28 September 2016

Cuppa with a copper event this Saturday

The local Vassall Safer Neighbourhood Team will be hosting a "cuppa with a copper" session this Saturday (1 October) at the Little Cat cafe in Myatts Field Park between 1pm and 2pm.

The event is for local residents to meet their local police officers informally and discuss any local issues they have in the area. All residents welcome and no appointment required!

23 September 2016

Success for clean bus campaign in Brixton

The Mayor of London has announced that the the southern stretch of A23, which includes Brixton Road, will be one of London’s first Clean Bus Corridors from next year.

It follows a long running campaign by Vassall councillors to clean up the air in the area after research showed Brixton Road was one of the most polluted in London. Last year, a petition and lobbying by councillors resulted in new, cleaner bus engines being fitted to a large number of buses using the area. The new announcement means that from October 2017, the route will see exclusive use of hybrid or diesel buses with top-of-the-range anti-pollutant systems that meet or exceed Euro VI emissions standards. These are expected to reduce NOx emissions from buses along these routes by around 84 per cent. The cabinet member with responsibilty for the environment, Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, said:

We are delighted that the Mayor has lived lived up to his manifesto pledge to improve London air quality by focusing on London’s worst air quality hotspots outside central London. I would like to thank Lambeth for a Cool Planet for being our partners in this campaign and of course those who supported our aims by signing the petition.
Lambeth is currently consulting on a new Clean Air Action plan which residents can learn more about here - Vassall councillor Paul Gadsby recently wrote about the importance of the consultation for the Brixton Blog which can be read here.

22 September 2016

Consultation opens on new controlled parking zone in Vassall

A consultation has opened today on whether residents want to see new parking controls in streets in Vassall where no restrictions currently exist.

The consultation has been set up following the conclusion of Lambeth’s parking stress review survey, which was launched after lobbying from local councillors and residents. This concluded that a large area of Vassall was suffering from high levels of parking stress leaving many residents unable to find spaces for their vehicles during the weekdays as they were often taken up by commuters or non-Lambeth residents. This had led to reports of road rage, traffic congestion and problems for cyclists using the streets in the community affected.  Key causes for increased stress since include the fact all surrounding neighbourhoods have adopted forms of controlled parking since residents in the area were last balloted in 2009.

A key concession won by local councillors is that the results of the consultation will be analysed to look at patterns in certain streets, so that streets could end up with different parking arrangements which better reflect their local circumstances (including opting for no parking controls to be implemented).

Further details of the consultation include:
  • The area being consulted on will be around Myatts Field Park up to Vassall Road on the Camberwell side of Brixton Road (the Stockwell side of Brixton Road already has parking controls).
  • A range of options will be put to residents, including no parking restrictions and offering different possible options for timings on which potential restrictions could apply. 
  • A drop in session will be hosted at the Minet building on Saturday 8 October, 10am-4pm for residents to look at the proposals and speak to council officers. 
  • Residents will be sent an information pack with details of the consultation, the possible options, costs of any permits that might be applied and details of how to respond (each property will be issued with a unique number which they will need to complete the consultation).

You can find out more about the consultation here.

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

“It is very much up to residents to decide the parking arrangements they have on their streets, but we did feel now was time for the issue to be reopened. Circumstances in the area has changed substantially since the last ballot in 2009, with surrounding neighbourhoods opting for controls and an overall increase in the population. Car use remains low in Vassall comparative to the rest of Lambeth, but there have been numerous reports of problems for residents arising from a lack of parking spaces.

“There are of course areas that might want to keep their current arrangements, and that is why we have lobbied for the consultation to look at the responses from specific streets and areas, so that we do get a flexible outcome that reflects what people want locally.

“We would urge everyone to take a look at the consultation and respond to the survey if they live in the area.”

16 September 2016

Parliamentary boundary review makes "no sense" say Vassall councillors

Vassall councillors have criticised the recently announced boundary review for parliamentary constituencies which will see Vassall transferred into a new seat with wards from a different borough and has been put together based on an inaccurate electoral register.

The proposals announced this week from the government will result in the current Vauxhall constituency being broken up, with Vassall and Princes wards going into a new Camberwell seat with wards from Southwark. In addition, concerns have been raised that the new boundaries are based on inaccurate figures, with as many as two million voters missing from the figures used for the boundary review after the government refused to use an updated register. This means inner-city areas are underrepresented by the reallocation of seats by the boundary review: in Lambeth, the figures used for the new seats are missing over 22,000 voters who registered in time for the EU referendum in June.

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

"These changes don't make any sense and are based on dubious figures. It makes far more sense for, where possible, an MP to represent an area covered by the same council and with a geography that holds a community together. Pushing Vassall into a seat made up mainly of areas under Southwark council is an odd decision with no historical precedent. More importantly though, this decision is being taken on an inaccurate register which could leave as many as two million voters across the country, and 22,000 in Lambeth, not properly represented.

"We are keen to hear if residents in Vassall agree with our view before putting in a submission to the boundary review. We would welcome residents emailing their views to us about the new boundaries and putting in their own submissions here."

14 September 2016

Public meetings this week on Lambeth's Clean Air Plan

Lambeth council will be hosting two meetings open to the public on its recently announced consultation on how to clean up the borough's air.

The two drop in sessions will be hosted at the following locations, with one close to Vassall in Kennington:

  • Thursday 15 September 2016 between 6pm and 8pm at Roots & Shoots Hall, Walnut Tree Walk, Kennington, SE11 6DN
  • Wednesday 28 September 2016 between 6pm and 8pm at Streatham Tate Library, 63 Streatham High Road, Streatham, SW16 1PN

Writing in the Brixton Blog this month, Vassall councillor Paul Gadsby described how important this consultation is for the local area, which suffers particularly bad pollution from Brixton Road:

Brixton Road, which runs through the heart of my ward, Vassall, is one of the most polluted in South London because of the large number of TfL buses, taxis and heavy goods lorries running through the route every day. In 2015 it breached the yearly limit for diesel fume pollution in four days: in other words the area used up 365 days’ worth of safe emissions in 96 hours.

Across London, more than 9,000 Londoners a year die from conditions related to poor air quality and a quarter of schools sit in areas that regularly have pollution levels well above recommended limits.

Off the back of the appalling statistics, local councillors in Brixton ran a successful campaign to get cleaner engines fitted on TfL buses travelling down Brixton Road which has resulted in a small improvement in the air quality in the immediate area.

The council has introduced measures to encourage drivers to turn off their engines when they are stationary. Community groups have been doing a great job of adding to the lobbying pressure. Special praise needs to be given to Lambeth for a Cool Planet, who have been organising events around Brixton and working with the council to get its policies right on the issue. The new London mayor responded to this joint work by announcing a new low emission bus zone that will cover Brixton and Streatham, putting further limits on emissions.

Lambeth’s new air quality action plan is an attempt to draw all this activity together in one concrete plan that can be implemented between 2017 and 2022. Shaped with community groups, it has proposals that include a freight consolidation centre to slash the number of journeys made by the most polluting vehicles and changing planning guidance to reduce air pollution from construction.
 Residents can put their views in about this consultation direct to Lambeth here. 

07 September 2016

New Lambeth and Wellbeing Fund opens for new projects in Vassall

Lambeth council, Lambeth Public Health and the local NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have come together to offer a new Lambeth Wellbeing Fund aimed at encouraging community-led projects to improve wellbeing across the borough. 

The grants being offered are up to £10,000 for projects of up to 12 months with support available for anyone wishing to apply, whether you are an established organisation or a local resident with an idea. The Fund is available borough-wide, however there are priority wards of Vassall, Coldharbour, Stockwell, Ferndale and Larkhall.
To discuss the project in more detail, NHS Lambeth CCG will be attending the Vassall & Coldharbour Forum next meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, 20 September at 6.30pm at the Ackeman road health centre.

You can get more information on the project and how to apply here

05 September 2016

Local councillor surgeries in September

Vassall councillors Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop will be holding their regular surgeries in September which will be held on the following dates :

Tuesday, ​6 September 2016
Myatts Field Park Depot
Cormont Road
1pm - 2pm

Saturday, 24 September
Myatt's Field South Community Hall
Burton Lane

Thursday, 29 September
 Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

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