies within the Brixton Road conservation area.

Kingsley and Kate agreed to take the concerns of the  local Vassall Ward shopkeepers and residents back to the council and if appropriate raise them with Tesco.

10 May 2011

Spring edition of Up Your Street published

Up Your Street publication on Vassallview.com
The Spring 2011 edition of Lambeth's local newsletter Up Your Street has been published.

They are being distributed to all houses in the local area or are available on the Lambeth website

07 May 2011

Lambeth votes yes to electoral reform

Lambeth was one of 10 areas across the UK that voted in favour of electoral reform in the AV referendum on Thursday 5 May 2011.

Along with areas such as Southwark, Islington, Camden, Haringey and Hackney in London and Oxford,
Cambridge, Glasgow Kelvin and Edinburgh Central in the rest of the UK Lambeth voted in favour of electoral reform: 55% of voters in the borough voted Yes to AV. Nationally almost 68% of people voted No to AV.

See the full results on the Electoral Commission website

06 May 2011

Invisible food walk this Saturday: discover food in the local area

This Saturday, 7 May 2011, there will be an Invisble food walk around the local area. Everyone is welcome to come along for a chance to increase your knowledge of local foods and the local area. Learn about wild herbs and their uses in a fun and friendly way. We’ll be visiting Ruskin park’s new pond area and finding safe places to forage in the park.

Meet 11:45 at the Loughborough Centre on the corner of Barrington Road and Angell Road, SW9 7PD (click on postcode for map). The walk will leave at 12.

Bring suitable clothes for an outdoor walk with some overgrown areas. Bring a picnic to eat outside after the walk.

Further information on the Lambeth Band of Solidarity website

04 May 2011

Vassall votes: Yes or No to AV

Polling Station sign on Vassall View
Tomorrow, Thursday 5 May 2011, the referendum on changing the voting system is taking place.

All UK registered voters will be asked the question "At present, the UK uses the 'first past the post' system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead?" with voters asked to mark yes or no.

Polling stations will be open across Vassall Ward from 7am to 10pm. To find your polling station use the polling station finder tool on Lambeth's website


To read more about the arguments for and against changing the voting system

03 May 2011

Vassall Councillors' surgeries in May 2011

Photo of Adrian Garden and Kingsley Abrams, Vassall Ward Labour Councillors on Vassall View
Vassall Ward Labour Councillors Kingsley Abrams and Adrian Garden will be holding surgeries in Vassall Ward in May 2011 on the following dates


Tuesday 3 May 2011 - 6:30-7:30pm The Holland Room, Christ Church, Brixton Road, SW9 6BE
Thursday 19 May 2011 - 6:30-7:30pm, The Annexe, Cowley Estate, Brixton Road, SW9 6LZ
Saturday 21 May 2011 - 2-3pm, Myatts Field North TMO Boardroom, Foxley Square, SW9 7RY
Saturday 28 May  2011 - 2-3pm, Myatts Field South Tenants Hall, Burton Lane, SW9 6NX

(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

02 May 2011

Ken pledges to raise incomes of London's poorest workers

Labour's candidate for Mayor of London  Ken Livingstone has pledged to boost the incomes of London'e poorest workers if he is elected in May 2012.

Ken introduced the London Living Wage in 2005, fulfilling a manifesto promise.

If elected Mayor in 2012 Ken will:∙
1. Make the living wage a condition of procurement, employment and services provided by the Greater London Authority (GLA) group.
2. Reinforce the Living Wage unit within the GLA so that it can provide aid in areas such as the law to unions and other groups campaigning for the Living Wage.
3. Work with the boroughs to adopt it and launch a Living Wage Charter, giving full support to and working with the London Citizens campaign to get private employers to adopt the Charter.
4. Encourage trade union membership in order to fight for it, and a fair deal for London’s workers generally.
5. Launch a campaign for Londoners and visitors to give cash tips to London’s 300,000 restaurant and catering staff, to stop the practice of tips being used to top up wages to reach the minimum wage.

Ken comented
“Contrary to many of the predictions when I introduced the first ever London Living Wage many of the biggest employers in the capital have adopted the measure. We have proved the London Living Wage does not just make economic sense but it is morally right."

he went on “We cannot accept the huge divisions of wealth and opportunity in the capital and the damage that this causes to the life chances and quality of life for so many Londoners. Our goal must be that no Londoner works for anything less than the London Living Wage and that means building on the progress we have made since 2005."

He called for the current Mayor to take the initiative saying "It is time for the Mayor to lead by example and make the London Living Wage a condition of procurement, employment and services provided by the GLA group. This would bring fair pay to tens of thousands of Londoners and would send a clear message to employers in the public and private sector that fair wages are good for everyone.”

Read more about the campaign at www.kenlivingstone.com