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.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Council approves historic budget for Lambeth

Last night Lambeth's Full Council approved the Labour budget for 2010/11, after a debate in which the Lib Dems and Tories appeared to have given up.

The headlines for the budget are:
-A Council Tax freeze for a second year
-£30M of waste cut out
-Healthy reserves for lean times ahead
-Investment in new and expanded services, including lunch clubs for older people, youth services, better noise nuisance services, and anti-crime measures

The Lib Dems' 'alternative budget' was roundly criticised for being irresponsible and completely incoherent.

In the debate Prince's ward Councillor Mark Harrison said:
'Labour's budget continues the previous three years' positive investment, which has benefitted Prince's ward massively. Our expanded Safer Neighbouhoods Team is working well and involving residents in the policing of the area. The Better Neighbourhoods Programme has resulted in resurfaced pavements and roads, and new trees across the Ethelred Estate. Labour's huge investment in our schools has seen Lilian Baylis increase its GCSE pass rate by 15% in just one year. The increased spend of the Housing Capital budget has seen major works to improve more than 1000 homes on the Vauxhall Gardens, Ethelred Towers and Whitgift Estates.

'Even in my position as the Council's newest member, I'm fully aware of the historic nature of this budget. this is the first time in recent decades that an adminstration has managed to freeze council tax whilst preserving and expanding services and reserves.

'Compare this to the Lib Dem plans - cutting the vital 'Invest to Save' programme to pay for an unaffordable council tax cut and a 1/2 million pound fund purely for Councillor Bradley to dangle at Vassall's voters - plumbing new depths of Lib Dem fiscal irresponsibility. This Labour budget reaffirms my pride in standing for election as a Labour councillor in Lambeth.'

Friday 19 February 2010

Burglar-proof your home for free!

Clapham Park Project (a community regeneration project) has been awarded £99, 716 by the Home Office under the Safer Homes Fund. This funding is to be allocated across the whole of Lambeth.

Clapham Park Project is working with AGE UK (Help the Aged and Age Concern) who will provide locksmiths/handy people to install security measures to your home to make it more secure and help to prevent burglaries.
Age Concern have been commissioned to carry out this work and they are able to assess and carry out security work to all properties referred to the scheme. They are able to secure 120 properties per month. Night latches, spy hole, door chains, locks to windows and patio doors and other security assessments are some of the services provided for free.

If you are interested in receiving this service, please contact Clapham Park Project on the free phone number 0800 085 2378. This is an answer phone and you will be able to leave your name, address and contact details and we will call you back to give you more details. If you have any concerns, contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Teams for more information.
Get in touch ASAP - the money has to spent by the end of March!


Monday 15 February 2010

Dangerous potholes filled in

Lambeth Council officers have finally filled in two dangerous holes on Lambeth Walk, after two years of pressure from councillors.

Matters came to a head during the recent snow, when an elderly resident broke his foot when he stumbled on the edge of one of the holes.

Councillor Mark Harrison raised the issue with officers for the second time and pointed out that tree officers had created these dangerous holes.

The Council have now filled in the holes with more soil, and have installed stakes ready for new trees.

Mark said 'I'm pleased the immediate danger posed by the holes has been sorted out. However, I've pointed out to officers again that it's a waste of money to plant new trees unless they are properly protected from cars, dogs, and vandals. Unfortunately delicate saplings won't last five minutes in such an exposed and prominent site'.

Friday 12 February 2010

New street signs for Lambeth's main roads

Eagle-eyed residents will have noticed that new street signs have been installed on main roads right across our area.

The new street signs are part of a range of extra environmental improvements being paid for by the Council from savings made from prudent financial management by Labour.

Street signs on our main roads have been neglected for many years, yet they are crucial for people attempting to direct themselves around the area. Some junctions lacked any signage at all! The smart new signs look far more attractive than the tired and battered ones they have replaced.

Pictured: this new sign by Lambeth Bridge is one of several on the Albert Embankment. Kennington Lane has also benefitted.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Labour keeps rent rise to a minimum

Lambeth's Labour Cabinet yesterday approved a rent increase of 3.14% (£2.60 extra per week) and a 5.75% rise in tenant service charges. Both of these figures are in line with the government's recommended figures.

Lambeth housing tenants will also see the repairs budget increase with a further £3.3 million going forward into providing repairs and new windows to help enable all Lambeth residents a comfortable property to live in.

Labour will continue to work with Lambeth Living to find the most effective way of finding savings and help to reduce the deficit left by the previous Liberal Democrat and Conservative administration. There is still a lot of hard to work to do to help get Lambeth tenants into suitable housing as well as complete the extensive repairs project.

Cllr Lib Peck, cabinet member for housing and regeneration said: 'We have listened to what our tenants have said – that is why we are working to secure the smallest possible increase of £2.60 per week. This is in line with Government guidelines.
I am pleased that we have managed to secure an extra investment of £3.3 million into repairs; and to freeze any increases in hot water and heating charges.
'We remain firmly committed to working closely with Lambeth Living in the next few weeks to agree a workable and reasonable housing management fee for them to provide housing services for Lambeth tenants.'
Pictured: tenants at Dumain House will be pleased that the rent increase has been kept to a minimum

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Lambeth Walk anti-social behaviour meeting

A follow up meeting for residents of Lambeth Walk on anti-social behaviour has been organised for tomorrow evening.

Residents of Lupino Court, Pory House, and Lambeth Walk are invited to a meeting at 7pm at Pory Hall. The Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the Peabody Trust and the Ethelred TMO will all be attending.

Monday 8 February 2010

Follow up to Vauxhall-Nine Elms planning meeting

Don't forget that this Wednesday the KOV Forum are holding a follow up meeting to discuss the London Mayor's plans for comprehensive redevelopment of the area between Vauxhall Cross and Battersea Power Station.
It will be held this Wednesday 10 February, 6.30 pm for a 7.00 pm start, at St Peters Church, 310 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY (corner of Tyers St).
The Vauxhall Society have submitted an initial response to the plans which raise some excellent questions:
-the need to remove Vauxhall's gyratory system
-that high density housing could be achieved through medium-rise buildings, not towers
-that tall buildings should not be along the riverside or railway as they contribute to the 'barrier' effect we already suffer from
-that proposals for public transport improvements are not adequate
Prince's Branch Labour Party have agreed that members are concerned about:
-whether sufficient social and family-sized housing will be built
-whether new buildings and communities will be properly integrated with existing communities east of the railway
-whether residents have been properly consulted
-whether proposals for new infrastructure are adequate

Friends walkabout in Lambeth High Street Recreation Ground

Members of the newly-formed Friends of Lambeth High Street Recreation Ground held a walkabout in the park yesterday.
The aim was to identify problems, create a wishlist of improvements, and see how the Council's improvement plans might work in practice.
Particular issues identified included the state of perimeter walls and fences, several dark and underused corners, the unattractive workshop area next to the viaduct, and the poor state of the water feature and playground.
The next meeting of the Friends Group will be at 7pm on Thursday 18 February, at the Garden Museum.

Friday 5 February 2010

TfL launches cycle superhighway through Kennington

Transport for London has announced plans for a 'Cycle Superhighway' providing a safe, clearly signed, continuous cycle lane from Merton to the City.
The Superhighway will pass along Kennington Park Road and will be a pilot route for the scheme, which will aim to build ten routes from outer to inner London by 2015.
The routes will have a smooth blue road surface and junctions will be improved to make them more cycle-friendly.
People living on the route should receive a leaflet, but you can find out more about the scheme on TfL's website.
The route will be completed this year. It will pass through Tooting, Balham and Clapham, along Clapham Road, Kennington Park Road and Newington Butts, through sides streets avoiding Elephant & Castle, then along Southwark Bridge Road.

Beaufoy Institute update

Briefing on the Studio School Proposal from Lambeth Council
(Beaufoy Institute)
January 2010

Following some communication between local authority officers and representatives of the studio schools trust, Lambeth arranged a meeting with representatives of the DCSF and OSC on 4th November 2009 to discuss ways forward for Lambeth’s Beaufoy studio school proposals, and our future relationship with the studio school’s host.


From the outset, the documentation produced by the Young Foundation was largely generic and the Local Authority was invited to work out more detailed proposals and models for how a studio school could potentially be delivered. These proposals included curriculum modelling and financial and educational feasibility. A long process of negotiation ensued in an attempt to reach consensus about structural and pedagogical models which would be appropriate. It was extremely difficult to reach this consensus due to the relative inflexibility of the generic studio school model, a lack of proven project-based approaches, some confusion about whether the national curriculum could be disapplied (the current ruling from DCSF is that it can't) and considerable debate about whether the work experience model required by the Young Foundation is in fact deliverable in London (which is largely supported by small and medium-sized businesses rather than large multinationals). In addition, obstacles to progress included:
  • Some potentially exciting initial work which took place around the hospitality and catering area that came to nothing

  • Considerable confusion about the potential relationships and motivations of each of the primary stakeholders.

Educationally, an integrated model was desired with workshops and the De Morgan Foundation’s Museum being fully integrated with the school. Unfortunately, De Morgan were unwilling to countenance this model because of perceived risks to their exhibits and because there was a perception that this would damage the reputation of the Museum. The artisans’ workshops were never properly costed as an integrated facility (either capital or revenue) and remained very much an ‘ambition’. There was no question of any funding coming from the studio school project towards either the Museum or the artisans’ workshops, which left a significant funding gap. If the Museum and workshops were to be co-located rather than integrated the site would present problems since there would be no leisure or car parking space for the school or for the local community.

Finally, the DeMorgan Foundation were unable to provide the funding necessary to enable them to be partners in the studio school proposal. As a result of DeMorgan’s departure from negotiations, Prince Charles decided to withdraw his support for the proposal, as did the Young Foundation, who were the primary sponsors.

Whilst the Young Foundation were the originators of the project they were never seen as sponsors in the sense of an Academy. The role of a sponsor carries significant statutory responsibilities which the Young Foundation had never anticipated would be their role. Accordingly, it would always have been necessary irrespective of the final model to have identified and negotiated with a formal ”sponsor” for the project.

Although there was initial interest from the Aurora hotel group, this initial interest now appears to have come to nothing.

The Studio Schools Trust are fully committed to a totally integrated educational model based on project-based learning. This is largely untried and unproven in the secondary sector so far. There are two field trial studio schools in operation, though these are not stand alone studio schools, but are separately identified provision within the mainstream school.It is difficult to see how the conflicting demands of the above, and the necessity to offer a full range of national curriculum subjects, can be reconciled within one institution and officers have serious doubts about whether this is going to be deliverable in its current form.

Accordingly, Lambeth developed a model which, whilst recognising the desirability of new pedagogical approaches, and in particular experiential, participative and project-based learning, was still rooted in ensuring that the young people attending the school would not be seriously disadvantaged by a restricted curriculum and still had full access to the full national curriculum.

DCSF encouraged us to follow this line and develop something which was specific to Lambeth and met the needs of Lambeth students both in terms of ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum but also in terms of ensuring that young people would be employable at the end of it.

We were told initially that we had the freedom to develop local provision to local needs. We were told that the studio schools were a pilot therefore we had the opportunity to tailor our provision in any way that our professional educationalists felt fit. The Studio School Trust/Young Foundation admitted that they were not educationalists but that the educational input to their curriculum model came from consultants.

Lambeth invested a considerable amount of work in attempting to get a best fit between our freedom to innovate and restrictions which increasingly were placed upon us by the Studio Schools Trust. As time went on, our freedom to innovate and design something which was specific to Lambeth became increasingly subsumed into a desire by the Studio Schools Trust to have a clearly identified corporate brand, and indeed a commercially produced curriculum model which the Studio Schools Trust wished to market.

Given the choice of substantially adjusting our curriculum model into one in which we have limited educational confidence or blindly following the model presented to us by the Studio Schools Trust we elected to follow our educational principles and experience. This now appears to be unacceptable to the Studio Schools Trust.

The Studio Schools Trust sees themselves as very strong ’gatekeepers’ to this project. Since they interpreted the feasibility study stage as a competitive process they refused on a number of occasions to give Lambeth the contact details of other authorities who were engaged in the development of pilot studio schools. We have therefore not been allowed to see how timetables differ. However, this was supposed to have been a feasibility stage to demonstrate how a timetable model would fit with space allocations, outline designs and the financial viability of the model. We are confident that we demonstrated this.

Very late in the process, the Studio Schools Trust indicated that they would not be supportive of our model as it stands and that they would not support this model when it was submitted to the Department.

We recognise this has been a source of disagreement for much of the project but was finally only crystallised for us in October. We were then faced with the option of sticking to our original model which we were convinced was correct, or reinventing our model in line with the demands of the Studio School Trust whilst recognising that the matter would likely remain unresolved and would simply re-emerge at a later stage.


Our decision to explore alternatives to the studio school proposal by the Studio School Trust does not reduce our commitment to delivering a high quality and innovative educational institution on the Beaufoy Site.

Academy sponsors

We are exploring with potential sponsors an Academy-based model which will be innovative, exciting and transformational yet based in sound pedagogical and educational philosophies which are already proven to be successful elsewhere.

Our decision to look for an alternative to the studio school model is based upon our extensive understanding of the educational demands and employability needs in London and on our specific understanding of the needs and desires of Lambeth parents, carers and their children.

Whilst we found the model as advocated by the young foundation, and latterly the studio school trust, to be an interesting alternative to more traditional approaches, we were increasingly unconvinced of its relevance to the Lambeth community and of its deliverability on the Beaufoy site. Whilst we believe that there is ample opportunity for the studio schools trust to demonstrate in its pilots elsewhere that their model can work, ultimately we were unwilling to take such a gamble with the futures of Lambeth children.

All of the parameters and criteria outlined in our detailed feasibility study to DCSF remain unchanged; however we are now free to negotiate directly with potential sponsors rather than having to negotiate everything via the Studio Schools Trust.

Our initial discussions with potential sponsors have indicated that they are fully supportive of our educational aims and that the Beaufoy Vocational Academy (working title) will deliver:

  • Innovation and an innovative approach to education·
  • A focus on vocational diplomas and vocational education·
  • A transformational pedagogical model of highly personalised learning based on stage, not age·
  • Unique (in London) opportunities for a different educational model·
  • A school with extremely strong links both practically and philosophically to the local community·
  • A school which will work well and closely with other local schools where relevant·
  • A school which will work across borough boundaries to deliver unique opportunities for its pupils

Funding, whether for the studio school or for the Academy has always been, and remains, an issue since there have been no guarantees of full funding of the school. We are still seeking reassurance from the Department that the school development will be fully funded.

Is there a pothole in your street?

Dear Neighbours,

I received the following message from the council yesterday. Please get in touch with me if you have any potholes in your road and I shall ask the council to fill them in.

“Since the snow and ice of a few weeks ago, our roads are experiencing a large volume of potholes and other dangerous defects across the Borough. Transport & Highways are implementing a programme of works to eradicate the problem. Works have commenced in the Southern end of the Borough and we’ll start repairing all our Main Distributor Roads in the following Wards, Gipsy Hill, Knights Hill, Streatham Wells, St Leonards and Streatham South. Once completed, all the side roads will be looked at and repaired accordingly. As and when these Wards are completed, we will move on to Thurlow Park, Streatham Hill, Thornton, Tulse Hill, Brixton Hill and Clapham Common. Once completed we will move on to Ferndale, Clapham Town, Larkhall, Coldharbour and Herne Hill . Finally finishing with Vassall, Stockwell, Oval, Princes (Kennington & Vauxhall) and Bishops. A carriageway maintenance team will also be in all the wards not completed as well to deal with any dangerous defects and potholes.”

All the best


Cllr Stephen Morgan
Tel: 020 7820 6664
Mob: 07985 735 849
Pictured: this pothole in Gibson Road was sorted out when the road was resurfaced a couple of months ago.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Labour's team for Oval ward

The Labour party has selected its candidates for the Council in Oval ward, ahead of May's borough elections.

Karim Palant, Jane Edbrooke, and Jack Hopkins all live locally and have a track record of hard work campaigning for Labour. They've already got down to work in Oval ward, with regular campaigning sessions speaking to residents to find about issues and problems in the area. You can follow their campaign on their website .

In Prince's ward sitting councillors Lorna Campbell, Mark Harrison, and Steve Morgan will all be standing again. They are pictured with Kate Hoey MP.

The borough election is likely to be held on Thursday 6 May.

To check which ward you live in please visit the Lambeth website.

59 frequency to increase

After consultation with residents and local councillors Transport for London has announced the 59 bus will run more frequently.

In a letter to councillors TfL confirmed that the frequency of the bus on Monday to Saturday will increase from every eight minutes to every six-seven minutes. During peak morning times the frequency of north-bound buses will be every five minutes.

Labour councillors in Kennington have welcomed the improvement. 'It has been virtually impossible to board a bus at peak times on Kennington Road for too long. Hopefully this improvement will go some way to addressing the problem' said Councillor Mark Harrison.

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