12 December 2017

New Low Emission Zone announced for Brixton in big victory for clean air campaign

The Mayor of London has listened to local campaigners and Labour councillors by announcing a new Brixton Low Emission Zone that will result in only buses which meet the toughest emission standards being permitted on routes in the area, including those using Brixton Road.

The measures have been welcomed by clean air campaigners as parts of Brixton have consistently recorded some of the highest levels of dangerous toxins from traffic in Europe. This is partially being caused by the large number of Tfl buses that run through some of the main routes in Lambeth. In Brixton alone 450 buses carry 130,000 passengers each day, with many of these passing through Brixton Road in Vassall. It is estimated that thousands of people across England have their health damaged by poor air quality, which disproportionately affects the old, the young and those from less well off backgrounds who live near major roads.

Vassall councillors - Paul Gadsby, Jacqui Dyer and Annie Gallop - have been campaigning over the past three years for tougher action to be taken to clean up local air quality. They helped organise Lambeth Labour's petition for the low emission zone, as well as supported plans to increase cycling opportunities for residents by recently successfully lobbying for the extension of the Santander bike scheme to Brixton.

The new Brixton Low Emission Zone is likely to cut pollution from the bus network in the area by 84%.

Lambeth Labour leader Lib Peck said:

“Having a clean bus corridor through the heart of our borough is something we’ve been campaigning for for a long time and I’m delighted that the Mayor has implemented this.  Poor air quality is a killer, there is no doubt about that, and we are determined here in Lambeth to do all we can to tackle pollution and improve the air we breathe. This is an issue that needs us all to work together and I’m encouraged by the Mayor’s commitment to do just that.”

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

"This is a real step forward that we have campaigned hard for over the past three years. It is welcome that we finally have a Mayor in Sadiq Khan who is taking this matter seriously after years of inaction under Boris Johnson. The new Brixton Low Emission Zone sits alongside other measures we have been campaigning for, such as better cycling facilities.

"But we do need the government to start acting. As Lambeth Labour has called for, ministers need to ensure Brexit does not harm pollution controls and we need a new Clean Air Act which draws a line under the repeated failure of the Tories to get their clean air plans through the courts. This is a good start, but only the first step."

04 December 2017

Myatts Field South hosts "Tiny Tots" event for parents and carers

You can find out more about the LEAP project here - and about the recent extra investment for the Mulberry Centre in Myatts Field Park here. 

03 December 2017

01 December 2017

Councillor coffee morning in December

Local Vassall councillors will be holding a coffee morning for residents on Saturday, 16 December at Longfield Hall in Myatts Field Park between 9.30am and 11am.

The surgery will be open to all residents to drop in and discuss any local issues they have with councillors Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer.

29 November 2017

New investment for the Mulberry Centre in Myatts Field Park

The Mulberry Centre in Vassall's Myatts Field Park has received a funding boost from the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) which will see new facilities added to the building with the aim of expanding services for young children and parents in the area.

LEAP is a lottery funded project aimed at supporting early age development in babies and young children in particularly deprived areas. Local councillors successfully lobbied for Vassall to be a focus of the £10 million project along with Stockwell, Coldharbour and Tulse Hill. The extra investment in the Mulberry Centre, which is run by the Outdoor Urban Pre-school and hosts a free One O'Clock club, will see:
  • Improvements made to make the Centre safer and secure.
  • Outdoor improvements, including new soft landscaping and renovations to the building.
  • New kitchen facilities and flooring installed as well as new children’s toilets and repairs to the plumbing.
Other projects to be taken forward in Vassall include a new playground on the Cowley estate and significant extra investment in the Liz Atkinson children's centre in the ward.

Cllr Jane Pickard, Lambeth’s cabinet member for families and young people, said:

“It’s great to see this work completed, the first of a series of LEAP-funded improvements to play areas and buildings across four of Lambeth’s most deprived wards. The council believes that intervening early to tackle some of the problems many families face can make a real difference to the future life chances of their children. LEAP, in which the council is a key partner, is critical in carrying out some of this work, especially in showing what methods work best.

“But first we need to create attractive, high-quality places for families to come and meet while children play. The work done will enable Mulberry to be one of these places. I look forward to meeting families there when it is finished.”

Cllr Paul Gadsby, Vassall ward councillor, said:

“It’s great to see this space being spruced up for local parents and children. This is a highly valued centre and the work being done should ensure it attracts many more families for years to come.”

24 November 2017

Minet neighbourhood library service extended

Lambeth council has announced that the summer services at the Minet building in Vassall will be extended and the Lambeth Archives will remain on the same site until moving to a new facility in Kennington.

The council said:
While the Archives remains at the Minet site at 52 Knatchbull Road, a neighbourhood library is open alongside.

The library has as a self-service facility with trained library staff support for between two and a half and three hours a day from the Hubs Library team. The Home Visit library service will continue to be based in the building, whose staff, alongside the Archives staff, will be able to monitor use of the library, when librarians are not present.

The library will open for the same hours as the Archives, as below:
Monday 1pm-8pm (A librarian will be available from 2 to 5pm)
Tuesday 10am-6pm (A librarian will be available from 10am to 12.30pm)
Wednesday closed
Thursday 10am-6pm (A librarian will be available from 2 to 5pm)
Friday 10am-3pm (A librarian will be available from 10am to 1pm)
Saturday 9am-1pm & 2pm–5pm (A librarian will be available from 9 to 11.30am)

Activities delivered include a weekly Under 5s group – Wriggle & Rhyme every Tuesday morning from 10.30 – and a monthly Reading Group, as well as other library activities, such as school holiday activities and digital support.

IT facilities are available and the number of PCs will also be increased soon.
A decision on the long term future of the Minet building will be made in partnership with the community.

17 November 2017

Review of the Lambeth Local Plan: Give your views to the council

Lambeth council is asking for resident's views as part of a review it is conducting into the borough's Local Plan.

The Local Plan, the most recent of which Lambeth drew up in 2015, sets out the borough's vision for how it can develop to improve opportunities for local people. It sets out Lambeth's planning policies, approach to housing, business development and other key policy areas.

The Plan is being reviewed folowing changes to national planning and policy law, although the opportunity is also being taken to look at other aspects, including how the council addresses poor qir quality.
Cllr Paul McGlone, Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council, said:

"The Local Plan Review is important as it could affect everyone living, working and studying in – as well as visiting - Lambeth and that's why it’s important for people to get involved and have their say in the councils current Consultation process."

Residents can give their views on the review, which runs until the 4 December, here.

05 November 2017

Councillor surgeries in November

The regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be taking place in November and will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, 7 November
Cowley estate Annex

Thursday, 23 November
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 25 November
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 - 07500 971619 -jdyer3@lambeth.gov.uk

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

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

31 October 2017

Fields in Trust nominate Myatts Field Park for UK’s Best Park award

Vassall's Myatts Field Park has another potential award is its sights, this time as the UK's Best Park from the prestigious Fields in Trust organisation.

Myatts Field Park has won several awards in the past decade and recently recieved a funding boost from Lambeth council which will help to refurbish the park's depot.

The latest award sees Myatts Field Park up against more than 60 other parks from London in a public vote. The Field in Trust, founded in 1925 and a registered charity, aims to ensure that everyone – young or old, able or disabled and wherever they live – should have access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation.

You can vote for Myatts Field Park here.

30 October 2017

Lambeth launches new "Healthy Routes" project aimed at boosting cycling and walking

Lambeth council has launched a new project asking for resident feedback on how roads, pavements and transport routes in the borough can be improved to boost cycling and walking. The project includes an online map for residents to provide ideas and higlight issues in specific areas.

According to the project's website, Lambeth will use the feedback to help shape the area's Local Plan:
We are consulting on our healthy route network alongside the Local Plan Review (our spatial plan that guides development in the borough) and our new Transport Strategy. For more information on this consultation please go to Lambeth Local Plan Review 2017. The Transport topic survey can be found here.

This is a first stage consultation and we will consider all the comments received and review our policies accordingly. The healthy routes network will be incorporated into the Transport Strategy which will be referenced by the adopted Local Plan. There will be a further consultation on these two policy documents in Summer 2018.
Vassall councillors - Annie Gallop, Paul Gadsby and Jacqui Dyer - are encouraging residents to take a look at the map and input their ideas. They have already pointed to the need for Tfl to listen to a long running campaign to install a new crossing near Mostyn Road, the heavy traffic issues around Loughborough Road and problems with access to businesses on Brixton Road for mobility impaired residents.  Councillors recently announced that they have been successful in securing the introduction of Santander cycling docking stations in the area which should be installed in the coming months. If residents have any thoughts about these issues, they can also feedback to their local councillors.

20 October 2017

19 October 2017

Heavy fines issued as part of fly tipping crackdown

Five fly tippers have been handed heavy fines after being caught by a new mobile camera that was deployed in the Vassall area following lobbying from local councillors.

The camera on Robsart Street, which borders Slade Gardens, spotted offenders dumping rubbish illegally during the course of the month when it was stationed on the street.  The deployment of the camera is part of a new crackdown from Lambeth on fly tipping under its Better Streets campaign which has seen 3,100 fines handed out across the borough of between £80 and £400 for anti-social behaviour crimes, including fly tipping, spitting and littering.  Last year, Lambeth crushed a van being used for repeated fly tipping in Brixton.

The new mobile camera is being deployed across the borough and councillors have made further requests for the camera to be sent to other streets in Vassall. Residents can also report fly tipping here.

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

"Fly tipping is a disgusting blight on our streets and there is no excuse for people dumping rubbish around our community. We have lobbied for many years for a tougher approach to fly tipping from the council and we are pleased that more measures are being introduced, especially the mobile camera which has already produced results."

17 October 2017

New investment for Myatts Field Park

Vassall's Myatts Field Park has received a major funding boost from Lambeth council to help renovate and extend the community depot.

The grant of £500,000 from the council was made possible after hard work from the Friends of Myatts Field Park who presented plans to upgrade the park's buildings in order to provide greater space for cooking and education classes, as well as a private hire space (with all income generated being directed back into the park). Alongside this development, the park has also signed a new enhanced maintenance contract with the park until 2019.

The new funding will  result in a new entrance from Cormont Road through to the park and a central foyer with a winter café and views over the existing greenhouse. As already mentioned, there will be a new meeting and eating room, including a kitchen, along with new offices for park staff. It is hoped that work will begin on the project by the end of 2017.

Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet member for Equalities and Culture, said:

“This is fantastic news, not just for Myatt’s Fields Park, with an improved building, a new income stream and extra maintenance, but also for the local community with the investment boosting opportunities to learn, develop new skills and spend time together.”

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

"This is a great invesment for the local area and the local friends group deserve a lot of praise for making this project happen, as well as supporting the ongoing work of Myatts Field Park with the council."

06 October 2017

Vassall councillors call for government rethink on local police cuts

Vassall councillors have criticised government plans to cut  £1 billion from London's police during the course of this decade that could see eight local police stations close in the borough.

During the summer Lambeth Labour launched a petition, which has been signed by 1,000 residents, calling for Ministers to rethink their planned cuts. As Vassall View reported here, the changes could leave Brixton station as the only fully functioning police station in the borough with a public counter service.

In their submission to the consultation looking at the future of policing in the capital, Vassall councillors Annie Gallop, Jacqui Dyer and Paul Gadsby, said:
For context, we do believe that the government's staggering cuts to the Met's police budget will have a detrimental affect on our community. The north of Lambeth and Brixton, where our ward sits, is one with a unique set of pressures facing it. The area includes several town centre areas with extremely busy night time economies, diverse communities and overall a rising population. As such our community is one that needs a responsive, well equipped police force that cannot only address crime issues that emerge, but is public facing with access points and an approach that allows the community to speak directly with their local officers. We are very lucky in Vassall to have an excellent safer neighbourhood team and police officers assigned to the ward, but we are concerned that the government's £1 billion cut over the course of this decade is an attempt effectively to protect the public on the cheap. 

On the issue of police station closures being looked at by the MOPAC report, in our view removing the front counters that service the north of our borough will create a significant gap in provision. We strongly urge MOPAC to consider the possibility of a northern front counter to service the residents and visitors in this busy, crowded area which has significantly above average crime rates. Kennington police station we would suggest is the ideal location for this kind of service to continue.   We are concerned that if services at the station are reduced this will increase pressure on Brixton police station which is near our ward and which already appears to be operating under a degree of operational stress caused by rising public demand. We have been out campaigning on this issue in our ward for the past few months and believe the views we have outlined above reflect those re-iterated to us on the doorstep. 

A one size fits all approach, where every London borough has just one public counter, is not workable or reasonable in our view. As our cabinet member for community safety has confirmed to us, serious youth violence has increased by nearly 20% and knife crime by over 50% in Lambeth. Giving identical resources to one of London’s highest crime areas and outer London boroughs with far lower crime rates doesn’t make sense in our view. Resources and access should be based on community need.

We appreciate the pressure the Mayor is being placed under by backhanded Conservative cuts and while we agree with the principle of the MOPAC proposals – officers are more important than buildings, something which we do feel many in the community share - we do feel the current strategy needs to be looked at again. It risks alienating our communities, removing the neighbourhood presence that works so well, and jeopardising the excellent local work done by the police to engage communities across our borough.

02 October 2017

Councillor surgeries in October

The regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be taking place in October and will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, 3 October
Cowley estate Annex

Thursday, 26 October
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 28 October
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 - 07500 971619 -jdyer3@lambeth.gov.uk

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

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

29 September 2017

New controlled parking zone in Vassall to go live on 2 October

A new controlled parking zone (CPZ) in Vassall is set to go live on Monday, 2 October after residents backed the introduction of parking controls earlier this year.

The area will cover residential streets in the south western part of ward to the south of Vassall Road down to Loughborough Road, and east of Brixton Road to Camberwell New Road, encompassing Myatt's Field Park. 

Surrounding parts of both Lambeth and Southwark have in the past decade opted to introduce permit parking, as have many estates within the same neighbourhood (Lambeth estates have different parking arrangements from residential streets). These developments have led to increasing concern about traffic stress as parking spaces are often taken up by commuters and those who don't live in the area, which has left residents struggling to find a place for their vehicles. There have been increasing complaints from local people about incidents of road rage and from cyclists who find the overcrowded roads difficult to navigate. Dumped vehicles, which are regularly removed at the request of councillors and residents, have become more of a problem in recent years and the lack of a CPZ often makes them more difficult to remove.

Following a parking stress review lobbied for by local councillors and resident groups, the CPZ was approved following a consultation in the summer.

In terms of the new arrangements set to take effect on Monday, 2 October, these include:
  • Parking permits can be purchased by residents living in the area although short stay paid for parking bays will be available in parts of the area. The cost of the permits is based on engine size, with more environmentally friendly vehicles getting cheaper permits.
  • The controlled parking zone will operate 8.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
  • The council has spent the past two months implementing new road signs and road markings in preparation for the scheme, in some cases working with Tfl to ensure traffic flows will not be hindered by any changes.
  • Although the zone will formally begin on 2 October, there will be a period of "soft" enforcement where cars will not be given fines, but warning letters. This is to allow residents more time buy permits for the area.
  • Lobbying from local councillors has ensured that there will be more short stay parking pays near GP practices in the area for patients dropping off or collecting people.
More information about the changes and how to buy permits can be found here

28 September 2017

Vote for Myatts Field in the Green Flag awards

Myatts Field Park is asking for local residents to support them in the Green Flag awards to bring extra recognition to the area.

The park has already been recognised for its outstanding work over the years and is now competing for this extra recognition. In a message, the park said:

"Please support Myatt's Fields Park by voting for us in the Green Flag People's Choice Award. It only takes two clicks and you don’t need to register. The Award is a chance to celebrate your favourite park and it provides vital support to the park if it wins."
You can vote for the park here

22 September 2017

14 September 2017

Vassall Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting in October

The local Vassall Safer Neighbourhood Team will be hosting its next meeting at the Church Manor Community Centre on Thursday, 12 October at 7pm.

The meeting brings together local police officers, community leaders and residents to discuss policing and crime issues in the area. It is open to all residents, with full details below:

Ward Panel Meeting
Church Manor Community Centre (off Vassall Road)

Thursday, 12 October, from 7pm
More details from: SNTLX-Vassall@met.pnn.police.uk

05 September 2017

Councillor surgeries in September

The regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be taking place in September and will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, 5 September
Cowley estate Annex

Thursday, 28 September
 Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 30 September
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 - 07500 971619 -jdyer3@lambeth.gov.uk

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

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

31 August 2017

25 August 2017

Where should the new Santander bike stations go in Vassall?

Lambeth council is asking residents to let them know where they think the new Santander bike stations should go in Brixton and Stockwell.

As reported on Vassall View earlier in the month, the Mayor of London has confirmed that following a campaign by Lambeth council and local Labour councillors, the popular bike hire scheme will finally be extended south to Stockwell and Brixton.

The council is now working with City Hall to establish sites for the docking stations. Local councillors in Vassall - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - have been lobbying for the bikes to be located in Vassall and put the idea forward in a recent submission to Lambeth's clean air strategy. They are now urging residents to lobby for sites in the Vassall area by emailing the council at thebalance@lambeth.gov.uk.

In a joint statement, the councillors said:
"It is great news that the bike docking stations are being moved south into Stockwell and Brixton after years of nothing happening under the last Tory Mayor.

"We are pressing the council and City Hall for at the very least one docking station to be placed in the Vassall area as there are many spots that are suitable. If you have an idea for where the docking sites should be, either in Vassall or elsewhere in Brixton then please do let the council know."

18 August 2017

Carers Hub Lambeth: Carers Day on 14 September


09 August 2017

Santander cycles set to be rolled out in Brixton

The Mayor of London has announced that the Santander cycle scheme will be extended into the Vassall area with seven docking stations slated to be installed between Stockwell and Brixton. 

The decision came after a long running campaign by Lambeth council, Lambeth Labour councillors and residents to bring the successful programme further into south London. After years of inaction by the last Conservative Mayor, Sadiq Khan has authorised the move with the bike docking stations likely to be installed in the next six months.

Local Vassall councillors - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - welcomed the move and confirmed they will be pressing for the stations to be installed in Vassall. They said:

"We are delighted that Mayor Khan has listened to residents and agreed to extend this scheme into our neighbourhood. It will help significantly improve cycling infrastructure in Brixton and give local people the option of swapping their cars for bikes which will lessen pressure on public transport and reduce the air pollution problems that affect our area. We are also pleased that Vassall is being considered as a location for some of the docking stations as we did campaign for this in our submission to Lambeth's recent Clean Air consultation."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said:

“I’m thrilled that we are expanding our iconic cycle hire scheme to Brixton. We’re working hard to make cycling more accessible across London and this will make a real difference to those living in, working in or visiting Brixton. It’s another step forward in our work to improve air quality and the health of all Londoners. The bikes will be available for as little as £2 per day and details of the locations of the new docking points will be confirmed later this year.

08 August 2017

Campaign launched to halt closure of local police stations

Vassall's councillors have backed a new campaign against government plans to cut another £400 million from London police funding which could cause the closure of all but one police station in Lambeth.

According to the Lambeth Labour campaign, backed by local MPs and community activists:

  • Eight police stations across the borough could face closure as part of the government's plan to remove another £400 million from the police budget in London. 
  • The capital's police force has already had to save £600 million since 2010 when the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition began reducing spending on community safety.
  • Only one station will be left open to the public in Brixton with Vassall's nearby Kennington police station one of those slated for closure.
  • More than a thousand police officers have been taken off the streets in the past few years and London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned 12,800 more could be lost before the end of the decade. 
A petition against the proposed closures can be signed here.

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

"It is very clear that the government is trying to provide community safety and policing on the cheap. These moves will remove a vital face to face link between the community and their local police force at a time when this is needed more than ever. The entire borough is likely to be left with just one functioning police station in Brixton which is likely to become badly overstretched. We urge all residents to sign our petition: it is vital we get these damaging cuts stopped."

01 August 2017

Councillor surgeries in August

The regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be taking place in August and will be held on the following dates (one surgery has already taken place last week):

Tuesday, 1 August
Cowley estate Annex

Thursday, 24 August
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 26 August
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 - 07500 971619 -jdyer3@lambeth.gov.uk

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

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

25 July 2017

Myatts Field North AGM and Community Fun Day set for August

Major gas work project to start on Brixton Road

Brixton Road will from Friday 4 August be subject to a major seven month gas work project costing £2.4 million aimed at upgrading gas supply pipes throughout the Vassall area.

The project will result in traffic disruption according to SGN, which manages the distrubution of gas supplies in the neighbourhood. According to their statement:
The essential work forms part of an ongoing mains replacement programme developed with the Health and Safety Executive. Following discussions with Transport for London (TfL) and Lambeth Council, our project will start on Friday, 4 August* and last approximately seven months.

We’ll be progressing southwards along the A23 Brixton Road from Camberwell New Road towards Normandy Road in sections. To ensure everyone’s safety, we need to put lane restrictions in place around our work area in Brixton Road for the duration of the project. The centre two lanes will be closed with all traffic, including cyclists, filtered through the bus lanes.

We would encourage road users to please plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.
SGN Engineering Manager Paul Gibbons said:

“We’ve worked closely with the local authorities in planning this work and we will be doing everything we can to limit disruption during our essential project, including working extended hours, seven days a week.

“We appreciate that roadworks can be frustrating, however, the new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years. By upgrading our network, we will continue to ensure a safe and reliable gas supply to south London homes and businesses for many years to come.”

Information about the project can be found here.

Note: News story updated on Sunday, 30 July: Following a burst water main on Brixton Hill on Thursday, 27 July, and resulting traffic problems, the road works on Brixton Road will now start on Friday, 4 August rather than the originally intended start date of Monday, 31 July.