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