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.

Friday 30 January 2009

Rupert House coffee morning

Residents of Rupert House, the sheltered accommodation on Kennington Road, welcomed Kate Hoey MP, Councillor Lorna Campbell, and Mark Harrison to a coffee morning on Wednesday.
Kate congratulated residents on their campaign to keep the free Tesco bus, which had been threatened with being discontinued.
There was a discussion on how residents might set up a committee, what activites they would like to see provided at Rupert House, and whether the services Lambeth Council provides to older people areadequate.

Thursday 29 January 2009

KOV updated on 'Future Kennington'

Councillor Lorna Campbell attended the quarterly meeting of the Kennington, Oval, and Vauxhall Forum on Tuesday.

The meeting was updated on the 'Future Kennington' programme - the Council's project to transform two sites in Prince's ward into new community facilities.

At the site of the old Lilian Baylis school, Lambeth Council, who owns the site, are working with the Sport Action Zone, Ethelred Nursery School and Children’s Centre and the All Nations Centre (ANC) to expand the sports and young persons focused services already operating from the site and to bring together on the site a range of community facilities. The overarching aim of the partnership is to create a community hub that is inter-generational and inclusive with activities based around sports, health, arts and culture, economic activity, community activities, education, childcare and the environment.

Complex negotiations are currently underway, by the partners ae hopeful that a decision by the Council on transferring the ownership of the land will be taken this March. Within the next week a project update will be circulated to all local households.

Across Black Prince Road at the Beaufoy Institute (pictured), work continues to develop the Studio School and Museum and Workshop proposal.

In September 2008 Lambeth and the Young Foundation jointly submitted a detailed proposal for a Studio School on the vacant part of the site. The proposal was developed with a wider consortium of partners, including the, the De Morgan Centre, Lady Margaret Hall Settlement and Kate Hoey MP.

The aim of the Lambeth Studio School is to provide a small-scale environment for some 300 students which will, in close partnership with local businesses, target a cohort of learners and nurture within them skills of enterprise and entrepreneurship. A potential lead business partner, Arora International Hotels, has been identified. A government decision as to whether the proposal should continue to be developed is expected by the end of January 2009.

The school proposal sits within a shared vision for the wide site to create an Arts and Crafts Museum, operated by the De Morgan Foundation, which will itself be a major educational resource, as well as associated Arts and Crafts artisans’ workshops offering a range of employment and apprenticeship opportunities.

Currently, the Council, working closely with the De Morgan Foundation, is undertaking detailed spatial feasibility work around the constraints of the site and buildings and looking at how the Museum and workshops might coexist with the proposed school. Work is also ongoing to seek to align the De Morgan proposal with the objects of the Beaufoy Charitable Trust, who own the historically and architecturally more significant 1905 part of the Beaufoy Institute building. This work to explore the viability of the project enables the De Morgan Foundation themselves to further develop the overall project business plan and necessary funding streams.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Labour freezes council tax

Labour councillors have voted to freeze council tax for the next two years to help local households cope with the economic recession. Labour was elected two years ago promising a council that’s “on your side” with council tax increases kept below the level of wage inflation. During the previous four years, a Lib Dem and Conservative coalition forced council tax up 40% - the biggest increase in Lambeth’s history that cost the average household an extra £1000 in council tax payments.

Labour’s two-year tax freeze is intended to help residents who are struggling to cope with the effects of the global recession. With rising fuel prices and many facing job losses, Labour wants to help families and individuals keep more of their money. The freeze will be delivered without cuts in frontline services. This is possible only because of the careful way Labour has managed the council’s finances over the past two years, restoring them to stability after the Tories and Lib Dems left the council with no money in the bank and millions of pounds in debt.

Steve Reed is Leader of Lambeth Council. He commented: “one thing the council does that affects just about every household in Lambeth is set the council tax. With Labour, our council tax is already one of the lowest in the country. But this is a council that’s determined to be on the side of ordinary people, so we will be freezing council tax for the next two years with no increase in people’s bills. We know that’s the best way we can help people manage through the economic downturn. And it’s a clear difference from the record-breaking 40% hikes we got from the Lib Dems.”

Sunday 25 January 2009

Vauxhall Gardens major works

Lambeth Living will shortly be holding two residents meetings to inform residents of the Vauxhall Gardens Estate about the forthcoming LHC Package 4 works contract. The 45 week contract will involve window and roofing works to 13 blocks and will be starting on site at the beginning of March.

The contractor for the project, Apollo, will shortly provide Lambeth Living with their programme for the contract and we will then advise residents of the approximate start date for their block. For the meetings the blocks will be divided into 2 groups:

Monday 26 January, 5pm to 8pm
Coverley Point, Culpeper Court (Kennington Road), Duffell House, Haymans Point, Sedley House, Waylett House

Tuesday 27 January, 5pm to 8pm
Dolland House, Dunmow House, Malmsey House, Newburn House, Pella House, Sancroft House, Wynyard House

The meetings will be held at the Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre on Vauxhall Walk (pictured right) and will be drop-in style meetings, where residents can turn up at any time during the three hour sessions, obtain information from various displays and then speak to officers if they have any queries. Officers from Lambeth Living’s Home Ownership Services team will attend to deal with leaseholders’ queries and representatives from Apollo will samples of windows and roofing materials.

Residents should also received a newsletter about the project.

Thursday 22 January 2009

Councillors call meeting with residents and developers

Prince's ward Labour councillors have persuaded developers to hold a meeting with residents about a proposed new building on the site of 81 Black Prince Road. The plans for a tall building on the site have caused controversy, so it's hoped the meeting will provide local people with information and the opportunity to ask questions about what the developers are planning.

The meeting will take place at the site on Thursday 29 January, from 5pm to 8pm.

The Planning Committee will consider the application at a meeting in Room 8, Lambeth Town Hall, at 7pm on Wednesday 11 February.

Do you want a road or pavement resurfaced?

Lambeth Council are currently preparing the next financial year’s list of roads and pavements to be resurfaced.

Despite strict inclusion rules, sometimes roads and pavements in need of attention are overlooked. This is usually if they are heavily used and have, therefore, deteriorated more quickly than expected on the basis of survey information.

As a result of this Councillor Steve Morgan is asking residents to nominate roads and pavements. He will then ensure that any hot spots the council has not picked up are given due consideration.

Please nominate roads and pavements for inclusion in the new programme by emailing Steve before 30 January 2009. Please note that not all roads and pavements nominated will automatically be included in the programme – all inclusions will be decided by an engineer’s assessment. Steve will circulate the final list of roads at the beginning of March 2009.

Prince's Labour Action Team have already nominated Gibson Road (pictured) which is in a terrible state - if you know of a road or pavement in a similar mess then get in touch!

Saturday 17 January 2009

Community coffee morning a huge success!

The first community coffee morning organised by the Prince's Labour Action Team was a huge success, with over 50 residents passing by for a hot drink and a chat.

Kate Hoey MP, Councillor Lorna Campbell, and Councillor Steve Morgan spoke to residents about issues they were facing. Party members Mark Harrison and Martin Caldwell served teas and coffees, and Jack Hopkins welcomed people at the door.

There were representatives from areas across the ward, including Ethelred TMO, Vauxhall Gardens Estate Tenants' Association, Kennings Way, churches, community groups and businesses.

The event was kindly hosted at St Anselm's Church Hall at Kennington Cross.

Encouraged by the success of the coffee morning, Prince's Labour Action Team are now thinking ahead. Organiser Mark Harrison said 'We'd be keen to find out whether residents would appreciate more ward-wide events, or more focused area-based meetings, held in partnership with residents' associations'. Please let us know!

Left: SE11 residents chat over over coffee.
Right: Cllr Lorna Campbell and Kate Hoey MP discuss casework they collected from the coffee morning.

Elections for Lambeth's second youth mayor

Are you aged between 11 and 21? Do you live, work or study in Lambeth? Make your voice heard in the Lambeth youth elections!

Lambeth will soon be holding its second Youth Mayor elections, which aim to give a voice to young people in Lambeth which will be listened to by local and national government, businesses and young peoples’ service providers. It provides an opportunity for young people to become involved in the democratic process and take real, positive action within their local community.

Lambeth Labour introduced the Youth Mayor in 2008, and it has been extremely successful, despite being branded as a 'gimmick' by the Lib Dems. Last year’s Youth Mayor Elections attracted 35 potential candidates and the votes of over 3000 local young people who chose 15 year old Satya Panigrahi (pictured)as their first ever Youth Mayor. Satya is from Streatham, and Prince's councillors think 2009's Mayor should be from the north of the borough!

The Youth Mayor acts as spokesperson for young people in Lambeth and provides a link between the young people, media, decision-makers and service-providers. The Youth Mayor is responsible for allocating £25,000 in funding to projects designed for and run by local young people. The Youth Mayor will also work in partnership with other members of Lambeth Youth Council to highlight and campaign on issues which are important to local people.

If you want to be Lambeth’s Youth Mayor or UKYP Member you would be seen as a figurehead for young people. This would involve attending press opportunities, meetings with decision-makers and time to consult with your peers. It is a very ‘hand-on’ role and devoting some time to the project would be a must.

To nominate yourself to be Lambeth’s Youth Mayor or UK Youth Parliament Member, just click here!

On 26 February selected schools in Lambeth will be hosting polling stations to enable their students to vote. For everyone else voting will be online only and voters must be registered by 3 February 2009 for their votes to count. To register to vote in both elections, just click here!

Lambeth Civic Awards

Nominations are now open for the Lambeth Civic Awards 2009, honouring those unsung heroes whose tireless work within the Lambeth community does so much to improve the lives of its residents.

Anyone living or working within the borough of Lambeth can nominate the person they believe deserves recognition, with 26 January 2009 being the deadline for nominations.
The awards are split into 'town centres' (North Lambeth, Brixton, Clapham and Stockwell, Streatham and Norwood), with an additional borough-wide prize, as well as the Lord Scarman Award, given for increasing or promoting equality, or encouraging achievement in challenging circumstances.

Prince's councillors would like to hear suggestions for nominations from local residents. If you know someone who you believe should be recognised for their work, please contact Cllr Steve Morgan , who will supply you with the necessary forms.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

e-Petition service launched

A new online service will give residents of SE11 a chance to have a say about issues in their communities - at the touch of a button.

Lambeth Council have launched a new e-Petition service which offers people an opportunity to express a view or raise an issue, which other residents can choose to support if they wish.

Lambeth is among the first local authorities in the country to introduce e-Petitions. Where they have been used elsewhere, they have focused on issues such as planning developments, care home closures, graffiti removal and airport extensions. They allow local people to raise issues and give a good indication of people's opinion on an issue.

Of course, the best way to get a problem sorted out is still to approach your local Lambeth Labour councillor - we spend a great deal of time fighting for residents concerns, and solving problems in our wards. You can contact Prince's ward councillors using the details listed here.

E-petitions will be looked at by Lambeth Council and will be responded to in the same way that paper petitions are currently dealt with. The council has kicked-off the new e-Petition service by asking residents to put forward a view about whether Transport for London (TFL) should extend the Northern Line to Battersea.

The e-Petition system does not replace paper petitions, and residents can still register their feelings about issues in the traditional way. Once an e-Petition has been submitted, it will be posted with supporting information, so that people can see any background that is necessary to put it into context. Find out more at www.lambeth.gov.uk/epetitions

Friday 9 January 2009

Busy week for Labour in Kennington

It's been a busy week for Labour activists in our area.

On Sunday 4 January a group of six hardy volunteers braved freezing temperatures to knock on doors in Methley Street, Radcot Street, Ravendsdon Street, Milverton Street and Stannery Street. We spoke to residents about local priorities for investment, invited people to our coffee morning, and delivered calendars. The volunteers included Leader of Lambeth Council Steve Reed, who was keen to find out about Kennington issues, such as the Beaufoy Institute.

On Wednesday 7 January nearly 30 local Labour party members met to discuss June's election for the European Parliament. We met Lambeth resident Anne Fairweather (pictured), who is third on the Labour list of candidates. If Labour does well in June Anne could join Claude Moraes and Mary Honeyball as Labour's third MEP for London.

Anne explained the importance of having engaged Labour representation in the European Parliament. In recent months Labour MEPs have secured equal rights for agency workers, as well as a maximum 48 hour working week for all employees. Working alongside our European partners gives us greater weight in international affairs, whether that's our approach to Russia and gas supplies, or our response to the current crisis in Gaza. Our economy benefits hugely from being within the EU, but we need to engage in order to ensure decisions are taken that are fair to the UK. The Tories have decided to leave the mainstream centre-right group in the European Parliament in order to join a strange collection of right-wing fringe parties, opposed to the EU. That decision demonstrates clearly that they are not serious about standing up for Britain by participating properly in the EU.

The European election takes place on Thursday 4 June. Citizens from the UK, Ireland, the EU, and the Commonwealth can all vote in European and local elections. Register to vote now

Saturday 3 January 2009

Boris' new year present to bus users

Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson has hit public transport users hard by massively increasing fares.

Labour's London Assembly transport spokesperson, Val Shawcross, slammed the decision. She said: "This unnecessary, above inflation fare hike is going to hit the pocket of every Londoner hard and makes a complete mockery of the Mayor's promise to provide value for money.

"Boris Johnson has given us no evidence whatsoever for his claim that there is a transport finance blackhole. What the evidence does point to is an increase in passenger numbers and revenue in TfL's coffers. If anything there should be a surplus this year, as there was in previous years. For Boris to blame his predecessor for this fare hike is nothing more than a cheap political shot.

"If the Mayor genuinely is concerned about the fares budget then he should have thought twice about abolishing the £25 higher charge for gas guzzlers and should reconsider his expensive plans to replace the bendy bus. It's strange to say the least that Boris is consulting about the future of the Western extension of the congestion charge but hasn't seen fit to consult Londoners on this fare hike which will hit all passengers hard. It just smacks of playing political games with London's transport network".

Example fare rises (from January 2009)

Single bus fare was: 90p
From January: £1
This 10% rise will affect around 1.3 million Londoners

Single Tube journey was: £2
From January: £2.20
A 10% rise

Pictured: a 59 bus at Waterloo (Oxyman, Wikimedia)

Community toilet scheme

Lambeth Council has launched an innovative new scheme to improve public toilet provision for residents and visitors. It works by the Council paying businesses a small annual fee in return for the businesses providing access to their toilets, for free, with no obligation to make a purchase.

In Kennington the Doghouse Pub and Toni's Cafe are the first businesses to sign up. You can find out more about the scheme and all the participating businesses on Lambeth Council's website.
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