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.

19 July 2017

New permit parking zone announced for Vassall area

Lambeth council have confirmed that a new controlled parking zone will be introduced in Vassall in the next few months after a series of consultations with local residents.

The residential street area in the ward which surrounds Myatts Field Park and extends up to Vassall Road and Loughborough Road is one of the few in South London without any form of controlled parking (other parts of Vassall on the Stockwell side of Brixton Road do have a controlled parking zone). 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 designated estates have different arrangements from the residential streets covered in these proposals).

These developments have led to increasing concern about traffic stress as parking spaces are often taken up by commuters and those who dont 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.

Local councillors - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - asked for the issue of controlled parking to be looked at again with the final say going back to residents. Following a parking stress review, a formal consultation and a further feedback period on proposals for the area, the council has approved a new set of parking controls for the area.

These include:
  • Parking permits to be introduced, with residents only able to buy permits although short stay paid for parking bays will be available in parts of the area.
  • The controlled parking zone will operate 8.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Work will begin in early August on making the area ready for the implementation of the scheme with the parking permit system coming into force during September.
  • 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.
Full details of the plans and the background of the consultation process can be found here

07 July 2017

Councillor surgeries in July

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

Thursday, 27 July
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 29 July
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

19 June 2017

Lambeth statement on Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington

Lambeth's leader Cllr Lib Peck has offered the borough's help to the victims of the terrible Grenfell Tower tragedy in Kensington and assured residents locally that our area's social housing blocks have up to date fire risk assessments.

Issued in the aftermath of last week's events, Cllr Peck said:

“I have been in contact with the leader of Kensington and Chelsea to offer any practical support we can. Hundreds of people are without homes and have nothing except the clothes they fled in.

“I know many residents in Lambeth may be concerned about the state of our housing blocks and I wanted to give an update of the current situation and response to last night’s fire.

“Lambeth officers have confirmed that all Lambeth Housing structures have an up-to-date fire risk assessment. There are a range of actions required as a result of the assessments which are being followed up – and blocks are being prioritised. Our Director of Housing Services chairs a fortnightly health and safety meeting which monitors the action plan and reviews fire risk. He is also meeting with the Health & Safety team today to review further actions following last night’s incident, and these will include:

  • Reviewing blocks which have similar designs to Grenfell
  • Writing to all residents in blocks to reassure them, confirm there is an up-to-date risk assessment and remind them to not use communal areas or walkways for storage of any kind
  • Meeting LFB to discuss evacuation procedures and ensure notices in blocks are renewed or updated where required

“Finally, I am sure we would all like to place on record our collective appreciation to the London Fire Brigade, and London Ambulance Service, who have worked through the night to bring the fire under control and keep residents as safe as possible.

“As we know more about the cause of the fire, lessons learnt and good practice will follow which will be reviewed alongside Lambeth procedures.”

02 June 2017

Lambeth asks for views on proposed Patmos Road housing project

Lambeth council has opened a new consultation on plans to deliver more housing, including council homes, and green spaces on a currently derelict patch of land in Vassall.

The proposed development will be on the site of a former care home that was demolished in 2013. The council has been in negotiations with the owners of part of the site, and with these concluded the authority is proposing a redevelopment scheme to be run by Homes for Lambeth, an organisation owned wholly by the council, to build a new housing complex.

The current ideas for the site include:
  • To build potentially (after consultation with local residents) around 40 to 50 homes.
  • This will be a mixed community, with a target of 40% aimed at being council homes on social level (i.e. council) rents. This is part of Lambeth Labour's pledge to build 1,000 council homes by 2019 to help address London's housing crisis - the first new homes recently had families move into them on Akerman Road in Vassall (read more about this housing project here). 
  • Presevation of the green feel of the area, with many of the properties built with gardens for larger families, and communal green areas.
  • The height of the proposed development will be restricted to between two and six storeys

The full proposals for the development and how to respond can be read here . A series of consultation events will be held in the coming weeks and the council is asking for resident's comments by 25th June, although there will be a second round of consultation later in the year. Currently, construction on the site is planned, should the proposals be approved, for the end of 2018.

Local councillors - Paul Gadsby, Jacqui Dyer and Annie Gallop - are encouraging residents to respond to the consultation and share their views with them. They said in a joint statement:

"It is important that we address the huge housing crisis facing London - a crisis that the current government has all but ignored. Building a 1,000 new council homes, along with other kinds of accommodation like the developments on Wynne Road, are vital to this. However, it is important that we get these housing projects right, making sure that they take on board views from the community about the impact on local roads, schools and the area more generally. We would strongly urge residents to put in their views and let us know as councillors how they feel about these proposals."

31 May 2017

Councillor surgeries in June

Following the general election, the regular Vassall councillor surgeries will be returning in June and will be held on the following dates:

Thursday, 22 June
Myatt's Field North Community Centre
Crawshay Road (off Cowley Road)

Saturday, 24 June
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

30 May 2017

Councillors object to latest plan to turn popular Grosvenor pub into flats

Local councillors and residents have begun lodging objections to the latest plans from developers to turn the site of a local community pub into flats.

The Grosvenor Arms on Sidney Road has been closed for over 18 months after being bought by a developer who has attempted several times to turn part or all of the building into residential accommodation. This is despite the former pub being a profitable, well liked venue that was one of the few in Brixton still to host live music from local acts.

Following a campaign from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), local residents and councillors, parts of the building were designated as an Asset of Community Value, which helps protect it from future changes.  However, the upper floors were not included meaning they can be subject to development, which could effect the long term use of the building. The full objection submitted to Lambeth council's planning department from local councillor Paul Gadsby on behalf of Vassall councillors (with the support of Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer) can be read below.

Cllr Gadsby added:
"It really does feel like we are stuck in a time loop here - the developers keep coming back with the same arguments and thankfully for the moment Lambeth have, to their credit, kept knocking them back. However, it is important residents keep the pressure on so I would urge anyone interested in this venue to submit their thoughts here. As for the developers I really would ask them to do want many in the community want and return the venue to its historic use as a community pub."
Full objection to Grosvenor Arms pub planning application

As a local councillor in the area I have for several years with residents and colleagues been objecting to plans to convert the Grosvenor site away from its traditional function as public house - and this application is sadly yet another attempt by developers along a course that is unpopular, ill-conceived and fundamentally wrong. 

As stated in previous objections, the Grosvenor has for many years been a well-run community pub that was one of the few active venues in this part of Brixton to still host live music from local acts. There were no complaints from residents about noise partly as this was always under several different landlords a pub that maintained good relations with local people and indeed attempted to get them involved in its activities. At a time when these kind of establishments are closing throughout Lambeth and in London, it is important that we continue to protect these venues. 

These arguments have been recognised by the council and legally during a successful community asset campaign organised by residents, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and with the support of many local councillors. This designation now protects the basement and the ground floor of the building. I appreciate that the current proposals are only for the upper floors, but the substantial changes planned in this application will in effect make the return to use of the building as a pub unviable (and the current plans are a well-worn tactic used by developers in other parts of London to displace pub use from an entire building). 

Converting these parts of the building into flats will mean:

  • Occupants of the flats will understandably raise objections to a pub being reinstalled underneath them at a later date, especially as the current design places bedrooms directly over the main pub area. Provisions for sound proofing do not appear in anyway adequate.
  • Partly related to the above, future landlords are unlikely to wish to invest in a pub business owing to the potential for noise complaints from above the main areas of use of the public house.     
  • The removal of the upstairs floors from their connection with the lower floor’s use as a public house also makes it more difficult for future managers and their staff to have accommodation on site, which is often the standard practice for publicans. This once again will deter the viability of the return of the site to a public house.

·      My recommendation is that this application is rejected by Lambeth and that the developers realise that their best option for this site is to seek for it to return to its use as a local, community run public house.