Remembering Tessa Jowell – our thanks and love

We are so sad that our former MP Tessa Jowell has passed away. She did so much for the local area and our local residents still remember her often and fondly. She was well liked, hard working and personally behind the building of some of the amazing schools and sure start centres in the constituency.

Our corner of Dulwich and West Norwood was just a tiny part of her incredible work as an MP – at a national level she will be remembered for Sure Start, equalities legislation, creating a regulator for the media, and getting the 2012 Olympics and much, much more. Her work on achieving “better, longer lives for people with cancer” by securing investment and innovation, since her diagnosis, has been inspiring and moving. Tessa was a force of nature and the announcement since the announcement of her death that research funding will be doubled and testing improved is testament to that.

Tessa was a huge inspiration to us, in encouraging us to stand in 2014, helping us campaign, showing us the ropes, and by being such a great political role model. She was always warm, full of advice, kindness, compassion and humour. On a personal level, Tessa was a friend, ready with a hug or wise word to encourage us. We’ll miss her hugely.

There will be a book of condolences for anyone wishing to share their memories and best wishes at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton. Our thoughts and love are with her family.

Thank you for re-electing your local Labour team in Thurlow Park!

Thank you to the almost two and a half thousand local residents who voted for us at the recent local elections – we are grateful that you have put your trust in us to continue working hard in Thurlow Park. We love this ward and are looking forward to the next four years of working with you to make it an even better place.

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You can see the full breakdown of results here.

vote breakdown

We stood on our record of the past four years, and on five ambitious local pledges for the next four years:

  1. Prioritise road safety: We will continue to invest in roads and pavements, remove the Tulse Hill one-way system, and campaign for further safety measures.
  2. Secure investment: We will be a positive voice for Thurlow Park so that we can continue to secure millions of pounds investment in improvements in the ward.
  3. Support town centres: Having set up West Norwood’s BID, we will continue to help our town centres to thrive, including creating a new market by Tulse Hill station.
  4. Invest in the public realm: We will tackle flytipping & antisocial behaviour and improve the public realm on local shopping parades with new trees, bins & benches.
  5. Tackle air pollution: We will improve air quality by working with schools to plant green screens, campaigning for cleaner buses and encouraging walking & cycling.

As part of Lambeth Labour, we stood on an ambitious manifesto for the borough too. You can read the full manifesto here. Some of the pledges we are really excited to champion include –

  • Cracking down on rogue landlords and improving private renting
  • Supporting those residents who are struggling to make ends meet with new employment opportunities and expanding further our work on the London Living Wage
  • Welcoming refugee families to Lambeth
  • Tackling homelessness and building new homes at council rent, as well as innovative new community-led housing and new ways to give our existing tenants and leaseholders more say on improvements on their estate
  • Boosting recycling, electric vehicle charging points, another 1,000 trees by 2022, and a ban on single use plastics for the council and its contractors
  • Becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and divesting our pension fund from fossil fuels
  • Fighting Tory police cuts and a community-focused approach to tackling youth violence and knife crime
  • Continuing to lead on tackling violence against women and girls
  • Introducing tougher sanctions on our estates for noisy and nuisance neighbours and improving the borough-wide antisocial noise service
  • Fighting for fair funding for schools, supporting youth projects and creating over 1,500 apprenticeships for Lambeth’s young people
  • Tackling loneliness with a new good neighbour befriending scheme, training new mental health champions, innovative projects to improve health and wellbeing like the Daily Mile in schools and Health Parks
  • Creating affordable workspace and supporting local businesses
  • Fighting for better train services and helping people walk and cycle more safely.

Although long, it isn’t an exhaustive list and we would love to hear from you about what you’d like us working on and championing. Comment below or email us with your ideas!

Norwood Road – bollards, trees, benches and grot spots

A public consultation is now underway on the proposed location of trees, benches and bollards which will go in along Norwood Road between Robson Road and Tulse Hill station under the Streetworks project.

Please advise Streetworks of your views on the types of trees and possible locations, and also on sites for bins and bollards.

Identified actions needed to tidy up the street scene includes repainting all the post boxes, removing redundant street furniture e.g. relocating the temporary bike rack outside The Old Library,  and relocation of commercial waste bins.

You can email your thoughts to hello@streetworks.london

Field Day given licence to hold event this summer subject to conditions

Since Lovebox and Field Day made applications to Lambeth last autumn to hold events in Brockwell Park, we have been working hard to ensure residents’ views are listened to. We have knocked on doors in the local area, worked closely with community and park
groups, and organised a public meeting last December to consult Thurlow Park
residents.

Reflecting on what you told us, we established some conditions which we felt large events in Brockwell Park ought to meet – these are set out on our blog here.

In January we were able to successfully push for Lovebox to be turned down as we did not feel that they met our conditions and they were not showing willingness to compromise on their plans.

In March, again reflecting what you have told us, we objected to Field Day being granted a licence unless certain strict conditions were met. Our submission to the Licensing Committee called for shorter opening hours, reduced noise levels and a better-managed exit from the park, in recognition of the fact there was going to be a lot of disruption to local area and that people such as shift workers and children doing their GCSE exams needed better protection.

>> You can read our full submission here. 

We fought your case hard and spoke on residents’ behalf at the Licensing Committee hearing. The level of scrutiny of the organisers and the number of residents who spoke meant the hearing went on until midnight.

Cllr Fred Cowell speaking at the Licensing Committee hearing

After a further five days deliberation, the Licensing Committee have decided to award Field Day a one year licence to hold the event in Brockwell Park, subject to certain
conditions. You can view the full decision on Lambeth’s licensing site.

Our views of the decision are:

  • We had a degree of success in securing an enhanced security plan that is far in excess of anything at previous events in the park.
  • We are disappointed that the hours have not been reduced as significantly as we asked for, but were able to secure a partial reduction in opening times on Friday and Saturday and a fuller reduction on Sunday evening so that alcohol sales end at 9pm and music will end at 9.30pm.
  • Most importantly the licence is for this year only and we have secured a post-festival consultation at which we will review how it went and, if necessary, block it from ever coming to the park again.

Outside of the licensing process, we have secured a commitment to review the parks events policy later this year, including looking at a cap on overall numbers at events and a trigger for public consultation, which would affect any event applications for 2019.

In the short term events provide a means of managing the vast funding shortfall that parks are facing as a result of the huge cuts to local authority grants imposed by the
Tory government. In the medium to long term, we want to move away from music festivals as a source of income and are working with park groups and the Council on a project to redevelop Brockwell Hall to allow it to be used for weddings. Brockwell Park is at the very heart of our community and we remain committed to safeguarding it with tangible action not empty promises.

Rosendale Playing Fields update

In the latest development the planning based public consultation ended in March 2018 having been extended because of our work along with officers to give residents more time to engage in the proposal. This included letters being sent to residents, print signs being placed along the proposed fence route, and the local press being notified.

We are pleased to inform the local community that based on resident feedback the planning department wish to investigate further into the proposal to better understand resident questions specifically about the level(s) of the fence around the site. Therefore, further drawings have been requested by the planning department before a second planning based 21 day public consultation is to be held.

As and when we know more about the dates of this future public consultation we will update this page accordingly. If you have any questions please contact us.

Labour in Lambeth guarantees weekly bin collections in Lambeth

Lambeth Labour has committed to maintaining weekly bin collections as part of its manifesto for May’s local elections.

Despite government funding cuts of over £250 million forced on Lambeth council by the Conservatives, Labour has pledged to protect weekly collections of residual waste and recycling. Across the country, over three-quarters of councils have abandoned weekly collections due to government cuts in funding but Lambeth has always maintained the service.

Since 2014, Lambeth Labour has saved £450,000 a year by introducing new green bins and at the same time increased the rate of recycling.

Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing said: “Collecting people’s bins is the most basic service that the council delivers – and residents rightly expect that it should happen regularly and efficiently.

We guarantee to collect people’s bins every week – it’s one of the key services that residents pay their council tax for. We’re able to do that because Labour has managed Lambeth council well, improving services and cutting down on waste despite huge government cuts.

And after the Green Party leader, who is standing for election in Lambeth, went on national TV to argue for an end to weekly collections, residents rightly are concerned that Lambeth could end up looking like Brighton when it was run by the Greens, with huge mounds of rubbish piled up in the streets.”

Ambitious plans to make Lambeth cleaner and greener are at the heart of Labour’s manifesto. Labour has committed to continuing its record investment in fixing potholes and resurfacing roads. The Vale Street recycle and refuse centre will be kept open and free to use, and we will continue our crackdown on fly-tipping and littering by expanding the street enforcement team.

Labour’s full manifesto for a better, fairer Lambeth is available at lambeth-labour-manifesto.org

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Zebra crossing campaign success

We are thrilled to let you know that after a number of months delay, the zebra crossing on Norwood Road, by the junction with Harpenden Road, will be installed this Easter.

We have been pushing for a safer crossing on this section on Norwood Road for the last three years, as it is a busy and dangerous place to cross for many Elmgreen students travelling to and from school, and residents using the bus stops and local shops.

We secured funding from TfL as part of the Streetworks improvements to West Norwood, and the design for the crossing was developed collaboratively in workshops and public events with students, parents, local residents and businesses. Around 15,000 leaflets were distributed across West Norwood over a period of many months inviting residents to regular consultation and design events.

Hundreds of you took part, and this showed in the formal consultation when 82% of respondents supported the final plans, as shown in the breakdown of results below –

Work began to install the new crossing with the removal of the central reservation. However, a late complaint stalled the continuation of works while it was investigated.

As your local councillors, we have been very concerned that despite hundreds of residents and students taking part in designing the proposals, and the overwhelming support for it during the extensive consultation, one complaint has held up its construction. The scheme being put on hold while this one complaint is investigated means the crossing is even more dangerous than it was before. We have had hundreds of emails from parents and teachers frustrated with the situation.

The delay has been exacerbated by local Conservative and Lib Dem candidates trying to use the complaint to score political points. We don’t believe that it is right to put party politics above young people’s safety on our roads.

As your local councillors, we called for urgent work to install the community’s original plans for a zebra crossing, and for local opposition to put safety before political point scoring. We are really grateful for the support of parents, staff and students at Elmgreen School in writing to officers and Lambeth’s cabinet to speed up the delivery of a safe crossing – and we’re thrilled that your work has paid off! Work to install the crossing will start in the Easter holidays.