27 December 2015

New entrance to Slade Gardens opens

A new pedestrian entrance has been opened up for Slade Gardens on Ingelton Street after work by local councillors, the Friends of Slade Gardens and the Crown and Anchor pub to secure £60,000 for
the project.

Ingelton Street has for many years been blighted by fly tipping and poor waste facilities, as well as traffic congestion as cars attempt to park in the small street.

Earlier this year, a project was approved by Lambeth to repave the street for pedestrians, refurbish the existing entrance gates and move the waste bins away from the area. The plan was completed in November and is now open to the public.

Vassall councillors - Annie Gallop, Paul Gadsby and Jacqui Dyer - said:

"This is a project that has been on the drawing board for a number of years and thanks to pressure from residents, the Friends of Slade Gardens, the local Crown and Anchor pub and councillors we have finally seen it completed. This area was frankly an untidy mess beforehand, but now there is a new entrance to the park and a paved area that is a real improvement.

"It is part of a wider effort to improve the area, which has seen new commercial bins put in on Brixton Road for businesses and a significant number of fines issued by Lambeth to stop fly tipping.

"We would like to thank residents, the Crown and Friends of Slade Gardens for their help and lobbying with this project, it was a great joint effort that has produced real results."

23 December 2015

Brixton People's Kitchen looking for volunteers and your food memories

The Brixton People's Kitchen are looking for local people to share their food memories, which will then be used as inspiration for two community feasts, cooked by a professional chef. Participants will be invited to one of the feasts in the Vassall area, free of charge!

The project are also looking for volunteers to help record memories, serve food and welcome people on the feast days. Full training will be provided. This project is taking place between January 13th and February 26th 2016. Feast dates and venues TBC in the new year. If you are interested in learning more, visit the Brixton People's Kitchen website and get in touch with Laura Mitchison here


13 December 2015

Pensioner's party at the Van Gogh street cafe

The vegan Van Gogh cafe in Vassall will be holding a free party for pensioners this week on Wednesday 16 December from 3pm.

The cafe, which reopened in September, offers a range of home made vegan meals and donates surplus food to local food banks. If there any pensioner groups interested in attending, they should RSVP the cafe owner Steve here.

11 December 2015

Christmas stories and activities tomorrow in the Minet Library

This Saturday, 12 December 2015, the Minet Library will be putting on Christmas craft activities and story telling for young people. Come to the library between 2 and 4pm and hear Christmas stories, make Christmas decorations and get in the festive spirit.

Minet Library Christmas flyer on vassallview.com

The Minet Library is located on the corner of Burton Road and Knatchbull Road, in Lambeth's Vassall Ward.

Carol singing and Christmas market this Sunday Myatt's Fields Park SE5

This Sunday, 13 December 2015, celebrate Christmas in Myatt's Fields Park, SE5 with a Christmas market from 2pm and carols from 5pm.

Myatt's Fields Park is located near Knatchbull Road, Calais Street and Cormont Road in Vassall Ward, Camberwell, Lambeth SE5

Lambeth encourages residents to recycle as much Christmas waste as possible

Lambeth council is encouraging residents to recycle as much of their Christmas waste as possible during the festive period.

Over the Christmas period, residents can:

  • Recycle wrapping paper, Christmas cards and any additional packaging along with usual items in clear sacks or estate recycling bins. The council can also accept paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, food and drink cartons and tins and cans (no limit to the amount of recycling that can be left out).
  • Resident's food waste bins can be used to recycle cooked and uncooked food including scraps from plates, bones and vegetable peelings.
  • "Real" Christmas trees can be left on the pavement outside of properties on resident's collection days from 4 January. Residents on housing estates, can leave real trees in bulky waste areas between 6 and 15 January. Alternatively they can be taken to recycle sites in Lambeth, the closest to Vassall being Clapham Common, Windmill Drive. 
  • Collection days for all recycling and bins over the Christmas period are listed on the Lambeth website here.
You can also get tips on how to reduce food waste and save money from the Love Food, Hate Waste website here.

10 December 2015

Arnie has a point on climate change ...

Ahead of a screening of Naomi Klein's new film, 'This Changes Everything', Vassall Cllr Paul Gadsby spoke to members last night of Lambeth for a Cool Planet about the battle against climate change.

His speech about the impact of climate change on the local environment in Vassall is below...

I don’t think anyone in this room would disagree that climate change represents the biggest threat to the future of our planet. The science is 100% clear that our climate is changing more rapidly than it has done before and that it will have a profound impact on the next generation growing up in Lambeth – but it is also have a direct impact on the here and now, on everyone in this room. For me, climate change is an open and shut case.

However, I am still not 100% convinced that as an issue climate change is punching its weight when it comes to breaking into the public consciousness. As a local councillor, this issue and wider environmental problems are barely ever raised with me on the doorstep, by email or in conversation with residents. This is not because the public does not care or does not know about climate change: if we were to go out now into Brixton I bet that everyone could tell you what climate change is about and what it threatens. The real problem I suspect is that a lot of people have a lot on their plate: kids to take to school, jobs to work flat out in, relatives to care for, families to manage and a thousand other things that need to be done before we get to the next day.

This is not selfishness, its simple the fact that people have busy lives with a multitude of problems and challenges to deal with - and climate change at the moment, in my view, is still not pushing its way to the top of issues that people think of as a priority. There is a common, almost unspoken feeling, that climate change is something that will become an issue in 2050, 2060 or further off into the distant future.

A perfect example of this I think is demonstrated recently when the government scrapped its subsidy for the solar energy industry. I was not only dismayed by the decision, but also dismayed by the fact that no one really noticed it happening.

So how do we address that? Well, I think that great political philosopher of our age Arnold Schwarzenegger put it well this week. He said:

“It drives me crazy when people talk about 30 years from now, rising sea levels and so on. What about right now? Thousands of people are dying from pollution. People are living with cancer [because of air pollution].”

Now I think Arnie has a point here: I think we need to be a lot more direct, upfront and most importantly noisy about the impact of climate change on the here and now, not just what is going to happen in fifty years. And when I say we that means the council, other politicians and also residents: especially people in this room.

A good example of what can be done when we get noisy about this issues was a campaign I was involved in last year. Some of you may have seen that a leading charity did some research on the levels of pollution on Streatham High Street and Brixton Road. They found that TfL buses, with diesel engines, were contributing to horrendous levels of pollution: my ward, Vassall, for example, a deprived ward that sits around Brixton Road, got through a year’s worth of air pollutants by 2nd of January 2015.

I am going to repeat that because it is staggering: a highly built up residential area with schools, community centres, sheltered accommodation and parks had pumped into its air 365 days’ worth of dangerous pollution in 48 hours. That’s dangerous pollution that causes asthma in kids, lung disease in adults and a host of other conditions.

So we got a campaign going to try and address this problem with residents. I’ll be honest some people said it wasn’t worth doing at the time because the public wouldn’t be interested: one resident described it to me as “Guardian whinging”. But when we started shouting about it we had 500 signatures in a month, many from my estates, and Tfl has now agreed to change the engines in the buses in South London to make them cleaner and greener. The council has just set up a strategic transport study and one of its key aims is to reduce transport based emissions, and we will be inviting groups like Lambeth for a Cool Planet to feed into these plans so we keep up the pressure. I have no doubt at all this would not have happened without this local campaign and local pressure from residents who became engaged with the issue.

There is more that Lambeth as a council is doing and shouting about, along with its residents. Last week, Lambeth joined with other councils to redouble efforts to make Lambeth a clean energy borough by using cleaner energy supplies, greener transport systems and insulating homes. It is estimated that such moves will cut the UK's carbon footprint by more than 10%. And we’ve supported co-operatives like Brixton Energy that allow residents to generate their own energy and reduce carbon emissions. We are also backing other forms of clean transport and cycling initiatives, such as listening to resident feedback about the desire for Santander bikes to be brought further south in the borough, hence a recent campaign to get them into Brixton.

So what I would say to everyone is that Lambeth is pushing hard to do its bit on climate change, but we do need your support in this room and in the wider community to push it up the agenda for the public and those in government who have the most power.

I would tell you to keep coming to events like this, talk about it in your communities, with your neighbours, friends and families, work with groups like Lambeth for a Cool Planet and keep hassling people like me and my colleagues so we can collectively get this up people’s agenda.

Climate change can seem like an immense problem, it can seem overwhelming. But starting off in our communities with one on one conversations and local campaigns of the sort Lambeth for a Cool Planet are looking to run are the fundamental first steps to helping to protect our planet.

07 December 2015

New consultation on the future of Vauxhall Gyratory opens

Transport for London (Tfl) have launched a new consultation on proposals to make improvements to the Vauxhall Gyratory area.

Tfl have said that the changes, which can be viewed here, will:
"Aim to return the one-way road system at Vauxhall to two-way roads and significantly improve pedestrian and cyclist provision to help create a safer and less intimidating environment for vulnerable road users. The proposed changes would also help to improve connectivity throughout the area, and create a better environment for people living, working, and travelling through Vauxhall."
Talking about changes, Oval Cllr Jack Hopkins, said:
"For the last half a decade, Vauxhall Labour has been campaigning for a better Vauxhall: a place where it is nice to live, where people will come work and boost our local economy, and where people will choose to eat out with their families or meet with their friends. For too long Vauxhall has been missing out as people travel to Vauxhall only to catch another bus, tube or train to another area. In the meantime, families living in Vauxhall have had to look out onto an ugly, noisy one-way gyratory – an antiquated system where cyclists continue to die and where pedestrians are forced to make several crossings across dangerous lanes of traffic in order to reach the public transport stations. Vauxhall can be better. Vauxhall will be better."
Besides an online consultation here, there are two opportunities in the coming weeks to view the proposals for the changes close to the Vassall area:

06 December 2015

Fly tipping crackdown in Vassall

Vassall councillors have welcomed a new crackdown on fly tipping by Lambeth's Labour council after more than a dozen substantial fines were issued for dumped rubbish in the past few months.

Lambeth have confirmed that after listening to the concerns of local councilors and residents, a new team began work in September specifically to investigate residential fly tips in the borough and fine those responsible. So far they have issued 12 fines in the area around Brixton Road in Vassall alone since the start of September. Penalty notices have been issued on many roads, including Mowll Street, Stockwell Park Road, Mostyn Road, Lorn Road, Brixton Road and Robsart Street.

These fines will raise revenue to tackle the problem as well as deterring those who think this is acceptable.

Vassall councilors Jacqui Dyer, Annie Gallop and Paul Gadsby said:

"The majority of people in Lambeth do the right thing and they’re sick of seeing beds, building materials, radiators or black sacks full of rubbish strewn across streets. A bulky waste collection service is available from the council

"We would also urge local residents to report any instances of fly tipping they spot. In Vassall, there have been a number of occasions where councillors or residents have reported fly tips which have then been successfully investigated, leading to improvements in the area. We recently took the cabinet member for environment around Vassall to some of the worst areas that are now being investigated.

"But the council needs evidence - so we would encourage anyone with concerns and evidence about a fly tipping spot to use the council’s online reporting form here

03 December 2015

Vassall councillor surgeries in December

Vassall councillors Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop will be holding their regular surgeries in November. Owing to the Christmas break, there will be some slight changes to when the surgeries will be taking place:

Tuesday, ​1 December 2015
Myatts Field Park Depot
Cormont Road
1pm - 2pm

Friday, 18 December 2015
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 19 December 2015
Myatt's Field South Community Hall
Burton Lane

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:

Councillor Jacqui Dyer - 07920 548463 -jdyer3@lambeth.gov.uk

Councillor Paul Gadsby - 07814 567 690 - pgadsby@lambeth.gov.uk

Councillor Annie Gallop - 07920 560175 - agallop@lambeth.gov.uk