Last Saturday residents from the Ethelred and Whitgift estates met at Pory Hall for a coffee morning with councillors and Kate Hoey MP. It was a good chance for people to meet their neighbours and chat, discuss some of the problems both estates are facing, and an opportunity for Ethelred TMO board members to update councillors on efforts to get the Council to sort out the estate's CCTV and doors. There is some optimism that the new Lambeth Living Chief Executive is keen to sort the problem out, but there is a still disagreement about the service charge residents will be expected to pay.
On Monday the Vauxhall Gardens Estate Tenants and Residents Association met for the first time in a few months. Major works are underway across the estate, and there was concern that scaffolders are blocking streets and car parks, and that builders are not cleaning up after themselves properly. Mark Harrison offered Labour activists' assistance in taking round a petition against coaches parking on the streets around the estate at weekends, which has been causing a nuisance in the area for several years.
On Tuesday the Kennington, Oval and Vauxhall Forum held its quarterly public meeting at the Pedlars Acre Hall in Kennington. There was concern that pavements are being left in a poor state when street lighting is replaced. Complaints were raised against the lack of a review of the Kennington controlled parking sub zone, which Cllr Stephen Morgan promised to take up. There was an update on the Mayor of London's cycle hire scheme - Lambeth will be applying for planning permission for around 30 docking sites in the north of the Borough. John Kazantzis, Lambeth's Cabinet Member for Business, gave a overview of how Labour is trying to help small business in Lambeth through the recession. Finally, Stephen Morgan gave an update on plans for a craft school and museum on the Beaufoy Institute site in Black Prince Road, and plans for a community hub on the old Lilian Baylis School site. Both are progressing well, if slowly.
On the same evening Labour supporters joined members of the Portuguese community at the Casa Madeira restaurant on Albert Embankment for a fantastically-successful fundraising dinner. Leader of Lambeth Council Steve Reed, and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross both practised their Portuguese, to the pleasure and amusement of everybody there.