A site for residents of Prince's Ward, SE11, in the London Borough of Lambeth. Check for updates from your Labour Action Team's campaigning, local information, and meetings.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Help your local park win £400k!

Vauxhall Spring Gardens (pictured) and Kennington Park are two local parks in the running to receive £400 000 from the London Assembly.

However 45 other parks are in the running and only 10 parks will be successful. The winning parks will be improved in a variety of ways, ranging from better footpaths and more lighting for safety, to providing new playgrounds and facilities for children. Others will open new cafes, refurbish derelict public toilets and improve cycle routes. Many will see traditional flower gardens restored, new wildlife habitats created, and plots provided for communities to grow fruit and vegetables.

There are three ways in which votes can be registered:
Online – go to www.london.gov.uk/parksvote
Post – You can request a postal vote form by calling City Hall’s Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.
Text – Text 'parks' and your full London post code to 62967. This will automatically vote for the nearest park on our shortlist to that post code in the same borough.

Monday 24 November 2008

Lambeth Walk market area is finally cleared up

After months of wrangling, Lambeth Council have finally admitted that they are responsible for maintaining the paved area by Lambeth Walk, next to Pory Hall.

The area had been unmaintained for months, with rubbish dumped alongside the shop fronts, and the newly-planted trees left to be drowned out by weeds.

Ethelred TMO and Councillor Steve Morgan repeatedly told the Council that the area was their responsibility, but it took months for them to acknowledge this.

Finally, the area has been cleared up, and officers have told Councillor Morgan that the area has been added to their cleaning rotas.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Roots & Shoots Christmas market

Make sure of a special Christmas tree this year, get yours from Lambeth charity Roots and Shoots. Gorgeous trees and all kinds of interesting and unusual presents will be on sale at this year’s Christmas Fair on Sunday 7 December.

Mulled apple juice, roasted chestnuts, mince pies and sizzling sausages will add to the festive spirit and among the gifts on offer will be elegant silver jewellery, floral printed fine fleece scarves, out of the ordinary crafts, outdoor plants to bring colour to a winter garden and the latest in Roots and Shoots’ successful Wild Garden card collection. As well as Christmas cakes and puddings, organic fruit and veg, jams and chutneys and traditional bread, this autumn’s pressing of Roots and Shoots’ famous own label apple juice will be available, plus exotic honeys and honey products.

And while the grown-ups shop, the children will be entertained with candle making and Children’s Christmas cinema. Carol singing, twinkling lights (powered, of course, by Roots and Shoots own photovoltaic panels) and the friendly welcoming atmosphere for which the charity’s open days are well-known, will add up to a really Christmassy day out.

ADMISSION: £1 for adults; free for children. Refreshments will be available. Roots and Shoots is accessible from Walnut Tree Walk or Fitzalan Street. Lambeth North is the nearest tube station.

It’s best to pre-order Christmas trees for collection at the Christmas Fair. To order please call 0207 587 1311 or email admin@rootsandshoots.org.uk.

For more information visit http://www.rootsandshoots.org.uk/

Saturday 15 November 2008

How should Lambeth spend its money?

Lambeth Council are consulting residents on their priorities for the 2009/10 budget.

If you would like to let them know your views you can either fill out the online questionnaire for residents or if you are responding on behalf of a business you can fill out the business questionnaire. To receive a paper copy of either questionnaire you can contact Lambeth by emailing mylambeth@opm.co.uk or calling 020 7926 0866. The closing date for this online consultation is Friday 28 November 2008.

Thursday 13 November 2008

Future for Vauxhall

Lambeth Council are consulting about what planning policies should guide the future development of Vauxhall.

The area around Vauxhall Cross, up to the Albert Embankment, and down to the Wyvil Estate, has been identified as needing a 'supplementary planning document', which will provide specific guidance for planners about how the area should be developed.

One key issue is how much development should be permitted, another is whether tall buildings should be permitted, and where.

You can fill in an online survey to give the Council your views.

There will also be public exhibitions during the consultation period with Planning Officers available to answer questions at the following times:

Vauxhall Bus Station, Wednesday 12 November from 12noon to 4pm and Thursday 13 November from 10am to 2pm

Redfearn Centre, 329 Kennington Lane, Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 November from 5pm to 8pm

Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre, 100 Vauxhall Walk, Thursday 4 December from 2pm to 6pm and Saturday 13 December from 12 noon to 4 pm

In addition there will be an unstaffed exhibition available to view:

Reception - Phoenix House, 10 Wandsworth Road, Monday 27 October to Friday 14 November (weekdays) 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, Wednesday 19 November, to Saturday 29 November, Library Opening Hours.

Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre, the Spring, 100 Vauxhall Walk, Monday 1 December to Friday 12 December, 11 am to 3 pm

The deadline for submitting completed questionnaires or comments on the SPD is 5.00pm on Monday 15 December 2008.
(picture: Fin Fahey, Wikimedia)

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Labour Assembly member acts on dangerous dogs

Lambeth's Labour representative on the London Assembly, Val Shawcross, has pressed the London Mayor to act on the problem of aggressive dogs.

Val acted after hearing about serious problems with aggressive dogs in Kennington, raised at the KOV Forum meeting by local resident Alison Packer. In recent months both dogs and people have been attacked by aggressive dogs in parks in Kennington.

Val put forward a motion calling on the Mayor to work with the Metropolitan Police and London's borough councils to tackle the use of animals as weapons.

The Mayor agreed that action was needed. He revealed that the number of dogs seized by police this year has risen to 800, from only 180 in the year 2006/7. You can read more on the story in yesterday's Evening Standard.

Val has promised to keep up the pressure on the Mayor, the police, and the Council to deal with this growing problem, which is of concern to residents across Lambeth.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Mayor axes Cross River Tram

Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson has threatened to axe the proposed Cross River Tram, which would connect Kennington with Holborn, Kings Cross, Camden, and Brixton.
Johnson claims there's no point even asking the Government for funding for the much-needed schemes, which would reduce overcrowding on the Northern, Victoria, and Bakerloo lines.
'It's disgraceful that the Mayor can't even be bothered to lobby the Government to improve public transport in Lambeth. People here clearly aren't high on his list of priorities' said local Action Team Member Mark Harrison.
You can show your support for the Cross River Tram by signing this petition

Thursday 6 November 2008

Have your say on housing: Lambeth Living conference

Lambeth Living, the new organisation set up by Lambeth to run council housing in the borough, is holding the annual residents conference on Saturday 15 November at Lambeth Town Hall, between 9am and 4.30pm.

Residents are invited to attend this annual event which has been specially designed for Lambeth Living residents under the theme 'Communities in control: Real people, real power'. This is an opportunity to come together to share ideas and experiences relating to the management of your home.

Speakers include:
Asuman Ozkan - Chair of Lambeth Living
Pete Redman - Chief Executive, Lambeth Living (Interim)
Cllr Steve Reed - Leader Lambeth Council

Keynote speaker:
Phil Morgan - Chief Executive, Tenant Participation Advisory Service

In addition to 8 workshops running through the day there will be exhibitions and a prize draw. Lunch will be provided and there will be a crèche available for 4-12 year olds. There is full disabled access at this venue.

HOW TO ATTEND: Phone: 020 7926 3402/1661 to reserve your place, or email mgayle1@lambethliving.org.uk for a booking form.

What's Labour done for me in Lambeth?

Alex Bigham from Stockwell's Labour Action Team has written an interesting blog about Labour's record in Lambeth that I thought was worth putting up here:

What has Labour done since getting elected and ousting the Lib Dems in 2006? Let's look at Labour's manifesto commitments in Lambeth, and see if they have met them, and what Labour inherited from the Lib Dem administration.

1. Your Council Tax kept down

Under Labour
In the 2 years since Labour came to power, council tax in Lambeth has only gone up in line with inflation. In the next 2 years, it will be lower or frozen if possible.

Under the Lib Dems
The Lib Dems raised council tax by 40% when they were in power – adding around £1,000 to your council tax bill.

2. Your safety improved

Under Labour
Labour has introduced safer neighbourhood teams into each ward in Lambeth, including Prince's, as promised. We cracked down on drug dealers in Brixton and in the last 12 months, violent crime in Lambeth has gone down by 50%. We're tackling the long term causes of crime by trebling the funding for youth services.

Under the Lib Dems
The Lib Dems were soft on crime, opposing measures to tackle criminals, and being on soft on drugs. They even let a fraudster walk off with £3 million of council money – and even tried to hush up allegations when one of their own councillors was caught stealing public money.

3. Your street bright and clean

Under Labour Labour is doubling the investment to repair roads and pavements. The number of street sweepers in Lambeth is going up and there are new street lights across the borough.

Under the Lib Dems
Pavements were left cracked and dangerous, and potholes were not repaired. They wasted millions on buying luxury office blocks and paying off staff, instead of repairing pavements and keeping the borough safe and clean.

4. Your child given the best start in life

Under Labour
3 new schools have been built in Lambeth, and major repairs and refurbishments are happening . Labour introduced the first ever Youth Mayor for Lambeth, elected and with a budget to spend on the services that young people want.

Under the Lib Dems
500 children were not allocated a school at all, a problem Labour sorted. The Lib Dems had the worst funded youth service in London.

5. Your environment greener

Under Labour
Labour expanded recycling in Lambeth, so you can now recycle more waste, like household food packaging. Lambeth now has the toughest carbon reduction targets in London.

Under the Lib Dems
The Lib Dems tried to limit your recycling options until Labour forced them to offer both orange sacks and green boxes. They slipped 60% behind the best councils and didn't let us recycle items that residents in other boroughs could and cut the regular garden waste recycling service.

Labour also had a separate housing manifesto - to make all homes in Lambeth safe, warm and dry. Under the Lib Dems, 10,000 homes didn't meet the decent homes standard. Labour has introduced a new management team - the ALMO called Lambeth Living to bring in £240 million of extra funding to make sure this happens.

We aren't complacent about life in Lambeth, but it's clear that things are better under Labour, and would be much worse under the Lib Dems.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Get involved

If you're a Labour supporter there is lots you can do to help out...

1) Check you are registered to vote
If you're unsure if you are on the electoral register contact the Council by calling 020 7926 2144 or email them at: electoralservices@lambeth.gov.uk.
If you need to register to vote you can download and print off a form here. Post the form back to the address on the form.
The Labour party can deliver you a form if you let us know you would like one.
Make sure that your Labour-supporting family, friends and neighbours are all registered to vote.

2) Register for a postal vote if you need to
If you will be on holiday, away from home, busy at work, or are house-bound then make sure you register for a postal vote. You can download and print off the form here.
The Labour party can deliver you a form if you let us know you would like one.
Find out if any of your Labour-supporting family, friends and neighbours require a postal vote.

3) Put up a poster
At election time it's great to see Labour posters in windows across the area. Let us know you would like one by emailing us or requesting one from Labour canvassers who call at your door.

4) Deliver some leaflets
We have lots of leaflets to deliver, every day of the campaign. You can volunteer to deliver your block of flats, your street, or a larger round in your area. To volunteer please get in touch

5) Help us campaign
We spend lots of time knocking at people's doors, listening to what local residents think, and asking them to support Labour. If you haven't done this before - don't worry! We can send you out with an experienced campaigner so you can see whether you enjoy it. To find out more, please get in touch

6) Donate to Labour
Campaigning for a fairer Lambeth costs money!
Please consider making a donation to our campaigning. We can send you a form - just get in touch.
Please follow the link below to donate to the national Labour party:
Donate to Labour - Join the fight for Britain’s future.

7) Join the Labour party
Have you thought about joining Labour? Our members are what make the party, and membership allows you to play a part in selecting Labour candidates, devising policies, and planning campaigns.

Monday 3 November 2008

Vauxhall Five balconies and windows

Kate Hoey MP and Action Team Member Mark Harrison attended a special meeting of the Vauxhall Five TRA this evening.

The Vauxhall Five are five 1930s blocks on the corner of Kennington Lane and Vauxhall Street. Residents have been horrified this year as large chunks of concrete have begun to fall from their balconies and walkways. Some balconies have literally collapsed onto the ground below. Since June The Council has stuck up plywood boards and banned residents from using their balconies as they are unsafe. This evening residents were finally informed that the Council will carry out proper repairs, as soon as possible, in the next few weeks.

Residents are also fed up with the state of their windows. The original 1930s crittal windows are still in place, and are in a terrible state. Many can't be closed properly, and some have fallen out of their frames. The Council has promised that windows would be replaced many time over the years, but the estate seems to have been overlooked again and again. The Council have finally recognised that the windows need replacing, but can't guarantee they will be done in the next year, or even the year after that!

Vauxhall Labour campaigners will be supporting residents in their demands for new windows now, and will be keeping a close eye to ensure the balconies are repaired speedily and properly.

Saturday 1 November 2008

Action Team update Ethelred residents on security system service charge problem

Kate Hoey MP joined Councillor Steve Morgan and Ethelred Estate resident Mark Harrison to deliver a letter updating residents on the ongoing dispute over how much residents should be charged for Ethelred TMO's new security system.

Kate, Steve and Mark braved the appalling weather to speak to residents in Gibson Road, Pory House, and Tomkyns House. You can read the text of the letter they delivered below.

Once the campaigning was over the three warmed up with a cup of tea at the Kennington Association's fundraising bazaar, at St Anselm's Church Hall.
Pictured: CCTV outside Fortune House, currently unmonitored because of council officers' incompetence.

Dear Neighbour

I wanted to write to update you on the long-running problems the Ethelred Estate has been facing in funding the CCTV and concierge system. Along with Ethelred TMO and your other councillors, I’ve been working hard over the past year to push Lambeth Housing to sort this situation out.

As you might know, the situation arose several years ago when the previous Lib Dem councillors got a government grant to pay for the installation of the new cameras and security doors, but lacked the forethought to work out who would fund the day-to-day running and maintenance of the scheme! Since then Lambeth Housing and the TMO have been in dispute about how to pay for the system.

I know many of you were alarmed to receive a letter from Lambeth Housing earlier this year informing you that your service charge was to rise massively to pay for the costs of running the system. I immediately objected to this proposal, and asked for a full break down of the costs. I think we all accept that there will need to be some rise in the service charge to pay for the cameras and concierge, but it must be at a level that residents can afford. Your Labour councillors will not sit back and allow your bills to spiral at a time when many residents are facing financial difficulties.

I’m sorry that I can’t provide you with a more comprehensive update, but the situation is still unresolved. Please rest assured that your Labour councillors are doing everything in our power to sort this situation out. Your Labour Action Team member, Mark Harrison, lives on the estate and shares the concerns of neighbours and residents. We continue to take the fight to Lambeth Housing to get this resolved.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or comments about this issue, or any other that might concern you.

Yours sincerely

Steve Morgan
Councillor for Prince's Ward
Promoted by David Amos and Joanne Simpson of Prince's Branch Labour Party (Vauxhall Constituency and Lambeth Borough) all at 264A Rosendale Road, SE24 9DL